Buyers and Sellers: Western Conference Edition

In the trade deadline period before the upcoming CBA, the dichotomy between teams who are buying (cashing in) and those who are selling (fire sale-ing) is more obvious than ever.

This article takes a brief look at who teams may go after, but doesn’t always speculate as to who or what might go the other ways, cause unless you’re a Leaf fan, you just apparently don’t know anymore.ANAHEIM:

Status: Sellers

Reason: Out of playoff race after strong season last year

Most Desired Asset: Keith Carney

Who Might Get Him: Nashville or Toronto

Keith Carney is one of the most reliable stay at home defenseman in the league and was an integral feature in the Ducks going all the way to the Cup finals last season. Teams such as the Predators and even the Maple Leafs will be all over the Ducks with offers for Carney this trade deadline, but he may be just too valuable to the franchise to give away. Expect him to not come cheap.

CALGARY

Status: Buyers (minor level)

Reason: Overperforming, and playoff bound for the first time in centuries

Most Desired Asset: Young talented depth forwards

Where Might They Look: Chicago and NYR

Calgary is a shock playoff arrival in a year where it seems so many teams are doing their best out West to try and miss the playoffs. Calgary isn’t exactly the richest team in the league and are trying to unload salaries such as that of Turek to afford Iginla post-CBA. They may however seek further depth in the wake of the Nieminen move yesterday. Rumours seem to center around the Rangers as trade partners, though by expending Gauthier (if they so wish) the Flames may be open to youthful talent from a number of markets, including Chicago, Phoenix, Toronto and Pittsburgh.

CHICAGO

Status: Sellers

Reason: They’ve deteriorated as a franchise

Most Desired Asset: Alexander Karpovtsev

Who Might Want Him: Nashville, Vancouver, San Jose

Well nearly every other veteran presence on this team is gone now, and Karpo remains the last piece in the firesale puzzle. There are plenty of teams out there looking for a stay at home dman, and Karpovtsev is a much cheaper option than other higher profile deadlinees. Nashville may look to deal with the Blackhawks again (especially considering how cheap they got Sullivan) and San Jose may wish to acquire a veteran dman for a playoff push. Both have the assets to pull off such a trade. Toronto may just go for the bigger fish.

COLORADO

Status: Buyers

Reason: Perennial Contenders

Most Desired Asset: A backup for the playoffs

Where Might They Look: Who knows, its PL…

The Avs are ready for another run. They’ve got the forwards, they’ve got the D (albeit Blake-less at least for now) and they’ve got a ready-to-rumble Aebischer. But Sauve isn’t the goalie yet to co-star in such a playoff run. In a deadline full of overpaid starters being on the block, the Avs may find it tough to get that experienced backup for cheap. Names such as Tugnutt and Irbe (as ridiculous as they sound) may be reasonable options for the Avs to pursue.

COLUMBUS:

Status: Sellers

Reason: Because despite what titans thinks, they suck

Most Desired Assets: Geoff Sanderson, Scott Lachance and Andrew Cassels

Who Might Want Them: At the right price, any buyer

Sanderson is getting on a bit, but with a good line he could be a very good playoff acquistion for a team looking to add that little bit extra. San Jose could make a push, they’re looking for a little veteran influence, but perhaps he’s out of their price range. He might look good with the Sedins too, but I doubt Burke pulls the trigger for him. Cassels could go to Detroit, though I would contend they’d be looking more towards Lang or someone like that who’s more of a guarantee. And Lachance, who knows, who cares?

DALLAS

Status: Buyers and Sellers (probably the only ones)

Reason: They’re on the playoff knife-edge but in form

Most Desired Asset: Yet another dman

Where Might They Look: Washington

Dallas is apparently very interested in the Capitals firesale, and in particular Sergei Gonchar. Problem is I don’t know if the Stars have what it takes to get Sergei without giving up Morrow, which is something they WON’T want to do. Gonchar I don’t think is what the Stars really need, but I don’t know the Stars well enough to fully speculate. In terms of selling, Arnott and his salary could be possibly had despite his decent season, and Dallas would love for there to be takers on Turgeon, though there probably won’t be since there hasn’t been yet.

DETROIT

Status: Buyers

Reason: Perennial contenders

Most Desired Asset: More Strikepower

Who They Might Get: Andrew Cassels, Robert Lang, Doug Weight, Alexei Kovalev

With the goalie mess seemingly sorted itself (8 million dollars later though), the Wings are ready to make yet another Cup run. Certainly not as dominant as in recent times, perhaps the offence though stellar isn’t superhuman this time. Another center or scoring winger would perhaps change that. Will they go after Cassels, probably not, he is a division rival and a little soft. Will they go after Weight, probably not since his pricetag of 8.5 million is probably too much for the Wings now, which leaves Lang as the most affordable/desirable centering option. In more recent news though, Mark Howe has certainly been scouting New York Rangers games, almost certainly in an effort to examine Alexei Kovalev. Kovalev would certainly give the Wings a much more potent offense and is affordable enough that the Wings might just make the deal with the Rangers for him.

