Thursday, 7 January 2010

Yay! 2010!

(can't get the pic of my MAP jersey to load so I went this direction)

Next verse! Same as the first! A little bit louder and a little bit worse!

A few things with which to start the New Year:

Don't Second Guess

Look. IF Moreau, Staios, Nilsson or POS get traded (heck, include Brule and Cogliano in there if you want) DO NOT be surprised or, worse, second guess yourself IF they happen to do well in their new home.

Performance if a function of three things (I had four in my head when I started typing this section but I'll be damned as to where the fourth one went, so three is what you get):

1. Skills and ability (inherent or learned)
2. Use
3. Luck
4. ... heh ...

Where-ever those players go you can rest assured that #2 will most probably change and #3 may as well. Right here, right now, these guys (Brule excepted) aren't having any luck and their usage is debateable.

That is just the way it is.

Ad Nauseum

For the first time in a long time I was lost as to what to do with this team - either to improve it from what we have now or to rebuild it. Usually I have a pretty good idea of what can be done (sans actual inside knowledge) but now, right now, not so much.

In a macro sense the issue is that too many of the team contracts are too big and too long (hah!) to be easily tradeable in a Cap system where most of the other teams are maxed out or almost maxed out. Dealing in the smaller contracts won't yield much and the few value contracts that are there are tied to players you don't want to deal.

A reasonable man looks at the roster and sees that:

-- there are players that you keep (almost regardless): Gagner and .... Gagner

-- those you trade only if there is a clear upgrade possibility or you want to change the direction the team is headed: Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner and Gilbert;

-- a couple that you keep if they stay cheap enough: Potulny, Stone, Stortini and Smid;

-- and a few pick 'ems (keep one): Pouliot or Brule, Souray or Visnovsky and Deslauriers or Dubnyk.

That leaves:

-- Grebeshkov (RFA / 3.15 / 0 yr)
-- O'Sullivan (RFA / 2.95 / 1 yr)
-- Nilsson (RFA / 2.00 / 1 yr)
-- Cogliano (RFA / 1.13 / 0 yr)
-- Khabibulin (UFA / 3.75 / 3 yr)
-- Staios (UFA / 2.70 / 1 yr)
-- Moreau (UFA / 2.00 / 1 yr)
-- Comrie (UFA / 1.25 / 0 yr)
-- Strudwick (UFA / 0.70 / 0 yr)
-- one of Pouliot (RFA / 0.83 / 0 yr) or Brule (RFA / 0.80 / 0 yr)
-- one of Visnovsky (UFA / 5.60 / 3 yr) or Souray (UFA / 5.40 / 2 yr)
-- one of Deslauriers (RFA) or Dubnyk (RFA)

Myself, being less than reasonable, would trade four of the six pick 'ems but that's just me.

FTR: I keep Pouliot because a) Brule is a prime pump and dump candidate so I get more out of him and b) if I can't squeeze Pouliot into a supercheap contract after YET ONE MORE shyte year (his fault or not) then I just let him go (i.e. trade in the off-season).

Having been on the Pouliot bandwagon from the start you have to believe me when I say - that last bit hurt to say it.

Looking at a lot of roster turn-over there, but that's okay. As being good right now isn't an option, and neither is being good right away, we are left with being good one day much sooner than never but much later than now.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I am absolutely certain that many of those names are moveable THIS year.

Goaltender Interference

I wrote this pre-injury but the idea remains the same - there is always a way.

Khabibulin's contract will be almost impossible to move this... err... next year... err... ever. The term and the amount are just too long and too large (I flatter) to be easily absorbed. This leaves just two possibilities:

1. Send him to Russia for a year or so and hope he likes it

2. Find a GM that is either a) desperate b) stupid or c) both

Option 1 will probably be the easier solution to implement. Outlets for that contract are very few (in no particular order):

a. Chicago makes some sense, depending on whether or not they actually want Khabibulin back, as $2 million in Cap relief is significant;

b. Philadelphia isn't a bad bet if Emery/Boucher continue to struggle but the lack of salary fill, from Philly, makes this a hard trade to complete;

c. Ottawa isn't getting much from Leclaire or Elliot but, as managment isn't under the gun to 'win-now', only an 'outta-here' trade makes sense;

d. Los Angeles, as with Ottawa, isn't getting much out its goalies but the team does have a winning record and has played a lot of raod games early; and

e. Washington has the pressure to win so they might throw a look at him (using Theodore and Nylander) but Varlamov is just playing too well right now

For the record I think the Washington deal may have been the easiest (though it would have required Katz eat some salary).

For The Record: Boston

I have seen some suggestions about trading Visnovsky to the Bruins for the Leafs #1 pick. Trading to get that pick IS freaking brilliant if it can be pulled off.

Visnovsky won't make that happen. The Bruins have few REALLY bad contracts and the one they have they like (Lucic). Morris and Ference are both done after this year so that leaves Wideman, Krejci, Ryder and Sturm as the only decent sized contracts the Bruins would have to trade in order to take on a contract the size of Visnovsky's.

(Yes. They could trade Morris. But odds are good that space is already spoken for. Ference, I will admit, is a maybe/probable.)

Taking a look at boxcars and details I am thinking that if Visnovsky (if healthy) is going to Boston for that pick the trade looks a lot like:

Visnovsky & Brule/Cogliano
Wideman, Krejci & TO 1st?

Think about that for a second. A lot of noise in Boston. Krejci isn't having a great year but his boxcars are okay while Wideman is a fair bit younger than Visnovsky and was signed as one of that teams d-men of the future.

Which means that Visnovsky to Boston just isn't an easy trade to visualize happening. Visnovsky only works if Boston really wants to make a Cup run, wants to dump salary and can't find a cheaper offer elsewhere.

Hence my point - you want to talk the Toronto pick out of Boston... talk Penner. That'll make 'em cream their pants.

Krejci and the TO 1st

Would probably work. And I don't even like Krejci that much.

For The Record: Pittsburgh

Want to trade Visnovsky? Send a glance Pittsburgh's way. Gonchar is making noise about his payday and he will be 36 next year. Me? I say pay the man (and I do think he will stay). But if Pittsburgh is thinking different then they may take a look at Vis. Regardless of the play of Letang

The guy you want is, of course, Staal. If not Staal then target the best selection of Goligoski, Tangradi, Depres and picks you can get. I wanted Letang last year but... well... good luck with that now.

Full disclosure: Tangradi and Depres are listed only by virtue of the listing at HF, and I haven't spent any time scouting or watching Goligoski. I don't know any of their games at all. Sorry.

Of course... that means that none of the guys you actually WANT to trade are traded yet.


Be an interesting trade deadline to be sure.


Have a great evening everyone.


misfit said...

I'd have to think that if a Visnovsky to the Pens deal were to go down, that it would be an offseason move. Especially if Staal is the target. Staal is a guy they'll be leaning on for the playoff push, and with Visnovsky being next year's Gonchar replacement, it doesn't sound like the kind of deal that gets made at the deadline.

YKOil said...

I agree. Couple of ways this could happen in season:

1. Gonchar goes down with injury

2. They can fit Visnovsky into their Cap numbers and decide they want the extra oomph. Oilers would have to settle for less up-front because Staal would come over in the off-season for the same kind of package Visnovsky got from Pittsburgh in-season.