The way I see it, readers, is almost exactly like this:
Czar - Christensen - ?
Slava - Little - Williams
Perrin - Reasoner - Armstrong
Boulton - Slater - Thorburn
That leaves us with a huge question mark: what to do with Todd White? The man is clearly good enough to be a 2nd or 3rd line center, but I think it's obvious that we want those roles to be filled by Bryan Little and Marty Reasoner. I suppose he could take over the role of 4th line center, and I'm sure he'd do a fine job. But really, wouldn't it be better to offer Mr. White to, say, Philadelphia, in exchange for, say, Mike Knuble? Lots of Thrash fans have floated this idea, and the official editorial position of the Chronicle is whole-hearted assent. We think Knuble would make a fine addition to the Czar Line.
While we support going after Knuble, we must also propose an alternative.
The San Jose Sharks had a glut of mean and gritty third line forwards last year. Somehow they let the best (aside from Grier) of them, Patrick Rissmiller, get away to the New York Rangers via free agency. They're surely looking for a replacement, but so far no one has been signed or traded for. Are you thinking what we're thinking?
I know, I know. "Mean" and "gritty" aren't words that come to mind when we dream about Todd White either, but he IS a highly competent defensive forward, perfect for the third line. And really, Our Todd doesn't need to be mean or gritty when he's playing on the same line as Mike Grier and Jody Shelley. But the Sharks could just as easily have White play alongside Ryan Clowe and Joe Pavelski on the second line. To earn the hand of Our Todd, of course, the Sharks would have to give something up. What do we need?
A scoring right winger.
CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA
The Czar, Christensen, and Cheechoo. The Triple C Line.
We could throw in Jimmy Slater and a draft pick as well. I'd hate to see Jimmy go, but the Sharks might need him in the near future: sadly, Jeremy Roenick won't last forever.
White, Slater, and a draft pick might also be a reasonable price for Patrick Marleau. At the very least, he could center the second line to take the heat off of Bryan Little. In that situation our top two lines would look like this:
But I think Bryan Little is hungry and heat-ready, so if Don Waddell read this post and decided to take my advice and go after Patrick Marleau our lines would be:
Solid. And yes, Marleau is a deft winger. The man can play any and every forward position, probably ones that haven't even been invented yet. But the most sensible option might be to go after Jonathan Cheechoo first, so as to get the Triple C Line off the ground.