Yes, the lead in is dripping with sarcasm.
I'm not a knee jerk reactionary when it comes to talking about trading guys. Trent Hunter is clearly a case of two things:
1) A guy who never developed beyond the 25 goal mark of his rookie season.
2) A guy, like Brendan Witt, who's career is in decline.
There are certain players on this team the fans have suffered some wierd kind of "Stockholm Syndrome" with. On my list over the last few seasons it's been Hilbert, Park, Hunter and Bergenheim is starting to slowly find his way on it. Hunter is a bit of a different animal though. Had he not had a 25 goal rookie season and followed up two seasons later with another 20 goal season there probably would be no need for this conversation.
To make matter worse, despite the fact that he never really lived up to those numbers, his career is in decline. This is no longer one of those guys where you say, "He had a good rookie year and has fallen off a bit. He just needs some time to get back on track."
Actually watching his game he has become a perimeter player. He's become the kind of player that other younger players get beef for. The ironic thing is that Hunter is vet so there really is no excuse for him playing that kind of game. UNLESS, as I've mentioned and repeated often enough here, you career is in decline and you are no longer capable of getting to the sweet scoring spots in time.
Hunter does have value on the trade market. Teams that don't play a speed game or are trying to implement one are perfect landing spots for a guy like Hunter. The backwards thinking on the part of the franchise is that this is a third liner at best. There really is no need to keep him beyond this trade deadline on a rebuilding team. If your really hanging on to a guy like this what does that say about your ability to draft guys that can even work they way onto the third line?
Those guys are a dime a dozen in any given draft!!! Not to mention easy to sign on the UFA market for peanuts.
As I see it, his value (IOW the best you could get) at this point is that of a third round pick. That's pretty decent given that this guy was a 6th round pick up by Anaheim in 98. A second rounder would be absolute robbery. Granted we are talking a late second rounder given that it would most likely be a playoff team picking him up.
My overall thinking is that another year with Hunter and we are stuck with another Brendan Witt situation. A guy you can't trade cause his career is on a downhill slope and everybody knows it.