Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dilemma for Pens and Canucks?!?

1) With their playoff seasons cut prematurely two of the teams many expected to compte for the Cup are back to the drawing boards. Both have significant decisions to make this off season.  For the Penguins its especially tough.  If they could count on Sidney Crosby being 100% and playing a majority of their games we are told they would entertain trade offers on Evgeni Malkin whom management is not all that happy with.  Sources in steel town tell Fauxrumors that they would have been happy to have gone into the 2012-13 season with Crosby and Staal as their 1-2 centers.

2) With moving Malking they not only could potentially receive back several decent assets, they also would be dumping a considerable salary (8.7 mil). Malkin's No Movement Clause (NMC) doesn't kick in until after next season (his UFA season) so in theory the Pens can deal the Russian center anywhere/anytime they wanted.  They could have bolstered their weakness on the wings, especially the right side. In addition they would have loved to be able to add another mobile defender to take some pressure off Letang. However all this is up in the air with the Crosby uncertainty. Our sources tell us its still not off the table (trade of Malkin) but instead of it being a 60:40  proposition its now 70:30 against a deal getting done, unless Shero is blown away with an offer. A Malkin for Anaheim's Bobby Ryan and another asset, possibly a pick or two is something Shero will have to consider as the Ducks would be all over such a deal.  A dilemma indeed for the Flightless Birds as they enter their longest of season in many years

3) Mean while in the Pacific North West the Two-time Presidents Trophy winning Vancouver Cauucks, coming off a humiliating first round defeat at the hands of the 8th seeded Kings may be looking towards some significant changes.  Their dilemma is not whether they want to make a deal, but who will 'dance' with them, and what can they expect to get in return is a deal is consummated?  After Cory Hirsch replaced embattled All star goalie Roberto Luongo mid way through the series it all but sealed his fate as the odd man out in Vancouver. Luongo has a very long term deal  that has a cap hit of 5.33 mil for the next 10 seasons (but the deal's last 3 seasons are tack on seasons to reduce the cap hit) 

4) So who might need a goalie?  Let me first start by saying that it would be a mistake for any team to acquire that long contract. Luongo has proven by his past playoff disappointments that he is NOT a solid go-to guy and certainly not worthy of a long term investment.  That said, we have no doubt that some foolish GM will decide that his regular season stats will be enough to get his team to whatever "next level" they need to achieve. Whether its a playoff appearance in Columbus or a Cup in Tampa.  Teams in need of a goalie will probably be blinded by is stats, overlooking that he collapses and shits the bed when his team needs him mostt.  From what we have learned the Blue Jackets are the most likely destination for Roberto. Its probably the best fit for him as the expectations there are not high and if they fail, it won't be the same kind of response in the media from let's say Toronto(another team in search of a real #1 goalie. We believe that even Brian Burke is not stupid enough to try to trade for Luongo, but Scott Howson in Columbus clearly is! A dilemma for the Bluejacket owners!!

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