This was Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon when speaking about center Cody Glass on June 11:
“I think it’s important that he knows we believe in him. Sometimes these things take time. Development doesn’t always happen in a straight line.”
Good news for Glass then: Things are pretty unswerving over the 1,789 miles it takes to go from Las Vegas to Nashville.
Glass on Saturday became the last of the team’s three first-round picks from its inaugural draft in 2017 to be shipped out. He was traded to the Predators for center Nolan Patrick, who had earlier been dealt from Philadelphia to Nashville.
You’re going to hear a lot about fresh starts and the positive results a change in scenery can create for Glass and Patrick. About the idea that without failure, success has no worth.
Every trade is spun one way or the other by management. This is no different.
Missed on Glass
What it confirms is that the Knights missed badly on Glass when selecting him sixth overall as the franchise’s first draft pick. They whiffed. The same is true for Philadelphia in taking Patrick at No. 2 of the same draft.
The idea that each player might now overcome what have been disappointing NHL careers thus far and actually produce and prosper in their new homes in more than possible. Happens often in sports. They’re both just 22. Brighter days could absolutely materialize.
It could also be the Knights just traded one flawed player for another and neither will ever reach their projected potential.
Time only knows.
Assess each trade on its own. One shouldn’t define another. That the Knights also moved on from 2017 first-round picks in Nick Suzuki to Montreal and Erik Brannstrom to Ottawa shouldn’t determine to what merit trading Glass offers.
There is, however, significant difference. When trading Suzuki in 2018 and Brannstrom a year later, the Knights received back forwards Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone respectively. Even as Suzuki continues to establish himself a rising talent and top line center, the return on both deals was worth it.
This is far different. Glass missed 11 months with a major knee injury and has struggled over 66 NHL games to generate much of anything offensively. Patrick missed the entire 2019-20 season with a migraine disorder and also hasn’t come close to meeting expectations of his draft placement.
Patrick had four goals and nine points this past season and his minus-30 rating tied for second worst in the NHL. He’s a (really) long way from the player who produced consecutive 30-point campaigns over his first two seasons.
But he played for and starred in juniors under McCrimmon with the Brandon Wheat Kings and that was a major reason the Knights parted with Glass.
If you own a hockey stick and have ever taken a breath in the Manitoba province on the banks of the Assiniboine River, McCrimmon will be interested.
“I know (Patrick) extremely well,” he said. “I know what he’s capable of. He missed an entire season. For any player, there’s a time frame needed to get back to the level you were at.”
Didn’t work out
In looking past McCrimmon’s yet again not-so-subtle and tired suggestion that local media lack knowledge regarding the nuisances of such moves, we won’t overthink the room.
Glass was always viewed the most untouchable of those three first-round draft picks, not to be seriously included in trade offers for much of his time in Las Vegas. But then he got injured and never developed as the Knights wanted and expected. Never became the player they forecast at this point. It’s as much on the team as him.
It’s also not very original. Sometimes, the deal ultimately works for both sides and players involved thrive with their new organizations. Sometimes not.
“This wasn’t a failing on Cody’s part at all,” McCrimmon said.
Hmm. I guess they just believe in the other guy more.
Ed Graney is a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for sports column writing and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.