So I'm on NHL.com watching highlights from other games after the Avs beat the Jimmy Howard good Wild and under 'Top Headlines' I see more talk about Columbus and their new Finnish GM Jarmo Kekalainen. I don't know why but I've been keeping my eye on this for some reason. I think maybe because the NHL may finally have a contender in Columbus if he does a good job. So I click on the first link and I read how Kekalainen's hiring is a big deal to the "fellow NHL Finns." It's an interesting piece that basically quotes Finnish players like Anaheim's Teemu Selanne on how he's done so many good things, worked so hard, and so on. So even more intrigued, I click on the next article titled "Hope in Columbus" and it discusses how their ex-GM Scott Howson got them two of the three first round picks by trading Rick Nash to the Rangers and the whiny little (any word fits) Jeff Carter to the Kings.
By this point NHL.com writer Corey Masisak throws Kekalainen back into the equation about how he's practically a beast at the draft and Columbus' three first rounders this year will pretty much set up Columbus for the future. He says the biggest pieces to their team will be defenseman Ryan Murray and center Ryan Johansen. However, Johansen along with prospect Boone Jenner and veteran Derek Bressard may not be the long term option as top two centers for the Blue Jackets and someone may need to be added. Apparently to be successful in Columbus you have to be named Ryan, so in comes our own Ryan O'Reilly. Since every fan has a voice I for one welcome any trade for Radar. I'm just done with the whole thing. We can sit here all we want and blame Greg Sherman for giving David Jones $4 million for one year too many and Stan Kroenke for putting money elsewhere but I for one feels it's time to move on.
So, entertaining the idea of trading O'Reilly to Columbus, via Masisak's thinking, doesn't seem like a bad idea. Looking at the standings now, if the season ended today, Columbus has the first overall pick, followed by the second (Kings 1st), and the Rangers look like they'll make the playoffs so the bottom half of the first round. The Avs would currently hold the seventh overall pick. Sherman will only trade for the Columbus or Los Angeles pick so we'd possibly get two first round, top ten picks. The negative effect of trading O'Reilly away for a pick is another step back meaning meaning more development and years of torment by signing of guys like Matt Hunwick, but it's depth we could use and still 2 first round picks who could crack the lineup next season. Along with acquiring the 1st, the Avs would also like a roster player. My first choice is Matt Calvert (23yrs., 1G, 2A, 3P, -5), but he's a young guy riding on the first line with Dubinsky and Folingo and Columbus would want more so the realistic choice is winger Mark Letestu (28 yrs., 5G, 2A, 7P, plus 2). We need more shots up front (faith and 5 goals convinces me), he stays out of the box, and we can use a pick for a new defensman. Plus Letestu is unrestricted at the end of the year and carries a $600k cap hit right now. You can resign him at the end of the year and he can replace Hejduk if he retires although no one will ever replace the Duke.
Now if the Avs want the pick and a player/prospect combo, the Avs give a little, get Letestu and 19 year old defensive prospect Mike Reilly. Hockey'sFuture.com says he's a "puck moving defenseman with good vision and a strong shot" which is something we need. He's playing in college right now for the Gophers and has solid stats (26 games, 2 G, 10 A, plus 6, 12 PM, 22 blocked shots). He'll probably stay another year at Minnesota but it's added depth and it's what we need. Anyways that's my spit. In summation, get O'Reilly out of here. He's a distraction now and if Columbus wants a center piece for their "hope for the future," I hope the get it for the right price. I also think with $17,419,621 million in cap space, according to CapGeek.com, we can sign a few decent players IF available during the off season.
But hey, I'm just a fan drinking a Bud Light Platinum writing a fan post on Mile High Hockey. What do I know?