The trade deadline approacheth

deadlines

It’s exactly four weeks, or 28 days until the most anticipated day of the year for hockey fans — trade deadline day. And for the first time in a long time it will happen on a Wednesday instead of a Tuesday.

But how many deals will take place? Will the Oilers make a move in the next month to jumpstart their annual playoff push? It’s all but guaranteed the Oilers will make a move, but don’t expect them to land that coveted left-winger to play with Ales Hemsky. If Tamblowe makes that type of acquisition I would be stunned. Will the Flames tinker to ensure they get out of the first round? I think so.

Please don’t waste our time with an Eklund-like tale of Spezza for Grebeshkov and Cole, or some other fabricated rumour from your co-worker’s sister’s housecleaner that Lecavalier is coming to Edmonton.

Let’s try to look at it realistically. Most teams don’t want to add any salary past this year, so that takes a lot of players out of the equation. Not all of course, but many. So pending UFAs and RFAs will garner the most interest.

In the East there are five teams out of the race right now. The Leafs, Lightning, Senators, Thrashers and Islanders barring a major push in the next month will be sellers, and here are the players that might attract interest.

Along with their contract status after this season, and what their approximate cap hit would be if acquired on the 4th of March.

Atlanta

Mathieu Schneider | D-man | UFA | $1.125 million

Niclas Havelid | D-man | UFA | $540,000

Colby Armstrong | Forward | RFA | $240,000

Marty Reasoner | Forward | UFA | $200,000

Eric Perrin | Forward | UFA | $150,000

Schneider has the most appeal and will certainly get moved for something. He can quarterback a PP better than most, is a good puck mover and partnered with the right guy he can be solid 5-on-5.

Armstrong will get lots of interest, but if Atlanta deals him that just shows you why Don Waddell should be gone. Armstrong is a great energy guy and Pittsburgh would love to have him back.

The rest are bit players at best, and depending on a need might garner some interest.

New York Islanders

Bill Guerin | Forward | UFA | $900,000

Doug Weight | Forward | UFA | $350,000

Mike Comrie | Forward | UFA | $800,000

Richard Park | Forward | UFA | $160,000

Guerin has a no movement clause, so he will only go to a team he thinks has a legitimate shot, but expect him to be moved. Weight told me when he was in Edmonton that he would love to stay in Long Island, but wouldn’t be against a move. Translation he will be moved if they find a taker. Both of those veterans could add something. Guerin has 15 goals to date, while Weight is second on the Islanders in points with 34.

Comrie won’t get as much interest and the Islanders do need to keep some younger forwards around, plus Hillary Duff probably likes having him in New York. Park could be a serviceable 4th liner if a team was looking for depth.

Ottawa

Filip Kuba | D-man | UFA | $600,000

Jason Smith | D-man | One year left | $2.6 next year, $520,000 this year

Chris Neil | Forward | UFA | $240,000

Dean McCammond | Forward | UFA | $180,000

Neil is clearly the most attractive at almost every team would love what he brings. The Oilers would love to get an energy guy who can fight but can also play a regular shift. Kuba is as good as gone if the Sens can find a taker, and they would love to unload Jason Smith, but his foot speed and his contract for next year will make it tough.

McCammond can still fly, and if a team floats a mid-to-late round pick in Bryan Murray’s direction I could see him leaving. There has been lots of speculation surrounding Spezza being moved, but I’d be stunned if that happens. He’s 25, has scored 90 points three times already and is a top-five playmaking centre. Murray would be an idiot to move him.

Tampa Bay

Olaf Kolzig | Goalie | UFA | $300,000

Gary Roberts | Forward | UFA | $240,000

Mark Recchi | Forward | UFA | $240,000

Marek Malik | D-man | UFA | $240,000

Matt Pettinger | Forward | UFA | $220,000

Not a stellar list by any stretch. Roberts still has old man strength and is a great character guy, so I can see someone taking a shot on him. Recchi possibly, but his foot speed has deteriorated badly. Kolzig would be a good insurance policy. And I would be stunned if either Lecavalier or St. Louis is moved.

The Bolts would probably take a bag of pucks for any of the other five guys, just to save a bit of money down the stretch, but the long-term pain in dealing either of the big guns would be tough to take. Right now it is more likely that St. Louis gets moved ahead of Lecavalier, but, again, I think that is a stretch.

