As I was laid up in bed taken over by a crippling stomach virus, hence the lack of posts recently (my apologies), I came across a couple of interesting articles.
A post written here by uber-insider Bob McKenzie about the future of Steven Stamkos could have the NHL blogging world abuzz and even more so for teams like the Montreal Canadiens or the Edmonton Oilers.
Basically the Coles Notes version of his post is that McKenzie believes Stamkos’ time in Tampa Bay is over. This coupled with tweet-gate from last week and now the relationship between the player and team is so fractured that there’s no coming back. Then McKenzie goes on to list some of the destinations he believes are palatable and the probably factors going into Stamkos’ decision regarding his final destination.
“If there is one take-away for me from a week or so of Stammerama in the self-proclaimed Centre of the Hockey Universe, it is as follows:
Steven Stamkos won’t be playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning next season.”
“Edmonton? Not sure how the Oilers could shoe-horn Stamkos money into McDavid/Hall/Draisaitl et al money, to say nothing of what they would do with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or others, but dare to dream of the possibilities.”
David Staples from the Cult of Hockey wrote a piece here where he gives his opinion on a possible Stamkos to the Oilers possibility. Bottom line according to Staples… Ain’t gonna happen. Acquiring the former no.1 overall pick would put the Oilers in a terrible position cap-wise in two years when Draisaitl and Nurse are looking for coin and the next year when McDavid will destroy the Oilers cap structure.
“It’s not easy to imagine Stamkos fitting in here for $8-to-10 million per, not unless some of the other forwards are moved out, such as both Eberle and RNH. But would you want the next five years of RNH and Eberle on your team or the next five years of Stamkos? Would you take Stamkos over Hall or Nurse or Draisaitl?”
What do I think? I’m on board with both McKenzie and Staples, I’m not sure if there’s a fit in Edmonton with all the young stars coming up and the return the Lightning would be looking for. With that said, I think there’s a deal that could be made here but it truly depends on what you’re willing to give up if Stamkos did put the Oilers on a list of teams he was willing to be traded to.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: RNH has already been in the rumor mill lately and Stamkos wants to play center where ever he goes. So it seems a natural fit here that Nuge would be part of a return for Stamkos.
- Jordan Eberle: Ebs is the most likely to go in any big deal and he’s a great fit for Tampa. He could slot into Stamkos’ spot seamlessly.
- Leon Drasiaitl: Trading Leon would fall under the category of BOLD moves. He’s such a great partner for Taylor Hall right now, so you’d have to be crazy to trade him. On the other hand, when it comes time to re-up the German and he’s looking for major dollars that wouldn’t be a problem with Stamkos.
Personally, I’d be more inclined to deal Draisaitl or Eberle if Edmonton were to go after the Lightning Captain but in the end it’s probably a moot point. Stamkos is an alpha. He needs to be the man where ever he ends up and I can’t see him joining a team where he gets lost in the shuffle like he would in Edmonton. Sure he’d like to play with McDavid but who wouldn’t.
Call me old fashioned but I’d love to see him go to Toronto because when’s the last time you seen a hometown kid go back to his roots and succeed? Especially in TO. Also, would it appease the masses in Maple Leaf Nation if they finally got one of their own back?
But what about other teams who have their own cap issues or player problems? Take LA for instance. Anze Kopitar is looking for top dollar and he’s not the scorer Stamkos is, not by a country mile. Could LA and TB swap superstars? What about Columbus? Ryan Johansen was benched again by Tortorella recently and we know he’ll be looking for mega bucks when his deal is up. Could there be a fit there? A dark horse team in my mind might be the Ottawa Senators. They’re close to home for Stamkos and they’ve got some pieces (Zibanejad, Turris, Hoffman) and prospects (Colin White, Thomas Chabot) there to make a deal.
What do you think? Would you be willing to part with a key piece of the Oilers young core to acquire a bona fide NHL superstar? Let me know in the comments below!
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