Okay, seeing as how there's a ton of smoke, I will work on the assumption we'll learn of a fire soon enough.
I want to establish Comrie's value.
In the beginning, we all said we were hoping for a top-6 forward/top-4 D-man and a top prospect for Comrie. I think that is still a reasonable expectation, considering his age and talent, even with his attitude factored in.
With all the talk of Anaheim, I am none too thrilled with the concept of MacDonald although Perry (a very recent first rounder and the OHL's leading scorer) fits the definition of a top prospect perfectly.
In a deal with Anaheim, any returning forward makes little to no sense (not to say it won't happen, the NHL doesn't make sense) as they are either not top-6 calibre (MacDonald) or they are too good for the Ducks to move, as it would be perceived as lateral, not an improvement (Chistov, Lupul).
However, a young D man with decent skills makes a lot more sense.
Vishnevski is a name bantied about on these boards a ton, but knowing Lowe, I wouldn't be surprised if he's set his sights on 6'3", 217 lbs., 22-year-old Kurt Sauer. Either one of these two would fit the bill as 4/5 D men (top 4 on a good night, but not consistent enough to be considered that yet) and would satisfy Lowe's desire to get a top-4 D man/top-6 forward.
Final analysis: Comrie is likely worth Perry and one of Sauer/Vishnevski--if he settles for less, I'll be disappointed.
With regard to Anaheim, I've always like Vishnevski and Lupul is solid from what I've read about him. He also has a few goals this season, which is a good sign.
In terms of Comrie's value, imo any trade that nets less than someone who has the potential to be an impact player is a complete failure. Lowe isn't an idiot, and the day he makes the deal is when the pressure falls squarely on his shoulders and stays there for (possibly) a long time.
I think Comrie's worth is an impact player, an impact prospect or a top 10 first round pick, maybe top 5.
I've dropped by the Anaheim board, nice folks there who would balk at that statement. Don't blame them. But considering that Oiler fans waited a good long time for Comrie to come along, Kevin lowe has to know that any trade with Andy McDonald as a centerpiece will not be met with approval.