Hossa, Datsyuk, St. Louis. Could They Get Moved?
3 terrific hockey players are currently having some problems coming to terms on a contract with their current clubs.
Marian Hossa is in a rather bitter dispute with the Ottawa Senators that he is about to take to arbitration. Things could get ugly here as he is looking for Iginla/Thornton/Lecavalier type of money despite not having as good a track record as those 3.
Pavel Datsyuk is also in a rough dispute with his club, the Detroit Red Wings. Demanding at least $5 Million, he seems to be pricing himself out of the Wings range as they currently do not have enough cap room to meet the demands of both him and Hendrik Zetterberg.
Martin St. Louis is the reigning MVP and wishes to be paid like one. Seeing fellow teammate Vincent Lecavalier get big bucks has only irked the small speedster even more. A player of his status is certainly going to look for the maximum. It will be hard for the Bolts to meet his demands as they simply have too many good players to keep them all.
So the possibility exists that any or all of these 3 players could get moved. because Hossa and St. Louis are going to be unrestricted free agents next summer it’s make or break for their clubs. Datsyuk still has a few years to go to reach UFA status but he could bury himself in Russia without too many complaints on his part. So each team is going to have to make a big decision in the near future.
So where could these 3 end up? Here are a few possibilities.
Hossa – I know that there was talk of the Sens moving Redden in order to free room for Hossa. But if I were Ottawa I would do the opposite. The sens have proven offensive talents in Daniel Alfredsson and Martin Havlat who can carry the offence. They have a potential young superstar ready to break out and be the offensive leader of the team in Jason Spezza. And the team has always had balanced scoring. No matter what rule changes there are, defence wins championships and there is no team out there with 3 All Star blueliners in their prime.
Here is one possible scenario.
To Ottawa: Handzus, Gagne, Radivojevic, 2nd round pick in 06
To Philly: Hossa, Smolinski
I know that trading within the division and/or conference is improbable. not impossible but improbable. (because I just said this, I would hope opinions on this would be more hockey related). But in terms of a hockey trade, it makes sense. The Flyers need another scorer in case the kids dont perform as well expected and/or if FOrsberg goes down with a long term injury. Hossa would fill that void and give the FLyers a big time 1-2 punch in their lineup. To me Smolinski is useless. He should have been bought out. He is a throw in to make things work contractually.
The Flyers would have a heck of a lineup up front:
For Ottawa, they are deeper than ever. It really helps having a big time offensive star coming through the ranks. Handzus and Radivojevic are exactly what Ottawa needs. More size and grit up front. Handzus especially because they need more depth at centre, more toughness there and a guy who can win faceoffs. and he is good for 20 goals and 50 points too if he gets the ice time. I think Gagne would explode not playing under Hitch*****. i think he could replace many of the goals they would lose from Hossa leaving. Ottawa would be better balanced and still have their big 3 on D.
I am about 95% sure that such a deal wont happen but it makes so much sense hockey wise.
Datsyuk – There was talk of him going for a goalie or more help on defence. But Detroit needs his scoring or someone like him to bring the offence.
To Detroit – Heatley, Stefan
To Atlanta – Datsyuk, Zetterberg
I think Atlanta at some point is going to have to ante up the max contract to both Kovalchuk and Heatley. So why not get two good offensive players and one who could be very dynamic playing with Kovalchuk. Zetterberg would offer better support scoring and really give the Thrashers a balanced attack that coach Hartley was so use to in Colorado.
Detroit would have a young star forward to build around. They havent had a superstar young player that will likely be around for 10 years since Fedorov. Datsyuk is a good player but Heatley is pretty special. This guy could captain the team when the Yzerman era ends.
St Louis – The Rodney Dangerfield of MVPs. no respect. He never has gotten respect throughout his career. Cap space is shrinking in Tampa as they fill up roster spots. St Louis is probably quietly on the trade block but Jay Feaster will deny it. A while back the rumour was St Louis wanting to play in NY but that would be when he is a UFA.
So where could he go?
To Tampa: Mike Johnson, Nagy, Tanabe, Taffe
To Phoenix: St. Louis, Polushin, Draft pick
Superstar player, turned superstar owner, turned superstar GM for Canada, turned coach could use a superstar for his team. I think Gretz from knowing him from the Team Canada work would totally love to have St Louis. The team has plenty of support scorers but no go to guy. Marty would be just that. With Gretzky likely employing a offensive minded skating game, St Louis would be a perfect fit.
Tampa would lose their big star, but get 4 players for the price of 1 and still be a strong contender. depth would be even stronger and in reality they simply could not keep all of Richards, Lecavalier and St Louis. I mean it already cost them Khabibulin.
Let me reiterate. The chances of this happening are near slim to none. But all 3 of those teams that are having problems with these players are going to have to look at their options. Especially Ottawa and Tampa who could lose their stars for nothing next summer. But I thought it would be very interesting to discuss what might happen to these stars as it could alter the landscape of the NHL even more than it already has.