Here we are. The last post of the series.
Actually, that’s a lie. I’ll be posting a kind of wrap-up tomorrow because I’m just not ready for this to be over. But in the meantime, let’s take a look at the Flortheast, shall we?
Tampa Bay Lightning
Need: Defense, with both Gudas and Carle out
Player: Anne Schleper
Reasoning: Two of Tampa’s top defensemen are out for an extended time, and Schleper, who already has a pretty good rapport with the team and organization, is right in their backyard. Who better? Sure, she hasn’t been playing much hockey lately, but she has been training, and I don’t think it would take her long to get her legs back.
Detroit Red Wings
Need: Defense, preferably top 4
Player: Catherine Ward
Reasoning: I honestly don’t know that I’ve ever heard anything negative about Catherine Ward. Maybe people have said negative things about her playing? I’m sure legitimate criticisms of her game exist, because no one is perfect? But I haven’t heard them. And everything I’ve seen, I’ve really liked (except, you know, those couple of little games over in Russia where she was playing against the USA).
Need: Young (but solid) defense
Player: Josephine Pucci
Reasoning: Pucci, who finally appears to be healthy (boo, concussions) is one of the USA’s best young up-and-comers on defense. Montreal’s blueline is, well, not getting any younger. But it could! Pucci (maybe alongside Nate Beaulieu) could provide a nice punch of youth and help shore up the back end.
Need: First line RW
Player: Rebecca Johnston
Reasoning: I’ve become a huge fan of Rebecca Johnston over the past year or so (and you should too!). Johnston, who is currently leading her team, the Calgary Inferno, in scoring, was pretty incredible at the Olympics, and she can score like it’s going out of style….I won’t spend all day singing her praises, but suffice to say that as a fan of not-the-Bruins, I shudder to think about her hands on David Krejci’s wing.
Need: Winger to complement Barkov
Player: Amanda Kessel
Reasoning: Back to hating on concussions—this choice is with the caveat that Kessel is in the healthy state we all hope she gets back to very soon. Anyway, as much as it pained me to do this (because she is my favorite women’s hockey player, hands-down, possibly ever, & instinct says “put her on your favorite teams!”), sending Kessel to Florida to play with Barkov was almost an instinctive decision. I could wax poetic for hours on Kessel’s beautiful hockey (and Barkov’s for that matter) but it boils down to one thing—the plays these two could make together for the Cats.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Need: Center (who isn’t Tyler Bozak, I’m assuming was the subtext here)
Player: Kendall Coyne
Reasoning: She’s played with one Kessel; surely it would be no problem for her to play with the other, right? In all seriousness, Coyne is solid, and call me crazy, but I have this hunch she wouldn’t get exposed as much defensively as Bozak does.
Need: Potential defensive partner for Karlsson, who could move around in lineup
Player: Gigi Marvin
Reasoning: Marvin is dependable, so there would be no need to leash Karlsson (and why would you want to) but she could also drop to the second pairing if Karlsson/Methot was used. Flexibility! Plus, who wouldn’t want to hear color commentators harp on about the meeting of the former Warroad prom dates every time the Senators played Oshie and the Blues?
Need: EVERYTHING. (I chose to focus on defense.)
Player: The 2014-2015 Toronto Furies (Serious answer: Tara Watchorn)
Reasoning: Buffalo’s current team is so terrible that I have chosen to replace all of them (except Matt Moulson, who has suffered enough the past couple of years being ripped away from John Tavares and sent to Buffalo of all places) with the Toronto Furies. The cool part is that I don’t know that Buffalo fans would notice until they started winning. From a serious standpoint, though, while Buffalo needs an upgrade at pretty much every level right now, they have some phenomenal prospects in the pipe. Add Watchorn, who plays a pretty physical game, to that as a veteran blueline presence, mix in one of McEichel, and stir.