Chatting over on Joe's Post the other day put this little gem into my head. I didn't want to throw it out down there, cause we were having a pretty good chat, and didn't want to mess it up with a kinda off topic fantasy proposal. I'm not saying this is GOING to happen, I'm not saying there are any reports that this could be a possibility, I'm just saying it could be a nice little BS talking point leading up to game time.
My proposal is working something with the Kings, centering around Gabby and Staal for Drew Doughty. That can't be the whole deal, as we need to take back some salary to keep the Kings under the cap, and we would probably want a little something else of value back (swap of picks, prospect) but that would be the heart of the deal. My explanations and justifications for the move below.
WHY THE KINGS MAKE THIS MOVE
The Kings showed interest in Gabby in the offseason, it's clear that they crave an offensive superstar. Doughty is their top defenseman, already making $3.4 mil and looking for a raise as an RFA this offseason. He's a STUD! 21 years old, 3 seasons under his belt, already a Norris Finalist. However, if Staal fufills his potential, that's what everyone is projecting for him. The Kings have has MUCH MORE luck developing talent, so while it's hard to give up a guy like Doughty, they're getting back a player (in Staal) who should be able to mostly fill his shoes, and an All-Star forward. The kicker for the Kings, is how they feel about Staal and Staal's potential.
WHY THE RANGERS MAKE THIS MOVE
I'd expect the initial reaction from reader's to be that we're giving up WAY too much, but I don't think that's the case. Doughty is a MAJOR improvement over Staal, and gives a clear #1 who can anchor our blueline for the next 10 years. He's EXACTLY what I've been saying we need, a guy that everyone else on the blueline can look to and learn from. A guy who will take the pressure off everyone else back there and immediatly improve our blueline. He's the player we hope Staal becomes, except that we SUCK at developing talent.
Giving up Gabby is a tough pill to swallow, his 11 goals are among the top on the team, but they've been in clumps. 6 of them came in two games. It's feast or famine with him, we spend of much time "trying to get him going" as we do benefiting from the offense he offers. I think that this team has created a bit of a hard nosed identity, getting goals from alot of places, by playing a physical game and if we move Gabby we would have to embrace that. This move would be more about the future though, then the present. Doughty's contract would cancel Staal's, and suddenly we would have 7 mil in cap space, if we chose to pursue Richards in a trade, and it's still there if we wait until the offseason.
If we use Gabby's money for Richards, we go into the offseason with $16 mil in capspace, without buying out Rosi or Dru. Also, the addition of Richards and subtraction of Gabby make EC alot less relevant, and he could become a Whale if we need an extra million. RFA's include Dubi, Cally, AA, Boyle, Sauer, and Gilroy. Dubi, Cally, and Boyle are looking at raises Sauer and AA will get something, but certainly not enough to be a significant cap impact. For UFA's we've got Prospal and Frolov, who are probably both gone, and Feds who could be back at the right price, and Eminger, who's probably gone as well. Long story short, if we can keep Dubi, Cally and Boyle's raises in check, we should have the funds to pursue ONE MORE top player. I've been cold on the idea of bringing him in before, but with Richards feeding him the puck, I think Alexander Semin could be a GREAT top line option for us.
THE END RESULT
We turn Gabby and Staal into Doughty, Richards, and Semin. We fill needs on both ends of the ice, Bring in a core of proven NHL All Stars (the oldest of which is 31) to build a team with OUR OWN prospects around. I'd go as far to say we go into next season as SERIOUS cup contenders.
On including Staal and Gabby - it's not a knock on either one of them, rather it's a complement. Teams don't deal Norris winners everyday, so to say that we can get one back for both of them is saying they are/can be very good players. I'm not suggesting we "sell" these players, I'm talking about making an old fashioned VALUE for VALUE trade. You've gotta give to get. Despite what OUR transaction log looks like it's not always about tading prospects for vets or getting what you can for a stupid contract.
This is a STARTING POINT - Don't just say that won't work, tell me what WILL make it work. Also don't just say "The Kings won't trade Doughty" . Most everyone on here would tell you WE won't trade Staal of Gabby, stranger things have happened. We're talking about a deal involving 3 "untouchable" players.