The Lorenzi Line
by Nicholas Lorenzi on 10/20/11 at 06:25 PM ET
It has been a nightmare of an opening season in Columbus and rumors are starting to birth. The question is “what needs to be changed to start winning?”. Besides the obvious, which would be to start scoring more than 2 goals every single game, the reality may be a change between the pipes. Already it’s being discussed that may Jackets are being sought after for a trade. Those players are Kristian Huselius, Derick Brassard, Antoine Vermette, Matt Calvert, Maksim Mayorov and even Steve Mason.
The pot is being stirred with Calgary on the Bleacher Report to trade for 34 year old Miika Kipursoff. The only way this could work is by freeing up cap room for the highly paid goaltender at $5.833 mil. The top four paid players in Columbus are Nash $7.8, Carter $5.273, Huselius $4.75 and Umberger $3.75. The only player that would most likely be on the chopping block is the consistently injured forward Kristian Huselius. At his healthiest he averages over 60 points a season. Regardless I can’t disagree with this trade if it were to happen. He would be missed and would upset fans if he was healthy on another team for 70+ games but a veteran goaltender beside Mason would be enabling Columbus’ chances to the post season a strong possibility. Again the gamble of putting the future of the franchise on Steve’s shoulders is a recipe for failure; having a goaltender that has seen the Stanley Cup final would be anything but a step in the wrong direction.
Continuing on goaltending what do other teams in a rebuilding phase have to offer? You could take a look at the Edmonton Oilers. With Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle succeeding despite their young age Edmonton is looking to be in good shape for the future except in the crease. Nikolai Khabibulin was a disappointment last year but still has spurts of greatness in him. He’s 39 and can still mind the net with support. The Oilers are in the process of weaning themselves off Nikolai onto Devan Dubnyk later in the year; whose stats exceeded that of Khabibulin’s last season in every category. But would Edmonton take a chance on a package of Dekanich and Atkinson to replace currently hurt Hemsky? Or would they require Mason in a trade? It would be perfect for the current state of this team playing for 2015. This desperate trade would only put Columbus back in their current position either immediately or in a few years as Nikolai is 38 years old.
Perhaps Columbus could throw their picks away on 42 year old and Columbus 2000 Expansion Draft pick Dwayne Roloson. He has also seen the Stanley Cup Finals in 2005-06 with the Edmonton Oilers. He racked up a 12-5 record in the post season, 28-18 in his NHL post season career. Regardless of his age he’s shown that he still has juice but has wavered this season with a 1-2-1 record and allowing 18 goals in four games. Next year he’ll be and unrestricted free agent and only makes $3 mil. It would be in Tampa Bay’s best interest to situate 21 year old star player Steven Stamkos with players around his age. Synergy is the key to team building, something Columbus has forgotten. 24 year old Derek Brassard would be the perfect offer but would leave Tampa to appoint former Jacket Mathieu Garon to be their new starting goaltender. In theory this doesn’t sound as if it’s a possibility. The Lightning went to the conference finals last year and Dwayne gave them 18-12. Garon has only played two games as a backup but he has yet to be scored in the post season.
I again plead for the easier decision to be made. It’ll possibly cost less than a million and would give the veteran presence needed, Marty Turco. He isn’t assigned to any team and wants to play. The passion alone could squeeze a winning season out of him. There’s absolutely no reason to cut a team that already has the problem of only being able to score two goals. A simple pick up is all the fans want and I’m sure Steve Mason is asking the same thing.
Watch Columbus struggle against the Red Wings tomorrow for that third goal. It would only make sense for Columbus to win this game essentially because it’s bound to happen. Allen York is be the back up goaltender for this game; Sanford and Dekanich are still injured. Mathieu Corbeil was sent back to the Saint John Sea Dogs.
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