So, it's very late July, which means, if you're a Sharks fan, you're going a bit stir crazy, and you spend your nights on youtube or at the Sharks homepage looking at old highlights and drowning your sorrows about the latest post-season collapse into pints and pints of Phish-Food and lighting candles daily into your closet Marleau shrine.
Or maybe that's just me... awkward...
Anyway, it's a long off-season, and we're all anxiously awaiting the next move because we KNOW it's coming. It's been promised, and the cap forces our hand.
Popular opinion has been that we should trade Ehrhoff and his $3.1M cap hit, and his maddening inconsistency. A good concise summary can be found in Plank's excellent post. Also popularly on the trade block is Brad Lukowich and his $1.6M cap hit. Lukowich was very effective early on when paired with Dan Boyle, but after his sports-hernia (I think) surgery, he was not nearly as effective.
For the sake of argument, because, you know, I've got nothing better to do, I'd like to offer up a dissenting opinion and say that Ehrhoff and Lukowich should stay and we should trade a different young Sharks D-Man with a $3.1M cap hit:
Although this is not a new suggestion, I'm sure it still raises eyebrows. Marc-Edouard is a very good defenseman who plays big minutes and is very sound defensively. On the contrary, Christian Ehrhoff is frequently undisciplined and doesn't maintain his defensive responsibilities, and has trouble with his shot accuracy. Why on Earth trade solid young talent like Vlasic?
Let me preface this all by saying I really like Vlasic as a player. He's exactly what a team would want: a steady, accountable defenseman. Which is precisely why I think we should trade him.
In terms of the cap, he does exactly the same thing for us as Ehrhoff. He frees up $3.1M. Also, I think the return would be better for Vlasic because he has such universal praise from the players, from the fanbase and probably from the media.
Also, in terms of what they bring to the team, I do often wonder if we'd be better off with Ehrhoff than Vlasic. Allow for a few arguments for arguments sake:
For all his inconsistency, when he is playing well, Ehrhoff is worth every penny of his $3.1M. He earns it in a very different way from Vlasic. Vlasic is smooth, steady and smart. Ehrhoff is gritty, fast and mean. The Sharks could use more mean players. Vlasic fits everyone else's perception of the Sharks: very talented, very good, and also soft. He'll do the job, but he doesn't quite have that extra something that's needed to get to the next level. Yes, Christian probably has the same problem, and we've all been WAITING for him to have that breakout season ala Mike Green in Washington, and we may choke on his $3.1M waiting for it, but for all Vlasic's skill, I think we've seen the best he can give us (I also thing he's going to continue to give it to us, he's a safe bet, Christian is a risk).
Well, that's that. Again, this is primarily for discussion purposes. I'm curious what other people have to say.