With Edmonton winning the NHL Draft Lottery, the question now is Hall or Seguin? I say neither, and here is why:
The Oilers are a team full of Halls and Seguins. The last thing they need to do is get younger. Look at their current core group:
Dustin Penner 26
Andrew Cogliano 22
Sam Gagner 20
Patrick O'Sullivan 24
Ales Hemsky 25
Robert Nilsson 24
Gilbert Brule 22
Ryan Potulny 24
Tom Gilbert 26
Ladislav Smid 23
Ryan Whitney 26
To me, it is fairly evident that this team desperately needs a top-tier VETERAN forward who can come in and take over the room, and put these kids on his shoulders. I'm talking a top-line guy who can take over a game, something Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff simply cannot do.
So what better way to add one or even two top-six forwards by trading this pick away? Is it just me or does this make too much sense? Packaging in Sheldon Souray would be an easier way to get his salary off the books as well.
So a couple options, for what its worth...
Alexander Semin of the Capitals is a UFA after next season. The Caps can spare some offense and Souray fits their mould as an offensive blueliner. Semin may be young, but put him on the Oilers roster, and he immediately becomes far and beyond their best player. Semin is slated to make $6 million this year, and with Souray off the books, he could be affordable.
Nicklas Backstrom is entering his RFA year in Washington as well. His entry level contract will be expiring and you have to wonder if the Caps will be able to re-sign both him and Semin. To me, Backstrom is head and shoulders above Semin in terms of an all around game. If I were in the Caps' shoes, I'd throw the money at the Swede and send the Russian packing.
Now, stay with me here... how is this for intriguing? Let's bring the Calgary Flames into the discussion. Right now, nobody knows what direction the Flames are heading in. Could be stay-the-course, could be a rebuild.
There was talk today that Jarome Iginla could consider waving his no-trade clause. He's from St. Albert, a literal stones throw away from Edmonton. Before you start your hate mail (LaToya), think about it. A monstrous deal which send Iginla to Calgary for Souray and the first overall pick.
Mind you, both teams would have to make some other moves as well. The Flames would/should move one of Jay Bouwmeester or Robyn Regehr, and the Oilers would have to find a way to unload the ridiculous contract tied to Shawn Horcoff. Other intangible pieces could be moved in this deal too. Hey, I'm just putting it out there.