These are just ideas. I've been thinking a lot about what I would actually do if I were actually in a position to do anything, and it occurred to me to share the process (it is a blog, after all), not just the conclusion, if I ever reach one. So I've been batting these scenarios around.
- Dustin Brown and Jack Johnson for Alex Ovechkin -- a sexier, splashier trade-deadline move there could not be. It would be a trade on a par with the Gretzky deal, or so it could be made to appear to the media frenzy that would no doubt descend on the Kings were Lombardi able to pull this off. Why it could happen: Ovechkin is perceived to be "in decline" (at least by the numbers) the last couple of seasons; the contract, with its $9.5MM cap hit for another nine years, is thought by some to be untradeable and an albatross around the neck of the Caps; the Caps are (like the Kings) in danger of actually missing the playoffs, and a reboot is not out of the question. Why it won't happen: the Caps aren't going to trade one of the biggest marquee attractions in hockey; Lombardi won't saddle the Kings with a $9.5MM 35-year old 20 goal scoring Ovechkin, and all the declining years in between. Why I would want it: solves that left wing sniper problem. Why I wouldn't: same reason I didn't want that Ilya Kovalchuk contract; it would burden (and define) the team for the next decade; fear that his "rock star" self-image would grow to monstrous Galactus-like proportions when exposed to the Hollywood sign. Also, what number would he wear?
- Brown and Johnson for Jason Pominville and Drew Stafford and (something else...Buffalo's 1st?) -- Why it could happen: Buffalo overspent and will miss the playoffs; they overpaid these two guys; the Sabres media are talking about starting fresh; Dustin Brown is from NY; Pominville and Stafford are exactly the kinds of second or third tier scorers Kings fans probably fear are coming this week, while everyone is talking Nash, Carter, etc.. Why it won't happen: the Buffalo contracts aren't as cap-friendly as the ones Lombardi negotiated for Brown and Johnson. Why I would want it: two guys who can score more or less like Dustin Brown, instead of just one; we can spare Johnson for the right deal. Why I wouldn't: I don't think it's the right deal. Brown and Johnson are two of the Kings' most attractive tradeable assets, especially in terms of perception of non-Kings fans vs (what I perceive to be) reality. I wouldn't want to waste those coupons on a mediocre, or even fair, return. Because I think they can be used to rip someone off. :)
- Jonathan Bernier and Dustin Penner for Jeff Carter -- Why it could happen: Columbus wants to get rid of this guy; his stock is at a career low; they need a goalie; his contract expires next century, which makes it possible for a team to get him for less; he is, after all, an (until recently) injured Flyer. Why it won't happen: Lombardi doesn't like 24 hour party people; he does like his goaltending tandem; Penner will be a tough pill to swallow (though the Kings would need to move salary to make the deal work). Why I would want it: scoring. Why I wouldn't: what if his stock isn't at a career low? Also, I like Bernier a lot.
- Johnson for Dany Heatley -- Why it could happen: slumping Wild; Johnson is sorta from Minnesota (played at Shattuck-St. Mary's). Why it won't happen: Lombardi doesn't like people of bad character. Why I would want it: scoring. Why I wouldn't: Heatley may be evil. Not really. But seriously. No, just kidding. Also, Jack's just entering his prime.
- Johnson, Bernier, (Andrei Loktionov, Tyler Toffoli) and a 1st for Rick Nash -- Why it could happen: I don't know, because everyone seems to be talking about it? Why it won't happen: the price is too high. Why I would want it: I wouldn't. Why I wouldn't: Loktionov and Toffoli.
- Brown and Johnson for Nash -- why it could happen: I don't know, maybe it couldn't. Maybe it would just piss everyone off in two towns. Why it won't happen: price not high enough for Columbus. Why I would want it: Johnson is expendable, in theory, so the deal comes down to a strategic upgrade from Brown to Nash; get to keep Loktionov, Toffoli, Bernier. Why I wouldn't: I would be sad to see Brown and Johnson play for someone else.
- a pick and a prospect for Ales Hemsky? That's another deal I can imagine, and imagine being annoyed with.