The Los Angeles Kings need a leader. Right now they're deplorable on defense and need someone to help muster their woeful defensive unit into something resembling a fighting force. They need a leader on the power play, preferably left-handed. Most importantly, they need a solid, dependable player who can show this young team how to act and perform in the NHL. Oh, and he should be Jewish.
The Anaheim Ducks need space. They're right up against the cap and they need room for Teemu Selanne. They have a plethora of defenseman and can move one of them for the requisite cap space. They need to find a team that has plenty of cap space and needs a defenseman. They can't take too much salary back in return, so hopefully that team will have plenty of prospects or picks next year to trade. The Ducks have one more good run in them; they just need another team to help them out.
Friends, I come before you as a Ducks hater from before the team took the ice. I've mocked, ridiculed, blasphemed and slandered the Ducks for as long as I've known the word "gaytarded." But it's foolish pride to let one's own biases get in the way of what's good for the franchise, and what we have here is a good opportunity. The Kings need a veteran defenseman, the Ducks need cap space. Why shouldn't the two teams help on another? Earl, Ken, and I have discussed this and we have come to the same conclusion: the Ducks should trade Mathieu Schneider for Lauri Tukonen.
Ducks fans might feel this deal is a little one-sided. ("Why should we trade a good defenseman for some guy and also I'm a douche bag?") First off, assholes, the Ducks aren't really dealing from a position of strength; teams know that the Ducks are severely hindered if they don't move some salary around. Plus, you can't really afford to get a roster player in return because you need the space, so it's pretty much just down to prospects. Secondly, Tukonen is a unique guy. He was drafted 11th overall in 2004 but has been done in by injuries and under-performance so far. He needs a fresh start with another team; the Kings have always had an expectation that he'll become a superstar, but with another team he can focus on becoming a solid complementary player. He's great in the corners and an excellent forechecker, attributes greatly appreciated by Brian Burke. His career maps out similarly to Rob Niedermayer and the Ducks could help guide him. If you want the Kings to throw in a 4th or something, fine, whatever. The only other real option are the Ottawa Senators, and I don't see those two teams matching up.
Kings fans might wonder why they should help the Ducks. ("Why should we give them space to sign Teemu Selanne and possibly win the Cup again?") First off, you beautiful babies, we should do this deal because it's good for us. The Kings need a power play quarterback and Schneider is good at it. It's retarded to not do something because the Ducks might also gain something. Plus, if the Ducks do win the Stanley Cup, they can't rub it in our faces because they wouldn't have been able to without our help. I mean, let's be honest, this may be the closest we come to winning the Cup for a while. Losing Tukonen will hurt, but the Kings already have Dustin Brown, Ted Purcell, Oscar Moller, Wayne Simmonds and Marc-Andre Cliche at the right wing position. And hey, maybe the Kings should do it because it's what's best for Tukonen.
So, there you have it. The Kings should trade Mathieu Schneider for Lauri Tukonen. It might feel awkward to play one another, but we'll get used to it. Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler once set aside their differences to come to an agreement in 1938; if they can do it, why not the Kings and the Ducks?