Toronto

Nik Antropov | Forward | UFA | $410,000

Dominic Moore | Forward | UFA | $180,000

Pavel Kubina | D-man | One year left | $5 million next year, $1 million this year

Jason Blake | Forward | Three years left at $4 million | $800,000 this year)

Tomas Kaberle | D-man | Two years left at $4.25 million | $850,000 this year

Brian Burke wants to make a splash so you know he will make a few moves at the deadline. Moore is cheap and has become a pretty good PK guy, but he wouldn’t get lots in return. I can’t see any team really wanting Antropov, but someone might take a flier. Kaberle has a no-movement clause, but his salary is pretty decent and he would attract lots of interest if the Leafs can convince him to be traded. He and coach Ron Wilson don’t get along.

The other two are wishful thinking on the Leafs’ part and when you consider they both wear numbers higher than 40, then Burke clearly wants to move them. (In case you missed it Burke said last week that he would like no one to wear a number higher than 40. Stupid, but true.)

There are some other teams in the East who might consider being sellers, but at this point these are the sure bets to be out of the race. The interesting team to watch will be Pittsburgh. Remember they came out of nowhere to get Hossa last year, so don’t be surprised if they try to make a statement either way in the next four weeks.

In the West it’s a little harder to determine who the sellers are. Right now, even the 15th place Blues are only six points out of eighth place, but jumping seven teams to get in would be a stretch.

I think there might be four sellers in a month’s time, and maybe less, but here are my four.

St. Louis

Keith Tkachuk | Forward | UFA | $900,000

Dan Hinote | Forward | UFA | $200,000

Andy McDonald | Forward | UFA | $660,000

Brad Winchester | Forward | UFA | $120,000

Manny Legace | Goalie | UFA | $430,000

Tkachuk has a no-move clause, but the right team could persuade him to lift it. I can’t see the Blues signing him next season, unless he takes a big pay cut.

McDonald is the interesting one. The Blues are trying to extend him right now, but if they can’t by the deadline you wonder if they would move him to ensure they get something for him. Hinote is another pest who can play decent enough and would have some cache on the market. Same for Winchester, who is having a career year in St.Louis, but he is only 27 and dirt cheap right now. I suspect the Blues would like to re-sign him to a two-year deal.

The Blues would almost take anything to rid themselves of Legace, and considering there aren’t many UFA goalies that teams would be willing to deal he might garner some slight interest.

Los Angeles

Denis Gauthier | D-man | UFA | $440,000

Sean O’Donnell | D-man | UFA | $250,000

Kyle Calder | Forward | UFA | $540,000

Derek Armstrong | Forward | UFA | $320,000

The Kings aren’t out of it yet, but with only eleven home games left out of 33 I don’t expect them to stick around. All of the Kings best assets are young and Dean Lombardi is not an idiot, so I would be shocked to see him move any of his young guns.

These four don’t exactly make you tingle with excitement, but Gauthier and O’Donnell are veterans who can play tough, and would be added depth on a blueline. Don’t be surprised to see the Wings or Sharks land one of these guys to protect themselves in case of an injury. Armstrong is near the end of his career and would love one last shot at a cup if the Kings can find a taker, while Calder would be a depth guy at best.

None of these guys would be a difference maker, but they might be an unsung guy for one important game during a Cup run.

Nashville

Steve Sullivan | Forward | UFA | $640,000

Radek Bonk | Forward | UFA | $320,000

Scott Nichol | Forward | UFA | $180,000

Vern Fiddler | Forward | UFA | $150,000

Greg Devries | D-man | UFA | $550,000

Greg Zanon | D-man | UFA | $150,000

The Preds have won a few straight to get them within four points of the final spot, and they desperately want to get to the playoffs so they might not make any moves, but in a month’s time if they’re still six points out with four teams ahead of them then David Poile might have to sell off some assets.

Nichol would be attractive to many teams due to his salary, his tenacity and grit. The Oilers would love a guy like this to bring energy as would many other teams. Bonk is a good draw man and can be a good third- or fourth-line guy. Sullivan is an interesting player. The Preds have got nothing out of him for two years due to injury, so you wonder if they try to at least recoup something. Devries is a willy veteran who could solidify a third pairing. I’m sure lots of teams would take Zanon, who plays 20 minutes a night and is only a -1 in Nashville. Unless the Preds expect him to command a big raise in the off-season I don’t see why they would trade him.

Colorado

Ian Laperriere | Forward | UFA | $230,000

Tyler Arnason | Forward | UFA | $350,000

Jordan Leopold | D-man | UFA | $300,000

Daniel Tjarnqvist | D-man | UFA | $150,000

Andrew Raycroft | Goalie | UFA | $160,000

Laperriere is a great locker room guy and an energy guy, so I’m sure lots of teams would have interest in him. If a team could predict they would play the Oilers, if they make it, in the first round, then picking up Arnason would be worth it. He plays and produces his best against the Oilers.

