We heard it near the deadline last year, when Boston fans and media alike were putting together insane packages of players, draft picks, bags of pucks, cases of Sam Adams and vats of chowder in order to pry Ilya Kovalchuk from the Thrashers.
The grass is always greener on the other side, especially when it comes to trades. With that in mind, wouldn't you want the cornerstone of your franchise to be a playmaking forward, rather than someone who puts up gaudy goal totals?
The choice comes down to two reasons, really. First of all, goal-scoring snipers, as aesthetically pleasing as they may be, fall into slumps. Just look at Bruins' sniper Nathan Horton, someone who has a reputation as a goal-scorer, is snake-bitten for the moment. Horton, not by total fault of his own, finds new ways every night to narrowly miss getting on the score sheet. His main priority is to score, and he won't be able to do that every night. Those slumps can snowball.
Playmaking on the other hand, is something that is much more proactive. Such players can dictate pace and action, something that goal-scorers aren't always necessarily able to do.
More importantly, though, playmakers are able to involve everyone. Henrik Sedin has played in 49 games this season. He has 50 assists. Playing with two of the better scorers in the game — twin brother Daniel and sniper Ryan Kesler don't hurt — but players like Sedin or Brad Richards have a knack for finding scorers — such playmaking abilities can be contagious. For the most part, goal scorers can't do it all themselves as someone's got to set them up.
Ideally, of course, you'd like a nice mix of both types of player. That, and you'd like players who can do plenty of both. But, for argument's sake, you can only take one.
Which trait — playmaking or goal scoring — do you covet more? Share your thoughts below.
Monday, Jan. 24: Who would you vote for the 7th Player Award if the season ended today?