Trade talk heats up as deadline looms

More activity on the way – both before and after Olympics – after busy week, GMs say

David Shoalts

The salary cap has squeezed the fun out of the NHL’s trade market in recent years, but a series of blockbuster trades this week had fans buzzing and two general managers say there will be more activity.

Thanks to the squeezing of the league schedule to accommodate the two-week Olympic break, which begins Feb. 15, Brian Burke of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ken Holland of the Detroit Red Wings expect to see two periods of horse-trading – one in the last few days before the break and the usual one up to the March 3 trade deadline.

That is despite the fact the biggest prize – superstar Ilya Kovalchuk – is off the market after his trade from the Atlanta Thrashers to the New Jersey Devils Thursday night.

“I think you’re going to see lots of action,” said Burke, who made a splash of his own this week with two blockbuster trades that involved 10 players and brought defenceman Dion Phaneuf and goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère to Toronto.

“But when you’re looking at rental players, you have to sort out who’s buying and who’s selling,” Burke added.

What will add some extra spice to this year’s deadline, along with the artificial deadline of the Olympic break, is the large number of teams who have yet to decide if they are buyers or sellers.

“It’s a competitive marketplace because, other than a couple of teams in the Western Conference that are way ahead, there are a lot of teams jammed up,” Holland said. “There’s 11 points between third and 13th place in the west and the same thing in the east.”

Before last night’s games, there were six points separating the eight teams that sat between sixth and 13th place in the Eastern Conference.

That is a fight for three playoff spots. In the Western Conference, there are 11 teams involved in an 11-point spread between third place and 13th, which covers six playoff spots.

In addition to the large number of would-be contenders, there are also some underachievers and overachievers who need to prepare themselves for a playoff run.

The Red Wings, for one, have been bobbing in and out of the eighth and last playoff spot all season because of injuries to key players. Also on the underachiever list are the Flames, who made two big trades this week, the St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and maybe, if their inconsistency continues, the Philadelphia Flyers.

34 Responses to Trade talk heats up as deadline looms

  1. jlbhawks says:

    I personally feel the kings will be the next team to make a move if the wallin trade is completed today

  2. Bure96 says:

    Steve Bernier is as good as gone in Vancouver. Alain Vigneault scratched him today, and has questioned his work ethic recently. It would make sense, because considering his size and skill he should be a 30 goal scorer.

    To St. Louis: Steve Bernier, Jannik Hansen, Cory Schneider, 5th rounder
    To Vancouver: David Backes, Brad Winchester, Ian Cole

    Makes tons of sense for both teams. Vancouver made an offersheet to Backes in the past, and St. Louis offered one to Bernier as well. Bernier and Backes are both power forwards and do the same thing really – although Backes does that good job better. 120 hits this year, 28 goals last year shows that he has scoring potential too. Both are the same age. Backes is playing the body, and offensively is having a down year compared to last year too. He has to be available for the right offer. Brad Winchester is another huge body. 4th line player, won't score much, but he plays the body, and Vancouver could use more size. Hansen just isn't a fit in Vancouver. Not quite good enough to be a good 6 now on Vancouver, and this team needs more size, so although he's a good defensively forward, and seems like a perfect fit for the 3rd line he can't knock Bernier, or Glass off that line mostly, because they are more physical. Chris Mason is in a contract year, and could be traded, and really until Jake Allen develops which could take another 4 – 5 years they don't have a solution in goal. Ty Conklin is solid, but he can't start 65 games for you. Cory Schneider could be there franchise goalie. Ian Cole is a former 1st round pick, but where would he play on a blueline that already features Eric Brewer, Barret Jackmen, Eric Johnson, Roman Polak, and Carlo Colaiacovo, and soon Alex Pietrangelo, David Rundblad, and other good young players? He could be expandable, and is still no sure thing to ever make the show anyways.


