No one really wants to see any of Stastny, Duchene, O'Reilly, Landeskog, EJ, & Varlamov traded.
(Well maybe a couple when it comes to Stastny but I strongly disagree with that and I think plenty of other people do as well.)
However Hejduk is likely gone and Jones is not a great option. Jones works next to Stastny or in a checking role but no where else. No one really believes O'Reilly should be just a 3rd line center any more either. So if all three centers are kept then we need to actually surround them with the talent to succeed.So there is two questions at Right Wing. How should we answer them without trading anyone I list? (Trading any of these guys would only create another hole. So if you trade one you need to show how that hole is filled.)
Alex Semin is my answer to one of them.. (IMO) The other is exponentially harder considering the player needs to be 2nd line worthy and fairly competent defensively.
McGinn - Stastny - Semin
Mueller - Duchene - Right Winger
Landeskog - O'Reilly - Downie
(Olver - McClemment - Kobasew / Just for visual purposes)
I really don't like the idea of playing Mueller - Duchene - Semin together if we were to acquire Semin. How many more goals would that line score than they actually let in? You could move Landeskog to that spot and retain Jones, but then like I said O'Reilly would then be truly a 3rd line center with nothing special as far as offensive help on his line.
There is really no one expected to hit the free-agent market that fits this two-way second line winger role either. (Unless I missed someone) So it's like a puzzle.. No one really available in free agency (Aside from Parise), a lot of the pieces you need to use to trade with only create another hole in the lineup.
We don't have any prospects that fit this role either. (Unless we are lucky and Hishon or Sgrabossa are somehow ready and then are able to play out of position and on their off wing side. Both are left handed.)
The reason I ask this question is because I am out of ideas. Without trading one of our centers for a 1st line winger this question is very hard to answer. Breaking my own rules I would do something like O'Reilly for Ryan. Then picking up Parise would be easier actually giving us two solid top 6 lines. We would need to then either rely on McClemment to be our 3rd line center or go after someone like Stoll or Kelly. Either of which is a lot easier than answering the question I propose.
Parise - Stastny - Ryan
Mueller - Duchene - Landeskog
McGinn - Jay/UFA - Downie
(I do realize this is a lot of "What if" but at the same time. The holes and weaknesses in our lineup are not what ifs they are glaring deficiencies in our forward group.)
So what say you?