TRADE DESTINATIONS…

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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

  • derrickhands

    It’s called supply and demand and if teams are willing to pay the price for Gagner or the others. I have feeling things could be very quiet for the Oilers and MacFail. Face it MacTavish needs to get maximum dollar to keep his head above water with the Oiler fans.

  • toprightcorner

    I can’t see Mac T getting picks for all our players, and in fact many will likely just not be resigned next year. However, it’s not unreasonable to think that Hemsky, even as a rental might return a 3rd line type of player a team has too many of and is overpaying for anyway. I could see a team send back a body for an upgrade on skill to go into the cup run.

    I doubt Mac T takes a guy like that but you never know.

  • Oiler63

    Per TSN, Ottawa GM Bryan Murray:

    “Murray added that a GM told him he has a couple of players he wants to deal, but doesn’t expect to do so until the ‘better’ free agents are dealt first.”

    A GM with a couple of “not the better free agents” players available for deals… reading the lines, it’s very likely that GM Murray talked about it McTavish.

    With that we can be reasonably confident that McT’s whole strategy being this:

    Who he wants to deal: Gagner, Hemsky, N Schultz, etc.
    What he wants back: mid round picks.
    When he will make moves: After the “better free agents” on the market are settled.

    He may not necessarily relate the mid-round picks with Gagner or Hemsky, but we can pretty much tell what’s in his cards. McT is a very honest and proud person but I’m not sure disclosing your strategy to your potential trading partners is a good strategy. Is that what he learned from Queens’ MBA?

  • toprightcorner

    So St. Louis is saying he is mad at Yzerman for not adding him to the team cause he is his boss? In other words since he can’t get selected on his own merit by a group of hockey experts that he should get on the team because of who he knows? And now he is crying about it?

    If this rumour is true, I lost respect for a player I have always liked.

  • toprightcorner

    Hey Jason wouldn’t other savvy GMs realize Gags NMC kicks in on the contract after free agency starts, and use that as leverage to lower their offer? In other words, before the trade deadline would be the best time to deal him.

    • Jason Gregor

      His NMC only lasts next year. He doesn’t have one in the final year of his contract, so if they want him they likely won’t care because it is only one season.

      • Rocknrolla

        Hey Gregor,

        Another question that has always baffled me since the Vishnovsky debacle…

        When you waive your NTC, is it now removed from the contract? Or does it go back to how it originally was? Or does it depend of you waive it for a short window.

        There seems to be a lot of confusion out there about this and might be a good question for one of the CBA gurus.

      • Arius Mumin

        If MacT is on record saying so: why use the word supposedly? You calling MacT a liar?

        If what you suppose is the truth: what weight does Gagner have to hold up a trade? None?

  • Serious Gord

    Also there should be no hard rules regarding NMC and demanding a trade. GMs also have leverage when a player demands a trade – he can threaten let the player rot unless the player relaxes who he will play with.

    What surprises me is that a player would publically demand a trade or let more than the GM one on one know they want to be traded (I would even keep it from the coach). It becomes like a Scarlett letter – reducing their value going forward. Publically embarrassing/pressuring management is never a wise move regardless of what the job is.

    (Still can’t believe KLowe was so accommodating of prongers demand to be traded.)

    • pkam

      I may be wrong but I don’t think Pronger made his request public. Pronger made a huge mistake that would destroy his marriage and family if he stayed here. That is what a reasonable manager will do to help his employees. Why would you not try to help if you can do something to save his marriage and family?

      And the return is not unreasonable, Lupul is a 7th overall, Smid is a 9th overall, plus a 1st rounder, a 2nd rounder and a conditional 1st rounder. What did Senators got for Heatley and Columbus got for Nash?

      The one that shouldn’t be tolerated is Souray. Not only did he make it public, he even bad mouth the management. How ironic that you stood behind Souray and blamed Lowe and Tambo for doing what you said should be done (let them rot) to player publicly demands for a trade.

      • Serious Gord

        You misunderstand me.

        Public or not Klowe was too accommodating to pronger wishes – cuting a deal far too quickly and I beg to differ on the return – pronger was at least as well regarded a dman then as weber is now.

