With today’s earlier post about Mike Komisarek and the possibility of him being more moveable than perhaps some fans and media imagine, it seems like a good time to mention this rumor making its way around the internet. Granted, it is just an internet rumor and could be (and likely is) completely untrue – but there is nothing wrong with generating a little discussion. The pieces of this deal have all popped up in the trade conversation before, and for that reason, something like this actually makes a little more sense than your standard rumor. Normally this kind of chatter always has star players headed to big markets, but this one is a little more modest.
The word is that the Toronto Maple Leafs would ship Mike Komisarek to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Rostislav Olesz and Bryan Bickell. This is a deal that makes sense for a lot of reasons:
First and foremost, Chicago is a good team. It seems like Brian Burke would like to move Mike Komisarek - as he’s currently stuck in the press box - but fans should not mistake this unfortunate circumstance with Burke wanting to dump the player to the first team with any kind of an offer. This is a player who Burke picked to be a part of his Olympic team. He has spoken highly of him on numerous occassions. You can bet he will exhaust all his resources to find Komisarek an amicable situation. Chicago would be just that.
Secondly, a deal like this would eliminate the contract issues that many believe are keeping Komisarek from being a fluid asset. Rostislav Olesz is a player that will cost the Blackhawks a whopping 8.25 million dollars over the next two seasons. He is currently playing in the American Hockey League. Now, the Hawks can afford the burden of that contract if they have to, but if they had the opportunity to move it for a player who could be on their roster at a similar price, there is no question they would jump at it.
This is exactly the kind of money-driven deal that Burke has pulled off numerous times in the last few years. He moved Jason Blake’s declining salary for the much more expensive (7 million dollars) J.S. Giguere. He acquired Cody Franson by taking on the uninsured, concussion-ridden contract of Matthew Lombardi’s. He also traded Francois Beauchemin for prospect Jake Gardiner by agreeing to take Joffrey Lupul. That sounds silly to say a year after the trade went down with Lupul 6th in league scoring, but at the time of the deal Lupul was considered to be such a financial burden that the Ducks now have to give the Leafs an extra 4th round pick in the 2013 draft because Lupul has played more than 60 games.
In this scenario, Burke would get the fiesty bottom-six winger Bryan Bickell in exchange for swapping a worthless contract for an overpaid player. Bickell is the big, grinding presence the Leafs are looking for, and his contract is extremely affordable at only 545K. However, I have to think that Burke would want a little more back for taking on such an enormously awful contract like that of Rostislav Olesz. By comparison, the Calgary Flames had to pay the Buffalo Sabres a 2nd round pick to take on a bad deal with only 1 year remaining with Ales Kotalik. It seems to me that the Hawks would have to throw in an additional pick or prospect to make this work. Perhaps Jeremy Morin, Brandon Pirri, or a 2nd round pick would get it done.
This deal might never happen, but it’s certainly one that helps both teams. The Leafs free up approximately 4 million in cap space, and the Hawks find a permanent solution to their need for size and veteran leadership on the back-end.
What say you? Do the Hawks need to throw something extra in to entice Burke, or should Leaf fans just be happy that someone is willing to take on Mike Komisarek?