  3. jlbhawks says:

    Wow, nice job. Very thought out trade. I’m not fan of either team but it make perfect cents. Scnieder was one of the goalies I believed to be on the move this trade season, I think there will be more keepers changing addresses this year than others, this is how I see it
    Toskala and giguere have already been swapped, perfect for the leafs

    Goalies I can see traded:
    Turco, lehtonen, halak or price, biron, t thomas, harding, bernier, schnieder, auld, ellis, garon,

    Teams in need of goalie and type
    LA (vet backup), DAL (future starter), EDM (anybody that knows the blackthing shouldn’t go in the net), phi (future starter), stl (future starter), tb (future starter) I like toskarski but I think they need better,

    Sorry its late I know there’s more I just can’t think 100 percent

  4. cam7777 says:

    I think that's just a tad lob-sided for Vancouver.

    Bernier <<< Backes
    Hansen = Winchester
    Top Defensive Prospect >>> Top Goalie Prospect

    If you want Backes you can probably just throw a couple picks at St.Louis, and ship Bernier off to whoever will take him.  i bet you Anaheim would love him – throw him on a 3rd line with Jason Blake, and sign Dominic Moore to center it in the off-season.  They have picks to burn.

  5. cam7777 says:

    Trade Deadline Ideas:

    To EDM: Cristobal Huet, Akim Aliu, 2nd in 2011
    To CHI: Nikolai Khabbibulin

    -massive capsaver for the Hawks, and goalie issues shored up for the playoff run.  big offensive project prospect for the oilers, and a decent pick next year.  edmonton's going to dump nilsson, moreau and staios before next year anyways, so the extra 1.8 million isn't that big of a deal.  at least Huet is consistently healthy.

    To SJS: Pavel Kubina, 3rd in 2010 (ATL)
    To ATL: Ryane Clowe

    To SJS: Ray Whitney, Niclas Wallin
    To CAR: Frazer McLaren, 1st in 2011 (SJS), 3rd in 2010 (SJS)

    -Basically, the Sharks upgrade their defense by trading away Clowe's contract, and at the same time, add depth to their blueline, and replace Clowe's offense with Ray Whitney.

    To BUF: Lee Stempniak
    To TOR: 2nd in 2010

    -Stemps is a Buffalo boy.  He adds some grit and sand paper.  Really, this is just about message sending from the GM.  Yes, we're a playoff team, and yes I'm willing to spend in order to add to our success as a team.

    To NSH: Alex Ponikarovsky
    To TOR: Jonathan Blum

    -Who needs to make a splash more than the Preds?  Well, maybe the Kings, but adding what is potentially the biggest name available would hopefully sell some seats in Nashville.  And like I've said, trading for Poni in Nashville, would be also trading for the right to sign him, which they would otherwise be unable to do on July 1st.  Blum is a very good prospect, but will be under-utilized behind Weber, Suter, Franson, Hamhuis, Bouillion, Ellis, Sultzer and Klein.

    To PHX: Mikhail Grabovski
    To TOR: Peter Mueller

    -Grabovski fits the bill for what the Yotes are supposedly asking for.  Some Leaf fans on other sites actually protest this trade, claiming Grabovski is under-rated – solid in his own end, and room to grow offensively, and could easily play 3rd line center if need be.  I just don't think he fits with the North American dressing room Burke is building.

    To NJD: Scott Niedermayer
    To ANA: Matthew Corrente, 1st in 2011, 3rd in 2010

    -Would the Devils be unstoppable?  Parise, Kovalchuk, Zajac, Langenbrunner, Eilas, Rolston, Niedermayer, Niedermayer, Martin, and Brodeur?

    To DET: Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu
    To ANA: Justin Abdelkader, 2nd in 2010, 3rd in 2010

    -The Red Wings might be able to keep up with the Hawks again.  Imagine infusing Franzen, Selanne and Koivu into any lineup?  That's powerful.  If Selanne agrees to be traded, it will be with Koivu, and to a definite contender.  Detroit is a legitimate contender every year, and very veteran friendly.

    To WSH: Sheldon Souray
    To EDM: Stephan Della-Rovere, 2nd in 2010

    -Shut out of the Niedermayer sweepstakes, and realizing Kaberle truly isn't available, the Caps decide to help the Oilers out of a big-time mess.  Prediction: Souray is the man for the Caps, and leads them to the Conference Finals.

