DemocraThree Special Trade Deadline Edition

by J.R.

demo210With the trade deadline looming, we’ve asked our usual cadre of bloggers from around The Heptarchy to give us some idea of what the hay is going on with each team. Yes, we ripped this off from TRH’s Pacific War Room; no, we don’t care. For our special trade deadline edition, we’ll go in alphabetical order:

Chicago Blackhawks
Cheer The Anthem‘s Mike Devine

Stan Bowman has already pretty much said that he won’t be acquiring anyone at the Deadline. Certainly, the Hawks won’t be in the hunt for any of the big names: even if Vancouver would trade Ryan Kesler to the Hawks, they couldn’t squeeze him under the cap without a lot going the other way (and as we know from the Luongo fiasco, Mike Gillis isn’t shy about demanding crazy returns in trades) While I’d love Mikhail Grabovski for the 2C role, the Caps are still in the playoff race and are unlikely to offload him. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hawks dealt one or both of Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin. Quenneville has made it clear that he’s not enamoured of either of them, both are RFA and their value is high: they’re tearing up the AHL.  That would leave the Hawks somewhat vulnerable in case of injury, though and would also be mean to the Piggies, who actually have a chance to make the Calder Cup playoffs for the first time in four years.

So I think that nothing happens, except possibly a classic Bowman-style surprise acquisition of some role player that he’s been watching (think Oduya and Handzus).

Oh, and there’s one thing that Stan could do that would make all rational Hawks fans very, very happy.

bolliglaunch [Ed. note: Michael is, as ever, our most punctual blogger and actually responded to my call for trade deadline submissions the day I asked for them; it was before the Pirri trade and it was before Bollig was re-signed instead of being shot into the sun]

Colorado Avalanche
The Internet’s Anthrax Jones

It’s been said this year’s Colorado Avalanche “snuck up on everyone”, or “came out of nowhere”. Myself, I see this season as the arrival of an inevitability: an “A-ha!” moment. As the trade deadline approaches, let’s explore where the Avs stand in terms of personnel as the trade deadline draws close, and let’s explore it in true “A-ha” fashion:

Taaaaake onnnn meeeee — First overall pick Nathan MacKinnon has lived up to and exceeded expectations in his rookie year. The Avs’ young forward talent was already the cream of the NHL crop, and MacKinnon appears to be the crown jewel. MacKinnon’s emergence has led to speculation about other young Avs forwards as trade bait…

Taaaaaake meeeee onnnnn — A year ago at this time, the struggling Avalanche were taking on Ryan O’Reilly and Ryan O’Reilly’s demented father, locked in contract “negotiations” that weren’t negotiations at all. Take-it-or-leave-it offers on both sides led to a stalemate and bad feelings between the sides, and resolution was only reached after Jay Feaster Feaster’d himself with a near-disastrous offer sheet to O’Reilly that the Avs instantly matched. With O’Reilly a pending RFA, speculation that he will be dealt has been constant. Can Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy, and the new Avs regime smooth things over with their most versatile young player? The smart money says yes, and O’Reilly will be re-signed over the summer.

I’ll beeeeeee goooooooone — Paul Stastny, on the other hand…probably won’t be back in an Avs uniform next season, given the Avs’ depth at center. Stastny has had a terrific season, enjoying his role under Roy and a fruitful partnership with Babe Landeskog on the 2nd line. HOWEVA, if there is a deal to be made to address Colorado’s drywallish blueline, Stastny may make the most sense to serve as trade bait.

In a day or TWOOOOOOOO — Or four or five, speculation will end, and the roster Patrick Roy will take into the Avs’ first postseason since 2010 will be finalized. My gut: Roy is a bold man, and bold men make bold moves. Colorado acquires Brian Campbell from Florida for a package centered around Jamie McGinn.

Dallas Stars
Defending Big D‘s David Wilson

The Stars are still early in the rebuild under new management, and so patience is the watchword as the deadline approa… OH MY GODZ WE NEED 2 TRADE OUR ENTIRE AHL TEAM TO NASHVILLE FOR SHEA WEBER! NEED MOAR DEFENSE!

Ahem. That anyway is the general flavor of the Dallas forums these days. It actually reached a fever pitch in January, when the Stars were unable to buy a win and events like this were the norm.

