FanPost

Trading for a defenseman - The Atlantic Article (+ bonus UFA dossier!)

The end of my series looking at trades for a defenseman, and this one is looking at the Sens' own division. It is important to remember that trades within the division are rare, but not unheard of. This means that most trades listed here are probably less likely than with other divisions. But hey, things happen, especially with a rebuilding team, like Buffalo.

(As per usual, rosters are from CapGeek, with players who are UFAs this summer excluded.)

Boston Bruins

Who they have

Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller

Who we want (and could get)

So those first 3 guys all have some form of NTC. (You can tell Chiarelli used to work in Ottawa). I think it's safe to say that Chara, Seidenberg, Krug, and Hamilton are untouchables as the first two are the veteran core, and the last two are the future. Miller and McQuaid are both positive possession players, but that may be due to the fact that Boston as a whole is very strong possession-wise. Bartkowski is 25, and has appeared to be decent, but probably won't be quite as developed as we'd want him to be. Boychuk has actually been very good this season, and if Boston are looking to free up a spot, he'd be the only candidate I'd want to go after.

What they'd want from us

Chara, Meszaros, Kelly, Daugavins, Redden, Chiarelli.... over the last few years, the Bruins have loved their ex-Senators. So really, they'd probably want whoever they can get. Kidding aside, Boston is in very good shape everywhere. They might take some promising forward prospects, but overall, I can't see them wanting to shake up the roster too much.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

2/10 Chara-sized sticks. I can't see Boston wanting to trade Boychuk, and especially within division. There's just not enough of a match here.

Buffalo Sabres

Who they have

Tyler Myers, Christian Ehrhoff, Jamie McBain, Mike Weber, Chad Ruhwedel, Jake McCabe

Who we want (and could get)

I've already written at length about why we want Ehrhoff here. Buffalo is a terrible possession team, and Ehrhoff is one of their best players. After that, I don't think there's anyone we want. They're young, they're old, they've played poorly, or they're too expensive.

What they'd want from us

Prospects. Picks. Our Assistant GM. Whatever a rebuilding team is after.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

6/10 players lost on waivers. Buffalo will likely try to trade Ehrhoff this off-season as part of the rebuild. Tim Murray has shown a penchant for trading anyone with value. Will Ehrhoff go to Ottawa? He does have some control over where he goes. Some people have had rumours about Conacher going to Buffalo for nothing in exchange for Ottawa getting a good deal on a trade this summer. Not only can I not see a professional GM making trades for "later promises", my fear is that it was for Chris Stewart.

Detroit Red Wings

On a side note, you should look at the Wings' CapGeek page. You can see their injury stuggle just based on the number of forwards they have under contract.

Who they have

Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith, Danny DeKeyser, Brian Lashoff, Xavier Ouellet, Ryan Sproul

Who we want (and could get)

Kronwall is going to a retire a Wing. That leaves the best opportunities as Smith and Ericsson, as both are positive Corsi players against respectable QoC. Smith puts up more points, and Ericsson plays more minutes. Ericsson is 30 and Smith is 25. Ericsson has some sort of modified NTC, but with the number of Swedes in Ottawa (and that "play with Erik Karlsson" carrot) he might be swayed to come the Sens' direction.

What they'd want from us

Really anything, I'd think. The Wings don't need anything, but with their injury struggles, probably would have an eye toward promising prospects to serve as cheap replacements if necessary.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

2/10 Alfredsson departures. The Wings had their depth tested this year. I can't see them being in a hurry to trade it away.

Florida Panthers

Who they have

Brian Campbell, Ed Jovanovski, Dmitry Kulikov, Erik Gudbranson, Alex Petrovic, Dylan Olsen, Colby Robak

Who we want (and could get)

I wrote a bunch about getting Campbell here. After him, Kulikov is intriguing. He played 21:41 per night, with positive possession numbers again positive QoC. The only game he missed this year was as a healthy scratch, which may indicate he's fallen out of favour and may be available for cheap. Gudbranson was more sheltered and had a lower Corsi while playing fewer minutes per night, but being a more recognizable name around the NHL, would likely cost more. Kulikov's only real knock is that he is 23 years old, meaning he's younger than Eric Gryba and close in age to Patrick Wiercioch, suggesting Kulikov probably won't fit the mold of "developed defenseman".

What they'd want from us

Florida needs results sooner rather than later. They have some promising prospects in their system, and their goaltending is sorted out until the 2100s. I could see them being very interested in someone like Spezza, especially if Ottawa could get a high-level prospect back (or even the first-overall pick?). Unless Ottawa could get Campbell to waive his NTC, I can't see Spezza going to Florida though.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

5/10 season ticket holders. Campbell might get stay to play the veteran role, or might get traded if they think Jovanovski can fulfill that role. I could also see Ottawa looking at Kulikov, especially since he might be available at a pretty low price (I'd trade Gryba for Kulikov - anyone else?)

Montreal Canadiens

Who they have

Josh Gorges, PK Subban, Alexei Emelin, Jarred Tinordi

Who we want (and could get)

Ottawa's biggest hope is based on the fact that Montreal has a few UFAs this offseason on defense, and might want to keep a couple by offloading other defensemen. Subban is a franchise defenseman, and won't leave, except people keep rumouring that he might want out. If he does, Ottawa should be all over that trade. Subban and Karlsson on the back-end forever would probably make the best defense crew in the league. But it just won't happen. Or will it...?

