Friday, June 13, 2008
Lowetide is at it, as always, as he ponders the Oilers' stated goal to find a top three forward.
So lets talk about the Pittsburgh Penguins who are several ways fucked. It appears that Malkin is about to sign a longterm deal with the Pens which means that Pittsburgh is going to have a pile of money tied up in two excellent young centres for many years. This is good news. The bad news is that amongst their free agents are Hossa, Malone and Orpik and down the road you can bet that Fleury is going to get paid as well. One other guy who needs to get paid - Jordan Staal, a kid who scored twenty nine goals as an eighteen year old rookie. He also plays centre.
The kid is a player. My guess is his idea of a career is not going to be playing whatever minutes are left over after Crosby and Malkin get off the ice, killing penalties and scoring a goal here and there.
And Pittsburgh doesn't want to be the Lightning.
Bear with me here. The Penguins are going to get butchered this summer. If they don't keep two of their three big UFAs they are going to have some pretty big holes to fill. Orpik played with Gonchar on their top pair. Hossa and Malone are two of their best five forwards.
Now, if I am Kevin Lowe I am calling Shero and offering a solution - some cheap young talent for Jordan Staal. If it comes down to Crosby, Malkin or Staal which one is going to get dumped? Does Shero want to risk an RFA sheet next summer? Or does he maximize the trade value of a terrific young player who plays a position which is already full?
He can pick up someone to kill penalties and play tough opposition either through trade or with a clever UFA buy. He can get a young winger under contract who can play with Crosby or a collection of prospects/young players. The Oilers have plenty.
It would have to be a killer package, not Matt Greene and Rob Schremp. We're talking a collection of players - damned if I know what would get Staal, I would say a couple of Cogliano, Nilsson, Stoll, Grebeskov, Smid plus a very good prospect or pick or a role player like Pouliot or Brodziak.
So then you have your forwards looking like this (lets say the package centres around Cogliano):
Am I dreaming in technicolour?
- Pens have tons of money wrapped up in two guys playing Staal's position
- Paying a bottom six guy a ton of cash makes little sense; heck the Oilers pay a bunch of them ~2 and it drives us all nuts
- The Pens need the space to sign Fleury and to try and keep at least one, if not two of their UFAs
- this is a team that needs the quantity of young cheap assets in return for the quality
- the Pens could be the class of the East for a while or they could be Tampa - if they turn Staal into three NHL players, use the money saved on him wisely and find a good cheap vet (or another kid) to play that three hole behind Malkin and Crosby, then they are looking a lot better, imo
As LT would say - yes, no, take a nap?
Posted by Black Dog at 8:57 PM