Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Trade Deadline Wish List

Here's a quick list of players I'd like from teams I think could be selling. I tried to keep these targets realistic, and limited my look to two players a team, maximum.

My targets are pretty much all tough minutes or tough-minutes-capable players. All salary information according to Capgeek.

Anaheim: No one.

Dallas: C Tom Wandell and D Nicklas Grossman. Both are pretty young. Grossman,26, should slot nicely as Green's partner and is signed for next year at $1.625 million (UFA). Wandell, 24, is dirt-cheap and signed for next year at $775k (RFA). Sweet.

Los Angeles: LW Alexei Ponikarovsky. He's a UFA at the end of this year, cap hit $3.2 million. He plays tough minutes with bad teammates, unimpressive zonestart, and comes out ahead, with a +1 in penalty differential per 60 to boot. Personally, I'd try to ship Los Angeles Semin and get back Poni and a good pick or prospect (maybe one of their D prospects like Teubert or Voynov). I see the potential here for opposing GM Dean Lombardi to overrate Semin and vastly underrate Ponikarovsky.

Phoenix: LW Lee Stempniak and C Vernon Fiddler catch my eye, and I'd love C Martin Hanzal the most from anyone on this roster, easily. I'm not liking 'em enough (or willing to pay the price, in Hanzal's case) to try and go after them, if I'm GMGM.

San Jose: Pass. C Joe Pavelski, D Dan Boyle, C/W Logan Couture, C Joe Thornton, and C/W Patrick Marleau aren't realistic.

Edmonton: D Ladislav Smid and RW Ales Hemsky. I've written about Hemsky before, and you can read more about Smid here. Smid is an RFA at the end of this season.

Calgary: RW Curtis Glencross. He's a UFA after this season, cap hit $1.2 million, and doesn't get murdered by kind-of-hard minutes with below-average teammates. If the Capitals can re-sign him, he'll be able to play in the top-6 for sure, and given power play time could hit 50 points. And he's only 28.

Vancouver: RW Jannik Hansen. He's RFA after this season, only 24 years old, cap hit $815k. He plays the toughs in Vancouver along with Manny Malhotra and Raffi Torres. His zone start isn't as drastically low as those two's, but neither is his relative Corsi. He looks like he could post 40 points in more favorable conditions, or at least in the 20s to 30s playing toughs. That being said, I doubt Vancouver is selling.

Colorado: C Paul Stastny or C Jay McClement. Both players can play the toughs and come out ahead. McClement is an elite defensive forward, making a little under $1.5 million for this season and next. Stastny is a nearly-point-per-game 1C making $6.6 million for this season and the three seasons thereafter. Stastny could take a king's ransom, but I'd pay it (anyone outside of Carlzner, Ovechkin, Backstrom, Green, Varlavirth, and Kuznetsov). McClement I feel could be had for a steal (if he's available), and there's little doubt he'll be great value on his contract next season.

Minnesota: D Greg Zanon or RW Cal Clutterbuck. Both play moderately hard minutes with below average teammates and ~35% zone starts. Clutterbuck comes out ahead, draws more penalties than he takes, and, more qualitatively, plays with a lot of energy (think "good" Mathieu Perreault), generating plenty of hits despite his size. Zanon is 30 and has a $1.933 million cap hit next season, while Clutterbuck is 23 and carries a $1.4 million cap hit for the two seasons in addition to this one.

Detroit: No one is both attractive and realistic, if you ask me.

Chicago: I'd only ask about Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg, but they both are getting laced with hard zonestarts and tough competition. It's tough to judge how good they are, so I'll pass.

St. Louis: Ehh, maybe Roman Polak, who's RFA after this season and one of their heavy lifters. Because of health issues, though, let's pass on St. Louis.

Nashville: Everyone with desirable contract length (that is, not UFA after this year) is either untouchable or overpaid, pretty much. Pass.

Columbus: This is fugly. All the good players have terrible Corsis or face really easy competition, so I have no idea how to judge their players. Pass.

Boston: I don't think they're selling.

Montreal: I like some of their D, but they're thin already. Pass.

Buffalo: LW Jochen Hecht. Follow the McClement link above--the 33-year-old Hecht is one of the names there, too. He'll carry a $3.525 million cap hit next season, after which he's UFA. He should be able to score 40 points or more playing 2nd-toughs if not 1st-toughs outright, given PP time of course. And maybe Buffalo wants Mathieu Perreault as someone who can see eye-to-eye with Tyler Ennis. Oh, and Philipp Grubauer needs a German buddy.

