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Plan of Action

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I'll keep this short as I can.

Currently we have,

11 forwards under contract: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Pavol Demitra, Steve Bernier, Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Johnson, Mason Raymond, Darcy Hordichuk, and Rick Rypien. (5 or six top 6 guys but not a super strong top 6 by any stretch of the imagination)

2 unsigned RFA Forwards: Kyle Wellwood, Jannik Hansen

5 defense under Contract: Kevin Bieksa, Willie Mitchell, Sami Salo, Alex Edler, Aaron Rome.

2 unsigned RFA defense: Nathan McIver, Shane O'Brien.

- We're sitting with a weakish top 6.

- Strong top 4 defense but no powerplay quarterback or elite puck moving defenseman.

- A super strong goaltender

- A good farm

The following is a simple plan of action that will transform us from a good team to a great team without sacrificing the farm or handicapping us for the future.

1. Sign Kyle Wellwood (2 years, somewhere close to 1.00 million per year)

2. Sign Jannik Hansen (2 years, league minimum)

3. Sign Nathan McIver (3 years, league minimum)

4. Sign Shane O'Brien (1 or 2 years, 0.7 million per year)

5. Sign Jason Labarbera (1 year, 1.25 million)

6a. (if Sundin wants to play another year) Sign Mats Sundin (1 year, 3 million)

6b. (otherwise) See Alternative at End of Post. It would be ideal if Antropov would sign a 1 year 3 million dollar deal, but I don't think that's too realistic.

7a. Sign Marian Gaborik (2 years, 6 million dollars) <--- Some might prefer 1 year, I'm good with that too, it just might be harder to entice him.

7b. Same but with Havlat.

8. Trade Willie Mitchell and Pavol Demitra to Toronto for Tomas Kaberle and perhaps a pick.

Now, I know this might seem like an uneven deal, some might say Kaberle is not that great, however, we need to unload salary and Burke will definitely appreciate Willie Mitchell, he fits into his system perfectly, whereas Kaberle really doesn't.

Sedin (6.1) - Sedin (6.1) - Burrows (2)

Raymond (.8) - Sundin (3) - Gaborik (6)

Kesler (1.75) - Wellwood (1) - Bernier (2)

Hordichuk (.75) - Johnson (1.1) - Rypien (.55)

Hansen (.55)

Kaberle (4.25) - Edler (3.25)

Bieksa (3.75) - Salo (3.5)

O'Brien (.7) - Rome (.55)

McIver (.55)

Luongo (6.75)

Labarbera (1.25)

Cap: 56.75

Worry A: Gaborik gets injured!

Solution: Grabner will probably be ready to play this year and can pull up the slack in a top 6 roll if need be, it would be improper to set Grabner on the bottom six anyway.

Worry B: Sundin doesn't want to play another year!

Solution: Put Kesler (or Wellwood) up to the second line and sign a guy like Chad Larose or a similar to a 1 year deal to play on the third line.

Worry C: Luongo, Kesler and Johnson need to be re signed.

Solution: Sundin will not play another year after next year, so that's 3 million extra. Then we release Labarbera and get someone else to play at league minimum, and Cody Hodgson plays 2nd line center, we also will not be able to afford to play with two press box players, but in the end we'll have about 3 million extra or so. Then we give Luongo 8 and Kesler 4, and give Johnson up to 1.5.


Now we have a very strong top 6 with Gaborik playing and a decent top 6 when he's injured and Grabner plays. It's also sustainable, as Kesler will get his next contract and Hodgson will play in the 10/11 season. We also have strong role players, and toughness taking up the bottom six.


An Elite top 4 with puck moving defenseman and a reliable top 6 in general, with strong toughness from the bottom pairing, Bieksa and McIver when Salo is injured to support Edler and Kaberle.


All World.

Special Teams

We have a strong penalty kill, fronted by Kesler, Burrows, and Johnson.

We will have a much much improved powerplay with the addition of Kaberle, the development of Edler and Bieksa and Gaborik to give our second unit legitimate prowess.

And the future looks bright, as Grabner will get some playing time, and Hodgson gets a full slot in the season after next. No contract worries, and a team that will be both exciting and dependable. Also, I do realize that most people don't see Gaborik signing here without Demitra. I personally don't put a ridiculous amount of credence into such relationships, although if that is truly the case, I suppose we can rely on Havlat instead. I do think though, that by that logic, there is no where in the league that Gaborik would sign... simply because Demitra isn't there.

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