FanPost

Trading for a defenseman - The Metropolitan Morsel

I want the Sens to trade for a top-four, established defenseman to play for a couple years, allowing the young guys to grow into their roles. I want a trade, because I don't think UFAs will be lining up to come to Ottawa. I've worked my way through the entire Western Conference, and now it's on to the East, starting with the Met.

(As always, rosters come from CapGeek, and exclude players who become UFAs this summer.)

Carolina Hurricanes

Who they have

John-Michael Liles, Andrej Sekera, Jay Harrison, Justin Faulk

Who we'd want (and could get)

The 'Canes are interesting in that they have four (!!) defensemen hitting UFA status this off-season, and no defensemen who are RFAs at any point again in their careers. This means that the 'Canes will need to find money to restock their blueline somehow, and outside of the intentsse American Olympian Justin Faulk, there should be some player availability here. Sekera looks intriguing, being a 40+ point player, with lots of playing time, and good possession stats. However, I can't see the 'Canes getting rid of him either, as he's easily worth more than Hainsey, Pitkanen, or Komisarek.

Liles has been awful ever since leaving the Avalanche. Have you seen the state of Toronto's blue-line? When he's not good enough to play for them, he's probably not good. In all honesty, if we can't get Faulk or Sekera, there's nobody else here worth looking at.

What they'd want from us

Like I mentioned, they have no RFA defensemen, which suggests that a Borocop or a Gryba might be very attractive to them. If only they had a defenseman worth trading for.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

1/10 Staal brothers. I could see Ottawa trying to get something from them, but definitely not for help on the back end.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Who they have

James Wisniewski, Fedor Tyutin, Jack Johnson, Ryan Murray, David Savard, Dalton Prout

Who we'd want (and could get)

Wisniewski and Tyutin both come with NMCs and modified NTCs, which would make it very hard to get either. It's too bad, as Wisniewski is their best possession player, while Tyutin faces the highest QoC. Jack Johnson somehow manages to have terrible possession stats, year after year after year. I'm not interested, especially not at the price he'd command. The rest are all pretty young and unproven.

Though UFAs are technically off-limits, Nikita Nikitin actually intrigues me a lot as a pending UFA. If I were Murray (which I'm not, in case you had conspiracy theories), I'd see if I could trade a conditional 6th round pick for his rights, trying to sign him before he hits the open market. If I were a UFA defenseman, and saw a team go out of its way to give me a chance to play with Erik Karlsson, I'd probably jump on it. (And for those wondering, yes, Nikitin shoots left.)

What they'd want from us

Columbus are a real mixed bag right now. They could probably use a proven scorer, as they are quite young and possibly lacking in leadership. They could probably also use help on defense. I see them as less interested in prospects compared to the average. Maybe Chris Phillips would be enticing?

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

2/10 Jack Johnson covers. (If I break my own rules, and count the Nikitin trade-and-sign, it's still only a 3/10.)

New Jersey Devils

Who they have

Anton Volchenkov, Bryce Salvador, Andy Greene, Adam Larsson, Jon Merrill, Peter Harrold

Who we'd want (and could get)

Greene is the heart of the Devils' defense, and is likely going nowhere. Zidlicky and everybody's favourite Anton both have full NTCs. Salvador plays low QoC, has some of the lowest possession stats on the team, and is over 35, so I'd pass on him. Harrold and Merrill have both been very sheltered too. Larsson is intriguing, as he is young and relatively unproven, but has looked very good for NJ at a young age. The thing is that he's too good a player to just be given up, so I doubt he's going anywhere. All in all, I only want Greene, and there's no way Jersey trades him.

On a side note, I was shocked to see how good a possession team NJ is. Looks like they were a few better goaltending choices away from making the playoffs.

What they'd want from us

Youth, especially on forward. Thankfully, Ottawa has a lot of these to trade for non-existent defensemen.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

0/10 life-size models of Martin Brodeur's ego. Nothing to see here.

New York Islanders

Who they have

Lubomir Visnovsky, Travis Hamonic, Matt Carkner, Scott Mayfield, Kevin Czuczman, Matt Donovan, Calvin de Haan, Brian Strait, Thomas Hickey.

Who we'd want (and could get)

The Isles are an interesting case, as Hamonic, de Haan, Donovan, and Hickey are all in their early twenties, have good possession numbers against positive QoC, and are all due money (except for Hamonic, who is locked up forever). I doubt the Isles can afford to pay all of these guys down the line, so will probably look to off-load an RFA or two. It seems safe to assume that with Hamonic locked up, he is going nowhere. de Haan is younger and has more hype than the other two, so I think it would be most worth pursuing either Donovan or Hickey.

Visnovsky absolutely crushes his extremely sheltered minutes. He's old, so I wouldn't pursue him, but I just wanted to point that out.

What they'd want from us

The Isles need goaltending (though I'm not sure if Garth Snow agrees). I'd be interested in offering them Anderson, though I'd want more than just Hickey back for sure. Probably a touted forward, or possibly even a pick in the upcoming draft could be worth pursuing. Besides that, I'm sure they'd be happy to get back a forward prospect for a defenseman.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

5/10 Fisherman's Friends. They have several young guys, and can't keep them all long-term. That means they've gotta go somewhere. Why not Ottawa?

