Mentioning those 3 words together in the context of a Luongo trade would immediately generate images of Purcell or Malone powering their way down the ice in a Canucks jersey; and you wouldn't be wrong in believing either of them would have a major positive impact on the roster.
But I'm not interested in either of those players.
Vincent Lecavalier is the man.
Before you go writing this off because of "bad contract", "over the hill", I am of the belief that Lecavalier has at least 5 good years left in him, after that the money in his contract drops significantly from 8.5 million to 4 million. At 37 I forsee Lecavalier retiring after winning at least two cups in Vancouver.
2013 2nd round pick
The way I see the value of this trade breaking down is this: Luongo = Lecavalier, 2nd = Garon, Ballard & Schroeder = Barberio
Luongo needs to be traded, this much is a given but more than that Gillis has had a change in philosophy which has been evidenced by his drafting this year and trading Hodgson last deadline. Lecavalier certainly fills the need for a skilled big bodied center, especially with Kesler expected not to be back until November.
Ballard just hasn't worked out as much as everyone had hoped, none more so than Gillis. Sending Ballard back to the Southeast division where he had some success with the Panthers might be an apt move, and with Ohlund's uncertainty (as of May 2012) of being able to play next year, Tampa could probably use the defensive depth; despite having signed Matt Carle to a lucrative contract.
As for Schroeder, while he certainly has merit, I don't see him fitting into the Canucks long term solution, and with another smaller player in St. Louis on the roster in Tampa, I think Schroeder could learn a lot from him.
Mark Barberio is an offensively gifted/minded defensive prospect who is about to make the jump to professional hockey. He's got NHL size and good skating, and has the potential to quarterback the 2nd unit power play in Chicago behind Connauton on the 1st PP unit.
Garon fills the need for a veteran back up and comes cheap at 1.3 million. Given it's only one more year it makes it a lot easier for Lack to swallow and be the #1 in Chicago for one more season at the AHL level.
This is my proposed roster (with Kesler healthy). Additional moves include sending Kassian down to the Wolves to play top line minutes learning to put his skill and size together, waiving Alberts, signing Doan (if were lucky) to a two year $9 million dollar deal, and Scott Hannan to a 2 year $2 million deal for the bottom pairing.
Daniel Sedin ($6.100m) / Henrik Sedin ($6.100m) / Shane Doan ($4.500m)
David Booth ($4.250m) / Vincent Lecavalier ($7.727m) / Ryan Kesler ($5.000m)
Alexandre Burrows ($2.000m) / Manny Malhotra ($2.500m) / Jannik Hansen ($1.350m)
Mason Raymond ($2.275m) / Maxim Lapierre ($1.000m) / Chris Higgins ($1.900m)
Aaron Volpatti ($0.600m) /
Dan Hamhuis ($4.500m) / Kevin Bieksa ($4.600m)
Alexander Edler ($3.250m) / Jason Garrison ($4.600m)
Scott Hannan ($1.000m) / Chris Tanev ($0.900m)
Derek Joslin ($0.700m) /
Cory Schneider ($4.000m)
Mathieu Garon ($1.300m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $70,200,000; CAP PAYROLL: $70,152,273; BONUSES: $0
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $47,727
Even with Kesler healthy, I think his style of game is better suited to the wing. Looking at that line up, I have to say that would be a FUN team to watch as basically the entire bottom 6 is interchangeable to suit AV's line juggling propensity, and most of them can move up to the top 6 if needed in a pinch due to injury etc. This would be one of the deepest most versatile line ups of all time, and yes it includes Raymond who has one more shot to prove he's not a lost cause.
Edited by Shadowgoon, 14 July 2012 - 08:37 PM.