Monday, March 19, 2007
Here's how Kevin Lowe can make himself look like a genius again. Actually, all kidding aside, this is what I think his plan will be.
All the talk has been about UFAs but before Lowe does the unthinkable and gives Briere or Drury 30 million over 5 years or Tom Preissing a big fat contract or trades one of his few core guys (Smith, Horcoff, Stoll, Hemsky) for a name guy, lets look at a simple scenario.
Start with the Coyotes, who as Mirtle pointed out are pretty well going to lose big money unless the owners turn back the clock to the 1940s and begin to give out team jackets as signing bonuses.
The Oilers' problem? They need a couple of difference makers. One up front. One on the back end. They have a lot of prospects (some of these suspects) and a lot of picks, including what is beginning to look like a top 3, I'd say, as well as two more first rounders.
They can't afford to part with guys who can handle tough sledding and they can't afford to part with frontline talent.
So, if I'm Lowe, its an easy choice. Turn the tables. The Coyotes are bleeding money.
Find someone who would love to have Eddie J. Call the Yotes and tell them you'll take that big anchor of a salary off their hands as long as they throw in young Z. Michalek. Then flip Jovo. Hell, flip him for fuck all. He's just a means to an end.
Look for a team that is rebuilding but needs someone to get to that salary floor. Then call up the Blackhawks who already have 30 M + committed to next season but need to make some noise. Take Aucoin and a kid (I know we have a million of them already) for a pick or prospects. The Hawks win, they dump Aucoin and use that money to shop - if it costs them Barker but they pick up Briere to play with Havlat that's pretty good for them.
Then flip Aucoin to the team that needs to hit that salary floor.
Lowe has to be creative and the opportunities are there. If I were him I would have a list of every team in the league with an analysis of their financial situation and target players on each team.
Which teams are financially doomed?
Which teams are maxed out for next season already?
Which teams will be going for it all next year as their window closes (hello Flames)?
What do each of these teams need? Clear cap space? Pick up a key player? Clear salary to stop the bleeding?
Get in ahead of the game, use the cheap assets that some teams will need and fix this team.
Lowetide argued a few days ago that a guy like Schremp has no value. I have to respectfully disagree, although my original answer to that was "damn right".
Schremp has value in that he is cheap. And the Oilers have a ton of guys who are cheap.
When the Penguins moved Jagr they picked up a bunch of never will be's but the trade worked for them because they were able to fill three roster spots for less then 2 million bucks.
If Lowe is smart, aggressive and gets creative, he could make things happen.
Posted by Black Dog at 7:48 PM