FanPost

Trading for a defenseman - The Central Section

I'm continuing to look at trades to bolster the defense, working my way through all the teams in the NHL. This installment looks at the teams of the Central Division. As before, all rosters come from CapGeek.com, and players becoming UFAs this summer are ignored (sign-and-trades only happen to Marian Hossa, right?). I am looking for defensemen who best suit the needs of the Sens (proven 2nd-pairing or better, no longer a development project.)

Please comment! Let me know who you're excited about, or if you think I'm completely wrong.

Chicago Blackhawks

Who they have

Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya, Nick Leddy, Michal Roszival, David Rundblad

Who we want (and could get)

Remember when Chicago were the laughingstock of the league? My, my, Stephen Fry, how things have changed. No only do they have Toews, Kane, Hossa, and Sharp up front, but they also have one of the best defensive groups in the league. Keith is going nowhere for sure. After that, it's hard to tell. Seabrook has been talked about in some media circles as not playing well, but he plays Keith's ice-time, has still put up 41 points this year, and has similarly excellent possession numbers. Being only 30 (Keith) and 28 (Seabrook), I can't see them abandoning this pairing anytime soon. It's got to be one of the most consistent twosomes in the league.

Hjalmarsson is also likely going nowhere, no matter what us folks wish. He plays against tougher competition than the above guys, and also excels. Being 26 at a reasonable cap hit, they're in no hurry to watch him leave. Oduya plays similar minutes, and at 32 and with one year left, might be the best bet for a trade. I don't salivate at the prospect of getting him, but at the same time, it could just be that he plays behind a bunch of excellent guys. He'd at the very least be steady for the next couple years while our younger guys improve.

Roszival is likely up for sale, but at age 35, is sheltered and probably in the twilight of his career. He also has a modified NTC, so would have to not want to not come to Ottawa. Leddy is 23, and is starting to earn coach Quenneville's trust. He's slowly being brought in, and in a couple years will likely be a mainstay in the top-four. Rundblad's probably two years behind in the same boat: he's only 23, and is being slowly brought into the 'Hawks' system so he can be reliable in a couple years. No way they trade their most promising youth.

What they'd want from us

Chicago is set. For a long time. They often seem keen to replenish the young guys though, so maybe a couple intriguing prospects would entice them.

Likelihood of trading for a defenseman

4/10 Jonathan Toews smiles. Oduya seems to be the only guy available that the Sens would trade for, and he's still not the ideal fit. However, Stan Bowman has never been shy about getting rid of players immediately after a successful Cup campaign (Bolland, Frolik, Stalberg in 2013; Versteeg, Byfuglien, Ladd, Eager, Sopel in 2010). So there's always that possibility that they decide it's time to offload Seabrook or Hjalmarsson, and I hope Ottawa's at the front of that line.

Colorado Avalanche

Who they have

Erik Johnson, Jan Hejda, Ryan Wilson, Stefan Elliott, Tyson Barrie, Nick Holden, Nate Guenin

Who we want (and could get)

The Avalanche are weird, in that they are a negative possession team that has done absurdly well this season. Third-in-the-league good. Of those above, only Barrie and Guenin are positive players. Barrie is a highly-impressive case, playing high QoC with great results, all at 22 years of age. So needless to say, he's going nowhere. Johnson is also likely a no-go, being the TOI leader. Hejda has had an awful season, due to the system and/or his age, and at 35 is likely to be no more than a one-year stop-gap at this point in his career. The rest of these guys are young or unimpressive or both, so not really worth looking at.

What they'd want from us

Colorado's a pretty young team. To be honest, they're probably looking for experienced defenders too so they're not a negative possession team next year. Maybe we can sucker them into taking Phillips and Borowiecki, but it probably wouldn't be for a defender.

Likelihood of trading for a defenseman

2/10 Patrick Roy meltdowns. Unless we pull off something like the Elliott-for-Anderson trade where the teams straight-up swapped awful hands, nothing's gonna happen.

