The trade is the trade.
It is a waste of time and energy to agonize over how we wish the Claude Giroux trade could have been different. Furthermore, the pieces of the trade will reveal themselves over literal years so it will be impossible to determine a winner of the trade until then.
Whenever I see and read people losing their minds over such things there is a Taoist proverb I like to think of, “Only a fool wishes to change the past. We should hope for life to happen just as it has.”
What has happened is that, in the immediacy, Claude Giroux has ostensibly been traded for Owen Tippett. While Tippett undeniably has talent, his game is not perfect. So, with a sample size of one game, there were a lot of things to like about Tippett’s game.
Let’s start with the shot:
The shot is unequivocally awesome! The Flyers probably haven’t had a shooting winger with this good of a shot since Danny Briere or Simon Gagne.
While it was only one game, Tippett has already has shown how his shot can create offense and high quality scoring chances off of the umbrella power play that the Flyers have been using:
There is more than just the shooting to be excited about. Tippett clearly possess offensive instincts, skills, and has exhibited that he has enough hockey IQ to create offensive chances as a shooter and a playmaker:
While Tippett clearly had a great game, there are reasons why he hasn’t quite figured it out yet. There are small things keeping him from being an everyday player and why he was ultimately deemed expendable by the Panthers. One thing that Tippett is going to have to work on is trying not force plays and learn when to make safer decisions:
In re-watching Sunday’s game against the Islanders there were more things to be optimistic about versus concerned about. This shift illustrates what Tippett does well, and a couple of subtle things he could clean up:
Again, we’re working off of a one game sample size. Alexandre Picard once had five assists in one game. Andy Delmore scored one of the most famous Flyers playoff hat tricks ever. I once saw Jody Shelley score off of an absolute clap bomb against the Thrashers. Point being is that anything can happen in one game.
That being said, in this one game, Tippett has shown us what he can do well and improve upon while also showing us what he could do better and improve upon. Regardless, there are one of three outcomes under which Tippett will fall:
Outcome 1: He becomes the next Pavel Brendl in that he’s a high-ish profile prospect that came over in a trade and never figures it out.
Outcome 2: He becomes Scottie Upshall in that he’s a high-ish profile prospect and is a good to great player for the the Flyers for years to come.
Outcome 3: He becomes Brett Hull in that he is a prospect that couldn’t crack his previous team’s lineup and turns into an absolute sniper hitting more dingers than Pat Burrell and Jim Thome combined!
While Outcome 3 would rule, I’m going to temper my expectations on Tippett to be somewhere above having a better Flyers career than Scottie Upshall.
Only time will tell.