Sunday, February 24, 2008
Trade Deadline Musing - 2007-08 - Brad Richards
Chances that Lowe will actually land Richards? Maybe 10%.
Don't hold your breath.
Question is - SHOULD he get Brad Richards?
Sure. Comes down to cost really.
Now, granted, I haven't cracked my copy of the NHL CBA open in a while but if it can happen a trade of:
Penner, Stoll & Roloson
Richards, Denis & ?
Works for me. And if it can't work that way then replace Penner's name with the words 'future considerations' and complete the trade in the off-season.
Why? Well, let consider:
1. Richards is, historically, an excellent EV outperformer. A rich man's Horcoff. So I do not expect that next season will see the same drop-off he had the start of this season.
Also, paired with Hemsky and ? (Nilsson maybe) on a scoring line you create a mis-match on the 2nd line with Horcoff. Put in a position to succeed Richards should mute the contract criticism he receives.
2. Horcoff, now on the 2nd line can still be given all the hard match-ups. This allow a dominance match to occur (as mentioned) and as a bonus it deflates Horcoff's numbers and allows for, possibly, a cheaper signing.
I really want Horcoff to be an Oiler for life and letting him have 80+ point seasons BEFORE his next contract is negotiated is NOT going to make that a reality easily attained.
3. Richards should provide a greater boost to overall team performance than Penner and Stoll can.
a) Penner may score 35+ goals in Edmonton one day but is the guy a dominant LW? No. Richards, at his worst, is still a VERY good center and at his best he is worth the dollars he earns.
b) Stoll is a situational player who is, at best, an okay 2nd line center and is best played as a 3rd line center with PP time. Stoll is a PP shooter and we already have Souray (sigh).
Look. As far as I can tell success in the NHL is about creating line and player match-up dominance. A Richards / Horcoff / Gagner / Brodziak group allows the Oilers to field a, potentially, dominating group of centermen with a favorable match-up on every line.
4. With the big 2006 numbers Stoll will be a hard signing to close. Even if his next contract is affordable it will be short-term in nature. Avoid the hassle and trade him now.
5. Penner has 4 years on his contract after this and Richards only has 3 years remaining. If the current rebuild stalls and everything goes to hell Richards will be trade deadline bait earlier.
6. Richards, at the end of his contract, will bring back more Penner or Stoll (or packaged) would at the trade deadline. This only changes if Penner scores 40+ and as currently constituted the Oilers won't be in a position to get him there.
7. Richards Cap number IS debilitating but Penner (4.25), Stoll (2.5 est) and Roloson (3.68) more than make up for that. Being younger than Roloson, Denis can be buried in the minors if need be.
Why would Tampa make a trade like this? Roloson is better than Denis and at the same cost next year. Stoll is a decent centerman for that team and Penner is the best LW they will have had there in a while. Tampa Bay needs depth in the worst way and getting two actual players for Richards, as well as some extra spending money, isn't a bad way to go at all.
The '?' is a bit of a wild card. I have no idea what Tampa would have to add to the mix to make this happen but I do know that the value in the trade is only there if Horcoff remains in Edmonton (which would make it an off-season trade given his injury status). Also, Edmonton needs to send significant salary over to make it work and if Tampa doesn't get a Penner or Horcoff there is no point for them to make the deal.
In summary, a Richards trade, given some reasonable assumptions could work and there IS upside if the parameters of the trade work for both teams.
Have a great evening everyone.