On Friday, we told you about idle speculation stirring out of Denver from The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater that in his wildest of pipe dreams, the Avalanche would look into Devils right wing Jamie Langenbrunner to help fill the hole left by concussion-ailed winger Peter Mueller. As it turns out, idle speculation can sometimes have some truth to it as Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice says that there is interest there from Colorado and New Jersey is willing to listen.
As we talked about on Friday, Langenbrunner for business purposes could make sense to move but logistically it doesn’t make sense as the Devils are a bit thin at right wing and Langenbrunner is the team captain. As for what the Avalanche might be willing to do in order to make a deal work with New Jersey, Dater starts theorizing on what the Avalanche could do to whet Devils GM Lou Lamoriello’s whistle.
The Devils and GM Lou Lamoriello are a notoriously difficult team to make trades with, however, and no doubt Lou wants as much value as he can get for a solid veteran like Langenbrunner. The Devils obviously can only take a draft pick or prospect in any deal right now, so the question becomes which of the Avs’ prospects does he want?
I don’t know the answer to that question, but if Lou wants somebody like Joey Hishon, the deal almost certainly would be a non-starter. Problem for Lou is, he has no leverage right now. He must move one or two guys to make room for the $6,666,666 man, Ilya Kovalchuk. He has no choice, barring some kind of chicanery like a sudden long-term “injury” or a minor-league demotion to one of his top guys (in the case of Rolston, however, that wouldn’t work, because he’s over 35 and his cap hit counts if they send him to the minors).
Maybe Lou would just settle for any marginal prospect and get on with life. We’ll see.
Langenbrunner, by the way, has a no-trade clause and would have to approve any trade.
Ah, the stickiest of wickets – the no-trade clause. That could be an issue. Then again, if Jacques Lemaire were still around, getting Langenbrunner to waive it might’ve been a sure thing. With John MacLean running the show in New Jersey, Langenbrunner could be eager to get a fresh start with him. Trade rumors around Langenbrunner started the moment that Ilya Kovalchuk was re-signed, so if he wants to completely get away from the situation, perhaps he’d be OK with moving on to Denver.
If Dater believes that Lamoriello will take a package of Hishon and other smaller parts, he’s fooling himself. Lou isn’t the best in the business at swinging a deal for nothing.