Ramblings: Some ‘What If’ scenarios from the last decade

Michael Clifford

2020-05-14

The world continues to turn even as we continue to effectively sit in one spot. There are talks about proposals from both the league and the players but we haven't seen anything formal yet, and everything until then is just speculation.

Speaking of speculation, I feel like doing some "what ifs" from the past however many years I decide is necessary. Alternative histories are always fun, be it television shows or sports articles. They're something I think of often, particularly when I finished a handful out of first in a fantasy league and wonder where things went wrong.

Let's take a spin through some things that have occurred in recent memory and how things could have been different. Most stats from Hockey Reference or Natural Stat Trick. Cap information from Cap Friendly.

 

JT Miller is not traded to Vancouver

I'm going to start with one that had immediate fantasy implications. The Lightning were facing a cap crunch heading into the 2019-20 season and the casualty of that cap crunch was winger J.T. Miller. He was shipped to Vancouver for a pair of picks (one a conditional first, which, well, who knows what happens there) and proceeded to have by far his best season in the league, skating mostly with Elias Pettersson.

What happens if Miller isn't traded to Vancouver?

Well, the Canucks go into the season a bit thin on the left side, but it would likely have left Tanner Pearson on Pettersson's wing, especially given the injuries the team suffered through the year. As it is, Pearson set a career-high with 45 points in just 69 games. If we swap his PPP total (10) with Miller's (25), Pearson is sitting at 60 points. (Yes, I know it's not fair to just do a straight swap because everything wouldn't have turned out the same way. But this is a What If exercise, not a This Is What Would Have Definitely Happened exercise.) That would be 60 points in 69 games, and we're not even talking about increased point rates at ev