Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cory Cross: Trade bait?

Poor Krzysztof Oliwa got sent down by the Devils yesterday for cap reasons. Somewhat of a surprise to me, Lou Lamoriello says he's looking at Cory Cross or Alexei Semenov. From the NY Post:

Lamoriello said he was "not necessarily" going to make a move immediately, but Edmonton's Cory Cross and Alexi Semenov were mentioned as possible trade targets.

Semenov I can understand: although he hasn't really progressed in the last 2 1/2 years, he still has all the potential to be a really good defenceman, especially since he's still only 24. Cross on the other hand... I mean, doesn't Lamoriello read the Oilers fan boards?! Well, maybe he's not as bad as he was in preseason, but he's still half a season away from never playing in the NHL again.

I wonder what we could get for him.
Lamoriello is cap-strapped -- you better put his balls in a vice, Lowe!


Pleasure Motors said...

Mmmm, cap bait. So, I looked into it, and when Elias returns, the Devils will have an official payroll of $43.59 mil--meaning, essentially, they'll have to dump both him and at least one of their bottom-feeders to get under cap. This, to say the least, provides some interesting possibilites.

If we take it as established that the Devils want a cheap defenceman (let's say Semenov), and assume they'd at least want a forward in return, too (I'm assuming they'll probably trade one of their expensive forwards to get under cap), we have a bunch of options.

Now, assuming that, if they dump, they'll dump big, let's say the Devils will trade at least one guy who makes 3mil or more--Malakhov, Mogilny, Madden, Elias or Rafalski. I don't see them keeping Elias around this long to trade him, nor do I see them dumping their number one d-man. That leaves the ridiculously overpriced Madden and the slightly overpriced Malakhov and Mogilny. They're looking for a cheap d-man, so let's assume they want to move the expensive d-man. However, Malakhov's 3.6mil isn't enough on its own--they'll probably need to remove at least one of their 2mil second/third liners. The Oil have expressed interest in Kozlov, and at 1.75mil, he'd be about right. In return, we drop them Semenov and one of our $450k fourth-liners (Rita or Winchester, obviously, or even Todd Harvey at $500k).

Of course, here we could also assume that this looks too one-sided, so the Devils would want something better (having to give up something, too, obviously, for cap reasons). Maybe they also swap Colin White (who's day to day) or Jamie Langenbrunner for Steve Staios or Raffi Torres.

It all ends up looking like this: Malakhov, Kozlov and let's say Langenbrunner (~7mil) for Semenov, Staios and Rita (~2.8mil). For the Devils, it clears the requisite cap space by replacing high-priced vets with young fourth-liners (and swapping mid-range dudes for face value), hoping that their logjam of second/third-line players will sort itself out. The Oil get help where they think they need it (scoring, mostly), and maybe even a little more trade bait for a better goalie down the road.

The main x-factor, of course, is that the Devils might not want to dump all their cap space at once. They are going to have to do it sometime, though, and as the NBA has taught us, it's easier to sell a salary dump to your fans when you hide it in a multi-player (even multi-team) deal that isn't as explicitly big-money-for-cheap-replacement.

It's a bit of wild speculation, but, I think, reasonable. Weeee.

sacamano said...

I actually don't mind Cross, and think it is probably a bit early to give up on Semmy, but if it could land us some combo of Brylin, Parise, Kozlov, White, Elias, Gomez . . .

I hear Niinimaa might be available too. I know he isn't what he was, but he loved living in E-town and would certainly wouldn't be a downgrade from those other guys.

sacamano said...

I'd take Langenbrunner for sure. That guy was an Oiler killer, and Dallas hasn't been the same since they got rid of him.

He also brings a bit of cockiness, which is always nice.

Pleasure Motors said...

Parise would be a dream, but the kid is only making about $700k--in other words, exactly the type of player a cap-concerned team absolutely loves. I should also point out that, though Malakhov is ridiculously overpaid, he might fit well here (powerplay for sure), which really should mitigate any cap worries.

sacamano said...

Oh I know Parise will never happen.

It's fun to dream thought. I'd love to see Pierre McGuire's head explode as he announced the deal.

Matt said...

I'm sure right now Kevin Lowe is figuring how to get both Malakhov and Madden. Carry on!

Randy said...

Sorry... did Sacamano just say that he'd trade Scott Gomez for Cory Cross and/or Semonov? This is beyond ridiculous.
A) Agreed that the devils suck ass. B) Agreed the Oilers are sucking ass, but will not spend another dime on payroll. C) Wha???? Cap Space is cap space but it's not going to happen.