The Path to Gabriel Landeskog

Here is my full-proof plan to acquire Skinner's BFF Gabriel Landeskog without sacrificing too many assets.

1st Trade:

To NJ: Zach Boychuk + 12th Overall Pick
To Carolina: Brian Rolston + 4th Overall Pick + NJ's 2nd Round pick in 2012

What I think this works:

NJ's biggest issue staring them in the face right now is simple: Re-sign Zach Parise. With already $50 million in Cap spent next year, they are going to have to make a big move to clear space for Parise's $6+ million as well as field a full team (that is even before you consider that their only goalie signed is a $5.2 million flailing Martin Brodeur). Trading Rolston and his $5 million in Cap for next year solves this problem in one fell swoop.

NJ is a Cup contender next year regardless, with Zach Boychuk added to their top-9 they will have a ridiculous amount of goal scoring. He immediately becomes their best prospect. I actually think this deal is a little overkill on the Canes part, but NJ doesn't have a 2nd or 3rd Round pick this year.

Why this may not work:

Simply put, the Canes may not want to pay Rolston's $5 million salary next year. Rolston is a serviceable top-6 forward however, defensively responsible, and only has 1 year left on his contract.

2nd Trade:

To Edmonton: 4th Overall + 2nd Round Pick + mid-level prospect (maybe Justin Shugg or Chris Terry)

To Carolina: 1st Overall

Why I think this works:

Edmonton is chock-full of prospects and as most experts have said, any one of the top-8 prospects this Draft could turn out to be the best NHL player. Darren Dreger has reported that the pick is in play and while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is good, he is at least 1 (probably 2) more seasons of building mass in Juniors before he is NHL ready. Many reports say that Edmonton is higher on Sean Couturier who is NHL ready right now and better fits the mold of a giant Center that the Oilers could use.

If required, sweeten the pot even more with NJ's 2nd Rounder in 2012.

Why this may not work:

Edmonton is posturing and secretely in love with RNH, Larsson, Huberdeau, or Landeskog. Canes look to Colorado or Florida for the same deal.

Projected Lines next year:

Rolston's addition means Stillman is out.

Jokinen - Staal - Cole
Landeskog - Ruutu - Skinner (This I would love to see)
Rolston - Sutter - Dalpe
Tlusty - Dwyer - Samson

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