Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pronger Possibilities

So, the rumors have been flying around for almost a month but the LA Times and OC Register are both reporting that Pronger is likely to remain a Duck. The question for Arthur this morning is easy: Is this a mistake? Given that the Ducks most recent setback, a 3-2 overtime loss in Chicago, can probably be credited to a lack of scoring, is it wiser to let Pronger go a for a quality winger that can play with Getzlaf-Perry and a high draft pick?

First, let's be clear that this might be a negotiation tactic. Yes, the Ducks told Pronger and his agent at the close of business last night that he wouldn't be traded, but we don't really know what's on the table right now.

There were really only two rumored deals of note regarding Pronger. One was with St. Louis, and the other was with Boston. The St. Louis package would have included David Perron, and what I can only hope was their first round pick. Perron's a 30A Center right now and one of the Top 5 young forecheckers in the league, but you can't be sure he'd see ice time in Carlyle's matchup system. The St. Louis pick would position us high enough to draft Jordan Schroeder, the Junior out of the U of M. He's a little guy, but an undeniably dynamic scorer, and he's complemented the Gophers' 6'3" Ryan Stoa very well this season.

The deal with Boston would have included Phil Kessel, and some negligible pick that we could trade for on draft day. This is the deal that I called you about, and just said "two words: Phil Kessel." When I heard the Ducks were talking to Boston, I just assumed certain players were not on the table. Phil Kessel was one of them. I've been watching this kid since he played for the Gophers in 2005, and he's become better and better every year. He won't drop below 30
goals for the next three seasons.

Based on the two best deals-- that we've heard about! --I'd have to say that only one of them could have won the game against Chicago last night, and Boston walked away from that deal. Then again, I can't really say that Chicago exposed our lack of scoring. Yes, that's a team that you need to score 3 goals to beat, but a .600 team could lose last night's game in March, a .500 team has to steal it.

I like either deal if it helps us make another deal. Kessel makes around 2.2M, and Perron a little under 1M. That's enough juice to pick up Satan or make a big move. But at the end of the day, Pronger was the BEST player on the trading block at deadline. You don't move him for someone that can't make us better right now.

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