    And finally, the one I know bbruins will hate:

    To PIT: Patrice Bergeron
    To BOS: Eric Tangradi, 1st in 2010, 3rd in 2010

    I've explained it before, but if the Bruins fall further out of it, I believe Bergeron becomes available.  His value will probably never be higher, and this move would clear the way for a huge Kovalchuk offer.   It also alleviates all the cap problems for the Bruins.  Surely one of the 37 picks the Bruins have this year, willl one day soon be able to match Bergeron.

  6. dumbassdoorman says:

    I like a lot of the trades you have proposed. But one question, will Phx be able to make that trade? they are still under league control rightt? Do you think they would be looking to add that much salary? I also see Edm getting more than that if they were to do a deal like that with the Hawks. Also rumor has it that Whitney wants to go to Pitt. he is really tying Rutherfords hands here, asking for that kind of extention at his age…lol…funny. Also as for the leafs trades which would be sweet, do they possibley turn out a little different in light of recent tragdies? I more see Nonis, Poulin and Fletcher doing the deals. I am sure burke has faith in them….but could it change the returns?

  7. cam7777 says:

    I actually see Burke coming back to work immediately.  He was reportedly texting Nonis for updates throughout the game last night.  I just think Burke is going to be one of those guys that works through tragedy. 

    Taking on Grabo at this point in the season ends up costing the team about 500K, which is affordable.  They took on Vrbata's 3 million without blinking an eye.  Having Grabo in the ranks also helps them with negotiations with Upshall and Lombardi.  I think Grabovski instantly becomes one of their best offensive players, and hopefully causes Upshall and Lombardi to ease their demands on resigns.

    You have to spend money to make money.  The league would be basically spending the Toronto Maple Leafs money anyways, so what does it matter to them.  If that's what it costs to get a good young player, that's what it costs.  The thing is, who can offer more?  No contending teams are giving up good young roster forwards in their top six for a sliding prospect.

  8. leafmeister says:

    Even if Burke does not come back immediately, no one would dare blame him if he didn't, I am totally confident in Nonis and Fletcher. Both have two major steals on the trading front, with Nonis having perhaps the biggest of the decade. (the management team may have another on their hands in the form of the Giggy and Phaneuf trades)

    Also I know that it is early, but so far, who can criticize the trades that took place a week ago? They have 11 goals in 3 games, with only 4 against. Calgary has 7 goals in 4 games, with 7 against. Who is gonna pick up the offensive slack? Luke Schenn, thats who.

  9. cam7777 says:

    Yea, I think Schenn has more offensive upside than he's given credit for.  He has good instincts, and as you can see in his junior numbers, he steadily improved as he adjusted to that league.  He's now on pace for a 17 point season, and could probably hit closer to 20 if he starts taking some of Kaberle's minutes.  That's a marked increase on 14 from last year.  He's also set to be a plus player, which is huge considering what this team has gone through with goalies this year.

  10. leafmeister says:

    It was one simple change in Luke Schenn's game that has him being more dangerous now, he is taking slapshots. Last year, and the beginning of this year he was just wristing it towards the net, hoping for a tip. Now he has started to blast it. He is by no means a legit offensive threat, but given his size, he has to have a bomb from the point. We saw it twice last night. He also makes a fairly good first pass.


  11. Bure96 says:

    I would say Hansen is worth more then Winchester though – 28 year old 4th line grinder who's set to be a UFA for a 23 year old pending RFA with top 6 upside, who is also a good two way player.

    Then Backes for Bernier is in Vancouver's favor a bit, but really St. Louis could be getting two top 6 forwards for the price of 1. Jannik Hansen is going to be super cheap for whoever trades for him too, unless he just goes on fire with a new team. He doesn't have much bargaining leverage right now.

    Seems pretty fair to me. Brad Winchester is almost just a toss to get rid of his salary for the rest of the year. He wouldn't be worth more then a 5th round pick, so he's a none factor in the deal.

