I’m not very happy about it, but it looks like we’ve been painted into a corner. It seems like the Front Office has decided that they want to go the “Outscore the Opposition/Defense be Damned” route and it’s too late to change direction now. I’m a firm believer in building from the crease out and being well balanced, however all of that goes out the the window when I look at our current roster. At this point, given the talent level of the free agency pool, and the amount of tradeable assets we have remaining, we may as well go all in with the “Barn Burner Philosophy”. In order to succeed with this scheme though, we need a few more additions. I think everyone knows this already and most folks have stated they would like to see the front office target Bobby Ryan or Alexander Semin. While deciding which player I was going to endorse, I realized there was a way to get both and still be significantly under the cap (That last one’s for you PK). In order to get a Bobby Ryan deal done the Ducks are looking for at least a scoring, second line center and could use some offensive help on their blueline. Why not put ourselves in the lead spot for Ryan’s services? We can ship Jussi Jokinen, Joni Pitkanen, and Anthony Stewart to The OC in return. Although Juice plays Left Wing most of the time, he can play any forward position and play it pretty well. To compensate for the fact that Center isn’t his natural position, we can through in Joni. He adds to the defensive corps and much like the Staal/Cole Paradigm, the two just seem to play better together, especially on the PP (which Anaheim ranked 21st in the league last season). Ask the Ducks for Bobby Ryan and to take Stewart off of our hands and the deal is done. We wouldn’t even have to lose any prospects or draft picks. Also, we would then have enough cap space to go sign Semin. So, the first two lines would look like this:
Ryan – Staal – Staal
Skinner – Ruutu – Semin
Leaving Andreas Nodl, Jeremy Welsh, Chad LaRose, Tim Brent, Tim Wallace, Jiri Tlusty, and Patrick Dwyer to make a grind line and an energy line (Which, I think between them, they could perform admirably). How much fun would that offense be to watch for 82 nights? Sure the offense could use some more size/grit and the defense is grizzly (although it is more balanced in this scenario), but this is the hand we’ve been dealt and there’s still almost $15MM of cap space left to fix those problems if you don’t think this strategy alone will work. I’d caution against spending too much though as free agency is going to hit us pretty hard next year, especially at our 3rd and 4th line level. But, as we found out this year, those type of players are always pretty easy to replace in free agency. Here’s what the entire roster would look like along with all of the salary adjustments. What do you think? Anyone have a better plan?
Tags: Alexander Semin Anaheim Ducks Anthony Stewart Bobby Ryan Canes Carolina Hurricanes Chad LaRose Eric Staal Jeff Skinner Jiri Tlusty Joni Pitkanen Jordan Staal Jussi Jokinen Patrick Dwyer Tim Brent Tim Wallace Tuomo Ruutu