Remember me? Yes? No? Vaguely?
In any event, I'm here today to share with you a conversation I recently had with the more recently visible Geoff Detweiler about which forwards should be protected in the upcoming SB Nation Mock Expansion draft.
After you read our conversation, make your own voice heard in the comments and the poll below.
Ben: I can't believe you want to keep Lappy over Hartnell.
Geoff: If we're going to lose somebody for nothing - as we would in an expansion draft - I want to have a better consolation prize than just "he's old and replaceable." I want ~$4 million in cap space so we can say, "yeah, that sucks we lost such a talent, but at least we have room to replace him"
Ben: You want to lose the offensive production? Lappy, likeable as he is, is utterly replaceable.
Geoff: Is he?
Ben: Sure. This league is full of grit guys. Plus, he's one concussion away from retirement.
Geoff: Jody Shelley is no Lappy. Powe is no Lappy. Nodl is no Lappy.
Ben: Nodl is no Flyer. Not yet, anyway
Geoff: Right. But if you're keeping Hartnell over Lappy, why not Lappy over Betts? He's one faceoff away from never being able to lift a hockey stick again.
More of the conversation, with the poll after the jump.Ben: Lappy vs Betts is a more interesting, apples-to-apples discussion in my mind. Betts' injuries are bizarre because they happen out of nowhere, and from little things like reaching for a puck, whereas Lappy's come from diving in front of slap shots. But I feel like Betts has adjusted his playing style in a more effectively preventative manner than Lappy has. So for that reason, I'll pick Betts, but with no great enthusiasm. I can't believe you would take either over Hartnell, though.
Geoff: I'm looking at long-term value. First, I think Hartnell is a lot closer to what he did last year than two years ago. Yeah, he'll get around 25 goals this year, but he'll only get about 20 assists. Is that production worth $4.2 million for multiple years? With NTC? If you lose him, is it that hard to imagine Bill Guerin can give you that production, for one year at $1.5 million, without a NTC?
Ben: What is long-term about a journeyman guy in his thirties who is one play away from having his career over? Long-term thinking is not all it's cracked up to be. This is a team that was two games away from the Stanley Cup last year. You know it's a "win now" organization.
Geoff: The $2.7 million you just saved is long-term. "Win now" mode isn't exclusive from "build a sustainable winning model" mode.
Ben: But when they're inevitably at odds with each other, I will pick win now every time.
Geoff: Is a team with Richards, Carter, Briere, Giroux, Leino, JVR, and Zherdev not enough to "win now"? You need Hartnell too? They're not inevitably at odds.
Ben: So with this cap space, what would you do? Cap space is only good for a false sense of security.
Geoff: Owen Nolan. Marek Svatos. Bill Guerin. Ruslan Fedotenko. Pick one.
Ben: Arron Asham.
Geoff: Ship has sailed.
Ben: As far as Nolan, Svatos, Guerin, and Fedotenko goes: Old, Has-been, Old, and Maybe.
Geoff: Is Simon Gagne old?
Ben: None of those guys put up numbers like Hartnell does. Gagne is far more in his prime than a Nolan or Guerin.
Geoff: Talking Hartnell: Why do people have this notion that Hartnell is anything more than a 45-point scorer? Owen Nolan put up 33 points on a defense-first Wild team last year. He scored 25 goals the year before while scoring... 45 points. When you go to re-sign Carter, Giroux, Leino, and/or Zherdev next year, you suddenly have $4 million to do it while not substantially weakening your team this year.
Ben: Hartnell for any of those guys, though, is a substantial loss in my book. Hartnell scored 8 goals, and had 9 assists in 23 playoff games. That's pretty solid. Add to that the stats that have shown how stats dip during the season in which a player gets divorced, and more reason to think he'll bounce back strong next year.
Geoff: You want to put your stock in 23 games? Go right ahead. I'm sure Randy Jones wishes he got the same treatment (well, from more than one person). Add to that the stats that show during a divorce year, Hartnell's point totals equaled his career average. In other words, last year's "atrocious" season for Hartnell was exactly who he's been over the past 5 years. So, good luck hoping he has a career year. I'll take the odds that he doesn't and save $12.6 million over 3 years.