        As for Souray I said nothing about him – don’t take that as defense of how that was handled. That was bad conduct on both sides, though I wonder whether souray asked privately before going public.

        • pkam

          So you think Lupul (7th overall), Smid (9th overall), 2 1st rounders and a 2nd rounder is not enough for Pronger?

          One year before we traded Pronger away, we acquired him for Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch.

          Couple of days ago, Jim Matheson wrote an article in Edmonton Journal – ‘What would Shea Weber cost the Edmonton Oilers?’, Jim didn’t actually say what we should pay, but he suggested what the Flyers would be willing to pay, “centre Brayden Schenn and winger Jake Voracek and a defenceman or a first-round pick”. In other words, a 5th overall, a 7th overall and a 1st rounder for Weber. So a 7th overall, 9th overall, 2 1st rounder and a 2nd rounder is less than a 5th overall, a 7th overall, 2 1st rounder and a 2nd rounder?

          On one hand, you said that Lowe was too quick to trade Pronger. But in this case, Lowe was trying to help Pronger out of his mistake and save his marriage and family, yet still get a reasonable return.

          On the other hand, you said that was bad conduct on the management, when Tambo try to get a reasonable return for Souray, but Souray got impatient and went public and trash the management, so they decide to let him rot, like you suggested.

          Not sure how you would’ve have handled these two cases but obviously it would be different than Lowe and Tambo. However, I would’ve done it the same way as the Oilers management.

  • Serious Gord

    “I think he learned that putting all his cards on the table won’t increase the potential to make a deal. ”

    He had to LEARN that? That’s negotiating 101.

    • toprightcorner

      How are they going to replace a 3rd line RW, and fourth line centre, and number 6 and 7 defender, a backup goalie, and Jones?

      Hmmmm, I think there are easy answers to a lot of those pieces. We just acquired a number 7 defender, not to mention Marincin, Klefbomb, Nurse, etc…

      I’m sure there’s a number 6stay at home defender out there, and if not see above.

      Lander or Arco for fourth line centre, and 3rd line RW … hmmm, maybe Steve Downie?

    • Jason Gregor

      Do you think any of those players are major difference makers and guys who are making big impacts on a nightly basis?

      Hemsky will be the most difficult to replace, and even if they trade Smyth, he would gladly re-sign with Oilers in the summer.

      • If they don’t make a difference then why would top teams in search of a Stanley Cup want to trad for them?

        I realize they are UFA’s and are not what they use to be but there veterans on a team lacking that exact player.

        If your trading them for picks your gong backwards, trade them for other veterans, but trading Hemsky for a second rounder is backwards.

        • Jason Gregor

          I said Hemsky would be tough to replace…You trade him for something instead of losing him for nothing. There is no reason for him to re-sign in Edmonton.

          He doesn’t want to be a 3rd line winger, and 8 years of losing would wear on a guy.

          The top teams are looking for guys who can fill a small void, because they have great D and great forwards and usually are looking for depth. That isn’t the case in Edmonton. The Oilers have many holes, and losing Potter, N.Schultz or Jones won’t set them back.

  • vetinari

    Would prefer to see some actual NHLers come back our way when we move some players out but I know that teams loading up on Cup runs, won’t part with anything other than picks, prospects and spare parts at this time of year.

    As for Calgary… no guys, you’re fine… really… start unloading your prospects and picks for some pending UFA’s and call us in July to tell us how that works out for you… in fact, we’ll get you started– would you like to send us your first rounder for Hemsky, Potter and N. Schultz? Limited time offer.

  • Posti

    Anyone else find it funny that the Flames “might” consider themselves “sellers” soon? They are more like an idiot at a garage sale giving away Monet paintings for $10 o.b.o. then actual “sellers”. What exactly have they gotten (besides screwed) for Iginla, Phanuef and Team Canada’s top 4D man Jay Bo? Those trades alone set back their rebuild by at least 2 years.

  • Posti

    I hope when/if the Oilers make a trade there are some warm bodies coming back. If we trade away veterans for picks that don’t play for 2-5 years what’s the point? The farm doesn’t have any real good forwards that are going to make a difference next year, so I think we need a prospect that can make the team next year.

    Just my 2 cents.