No, this photo has nothing to do with this post. I just find it funny.
Disclaimer: I am using cap numbers from http://www.nhlscap.com/ and I promise that I am not drinking.
Looking at the needs of Pittsburgh and Columbus, Pittsburgh is clearly a team that will be looking at a hard bit of cap space to deal with in the next two years, and a lack of wingers, with guys like Guerin, Fedotenko, Cooke, and Dupuis all at or near the end of their deals, while players like Godard, Kennedy, and Craig Adams will be reaching the end of their rookie contracts. And there's the small matter of having to pay some guys named Fleury, Malkin, Staal, and Orpik a combined $22 million dollars until the 2014 season. And did we mention that the team has exactly two d-men signed through next year? Gonchar, Eaton, McKee, and Skoula are all UFAs, while Letang is an RFA who will clearly be looking for a raise in 2011.
What can Columbus offer them? How about some D-men and wingers that are signed at a reasonable price?
- TO COLUMBUS: Sidney Crosby, Jay McKee, 2nd Rounder in 2011
- To PITTSBURGH: Kristian Huselius, Andrew Murray, Rostislav Klesla, Marc Methot, Kevin Lalande, 3rd round pick in 2011
(And besides, if the 2011 second line looked like "Filatov-Vermette-Voracek", would you be complaining all that much?)
Pittsburgh gains two solid d-men who, once Klesla gets healthy, can help provide a physical edge, something they're in danger of losing, and the additions of Murray and Lalande provide additional depth for their third line and goaltending situation that the Pens will likely need with their current backup (Brent Johnson) on a one year deal. Not to mention that the cost of Methot, Klesla, and Juice -combined- through 2013 is actually less than Crosby's cap hit by himself. A much better situation to allow the team to rebuild their wing and defensive depth without having to rely on re-treads and entry level deals.
Of course, in a deal like this, I don't think Columbus is done. After all, we just shipped off an entire D pairing.
- TO COLUMBUS: Mark Streit, Jack Hillen
- TO NEW YORK ISLANDERS: Derick Brassard, Nick Holden, 2nd Rounder in 2011 (FROM PGH)
Streit provides the CBJ with one of the most under-rated puck movers in the NHL, with a serious hammer for a shot, while Hillen is a reasonable third pairing d-man who could well develop into a decent 2nd unit PP player as well - he's currently got 16 poinds in 49 games with a +5 and 36 PIMs. Not bad. And if he doesn't work out, he's only signed for a 525,000 contract through 2011, giving the team the ability to sink his salary in the minors pretty easily.
So. What do you think, sirs?