I saw that thread about possible Ottawa/Edmonton trades, and it was interesting and all but kind of danced around the main problem, and what I suspect is a real opportunity for the Oilers to make a move that would strengthen the team, while also being a winner for Ottawa. The principals of the deal would be Smyth and Spezza, and you then fill around the edges. I don't know what Ottawa would think of this-I've read that they won't be resigning Bonk, so they might have Spezza down as the man for next year, in which case this might just be bunk. I'm sure a lot of Sens fans would think of this is a big overpay, but to me, this is like the Nieuwendyk for Iginla deal. In the long run, Calgary got a better player. Both teams won that deal though, because of what Dallas won. Nieuwendyk was with them for two Cup Finals appearances, and won a Cup and a Conn Smythe. I see Ottawa as being in a similar situation, although their window to win might be smaller than Dallas' because of the fact that they aren't going to have the revenues to keep that team together indefinitely.
The question is, is Smyth the one ingredient lacking. I say he is, I really thought Ottawa was going to win this year, and I'm convinced that they are the best team in the NHL, even better than the Leafs. It seemed to me in this series that they were lacking in the ability to get bodies in front of the net, and we all know Smyth can do that. I know everyone in Ottawa hates Lalime right now, but I think that they can win with him-show me a goalie who hasn't had a bad game in the playoffs. Does anyone remember Patrick Roy in G7 in Detroit back in 2002? Does that mean he sucked in the playoffs? If a guy like Smyth could be the answer for them-and I think he could, as all of the sudden they could create pressure in front of Belfour, making it a lot harder to see/stop the shots, then maybe giving up Spezza to get him wouldn't be such a bad deal for them. I'd be curious to see what Ottawa fans think...
I think a deal like this could go down, but probably only at the deadline. I think that's when teams can really pick up promising players in exchange for proven talent... look no further than Phoenix with Nagy, Handzus and Taffe for Tkachuk. There's no way Pleau would do that deal in the off-season, or early on in the season because everyone is confident in their own kids at that point.
I think the only way we'd make that deal is if Ottawa's on the brink of being a favourite again next year and decides to grab the one player that could put them over the top. However if the Oilers have secured or are close to a playoff spot at that time, the fans will scream bloody murder if Smyth is traded away.
In short, I think it could happen, but the circumstances would have to be right, and I think that we'd have to miss the playoffs for Lowe to win on a short-term PR perspective.
I look for Ottawa to stand pat right now and see what a new coach can do for them - Quenville will top most people's lists.
There will be some housecleaning of course - Bonk, etc - but big moves won't really happen imo as management will wait to see what Quenville can do. That leaves us with a deadline deal at best and if it comes to that then I would be SORELY DISAPPOINTED if Lowe didn't take Muckler down the garden path and beat him with a stick until the best young players in Ottawa's system are ours.