Trade waters starting to stir

Guess Garth Snow didn’t want the New Jersey Devils getting out of range.

Okay, that’s mean. Presumably, the Islander GM simply saw a chance to get some value for a veteran defenceman, James Wisniewski, who will be unrestricted in July, and pulled the trigger, getting a second round pick and a fifth rounder from Montreal.

Good deal for the Habs, with Andrei Markov out, Josh Gorges ailing and P.K. Subban in some sort of strange purgatory, possibly headed back to the minors.

For the Isles, suddenly winners of four of their last five games, it was nonetheless a little peculiar to see the club move their top defenceman. Wisniewski was tied for the team lead in points and was playing more than 23 minutes a game, tops among Long Island defencemen. Perhaps the Isles have their eye on getting the No. 1 pick again this June, and with 30th place New Jersey going absolutely nowhere despite last week’s coaching change, the Islanders don’t want to get too far ahead.

The strange part was that Snow didn’t shop Wisniewski, but simply cut a deal with Pierre Gauthier. These days, the market for capable defencemen is just starting to heat up and prices can only increase. Then again, moving him now saves more than half of his $3.25 million salary, and that matters on The Island, where the deal has the club barely above the NHL’s $43.4 salary floor, and that’s with buyout cap hits for Alexei Yashin and Brendan Witt.

The trade was the first concrete evidence that the trade market might be opening after the Christmas freeze. Jersey sent veteran Brian Rolston to the minors and then put him on re-entry waivers, which means he can now be had for half his $5.062 salary this season and next.

Jay Feaster, meanwhile, is now running the show in Calgary, likely with a mandate to clear up some of that team’s cap clog, tricky with 11 players on the Flames holding some form of no-trade/no-movement clause in their contracts.

The Leafs would love to get in on this, and have pieces to move, including defenceman Francois Beauchemin, winger Clark MacArthur, centre Mikhail Grabovski and possibly defenceman Tomas Kaberle. Veteran goalie J.S. Giguere could move at some point depending on his health and whether he is willing to waive his no-trade. Youngster Nazem Kadri isn’t going anywhere despite being returned to the minors. Teams are showing some interest in Marlie goalie Jussi Rynnas, who is having a sparkling season in the AHL, but the guessing is now that Rynnas and Jonas Gustavsson are slated to be the Leafs’ tandem next season.

41 Responses to Trade waters starting to stir

  1. MystifoLeafs says:

    Ok from what I have been reading is that Versteeg is wanted by the L.A Kings because he has a championship ring. Brian Burke has been wanting Brayden Schenn for some time. Any idiot with any hockey since can tell you that a…

    Brayden Schenn
    straight up will not be enough just because of Schenn's amazing play at the WJC. What do you think would be required in order for toronto to get a team with 2 Schenns on their team?  Also just wondering if they are looking for Championship experience think they would be interested in Beauchemin? I have been told he plays well when with someone who is amazing?
  2. leafmeister says:

    LA: Kaberle, Versteeg
    TOR: Schenn, Handzus

    LA gets two pieces that should put them over the top, and the Leafs take on some salary, as well as a player they covet. Im not sure LA would go for it, but thats what I would offer.

    Versteeg and Kadri could also work, but that would be giving a bit much, and I would want a player back.

  3. MystifoLeafs says:

    I doubt LA is looking to shop Handzus and I think they would be more open to the idea of Kadri, Versteeg but I think Burke would have to ask for a return like…

    Brayden Schenn
    2nd Round Pick 2011 (LA)
    This only works though IF LA is asking about Versteeg if they have no interest in him what so ever that ruins the value of him and makes no since for LA to make this trade but if they do want him to push things over the edge then LA gets the one they wanted plus a prospect in Kadri. Seeing how acquiring Vertseeg would make us assume they are planning to go for the run at the cup Burke can most likely muster out a 2nd round draft pick. (Before anyone says it sure he could try for the 1st rounder but Lombardi is not known to give up his first rounders and although I like Vertsteeg I think him giving us Brayden Schenn is enough.
  4. frankinboltonleafs says:

    We're not talking about the Sedin twins here. The four guys drafted above Schenn are in their second year in the league. Schenn got alot of points against Norway….the tournaments not over. There is no way I trade Versteeg for B Scenn straight up. Burkes philosophy is now not later so I doubt he'd do that. If this is true what you write then maybe that's why Burke is shopping around this offer.

