A few weeks ago I suggested that it would make sense to move Pekka this offseason. Since them my thoughts have not changed. I LOVE Pekka, you love Pekka, we all love Pekka. He is a fantastic goalie, and a better person. He is a team player. He can, at times, win games by standing on his head. He was just named the MVP of the World Championships. No one, not even the Captain, gets bigger cheers from the fans. The question is from a team building standpoint is he worth nearly twice as much ($7mm vs. $3.8mm) as a year younger Finnish goaltender who has already backstopped a team to the Stanley Cup? Since I made that post I have been evaluating rosters, listening to the rumor mills from those that actually know what they are talking about, and studying the cap numbers. That work has lead to the conjecture below.
I have determined that there are two trading partners that need to be involved in a 3-way deal that makes sense for all parties. Those two teams are the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks. Vancouver has expressed a desire to get younger on the blue line and to move some cap dollars, they also have a player that has been lights out every time he plays at the Tire Barn, that they are willing to move. In addition, they have no experienced Goaltender on their roster. The Sharks have expressed a desire to change their roster in some significant ways after yet another post season disaster and they have also announced that they will not re-sign Dan Boyle leaving a gap on their back end. They are also the rumored to be the new home for Ryan Miller.
Given all of these factors, I would propose the following deal. The Preds send Pekka to the Canucks, and Ryan Ellis to the Sharks. The Canucks send Ryan Kesler to the Preds and Alex Edler to the Sharks. The Sharks send Antti Niemi to the Preds and Matt Irwin to the Canucks, they may also have to include a draft pick (mid round) to the Sharks to finish it off. Every team addresses their needs. Cap numbers are basically equal. A fair deal for all in my opinion.
Now, what do the Preds look like post deal?
- Goaltenders--Niemi and Hutton/Mazanec/Hellberg
- Defense--Weber, Josi, Jones, MDZ, Ekholm, Bartley
- Forwards--Kesler, Horny, Fish, Cullen, Goose, Stalberg, Nystrom, Wilson, Smith, Forsberg, Jarnkrok, Spals
I believe that Lavy could mix and match those 12 forward to have 4 solid attacking lines...but that cannot be all in my opinion.
That mix, while exciting, is missing a 7th defensemen and glaringly, yet still, has no 1st line center....so we sign Stasny no matter what it takes. To do so we probably have to move two of the 12 forwards to give us more cash. Take your pick as far as I am concerned with the exception of Jarnkrok and Smith. We then add Stasny and the combo of Watson/Salomaki to be the new 12. Finally we add a veteran d-man for the minimum as an insurance policy since I think Diaby is going to need a full year at Milwaukee. That still leaves Bourqe and Clune as healthy scratches to use when needed. What do you think?