Quite a while back, Robin Brownlee offered fans a chance to work through a couple of hypothetical scenarios where they played the role of Steve Tambellini. I thought it was a great idea at the time, and filed it away in my mind for reference and stealing purposes.
So, presented with the following deadline scenarios, what would you do in the shoes of Steve Tambellini?
Naturally, Ales Hemsky is item number one with a bullet for your consideration. You’ve been talking to his agent, as well as to other teams, trying to get a sense of your options. You have a couple of firm trade offers on the table, and Hemsky’s agent has given you a pair of contract options. Which course do you take?
Re-sign Hemsky short-term. Hemsky’s agent has indicated that his client will accept a one-year contract with an annual cap hit of $6.25 million and a firm no-move clause, and he won’t go down on those terms because he wants you to…
Re-sign Hemsky long-term. This is Hemsky’s preferred option. He loves the city and the team and he wants to sign a five-year deal. He’s willing to accept a salary slightly higher than the one Tuomo Ruutu just signed – $5.0 million per season. In exchange for his concessions on salary, he wants a limited no-move clause – at the start of each season he’ll submit a list of five teams he’s willing to accept a trade to. Additionally, if he scores a) 20 goals or b) 65 points in any season, he may not be demoted to the minors at any point in the following year.
Beyond the contract talks, you’ve been talking trade with three teams – the Predators, Kings and Red Wings.
Trade Hemsky to Nashville. Nashville refuses to even discuss Ryan Ellis, but they’re willing to trade Jonathon Blum. After some maneuvering on your part, they say they’d also be willing to swap their second round pick for your third round pick as part of the deal.
Trade Hemsky to Detroit. The Wings held firm for a long time on Brendan Smith, but you held your ground and they’re now willing to move him. However, they’re demanding that you sweeten the pot by also tossing in your third round draft pick.
Trade Hemsky to Los Angeles. Dean Lombardi’s wary of you after the Penner fiasco, but he’s also desperate for scoring and his talks with the Blue Jackets have fallen through. He has two proposals: he’s willing to swap Vyacheslav Voynov straight across, or he’s willing to move Jack Johnson in exchange for Hemsky and Magnus Paajarvi.
Then again, you could always do nothing on the Hemsky front.
Before you make a final decision, another choice has come up.
There really isn’t much of a market for goaltenders right now, but you have had talks with a pair of teams that seem kind of interested: Minnesota and Toronto. Oddly enough, they’re interested in different goalies.
Trade Khabibulin to Toronto. Brian Burke, your old boss, is all too happy to help you out by taking that ancient Russian off your hands. The only thing is that he needs to clear cap space too, and hey, don’t you need defensemen? He’ll give you Mike Komisarek, straight across. In fact, he’ll do you one better – Mike Komisarek and a sixth round pick for Khabibulin and that healthy scratch Theo Peckham. Whaddya say?
Trade Dubnyk to Minnesota. The Wild are hoping to add another body to their lineup, and they know you’re interested in pending UFA Josh Harding. They propose to send you Harding in exchange for Devan Dubnyk and Linus Omark.
The Columbus Option
More out of curiosity than anything else, you also called Scott Howson in Columbus to see if Rick Nash had any interest in being an Oiler. (He doesn’t.) But, since you were on the phone Howson pitched you Jeff Carter. Basically, he really likes Sam Gagner, but he needs a little more than that. So, if you want to trade for Jeff Carter he wants Gagner, a second round pick, and to swap Curtis McElhinney for Yann Danis for the rest of the year. Just to make the deal a little more palatable, he’ll let you throw in Cam Barker – throwing in more bodies should also confuse the fans and help him keep his job.
What do you do?
Naturally, the above is entirely hypothetical.