Crazy Trade Proposals: Penner for Malone

Jonathan Willis
May 13 2009 01:49PM

Ryan Malone’s a player I’ve liked for a while, although I was opposed to the Oilers chasing him last summer because I thought he would be overpaid, both in actual dollars and in term. Turns out that the Tampa Bay Lightning wanted to take a chance, and now Malone has six more years at a 4.5MM dollar cap hit.

But this is where things get interesting. There’s a big difference between cap hit and actual salary – and Malone’s contract is front-loaded, meaning that for the next two seasons he’s going to be paid 6-million actual dollars.

For a cap team (like the Oilers) salary doesn’t really matter; it’s the cap hit that is essential. For the Lightning, though, actual salary matters a great deal. They’re actively looking for new investors, and the ownership group has a 130MM dollar debt load – requiring payments in the neighborhood of ten million dollars each year. They’re expected to play next season with a budget in the 43-45 million dollar range; a budget which already has 39-million dollars committed to players signed for next season. With the remaining money, the Lightning need to sign or re-sign at least three defensemen a couple of forwards, and give Karri Ramo a new contract.

Which takes us to the Oilers. The salary being front-loaded shouldn’t be a concern for Mr. Katz, but the cap space would seem to be a problem – unless Dustin Penner were going the other way. Penner’s contract isn’t front-loaded, meaning that his 4.25 MM cap hit is exactly the same as his 4.25 MM annual salary.

There isn’t a ton of difference between the two players in size or in offensive production. They even play similar roles on the powerplay, so it isn’t like the Lightning would be making a huge downgrade in those areas. And for the Oilers, for 250,000 in cap space and 1.75MM in actual dollars, they’d see a big upgrade in the nastiness and physical combativeness present in their top-six forwards.

This seems like a proposal that would work for both teams – which probably means I’m missing something big. Thoughts?

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Ogden Brother
May 13 2009, 01:57PM
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I've thought about this before, seems solid to me.... the only problem is we'd have to listen to endless whining that:

"Ryan Malone" is a 6 6 6 6 million dollar player!!

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#2 RossCreek
May 13 2009, 01:58PM
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I've made this same proposal on this site within the last month. Not only would the actual dollars next season make this deal make sense for Tampa, but the term & total dollars do too.

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#3 jb
May 13 2009, 01:59PM
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This proposal makes a ton of sense; I wonder if the Oil would have to throw in a sweetener like a draft pick or low-level prospect to help the Lightning from a optical standpoint.

I also wonder if that means Malone's dad would be included in the trade, as he was hired by the Lightning at the same time they signed Malone. Man, the Lightning are a freaking mess.

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#4 RossCreek
May 13 2009, 01:59PM
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@ OB lol

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#5 Jonathan Willis
May 13 2009, 01:59PM
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@ RossCreek:

I didn't see your proposal or I would have mentioned that in the article - sorry.

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#6 Jonathan Willis
May 13 2009, 02:00PM
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jb wrote:

This proposal makes a ton of sense; I wonder if the Oil would have to throw in a sweetener like a draft pick or low-level prospect to help the Lightning from a optical standpoint.

I bet Rob Schremp would love Tampa.

I also wonder if that means Malone’s dad would be included in the trade, as he was hired by the Lightning at the same time they signed Malone. Man, the Lightning are a freaking mess.

I wonder if he was one of the guys they laid off earlier this month?

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#7 surshot
May 13 2009, 02:01PM
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Lecavlier or bust. I would rather go after Hartnell. Now he is nasty and makes Malone look like a cream puff.

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#8 Archaeologuy
May 13 2009, 02:04PM
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I'd make that trade in a heartbeat, but I would think that the Lightning would be looking to dump salary even further. They are the perfect team to lowball at first. Offer up the junk like Nilsson and a promising young guy like O'Sullivan. Now the Oilers have gained a big gritty guy and the Lightning get 2 players at the same price as 1.

Of course this all depends on the Lightning being hooped financially. Otherwise there is no reason for them to make the trades.