  5. MystifoLeafs says:

    True but lets look at who drafted the 4 guys drafted above schenn and where they went…

    1. John Tavares – Drafted by: New York Islanders. 
    The minute he was drafted he was given a top line position Schenn would of also if they picked him.
    2. Victor Hedman – Drafted by: Tampa Bay Lightning
    Tampa had no choice but to put him in he was one of their best Defenseman and to be realistic he had NO ONE with him anyways. AFTER they drafted him the brought in Ohlund .
    3. Matt Duchene – Drafted by: Colorado Avalanche
    Another team that had no choice but to ice their rookie, what else could they do? they had no one else and were forced to let him play just like JT.
    4. Evander Kane – Drafted by: Atlanta Thrashers 
    Outside of Kovelchuck they had really no offensive threats so again a team forced to play their rookies and hope for the best.
    Now unlike these four teams LA had options they did not need to bring Brayden in because they already had a Top 9 and really thought he would be better playing top 3 minutes in the WHL over top 9 minutes. If he would of went to one of the other teams I am 100% certain that he would of played (the only team on that list who would of not played Brayden is Tampa due to the fact they already had Steven Stamkos and Vinny as centers and had no need for him.)
    But anyways my point is Brayden Schenn could of been in the NHL like all the rest already.
  6. Uncleben says:

    Local radio show reported a trade between Toronto and Columbus

    that sent Mike Komisarek and John Mitchell to Columbus for Antoine Vermette and college player Thomas Larkin.
    I got home and checked the internet quickly, but their site was the only site reporting it …and the article went down shortly… which of course is a good sign for any trade rumor… -_-
    Anyway, would have been exciting to see both of those bums move to another city where they would probably re-establish their game.
    Columbus would benefit from an instant injection of defensive minds.
    Toronto would get a young college kid (who doesnt seem too bad to me tbh) a spindly, streaky scorer and extra cap space – which would presumably lead to another trade.
    Anywho, probably a total farse, but we will likely see more of these as we get closer to the deadline…

  7. MystifoLeafs says:

    Antoine Vertmette is alright personally the 2 people on that team I really like are…

    but hey anything is a upgrade over Komisareak and Mitchell
  8. palindrom says:





  9. Boston_Bruins says:

    Ryan Johansen is a stud. I already thought he had been Canada's most impressive player in the tournament so far, but watching him in person put it even further in perspective for me. I was kind of surprised when Columbus took him that high, but not anymore. Such a complete player already.

  10. leafy says:

    Not really sure I like this. What happens if B Schenn is a bust? Then we're screwed because we give up both Versteeg and Kadri.

  11. reinjosh says:

    Giving up Kadri makes little sense for us this point unless it brings back a legit number one center and thats unlikely. Trading Kadri now is a step back, no matter who it is for. I like Schenn but just like you said, if he busts were screwed. Schenn isn't going to get moved anyways. Whil frankinbolton is right about a large chunk of his stats coming in one game, he has been great and I doubt LA is going to move him unless a big package is coming back (like Iginla).

    Personally, I've been more impressed with Johansen from CBJ.

  12. reinjosh says:

    Eh not Filatov. Please. He is going to be a bust.

  13. reinjosh says:

    I completely agree. He has been the quiet star behind Schenn. Johansen has been great.

    I completely agree on the Columbus part. I said the same thing a couple days ago, that I was completely surprised that he was taken so high at the time but now, I'm thinking they got themselves a stud. The guy is just so damn smart with his game.

  14. reinjosh says:

    What do you think of Couturier so far? I haven't been impressed at all to be honest. He just doesn't look like he has the high offensive caliber that past first overall picks have had.

  15. MystifoLeafs says:

    He has the same amount of potential as Setoguchi but yet everyone is willing to trade Beauchemin for him and personally I think he is going to be a massive bust. Personally I think they are both in the same boat.

  16. Canadiens-D says:

    Well with Torontos track record of developing players and the fact that they need players in their lineup NOW you would have to think that they would just destroy any chance of B Schenn being a damn good player!! Please LA don't trade him to Toronto because they will DESTROY him!!!!

  17. dumbassdoorman says:

    I believe the thinking by most is that Setoguchi already has seasons of 31 & 20 goals under his belt. he is also a little bigger and not as soft a player as Filitov. It may also come down to familarity with Setoguchi, have been around the coaching staff before?

  18. dumbassdoorman says:

    I still think it could make some sense for the Flyers and Leafs to make a trade. The Flyers are tight against the cap and have some players that will need resigning, yet they lack the room.  The Leafs have the ability to take and bury some of those if they choose too. A deal for say versteeg and Kadri, for Hartnell, JVR and said salary dump(s) thoughts?

  19. MystifoLeafs says:

    True but each is a chance and quite frankly I think Komisareak is well worth Filatov.

  20. dumbassdoorman says:

    Oh well then I would do both trades….lol….and be super greedy….not to mention hopeful, I apologize as i thought you were trading Beauch for Filitov. That being said I would still do both if possible. I don't think losing both could make our defense any worse…

  21. Boston_Bruins says:

    Schenn has been awesome but I've actually been more impressed with Johansen. He was brought in as a skill guy but he's always the first into the corners and he absolutely destroys people with his checks. His vision is the most impressive though. I really think he's the answer to Columbus' centre woes.

  22. Boston_Bruins says:

    I think he's looked good. You have to remember that his calling card isn't all about offense. He's incredibly well-rounded for his age. I've found his play along the boards to be particularly impressive in this tournament. I still think he's a step below Larsson and past first overall picks like you said, but he does bring an intriguing package to the table.