More realistically though, Ottawa should set their sights on Emelin, who is a negative possession player, but so is nearly all of Montreal this year. I wouldn't trade much for him though, seeing his questionable possession stats. Gorges seems very well trusted by Therrien, and I can't see him being shipped off anytime soon.

What they'd want from us

Size. Montreal is a little team, and I can see them seeing value in someone like Gryba to fill in the gap of the departing Douglas Murray. I could also see them wanting prospects, just to keep the cupboard stocked.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

2/10 rispecks. Trades to a heavy rival almost never happen, and I can't see Montreal dying to trade off any of the guys listed above. They'll probably let Bouillon and Murray walk at the end of the season, and be happy to ride the same D crew next year.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Who they have

Matt Carle, Victor Hedman, Eric Brewer, Mattias Ohlund, Radko Gudas, Keith Aulie, Andrej Sustr, Mark Barberio

Who we want (and could get)

Hedman's not going anywhere, as he had a fantastic season this year (2 more points in 7 fewer games than fSubban - take that, Montreal fans!). After that, Carle and Brewer have both looked old and undesirable. Gudas, Aulie, Barberio, and Sustr may all be good some day, but they're undeveloped non-improvements from most of the guys we already have. There's no match here.

What they'd want from us

More Vezina-candidates for free. They also have a lot of young forwards, so they might be interested in a getting a middle-of-the-road guy like Greening.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

1/10 lopsided trades. The only guy we want is most definitely not available.

Toronto Maple Leafs

This version of the Ottawa Senators has one trade ever with Montreal (Andreas Dackell for an 8th-round pick) and three with Toronto (8th-round pick for Per Gustafsson, Brad Miller for 9th-round pick, Brad Marsh for future considerations). The most recent trade with Toronto was March 1998, so I think it's safe to say, these trades don't happen very often.

Who they have

Dion Phaneuf, Tim Gleason, Carl Gunnarsson, Cody Franson, Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner

Who we want (and could get)

Toronto was the worst possession team in the NHL this past season, so every single player (other than Greg McKegg, he of 1 NHL game) showed up with a negative Corsi.

That being said, the best regulars for the Leafs were Gardiner and Franson, both putting up 30+ points, playing 20+ minutes per night, though somewhat sheltered in terms of quality of competition. Rielly has also looked quite good, against tougher competition for fewer minutes. Gardiner and Franson are both currently RFAs and will be looking for big raises. Ottawa's only real hope is for the Leafs to decide they can't keep both, and then to trade one. Though Gardiner is only 23, he shows a lot of promise, and either one I think could be a great addition to Ottawa's blue line.

What they'd want from us

Grit. Heart-and-soul. Grinding. Truculence. Whatever guys like Colton Orr bring. Personally, I'd hope that they could get excited about a guy like Borowiecki or Greening, and we could try to swindle them away from a more finesse-type defenseman. Though it remains to be seen what Shanny will want to do in Toronto.

Likelihood of a trade for a defenseman

3/10 Seas of Poo. There's just too much risk in trading a younger guy to a division, traditional, and geographic rival. I expect Toronto will trade one of their two RFA defensemen this offseason, but Ottawa most likely won't be the recipient.

In summary, here's a list of guys you should watch this summer, from most to least likely:

Ehrhoff, Campbell, Kulikov, Ericsson, Gardiner, Boychuk, B. Smith, Franson, SUBBAN (just kidding; or am I?)

I decided to do a little run-down of the UFA defensemen showing up this coming off-season. I've grouped them into the categories you need to pay attention to. The full list can be found here.

UFAs this off-season

Guys in the twilight of their careers, who will either retire or come back to their current team:

Andrei Markov, Marek Zidlicky, Dan Boyle, Kimmo Timonen, Hal Gill (though he'll probably just retire), Sami Salo, Henrik Tallinder

Guys who might fill Ottawa's needs, but currently play for Cup contenders and will likely only return, or head to a better chance at the Cup

Matt Niskanen, Willie Mitchell, Brooks Orpik, Matt Greene

Guys worth pursuing who might actually come to Ottawa

Tom Gilbert, Ron Hainsey, Nikita Nikitin, Anton Stralman, Adam Pardy, Mike Weaver, Zach Redmond

Guys who might be worth giving a chance for low money

Derek Morris, Raphael Diaz, Kyle Quincey, Stephane Robidas, Matt Hunwick, Carlo Colaiacovo

Guys you probably want to avoid (too old to be useful, overrated, or inflated numbers due to playing for a good team)

Paul Ranger, Deryk Engelland, Scott Hannan, Mike Kostka, Cory Sarich, Sheldon Brookbank, Francis Bouillon, Douglas Murray, Mark Fraser, Ryan Whitney

And just for fun, the ex-Senators club

Sami Salo, Andrej Meszaros, Andre Benoit, Joe Corvo (double the ex!), Matt Gilroy, Derek Smith, Brian Lee

Thanks for reading! I just wanted to say that the S7S community is fantastic, and it wouldn't be if you weren't all so amazing. I'm about to head to minimal internet access for the next 5/6 weeks, so I won't be around these parts much for the next little while, but I look forward to coming back and sorting out the off-season with all of you in the summer months.

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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