OK - Isles win the lottery and immediately the rumor mill starts a-churnin!
Here is a small sampling of the things I've heard.
Isles send their 1st round pick from San Jose, one or two of their 2d round picks this year, their first round pick for 2010, and Sean Bergenheim to Colorado or Tampa for the 2d or 3d overall pick. I think this deal seems a little LIGHT on the Isles end. This would effectively give them 2 of the three top players from the list of Tavares, Hedmen, or Duchesne. I think this is highly unlikely.
Isles swap 2009 1st round picks with Tampa and Isles also get Lecavalier. Thus, Isles get either Tavares or Hedmen (whoever Tampa doesn't pick) and Vinny. While I have no idea if this is likely or not - I would say it doesn't sound awful. Lecavalier is only 29 and has averaged 30+ goals and somewhere between 60 -100 points. I think if the Isles were sure that Tampa would select Hedmen then I'd be happier about the deal. That being said, if Tampa wants Hedmen and if they think the Isles are focusing on Tavares, then I have no idea why they would make this deal.
I've rumblings that Isles are considering moving down to the 3rd pick from Colorado to take Duchesne and that they would get additional picks from Colorado. This would mesh with the previous strategy of stockpiling picks and their has been some "experts" who say Duchesne is moving up the charts and some place him equal to or better than Tavares. Not sure I agree with that -- but at least this deal seems less crazy than last year's drop from pick 5 to pick 9.
There are others -- but they start to really drift into the crazy zone. Interesting point made by another blogger -- Isles are running a contest of "you be the GM and state who you think the Isles would pick" and that since it is likely that the overwhelming fan response would be to take Tavares that the Isles would then be foolish to piss-off their fans by going a different direction. Why run the contest - which is essentially a Tavares popularity contest - if you aren't going to pick him?
I'd be interested to hear if any of you have heard other rumors -- or have proposals to offer up. Send them in.