Hello Jackets Fans,
I participated in Jan Levine's mock draft blog that has been happening over the past few weeks. Based upon what was left, I drafted Connor Zary, C, Kamloops. I had also suggested that that CBJ make a trade offer to the TBL for Stamkos. No real reaction to that, but when I posted it here yesterday there was quite the buzz (pardon the pun).
Things that were pointed out:
1. Stamkos has a NMC and there is no way he waives it for Columbus
2. I have a hard time spelling Steven (Stephen)
3. Stamkos is on the wrong side of 30
4. Tampa would be crazy to accept that offer (I have greatly overvalued CBJ assets)
Let's take them one-by-one
NMC is a factor, no doubt. Stamkos gets to call the shots on where he lands. Is there another team with the amount of talent and cap space for him to join and be on a playoff team?
I misspelled his first name, yes, yes I did. In my excitement to publish the day before the draft I failed to check the spelling of his first name. Thank you for calling out my mistake.
Stamkos is 30 years old. With the exception of injuries, which I'll grant is a big exception, there is no sign of his production dipping. Thirty isn't 34 or 35 years old. He will out play that contract and probably sign another before his hockey time is up.
Tampa may be crazy to accept that offer given the talent involved. However, with a flat cap they are in a tight spot. They have many RFAs and UFAs to sign. There was rumor of Tampa stating they had an 'Untouchables' list that included Vasilevskiy, Hedman, Point and Kucherov. Stamkos was absent from that list. He could end up in Chicago, but they have concerns on defense and in net to address first.
While I brought up the failure of Fedorov and Foote to move the needle for the CBJ in the mid-2000s, I was also reminded about the move to land Flyers center Jeff Carter. That was the disaster which sent Voracek out of Columbus and landed the CBJ with Jack Johnson. The Jackets certainly don't want to trade for a player that doesn't want to be in Columbus either (Jeff Carter). Obviously, Stamkos would make that known up front by refusing (see NMC above).
One thing is true based upon reactions to yesterday's post. People are reading. Thank you for that. But answer this, what would you do with the #21 pick. Connor Zary certainly could be a solid player in a few years. But if JK believes that this CBJ team is poised to be a contender over the next 2-3 seasons, scoring is necessary.
Thanks for reading.
Good Luck and GO JACKETS!