Would Jake Gardiner To LW Make Us Better?
This thought just came across my head because I am of the belief that you can't have both Rielly and Gardiner on this defense core if you want to win. Even though I love their skating and their potential, the risks Gardiner takes as a defensemen are just crazy and puts way too much strain on the forward group that's out there. What I was thinking was moving Gardiner to LW and trading Lupul as part of a package for something else.
Before you call me crazy, Gardiner played forward all the way until the end of his first year of college I believe, and his skill set could be dynamite if you have him flying up the wing like Kessel. He could also come back and be the "help" guy in the defensive zone now that he's played D for 4 or 5 years. For this I looked at how much better defensively Winnipeg got by moving big Buff back to forward and really think it could have the same benefit with Gardiner. Gardiner also isn't a small guy, and he's shown in the offensive zone that he can create a lot. I think he scores 20-25 easy with a full season at LW but I'm interested to see what others think.
If you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.