pcm wrote:A few things to mull over:
1. People point to Philly as an example of trading stars for a cache of young assets. But it sure looks to me like LAK has gotten the better results so far. Of course its way early, but I bet LA wins more cups over the next 10 years than PHI.
2. Is Jordan Staal better than Mike Richards? People saying Staal should get 6-7 million must be the same people saying Neal would get that much. (Mike Richards got paid 5.75 at the height of his leadership abilities.)
3. Moving Staal into the top 6 never got a fair chance. That was the plan to start 2010-2011. Then everyone got injured. Regardless, he plays 20+ minutes per game. For him to sign here though, he need to be promised a bigger role on the PP. That means splitting Malkin and Sid into 2 units, which makes too much sense anyways...
4. Playing Staal with Malkin makes the most sense, despite the success of Malkin's line last year. Reunite Kuntiz (who seemed superfluous on that line, despite its success) with Sid and acquire a young winger to challenge Dupuis & Kennedy for playing 2nd line RW. Staal can take the defensive draws on the top line and allow Malkin to roam successfully. Staal-Malkin-Neal would be the most dangerous line in the NHL.
I could almost be convinced of your Staal to top 6 idea, despite persistent quotes from local media types. However, on the salary issue your comparison to Richards is quite flawed. He signed for really long term, and it was how many years ago. Neal was an RFA, reducing his leverage. For a closer comparison, look at Grabovski. 5.5 per year. As a UFA Staal can really maximize his options and get at least 6, easily.