Monday, February 26, 2007

CB's Final Call for a UUUge Deadline Deal

OK, I've dropped the name numerous times - tried to hint and be subtle, but now the bullhorn is out. I flat out want to see one and only one new player don the sightless eye before the trade deadline expires tomorrow. Show me.....Ryan Smyth!!!

Why Smyth?
He endures enormous punishment and never looses that shit-eating grin. He is old school in the manner of Erik Cole, and a bigger-than-life hockey personality whose workman-like style would go over well in Raleigh. He scores timely goals (5 game winners this season) and gives 100% on every shift. Finally, I think he is the thermonuclear counterpunch to Keith Tkachuk in the ATL and Gary Roberts(?) in Pittsburgh who would arrive at a critical point in the Canes run to make the playoffs.

Oil GM Kevin Lowe and Smyth's agent continue to play footsie, so a deal to keep him in EDM might be in the works, but I'd like to see JR weigh in with an nth-hour offer the Oil can't refuse. JR took a run before at Sergei Federov, and I think the he should be ready to push to near-Waddell heights to do a deal for Smyth...provided he comes signed with a two or three year deal. I would want him a Cane outright.

So Who Goes?
It's easy to want a deal to get done, it's another to craft a deal that makes sense for both clubs. Sources report that the Oil have a short term need for a puck-moving blueliner and a longer term need for a top centerman. I don't think Andrew Hutchinson or David Tanabe are that compelling fits for that need, and I don't see a centerman on the Canes roster either since Roddy and Staal are untouchable. I'd love to see the Canes move Trevor Letowski, but his trade value is pretty much nil.

So I won't claim to know the ideal mix, but I think a package that involved Erik Cole might be appealing. The Canes need to win now to make the playoff cut. Cole probably won't be available until things are pretty much decided. Not that I'm hating on Cole. It's just no secret that he's a seasonal train wreck - but a younger and more affordable version of Smyth. If Lowe doesn't want to spend the fun tickets to keep Smyth, I think he might be inclined to make a move if he got comparable value in return. Power forward for younger power forward. Yeah, Lowe will still be burned in effigy, but his hands might be tied right about now.

For What $$$
How much should the Canes be willing to pay for two or three years of Ryan Smyth? Is he worth more than the $4 mil per season the club is giving Eric Staal, Roddy and Erik Cole? In a world where three guys on Tampa make significantly more that $5.5 mil, I say yes. I also think Staal and especially Justin Williams ($3.5 mil per) are comparatively underpayed, and Smyth is making Justin Williams money right now. The Canes have nearly $6 mil in cap space this year, and a core of players signed thru 2009 or later. The only players JR will have to make hard decisions on re-signing this off-season are Ray Whitney and Scott Walker. Whitney is probably gonna be too expensive to keep. Cam Ward will be a restricted free agent next season.

So that's my pitch. Will JR make a real splash, or will the faithful have to sit back and hope that Anson Carter proves to be the missing piece?

OBTW - Ditto Olli Jokinen. who is signed thru 2010 and might prove cheaper in the long run than Smyth. You just don't hear his name any more in the rumor mills.


The Acid Queen said...

My gods man, do you know how much work I'll have to go through to un-hex the guy?

Just kidding--honestly, I don't want him after his little "carve up our ice and then fake innocent" stunt last June. I know, it's petty of me--but he can stay in the Chuk for all I care.

CasonBlog said...

There would have to be a period of atonement to include the ceremonial planting of a new coin. My dream deal is looking like a non-starter right about now.