Monday, April 21, 2008

Jailbait!


Well. It isn't Prison. But it sure as hell can be the basement. (And, dammit, I wanted to post the pic.)

It's basically been on my mind since I read what confirmed what I'd thought, posted by Vic over at IOF. Basically... yea, the kids got a hell of a lot of results in the last few weeks of the season... but they are not exactly results that we can continue to expect as we move forward.

Kevin Lowe is faced with an interesting Summer here, no doubt about it. His team went on a fantastic stretch to end the season, largely led by the likes of Gagner and Cogliano shooting out the lights. The problem is though, they shot out the lights like they were Wayne Gretzky and Doug Gilmour. When, in reality, they're Doug Weight and Butch Goring (LT ;)). Who they are isn't as big of a deal here.... it's who they aren't. And chances are, they aren't future HHOF'ers... and even if they are, they certainly aren't right now.

So, what does Lowe do next season? Right now we have 15 forwards on the roster capable of playing in the NHL - Hemsky, Horcoff, Pisani, Torres, Stoll, Moreau, Glencross, Stortini, Pouliot, Gagner, Nilsson, Cogliano, Penner, Reasoner and Brodziak. You have to imagine all of them expect to play next season (yes, I'm aware Reasoner is a UFA, but I'd be shocked if he's not resigned). So, what happens here? Nilsson/Cogliano/Gagner are all guaranteed roster spots for various reasons, baring a blockbuster trade. It's also pretty plausible to imagine that Glencross/Brodziak/Stortini are back as the fourth line.

The thing is though. That's two lines, that a "dangerous" team wouldn't have on the ice against anyone worth talking about. We can even assume Pouliot/Reasoner are the 13th and 14th forwards... that leaves Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky as the top line and a combination of Moreau/Torres - Stoll and Pisani as the second line of heavy hitters.

So. What's Lowe to do? He is in a town that absolutely EXPECTS this team to be in the playoffs next year. He has 2 lines that he can trust.... no true dominant line to rely on (say, the Datsyuk-Zetterberg combo in Detroit. Horcoff/Hemsky is a great combo... but it's sure as hell not Datsyuk and Zetterberg), and 2 lines that will result in complete hell unleashing if he doesn't reunite them.

From my seat, I see four options.

A) Trade Cogliano + Pitkanen for a difference maker. C, RW or D.. not a big deal. But a legit difference maker. I'm talking Dany Heatley here... a guy who you can call THE guy.
B) Move a few parts for another veteran D, use the extra space to ensure Horcoff/Garon/Pitkanen are here long term, and hope like hell the kids can keep making real improvements.
C) A series of big trades, starting with Pitkanen for a forward, and ending with Torres and Stoll for a D.
D) Sit pat, hope the kids really that good and take the bait. Hope it doesn't cost you 10, because you lose the kid, or lose the vets you need around to influence and support the kid.

What would you do? Take the sexy bait, go for the pornstar, or play it slow and hope for a happy ending?

9 comments:

PunjabiOil said...

You perverted fuck!

;)

Jonathan said...

What I would do is detailed here (http://coppernblue.blogspot.com/2008/04/if-i-were-kevin-lowe.html), but in short, it looks like this:

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Torres - Gagner - Nilsson
Moreau - Cogliano - Pisani
Glencross - Stoll - Brodziak

Pitkanen - Staios
Gilbert - Grebeshkov
Souray - Smid
Greene

Garon
Roloson

Depth, no new rookies, and a roster with the ability to handle some surprises.

agb said...

Option D would be our best bet. It's possible that pre-concussed Stoll and 27 goal scorer Torres show up at training camp this fall to take some heat off the kids. A full season of healthy(ier) Pisani should be worth ~20 goals.

PDO said...

For the record, I like B.

I think I'm soured from a few poor experiences with too many guys trying to take up too many spots.... but I like the idea of signing Pitkanen/Horcoff/Garon long-term, moving Stoll, and one of Torres/Moreau, along with one of Smid/Greene for picks and a vet D. Use the extra cap space to sign a Bobby Holik type to a 1 year deal while you hope Pouliot figures the rest out.

Hit the season with:

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Nilsson - Cogliano - Gagner
Torres - Holik - Pisani
Glencross - Brodziak - Stortini
Pouliot, Reasoner

Pitkanen - McKee
Gilbert - Grebeshkov
Staios - Souray
Smid

Garon/Roloson

PDO said...

BTW.. from the time I posted this, I had 3 replies within 15 minutes.

Which proves the theory.

Tits = hits.

Jonathan said...

//Nilsson - Cogliano - Gagner//

I really have a problem with this line moving forward. I think Gagner and Nilsson will be OK, but Cogliano's shooting percentage this year was an Ilya Kovalchuk-style 18.4%. There's no way he keeps that up, and I really don't see him being as successful an offensive player next season.

jkujath said...

who cares about hockey, who is that girl and would i really go to jail over her?

seriously

LittleFury said...

Might as well take me of the contributors list. No way I can top that photo.

PunjabiOil said...

April 24, the great 55th anniversary of Winston Churchill being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II?!?!

I think a trip to Diamonds Gentleman's Club is in order to celebrate this momentous occasion!