Monday, June 30, 2008

Road to Repeat: Christmas Eve

...or Nothing Eve, depending. Okay, Kenny, here it is. This is your Stanley Cup winning roster:




Look at those three frigging scoring lines. Holy shit. How can that team not win a cup. Well, injuries, that's how. But that's true any year.

The more I think about Rolston the more I like him. Wasn't interested in Minnesota, despite being a great hockey environment. And he seems determined to hit UFA despite what must be piles and piles of cash being thrown at him by Tampa right now. It almost seems like he has someone in mind. Someone guaranteed to give him his best shot at winning. Also it's his hometown. Have you figured it out yet?

That Rolston would want to come here doesn't make me like him better as player, but it does make me think he'll be more willing to take less than Sundin. Er, more willing than Sundin, that is. Mats is still my favorite at this point. But you can't go wrong. Hmm, if Rolston takes a cut... could you imagine? Maybe... 3.5 for Rolston and 5 for Sundin? Maaaybe? In a strange, terrible world? Okay, okay, I'll just take one.

Notice your boy Mikael Samuelsson still has a spot on my dream roster. This is before we trade him to make room for Leino/Helm. I'm not banking on that because Babcock is enamored with him, strangely. My problem with Samuelsson is similar to Lebda - he's not bad, he's not a liability the way Lang and Williams were and Lilja is (sometimes). It's just that he is a checking line player who is put in a scoring line situation. Yes he has the ability to break out from time to time but it's time to stop thinking of him as "a streaky player" and start thinking of him as a checking line guy who very occasionally pots a couple. Unfortunately he had one of those streaks the instant he got here, and Babcock hasn't been able to shake the notion of him as a scorer since.

The logic for trading him works the same as Lebda as well - his value couldn't be higher and you make room for the kids. Remember the last time an NHL team repeated? I believe you know the team. I believe you also are familiar with a trade they made the offseason between. It was their starting goalie in fact, also Conn Smythe winner. I am not talking about dismantling a Cup winning team. I'm not even talking about dealing Zetterberg or Osgood. Lebda and Sammy are fringe players, and the Wings should capitalize on their value given the kids they have in the system. Last time I'll say it. Well, no, it's not, but let's pretend it is.

Let's get back to Sundin. I don't know if I've made this clear: sign him. Do it. Hey Kenny, I have advice for you: sign Sundin dammit. Here's what you should do: instead of signing not Sundin, you know who you should sign? Sundin. That's who. Let me repeat: sign Sundin.

Get Lidstrom on a plane. Z and Kronner too. Hell, the whole Swedish contingent. On second thought, leave Lilja and Samuelsson home. Try not to bring them up. Send the Captain and Gordie while you're at it.

This is how it should go down: July 1, 12:00PM, Yzerman and Lidstrom ring Sundin's doorbell (it may be the middle of the night in Sweden or something - this doesn't matter). Yzerman just says "Six point five million." Then, he and Lidstrom raise their ring-laden right hands, point to them with their lefts, raise their eyebrows suggestively and nod. I can't imagine that this wouldn't be enough to seal the deal. Additionally, Emma Andersson may need to be brought in. I don't know how Z will feel about that, but look Hank - it's all about the team.

Hey Kenny, here's something else, in addition: sign Sundin. Do it. DO IT.

Sign him. Have I made this clear? I'm not sure I have. What I want you to do is sign Mats Sundin. Big, bald, 200+ pound Swede, 70 points a year guaranteed, normally wears 13 but that's going to change. I'm thinking 15 or 17 maybe. 8 wouldn't look too bad. Hey Kenny: fucking sign Sundin. Do it.

What about Wally? I've backed off the ledge concerning our Finnish friend. There are few things that support a non-suicidal position. First of all, there are a number of RFAs ahead of Filppula in terms of point totals last year, so even if the top one or two RFAs (point-wise) get offer sheets, Wally shouldn't be touched.

And if he is? A scenario occurred to me that didn't before: say he gets something ridiculous like 4.5 or 5 over 5 or 6 years. The Wings can't afford to have Fil at that salary and re-sign Z and Franzen, it's just a fact. But they might match anyway. The Wings have this one-year window and especially if their offseason acquisition is Rolston they'll have the room for Wally - this year. The year after they'll be up against the cap, but then you can trade somebody, or maybe someone will suddenly suck and you buy them out. But there's no rule that says the Wings can't get themselves into a little trouble as long as they're sure they can extricate themselves. And as a bonus possibility, the cap goes up wildly again and it all fits after all.

Hey Kenny: you know what I'm gonna say.

-Do I need to recap this? Sign Sundin.
-Samuelsson is a very good checking line player. Too bad we have plenty of those. Need scoring depth. Sorry Sammy. Peace.
-Wally is still my biggest concern, but I am no longer tortured by nightmares worse than staring into the black heart of the devil collapsing in on itself while the four horsemen of the apocalypse fornicate on the plains of Armageddon. What I'm trying to say is, I'm not that worried any more.