Like we said last night: The Los Angeles Kings shipping defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Jarret Stoll and defenseman Matt Greene has enough upside for both teams that it could be a rare win/win situation in the NHL. Maybe the participation of general managers Dean Lombardi and Kevin Lowe cancelled out their respective feeble track records on player acquisitions, producing a tie.
In nothing else this off-season, we've learned that new owners are dedicated to making the biggest splash they can out of the gate. Oren Koules and Len Barrie buy up Penguins. Boots Del Biaggio attempts to sell his share in the Predators to Jim Balsillie. (OK, bad example.) And Daryl Katz in Edmonton tries to show that he's the biggest Oilers fan in all the land by proclaiming he wants to make the Oil an "elite" team, and then backing it up by taking on Visnovsky's elephantine salary.
Lowetide had a great breakdown of the trade, including this look at what Lubo brings to Edmonton:
1. It's hard to imagine Joni Pitkanen being on the roster for much longer.
2. I wonder if Sheldon Souray is going to retire. This trade means another financial shoe has to drop.
3. The puck movers (Visnovsky, Pitkanen, Gilbert, Grebeshkov) now outnumber the muscle men so the next guy coming to Edmonton will resemble Jason Smith.
4. Wade Redden isn't coming to our town.
Here's hoping fans are given the chance to see the two-headed monster of Visnovsky and Souray on the power play, which would give Pronger and Niedermayer a run as the best point-men in the League. But Lowetide's main point is an important one: The repercussions of this trade will be as vital as the trade itself.
You don't add that kind of salary and not continue to reshape your team. Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun believes this is the "first skate to drop" for the Oilers, and Covered in Oil thinks "this deal in and of itself is fine, but I won't know if I'm happy or not until I see the antecedent." Or as their headline on the trade reads: "Colour me hesitant mauve."
Lowetide's third point is interesting: Can the Oilers win with a defense that lacks the snarl you see on other Western Conference teams like Colorado and Detroit and Calgary?
As for Los Angeles, the Kings have traded away two of their most vital power-play performers in the span of two weeks, having shipped Michael Cammalleri to the Calgary Flames. Flames fans remain pessimistic that bringing in Cammi and shipping out Alex Tanguay made the team any better at all. Kings fans weren't all that thrilled with the trade, either.
The Visnovsky trade should play better in L.A. He was overpaid, and he played a position that could be completely overloaded with the addition of Greene and should Drew Doughty make the jump next season. The Kings had to deal him now, before a no-movement clause kicked in. The power-play will have a radically different look next season, but you never know if that might be a good thing for a losing team.
Stoll will help on the power-play. But he's still looking for a breakout season; which is why he's no longer in Edmonton. The happiest people in Los Angeles about this trade? Hollywood MILFS. With Stoll now living in L.A. full time with Rachel Hunter, one will assume every actress of a certain age will be asking for double dates with single teammates. The Kings are going to have more model/actresses in their 40s visiting their locker room than you'd find in a Robert Altman film.