The NHL Rumor Mill is running rampant with trade talks, UFA possibilities, RFA negotiations/fallouts, and all that comes along with it. Among the "Overkill Killer" topics are the big C's: Kesler, Spezza, and (for some reason) Jumbo Joe. I think most Ducks fans are in agreement (I would hope) that Kesler is the best of the 3 for our club's needs. I wouldn't mind having him if the cost isn't too insanely high. However, for spit's sake, let's say that none of these 3 end up in Anaheim. Jumbo Joe will refuse a trade, or will go to some other team we hate like the Red Wings. Spezza will end up going to the Blues. And to the dismay of every breathing entity outside of Chi-Town, the Blackhawks manage to bulk up even more by snagging Kesler. Yadda-yadda-yah.
Now. What do the Ducks do? Who are other legitimate options for improving our spine? In my humble opinion, we can't win the Cup with the same Center backbone. Heck, it's already changing with Koivu out. So, what does BM look to do?
- Potential UFA Paul Stastny could easily be a 2nd line C. But, is he a good fit for us? Is he worth the dough?
- Potential UFA Dave Bolland is no slouch. He's no Kesler, but would he improve our position?
- RFA Ryan Callahan would be stellar, IMO. But will he stay in Tampa?
- Pending UFA Brad Richards was bought out by NYR. He's over the hill, but he's not bad at hockey.
- Pending UFA David Legwand may be keen on staying in Detroit, but you never know.
- Pending UFA Derek Roy has not yet been resigned in STL. They should sign him, but if they don't?
Secondly, but equally important, what do we do on defense? Honestly, we won't win the Cup with the same D corps, either. Is Fowler-Lovejoy an elite first pairing? I think not. Are Beauch and Allen healthy or fit enough to carry the bulk of minutes BB will throw at them? Definitely not. Do we really want to play the whole season toting along 9 defenseman, specifically an overdue Luca Sbisa and a subpar Mark Fistric? I'd rather not. So, what are the best options on the blue line?
- Trade target Dion Phaneuf is potentially being shopped by Toronto. Personally, I'd love to see him alongside Fowler.
- Pending UFA Matt Niskanen will have a long line of suitors following him around. Not sure he's worth the price tag he'll eventually get.
- Pending UFA Dan Boyle is getting older and I'd rather not get involved here. We've had enough of older.
- Pending UFA Brooks Orpik represented the USA in Sochi and may also walk away from PIT.
- RFA PK Subban is expected to sign with Montreal, but if they screw that up???
- RFA Cody Franson will likely stay in Toronto, but you never know.
I strongly believe we can make another run next season. We have a lot of pieces, and just a few, fillable holes. The question is: Will BM be capable of filling those holes without creating other ones? It remains to be seen. How do you recommend we fill them?