Holiday gifts to fill every team's top need
December, 23, 2013
By Craig Custance | ESPN Insider
Getty Images, AP PhotoA few additions would spread some holiday cheer to the NHL's teams.
The reality of the salary cap system is that every team has flaws. You have to borrow from one area to strengthen another. General managers have tough choices to make every offseason, and as we get into trade season, it’s the time of year some teams can fill those holes at a discount. Every day from here on out until the trade deadline, the cap hit of acquired players gets smaller and smaller.
So when the league’s roster freeze is lifted, action is expected to pick up leading into the Olympic break. But in the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season, we don’t want to make teams wait that long. It’s a time of giving.
Here’s what I’d send each team, wrapped in a nice shiny box, to fix some of those flaws:
Anaheim Ducks: A playoff-tested veteran defenseman. I’m as big a fan of the development of Cam Fowler as anyone and have been impressed with contributions from Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen. All are having strong seasons. But that group has played a total of 13 playoff games, all coming from Fowler. The games will get harder in the second half of the season and even more so in the playoffs.