FanPost

Trading for a defenseman - The Pacific Portion

I want to see Ottawa get a better defenseman next year, that will allow our younger guys to develop at the proper pace, and allow Chris Phillips to appreciate KFC Double Downs from the press box. Ottawa doesn't have the capital or the pedigree to bring in a solid UFA, so our only hope (as far as I'm concerned) is to trade for one. So I'm working my way around the NHL, looking at each team, and our likelihood of pulling off The Ultimate Trade with said team. First at bat, the Pacific.

Anaheim Ducks

Who they have

(Note: these are the roster defensemen listed at CapGeek.com, excluding UFAs at the end of this season)

Cam Fowler, Sheldon Souray, Francois Beauchemin, Bryan Allen, Luca Sbisa, Ben Lovejoy, Mark Fistric, Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen

Who we want (and could get)

Fowler and Lindholm are likely untouchable, as young, defensive studs. Beauchemin and Souray are likely too old to fit our desires. Lovejoy has actually played very high QoC, so I'd guess is more useful to Anaheim than they could get in a trade for him. Realistically, if we were trading, I'd try to target one of either Sbisa or Vatanen. Vatanen has shown great possession in sheltered minutes, and Sbisa has faltered in much tougher minutes. They're young, both have had injury issues, and neither projects as high as Lindholm in the NHL, so might be considered expendable. The problem is that we're not really trading for an established NHLer in either, just more potential. Don't talk to me about destiny potential.

What they'd want from us

Spezza? They'd need to give us a lot more than Vatanen for that. Seriously, I don't know what Anaheim wants. Maybe prospects to replace Koivu/Selanne in the future? They look like they're in pretty good shape for the time being.

Likelihood of trade for a defenseman

I give this one 3/10 Disney movies. The teams traded recently, so there's an avenue, but that doesn't mean there's interest. We heard that Anaheim kicked the tires on Spezza at the trade deadline, but I can't see them parting with what they got for Ryan to get back Spezza.

Calgary Flames

Who they have

Dennis Wideman, Mark Giordano, Ladislav Smid, TJ Brodie, Kris Russell, Tyler Wotherspoon, Chad Billins, Mark Cundari

Who we want (and could get)

Giordano's developed into the hipster Norris pick this season - so he's going nowhere. Seriously, I went to a Calgary-Edmonton game over Christmas in Calgary, and the most common Flames jerseys were Giordano, Monahan, and Theoren Fleury. They love this guy, and he's going nowhere.

I also doubt Brodie's going anywhere. Young defenseman, showing excellent possession in very tough minutes. I might take a chance on Smid if he was really cheap, but he's had awful numbers this year (yes, even for Calgary and Edmonton). The defensemen on this roster fall into a few categories: overpaid, untradeable, and unproven. As a GM, I wouldn't waste my time exploring any of these.

What they'd want from us

Calgary's rebuilding, so picks and high-value prospects. Ottawa has some prospects to trade, but unless they're willing to do something like Ben Blood for Smid, I'm not trading with them.

Likelihood of trade for a defenseman

1/10 Brians (Burke or McGrattan).

Edmonton Oilers

Who they have

Nobody...? A lot has been made of Edmonton's (lack of) defense this year. But CapGeek still lists a bunch of guys, so I'll stick them here: Andrew Ference, Jeff Petry, Philip Larsen, Justin Schultz, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin

Who we want (and could get)

Is none of the above an option? Ference and Schultz are going nowhere. All of Edmonton's current defense are negative possession players.

What they'd want from us

Players for the now, especially defensemen. I think we could get quite a return from Edmonton for a guy like Cowen, provided we were willing to take on forwards / picks.

Likelihood of trade for a defenseman

0/10 Rexall pharmacies. Man, I hope this series gets more interesting soon.

Los Angeles Kings

Who they have

Drew Doughty, Slava Voynov, Robyn Regehr, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin

Who we want (and could get)

Let's just come out and say that Doughty and Voynov are going nowhere. Doughty is the kind of player you build a franchise around, and Voynov has some sort of clutch playoff reputation.

LA's an interesting case, in that almost everybody is a positive possession player, so it's hard to see the weak spots. Regehr has been sheltered, and hasn't dominated like some players. Alec Martinez has been sheltered, and played quite well. Muzzin has been somewhat sheltered, and has played very well. Martinez and Muzzin are also 26 and 25 respectively.

To be honest, I was surprised how close those last two are in age and stats, because I think there's been a lot more hype around Muzzin. Martinez also has 2 fewer points in 15 fewer games. I'd be interested in going after Martinez, because he'll be cheap, unheralded, and actually might be quite good.

What they'd want from us

Not sure what LA's after, though probably forward depth is always nice. They might take an offer of a promising prospect (Hoffman, Pageau...) for Martinez. Would this trade be fair for us? Depends how well an unheralded defenseman does in a far less defensive system. We have enough forward prospects that I'd be willing to gamble one away.

Likelihood of trade for a defenseman

Could happen, could not happen. I give it 5/10 Burger Kings. LA has to realize they can't keep both Muzzin and Martinez, and they're better off trading one for some sort of asset than letting Martinez walk for nothing (he'll be a UFA in 2015). If BM's looking for a D-man, this has got to be somewhere he's been checking out. (And if he hasn't been looking for a D-man, somebody buy that man a new pair of glasses.)

Phoenix Coyotes

Who they have

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Keith Yandle, Zbynek Michalek, David Schlemko, Michael Stone, Connor Murphy, Brandon Gormley

Who we want (and could get)

Finally, a team with a bunch of defensemen. Phoenix actually offloaded two other guys (David Rundblad and Mathieu Brisebois) leading up to the trade deadline, so they used to have even more!

