There is a powerful entity in the sports world that you may have heard of. Based in Connecticut, and right around 33 years old, this powerhouse likes to call itself the "World Wide Leader in Sports." Let's just say, that unless "sports" is narrowly defined as football, basketball, baseball, and the annual national spelling bee, they really aren't the world wide leader in much.
Still, people flock to ESPN for their sports news. Despite the fact that the majority of the "news" is surface level and provides no real substance to the conversation. Which truly is unfortunate, since with the resources at their disposal, they could be a real force for good in a world of soundbites and rumor.
The times they do decide to cover hockey, all too often, they leave it to people that are not versed in the sport, and they simply wind up looking silly. Then, there is ESPN Insider, where people actually have to pay to read the drivel. Today, we look at another story from behind the pay wall, and show you once again, why there is zero need for you to subscribe.
Make the jump for a discussion of Drew Doughty and the offer sheet nightmare.We won't include the entire story, as most of it simply explains that Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is really good, and that he is a RFA, and of course, what that means. The article then goes on to explain that the Kings don't think the deal gets done anytime soon, which likely means it gets done sometime next week. Finally, the article describes a handful of teams that would be willing and able to offer Doughty an offer sheet.
The Red Wings, Bruins, and Sharks are listed as potential suitors. Remember, Doughty likely commands a price tag that returns four first round picks to the Kings, per the RFA rules. Is Drew Doughty four first round picks good? I would argue he is not even close, but I would likely get shouted down. I don't see Doughty as a fit on any of those teams for the price he would command, either.
That leaves us with why we are here. The article suggests that the Wild would also be a potential suitor. Here is the rationale:
Beyond these clubs, perhaps only the Minnesota Wild have the requisite combination of cap space and team need that would make an offer sheet at least somewhat palatable. Mikko Koivu is the team's franchise center and they already made a big splash by adding players like Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi up front, but things are less clear on the back end. Marek Zidlicky, Nick Schultz and Greg Zanon are all good defensemen, but the top end could clearly use some help. Doughty's presence would instantly transform Minnesota's top-four from a weakness to a strength.
Yes, folks, the Wild are lacking in the top four on defense, thus they should give up four first round picks to correct that situation. Other than the fact that the Wild just traded the solution to this contrived problem to the Sharks. I'm not following the line of thinking that says they trade Brent Burns to the Sharks for ultimately three first round picks only to turn around and give up four first round picks to fill the spot Burns filled. Not to mention the enormous contract Doughty would also have.
This sounds like something Chuck Fletcher would certainly do. Over reaction to a perceived problem is right up Chuck Fletcher's alley. Trading away first round picks matches right up with his style of organizational management. Right?
Let's just cut to the chase here. The Minnesota Wild aren't putting an offer sheet in on Drew Doughty, and either is anyone else. I truly do not wish to slight Doughty. Excellent, top pairing NHL defenseman ready to play in every situation. Doughty is a great young defenseman with the potential to win some Norris trophies. He is not, however, worth throwing away the future of your team for.
A move like this doesn't fit where the Wild are headed, what Chuck Fletcher has been trying to accomplish, nor does it make sense even without knowing anything about the team save for the trade they made at the draft.
ESPN Insider is worth the money to someone, I'm sure. So far, the only thing I have found it to be useful for is giving us material to work with to show you just how stupid rumors can really be. Oh, and for describing nightmare scenarios in vivid detail for hockey fans of four different teams.