Both the Toronto Maple leafs and the Anaheim Ducks have a problem. While each teams issue is different, the solution for each may be the same; Trading Ryan Getzlaf
to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
First letís look at the Ducks problem. Both Corey Perry
and Ryan Getzlaf are in the final years of their contracts and are both to become unrestricted free agents come July first 2013. Given the hefty contracts laid out this summer for Zach Parise, Ryan Suter
and Shea Weber,
it is unlikely the Ducks could afford to keep one, let alone both of their superstars. The Ducks are a budget team and probably could only afford to pay one player the front end loaded high prices they will be offered as free agents.
Further clouding the situation for Anaheim is the current uncertainty of the collective bargaining agreement that is being negotiated. What type of contract and salary restrictions will be in place that may make it either easier, or more difficult for the Ducks to try to resign their stars?
Financial considerations aside, the Ducks are long removed from their championship season and the time may be prudent to look towards the future. Allowing aging veterans Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu to retire after this season would open up top six roster spots for young players. Trading a Ryan Getzlaf for organizational depth may be the smart move in the long run to avoid losing him for nothing as a UFA next summer.
Right now you may be saying to yourself, ďyeah I get why the Ducks would do that, but why would the Leafs pay what they would need to pay to rent Getzlaf?
Since Mats Sundin
left the Leafs there has been an organizational need for a number one center and after using Tyler Bozak
in that role by default the management is getting desperate. Leafs GM Brian Burke has made no secret of his agenda to acquire a super star first line center with size, speed, skill and playoff experience. Getzlaf fits that description perfectly.
Typically when a player with an expiring contract who is heading to UFA status is traded, it is as a rental to a team contending for a Stanley Cup. That is not the case with Toronto. The Leafs have not even seen post season play since the last CBA was negotiated.
So why would Toronto be willing to give up quality assets for a rental who will be gone after one season?
According to some popular, but unsubstantiated internet sources on Twitter, the Leafs are offering Mikhail Grabovski, Nazem Kadri, Matt Frattin
and their 2013 first round pick for Getzlaf.
Rumor Break @RumorBreak
BREAKING NEWS: Now I have more sources confirming that the #Leafs official offer for Getzlaf is 2013 1st, Grabovski, Kadri, Frattin!
Hockeyy Insiderr @HockeyyInsiderr
#LEAFS offer for Getzlaf: 2013 1st rd+Grabovski+Kadri+Frattin.
Three quality young forwards, but Toronto can afford the loss if they can retain Getzlaf long term.
Therefore, if Toronto has offered as much as suggested I can only assume that Brian Burke is confident he will have no trouble re-signing Getzlaf to a long term deal to remain a Leaf. Getzlaf, Burke and Leafs coach Randy Carlyle were all together in Anaheim during the Ducks Championship season and no doubt are all very familiar and comfortable with each other. Burke has been very open about his disdain for lengthy contracts designed to circumvent the salary cap hit. His history also shows he is willing to pay top dollar when appropriate. Burke would have no qualms about offering Getzlaf the maximum dollar amount he can to secure his services as the Leafs franchise player and first line center. It would be tampering if he had already spoken to Getzlaf or his agent about their willingness to re-sign with the Leafs of course, but that only means they would deny any such conversation ever occurred.
There would be shared risk from both sides with such a deal. Anaheim risks the young assets they acquire may never reach their full potential. While Toronto risks mortgaging the future for a one year rental player who they lose for nothing.
The upside for both teams clearly addresses their goals however. Anaheim avoids losing their franchise player for nothing and gets quality young pieces to build a future around. Toronto gets Getzlaf, their new franchise player and long sought after first line center.
Whether or not there is any truth to the Twitter rumors or not, it is an intriguing scenario, and a lot of fun to debate.
Do the rewards out weigh the risks?
What are your thoughts?