To start off with, OEL's going nowhere. He is the kind of guy you build a franchise defense around. I'd love to get my hands on Yandle, but I can't see Phoenix getting rid of him for anything less than a second-line centre. Michalek hasn't had a great season, but has played very tough minutes, and played over 21 minutes a night. He's not an offensive threat (9 points this year), but could look really good alongside a puck mover. He's 31 and has one year left on his contract, so might be expendable. Especially since they've been opening spots for a couple youngsters. He does have a limited no-movement clause, but he can only specify eight teams he doesn't want to go to. Logically, he should pick Edmonton at least five times, so Ottawa might be in the realm of possibility. Schlemko is the only other intriguing one, as he has put up good possession numbers, albeit in few, low QoC minutes. At age 26, he won't regress anytime soon, but I don't think he'll improve either. He's currently an upgrade over Gryba, but enough to warrant a trade? I doubt it.

What they'd want from us

Offense. Phoenix needs to score, with a solid D-core and Mike Smith already locked up. I'm sure they'd love Spezza, but Phoenix would have to decide they want to part with one of their two big guys for an established centre. And if they'd give Yandle and other parts for Spezza, I think we'd have to do that. However, I think it's more likely we ship a good prospect for someone like Michalek. And no lies, I wouldn't be heartbroken if we did that. Especially if we could lock up Zbynek for another year or two until Ceci can hit the big times.

Likelihood of trade

I'll give it 7/10 Kyle Turrises. No guarantees a trade happens at all, but if Ottawa does trade for an established defenseman, Phoenix seems among the more likely destinations.

San Jose Sharks

Who they have

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brad Stuart, Jason Demers, Justin Braun, Matt Irwin

Who we want (and could get)

Pickles isn't going anywhere - another hipster Norris pick, in his prime, they can't afford to lose him. Justin Braun actually surprised me from a stats perspective, as a guy with possession in the realm of Vlasic, facing slightly higher QoC, and actually with more time-on-ice per game. And he's only 27. This might be a guy worth looking at, though if Dan Boyle doesn't re-sign, San Jose won't be willing to give him up. Mean while, Stuart is 34, and Irwin is 26. Both play 20 minutes per game, low point totals, decent quality of competition, and positive possession. Though it is important to note that SJ is a dominant possession team, so basically everybody gets good possession numbers.

What they'd want from us

It's hard to know, as SJ is pretty well-rounded in every position. However, Thornton and Marleau will eventually need to be replaced, so they might be willing to take on some prospects. Probably a young defenseman like Borowiecki or a young centre like Pageau would both be able to get them excited enough to think about it.

Likelihood of trade

4/10 Vlasic pickles (They're crunchy AND juicy!). San Jose don't really need to rock the boat right now - they've got vets, rookies, solid players in all positions. If Boyle returns, they might decide they need to offload someone, but the only guy I'd really trade for is Braun. I was actually quite surprised to see how good Braun looks in terms of his stats. But San Jose seem to be astutely managed, and I can't see them ditching an underrated solid defenseman for a low-ball trade offer.

Vancouver Canucks

Who they have

Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison, Dan Hamhuis, Chris Tanev, Yannick Weber, Frank Corrado, Ryan Stanton

Who we want (and could get)

First off, those first four guys all have full no-trade clauses, so this whole thing might be pretty unlikely. If Vancouver are interested in off-loading some vets, Edler would be amazing to get our hands on. He's 27, and played extremely well this year. The problem is Vancouver knows it, and will ask a king's ransom for him. We're saying more than we paid for Bobby Ryan kind of price. Too bad, because he'd be a wonderful addition for years to come. And our most valuable tradeable asset (Spezza) isn't what they're looking for: they already have an older first-line centre, and are openly shopping their second-line centre. But a boy can dream...

But yes, there are other guys. Bieksa actually surprised me, playing a positive possession game in harder-than-average competition for 22 minutes a night. Hamhuis seems even less likely to move than Edler, as he plays more minutes against nearly as tough competition. The biggest thing is that Hamhuis would likely get less of a return than he's worth, whereas Edler will probably bring in more than he's worth. Lastly, Garrison is OK, but probably not worth $4.5-million per year, though he does provide offense from the back-end. Tanev is the only other interesting case, as he is 24, plays 20 minutes a night, high QoC, all at a slightly negative Corsi (which might be a reflection of Vancouver, not his play). He is probably more reliable than all but two of our current defensemen. But is he good enough to be worth trading for? Let's just say I might give up Borowiecki, but probably not Stone.

What they'd want from us

Youth. And hey, Ottawa has lots of that! They also might be after a goaltender, as neither Markstrom nor Lack look poised to take over an NHL starter role anytime soon. If we could put Anderson and some prospects into a package for Edler, I'd love to do that. Which is probably why I doubt Vancouver would fall for it.

Likelihood of trade

5/10 identical Sedins. Realistically, Vancouver probably has four or five defensemen they could trade, as they are pseudo-rebuilding. The problem is most of them have no-trade clauses, and probably have little to no interest in coming to Ottawa. (See the theme?) You get the sense that these teams could orchestrate a trade that would benefit both in the short- and long-term, but you also get the sense that just sounds too easy.

So there you have it: Phoenix has potential, and run if you hear anything about Ottawa trying to trade with Edmonton for defensive upgrades. Players to look out for in my (somewhat arbitrary) order: Z. Michalek, Martinez, Braun, Tanev, Yandle, Edler, Sbisa, Vatanen.

Next up, the Psychedelic (Ps)Central!

This FanPost was written by a member of the Silver Seven community, and does not necessarily reflect the beliefs or opinions of the site managers, editors, or Sports Blogs Nation, Inc.

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