Hotstove Tonight panel discusses skyrocketing prices for trades

On the Hotstove Tonight segment Saturday night, Glenn Healy said the cost of acquiring all types of players has gone up in the last few years, and it's not necessarily a good thing in his eyes.

Glenn Healy thinks price tags too high as April 3 deadline approaches

Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Douglas Murray, right, was acquired by the team from the San Jose Sharks last week. (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

Break open the cheque books because players won’t be going for cheap as the April 3 NHL trade deadline approaches.

At least that’s what Hockey Night in Canada’s Glenn Healy thinks.

On the Hotstove Tonight segment Saturday night, Healy said the cost of acquiring all types of players has gone up in the last few years, and it’s not necessarily a good thing in his eyes.

"Bring your wallet, boys, if you want to get some of these players," said Healy. "Remember the days of 2009 when [former NHLer] Billy Guerin, who was the captain of the New York Islanders? Pittsburgh gets him, he had 16 goals. A fifth-round pick, that’s all you got for him."

Healy was referencing some of the recent moves made by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who just landed Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames, but also made some noise last week by acquiring longtime Dallas Stars forward Brenden Morrow and Sharks defenceman Douglas Murray.

Healy had issues with the price tag for Murray, in particular, which was a second-round pick in 2013 and a conditional choice (either a second or third-rounder in 2014) for the defenceman. Murray has four assists in 31 games for San Jose and is a minus-6.

He offered up a hypothetical scenario involving the Ottawa Senators, whose roster boasts a pair of important second-rounders in forward Jakob Silfverberg (2009, 39th overall) and goalie Robin Lehner (2009, 46th overall).

"Now let’s look at today’s costs, and it is expensive," said Healy. "Murray, for instance, two second-round picks, well guess what? That would be [Jakob] Silfverberg and [Robin] Lehner, your goalie of the future, so it costs you a ton."

He also noted the Senators have 16 of their own draft picks on their current squad, including five second-round choices and six third-rounders.

He added a warning teams looking to add rental players for the playoff run.

"Before you hand out all these draft picks, just be careful."

Stock doesn't see a problem

Fellow Hockey Night in Canada commentator P.J. Stock doesn’t see a problem with going all-in to take a serious run at the Stanley Cup, and backed up the moves made by the Penguins, who were eliminated by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the playoffs last season.

"[The Penguins are] looking at their situation, how they went down last year playing against Philadelphia [in the playoffs]," said Stock. "They’re missing that defenceman they thought they needed in Douglas Murray. They don’t have that [Rob] Scuderi factor anymore. So they overpaid [for Murray]? They just made their team that much better. [Defenceman] Kris Letang doesn’t have to block shots on the penalty kill anymore."

When Healy asked him Stock if he would swap Lehner and Silfverberg to acquire Murray, Stock said he wouldn’t do that particular trade, but he could see why it would work.

"No [I wouldn’t do that deal] but [Murray] complements their team," said Stock. "He’s something that they needed, so overpay because our team is that much better because we have him now. That’s the only argument I have for that."