We’re getting into silly season now. We’re 34 days away from the deadline, and with the Hawks having their “bye week” in the middle of it soon, we know the chatter is going to heat up. There have been names already being tossed around, except almost all of them would be a complete waste of time. So let’s toss out a few players that aren’t going to do anything for anyone before we get to ones that could actually help.
Jarome Iginla – Old, slow, not good anymore, and would be too heartbreaking if it didn’t work.
Patrick Sharp – Will be out for the season if he encounters a stiff breeze, also stationary, and still small matter that most of the dressing room still hates his guts.
Shane Doan – Seriously?
All right, now that’s over, we can get on to something a little more substantial.
The Detroit Duo – Tatar or Nyquist: The Hawks have been rumored to already have kicked the tires on both of these, and either make sense. However, as bad as the Wings are, this is still a team that’s moving into a new arena next year and I can’t think of a team that entered one while starting a rebuild (which is what the Wings need). So any trade for either of these two is going to require something in return the Wings can use right now.
Of the two, Tatar probably makes more sense. He’s the possession player that the Hawks crave on the other side of Toews. He also probably has the better hands, for at least passing and vision, which is what Toews and Hossa together could use more of. And Nyquist isn’t really the battering ram that Saad was that augmented the other two so well a couple years ago.
Nyquist has been snake-bitten when it comes to scoring this year, though he’s not getting the same chances he was a couple years ago. Tatar hasn’t seen a drop off in his.
Money-wise, Tatar also makes more sense as he’s up after the season, whereas Nyquist is signed for another two years at $4.7 million cap hit and the Hawks would struggle to figure that out for two more seasons. Tatar would be a restricted free agent, which makes keeping him longer term at least something you could investigate, unless he fucks off to Vegas during their two-day window.
As for what it would take… well, the discussion certainly starts with Forsling. The Wings have needed top four d-men for five years at least, and might have finally come to the point where they realize that claiming such clowns as Smith, DeKeyser, Ericsson, and whatever other goofus they’ve dredged up just aren’t the answers. Forsling projects to top four, is Swedish, so what more could they want? Getting Forsling for a possible RFA like Tatar would actually be a pretty good deal for them.
The Colorado Duo – LaxativeLog And Duchene: No question here about the abilities of either. While Landeskog hasn’t quite lived up to his top-five pick billing, he’s always bene placed either amongst utter trash, coached by Anger from Inside Out, or both. He’s always been above the team rate in whatever metric you choose, and there’s still a lot to work with here. Dutchy’s speed would obviously be a weapon on the wing and create way more space than Toews and Hossa are getting now.
Their contracts are a problem, but either of these could be exposed in the expansion draft and hence you could find salvation that way. But that’s hardly a guarantee. We have no idea if Vegas is going to go for the quick fix and take on big contracts or take their time and just fill their roster with whatever they can pick out of each team’s ear until they’re really ready.
Either of these players would probably cause something of a sell out in return. Forsling isn’t going to be enough for either. You’d have to toss in Schmaltz, and maybe even Motte, and essentially close your window to this year only. Hey, if it gets #4 no one is going to give a shit, and a lot of people probably won’t give a shit if it doesn’t. But to do that you’d have no d-man to take a top four spot anywhere near ready (if it were going to be Pokka we’d know already). You’d have lost at least one possible top six forward with only Debrincat looking a possibility for that.
But in this conference, either of those players could easily be enough. If it ruined your cap situation and system for years… sometimes admitting your situation is best.
Other names: Valtteri Filppula is one I’ve been intrigued by. Clearly a smart player, and you wonder how much longer the Bolts can hang around the bottom of the conference before they realize things might get tough. They need mobility on the blue line, Filppula has played wing before, and only has one year after this on his deal. Jannik Hansen, if the Canucks ever admit what they are and he stays in one piece, would have the speed to open things up and is only one year removed from a 20+ goal season. His $2.5M hit next year wouldn’t require moving heaven and Earth to fit in.