EDMONTON

Status: Sellers

Reason: Disappointing season that will most likely see them miss the playoffs

Most Desired Assets: Ryan Smyth and Jason Smith

Who Might Want Them: Montreal (Smyth) and Toronto, New York Islanders, Nashville (Smith).

Though it wouldn’t be a shock to see these two remain in Edmonton, the fact of the matter is, that they are highly valued commodities right now, though in the case of Smyth, the salary might be a slight deterrent. Montreal need that grit, size and skill, and Smyth would be a great fit for them, but will Habs management make the move, hard to say. Smith is the kind of tough, stay at home defenseman and leader that a lot of teams would value heading into the playoffs. He’s the one dman I’m scared the Leafs might actually get that would make them more compeititive. The Isles have said they wouldn’t mind another dman, but Smith might be out of their reaches I think. And as with every mention of a dman at this deadline, Nashville are players, because for them to be serious, they need to solidify up back (especially when your two best dman are so offensive minded).

LOS ANGELES

Status: Neither

Reason: More injured than healthy

Who Might They Get: Probably no one

Unfortunately for LA, they’re probably going to have to go into the playoffs (if they can indeed make it) with what they have. A full strength LA team with Deadmarsh, Palffy, Allison, Straka and what have you would certainly be a scary NHL superpower, but the reality is, that seeing that team is now a pipedream with the perchance retirement of Allison and Deadmarsh. LA might sell if it looks like they might miss the playoffs, but there seems like no point. Besides they’ll be too in the thick of things to take such a chance.

MINNESOTA

Status: Sellers

Reason: Disappointing campaign after last year’s heroics

Most Desired Asset: Manny Fernandez

Who Might Want Him: New York Rangers

Minnesota won’t be big players at the deadline. And besides the possible small name player (see Darby Hendrickson) unless Fernandez goes, I don’t see them being big players at all. Why the Rangers would want him (he’s certainly no upgrade over Dunham) is beyond me. Could he backup for the Avs, probably, but I doubt Riseborough deals him to a division power.

NASHVILLE

Status: Buyers

Reason: First ever playoff run

Most Desired Assets: Alexander Karpovtsev, Jason Smith, Keith Carney, Brendan Witt

Nashville have been one of the surprise packages of the year. The reason: because guys like Hartnell, Legwand, Erat and Orszagh are playing up to expectations. The real reasons: Zidlicky and Vokoun. The Preds are just a stay at home dman (in my opinion) away from being borderline contenders. They could finish as high as 5th, and realistically would give the Cansucks an interest battle to contend with if they did. If they finished 6th though, I’d almost rate them to pull off the upset of the first round out West. This team is ready. Witt might be a bit of a stretch as I don’t think the Caps will trade him if they deal Gonchar, but the other three listed are all viable options for a Nashville franchise with plenty of trade bait.

PHOENIX

Status: Sellers

Reason: Barnett sucks

Most Desired Asset: Chris Gratton

Who Might Want Him: New Jersey Devils

Though the idea of Chris Gratton and Pat Burns tolerating each other for a prolonged period of time does sound intriguing, it could happen. New Jersey needs another gritty center man, and the underachieving Gratton could be a reasonable option. Phoenix makes too many trades to begin with, but this deadline I see them staying fairly dormant, because they probably won’t part with Mara and no one wants to azquire Savage or probably Gratton either.

ST LOUIS

Status: Play it by ear, I’ll get back to you on March 8th

Reason: They have key dmen out and they’re on the brink of missing the playoffs

Who Might They Get: A dman

Who Might They Trade: Chris Pronger, Doug Weight, Brent Johnson

It seems strange that you could say they might get a dman in one sentence and then say they might trade Pronger in the next. For the record I don’t think Pronger is going anywhere, playoffs or otherwise. He IS the Blues. All the usual suspect dmen already listed may be on the Blues wishlist, but they are thin on collateral to send the other way. Doug Weight’s pricetag makes him difficult to move as well, but Detroit might just be interested enough to make inquiries. Brent Johnson seems to be the out of favour backup that no one wants, not even the Avs.

