Thursday, January 15, 2009

DuPont stirs the pot-

Well, if you're at all interested in the Boston Bruins, you probably check in on Kevin Paul DuPont's Boston Globe column.

Old KPD has always been a master of a writing style that if you are a fan of it, you might call "tempering one's expectations in the Bruins," and if you're not, you might call it "being a crusty old prick." I love DuPont, even though earlier this year, he managed to turn an article about the Bruins being legitimate cup contenders into a downer. And he came out with a doozy this week.

In the wake of the storm of rumors swirling out of Montreal that Vinny Lecavalier may be headed to the Habs, DuPont officially threw the Boston Bruins into the ring, suggesting that the Bruins have the young players and the money to swing a deal for Lecavalier, should the Tampa Bay captain decide that he might want play somewhere where Stanley can avoid those harmful UV rays.

And while DuPont has a point that yes, the Bruins do have some attractive tools to possibly lure Vinny to the hub, you can see that the old dog might just be pulling a classic DuPont "make you feel good about the Bruins, then kick you in the gut and laugh while you suck wind" move that he does so well.

Here's how he starts out:

The Bruins have the goods to make a deal for Vincent Lecavalier.
Quite something, isn't it? I mean, did you ever think you'd see that day?

OK, KPD- you got my attention.

Vincent Lecavalier, (despite some nagging injuries this season) is one of the most dynamic, complete hockey players in the NHL today. He's flown a little under the radar this season, what with the whole Barry Melrose show, but make no mistake about it. This Bruins fan could learn to love Vinny real quick. Anybody remember when he fought Jarome Iginla in the Stanley Cup Finals?

But watch him pull the rug out:

The Bruins could part with two first-round picks, or part with one first-rounder and offer a choice of former top picks Zach Hamill (No. 7 overall, 2007) or Joe Colborne (16th, 2008). The Bruins would not offer Kessel and Krejci, but could be enticed to give up one or the other. Lawton, a former agent, most likely would grab Krejci, one of his former clients. One of Boston's other two prime young forwards, Wheeler and Lucic, then would be on Tampa's wish list. Getting painful now, isn't it? Parting with either Kessel or Krejci would be hard, but not impossible, not when the return is Lecavalier. But to layer on either Wheeler or Lucic, or perhaps even defenseman Wideman, then comes the moaning and groaning.

Yep, there's the patented DuPont groin punch.

And yeah, it does hurt.

Still with 145 comments and counting, DuPont might claim to not understand the internet, but that dude is generating some serious page views. And, despite the fact that I really doubt this deal will ever happen with the Bruins, I would like to thank DuPont for stirring the pot for a discussion of really fun hypotheticals with my brother and my buddy Duben, who also loves the B's.

In short, after we discussed it, here's why we think that deal will never happen (with Vinny's monster contract aside)

-The impetus for the deal is ostensibly for the Bruins to deal with injuries to their forwards. So dealing for Lecavalier would make sense if, they weren't coming back. With the exception of Marco Sturm, who is done for the year, Lucic will probably be back for the Washington game this weekend, Bergeron's recovery looks promising, and Kessel, who just came down with mono, should be back in about a month. Let's not forget, Kessel beat testicular cancer, he can handle a little goddamn mono. I remain optimistic for Kessel's healthy return (and as an optimist, I refer to his scrotum as "half full.")

-So if our guys are coming back in a month or so, the worst case scenario is that we are so crippled by injuries this month that we go into a month long tailspin, and take a drop in the standings. Oh wait- the Bruins have a 12 point lead over the next closest team in the division, and a 9 point lead on the next closest team in the Eastern conference. That effectively means we can spot the rest of the teams in the Eastern conference at least 4 regulation wins, and still have be in first place going into the playoffs. I'm not exactly afraid these injuries are dropping the B's from playoff contention.

-Any big trade with the Bruins this season would have to involve a goaltender. Thomas and Fernandez have been phenomenal this year, and all reports from training camp had Tukka Rask being the best goalie in camp. Conventional wisdom said that they were going to play Manny, let him rack up a few wins, then trade him. But why mess with a good thing? So that's where we are. But, with a major prize like Vinny on the line, and sacrifices that would have to be made, the Bruins would have to see that they are flush in the goaltending position right now. Thomas is the #1 goaltender, and is getting up there in years. Rask is young and unproven, so if they were going to trade anybody, it'd probably be Manny. And the Lightning could use a veteran down there to press Mike Smith. Oli Kolzig was great in his time, but he's 38 years old, and injured. For the Bruins to suggest a deal without Fernandez included seems unrealistic.

-Oh, and one more thing. If Vinny wants to come to Boston, he's not keeping number 4.

We can only hope that KPD was stirring the pot for the sake of a spirited discussion, and maybe to pull a little bit of Red Sox/Yankees hi jinx to get the Habs to up their offer. If they know that the Bruins would consider giving Krejci, Kessel and two picks, maybe they'd offer up something a little more team crippling than Christopher Higgins and a single, lousy Kostisyn. I mean, who the hell wants one Kostisyn? It's like getting a two legged dog. Sure it's cute and your heart goes out to it, but let's be honest, he's not catching a lot of Frisbees for you.

Let's go ahead and call a Kostisyn what it really is: a poor man's Sedin. And who the hell would be interested in that?

Maybe the genius behind Saw 4?

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