Toronto: Clarke MacArthur, Nikolai Kulemin, and Mikhail Grabovski are attractive but will no doubt be overpriced, and I like C Tim Brent too but there's little need right now for another Boyd Gordon, especially as a rental.

Ottawa: D Chris Phillips. He's on the decline but is still a legitimate shut-down defenseman. I really want Phillips more for the chance to sign him to his next contract (he'll be UFA in July), so he can bridge the team to, say, Orlov, so I wouldn't give up much. GM Brian Murray would probably want plenty, though.

Philadelphia: I wanted RW Nik Zherdev for free (he was on waivers), but too late for that. Pass.

Pittsburgh: Just stay away from Shero GMGM, stay away...

New Jersey: C Travis Zajac and D Henrik Tallinder probably aren't available, but both are pretty strong players, beating tough minutes (though Tallinder is 32 and is declining).

New York Rangers: I love me some Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal, Brandon Dubinsky, but who am I kidding? They did trade for C/W Wojtek Wolski though. He's likely off the table for that reason but would have been a nice pick-up.

New York Islanders: C Frans Nielsen or C Josh Bailey. Both are defensive studs. Nielsen in particular is a complete steal at $525k for this year and next (UFA after that). Imagine if one of 'em were centering Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin? Bailey is young (still on his ELC) and may very well be off the table, but for a good package I feel Nielsen could be had. (Sidenote: that kid Travis Hamonic, whom the Sportscentre guy mentions in the TSN 2010 WJC highlights as sitting out? Future Norris candidate, book it)

Atlanta: they honestly don't have very good players, at least among the forwards. Pass.

Florida: Stephen Weiss. See the McClement link above, again.

Tampa Bay: Pass. I'd like Lundin or Brewer, but both are UFA after this year, and the latter has a NTC.

Carolina: ...Joe Corvo doesn't look half bad.


  1. I was following you until i got to "Joe Corvo doesn't look half bad." My reaction to that thought is once is quite enough....

  2. Nice thoughtful work. I would pass on "lateral" moves for Semin (who seems to have hurt his own cause this year with wildly inconsistent play and stick infractions that don't go away). I think the Caps have enough skill in the right positions but seriously lack grit (Ovi, Bradley, Hendricks and Erskine aside) so what about dangling Semin and Perrault, perhaps a prospect/picks, for blue collar players to round out the roster? In this I'm thinking players who make the opposition feel uncomfortable about going into the corners and boards. Seriously, even I'm not afraid to play against half the 'gentlemanly' roster the Caps have put together.

  3. Anonymous:

    You want to trade real talent for blue collar players that can easily be picked up on waives every year.? Well, let's just say I'm glad you are not the Caps' GM.

    Also, Ponikarovsky for Semin? I'm sure Lombardi would take that deal in a heartbeat, lol.

  4. Ouch even if I see your point. I think my point was that Semin disappears too much and I'm thinking trades that aren't one for one but a multi-player move. I agree as far as the waiver wire goes but also thinking win now. Quite frankly I don't know what you do with him - not worth $6 mil, not worth $6.7 next year. Shed the salary, bring in a couple $2-3 mil working players.

    My example of a great trade (especially if it were an off-season move) - pry Chris Neil and Peter Regin (flat out awesome in the payoffs a couple of years ago though currently injured) from Ottawa for roughly half Semin's salary and use the remainder on a veteran D-Man, resigning Laich, etc. Just a thought and I don't think Ottawa is willing to part with either but it illustrates what I mean - these are superb role players who can chip in goals and add character which is badly needed. If people want to be dazzled once in a while by Semin so be it but he's as close to a Kovalev type as you'll find.

    That's my two cents...

  5. Maybe it's just coincidence, maybe not, but I'd love Regin. He looks like a future 2C--he drives the play (very good Corsi).

    It's tough to find really good role players, though. They don't grow on trees (same deal with the mythical big fast crease-clearing shut down defenseman).

  6. You got that right - tough to come by and teams hold fast when they find them. Outside the numbers (player stats, salary, etc. which are not my specialty) I find you can see it in their play - there's just an edge some players bring that exudes success. You see that with the players you named from the Rangers or even the talent in places (there is no more compete and smarts than Martin St. Louis - I would have given an arm and leg to lure him from TB last off-season).

    Anyway, just found your blog - look forward to future posts.