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...or rather, LoCal. Del Mar, to be specific. This entire area is completely buggered. I spent the majority of the trade deadline on the 405, viewing most of Orange County from the freeway. I hooked up with Sportnet's text messaging system, and was able to receive information about most of the trades on the road.

I'm dying to know what the local reaction was to the Arnason trade. One can only get so much reaction from the message boards and papers. I've found that quite a few people seem concerned by Arnason's lack of grit. Varada, Neil, McGrattan et al...how much do you need? I think the bulk of negative sentiment has arisen from the media's insistence that the team had Olli Jokinen in the bag. When Jokinen re-signed with the Panthers, one was really left to wonder what Muckler had up his sleeve.

I read an interesting quote from Muckler in the Citizen this aft -- "You don't get guys when they're at their best," Muckler said in a quiet moment after his media scrum at the Scotiabank Place. What intelligent person wouldn't agree with that assessment? You need to go after someone with a flaw -- a player with potential that's going through a cold streak; a guy that doesn't have chemistry with the rest of the team in the dressing room. Those "negative" attributes become your bargaining chips. Word has it that Chicago was looking to get Antoine Vermette in return for Arnason. Could you have imagined the uproar such a trade would have caused?

Muckler was insistent that the Senators weren't going to lose a member of the current squad. That type of thinking seriously reduces the options available for a trade. You can't conjure up a Stanley Cup-winning offensive/two-way/faceoff specialist star name centres out of thin air, and furthermore, you can't expect to get one without giving up a lot.

Senators fans would complain about this move, but likely would've balked more if Muckler had stood pat. That's just their way. Arnason was a +2 tonight, with an assist in just over ten minutes of play tonight during the game vs. the Thrashers. It'll be a test of Murray's ability if he can groom Arnason into the talented player that he's more than capable of being.

P.S. That photo is from the parking garage of the Westin LAX.

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