Kevin Fiala is Better Than Mikael Granlund
I never thought I'd ever say this... but maybe I owe Paul Fenton an apology. Last year, when Fenton traded fan-favorite Mikael Granlund for Kevin Fiala, I lost my shit. Grandlund had been with Minnesota since 2012 and was becoming a reliable 60+ point player in his last few seasons in Minnesota. On the other hand, Kevin Fiala was a promising young player, but he never hit 50 points in a season.
One of the best initial ways to determine if your team won a trade is by viewing the fanbase reactions immediately after the trade. I call this the Overreaction Test. Fans, while emotional, still watch these guys day in and day out for years and have a pretty good understanding of the value players bring to their team. Obviously only time will tell who won the trade, but the Overreaction Test is one of the best ways to tell which fan base is happier with the deal.
Nashville fans were ecstatic with the trade, while Minnesota fans were OUTRAGED.
Initial Wild Fan Reactions:
Initial Nashville Fan Reactions:
Nashville fans definitely were happy, while many Minnesota fans were dismayed. I vividly remember seeing a comment by a Nashville fan that said: "Grandlund is what we've been waiting for Fiala to turn into."
Let's fast forward to today, almost a year after the Grandlund for Fiala trade and it's really starting to look like Fenton was right. In 47 games this year the 23-year-old Fiala has put up 30 points and is seemingly finding his stride in the NHL. Unfortunately for Nashville, Grandlund's game has really gone downhill. In 46 games, the 27-year-old Grandlund has only put up 19 points and is the subject of many trade rumors.
Kevin Fiala is only 23 and he is currently outperforming Grandlund, and his potential is starting to excite some people in Minnesota. Grandlund's deal expires at the end of this season, so maybe he takes a team-friendly deal to come back to his favorite team, the Minnesota Wild. It probably won't happen, but a man can dream.
As of right now, I'd say Minnesota is winning the trade, so I guess I owe Fenton an apology...
(He won't get one though, because that Nino for Rask trade is still one of the worst in NHL history)
- Wild Talk