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#9 RossCreek
May 13 2009, 02:06PM
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I don't think the Oil would have to give up anything more. If anything they may be able to ask for something else for relieving Tampa of some financial concerns. Maybe they could look at Jeff Halpern too as he's that 3rd line checking centre the Oilers could use. Throw Nilsson for Halpern into the deal.

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#10 Ogden Brother
May 13 2009, 02:12PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I’d make that trade in a heartbeat, but I would think that the Lightning would be looking to dump salary even further. They are the perfect team to lowball at first. Offer up the junk like Nilsson and a promising young guy like O’Sullivan. Now the Oilers have gained a big gritty guy and the Lightning get 2 players at the same price as 1. Of course this all depends on the Lightning being hooped financially. Otherwise there is no reason for them to make the trades.

You'd rather trade Penner over O'sully?

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#11 Ogden Brother
May 13 2009, 02:12PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Archaeologuy wrote: I’d make that trade in a heartbeat, but I would think that the Lightning would be looking to dump salary even further. They are the perfect team to lowball at first. Offer up the junk like Nilsson and a promising young guy like O’Sullivan. Now the Oilers have gained a big gritty guy and the Lightning get 2 players at the same price as 1. Of course this all depends on the Lightning being hooped financially. Otherwise there is no reason for them to make the trades. You’d rather trade Penner over O’sully?

Oops, O'Sully over Penner?

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#12 Future_GM
May 13 2009, 02:18PM
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Its noted on TSN, with Burke denying, that there were discussions of Malone and 2nd overall for TOR 7th overall. If this is the case, why wouldn't we maybe offer up a nilsson + our 1st for malone and their 1st and worry about the cap space via trades later?

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#13 Ogden Brother
May 13 2009, 02:23PM
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Future_GM wrote:

Its noted on TSN, with Burke denying, that there were discussions of Malone and 2nd overall for TOR 7th overall. If this is the case, why wouldn’t we maybe offer up a nilsson + our 1st for malone and their 1st and worry about the cap space via trades later?

Wow, TB would be nuts to make that trade.

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#14 Rick
May 13 2009, 02:24PM
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Is the upgrade in nastiness still worth it if Malone's offence drops off?

His shooting percentage was rediculous this year and unusually high last year as well.

It's gambling to grab Malone at those dollars and hoping he sustains it. I would like to think that getting rid of Penner's contract will allow the Oilers to get significantly better (obviously not through the same deal).

Getting just marginally better and being on the hook for an additional 250K (and a significantly longer term) seems like a miss to me.

If Tambellini is looking to help Tampa out financially, he should swing for the fences and go after Lecavalier.

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#15 Archaeologuy
May 13 2009, 02:25PM
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@ Ogden Brother: i wasnt terribly impressed with Patio Lantern and the Oil should try and get bigger (or so everyone tells me). There are too many players taking up top 6 spots and i like Gagner, Cogs, Hemsky, Penner, and Horc more than Patio. Keep Penner and get Malone and the Oil look pretty big on the left side. Seriously though, I didnt have nearly as big a problem with Penner as the old coach did. His 5 on 5 play was tremendous compared to his reputation.

Or lose Penner to get Malone and then use Gilbert to get someone better for the 1st line (or move way up in the draft!). But I was just suggesting it as if it were the only move the Oilers were making.

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#16 RossCreek
May 13 2009, 02:28PM
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@ Future GM because the Leafs 7th overall pick is better than the Oilers 10th overall pick. If i'm not mistaken, the top 9 picks are the cream of the crop this year. Tampa would like to stay in the top 9, I would assume. A better approach would be to land a top 6 pick 1st (better than Burke's 7th). He'd be pissed if the Oil landed Tavares, eh! How about Tampa makes the deal with Edmonton for Penner, and then flips Penner and the 2nd to the Leafs for the 7th.

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#17 Archaeologuy
May 13 2009, 02:30PM
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Oh, and I'll say it now before OB or Ross Creek brings it up. I think going after Lecavalier would be a HUGE mistake based on his unspectacular career and massive salary. He is INCREDIBLY overrated and has not produced like a top tier guy despite the fact that he has played with great players his whole career.

