FanPost

Trading for a defenseman - what has changed

So here we are, into the third round of the playoffs, and as always, series results tend to affect the likelihood of trades. Some guys disappear, or their teams disappoint, and suddenly the team wants to shake things up. Or sometimes somebody has a fantastic playoffs like Bryan Bickell, and gets locked up with no trade likely. I've decided to do a little rundown of who I think has become more and less likely as trade targets since I started this series.

More likely

Kevin Shattenkirk - (Or potentially other cheaper Blues players, like Jackman or Leopold.) The Blues disappointed these playoffs. Again. For the third straight year, they were a first-round exit when they were picked by some to be one of the strongest teams in the West. Something has to change, and I wonder if the defense-first mentality will be shaken by bringing in a star forward. A deal built around Shattenkirk and Jason Spezza is far more likely now than it was if the Blues made the Conference Finals. I had been hoping that Craig Anderson might be looked at as a potential replacement to that bust Ryan Miller, but today's announcement of Brian Elliott's extension (that turned into a Jake Allen LoveFest) seems to suggest that the Blues aren't after a goalie.

Dan Boyle - This has already been talked about ad nauseum, so I won't waste too much space. Basically, if the Sharks won the Cup, they sign him to a retirement contract. Instead, they lost historically in the first round, so suddenly he becomes a UFA, and may decide to come to his hometown to play out his career.

Roman Josi - Nashville brought in a new coach, and all they talked about all press conference was offense. Josi's a defenseman. If Nashville want Spezza to boost their offense, they'll have to give. This makes this trade far more likely than when I talked about it earlier.

Nikita Nikitin - When he was an RFA, he signed up for arbitration, only agreed to a short-term deal, and threatened to go to the KHL. He was a healthy scratch for Nick Schultz in the elimination game vs. Pittsburgh. Columbus might want him, but likely can't afford him. If Ottawa could throw an enticing package at him, he might bite. Though Murray doesn't seem like the biggest fan of Russians anymore. Sister SB Nation site The Cannon has a good series looking at the Blue Jackets' potential draft picks, in which one of the articles highlights the question mark surrounding Nikitin currently. Nobody seems to know what his plans are or what Columbus's plans surrounding him are.

Kris Letang / Brooks Orpik / Matt Niskanen / Paul Martin - The Pens need a change of culture, apparently. Ray Shero is out, so it's hard to gauge what path they will take until the new GM is in. What seems likely however is that either the UFAs (Orpik and Niskanen) will be allowed to walk, or if they are both signed, one of the other defensemen listed will have to be traded to make cap room. Pittsburgh also might be interested in a goalie, and potentially the rights to Hemsky if this trade is early enough. Ottawa stands a chance of picking up one of them if they're in the right place at the right time, though I still doubt UFAs from a Cup contender will want to come to Ottawa right now. However, their likelihood of being moved has definitely gone up.

Less likely

Alec Martinez / Jake Muzzin - The Kings are doing phenomenally, again. I thought that in the case of an early exit, they might trade one of their mid-20s defensemen. However, I'm guessing Lombardi will follow the "don't mess with success" model.

P.K. Subban - If he had disappeared these playoffs, getting benched in third periods and the like, he might have been offer sheet-able. Instead, he's unlocked beast mode, being neck-and-neck with Carey Price for Montreal's MVP these playoffs. There's no way they let him go. They'd trade every current roster player just to keep him. You could still offer sheet him, but they will match, guaranteed.

Marc Staal - He's been great for the Rags this season, even cross-checking Crosby in the head! (Wait, I probably shouldn't sound happy about that.) And since they've made it further than anyone predicted, you have to think they'll keep him. I can't see this team getting shaken up anytime soon. Unless they tank next playoffs.

I'm sure there are others I've missed. I mostly tried to stick to players I put in my lists of players to watch. Let me know in the comments who else you think is more or less likely to become a Senator based on the last couple 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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