New York Rangers

Who they have

Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Kevin Klein, Justin Falk, John Moore

Who we'd want (and could get)

McDonagh and Girardi are signed long-term, and are excellent as the top pairing. I can't see the Rangers parting with either anytime soon. Staal actually has very good possession stats while playing 20 minutes per night, so could be worth trying to pry away. Everyone else on that list is either young or disappointing, meaning Staal is really the only viable option.

What they'd want from us

Maybe some promising young forwards? Or defensemen on RFA deals? Probably for the Sens to eat some salary so they can get back to cap circumvention.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

3/10 suave Henrik Lundqvist smiles. The only guy worth trading for is Staal, and I can't see the Rags dying to get rid of him unless they really need to off-load salary. I mean, it's not like they're the Flyers or anything. Speaking of which...

Philadelphia Flyers

Who they have

Everybody, especially if they're old and overrated. I mean seriously, read this list: Mark Streit, Chris Pronger, Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossman, Erik Gustafsson, Andrew MacDonald. (Side note: did you know that Hal Gill is under contract for the Flyers? And I thought I was exaggerating with the "everybody who is old and overrated" comment.)

Who we'd want (and could get)

The Flyers are a very poor possession team, so it's hard to judge a player's value when his stats are brought down by playing in a poor environment. Coburn is one of the few positive possession players on the team, and plays 22 minutes per night. Grossman has worse possession numbers against better competition, playing only 19 per night. Both are 29-years-old. The way that Philly just throws money at players, you have to wonder if they'll need to offload salary this off-season (again), and I can't help but think that trading one of these guys is how they'll go about it. The biggest hurdle of course being that both have modified NTCs, so will need to want to come to Ottawa. Based on my arbitrary evaluations of hype, I feel like it'll be Grossman let go, since Coburn is talked about a lot more. They probably expect MacDonald to fill in his minutes at a fraction of the cost. (That fraction happens to be greater than 1, but does that really matter?)

What they'd want from us

A way to get rid of salary. Possibly a proven goalie, though they seem pretty confident in Steven Mason. Likely defense prospects (Borowiecki, anyone?) to replace their expensive lineup.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

4/10 massive buyouts. These guys trade players like there's no tomorrow. Space for another big off-season signing has to come from somewhere. It's not unreasonable to expect.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Who they have

Paul Martin, Rob Scuderi, Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Simon Despres, Robert Bortuzzo

Who we'd want (and could get)

Orpik and Niskanen are UFAs this offseason, and you have to expect Pittsburgh will retain both. But having Orpik, Niskanen, Martin, and Letang seems awfully expensive for a top-four. With the emergence of Maatta, they may try to offload one of these guys. Both Martin and Letang have logged a tonne of minutes (> 24 per game) putting up sub-par possession numbers against sub-par competition. Both have also battled injuries this season though, so it may simply be a blip in the road. Especially if Pittsburgh faces an early exit this off-season, you have to think something's gonna get shaken up on the back-end. I'd be prepared to gamble on any of those top-four.

What they'd want from us

Honestly? Probably reliable goaltending. The rumour of Anderson for Letang straight up has been circulated, and might benefit both teams. I could see Andy as trade bait with Pittsburgh in return for one of their big defensmen. Besides that, the Pens appear full of RFAs, so I doubt this would be the way to go. It's probably Anderson or bust with these guys. Our other crown jewel trade chip, Jason Spezza, wouldn't really entice them, as the Pens have a couple of centres you've probably heard of.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

5/10 whining Crosbys. Unless the Pens make the Cup finals, I see them having to trade off at least one defenseman, whether or not Shero keeps his job. It's just a question of if the Sens can offer them what they want.

Washington Capitals

Who they have

Mike Green, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, John Erskine, Jack Hillen, Dmitry Orlov, Patrick Wey, Connor Carrick

Who we'd want (and could get)

Like the Flyers, the Caps are a poor possession team, so any negative Corsi could be due to the system, not the player. Orlov has actually been on the of Caps' best players, and because of his rumoured frustration with Oates, may be wanting to head somewhere else. The problem is, he's just 22, and 54 total NHL games under his belt mean that he's still probably too green to jump into the role Ottawa would need him to take on. After that, you have to wonder if Washington can afford to keep Green, Carlson, and Alzner. If so, that's an excellent top-three. If not, I'd guess Carlson is the least likely to move (younger, Olympics on his resume). Green also has an NTC, while Alzner's doesn't kick in for two more seasons.

What they'd want from us

As much as I feel like a broken record, probably goaltending. I sense a theme in the Metropolitan division (and perhaps the reason why Columbus made the playoffs). Anderson for Alzner sounds like a good place to start from my Sens fan perspective. Washington also doesn't need prospects as much as they need results NOW. I'd be interested to see what kind of package Washington could prepare for Spezza.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

5/10 Ovechkin backchecks. You get the sense that Washington will have a big shake-up at some point, and that'll probably lead to a big defenseman going somewhere else. Unless they decide the defense isn't what needs shoring up.

I like to subjectively put the names I've looked at in the order I believe represents the importance of watching them in the offseason, with the most likely trade candidates first:

Hickey, Donovan, Grossman, M. Staal, Alzner, Martin, Sekera, Orlov, Coburn, Letang, Green.

Only one more division to go!

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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