St. Louis is the real prize on that team. Vinny is #2 behind him.

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#18 jb
May 13 2009, 02:42PM
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Agreed on Lecavalier; that's a terrible contract, and would break the back of the payroll for the duration of the contract.

Here's an alternative trade scenario, as I just don't know if Penner is moveable:

Gilbert/Brodziak to Buffalo Gaustad/Stafford/pick to Edmonton

I just don't think the Oil will be able to get the kind of high-end return for Gilbert that has been speculated. This deal addresses a top 6 forward in Stafford, and a thirdline centre with size and grit in Gaustad. Thoughts?

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#19 Lofty
May 13 2009, 03:20PM
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I like it. I would rather front load this season and have an opportunity to go after a better crop of UFA's in the 2010-2011 season.

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#20 Lofty
May 13 2009, 03:25PM
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RossCreek wrote:

How about Tampa makes the deal with Edmonton for Penner, and then flips Penner and the 2nd to the Leafs for the 7th.

Penner would get chewed out more in Toronto than he does in Edmonton. Penner needs to go to an older team like Boston or Detroit, somewhere in which the leadership can babysit him... just like the Ducks did for him.

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#21 Klima85
May 13 2009, 04:12PM
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Here is another crazy trade idea for you:

horcoff to Philly for Briere. Now i know that leaves the oil with lots of holes (penalty Kill, faceoffs ect.) but Philly doesnt want briere and the oilers need offence.

Cap hit of a million more but would have to be part of a group of deals

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#22 Chris
May 13 2009, 04:31PM
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Rick wrote:

Getting just marginally better and being on the hook for an additional 250K (and a significantly longer term) seems like a miss to me.

The Oilers could deal Malone later, when his Salary drops off, to a team trying to make the cap basement.

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#23 GSC
May 13 2009, 04:54PM
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Malone? You've got to be kidding me. It's like suggesting Penner for another Penner.

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#24 Jason Gregor
May 13 2009, 05:05PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

He is INCREDIBLY overrated and has not produced like a top tier guy despite the fact that he has played with great players his whole career.

What were St. Louis' numbers before going to Tampa? And did Brad Richards look like the same player after leaving TB.

I think you might be underestimating Lecavalier's talent, by saying he isn't a top end player. I like St. Louis as well, but I wouldn't say he carries Vinny by any stretch.

If you are evaluating his value on contract alone then he isn't great, but he is still a top end player on the ice. Is he worth his contract in a salary cap era now, not likely. But that doesn't mean he isn't a top end player.

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#25 Jonathan Willis
May 13 2009, 05:13PM
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GSC wrote:

Malone? You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s like suggesting Penner for another Penner.

No, it's like suggesting a meaner Penner who needs more money paid to him for Penner.

It fills needed holes without opening new ones; that's something this team needs.

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#26 Chris
May 13 2009, 05:31PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

He is INCREDIBLY overrated and has not produced like a top tier guy despite the fact that he has played with great players his whole career.

Over three hundred goals in ten seasons... How is that not top tier production? How many 6'4", fast skating, faceoff winning, centers are there; who can play top line minutes, drop the gloves, and also post a hundred point season? Yes, Vinny has a big contract... but your ongoing campaign to prove Lecavalier "incredibly overrated" is a little silly.

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#27 Jonathan Willis
May 13 2009, 05:53PM
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@ Chris:

Lecavalier's played ten seasons, and has hit the PPG mark only twice. Getzlaf (for example) managed to do that twice in four seasons.

The ongoing campaign to get Vincent Lecavalier, a guy who isn't a consistent PPG player in the Southeast Divison, recognized as one of the true elite players in the game never ceases to amaze me.

Is he significantly better than Ilya Kovalchuk? Marc Savard? Thomas Vanek? Jarome Iginla? Eric Staal? Martin Havlat (when healthy)? Rick Nash? Marian Hossa? Marian Gaborik (when healthy)? Patrik Elias? Daniel Alfredsson? Mike Richards? Joe Thornton? Martin St. Louis?

