Let’s be honest, every guy and girl has thought about trading up!
You think your wife/girlfriend or husband/boyfriend’s expiry date is past due and the hot guy/girl at the bar is going to make your life instantly better and hotter. Don’t lie, you’ve all thought that at some point. Most of you have realized that it was a ridiculous thought and made the right choice to go home, but some of you have given in to the allure of lust, ecstacy and instant gratification.
Will some GMs be seduced into overpaying to move up a few spots on Friday?
It definitely sounds like the discussions have been even hot and heavy, but will any of these talks turn into trades?
Some of these teams/names might not be new to you, but there are some interesting names and scenarios being tossed around.
- Mike Gillis wants to move up and he is open to dealing Corey Schneider and/or Cody Hodgson. Both are former first rounders, but Schneider seems like the flavour of the day. Would Scott Howson trade the number eight for both of them, or would he need more? Would Tambellini trade the 19th to Vancouver for Schneider? Would Gillis trade him within the division? Would you make that deal?
- The Panthers’ number three pick is in play, and Dale Tallon is on record as saying you can get the same player at number eight that you would at number three. But right now the price seems pretty high. Rumblings of Ottawa giving up their #6 and #21 to move up to #3 are out there.
- Steve Tambellini is hunkered down somewhere in Minneapolis and is working the phones. If Tambellini doesn’t make a move it won’t be for lack of trying. Many feel he is trying to cook up something big. We heard this last year and nothing transpired, but Tambellini admitted that last year taught him a lot, so maybe he will be a better negotiator this year. He said he won’t waste time with "tire kickers" this year. I can tell you that no one, outside of maybe Stu MacGregor and Kevin Lowe, truly knows what Tambellini is thinking or which players he is looking at. Tambellini is extremely secretive, which isn’t a bad thing, but it makes it difficult to get a good read on who he is seriously considering moving in or out.
- If you missed it yesterday, Joe Nieuwendyk said he is willing to trade down from #14 if he can get two or possibly three picks in return. Would he deal #14 for the Oilers #19 and #61? In 2003 the Oilers traded the #17 pick to NJ for #22 and #68, so my deal with the Stars seems similar. Oiler fans would dance a jig and make Tambellini posters, if he made the deal and the 14th pick turned into a player even close to Zach Parise.
- Cam Barker could be had from Minnesota, and it would cost very little. The Wild are planning on buying him out at 1/3 of his contract, so he wouldn’t cost a lot. Teams might just wait until he is an UFA, but he is in play. Bob Stauffer wondered aloud to me if the Wild would have any interest in a Barker for Souray swap, with the Oilers sweetening the pot to make it happen. The Oilers would make that deal, but would the Wild be interested in paying Souray $4.5 million? The Wild need to make a splash with their fans this weekend, and trading away Barker would help. Remember that they traded away "Mr. Minnesota" Nick Leddy to get Barker and many fans are still upset about that deal.
- I had to separate conversations with a scout and then an agent yesterday and both of them brought up Robyn Regehr’s name. The Flames would move him, but will a team deem him worthy of parting with a first rounder, or will it involve an NHL player? The Canucks would take him, but I can’t see a trade involving them. Maybe we see a scenario like the Oilers, Hurricanes and Kings from a few years ago. Regehr goes to an eastern team and then they swap him out west. Regehr is definitely in play, and it makes sense for the Flames. They need to get younger and quicker.
- Don’t be surprised to see Adam Larsson drop to number four if Florida doesn’t trade their pick. Colorado is high on Huberdeau and the Panthers like Landeskog. The Devils could have Larsson fall right into their lap. They took Scott Niedermayer 3rd overall in 1991, and 20 years later they might land another solid D-man.
The interesting thing for me is the talk regarding what it would cost to move up. Would the Senators part with two picks in the top 21 to move up three spots? That seems steep, but the Sens supposedly want to move up.
Every year we hear that teams want to move up, but the big deals never seem to happen. Last year, however, there was five trades involving seven first-round picks.
- The Kings traded the 15th pick to Florida for the 19th and the 59th pick.
- The Senators traded the 16th pick to St. Louis for D-man David Rundblad, the 17th pick in 2009.
- Montreal traded the 22nd and 113th (4th rounder) to Phoenix for the 27th and 57th picks.
- The Canucks traded Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and the 25th pick to Florida for Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich. Then the Panthers shockingly waived Grabner in October, the Islanders picked him up, and he was a Calder finalist.
- Chicago traded the 30th pick to the Islanders for the 35th and 58th pick.
On day one last year the Flyers also traded a 3rd rounder to Nashville for the rights to Dan Hamhuis, but they didn’t end up signing him. And there was six deals on day two, including the Oilers sending Riley Nash to Carolina for the 46th pick, Martin Marincin, and the Flames acquired Henrik Karlsson for a measly 6th rounder.
Erik Gudbranson’s name has come up again, but it doesn’t make sense on many fronts why the Panthers would trade him. They are debating/arguing over B level bonus incentives in his contract. The Panthers have to spend over $30 million just to reach the salary floor, so why bicker over bonuses that they likely will never have to pay out? If the Panthers are seriously that cheap, then that’s why they want to trade down from #3, (so the bonus structure is less) and why I’ve said all along there is no way they try to get the first overall pick. I still think the Panthers will sign him, but his name has popped up in some trade rumours.
I’ve also had three different scouts ask me my thoughts on Sam Gagner. They did ask about some other guys, but Gagner seemed to be their main focus.
Gagner’s value, worth and potential varies amongst Oiler fans more than any other player right now. There is the camp that suggests he is just starting to mature and will be a solid 2nd line centre, while the other half thinks he’ll never be that guy. It is a great debate, and I sense from the scouts I talked to that they too are split into those camps.
Keep in mind that Tambellini wasn’t here when Gagner was drafted. I’m not suggesting that Tambellini isn’t high on Gagner, but every GM on every team is more emotionally connected to players that they’ve signed, drafted or traded for.
I will have Rick Valette, agent for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on my show today at 3:05 MDT. You can listen on line at www.jasongregor.com or on TEAM 1260. Valette and the Octagon group also represent Huberdeau and Landeskog, so he will have some interesting thoughts on the draft and what teams are thinking.