If I'm a contender, I would only be half-way into this. But on a team like this? It's something I would do with all forwards with 2-3 years left on their deals, elite talents excluded. Defensemen can be held on to a little bit longer because their value isn't directly correlated with their point totals. A forward could be the best defensive forward in the league, but if he's making $6M / year and he's only getting you 12 goals & 18 assists? His contract sucks.Ok so I guess that your timeline and Hugo's are a bit different, I doubt they are looking 6 years down the line, they don't have that luxury, and Hugues already stated that he wanted to accelerate the rebuild by getting young NHL ready talent and he's done that. We'll see if it works out. By your logic we should probably be looking to be trading away Suzuki, Caufield, Dach and virtually everyone else on the team since they'll all be over 28 by the time you think we will be ready to compete, although I still don't know how we will be able to compete if we keep trading everyone. The lack of elite talent worries me but I've already given up on that aspect, we will have to find another way to do it.
Now I agree that Newhook isn't exactly the type of player I would be looking for, but asset wise, he probably will have better value in 3 years than the 2 picks we gave away.
The main problem that is stopping the rebuild from accelerating are the minefield of bad contracts and the unexpected consequences those have.
Just a thought exercise: Along with Pacioretty, had we traded Price, Petry, Gallagher & Armia instead of re-signing them to the last contracts we gave them, would we be further along than we are right now? The answer's unequivocally yes. All those players would have netted us a decent return, especially Price & Petry.
Back to reality: Not only did we keep those players, most of those players will (or have) end up leaving for quite literally nothing while being anchors on the cap and dragging the team down. If we go one step further, they've become progress stoppers and have prevented us from making trades that would allow us to inherit bad contracts in return for picks. The Allen/Gallagher/Anderson/Armia contracts take up over 20% of the team's cap.
Bad contracts need to be either, you avoid them at all costs or you run head first towards 'em.