I don't really dive into the world of fake acquisitions because they are almost never accurate and, as Vancouver fans know, we simply don't get big names signing here out of their own free volition (except for you Demo and that's why we call you hero).
But since trades are in the GM's hands and we have the crazy, salty weird GM that everyone is afraid of, why not play around a little bit.
Fantasy Option #1 - Petr Prucha
The filthy NY Rangers want our discarded (captain) trash? Fine, can we take their discarded youthful trash in return?
Hmm, conditioning problems? This is what Tom Renney said this week about Prucha:
"Playing is important. It's critical," coach Tom Renney said. "There's a difference (between being) in shape, and then there's game shape.
Contrast that with what Vigneault said about Pudge before the season started:
"His commitment to conditioning and being a professional athlete probably wasn't where it needed to be for him to have success...it's still not NHL calibre."
I've been quite mean to Pudge in these here web pages (and will continue to do so actually) but I am right there in admitting I was wrong saying he was completely worthless. The fact is he has found a crucial PP niche on the Canucks. He fixed his conditioning, injuries gave him a shot and he cashed in. Good for everyone involved.
So why not try that magic again with Prucha? Drafted in the 8th round in 2002, Prucha tore up the Czech league and then started for the Rangers the season following the lockout. As a rookie he scored 30 goals and 47 points in 68 games; he broke a club record with 16 powerplay goals in his first year alone. He followed that season up with a 40 point one before tailing off badly last year, in part due to a shoulder injury that KO'ed him at the end of the year.
So we have a potential top six LW who has fallen out of favor with his current team (or coach) and has a bit of a conditioning problem? At $1.6 million a year? That's Pyatt money.
Fantasy Option #2 - Martin Havlat
Probably the least liked guy in the entire Chicago franchise, the Hawks have started playing Marin Havlat on the third line to break out of some recent scoring slumps. Paying him $6 million a year to center Dave Bolland and Andrew Ladd is probably not what Dale Tallon had in mind for his investment.
This is a tough one. If you glance at his career numbers the one thing you can see is Havlat was a far better and healthier player before the lockout (including a runner up to the Calder in 2000). He had a good '06-'07 before the last two seasons where he too succumbed to a bad shoulder injury (and, over his career, has had an assortment of other ankle and groin injuries).
When healthy, he's a first liner capable of playing either wing (and is certainly being paid as a first liner). He can score with the best of them and plays well at both ends of the ice. Does that negate his obvious downsides in (a) the pricetag and (b) his injuries?
Well, the Canucks can certainly afford the price, that's not a problem. God knows what Chicago would want in return for him but they may be happy enough with a salmon steak and a nice holiday card. And injury prone players don't scare a team that has the aforementioned Demitra, Bieksa and Salo (who I think I just injured simply writing his name). Would all of that be worth seeing him, when healthy, maybe skating alongside the Sedins or bringing another dimension to Pudge's line?
Personally, between the two, I like Prucha a lot more. His story sounds eerily similar to Wellwood and the Canucks, if nothing else, have no qualms about project players and he's a project worth taking a stab at.
If just in fantasy if not reality. Hint hint Michael.
(another fantasy aside: as long as we're talking projects, why not go grab Avery? THINK OF THE FUN!).