Deal or no Deal?
Following up from yesterdays post about trying to potentially land an established number one center to play along side Rick Nash, this got me thinking. What type of package would GM Howson have to put together to land a player of Jason Spezza or Patrick Marleau’s caliber.
Between Marleau and Spezza, I believe Marleau would be easier to acquire. San Jose can afford to trade their captain as they have depth down the middle in Thornton, Pavelski and Goc. They also ended the season in disappointment; so they are ready for change and that change could start with a blockbuster deal.
We all know the Sharks have a solid blue line, but they do have question marks between the pipes and on the wing. We do not have to worry Jacket fans; there is not a chance that Howson would even consider trading Mason. Steve is here for the long haul and will one day set records between the pipes. So the only options Howson has left is to trade any wingers, prospects and picks that we may have for Marleau.
When it comes to draft choices, we did loose our second rounder in the Vermette/Leclaire trade. We have our 1st round choice (16 overall) and a kid by the name of Nikita Filatov. In 8 NHL games Nikita already has his first NHL hat trick. He has the potential to be the real deal, but correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Alexandre Picard have that same potential?
By trading for Marleau that means Howson expects his team to be in the playoffs once again. Filatov who was drafted 6th overall may be our last top 10 draft pick for quite sometime. With the type of talent that Filatov has, do you even consider trading him? Voracek and Brassard are still really young but will they be as good as Filatov? Nash is only 24 and you still have the likes of Umberger, Huseluis and Williams on your roster.
If it came down to finding a player to send to San Jose with a prospect/pick I would have to throw Kristian Huselius name out there. He is only 30 years of age and had a decent season (21 goals and 35 assists). He is signed until 2011-2012 at a reasonable price of 4.25 mill a year. Build a package similar to the Jokinen deal at the deadline. Take Huseluis, a prospect like Picard or Mayorov and a conditional pick that dependant on Marleau signing an extension and that should be enough to pry Marleau out of San Jose. Calgary traded Lombradi, Prust and a Conditional 1st in exchange for Jokinen. Even though that trade with Calgary and Phoenix can be considered to be somewhat of a salary dump, Columbus would be giving up what I deem to be more talent for Marleau.
Columbus will explore all available options this off season and I believe Marleau will be one of them. One can only continue to dream of a top line that consists of Filatov – Marleau – Nash and hey what ever happen to Stephen Heinze?
Don’t forget to check out our Columbus Blue Jackets fan forums where you can interact with other Jacket fans!