SAN JOSE

Status: Buyers

Reason: Surprise playoff positioning

Most Desired Assets: Experienced Dman or forward

Where Might They Look: Edmonton, Columbus, Chicago

San Jose, like Nashville weren’t really tipped to do anything this season, and with 76 points and only 5 behind the Redwings, they’ve opened up all our eyes. The Sharks won’t be big players at the deadline, their GM has even said it, but if Wilson et al see the right deal, they won’t hesitate. Experience may be the name of the game for San Jose, so expect to see them ask about the veterans in Columbus, as well as Jason Smith and Karpovtsev. May very well go into the playoffs as-is though.

VANCOUVER

Status: Buyers

Reason: Because the Canucks think they’re contenders

Most Desired Assets: A second line or another dman

Where Might They Look: Columbus, Edmonton all the usual suspect places

Vancouver I still don’t think have what it takes, especially if they have any illusions of playing Cloutier in the post season. Full strength, they’re a second line player and disposing of Malik away from being a great team. With that said, they may go after the depth dman (Lachance, Bombardir etc) or they might go after the second line player such as Sanderson, KH or even O’Neill if the price was right. Burke hasn’t finished yet before the deadline is over, but I would expect only one move either way, but for it to be a decisive one. For more info contact Great_one today.

Ross Byrnes (Nothingman)

Vice Admin of Wowhockey

PS: When I say “Most desired asset” I mean players that have a realistic chance of being dealt or wanted by other teams.


15 Responses to Buyers and Sellers: Western Conference Edition

  1. distance7 says:

    Good article that actually took some work. I’d love to see Witt in Nashville, I doubt Carney is going to be on the move to anywhere…Jason Smith would be fine if Poile can go without giving up too much.

  2. TC_4 says:

    They can look at the guys out East for players too you know!?!? But good article. I would have disagreed with you on the Oilers before tonight’s game, but not now. They’re done. The team just can’t put a streak together and it just isn’t there year. I’ll say it again, Eric Lindros will be a hot commodity at the deadline and my money is on Vancouver to give up a conditional pick to the Rangers. Should he get hurt again this season, the Rangers get a 9th round pick. Should he stay healthy, a 2nd round pick. Should they re-sign him after the season, a 1st round pick. But any team may do that for Lindros. Edmonton will unload Oates, Smith, and maybe a forward such as Horcoff or Chimera(hope not Chimera). The return for Horcoff may not be higher then it is right now. Salo may have a market since he isn’t TOO expensive(like Turek), and maybe Colorado would want him as a backup, but the return would be next to nothing I would guess. Look for the nucks to add another centre(if not Lindros). Cassels, Gratton and Ruchin would all be good fits in Vancouver. But, we’ll see……

  3. GilaMonster says:

    i doubt carney will be going anywhere it would have to be the perfect deal as for dallas its hard to see them getting gonchar or leetch as rumored since they dont have much too give up. LA i think will be a buyer on a smaller scale but i can certainly see them in the running for a guy like geoff sanderson. and as for vancouver we’re talking about brian burke,the team makes money but he wont trade for second line help and he still thinks cloutier is the man.

  4. habs79 says:

    I would have to disagree with you when you say Dallas has nothing to give up. With players like Morrow, Steve Ott, Niko Kapanen. The problem isn’t having anything, it’s are they willing to part with what it takes, because players like Gonchar and Leetch won’t come cheap they would have to give up Morrow. I would suggest they use Ott and/or Kapanen in some kind of package to get someone like Jason Smith.

  5. CanuckXpert says:

    I just want to say a couple things:

    If you ask me, Dallas could use Scott Lachance more than Gonchar or Leetch. They have a lot of offence from their blueline already and to be honest, I don’t know why they haven’t been winning because they have a very complete lineup. If anything they should get more grit.

    Buffalo could be players, they have a good set of young forwards and if you ask me, could make the playoffs no problem if they accquired Jason Smith.

    As for my team, Vancouver… there’s been talk of lots of players, and I’d like O’Niell the best. We could use Lachance back, too. I don’t know why everyone hates Marek Malik so much: I know he can’t skate, but he plays a VERY important role on the team, and has one of the highest +/- in the league. He’s essentially a much larger and more offensive Murray Baron.

    The biggest thing I wanna mention is Brian Burke. The last 2 years, he has done nothing at the deadline. However, he has had reasons for it. 2 years ago, we barely made the playoffs and were in no way “cup contenders” so it didn’t make sense to shore up for an unwinable playoff run. Last year, was the first year in a long time we actually turned a profit as a franchise, so Burke didn’t want to blow it all. This year, everything is ready, and Burke’s job is on the line if he doesn’t do something big. With the CBA next year, and Sullivan going to Nashville (which pissed off all Vancouver fans), there’s just no reason the Canucks won’t make a big splash this year. With the accquisition of an impact winger, the team will be absolutely complete. We could use a D-man for depth, but it’s not a neccessity. I admit we’d have to use Fedorov or Bouck on our third line but if you ask me, they’re good enough.