I'd put him somewhere in the "very good but probably not one of the ten best forwards in the league" category. Malkin, Crosby, Ovechkin, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg are all well clear, IMO. Getzlaf, Kovalchuk, Richards and Thornton are probably ahead as well. Lecavalier's somewhere in there, but not at the top.

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#28 Chris
May 13 2009, 06:07PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

The ongoing campaign to get Vincent Lecavalier, a guy who isn’t a consistent PPG player in the Southeast Divison, recognized as one of the true elite players in the game never ceases to amaze me.

I'm not campaigning... I just like Vinny's game. Many of the players you listed don't/can't stand up for themselves or their teammates. LeCavalier has shown in the past that he can dominate a game both physically and on the scoresheet... and that is rare. (Remember I'm the guy who also has a man crush on Getzlaf, and previously on Messier...)

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#29 Jonathan Willis
May 13 2009, 06:13PM
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@ Chris:

Sorry, I don't mean to pick on you especially, I just don't buy the hype and I have a pair of speeches ready for the season after Lecavalier gets traded (if he ever leaves the Southeast):

If he does well - "It's with a humble heart that I, Jonathan Willis, recant my previously held position..."

If he does poorly - "HAH! I told you so! I told you so!"

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#30 RossCreek
May 13 2009, 06:14PM
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Vinny came into the league at a time when it wasn't so common for young players to make the team, let alone make an impact. The game was a lot tighter pre-lockout "as everyone knows". Then, he had the added pressure of being crowned the "Michael Jordan" of hockey on a crappy team before even playing a game. Much like Joe Thornton, his early years were a right-off. Getzlaf (who I'm a big fan of) played a few more years in jr/AHL and wasn't thrust into the main man role right off the bat. The past 2 seasons for Vinny have been injury-plagued and I'd be willing to bet he makes more of an impact next year. Is he in the top 5 forwards - no. Is he somewhere between 8 and 18 - I think so. I hope he ends up in Minny or Van.

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#31 Ogden Brother
May 13 2009, 06:19PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Archaeologuy wrote: He is INCREDIBLY overrated and has not produced like a top tier guy despite the fact that he has played with great players his whole career. What were St. Louis’ numbers before going to Tampa? And did Brad Richards look like the same player after leaving TB. I think you might be underestimating Lecavalier’s talent, by saying he isn’t a top end player. I like St. Louis as well, but I wouldn’t say he carries Vinny by any stretch. If you are evaluating his value on contract alone then he isn’t great, but he is still a top end player on the ice. Is he worth his contract in a salary cap era now, not likely. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a top end player.

St Louis was a Hart winner when Vinny was only an average 1st line center.

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#32 RossCreek
May 13 2009, 06:19PM
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@ Lofty the Penner to Toronto suggestion was made somewhat tongue in cheek as Burke acquiring Dustin Penner would be quite ironic.

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#33 Ogden Brother
May 13 2009, 06:24PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Archaeologuy wrote: He is INCREDIBLY overrated and has not produced like a top tier guy despite the fact that he has played with great players his whole career. What were St. Louis’ numbers before going to Tampa? And did Brad Richards look like the same player after leaving TB. I think you might be underestimating Lecavalier’s talent, by saying he isn’t a top end player. I like St. Louis as well, but I wouldn’t say he carries Vinny by any stretch. If you are evaluating his value on contract alone then he isn’t great, but he is still a top end player on the ice. Is he worth his contract in a salary cap era now, not likely. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a top end player.

Richards out produced Vinny in 4 of the 6 full seasons they played together. In one of the 2 that Vinny outproduced him, it was by 4 points.

