Today's question of the day: is this trade in any way, shape or form plausible, or is Elliotte Friedman smoking rocks? As reported by Torontosportsmedia, Elliotte Friedman was on
AM640 the FAN590 this morning in Toronto with this to say:
Everyone in hockey is talking about this deal and thinks it will happen, Toronto’s pick, which I guess is number seven overall for Tampa’s pick which is number 2 overall, with Toronto taking back Ryan Malone and his lengthy hefty contract and perhaps another contract as well.
I'd like to poke some holes in this proposed trade. First of all, I don't think teams are that desperate to unload salary, even Tampa. The Leafs were willing to take on bad salary at the deadline this year and the only deal they got done was basically a fourth rounder for prospect Richard Petiot and taking on two months of salary. I really truly doubt Tampa is so worried about Malone's 4.25M salary for the next six years they're willing to give up Tavares for Cowen.
Furthermore, Ryan Malone put up decent points for Tampa this year:
|2008 - Ryan Malone||26||19||45||4||98|
$4.25 salary isn't that horrible for Malone right now, and those numbers seem pretty respectable for having played all year for the Lightning. Despite the length of the deal I think the Lightning could move Malone out of town for less than their second draft pick.
The flip side of the coin is that Malone is already 30. His deal is basically a lifetime deal and Tampa can't afford to buy out Malone. The Leafs could afford to stash Malone in the minors alongside Bell if he outlives his usefulness, but that's getting ahead of ourselves here. Clearly if Tampa offers the deal, the Leafs should be ready to essentially pay straight cash to move up five spots in the draft.
Additionally, Tampa has the offensive talent but no defense. Perhaps their interest is in Cowen, or Kulikov and trading down five spots doesn't hurt their plan especially if it moves Malone's boat anchor contract out of town? Have your say in the comments, and cross your fingers for the love of Wendel.
Tomorrow's question: Are the Lightning run by a chimpanzee in an adorable "thinking cap"?