For your perusal this morning are two unique articles which discuss different aspects of the NHL offseason. The articles are very different, but their collective theme is one of “wishful thinking.”
- The Athletic’s Max Bultman plays, “Who Says No?” with reader-suggested hypothetical trades, before offering one of his own:
Detroit gets Yanni Gourde, 2022 first-round pick, Tampa Bay gets future considerations: I was wondering if anyone was going to propose something like this with the Lightning. There was a Tyler Johnson proposal in the inbox that involved the Red Wings sending picks to Tampa, and obviously there was the Sergachev offer sheet mentioned above, but otherwise, there were very few true cap-crunch proposals with Yzerman’s former team.
So, I’ll offer one up.
Gourde, as a refresher, has five years at $5.17 million AAV left on his contract with the Lightning, who need every cap dollar they can get right now. And to be honest, before Friday, I might have put this one in Tier 2, thinking the Lightning could find easier ways out of their cap problem. Frankly, that still might be the case.
But something struck me while reading Joe Smith’s excellent Lightning trade tiers story, which Red Wings fans should be sure to check out. In that story, Smith quoted former NHL GM Craig Button as saying of Gourde that “you’re not moving that money and that player without giving up a significant sweetener,” and suggested a future first-round pick as the kind of asset it might take to get it done.
Bultman continues (paywall), discussing possible roadblocks to the trade (including Gourde’s no-trade clause), as well as 9 other possible moves suggested by readers…
2. In a different kind of “wishful thinking,” the Free Press’s Ryan Ford looks at the Red Wings’ 10 draft positions at the NHL Draft this Tuesday and Wednesday, determining which player or players would represent an absolute best NHL-player-producing scenario for each and every one of the Wings’ possible picks. There are some “reaches” and unique picks here, including the following:
No. 32: D Eric Weinrich: With the No. 1 pick of Day 2 (and also the final time No. 32 is a second-rounder, as the NHL will be at 32 teams for the 2021 draft as Seattle enters the league), the Wings will be hoping to do better than their 2009 pick, Landon Ferraro, who finished with seven goals and five assists in 77 career NHL appearances.
If their pick ended up with a career like Weinrich’s, well, they could do worse. Taken by the Devils in 1985, the Maine product spent 17 years in the NHL, playing for eight teams. Weinrich, a stay-at-home defenseman, never scored more than seven goals in a season, but had just five seasons with a negative plus/minus and finished with 70 goals and 318 assists in 1,157 games.
Oh, and whoever the Wings take, keep an eye on them for future coaching opportunities; current Devils coach Lindy Ruff (1979, Sabres) and Sharks coach Bob Boughner (1989, Red Wings) each went 32nd overall.
Active: Forward Christian Fischer has 35 goals and 28 assists in Arizona since the Coyotes drafted him in 2015.
Ford continues with 9 other possible best-option picks…