Now that the offseason is finally over, it’s time to say that NHL general managers did something wrong yet again! Here are a few moves that should have happened this offseason for both teams involved.
1) The Bruins should have traded Chris Kelly.
Fine, I’ll let this one go, it’s becoming a broken record. That’s just cheating at this point.
1) The Winnipeg Jets should have traded for James Reimer.
I will not pretend to be anything close to the only guy saying this, and so many others have proposed the idea because it’s so damn obvious. Ondrej Pavelec is awful, and James Reimer is from Winnipeg… and also doesn’t have a starting job with the Maple Leafs. The relationship with Randy Carlyle could border on toxic, and there’s really no reason for Remier to still play in Toronto. He resigned a 2 year extension, which means he won’t be a UFA until 2016. But even with that extension or while he was still a RFA, why not send him to Winnipeg and get something for a guy that will probably leave in 2 years and is just a backup at this point?
2) The Minnesota Wild should have signed Anton Stralman
Really, you could say this about any playoff team with a good deal of cap space, including the Blue Jackets, Ducks, Senators, and even the Sharks, who have $4.18 million in cap space. But I’m going with the Wild first because of the youth of their defensive corps, meaning they could use a veteran like Stralman. After Ryan Suter, the Wild’s defensemen get pretty thin, and Stralman is underrated, making his $4.5 million completely worth it for a team like the Wild, especially as the cap rises. Suter on the left and Stralman on the right late in games in the playoffs would be a pretty nice pairing, to say the least.
3) The Buffalo Sabres should have traded for Patrick Kane
First, I know this sounds insane. Second, know this this comes under 2 conditions, both of which might be 2 sides of the same coin. The first is that the Sabres would trade a ton to the Hawks for Kane, and the second is that new Sabres GM Tim Murray would actually make a move that’s partly based around marketing, even though he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would.
But if they would, this would be a great move for the team. While the cap-strapped Blackhawks would miss Kane, they would love to get back the cap space with the money that he’s about to get, and this team has shown a willingness to strip down their core to rebuild, which is exactly what they did after 2010, and look how well that worked. While Kane is electrifying and a beast of a player, he will probably be overpaid next year at $10.5 million. The salary makes sense over 8 years because the cap will rise a ton, but not for 2015-2016. They’ll likely have to trade Patrick Sharp or goalie Corey Crawford and settle for a cheaper replacement, like what the did with Crawford over Niemi in 2010. But say the Sabres came in with an offer of Sam Reinhart, Cody Hodgson, who would help fill the current void left by Kane’s absence on a decent contract, and a ton of draft picks. The Hawks also wouldn’t have to trade Nick Leddy, and while Leddy is no Kane by any means, keeping him would mitigate some of the damage left by Kane leaving.
This trade would be a good one in part because people think that Patrick Kane is as good as Jonathan Toews, but he isn’t. Sure, by “people,” I mean only the most casual of casual fans, but those people buy jerseys, too. Without his marketability, Kane wouldn’t have gotten $10.5 million a year from the Hawks, and they’re not the kind of team that needs to pay someone for marketability. It should be good enough to play in the conference finals every year.
In Buffalo, Patrick Kane would become absolutely everything. The hometown kid could help lead his team to their first Stanley Cup, and what might be most important for Kane on the Sabres in the next few years would be his ability to draw other free agents to the team. Paying, say, $10.5 million for Kane would be an overpay for the Sabres, but the overpay would be worth it in their situation.
While trading Patrick Kane would be tough on any contending team like the Hawks, it would simply be worth it because they might get a king’s ransom from the Sabres, and he probably isn’t worth that. I know the trade seems crazy, but it would actually be worth it for both teams. Or maybe I just am crazy.