My choice would be to keep him, but that's a boring answer so I voted for the 'Top 4 Defenseman' option.
If Gainey can pick up a veteran #4 at the deadline or sooner, it upgrades the defense severely, especially in case of injury. No longer will Hamrlik have to play a defensive role to cover the youthful mistakes of O'Byrne or the occasional blunders of Brisebois. Give him a guy like Brad Stuart or Karlis Skrastins and all of a sudden Guy can use Hammer in either way he sees fit: either let him pick his offensive game up by jumping into the rush, or play a similar role with the added defenseman to form an experienced shutdown pair.
The team has scoring, the team has center depth, and the team has farm depth. Enforcing is not a problem, nor is 4th liner depth. Goaltending depth would be a minor problem, but if Halak is traded to bring in that 4th defenseman, then it's upon Bob to flip an asset to bring in a veteran backup that can hold the fort if Price misses a game or two. Our biggest hole, in my opinion, is a stopgap in the case of injury to one of our top-two pairing defensemen. If one gets injured with that #4 present, then it's a matter of the players moving up a slot and at worst, it becomes a situation where the team has a strong top3 and an inexperienced bottom 3.
How many times will I have to explain it, right now, our depth is the following:
Which is pretty solid
now if we remove Halah from the depth Chart we have this:
And now imagine if Price Gets Hurt, it gives us a depth Chart of:
NO FREAKING WAY
That last scenario should be enough to scare the **** out of any sane G.M. , I predict Halak will be re-signed as an RFA by Gainey when Halak reaches that point in his career and then moved at some point thereafter .
if top 4 Dman is not 90% of the votes, im gonna be mad..
if i see any votes for keep him for playoffs while he can make our team BETTEr by us getting a solid D and brining up marc denis to back up our number 1, ..i mean how many games will halak see in the playoffs..thats stupid..