    Hey also Cam, what do you think Sami Salo's trade value? Next summer he'll have 1 more year left on his deal at 3.5 million, reasonable considering he's turned into an awesome defensive defensemen that still has a cannon of a shot. I think he's going to be traded this summer with Mason Raymond (who's having a fantastic season, and looks like a real game breaker), and Ryan Kesler (also having a excellent season) both set to be RFA's this summer, and also Willie Mitchell, and Shane O'Brien could recieve slight raises. I know Pavol Demitra's contract is up, but they also want to upgrade the 3rd line (or upgrade the 2nd line, and move Samuelsson down to the 3rd line, which would be upgrades for the price of one). Is he worth a high 2nd round pick or more? Considering that Anton Stralman who at the time was unproven, and not even a sure thing to make it as an NHL regular got traded for Wayne Primeau and a 2nd, I think Sami Salo must be worth more.

    This is the lineup next with Raymond signed at around 3.25 million, and Kesler at 4.5 million, Mitchell and O'Brien making the same as this year, that Backes trade I purposed, Winchester beeing resigned, Sami being traded, and Evgeni Artyuhkin, and Joe Corvo being signed. 0.85 million for Artyuhkin, and 1.75 million for Corvo, both for two years

    Sedin – Sedin – Burrows
    Raymond – Kesler – Backes
    Grabner – Hodgson – Samuelsson
    Artyuhkin – Johnson – Winchester

    extras: Rypien, Glass

    Ehrhoff – Edler
    Bieksa – Mitchell
    O'Brien – Corvo

    extras: Cole/Rome


    That would cost them about 56 million, so they are in decent shape cap wise still. Grabner is a question mark on the 3rd line, but Kesler's line usually plays against the opposing top lines anyways, the 3rd line is more of a change of pace line then a checking line for Vancouver. If he doesn't work out they still have Sergai Shirokov on the Moose, who looks like he's going to become a very good player. If that falls for whaetever reason too, they have depth upfront to make it work. That team looks pretty damn good team. Pretty scary with Luongo in net. Probably just as good as Chicago, and Washington. What do you think?

  12. cam7777 says:

    I agree Salo will be moved, but here are the moves I would do if I were Vancouver (incorporating what you've said about Bernier):


    To ANA: Bernier
    To VAN: 2nd in 2010 (ANA)
    (need third line talent in Anaheim)

    To STL: 1st in 2010 (VAN), Hansen
    To VAN: Backes, 3rd in 2010 (STL)
    (basically, by doing this you recoop a pick for Hansen, and swap Bernier for Backes at the expense of moving down maybe 10 places in the draft to Anaheim's 2nd)


    -Willie Mitchell, 4 years, 14 million (3.5 cap hit)
    -Ryan Kesler, 6 years, 27 million (4.5 cap hit)
    -Mason Raymond, 3 years, 6 million (2.0 cap hit)
    -Kyle Wellwood, 2 years, 1.7 million (0.85 cap hit)
    -Shane O'Brien, 3 years, 5.55 million (1.85 cap hit)
    -Andrew Raycroft, 1 year, 500K (0.5 cap hit)


    -sign Tomas Holmstrom, 2 years, 5 million

    To PHI: Schneider, Salo, Grabner, 1st in 2011
    To VAN: VanRiemsdyk, Coburn
    (potential franchise defender for the Flyers at a reasonable rate.  you dump salo for coburn, which is good on the cap and long-term – coburn is wasted in Philly)

    -resign Coburn, 2 years, 4 million, (2.0 cap hit)
    -sign Jordan Schroeder to entry level deal (1.275 cap hit)

    Lineup 2010/2011:

    L1: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Alexandre Burrows
    L2: James vanRiemsdyk, Cody Hodgson, Jordan Schroeder
    L3: Mason Raymond, Ryan Kesler, David Backes
    L4: Tomas Holmstrom, Kyle Wellwood, Mikael Samuelsson