    I still say we coulda had Sullivan for Ruutu straight up, which really bugs me. Nevertheless, I just don’t see the Canucks staying out of this deadline, there’s just no reasoning for it.

  6. piettro22 says:

    Funny how Barnett got the job…(hint: who’s the owner of the Coyotes! He must be real dumb to…oh whops…sorry Gretz!)

    Great article…although some of us assholes would not agree in particular with some of the suggestions, but point well-taken!

  7. OttawaUhockeyfan says:

    Very good article. Kuddos for some serious thought into possible trades. Nothing too flashy. Usually the trade deadline is more hype than what actually happens. As an Avs fan, with the mysterious injuries ( or ONE injury that keeps recurring) i wonder if PL would acquire a guy like Jeff O’Neil either to play centre ( when Forsberg is injured) or the wing on a 3rd or 2nd line. He’s only 29 i think, and Selanne won’t be back next year, so he could be a long-term solution. Of course, Carolina might want an impact player immmediately for him so that might not happen. But if the price is a young prospect ( like Marek Svatos for example) it could be interesting. If not, try to gun for Kovalev to keep him out of Detroit LOL

    Marc-André

  8. devfanman4 says:

    Great article Nothingman! I don’t have much to say about the West because I don’t know much about them being on the east coast.

    Any chance of an Eastern version of this?

  9. wingedim says:

    MacLean has indicated that he’s not looking to ‘sell’ to many of his high priced guys as the free agency market looks bleak this summer for what he can likely afford.

    I doubt if you’ll see Sandy traded away as he has been consistant in his production from day one. This year is an abboration for him seeing has he’s been healthy for the year.

    Cassels I think may find a new home and he’ll go for a young gun and/or a pick or two (I would hope).

    LaChance is the one that MacLean wants gone from what I’ve heard. He’ll be the cheapest to be had at likely a couple of picks and those being later ones.

    Richardson from what I’ve heard/read is untouchable but who knows for sure.

    You might see some of the teams looking to add some grit inquire about Ling or Shelley.

    The Bluejackets looked good on paper this year, but with the injury bug biting hard/often and early along with the underachieving of the veterens they are on the outside looking in yet again this year.

  10. TheTruth says:

    Vancouver are going to make a trade, only one of note though. I get the feeling that Brian B wants a solid D man. With Naslund back from injury, the Sedins playing well and Fedor Fedorov showing off his skill the canucks have a good offence down the lines. So don’t expect a big trade up front. Malik won’t go anywhere. The most likely player from columbus to come accross would be Cassels.

  11. Treva says:

    The canucks are not going to get rid of Ruutu, not for a while. Ruutu will be on the nucks for as long as forsberg is in the league. Jarko made Peter invisble the last game they played.

    Lachance is only sound defensively, I would rather have bombadir, who is a physical presence and as good on D as Lachance. Playoffs are about grinding teams down, we need O’niel. For what? I don’t know – but Umburger and Baumgartner sounds decent, and is Burke showcasing Federov??

  12. angryjew says:

    LA will be a buyer. la kings president tim lewiweke stated that he has given senor vp/general manager dave taylor the ok to make a deal come playoff time. he said that money is not a matter and just to not give away any of our young tallent(frolov,cammalleri,piernes,brown,gleason,aulin,etc…) and in a past article here at htr the kings were rumored to be interested in the newly aquired capitals foward anson carter.

  13. bringbacktocchet says:

    anson rumors have been going for years since his days in edmonton. i think he would do well in l.a. the east is definitely not his style. although i would like to see them go after some blue line help. gleason and corvo will be good, but not right now in the playoffs. holland is an ahl d man. they need to get somebody with some size to clear out the front of the net and/or somebody to help their power play. nobody succeeds in the playoffs with our special teams numbers. who knows when lubo or miler will return. i think they will be buyers at the trade deadline, but as a i posted before how much will dave give up if realistically they can only go to the first round? go kings go!

  14. matrix2003 says:

    Carney will be had for a third fourth or fifth round pick , he won’t be expensive as you said, have you not watched who has been involved in the past few trades.

  15. CanuckXpert says:

    If you ask me, Carter is better suited to Eastern Conference play. He’s never been as offensive as people want him to be, and he has a lot to offer in the way of grit and defensive play. He’s done a pretty good job in Washington so far. I expect he will stay put.

    LA shouldn’t really trade unless they actually believe they have a hope at the cup; anything else, and they’re just wasting their future. I guess that’s a hard perspective to see when you’re a fan, but seriously unless you’re getting a player you plan to keep, I wouldn’t do anything if I were the LA GM.

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