The off season is upon us and going into it we really only need one thing, and that thing is a number one defender. We all know we're going to hear millions of rumors, but there is one that will get the majority of the attention: Mr. Shea Weber. Two years ago he signed with Philly for big time money only to have the offer matched by Nashville as we all clearly remember. Since then we have failed to acquire another #1 defender, so it only makes sense we set our sights on him now. The difference between this time and last time is now we have the pieces to move for him.
I'm not going to bore you guys with the scouting reports on our top prospects and what not. We know the offer has to be huge for us to land Shea---more value than the four firsts they denied as compensation for Shea last time. Here's what I think the deal has to be in order to make it happen:
1. Elite defensive prospect
2. Replacement defender
3. Top-6 forward
4. Another prospect
5. One or two first round picks
This deal could look a few different ways. Either Gostisbehere or Moran will have to be involved. Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn, and Nick Grossman would be the ideal candidates to move as NHL level defenders to replace Weber. Braydon Schenn or Couturier would be the ideal top-6 forward that Nashville would want (or maybe Matt Read). Scott Laughton or Robert Hagg would be the "another prospect". Here's my offer:
Ghost or Morin, Schenn, Schenn, Laughton, First pick this year.
If you take this year's Flyers team and add Shea Weber, there's no question we'd stack up with the best in the league. There is a shot that Ghost can develop into a LeTang type player or that Morin could be "the next Pronger", but that's all it is... a shot. There's no doubt that Shea Weber would be a game changer in Orange and Black. The loss of Braydon and Luke would be the only minuses from the roster---but Vinny would be the incumbent to the other center spot (aside from G and Coots) and that shouldn't be a drop-off by much, if it even is one at all. Losing Laughton would hurt, but with Couturier on the roster, the need for another gritty two-way center isn't totally there.
There is a price you have to pay in order to be elite, and without Weber we are not anywhere near the elite teams. Could we be in 3 years if everyone develops perfectly? Sure. Will we be there next year if we can roster a team with Giroux, Coots, and Weber on it? Absolutely.
CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
CapGeek Armchair GM Roster
Scott Hartnell ($4.750m) / Claude Giroux ($8.275m) / Jakub Voracek ($4.250m)
Michael Raffl ($1.100m) / Vincent Lecavalier ($4.500m) / Wayne Simmonds ($3.975m)
Jason Akeson ($0.950m) / Sean Couturier ($1.750m) / Matt Read ($3.625m)
Zac Rinaldo ($0.750m) / Adam Hall ($0.700m) / Tye McGinn ($0.732m)
Jay Rosehill ($0.675m) /
Mark Streit ($5.250m) / Shea Weber ($7.857m)
Erik Gustafsson ($1.000m) / Braydon Coburn ($4.500m)
Andrew MacDonald ($5.000m) / Nicklas Grossmann ($3.500m)
Steve Mason ($4.100m)
Ray Emery ($1.650m)
Daniel Briere ($0.000m)
Ilya Bryzgalov ($0.000m)
Chris Pronger ($4.941m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $68,889,518; BONUSES: $0
CAP SPACE (21-man roster): $2,210,482