Dallas Stars

Who they have

Sergei Gonchar, Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley, Aaron Rome, Patrik Nemeth, Brenden Dillon, Jordie Benn, Kevin Connauton

Who we want (and could get)

Gonchar! Just kidding. Despite all of our lamenting the lack of his leadership, he has been a negative possession player against negative quality of competition. In other words, his age is showing. This is important as all of the above D, other than Rome (25 games played) and Nemeth (8 GP), rank above Gonchar in possession stats while playing tougher minutes.

Let's just say that even if Goligoski and Daley didn't have no-trade clauses, they wouldn't be moved. They do the biggest job on defense, and are pretty good at it too. Dillon is 23 and has shown impressive ability, but because of his age is likely seen as one for the future and is unlikely to be moved. Benn has turned into a decent defender, possibly good enough to trade for, but unlikely to be moved due to the whole "brother is the captain" thing. Would we want Jordie Benn? If the price was low. After that, we are left with a Colorado situation: D-men who are young, not good, or both. Ottawa has plenty of those to go around.

What they'd want from us

Dallas is in decent shape in terms of moving forward. What they're probably looking for is scoring depth, as their talent drops pretty quickly after their top-line. For this reason, we might be able to entice them with forward prospects. But if I wouldn't trade Trevor Daley for Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and you wouldn't trade Daley for Pageau, then we can probably safely assume that Jim Nill wouldn't either. (But you never know - he did sign Gonchar.)

Likelihood of trading for a defenseman

2/10 Brett Hull "No Goal"s. The Stars would likely only be willing to trade defensemen that Ottawa doesn't want. And hey, Ottawa doesn't want that.

Minnesota Wild

Who they have

Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Keith Ballard, Marco Scandella, Christian Folin, Jonas Brodin, Jonathon Blum

Who we want (and could get)

Ryan Suter plays an absurd number of minutes - even higher than Karlsson! So he's not going anywhere. Folin, Scandella, and Brodin are all RFAs after next season, so with a lot of youth, there might be potential for something to happen here. Blum played in a handful of games this year, putting up high possession numbers against tough opposition, but also only playing 11 minutes a night. (For those that don't follow these things, that's extremely low for a defenseman.)

I'd set my sights on Jared Spurgeon. He plays high QoC, has high possession numbers, and has been playing 22:38 a night, all at only 24 years of age. The Wild would be loathe to lose him, but with Suter, Parise, Pominville, and a bunch of young D hitting their second contracts, the Wild may have to free up space. And I'd hover like a vulture, waiting for the first moment at which I could swoop in and take him.

What they'd want from us

This is harder to know. Since the only reason Minny would trade Spurgeon is for salary reasons, I can only see this happening if we give them cheap assets, so likely good prospects. They probably don't want more defense prospects, so they'd have to be forwards.

Likelihood of trading for a defenseman

3/10 gargantuan contracts. There's only one guy worth looking at, a guy they'll only trade if they need salary space, and with Dany-@#$$%@-Heatley's salary coming off the books this year, they'll need to aggressively pursue Vanek for a salary crunch to come close to reality.

Nashville Predators

Who they have

Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Michael Del Zotto, Seth Jones, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Victor Bartley

Who we want (and could get)

Roman Josi is a solid-looking defenseman. He plays 26:25 to Weber's 26:54 per night, plays against higher QoC, and puts up slightly better Corsi (albeit negative - probably the curse of playing for Nashville these past couple years). At 23, and signed to a $4-million cap hit for the next six (!!) seasons, he'd be great to get our hands on. The problem is, Nashville knows he's great. On the other hand, three of those guys up top (Del Zotto, Ekholm, Bartley) are RFAs right now, and so they'll need money for them. If Jones is the man of the future, they might be willing to part with Josi, the man of the present.

Besides that, I really don't want Del Zotto, unless we can get him at the price of Ben Blood or something. Bartley has played very little, against weak competition, and been just awful, so he's not worth looking at.