    D1: Kevin Bieksa, Willie Mitchell
    D2: Alex Edler, Christian Ehrhoff
    D3: Shane O'Brien, Braydon Coburn

    GT: Roberto Luongo, Andrew Raycroft

    CAP HIT – 56.9 million

    The cap will probably stay the same, and you're only 100K over, but that's accounted for by the bonus cushion.  Insulating your kid line with the Sedin line and the Kesler line could prove deadly.  Is that not the most wicked fourth line in the league too?  With the bonus cushion, you could still keep a tough guy/grinder on the roster as well, and sub in as necessary – although we know with the Canucks injury problems, getting ice time for Hordichuk and Rypien shouldn't be a problem.

  13. reinjosh says:

    Thank You! I have been saying this for a while. Trading Schenn would be a huge mistake. Kaberle is as good as gone. As far as I am concerned, the next 20 or so games (assuming he doesn't waive his clause) are the final ones of his Leaf career (assuming he doesn ever resign with us a later date). Everything is just aligning to that. And really, he is going to be stupid if he doesn't waive his clause, cause he has to know he is gone in the offseason.
    And yeah Schenn is by no means a legitimate offensive threat, but he could provide occasional offense. 20 – 25 points maybe. Kind of like a Beauchemin mold.
    And about your previous comment. One of the nice things about having 3 guys who have all been GM's and have histories of making big trades, is they can all work different areas.
    Keep in mind that Nonis was the guy who brought in Luongo for nothing, Fletcher brought in Sundin, and I believe that Nonis was the guy who closed the Phanuef deal (Burke was in Anaheim for the Giguere deal). Those make for some nice resume additions. Oh, and Nonis was the guy who refused to trade prospects or entertain moving the Sedins when management pressured him. It was one of the reasons he was fired and now look where the Canucks are.
    These 3 guys are gold.
    On another note, its amazing how comfortable this team is in front of Giguere.

  14. reinjosh says:

    I think you mean franchise goaltender, not defender when referring to your Philly trade.

  15. leafmeister says:

    Especially because Schenn's value isn't as high as it was last year. It would be the opposite of what the Leafs should be doing, buying low and selling high.

    Totally agree about Giggy. Also Phaneuf has made the entire team more physical, even Stempniak got in on it last night, tossing Michalek to the ice.

    The management team is top notch, I would trust all 3 guys as GMs of the Leafs.

  16. reinjosh says:

    Phaneuf and Giggy have just added new life into this team. Honestly I would be happy just to have them move from 2nd last to 4th last. The lower the better.

    And when the team was looking for a new GM, I was so hoping they would pick Nonis, I wasn't the biggest Burke fan (didn't hate him, but I just didn't like his ego, which now is one of his better assets in Leaf Nation). Now to have all 3, its just amazing.

  17. dumbassdoorman says:

    I agree with you on NOT trading Schenn. I also do have confidence in Nonis and Fletcher was just simpley stating that it could have an affect on the deals….not necessarily bad.

  18. dumbassdoorman says:

    I agree with you on NOT trading Schenn. I also do have confidence in Nonis and Fletcher was just simpley stating that it could have an affect on the deals….not necessarily bad.

  19. leafmeister says:

    Sjostrom has also been a beast on the PK and forecheck. I really like that Kulemin-Wallin-Sjostrom line. I doubt Wallin will be with the team next year, but he could be easily replaced with a better checking line center.

  20. mojo19 says:

    I don't like that trade at all. David Backes is one of the better power forwards in the NHL and by far most valuable guy in that trade.

  21. mojo19 says:

    I would do any of these trades:

    Tomas Kaberle to St.Louis for:

    1. TJ Oshie and David Backes
    2. TJ Oshie and David Perron
    3. TJ Oshie and Patrick Berglund
    4. Brad Boyes
    5. TJ Oshie and St.Louis' 1st round pick
    6. TJ Oshie, Roman Polak (Blues take Finger as well in this one)

  22. Bure96 says:

    He's not proven though. He's in his 4th season, and he probably won't even get 20 goals. Sure he had 31 last year, but Brad Boyes also had 43 goals or something a few years ago, and he doesn't have much value right now. Considering that your adding two top 9 forwards (at worst) and perhaps the best goaltending prospect in the world for a guy who maybe was just a flash in the pan (either way though, your brining in a physical presence for your 3rd line though, but maybe not a 30+ goal scorer), a guy who has a 50/50 chance of becoming a solid NHLer, and another player who's value really is about a 5th/6th round pick. Just think about it.

