Trade Central Time Zone: Setting The Table

by J.R.

The National Hockey League’s trade deadline is just a week and a day away and the market is already open, as evidenced by the Swap of Morrows.

We at III Communication have been spending hours inside our war room, crunching numbers and contacting our Top Level Sources to suss what moves Conference III teams will be making before 2 p.m. Central April 3.

Who wants whom? Who has whoms to give? Just what is a hockey trade and will anyone make a baseball trade or a lunch-for-dessert trade (put your hand down, Feaster)?

Print this out — this is the only guide you’ll need for all your trade rumors and rumours.

Chicago Blackhawks

Spotted outside the UC

Spotted outside the UC

Currently boasting the league’s best record — though they’ve only won six of their last 10 — the ‘Hawks are in prime buying position. GM Stan Bowman told legitimate hockey reporter Pierre LeBrun that the team, while having no gaping holes is looking to add.

According to our sources, the ‘Hawks are looking for “depth maybe at center … Not high-end but more a role-playing type center.” Stephen Weiss fits that bill — and since he’s with Chicago’s AHL affiliate, the Florida Panthers, he’d be an easy call-up to the big club — but he’s hurt, so Bowman will have to look elsewhere. They may have their eyes on former Chicago fixtures Olin Kreutz or Will Perdue (who adds some toughness). Also, if they want to look at depth from a centre instead, they might eye someone from here who has reached Clear status (but not an Operating Thetan, as it would probably require a first-round draft pick plus a considerable outlay of time and money to Sea Org).

We can’t have a trade rumors post without mentioning the possibility a certain Calgary Flame is traded to Chicago. Chicago will want to be careful, dealing with a cagey opposite number like Jay Feaster who may demand as much as a depth ECHL goalie in exchange for his franchise forward. As for Iggy himself — he’ll be a rental and hit the market this summer. So this is a wise move for Iggy: while he’s obviously gifted, there’s no guarantee his body could withstand a full season of Conference III next year (NB: Remember that Iggy was actually drafted into Conference III lo those many years ago). If he decides he wants to stick around for the gauntlet, he will have a great chance to continue his tradition of scoring 30 or 40 goals per year against Nashville.

Colorado Avalanche

Opposite Chicago in the standings, the Avs have some intriguing pieces they might be willing to deal. Thirty-seven-year-old Milan Hejduk could be that veteran winger someone is looking for if they are looking for a 37-year-old guy whose production has fallen off like a Rust Division factory town (put your hand down, Feaster). We do have sources saying Chuck Kobasew is getting interest from Quentin Tarantino who thinks he is a forgotten kung-fu actor of the 1970s.

Dallas Stars

The cover of Joe Nieuwyndyk's scouting report

The cover of Joe Nieuwendyk’s scouting report

Sitting in that nebulous sixth through 12th part of the Western Conference morass where every team has a chance to make the playoffs, but only if they all win 80 percent of their remaining games, the Stars were thought to be more on the buy-for-a-big-push side of the ledger, but the Morrow Swap showed they may be in sell-mode in Big D.

We have some idea what they’ll want in return based on that deal, so here’s what we are hearing they’d like for their four remaining pending UFAs:

Minnesota Wild

The Wild have already made one move which, like the Wild for much of their history, you forgot about entirely. According to our well-placed team sources, the Wild, like all Minnesotans, will be AOK just sitting inside quietly in early April, waiting until the thaw comes sometime around Memorial Day. Hopefully, best pals in the whole world Ryan Suter and Zach Parise are still being the best pals in all the land, but just in case their best palship needs a new pal, Minnesota might take a run at some other names from the U.S.’s 2002 World U18s team like Corey Potter or that team’s leading scorer: Brett Sterling.

Nashville Predators

Last year, David Poile rolled some big dice at the deadline, adding Lord of the Owls Hal Gill, Paul Gaustad Just Won That Face-off And Then His Shoulder Fell Off, and Andrei Kostitsyn, so someone could go dancing with Alex Radulov.

It was kind of un-Poiley and all a pretty naked and vain attempt to keep Ryan Suter in gold. Whoopsie.

This year? The Preds need someone who can score on the road and play defense at home, like a philandering convention-goer caught in a lie. If he could squeeze into hockey pants, Don Draper would be a good fit — ifyaknowhatimean. If this little winning streak continues, expect Poile to say something along the lines of “We’re looking, if you will, at some key forwards” — and then he’ll trade a first round pick for a 20-point-per-year penalty-killer.

If they decide to go into sell mode, there’s no time like the present to ship diminutive puck-moving defenseman Ryan Ellis north of the border where he walks on water and cures non-lethal skin diseases by his mere existence based on his career in a place called Windsor, which is near Detroit, I think, and in something called the World Juniors, which, for our American readers, is a thing Canada cares about that America doesn’t understand, sort of like The Tragically Hip.

St. Louis Blues

The Blues have been out dealing already, sending Mike D’Agostini to New Jersey for a conditional pick (Ed. Note: the conditional pick is the Official Transaction of III Communication Sponsored by Prell and we advocate for its usage in every trade, the weirder the condition the better).

The Blues know that the smart play is to always trade from a position of strength and depth — thus they traded one of their organization’s 439 weird, anonymous forwards and, apparently, they might be thinking of shipping out one of their goalie troika.

Here’s a list of other positions where St. Louis is well-stocked:

  • Dust-covered hard candy from Ken Hitchcock’s pants pockets
  • Dust-covered hard candy from David Backes’ locker (Ed. Note: What Backes calls hard candy, the rest of us call toenails)
  • L.A. Lights
  • Abandoned industrial parks
  • Meaningless, immediate post-expansion Clarence Campbell Bowls

Winnipeg Jets

Stop crying, Feaster

Stop crying, Feaster

The Jets — who, like Ric Flair in the early 90s, are trying to bolt a lesser division with the championship belt — should definitely be buyers. First of all, the franchise is still trying to Cement The Legacy of the former Jets and purify themselves of what they call The Atlanta Effort — which, as Friend of The III Anthrax Jones notes sounds like a Julia Roberts rom-com.

You see, despite what old sourpuss Ryan Lambert said, the Jets never left Winnipeg.

Because of this, expect the Jets to trade anyone who is too Atlanta-y (ie: All the Americans and Europeans as well as any Canadian not sufficiently Manitobish) and add Teemu Selanne, Shane Doan, Bob Essesna, the portrait of the Queen, Bobby Hull, Ulf Nilsson, and every white t-shirt between Saskatoon and Thunder Bay.