What they'd want from us

Offense. Nashville is a team that needs offense. They'd seriously be interest in Spezza, especially after they gave up Legwand for nothing at the deadline. If we could swing Spezza for Josi, a prospect, and a first-rounder, I'd say you have to make that trade.

Likelihood of trading for a defenseman

6/10 berry trots (straight out of a coaching job - too soon?). The only trade I can see happening is Spezza traded for a package built around Josi. And that would be a trade that would make sense for both teams. But as always, management has yet to mention our defense in a single interview, so it would be naive to think it would happen.

St. Louis Blues

Who they have

Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Roman Polak, Barret Jackman, Jordan Leopold, Ian Cole

Who we want (and could get)

Those first two guy are the top pairing up until 2019. Shattenkirk might be claimable for the right price, and I think he'd be an amazing addition. He plays lots of minutes, and is a positive possession player, albeit against slightly negative QoC. Leopold and Jackman are both 33, and playing with positive Corsi, with the former doing it against positive QoC and the latter against slightly negative. Either could probably fill in a top-4 defense for another year or two, then transition into the spot Phillips should have vacated two years ago. One problem is that both have some form of NTC. The bigger problem is that with those first three guys above shouldering the load, everyone else on St Louis is below 18-minutes per night. As a comparison, Chris Phillips averaged over 19 minutes this past season. Once you're past Shattenkirk, there's no sign they'll be able to handle an increased workload.

What they'd want from us

Probably Spezza. Rumour has it that the Blues were looking at Spezza at the deadline. I think a deal built around Spezza and Shattenkirk (+ others) could be beneficial to both teams. For Leopold or Jackman though, I can't see us giving up more than a prospect. With their defense getting older, St. Louis might be interested in someone like Borowiecki to fill in the future holes in the system.

Likelihood of trading for a defenseman

7/10 retaliations at Kyle Turris. Spezza for Shattenkirk again seems quite logical to me, and the fact that Shattenkirk has no trade protection at all makes it that much more likely (read: still not that likely). I upped it to a seven because of the possibility of making a run at Leopold for much less.

Winnipeg Jets

Who they have

Tobias Enstrom, Dustin Byfuglien, Zach Bogosian, Grant Clitsome, Mark Stuart, Jacob Trouba, Keaton Ellerby, Paul Postma

Who we want (and could get)

Enstrom, Byfuglien (does he still count?), Bogosian, and Trouba play the bulk of the minutes for this blue-line. The thing is, with Trouba emerging as such a force at such a young age, Winnipeg may realize they can afford to toss one of their other guys for a bigger area of need. Enstrom had a down year in terms of points, but still played well from a possession perspective in big minutes, and would be a great asset. Bogosian had some injury troubles, but also played quite well, and would be a welcome addition. Both of these guys would take big offers though, and both have NMCs.

Someone like Clitsome could be worth pursuing - he's 29, played over 19 minutes per night, against high QoC, and had better possession numbers than the big names. The great thing about Clitsome is that he has no trade protection, and he's not a big name, so could probably be got with very little fanfare.

What they'd want from us

Winnipeg needs goaltending, so if I were Murray, I'd at least inquire if Anderson would be of interest to them. Lehner's young still, but if we could get Enstrom for Anderson, I'd probably do that. Other than that, maybe a promising forward prospect for Clitsome?

Likelihood of trading for a defenseman

6/10 horse vacations. Winnipeg's strength is clearly its defense, and as such, I can't see them wanting to rock that boat. That being said, if we offered them a proven #1 for something of which they have an excess, it could happen. I also know that Clitsome surprised me by how well he's actually played this year, and as such, I can't see our brass having though about trading for him.

So there we go. The central summary. Players to watch, in my very subjective order: Josi, Shattenkirk, Enstrom, Clitsome, Bogosian, Spurgeon, Oduya, Leopold, Jackman. Overall, a few potential blockbusters, a few minor trades, but nothing in that middle category that says, "This is a deal that has to get done for both teams!"

Next up: the Glen Metropolit-an division.

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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