    Oh and how the hell did Conz not get drafted? Ridiculous.

  23. dumbassdoorman says:

    Don't you mean how did he not get drafted TWO years in a row, I was shocked when they said that. My question is is he eligable to be signed as a FA?

  24. MystifoLeafs says:

    Yeah and I think the likes of Aulie could step up and fill that spot and do a much better job.

  25. Canadiens-D says:

    No offense but if you wouldn't trade Versteeg for B Schenn straight up then ur an idiot. Toronto fans have always overvalued their own assets and even though B Schenn may not play this year he will be a FAR better player then Versteeg will ever be. BTW Burke has coveted B Schenn since he was drafted and there is no way he wouldn't make that trade!! BTW two of the four guys that were drafted above B Schenn are better then any player on the Leafs roster and thats why their in the NHL.

  26. Canadiens-D says:

    Sorry but Columbus isn't taking much salary back in any trade. They were trying to get the Wiz from NYI but the Islanders weren't willing to take on any contracts so CLB said no to an addition of approx. 1.7 million for the rest of the year. There is NO WAY they are going for Komi with more then 2 mill for the rest of this year and then 4.5 mill for one or two years. CLB just doesnt have the money to pay for it.

  27. Canadiens-D says:

    Yeah Johansen is already being compared to Getzlaf with his style of play and if he turns out to be even close to the player Getzlaf is then CLB has themselves a great draft pick.

  28. dumbassdoorman says:

    I was thinking Commodore & Filitov for Komi +, sorta scenerio. Komi is not great but better than Commodore.

  29. leafy says:

    Vermette would be a good pick up, simply because the Leafs are desperate for a good two-way center.

    He's not spectacular but he's quick and plays a good two way game. He can also put up some decent numbers.

    His salary is also a bit cheaper than the $4.5M ripoff deal with Komisarek.

  30. dumbassdoorman says:

    would you do Kmoi for Vermette and Commodore? I would, just send Commodore to the minors, they can afford it!!!!

  31. reinjosh says:

    Fair enough. I haven't been enamored with any of this draft year so far though so we will see how they turn out.

    I think its his height. He is pretty small for a goalie and from different comments I've heard, he tends to play with big pads. Still I would imagine that someone is going to take a stab at him this year.

  32. reinjosh says:

    Yeah Johansen has definitely impressed me more than Schenn as well ( I mentioned it on another thread the other day).

    He is going to be a fun player to watch.

  33. reinjosh says:

    I'm not sure that makes sense for either team. Giving up Kadri would not be good business for Burke and getting another natural center on the Flyers doesn't exactly help things. I'd wait till the end of the season to try and poach Hartnell. I think they will keep him for a Cup run but will be tight to fill their team next season.

  34. DannyLeafs says:

    I agree, despite Schenn's scoring I don't think he has been as impressive as his numbers indicate. He has been great no doubt, but not amazingly spectacular. Personally Schenn reminds me a little of Mike Richards, but a bit more of a playmaker and less a shooter, and Johansen reminds me of Getzlaf, but maybe a little less mean.

    Both have been great, put personally, I have like Johansen more. He has been great for a first year player in this tournament.

  35. Uncleben says:

    Hell if we got vermette and commodore for Komi or lomi and mitchell

    i would PLAY commodore. ship Lebda off to God knows where. Commodore would at least be more consistent than Lebda
  36. Uncleben says:

    Oilers brass said it best in their TSN serial do*****entary "Oil Change" (nobodys really heard of it, but its a good series, similar to HBOs 24/7 except more spread out, following all season long, started at last years draft and has a smaller budget)

    If there was one, maybe two more months to the season, just so scouts could look at the players in action that much longer, Johansen could have moved up into second overall.
    The kids good.

  37. Boston_Bruins says:

    I still have the same draftboard as I did before with the first 3 picks (Seguin, Hall, Gudbranson) but I'd move Johansen up to 4th, Skinner to 5th and Fowler to 6th.

  38. dumbassdoorman says:

    I agree with ben completely, if the draft were redone, Johansen goes up to 2nd, and skinner would be 4th, possibley even 3rd.

  39. Boston_Bruins says:

    I think you guys are jumping to conclusions too quickly based on this season. There's no way for Seguin to impress when he's getting no ice time. The skill set that he brings to the table still makes him top 2.

  40. dumbassdoorman says:

    Maybe we are, but that is why I said maybe, just like there were some people who thought maybe, Seguin should go number 1. but why did you not defend Gudbransons demotion, too?

  41. Boston_Bruins says:

    I'd still put Gudbranson third but with this draft there was basically a unanimous top two, so I think it's premature to put up Johansen that high already, where as I could understand some people opting for someone over Gudbranson, even though I still have him third. Not to say that Johansen can't become a better player than Seguin, but at this point I think there's still a pretty clear top 2.

Leave a Reply