Friday, June 21, 2013

Kris Letang Trade Week, Day 5: Let's Get Nuts

By Artistry (follow me on Twitter)

Day 1: All the background info, then a trip to Toronto
Day 2: Across the river to Detroit
Day 3: Big names in Tampa
Day 4: Where Brooklyn at?

You can't always get what you want, but if you spend an hour working out an elaborate multi-team trade instead of working on a brief that needs to be filed the next day, you just might find you get what you need. Here's how you pull off a blockbuster.

Let's say you're Ray Shero and you really want Cam Fowler from Anaheim to anchor your defense for the next 10 years because a guy named Cam Fowler from Windsor, Ontario can't not become a great defenseman.  You pull up the Ducks' roster and call Bob Murray and when he picks up you say, "Bob, thanks for calling about trading me Cam Fowler for Kris Letang. I really respect your initiative, but I'm looking at your roster and I just don't see a second piece that gets this trade done.  Hang on a sec and let me get Craig MacTavish on the phone in Edmonton."

See what this crazy conference call becomes, after the jump...

"Craig, are you there? Bob, are you still on?  Ok, great.  Craig, you got a ton of guys you need to lock up long term and you need a veteran to show them what it takes to win.  What if I told you I'd be willing to part with Chris Kunitz if you gave me the #7 pick in the draft and another piece?  Is that something you might be interested in?"

"Ok, I hear what you're saying, you want some blueline help.  Don't we all.  Listen, I know a team that will pretty much do whatever they feel like doing on any given day, but their GM blocks all calls from the 412 area code.  Can you conference in Paul Holmgren?"

"Hey Paul, it's Ray ... no don't hang up! I got Bob and Craig on the phone, too. ...  I disagree about Giroux, but let's agree to disagree. ... Anyway, you guys are only a couple million over the cap and I think I've figured out a way for you to get Bobby Ryan to replace Danny Briere even though you don't really need him. ... I'm glad I got your attention."

"Craig needs some defense, and a big part of the reason that everyone hates your team is because you have a guy named Brayden and a guy named Braydon.  It's very obnoxious.  But if you want to cure this problem, maybe you can send Braydon to Edmonton and then Bob can send Bobby to you guys?  You can even put Clarke on his jersey just for fun."

"Whoa, stop screaming Bob, I'm not done.  Craig, like I said before, you have tons of high-end talent that you aren't going to be able to sign, and if my team proved anything this year, it's that it's no use having an all-star team.  Can you send Sam Gagner to Bob?"

"Good.  Now ... Paul! Stop trying to re-sign Kimmo Timonen to an 18-year extension, that's not allowed anymore! And listen to me, because I'm not done with you.  All you've given up so far is Braydon Coburn for Bobby Ryan, and we all know it takes more than that.  So here's what you're going to do.  You're going to send that 11th overall pick you've been dangling to St. Louis -- I'm texting this to Doug right now -- because they have three higher priority RFAs than Chris Stewart and I've been trying to trade for him for 4 years."

"Guys, guys, keep it down.  I know I've just addressed all of your needs in a fair, reasonable manner, and that this is very unfamiliar to most of you.  But now that I've got you all worked into a lather, there's just one more thing I need.  Bob, you just got the best player in the trade and a stud young center. I'm going to need your young goalie John Gibson.  Yes,  the one from Pittsburgh.  You know, just in case."

Now that's how you pull off a blockbuster.

Oilers (who need stay-at-home D and some sandpaper and veteran presence up front) get:

Braydon Coburn

Chris Kunitz

Ducks (who need a 2nd line center and an elite D-man to pair with Beauchemin) get:

Sam Gagner

Kris Letang

Flyers (who just want Bobby Ryan so badly they can taste it) get:

Bobby Ryan

Blues (who have two higher priority RFAs than Chris Stewart) get:

#11 overall pick from Flyers

Pens (who need youth, size, and replacements for two guys they will likely not extend) get:

Cam Fowler

John Gibson

Chris Stewart

#7 overall pick from Oilers

If the Pens GM can engineer just one simple five-team transaction involving 8 players and 2 draft picks, he can package two guys who will likely walk next summer for a 21-year-old, 20 minute a night defenseman who is locked up for $4 million a year through 2017-18, a legit goalie prospect, a young stud winger with undeniable net front presence, and a top pick he can always package with Matt Niskanen for yet another win-now player. You're welcome, Ray! It's been our pleasure.

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