*WARNING, DUMB ASSES: SPOILERS. SORTA (if you never watched season 2). Go read the books/watch the show*
The NHL is in turmoil. There is infighting amongst the many organizations. The leadership faces dissent. War has broken out across the land. And all for one goal: To claim the Stanley Throne. A critical time approaches for the last alliances to be made, and broken. I speak of course of the Trade of Thrones (copyrighted). Who will the Kings make a run for? Will it be enough? Do I have enough liquor to get through another long post-season?
With Game of Thrones set to return this weekend, and the trade deadline looming, it's pretty logical that an NHL transaction post would be themed after a fantasy show. Both are highly irrational, full of make believe scenarios, and have plenty of angry fan-boys. Meg liked the idea, because he clearly has good taste (at least in TV shows), but Jer is an idiot and we had to write his post for him. Anyways, the main takeaway is that this idea is mine, and I'm awesome, and this post is better than those other two bloomin' onion knights'. So off we go...
(Play this for full effect)
Now, you may not want to face it, but it's way more fun being a Kings fan than it is a Sharks fan. It's like being a Lannister instead of a Stark. We get to live further south, where it's warmer. We know being polite and/or honorable is meaningless. And most importantly, we win. The Kings have the Cup, and the Lannisters have the Iron Throne. The Starks/Sharks want to win, but they are both born losers. They can come close, but that's it. The Ducks...who cares about the Ducks? It's Lannister time!
The Kings, for being close to the exact same team that won a Stanley Cup this past summer, haven't conquered the rest of the NHL this season though. It's been strange to see, especially since the issues they have faced weren't problems last year. Early on it was relinquishing too much space in critical areas. Then it was Jonathan Quick being unable to even stop attacks from lowly players. Now, the Kings are toothless on offense, and look like their old selves. Maybe it straightens itself out in a bit of time, like it did in the post-season, to an astronomical degree. But true powers are always looking to expand to even more strength, and the Kings and Lannisters are no exception. The Kings want the Cup again. The Lannisters want to kill everybody that doesn't have blonde hair, or doesn't believe in sibling fucking.
So what do the Kings/Lannisters need? They have enough of an army/depth, proven strategic minds, and powerful players. But with a few big names out there, and the House of Kings struggling again, Lord Lombardi may decide to make a move anyways. Now I'm not saying the Kings should do these deals, but instead I am kicking around ideas. Kind of like the idea of fucking your really hot twin. I mean come on.
It's just not fair. Oh, yeah, I guess the other one's okay.
The Philadelphia Flyers are House Clegane
While certainly not out of the race yet, things are not going well for the Flyers. They have long been trading buddies of the Kings, and have the Kings to thank for large portions of their roster. Putting it bluntly, they remain friends as long as the crazy, bloodthirsty Lord Holmgren gets a big deal done every season. As fate would have it, no such luck this past off-season with Shane Doan or Shea Weber. The Kings tried to remedy it by throwing Simon Gagne his way, but it appears to have done little to alleviate the situation, though with the Flyers in trouble, maybe Holmgren focuses his rage elsewhere. At the moment it seems the Kings may be in need of some warriors from House Flyer, much like how the Lannisters recruit from the Cleganes, who they created. It stands a chance, seeing how the Flyers are pretty well fucked for cap space next season. So who will be the Hound that fights for the Kings? The Kings don't really want a long-ass contract either, but I wouldn't be shocked if Mike Knuble, awful and old as he is, has his name batted around a bit. It fits the old scorer model Lombardi went for a few years ago, a la Modin (that sounds like a dessert), and Knuble is pretty much buried in the depth chart in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, instead of a hound, Knuble is more of a Dachshund.
Jarome Iginla is Bronn
As a whole, do the Lannisters really need Bronn? Of course not. However, is he awesome to have around? Not really, he is just there for Tyrion. Not to say Bronn isn't 100% awesome and 100% badass, but the Lannisters don't need him. They have big time muscle already, and plenty of it. Iginla would basically only be on the Kings to appease Darryl Sutter. And the money for Bronn and Iginla is bound to dry up, and probably pretty soon (say, this summer). He just isn't worth paying to keep around when you already have that much else and when shit is expensive enough. Bronn probably isn't too keen on hanging around with the Lannisters either since his standing has been slipping fast. Iginla may be dubious about the Kings also, as they are slipping in the standings. But how badly does Sutter want Iginla? Enough to convince Lombardi to pay out the ass for a rental player? The Kings sure as shit won't be able to pay him with the cap shrinking and with a good portion of their roster due for raises. So of course the Kings are likely to do this. Say goodbye to Tyler Toffoli and Jonathan Bernier or Jake Muzzin. Jay Feaster is crazier than King Aerys so who in the seven hells knows what he wants. Toffoli and Muzzin for Iginla? God I hope not.