Leopold has been a bust since coming to Colorado, and if they could get anything for him they would. He might garner some interest, because when he is healthy, which is rare, he can still move the puck efficiently. Raycroft might be an insurance policy, albeit a risky one. The Avs would love to move Darcy Tucker, who was carved in the Rocky Mountain News last week as being the worst UFA signing in Avs history. He has one year left at $2.2 million so I doubt there will be any takers, but he might be a surprise come the deadline.

These are the nine teams who look to be out of it come Mar. 4, so they would be the best bets to be sellers. There are some other names that could be moved. What will the Hawks do with their goaltending? Can they afford to move Khabibulin? The Habs have eleven UFAs this summer; will Bob Gainey move one or two of them in order to make a big splash?

And will the Wild move Marian Gaborik? He could be the Marian Hossa of this year. Sure he is an injury waiting to happen, but when healthy he is a difference maker, and it sounds like there is little chance he will return to Minny. He should be cleared to return from his hip surgery in late March. Will a team take a chance on him?

He might become the most talked about player leading up to the deadline, because outside of him it doesn’t look like there is another big-name player that will be dealt. Let’s hope not.

  • Kent wrote:

    Actually, this post is appearing at both sites simultaneously.

    HAHAHAHA

    The wonder of the internets I am posting on the dark side too. I didn't realize it was on both flames & oilers site.

    @ rindog:

    The way the weather has been lately I didn't realize that hell hath frozen over yet. I don't think it matters what lapel pin Burke has on his jacket he won't trade with us. I think I would rather have Moore out of Toronto anyhow – he's dynamite in the face-off circle too. It looks like he wouldn't cost too much money if we wanted to keep him after his contract is up this year, SNET has him on pace for 50 points so he should be worth 4.5 million this summer? 😛

  • mwhite.dking@nf.sympatico.ca

    JW: I'm like Mr. MiagyI! sp

    It might seem like work at the time but you`ll learn a valuable lesson along the way and then I`ll give you a car so that you can take out Elizabeth Shue on a big date;)

    Lowe once invoked the name of Billy Beane when discussing how he rolls:D so my plan would have the Oilers selling pricey and non-essential guys at a time of the year when those fellows are at their highest value. In the meantime one of those guys is a decided third pairing option and the other fellow`s stil high event and in the red despite playing soft min. And we move 12 in an effort to trade some hitting for some pitching in order to replace 24.

    Now this idea looked better when 71 was healthy but I`d still give it a shot just because neither of these vets are driving the bus and both are being paid too much for what they`re bringing.

    Plus, we bring back a PK and faceoff guy who`s had some chemistry in the past with both 34 and 78.

  • Fortboy

    is it confirmed that Lubo is done for the year (barring a late playoff round maybe)? If so it looks like we'll be a cellar seller this year. Hopefully the boys can dig down and salvage an 8th spot but it's not looking likely with the way their inconsistency of late.

  • JRocks247

    My Oilers wish list:

    Add:
    Mike Rupp
    Jay Bow
    Chris Neil
    Fedetenko
    Call up Brule

    Subtract:
    Cole
    Penner
    Gilbert
    Poo
    Stortini (anyway you can)
    Chorney
    Probably Schremph
    Picks

  • Colin

    JRocks247 wrote:

    My Oilers wish list:

    Add:
    Mike Rupp – Who??
    Jay Bow – No, we have 3 D(regardless of grebs/Gilb) eating big $$$ already next year one more not helping.

    Chris Neil – maybe
    Fedetenko – sure
    Call up Brule – should be done already

    Subtract:
    Cole – No
    Penner -Maybe, I still think he has potential and he's still producing well, despite the perceived level of effort.

    Gilbert -One of him or Grebs has to go(Salary) I'd pick him too(Sorry Ladies)

    Poo -Yes
    Stortini (anyway you can) -Sure
    Chorney – Maybe
    Probably Schremph -Probably
    Picks -Not if you can avoid it

  • erixon

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    Pokie Reddik wrote:

    at least I’m not after Jamie Nye’s job, your the loser with the high squeeky voice.
    Thanks for re-affirming your lameness. I don’t even need to cut you up, since, once again, you have shown how weak of a witty foe you are. Make sure Mommy tucks you in tight tonight.

    Yeah… Wellll, his dad is stronger than YOUR dad! hahaha, we all know Hokey RedDick isn't after anyone's job but the greasy, black-haired manager at McDonalds who thinks his pimp-stache and sideburns are the coolest. Unfortunately for HR, he doesn't have his Grade 10, so it'll have to go to someone with those qualifications.