February 26 2014 01:03PM
The NHL trade deadline is next Wednesday at 1 p.m. MST, and similar to seasons past the rumours are swirling. The biggest one involves Marty St.Louis asking for a trade because he didn't crack Team Canada's original roster.
This rumour is juicy for a few reasons. It involves the Lightning acquiring soon-to-be UFA Ryan Callahan, which seems odd considering St.Louis has a contract for next season, but also because it suggests St.Louis felt his own GM, Steve Yzerman, didn't have his back during the selection process.
Yzerman wasn't running a dictatorship. If the majority of the coaches and management didn't want St.Louis on the team, Yzerman wasn't going to pull rank and put his own player on. Unless St.Louis got some info suggesting Yzerman didn't support him, St.Louis' trade demand would seem more impulsive and reactionary than clearly thought out.
I read four different sources say they heard St.Louis did indeed ask for a trade, so yesterday I exchanged texts with a source in Tampa who said the same thing. However, he did add this via text, "I suspect Marty will have calmed down by now and that Stammer (Stamkos) could convince him to let it go. Marty is incredibly competitive and he took that snub very personal. He was mad, but I think it was more him being pissed off than really wanting out of Tampa." My source also stated St.Louis is a very proud guy, so maybe he won't retract his trade demand.
Can you recall the last time a team that high in the standings, had one of their best players ask for a trade leading up to the deadline? This is a rare situation.
I think we would all be surprised how often teams contemplate trading players and how often a player has demanded a trade when they were frustrated, only to calm down a few days later and remain on their current team.
Prior to winning multiple Stanley Cups in Detroit, Yzerman was almost traded to Ottawa. It was public knowledge that the Wings had serious discussions with the Senators, but they wisely elected to keep Yzerman. I think St.Louis and the Lightning can patch things up.
The other twist in this story is that St.Louis has a NMC, so he'd have to agree where he goes, which handcuffs Yzerman even more. The only way I see Yzerman trading St.Louis for Callahan is if the Rangers give him permission to talk about a contract extension first.
Yzerman can't trade St.Louis for a pending UFA who could walk away in July.
If St.Louis is adamant he wants out of Tampa because he didn't originally make the hardest team in the world, then I'd seriously question his perspective. He is good, but he isn't that good. It is a joke that he wants out based on a decision that has nothing to do with his play on the team that pays him. Players have very little contact with their own GM. Players and general managers aren't in constant or even frequent communications, so now he wants to be moved because of a Team Canada snub? Give me a break. I don't like it, but I also think St.Louis is a good enough pro that if he doesn't get dealt he will still play well.
MORE TRADE TALK...
- Craig MacTavish was much more reserved when he discussed his trade strategy yesterday. I think he learned that putting all his cards on the table won't increase the potential to make a deal. He wouldn't talk about any individual player, instead choosing to go with, "we have some veterans UFAs." We all know who they are, Hemsky, Smyth, N.Schultz, Jones, etc.
He mentioned his goal was to try and acquire some picks to replace the 2nd and 3rd rounders that were used to acquire Perron and Scrivens. Again, this wasn't earth shattering news because none of his veterans, other than Hemsky, will garner more than a mid-round pick in return. I think MacTavish will be working the phones feverishly to try and make moves, but his public approach to trades will be more reserved than it was last spring and summer.
- Canucks GM Mike Gillis told TEAM 1040, "I like our team when we have a full and healthy group. We'd like to get
a player to help Kesler, but you have to give up a lot." There is a lot of pressure on Gillis to make the playoffs, but Kesler is hurt, and speculation is he might have a broken hand. Despite losing seven straight before the Olympic break, the Canucks are only one point out of the playoffs and 11 of their next 14 games are against teams currently not in the playoffs.
The Canucks are in a tough spot. They don't have enough scoring currently to compete in the west, but they aren't bad enough to throw away the season. I would try to get Matt Moulson, and while some might say it is too much, I'd offer up Hunter Shinkaruk, 24th pick in the draft last year. Moulson is 30 years old and has at least three, likely four good season left, which fits perfectly with the Canucks window to compete.
- I still believe the Oilers are better off to wait until the off-season to trade Sam Gagner. He has played better of late, and I think there will be more trade partners in the summer than there will be over the next seven days.
- I'm not sure why people think Corey Potter has much trade value. He isn't a regular D-man on the 29th place team, so why would a team add him as depth D-man? He has no playoff experience either. Teams value veterans with experience and that is why I can see N.Schultz being moved for a late pick, but I see no reason why a team would look at Potter. They'd likely much rather trade for Belov.
- If you want a good laugh, read this. The Flames still haven't ruled out the playoffs, but the best sentence is, "If the Flames do fall out of contention and become sellers on the market before the March 5 trade deadline..." News flash Calgary: you are already out of contention. The one thing we know in Edmonton is when a team is out of contention, and you have been out of the race since December 1st. The Flames were 13 points out of 8th then, and they are still 13 points out. If you need any more help in how the draft lottery works, just ask us -- we are all experts in how it works.
- No movement clauses only benefit the player. If a player asks for a trade his NMC should become invalid, or at the very least they should have to submit a list of 10 teams they don't want to go to. At least that way the team has an opportunity to find a fair trade.
It is a joke that players can demand a trade and then dictate where they go. One of the few excellent moves the Oilers have done is not hand out NMC like candy on Halloween. Ference is the only player with one, and I don't see any others who will command one by the time his expires.
- Ryan Miller is so determined to get traded he picked up two assists as well as a win last night. Sabres' GM Tim Murray said yesterday, "Our priority right now on both sides is to pursue a proper trade,” so he is on the market. Who would want Miller?
St.Louis, Minnesota and Washington seem like the obvious destinations. Neuvirth has already asked for a trade, so it would be easy to include him in a package along with some picks or a prospect like Andre Burakovsky (Caps would be hesitant to move him) or a young D-man like Connor Carrick.
The Blues have been rumoured to have interest in Miller for months, but I think they'd look at Steve Ott before Miller, because the asking price will be lower. Minnesota is in a tough spot due to the health issues of Josh Harding, who was playing great until his MS acted up again. They also gave up a lot lats year for Jason Pominville, so I'm not sure if they would be willing to part with three more pieces for a pending UFA.
A complete wildcard might be San Jose. Niemi has been okay, but his career SV% is only .909 in the playoff.
The next week will be extremely entertaining if you are fan of trade talk.
RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR