Feb. 24, 2012; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Matt Moulson (26) scores the game-winning goal on New York Rangers goalie Martin Biron (43) during the shootout at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Islanders won in a shootout, 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

The Ballad of Doug Wilson, The Finale: The Build-Around-My-Young-Core Strategy

Thanks for sticking with me from part 1 through part 2 and into this finale.  I think this is the most likely scenario, odds of this happening are around 2-3.

I (fake Doug Wilson) have been mandated by ownership to make significant changes, so if I build around my young core we should be set for years to come.  There are a million and one options, so I’ll just look at a couple.  I’m assuming here that most NHL players can be had for a price, and GMs are rational.  Both are false assumptions, but it’s easier this way.

The “Young Core” that’s untouchable that I’ve talked about?  Burns, Pavelski and Couture are the obvious ones, but there are a couple other players (Clowe, Desjardins and Demers, for example) who I think we have to keep in Teal next year.  And, unlike my last scenario, unless it is a deal that will reshape our franchise, I think we shouldn’t trade Marleau.  So, who should we target that you might not have thought of?

Free Agents: I don’t want to rehash all of the awesome work done by the BOT staff on this subject , so here’s the list of names that the writers have already tackled: Zach Parise, Jiri Hudler, Matt Carle, Ryan Suter, Trevor Gilles Jordin Tootoo, Olli Jokinen, Pavel Kubina, Jamie Langenbrunner, Shea Weber, Joe Corvo (who used to be called Joey), Ray Whitney, Teemu Selane, Jarret Stoll, Hal Gill, P.K. Subban, Marcu Sturm and George “The ‘Stache” Parros.  Here’s 4 other value guys we should at least take a look at who are young and would be massive adds:

Matt Moulson, New York Islanders ($3.1M): Why we want him – He’s increased his point total every season as a pro and is just getting better.  He’s only 28, so just hitting his prime, and his cap level is manageable.  If you’ve never watched an Islanders game, tune into check out Matty Moulson and John Tavares.  I’d even suggest we should get Tavares, he’s probably the most under-the-radar awesome player the NHL’s got, but he was an all-star so he was eliminated by my criteria.  He bulged the twine 36 times last year and is a great value.  Oh, and there was that whole 4 goal game too.  Why he can be had – The Islanders have ownership that’s a) crazy, b) realizes they need veteran leadership, c) rich but still cheap, and d) have 2 of the longest deals in the NHL.  Eat Ricky D’s contract and you can have Moulson, that’d be my angle.
Nick Foligno, Ottawa Senators ($1.2M): Why we want him – He’s 24 and has made the NHL.  More significant?  He’s the son of a former NHLer (Mike) and the brother of a current NHLer (Marcus).  In other words, he is HUNGRY and has something to prove.  Type him into youtube and you’ll find highlights like this…47 points in 82 games and is quite scrappy with 124 PMs.  Why he can be had – He’s a restricted free agent.

April 14, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators left wing Nick Foligno (71) scores a goal on New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the third period in game two of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden. Ottawa won in overtime 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Nick Leddy ($1.12M): Why we want him – He plays D and had 37 points in 82 games last year.  More impressive is that he did it on a Chicago Blackhawks team LOADED with talented people who are sucking up ice time.  Keith and Seabrook were on Team Canada in the Olympics, Leddy is, at best, the 3rd best defenseman in Chitown.  And we can feel safer knowing this won’t happen again.  Why he can be had – all that talent costs the Blackhaws bigtime, and he’s in the final year of his entry level contract.  He will want a big deal, so they might be looking to unload him for a bucket of pucks.

April 21, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy (8) shoots and scores a goal in the third period against the Phoenix Coyotes in game five of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Zach Bogosian ($2.5M): Why we want him – He’s been absolutely stellar and was the underrated piece of the Atlanta team that moved to Winnipeg.  30 points in 65 games, strong lockerroom presence and a fantastic skater capable of leading the breakout on the PP.  He can also do stuff like in this clip, 10 seconds in.  Why he can be had: This would be a tough one, he’s one of the main building blocks in the ‘Peg.  Getting him would be possible if we were willing to part with a top level player.

March 30, 2012; Raleigh, NC, USA; Winnipeg Jets defensemen Zach Bogosian (4) takes a shot in front of the Carolina Hurricanes center Brandon Sutter (16) during the 3rd period at the PNC center. The Jets defeated the Hurricanes 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-US PRESSWIRE

Guys I mentioned in my previous column who are must-haves: Josh Harding, Kyle Wellwood and Sheldon Souray.
That’s it.  Thing is, though, I (Doug Wilson) have likely already thought of all of this.  I contend we have one of the best management teams in the NHL right here in San Jose.
Have at it, Doug, bring us a contender next year.  The Hockey Gods and the Blueline Boomer have all the faith in the world in you.
An add-on list, best sandwich topping
1) Mild Pepper Rings
2) Horseradish Mustard
3) Cream Cheese
4) Lengthway-sliced pickles
5) Green Olives
Echoing King Shark’s thoughts in this post, thanks to all of our armed forces for the great work they do.

Want to debate a list? Tweet me @bluelineboomer

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Tags: Matt Moulson Nick Foligno Nick Leddy Zach Bogosian

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