I guess I'm being kind of a wet, contrarion blanket. I can't say we need a solid top-four defenseman and then shoot down a seemingly perfect fit who'd only cost money. And it's not like epic overpayment isn't the norm these days. I'd just feel better if he were a surer thing. Like, Yandle is a similar player who's rumored to be maybe kinda sorta available for a top-six forward and a prospect, and while Niskanen is right-handed and would only cost money, I'd probably rather trade a key piece or two or three for Yandle's services based on Yandle's body of work. Any acquisition is a risk, a gamble, but we could be 90% sure Yandle would be a beast for us. Niskanen? Less certain.
I do understand the concern. I agree no signing is a sure thing. But it is less of a risk when no assets are given up. Even if he didn't pan out, there are always teams like Florida who can't lure a UFA to save their lives who would likely take a gamble on a contract dump. It's not like they ever have to worry about cap space lol.
But based on Niskanen's body of work, the risk is very small. The reward is also potentially great. If he were to turn out to be a great Red Wing, that also allows Holland a little freedom in using a defensive prospect in part of a trade to fix future holes in the lineup.
Or you could sign Niskanen, take the risk, and use those assets on a forward with size, speed, skill, and grit who has already identified your team as being one he'd wave his NTC to come to. Just sayin'.
Just don't give up Smith is all
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