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#34 Ogden Brother
May 13 2009, 06:27PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Chris: Lecavalier’s played ten seasons, and has hit the PPG mark only twice. Getzlaf (for example) managed to do that twice in four seasons. The ongoing campaign to get Vincent Lecavalier, a guy who isn’t a consistent PPG player in the Southeast Divison, recognized as one of the true elite players in the game never ceases to amaze me. Is he significantly better than Ilya Kovalchuk? Marc Savard? Thomas Vanek? Jarome Iginla? Eric Staal? Martin Havlat (when healthy)? Rick Nash? Marian Hossa? Marian Gaborik (when healthy)? Patrik Elias? Daniel Alfredsson? Mike Richards? Joe Thornton? Martin St. Louis? Ya I would agree, considering his recent health and his age, I'd expect 1-2 more 75 - 82 point season over the next 3 years out of Vinny, before he drifts off. I’d put him somewhere in the “very good but probably not one of the ten best forwards in the league” category. Malkin, Crosby, Ovechkin, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg are all well clear, IMO. Getzlaf, Kovalchuk, Richards and Thornton are probably ahead as well. Lecavalier’s somewhere in there, but not at the top.
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#35 Chris
May 13 2009, 06:33PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

No apology needed. Money aside, LeCavalier scored 29 goals in 77 games this season with a bad wrist. The fans in Tampa love him...and it's not just due to clever PR. I agree Vinny's point production would likley decrease if he left the Southeast... but he's still a top ten center in this league (Though I agree...not a top ten forward)

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#36 Jonathan Willis
May 13 2009, 06:35PM
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Chris wrote:

Money aside, LeCavalier scored 29 goals in 77 games this season with a bad wrist.

Yeah, this is an easy year to pick on him - he'll rebound next year by a fair bit if he stays in Tampa.

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#37 Jason Gregor
May 13 2009, 07:54PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Richards out produced Vinny in 4 of the 6 full seasons they played together. In one of the 2 that Vinny outproduced him, it was by 4 points.

Richards has never scored more than 26 goals, and Lecavalier has had six seasons of 29 or more including 52.

And Lecavalier has outscored St. Louis seven out of nine seasons.

We will see come Olympic time who is on the team. If Vinny makes it then I guess all of those involved with TEAM CANADA have overrated him as much as I have.

Every scout, 16 to date, that I have talked to about the TEAM has Lecavalier on the team. St. Louis made it on nine, and Brad Richards on one.

I had John Torterella on my show in early Nov and I asked him directly about those three and who was the best.

"I love all three of them, but if I'm starting my team Vinny would be the guy. He does everything, and he was a great leader. Opposing teams always focused more on him. Marty was outstanding his Hart year, and I'd love to have all three on any team, but Vinny is a very special player."

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#38 RossCreek
May 13 2009, 08:15PM
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Keep the heat coming Gregor! Shut these lames up! *Jim Rome reference to anyone taking serious offence*

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#39 Jonathan Willis
May 13 2009, 08:16PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Richards has never scored more than 26 goals, and Lecavalier has had six seasons of 29 or more including 52.

As you pointed out in the Eric Staal argument we had below, a guy can be 'just as dominating' without points as with goals.

That was the argument you made, wasn't it? 9 goals and 3 assists in 12 games is exactly as dominating as 9 goals and twenty-some points in 26 games?

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#40 Jason Gregor
May 13 2009, 08:22PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

As you pointed out in the Eric Staal argument we had below, a guy can be ‘just as dominating’ without points as with goals. That was the argument you made, wasn’t it? 9 goals and 3 assists in 12 games is exactly as dominating as 9 goals and twenty-some points in 26 games?

It was the same player I was arguing that with. Staal can be a scorer and a playmaker.

Richards can't be considered a great player when he has never scored 30 goals in one season. Most great FORWARDS score at least 30 goals a few times don't you think?

Richards got his contract more on the one great playoff he had. 12 goals in 23 games and 26 points.

In his other 40 playoff games he has a whopping nine goals. He is a playmaker but not a scorer. And I can't think of one player who is considered great who couldn't score at least 30 goals in a season.

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#41 Jason Gregor
May 13 2009, 08:23PM
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Great forward that is...don't start a list of great D-men who haven't scored 30.

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#42 Chris
May 13 2009, 08:40PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Thanks for weighing in... Sometimes, posting here, I feel like I've woken up in an insane asylum and am trying to make myself understood during group...

Thinking LeCavlier is an elite player SHOULDN'T be so controversial.

