And then you have him playing next to Kopitar, who contrary to purple goggles, is not Joe Thornton.
So what can you expect from Marleau-minus-Thornton next year? I say 35 goals and anything else is gravy.
Meanwhile I have more faith in Kovalchuk to dominate regardless of who's on his line than I do anyone who has gone for a ride on Jumbo Joe's line.
at the draft party a couple of years ago, and under a considerable haze, i heard Birdman yell out the following (about 4 or 5 times, i think) - "don't marry yourselves to players!" he went on to reiterate that idea more than once on the boards, and i believe it to be absolutely sage.
the bigger question is does DL think the Kings can be a playoff team with Kovy if they trade the likes of johnson, simmonds, etc.
DL can't keep everyone if he wants kovy. the question is are the players that he's willing to let go the same players that Waddell wants? if so, then they make the deal. if not, DL hangs on to the guys he wants to keep and moves the others to make room for kovy.
this team should make the playoffs as is plus williams is coming back after the olympics (we hope).
but you know a guy that i'd like to see here - brad boyes.
he's had a down year on a team that is making changes. his contract is pretty good ($4M for 2 more years) and he scores goals.
there are quite a few offensively gifted players DL can target...and these are just a few teams that will probably be sellers. a few more will be in a month.
brind'amour (would love to see him here)
torres (he does have double digit goals)
modin (if he could ever stay healthy)
Whitney and Boyes are the most attractive on that list to me, but I am not so sure that Boyes will be available.