Blogger prodigy Mitch is at it again today. Today he puts himself in Mike Gillis’ shoes and tries to find a new home for Roberto Luongo. Go follow him on Twitter @Mitch_SBMedia.
It seems not a day goes by where there isn’t talk of Roberto Luongo and where he will call home next season. One day you have Twitter’s hockey insiders like @eklund and @samjam99 reporting that Luongo to Toronto is all but done. Then you get reports from TSN saying that Luongo could be headed back to Florida. Well, I’m going to pretend to be Mike Gillis for the rest of this article. In doing that my first order of business is to smoke his cigars and drink most of his expensive wine. Second piece of business, after airing out his Vancouver apartment and sleeping off the most horrible wine hangover of my life is to get on the horn with Dale Tallon and see if we can make something work.
That’s right. I’m Mike Gillis and I’m going to trade Roberto Luongo to Florida. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
All right so I’m well on my way to a full day of recovery after a night of draining 13 bottles of red wine I couldn’t even begin to afford. Also, I should mention, I went through Gillis’ phone and crank called everyone from Brian Burke to Laurence Gilman. I should also note that while making these calls I repeatedly sobbed and kept saying, “I tried my best”.
But I digress; there is a trade to be had here. Looking over the Panthers lineup and I see a few players I would be interested in taking back. One of them being Kris Versteeg. Sure he’s a douchebag, a Dutchmen, has a terrible head of hair and was apart of the Chicago/Vancouver rivalry for two seasons. All of that aside, Versteeg could be a useful second line winger to play along side Ryan Kesler once fully recovered from offseason surgery. Versteeg has been moved around quite a bit in the last few years but he’s also managed to put up 4 straight 20 goal seasons, something a second line winger in Vancouver hasn’t been able to consistently do for quite some time. He can also distribute the puck effectively and is just creepy to look at, which is something that might fit right up the Canucks alley (see Max Lapierre and Jannik Hansen).
Florida might not be so willing to trade Versteeg, especially since he was third in points (54) for the Panthers and second in goal scoring (23). But lets say that Talon and Versteeg aren’t able to reach an agreement by the draft and suddenly he becomes available, he’s someone that I would definitely take back in a deal for Luongo. Now a Luongo for Versteeg trade straight across doesn’t make any sense, so who else becomes a part of this package? Vancouver doesn’t have a ton to offer in the way of top six forwards who are ready to make an impact, if they did, I would like to think that they wouldn’t be trading them. In any case, one player that stands out to me is Bill Sweatt. He may not be NHL ready, but he could be appealing for Dale Talon considering that he’s the one who drafted him in 2007.
Sweatt has great speed and something not a lot of players posses at his age and that’s his ability to make plays at great speeds. He’s also honed his defensive game, which has made him an effective two-way player and penalty killer. He posses all the tools to become a great top six forward in the NHL. He’s a part of the package that might make Talon think long and hard about it.
Now, Florida probably isn’t looking to trade away from their youth, so you could probably say no to the likes of Kulikov, Huberdeau, Howden or Petrovic. Forget Gudbranson too, unless you’re willing to package an asset of the same caliber back to Florida. So who else does that leave? Well, personally I like Drew Shore. He’s a center, 6’2, 194lbs. Right handed shot and coming off of two fantastic seasons with U. of Denver where he twice led the team in goals (22,23) and in points (46, 53). His scouting report as of February 2012 has him pegged as a solid two-way third liner, with a top six ceiling if he continues to improve his offense.
Not too bad if you ask me, but I don’t think you get a player like that without giving up a 2nd-4th round pick, which in my books might be alright. So to summarize, and please don’t tear my head off on this, remember, I drank 13 bottles of Mike Gillis’ finest read wine and ate his finest of foods (lobster stuffed with tacos) while writing this trade summary.
3rd round pick (That always seals the deal between these teams)
Vancouver draft pick (Not 1st, but 2-4th range)
While that might not seem like Vancouver is getting back enough, consider the length of Luongo’s contract as a piece of the deal as well. Florida also has a goalie in Jacob Markstrom who’s only a few years away. Vancouver is also getting back a promising player back in Drew Shore.
That’s all for me. Gillis is going to have a lot of explaining to do. Lobster stuffed tacos and bottles of red all over his apartment. The man is a mess.