We all know Darryl Sutter loves having excess defensemen. We also know the Columbus Blue Jackets were in desperate need of some talent on the blueline. So we can therefore conclude that the deal that sent Stralman to Columbus for a middling lottery ticket was initiated by Howson, not Sutter. Following is my attempt to predict the exchange between the two GM's:
Howson: Hey Darryl! Glad I caught you. How's Calgary at this time of year?
Sutter: ....to be quite honest.........fine.
Howson: Uh, that's good. How was camp this year? I see you beat the Oilers again the other nig...
Sutter: Get to the point.
Howson: Right. The point. As you probably know, we tried hard as hell to sign someone worth a damn for the back-end this summer and got nothing. We've got Skoula here in camp, but the guy is past his best before date, you know what I mean? Anyways, I was looking over your roster the other day and noticed you guys are blessed with a few extra defensemen...
Sutter: We're happy with our back-end, Scott.
Howson: Right, right...granted of course. But here's the thing. It looks to me like you're going to have to send at least one of those guys to the farm in the next few days. Through waivers, no less. And the truth of the matter is, we'll probably claim whoever you send down.
Sutter: We're thinking Kronwall........Quite honest, you can have him.
Howson: Good choice, good choice, Stralman has the higher upside, for sure. I sent some scouts your way recently and they had some nice things to say about that kid.
Sutter: He's going to be sticking around. Take Kronwall.
Howson: We will if you send him down. Here's the thing though...we'd rather deal for Stralman than claim Kronwall. But, if the second guy goes on waivers, we'll scoop him anyways. Better than nothing. Here's the thing of it though...we like the looks of some of your other youngsters as well. In fact, we plan to target any other waiver eligible defensemen you expose to the wire during the season. Share and share alike, right?
Sutter: Unless I trade you Stralman now I assume.
Howson: Now we're talking.You don't have a lot of draft picks next year do you?