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The Curious Case of Henrik Zoiderberg


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The worst trade negotiation of my Moscow GM tenure has without a doubt been for the one trade I made in the S70 off-season. Not in the sense of it being a difficult or dragged out negotiation but in the sense that I performed very poorly in it, making rookie mistakes and for the only time I can remember coming out of it thinking I likely lost the trade.


Coming off the high of the Menace's inaugural Continental Cup win, we needed 1 thing in the off-season – another high TPE forward to replace the retiring Randoms and depreciating free agent Dan Baillie. The market wasn't great by the time I joined it, with Acyd Burn already promised to Malmo, Vancouver demanding extortionate prices as always, leaving Seattle's Henrik Zoiderberg as the only piece which fit. Zoiderberg was suspiciously drifting from the league but that didn't stop me from going in and offering my two best S71 draft picks (12th and 13th overall) straight off the bat. I had scouted the draft and felt no one in that range would have the short-term impact I needed or even reach the level of the semi-active Zoiderberg, but still definitely could have started the bidding by offering one of my two lower second round picks.


As the off-season came closer, Zoiderberg had clearly bolted from the league, as a conversation with him confirmed. He had promised to keep welfare claims and to purchase depreciation fighters which didn't happen but I still decided to pull the trigger given a strong build and Moscow's immediate needs. Zoiderberg has not earned a single TPE since the trade 3 seasons ago yet is the team's top scorer since joining and would have had a strong case for S71 playoff MVP if we had prevailed in the finals against Seattle.


The picks I traded ended up being Zyrok and Ray Sheilds, likely the players I would have picked there myself. They have both ended up in Malmo and while Zyrok seems to be inactive, Sheilds would definitely have fit the current retool we have going on in Moscow. All my other S71 picks flopped so the trade has really been Zoiderberg for Sheilds. Was it worth it? I still don't know. But with Zoiderberg again leading the Menace with an above point-per-game pace, it definitely feels like it could have been worse.

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