So, while we await the upcoming NHL draft, there's really nothing going on in the hockey world but free agent speculation, mock drafts, and trade proposals. Anyone who knows me from here, know I love lineup speculation and trade proposals.
Normally I try to keep the trade proposals to hfboards, but these ones are so out there, I thought I'd bring them to a place with much better discussion. :) Maybe I can prevent some boredom in others as well as myself!
To Pittsburgh: Marek Svatos
To Colorado: '09 2nd, '10 3rd (conditional on Svatos scoring 30 goals)
Comments: I'm a well known Svatos hater, and with Jones and Stewart coming into their own as 2nd/3rd line options, it's time to trade Svatos while we can get some value for him.
Pittsburgh fans seem to like the idea of trading for Svatos on hf, and the value is about what they've offered, just with a little twist in the form of the conditional pick. Overall, I think this would be a good move for both teams.
Ok, let's assume Tampa Bay succeeds in trading Lecavalier on draft day, and they select Duchene at #2 after the Islanders select Tavares #1. That leaves us with Hedman at #3, and I'm sure many people around there parts would be thrilled.
But where does that leave our lineup? I'll tell you: hoping for Wolski to improve enough to be a legit 2nd line center, old, and slow. And massively overpaid and overstocked on D. Until we do this:
Comments: Whoa doc! Taking on Briere's contract? Trading 2 of our best players? Adding salary when we're already tight? Well, yeah. Let me explain why I'd think about it.
For Colorado, it's true, Briere's 6.5m cap hit for the next 6(!) years is a tough pill to swallow. But Briere is a point per game player when healthy, and even last year playing out of shape on the 3rd and 4th lines he projected to a 30 goal pace over 82 games. He's also fast, and extremely talented. He's pretty close to what we need on the 2nd line behind Stastny. Briere in Colorado, despite the bad contract, makes some sense if we don't get Duchene.
Randy Jones is another bad contract and a Brett Clark clone, but it's up after this year. This cap relief versus Liles' contract going forward is what the team will need.
But the real gem that makes these 2 contracts palatable to Colorado is James van Riemsdyk. I'll let HF profile him:
He has high offensive potential; from his great size to his superb technical skating ability, he can be a complete package offensively. He makes his living in the slot, shielding off defenders and potting goal after goal.
HF rates him as the 13th best prospect in the league as of April, a few spots ahead of our own guy Shattenkirk. He's probably a few years out from hitting his stride, but so are most of our young guys.
This trade makes us a bit worse in the short term, but really lines things up down the road.
From Philly's perspective, I think this makes a lot of sense for them too, though I admit I'm far less familiar with their situation. Their lines look something like this today, as far as I can tell:
Hartnell - Carter - Lupul
Gagne - Richards - Giroux
With Briere centering Powe and someone else on the 3rd. Briere is a terrible 3rd liner...but with Wolski, they have a 3rd line center that is an answer to the Pittsburgh Staal 3rd line, and who can back up the easily-broken Gagne and Hartnell at LW in the top 6. Wolski may also really reach his potential there as well.
Liles is a huge upgrade over Carle/Jones on the point of the PP, and really adds some punch to their 2nd pairing.
Even better, it frees up about 2.25m in cap space this year and if they choose to move Liles or Carle, they can finally go after Bouwmeester, whom they covet. Losing JvR is a blow, but they can tolerate it for the cap flexiblilty and better players for their roles the trade gives them going forward.
And as for the Avalanche cap...we could do it. This coming year would be tight, but possible (if you don't care, skip to the grand total):
Smyth - Stastny - Hejduk = 16.75m
JvR - Briere - Stewart = 9.85m (assuming 2.5m for JvR)
McLeod - Hensick/Galiardi - Jones = 2.2m
Stoa/Mercier - Guite - McCormick = 1.8m
2 minimum wage scratches = 1m
Hannan - Hedman = 7m (assuming 2.5m for Hedman)
Clark - Foote = 6.5m
Salei - Jones = 5.775
Vernace = .75
Goalie X = ~2m
Budaj = .85m
Tucker Buyout = .75m
GRAND TOTAL = 55.225m (and remember this will go down as the entry level guys inevitably fail to meet bonuses, so there's room for callups as well)
Yes, it does work for next year, and the year after there will be massive relief on the horizon with Hejduk and the 4 crappy defensemen (Clark, Jones, Salei, and Foote) all up for new deals. There'll be plenty of room for Gaunce, Shattenkirk and other new defensemen, and plenty of cap room going forward as our young guys come up for contracts.
So what do you guys think? Yes, I have too much time on my hands today at work -- I'm watching build servers run, but besides that? :)