Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Malkin for Nash, a rebuttal offer

[DBJ note: The "Evgeni Malkin for Rick Nash: Taboo or Logic?" article, which I so lovingly linked without the ability to present a cogent reply, got the blood pumping in the Columbus Blue Jackets fan base.  And some of us want to offer "A Modest Proposal" of our own.  Take bzarcher, for example...but read his first paragraph very carefully before flying off the handle!]

No, this photo has nothing to do with this post.  I just find it funny.
OK, so first off, let's assume that every GM, AGM, VP of hockey operations and owner in the NHL has momentarily been incapacitated by a wave of food poisoning in Vancouver, because the only way a deal like this could happen is if Skippy the Intern is left running the fax machine.

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
Juice's time in Columbus has been a frustrating mix of 'When he's on, he's -ON-' and 'Oh, jesus christ what did he just do?' that usually ends in a turnover and a goal for the opposing team. A fresh start with a team that plays a much more East-West style that should mesh better with his playing style seems reasonable, and also frees up a spot on the top line to adjust around the pairing of Nash and Crosby with Voracek or perhaps RJ Umberger, letting him go to the net to pick up rebounds from the Crosby/Nash connection. McKee is a vet, a bit slow, but a masterful shot blocker who would be a good third pairing guy.

 (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)

As much as I love Brass, if Columbus is getting Crosby, the first line center spot is -full-, and won't be reopening any time soon, and frankly I think Vermette is a better option on the second line. Brass is signed to a nice, reasonable deal, and the Islanders are going to need a top 6 guy here soon, seeing as Doug Weight will be leaving after this year, and I expect that Tavares will be playing on the wing for at least another year or two before he's ready to move to the pivot. Brass gives them a real scoring threat with good mobility, and I suspect a bit more of an offensive threat to complement their current lineup. Holden is a solid D prospect who I think could step into the Islanders lineup. The second round pick helps balance the fact that Columbus will be taking on some extra salary in the deal.

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?


  1. Boy, I haven't seen hallucinations like that since the '70's . . . I think . . .


  2. the words 'crack' & 'cocaine' come to mind.

  3. All in fun, my friends...

  4. Hey, the man asked for a scenario. :)

  5. Indeed he did, one that approached the logic of trading Nash for Malkin!

  6. Your Friendly Pens FanFebruary 23, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    You understand that Crosby lives in Mario's guest house - right? In all my years of watching sports, I have never once said "that guy will never be traded." Until now. Sid will spend his entire career in Pittsburgh. And then Mario will give him ownership of the team. But you gave me a good laugh!

    In all seriousness, I believe Howson and Shero are working on a deal. I couldn't even begin to guess who will be involved. But I trust in Shero. He's a GM genius!


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