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#43 Ogden Brother
May 13 2009, 09:17PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Richards out produced Vinny in 4 of the 6 full seasons they played together. In one of the 2 that Vinny outproduced him, it was by 4 points. Richards has never scored more than 26 goals, and Lecavalier has had six seasons of 29 or more including 52. And Lecavalier has outscored St. Louis seven out of nine seasons. We will see come Olympic time who is on the team. If Vinny makes it then I guess all of those involved with TEAM CANADA have overrated him as much as I have. Every scout, 16 to date, that I have talked to about the TEAM has Lecavalier on the team. St. Louis made it on nine, and Brad Richards on one. I had John Torterella on my show in early Nov and I asked him directly about those three and who was the best. “I love all three of them, but if I’m starting my team Vinny would be the guy. He does everything, and he was a great leader. Opposing teams always focused more on him. Marty was outstanding his Hart year, and I’d love to have all three on any team, but Vinny is a very special player.”

All good points, but unless the guys in (at least) the top 15 or so for scoring, it's hard to consider him elite.

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#44 Ogden Brother
May 13 2009, 09:20PM
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Chris wrote:

@ Jason Gregor: Thanks for weighing in… Sometimes, posting here, I feel like I’ve woken up in an insane asylum and am trying to make myself understood during group… Thinking LeCavlier is an elite player SHOULDN’T be so controversial.

The reality is that he's had one Hart caliber season and one borderline elite season, other then that he's been an average first line center (10th - 20th). Pretty hard to put someone in the elite status (depending on your def of elite) when he's had 2 out of 10 seasons in that range.

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#45 YKOil
May 13 2009, 10:51PM
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I think the link you are looking for JW is here:

http://ykoil.blogspot.com/2009/03/trade-deadline-musing-2008-09.html

3rd paragraph from the bottom,

Always glad to be of service :-)

YKOil

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#46 Archaeologuy
May 14 2009, 12:23AM
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@ Ogden Brother: That's my point really. He's a very good Centre. Certainly I would take him over Horcoff, but he has never lived up to his hype. IMO he isnt as good as many people think he is. I'm no scout, but his career just hasnt been as great as his apparent potential.

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#47 2cold4u
May 14 2009, 07:04AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Is he significantly better than Ilya Kovalchuk? Marc Savard? Thomas Vanek? Jarome Iginla? Eric Staal? Martin Havlat (when healthy)? Rick Nash? Marian Hossa? Marian Gaborik (when healthy)? Patrik Elias? Daniel Alfredsson? Mike Richards? Joe Thornton? Martin St. Louis?

Of rhis group only Staal and St. Louis can match Vinny's Stanley cup ring.

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#48 Ogden Brother
May 14 2009, 07:40AM
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2cold4u wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: Is he significantly better than Ilya Kovalchuk? Marc Savard? Thomas Vanek? Jarome Iginla? Eric Staal? Martin Havlat (when healthy)? Rick Nash? Marian Hossa? Marian Gaborik (when healthy)? Patrik Elias? Daniel Alfredsson? Mike Richards? Joe Thornton? Martin St. Louis? Of rhis group only Staal and St. Louis can match Vinny’s Stanley cup ring.

How many can match his back to back 1st/2nd overall pick?

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#49 Archaeologuy
May 14 2009, 08:22AM
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2cold4u wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: Is he significantly better than Ilya Kovalchuk? Marc Savard? Thomas Vanek? Jarome Iginla? Eric Staal? Martin Havlat (when healthy)? Rick Nash? Marian Hossa? Marian Gaborik (when healthy)? Patrik Elias? Daniel Alfredsson? Mike Richards? Joe Thornton? Martin St. Louis? Of rhis group only Staal and St. Louis can match Vinny’s Stanley cup ring.

I think Elias has one too. And Todd Marchant has a Cup ring too, maybe he should be the next 1st line C of the Oilers.

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#50 Jonathan Willis
May 14 2009, 08:23AM
Trash it!
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2cold4u wrote:

Of rhis group only Staal and St. Louis can match Vinny’s Stanley cup ring.

~Alright, is he significantly better than Jay Pandolfo?~

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