  23. bbruins37 says:

    yep i hate it. thats even much worse than i would have expected of you.

  24. dumbassdoorman says:

    I don't think the Blues are keen on trading Oshie. I also wouldn't do it for Boyes alone. Backes and a pick might be doable though or Backes and Berglund with a swapping of thirds?

  25. mojo19 says:

    Backes and Berglund could be interesting.

    And I know you're right, the Blues will probably not trade Oshie. But if they're interested in Kaberle, they do have a good number of quality young roster players, so I think they could make something work.

    I still think Kaberle and Stalberg for Oshie, Polak and a 2nd is more than reasonable.

  26. mojo19 says:

    No, your assesment of Backes is ridiculous. He's far from flash in the pan, he he brings so much more to the table then just his goal totals, which seems to be the only thing you're using to asses his skills. He was picked for the US Olympic team for a reason, its cuz he's a physical beast.

  27. dumbassdoorman says:

    Iposted this in another article, what would you think of

    Tor- Kaberle, Poni

    Stl-Backes, Berglund and a 2nd

  28. mojo19 says:

    Of the young Blues forwards my preference is Oshie (obv.)

    but I like that trade as well, I would definitely be happy with that.

  29. dumbassdoorman says:

    Ya Oshie is sweet, thats probably why they don't want to trade him. Nice thing is IF a team like STL was interested……we wouldn't have to face him much. Cause he is the kinda guy who would haunt you!!!!!

  30. mojo19 says:

    I would love a situation where we trade Kaberle in the summer, and then he comes back to us in the summer of 2011, after only a year of being away.

    If he came back as a UFA at age 33, and we gave him a 5 year deal to finish off his career as a Leaf, somewhere in the $4-5 million range. He could command more on the open market but in this fantasy scenario I would like to think that he'd come play for a little less to be a Leaf.

  31. dumbassdoorman says:

    I think so as well, egos just need to be set aside. I don't see him coming back if Wilson is still the coach though, just a hunch. I think we need to trade him to move forward. Trading Schenn is NOT an option for me. I really think if he keeps playing the way he is we can't. Besides we are ALWAYS trading our younger guys away. But everything depends on what the return is right?

  32. mojo19 says:

    Ya depending on the return I don't think Luke Schenn is untouchable, but it would take a big return to move this guy.

    I'd love to get into the playoffs next year so we can see what Schenn can do in a playoff series. Something tells me he's one of those warriors who kicks it into high gear and just plays like a beast.

  33. TimTheBone says:

    I don't think you see Luke Schenn's full Potential for another 2-4 years… i believe he'll continue his decent solid play, with possibly a few mishaps… but i've liked that kid for awhile and i see him developing at that rate… i say he becomes your #1 defensive stud in 3 years…..He'll be paired with Phaneuf in 2 years as your shut-down pairing and be a brutal hard-checking tandem for years….. Im a Hab for life… will Hate the leafs/Bruins for life…. but damn for all you Burke haters, he's done one HELL of a job building a strong d-corps……. now you just gotta hope Giggy and the "Monster"…. are the guys to push forward with…. and Hope Burkie and attract some solid offense to your team…. ALSO I hope for your sake Burke doesnt become unfocused and distracted from the death of his son, the same way Gainey did after his daughter died….. Gainey just was never the same…..

  34. mojo19 says:

    Ya, you're right, that was a terrible shame for Bob Gainey, likewise for Burkie.

    And I agree with you about Schenn as well, this guy has the potential and the build to be a big stud on the back end for years to come, and I do hope we keep him.

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