When your team is battling in the basement of the league with the trade deadline coming soon, it leads to many of us thinking what we would do if we were in Rutherford's position. Of course, feel free to pick this post apart and disagree - the purpose is to generate a healthy discussion on what would be best for our beloved yet basement-dwelling Canes. I'm no expert on what our players will fetch at the deadline and these are merely guesses, which could be way off. Heck, I'm no cap guru so this could easily be impossible. Either way, here is what I would attempt to accomplish if I were JR in the coming weeks:
1. Trade Gleason, Boychuk and our 2nd round pick to Philly in exchange for VanRiemsdyk and Simmonds. Heck, maybe even throw in Poni to sweeten the deal. Philly would get their veteran defenseman, a forward prospect and good pick considering where we are most likely going to be slotted in the draft. We'd get back a big winger with a bunch of upside in JVR and Simmonds would bring some needed toughness to our group of forwards and is still very young.
2. Trade Allen for a 2nd round pick. We'd get back a pick in the 2nd round of the draft after we sent our original one to Philly.
3. Try and trade Poni, LaRose, Dwyer, Tlusty and Nodl for either picks, prospect or warm bodies to keep us above the salary floor for the remainder of this season. I know that only Poni and Tlusty are free agents at the end of the year so finding other teams to take these players would be hard but I can dream!
4. Even though Ruutu could probably fetch us something good at the trade deadline, I'd prefer to keep and sign him to an extension.
5. It wouldn't be the most popular pick but if we're not picking in the top 3 of the draft - I'd draft Ryan Murray or Matt Dumba to help us some on the blueline and help set us up for a real solid defensive corps in the coming years.
If all were to go as planned, we could be looking at the lines below which I think could be competitive and possess a lot of potential in the coming years:
Joslin/Murphy/Dumoulin/Murray or Dumba
Feel free to disagree, as I know many will. That is a ugly defense on paper so maybe sign a defenseman in the offseason. Is is just a pipe dream? Of course, but its fun to play armchair GM in times like these!