Jonathan Bernier is Jaime Lannister
Jonathan Bernier is the proven commodity that a few teams are already lining up to make a run for. Much like how Jaime Lannister is a captive, Bernier has to know his time with the Kings may be running out. There's a chance he sticks around, but where does he exactly fit in with Jonathan Quick set to be the starter for the long haul? Same with Jaime. His sister is queen, and his twat of a son/nephew is king. Even if he goes back to King's Landing, where does he fit? Bernier can get a high price amongst other teams, but do the Kings have an adequate backup now? (They don't). I would be pretty surprised if he gets moved at the deadline, and I see it much more likely he gets an offer sheet that the Kings won't match. Or the Kings deal him for future pieces around the draft. Lombardi would get those draft picks he has been looking to reload.
Tyler Toffoli is Joffrey Baratheon
Toffoli is more of the key to the future for teams. Like Joffrey, he decides the ultimate fate of those around him, and everyone wants in on that. The Flames are trying to pull some House Tyrell stunt, and swoop on in for Toffoli. The Kings, like the Lannisters, may be enamored at what they have to offer, but they should be extra wary of getting fleeced. Seriously, Lombardi do not trade Toffoli for Cory Sarich, or Iginila, or whoever. Teams from all over have been intrigued with Toffoli's upside, and while they may bring some nice looking offers to the table, the Kings would be wise to rebuff all of them. Much like how the Lannisters want to retain their power through Joffrey, the Kings should look to do the same. Just because Margery Tyrell may be willing to get it on with you, doesn't mean make a stupid decision. She's going to want something.
Rob Scuderi is Tywin Lannister
This dude is the boss. He may not be the warrior everyone so desperately covets, but he is smart. And his smarts cover up his age and the weakness that are developing physically. He keeps the younger ones in his clan in line, and keeps his cool in all situations. Whether that's Robb Stark winning battle after battle, or getting driven head first into the boards, there is no panic. Which is exactly why it would be dumb as hell to trade the guy. Sure he may be in the last year of his contract, but is Willie Mitchell dead or something? All the Kings would likely get back would be draft picks (though decent ones, given what the Penguins paid for Douglas Murray), but wouldn't that just hurt your team for trying to make a run now? Yes it would. Don't be stupid. Keep Scuds. In fact, re-sign him now and deal Greene later.
Alec Martinez is Lancel Lannister
Lancel is pretty much useful in name alone, and besides that there's not much else he brings. He bangs his cousin, and gets stabbed. Alec Martinez has regressed this last year it seems, though he isn't awful. He's not a huge offensive guy, and doesn't posses shutdown defensemen qualities entirely. He's just kind of there. Do teams need an average defenseman? Probably. I'm sure if someone offered a slice of land rumored to have gold in it, in exchange for Lancel, the rest of the Lannister clan may perk up at the notion. Possibly the same sort of reaction could come from the Kings for a deal involving Alec Martinez and an old-ass depth scorer. Knuble, Alex Kovalev (wait, he's back?), or Milan Hejduk come to mind. The Kings would probably need to toss in a draft pick for either of the latter two.
Willie Mitchell is Ser Davos
Okay, so yeah he's not a Lannister. But he's old and no one is sure if he is alive or dead. This is pretty much Willie Mitchell summed up at the moment. Is he coming back anytime soon, or is he giving us the Tim Thomas treatment? Make up your damn mind.
Robin Regehr is Janos Slynt
There is absolutely no use for this guy. Regehr, like Slynt, should remained exiled at the Wall/Buffalo. Slynt is a conniving jerk that isn't good at his limited duties, and demands large payment to more or less fuck up. Same deal with Regehr. He is a stay at home defenseman, that sucks at defense. His contract is inflated (thanks to some dipshit in Calgary), and only the Sabres were dumb enough to think he was a good investment. Do you remember Janos Slynt? Didn't think so. Regehr would be more memorable, though it would be more of the "Why, oh fucking why, did we bring in this asshole?" type.
Prediction for the deadline: The Kings will probably do something stupid and trade Toffoli. Darryl Sutter's influence is starting to do what I feared he would do back when he was first brought on, and make L.A. like Calgary. With the playoffs and Stanley Cup win, I kind of thought Sutter was more of Tyrion, but if this Iginla/Regehr/Sarich deal happens he's going to be more of Cersei: trying to make his own kingdom in an entirely unrealistic view through unchecked power. I'm hoping Lombardi stays clear-headed about this, but after dumping Andrei Lotkionov for nothing I'm a bit worried. I do think with some of the restricted free agents at the end of the season one or two of them get an offer sheet, or get traded. In either case, the Kings will most likely get picks back, and I'd peg the Kings to do more dealing around the draft then right now. The team is solid now, the scoring will probably get back on track (it was fine a while ago), and at most I see a veteran forward coming on in to play third line, possibly second line, minutes. So I leave Dean with a bit of advice: "When you play the game of trades, you win or you golf. So don't fuck this up".
Jesus, these face-swaps are terrifying (and terrible). Sorry for the nightmares.