Like many I have been frustrated every time I read about the latest acquisition of a past-his-prime vet.
When do the kids -- and especially Logan Brown -- get a shot? Will they end up shining on another team?
But I'm starting to get the method to GMPD's madness.
First, I would agree with the team's main rationale. Why let a Norris or Brown get chewed up by all the superstar centres in the Canadian division? I'd rather see Stepan and Tierney take the heat. You don't want to see a young guy's confidence get crushed out of the gate.
Second, why rule out the possibility the Sens could shock the hockey world? Every expert picks them to finish last in the division and very near the basement in the entire league. That was the same consensus when Vegas entered the league. And even after their hot start -- thanks in part to Fleury, who our #1 chased out of Pittsburgh -- I heard some experts ridiculing anyone who didn't assume they'd fold like a tent.
So I like the idea of veteran leaders with playoff experience and cup rings...just in case. As Dorion said, trading to get guys like that will be next to impossible mid-season.
Third, Dorion spoke about the difficulty trading during the season. But let's say the Sens perform as expected -- complete pains in the ass to play against, but ultimately far from a playoff spot?
Well, every single one of our Canadian-based rivals has a success-starved fan base and massive pressure to take advantage of this unique opportunity to get to the semis without facing a Tampa, Boston, Avs, etc. All six GMs will have had their fill of Sens vets making their lives difficult. They'll know who still has tread on their tires and fire in their bellies. And who else will they deal with, given the Covid rules about crossing borders? Odds are, at least five and likely all six of them will be in contention in the final month.
So this could very well be like a fantasy keeper-league dump. Dorion, cornering the market, announces to the world that Stepan, Paquette, Watson, and perhaps Guddy, Coburn Galy -- if they rebound -- are available. In a bidding war he could fetch some great young assets -- perhaps enough along with what they have now to make Columbus a summertime offer for Dubois they can't refuse. All while not sacrificing the overall team youth and prospect crop.
And finally, the frosting on the cake.
Once this sell-off happens the Browns, Branstroms, Abramovs and others will have a full month of full-time play vs elite competition to show what they're made of. In fact, if I'm right about this strategy, I suspect this map I laid out will be presented to the youngsters as salve for their wounds when they don't make the team next week.