This was just a random thought that I have been playing with in my head, but what would everyone's thoughts be on potentially trading for Jonathan Toews this summer? Over the last year there has been numerous rumors that Chicago is looking to potentially move Patrick Kane and/or Toews and start to rebuild their team. Assuming the price is right, or they can find a deal that works for both teams, would you be in favor of making this move?
Why this is a good idea
One major issue that I think the Buffalo Sabres have been struggling with this season is team leadership. While we were hoping that either Jack Eichel or Ryan O'Reilly would step up this season and take control of this team, neither has really gotten into that role. Unfortunately, this will potentially create a void, once again, for the captaincy next season as well.
However, bringing in Toews would change that. Toews is touted for his leadership and intangibles on and off the ice and has led Chicago to 3 Stanley Cups this decade. He was a key part of a rebuild that took Chicago from the laughing stock of the league to a dynasty in under 5 years. With all of the young kids slated to come in over the next few seasons, team leadership is more important than ever.
For guys like Casey Mittelstadt, Alexander Nylander, Brendan Guhle, Justin Bailey and Nicholas Baptiste to develop to their full potential they need strong leadership and direction from a guy who has been there before and knows what it takes to win. Toews would also be a great mentor to Jack and really show him what it takes to lead a championship team and put Jack in a good spot to lead this team once Toews move on. Also Toews is still one of the best two way centers in the game and would instantly boost the talent on this team.
What it would cost
Chicago's main motivation for moving on from Toews is cap space. Toews is scheduled to make $10.5 mil / year through the 22/23 season, when he will be 35 years old. With several unmovable contracts on their books (Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa) the only place they will get cap relief and cheaper value to fill back in the talent is either moving Kane or Toews. So what would it cost to get Toews?
For starters, I would include ROR, who is basically a cheaper, younger, and not as talented version of Toews. ROR is 2 years younger, signed to the same contract length and costs $3 million less each year. So in a sense ROR could fill most of the talent and production void left by Toews, but would be cheaper and younger in doing so. I think the Sabres would also have to throw in a decent draft pick (2019 2nd rounder) and some young talent maybe someone like Rasmus Asplund and/or Cliff Pu.
What are everyone's thoughts on this idea? Is that too much to give up to bring a legitimate captain to take control of this team and mentor the young players coming up? Or would Chicago never make that trade and is it just a bad idea altogether?