Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trade Rumors Fueling Setoguchi

So maybe that was all it took. A good kick in the pants and swirling trade rumors have Devin Setoguchi playing his best hockey of the year at a most crucial time of the year. Granted, it is only three games, but we'll take what we can get out of Setoguchi who has been quite the disappointment after being dubbed the "second-coming" just a few years ago.

Maybe Setoguchi wasn't even on the trading block to begin with, but the racing tension of actually being traded out of San Jose by February 28th may have him playing as hard as ever. And that's what we have seen over these last 3 or 4 games, Setoguchi working hard, and it has payed off in these last three games with him putting up 5 goals, including 2 when the Sharks needed them most in Detroit.

Who wouldn't want Setoguchi on their team? His massive potential is what has gotten him this far, and maybe he was hyped just a little too much. But that won't stop trade rumors from swirling, because in this league if you don't produce but have potential, other teams want you.

And why wouldn't the Sharks shop him? Although it's not clear if they are or not. He is young, has potential, just hasn't lived up to it. That makes for high trade stock, and teams will come biting.

So far, it's worked. Setoguchi has a fire lit under him since the media has dubbed him trade bait, and Sharks fans don't mind, I'm sure. 5 goals and an assist in 3 games on the road against contending teams will be accepted. Thank you.

Another factor: I doubt if Setoguchi wants out of San Jose. This is one of the hottest teams in the NHL and one of the most consistently great teams in the last several years. Why would he want out? So he is playing hard, which has been noticed by everyone and it just so happened to become fruitful in the statistical category over these last three games, when the Sharks may have needed it most.

You can pair that with the fact that Antti Niemi is still solid as a rock in net and the defense is playing ten times better in front of him, and the Sharks may have something here. The right teams get hot at the right time with the right players, and the Sharks seem to be doing that. But right now, it seems as if trade rumors are fueling at least one of the Sharks players, and the team's win total has benefitted from it at just the right time in the season.

Keep telling Setoguchi he's trade bait. It will only fuel him more.

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