The last ten games though the Stars young, cobbled-together defense has actually been really damned good. None of us can explain why though, so the general consensus, even among level-headed Stars fans (who do exist) is that we still need to shore up the defense. Right now we have a really good squad of number 3 or 4 defensemen, but very few (re: none) top guys. In an ideal world aging vets on expiring contracts, like Ray Whitney and Vern Fiddler, get moved at the deadline and net us some pieces. As for the big move for an elite defensemen, or even, God forgive me for being greedy, a number 2 center, I doubt Jim Nill goes out and does anything drastic.

But in the meantime… interested in that Weber trade, JR?

Minnesota Wild
Hockey Wilderness‘s Ger Devine

Things the Wild need to do at the deadline:

  • Find a sucker who will take Heatley off their hands.
  • Give Heatley’s minutes to Nino Niederreiter or anyone who isn’t old and terrible.
  • Find a sucker who will take Backstrom off their hands.
  • Trade for James Reimer or Braden Holtby.
  • Move forward with a tandem of one of the above goalies + Darcy Kuemper for the rest of the decade.
  • Find a sucker who will take Keith Ballard or Clayton Stoner off their hands.
  • Replace Ballard or Stoner with a cheap rental such as Anton Stralman or Mark Fayne who are actually good.
  • The shedding of bad players makes the team instantly better and they proudly ride into the playoffs and a glorious death against either the Blues or the Blackhawks.
  • ????
  • Profit

Nashville Predators
III Communication‘s J.R. Lind

Talk about being of two minds.

On the one hand, the Predators are in last place in Conference III — a classic seller’s position. On the other, they are four points out and Pekka Rinne is scheduled to return tomorrow, which would make the team a buyer, right?

It all very well could be decided by tomorrow’s result against Pittsburgh (there was conventional wisdom that if the Preds did well in the first three post-Olympic games, they’d buy and if they did poorly, they’d sell; all that makes me hope they get the OT point tomorrow night, so they’d wrap that three-game set at 1-1-1).

In any event, the Preds, as ever, need somebody who can put the puck in the net with any sort of consistency. Ideally, it’d be someone youngish with a couple years left on a deal (everybody with that kind of player is more than willing to trade them, by the way), because there’s no need to overpay for a rental in a year without much hope of a playoff run.

Whether David Poile decides to buy or sell generally, he should trade David Legwand, if only so he could prove he’s capable of playing somewhere else and so Predators fans can finally learn who has been second-in-line all these years for the important “guy who digs the pucks out of the net during warm-ups” job, as that’s a role David Legwand has held since 1998.

Obviously, Poile has been active this season on the market — having dumped the Matt Hendricks albatross on Edmonton in exchange for the rights to waive Devan Dubnyk and swapping Kevin Klein for Michael Del Zotto, which was at least interesting enough to be interesting. There’s talk — as there seemingly always is — the Preds are interested in Sam Gagner, which would be fine, and Tomas Vanek, which would be delightful, except they’d likely have to give up a boatload for 20 games worth of work. I would have liked Nashville to be in on Brandon Pirri (and for all I know, they may well have been and Chicago just balked because they didn’t want to play him seven or eight times a year for a decade), but them’s the breaks.

St. Louis Blues
St. Louis Game Time‘s Tyler Atwood

St. Louis Blues

NEEDS: Not much of anything, really.

WANTS: A playmaking forward (at this point, probably a winger)

ANALYSIS:The Blues fired the first Conference III salvo ahead of Wednesday’s trade deadline, offloading a perennial fan scapegoat goaltender (Jaroslav Halak), a highly-paid talented malcontent (Chris Stewart), a long-range prospect (William Carrier . . . that’s pronounced “CARE-ee-yay”, by the way) and a couple draft picks for Ryan Miller (YAY!!!!!!) and Steve Ott (YA . . . wait, WHAT?!) on Friday, verily destroying the Sabres front office in the process. A team that once had two perceived holes now has maybe one . . . that of a playmaking forward, a role that hasn’t been properly filled by this franchise since the days of Pierre Turgeon and Pavol Demitra and a hole that was exposed relatively egregiously in the two games the Blues played directly after the Olympic break, both 1-0 shutout losses. According to CapGeek, the Blues still have enough space to add a $3MM cap hit, and at that number, they likely won’t find that kind of playmaker without sending out more salary like they did in the Miller/Ott deal. I don’t see the Blues doing much more than they already have, which obviously was a lot.

Winnipeg Jets
JetsNation‘s Ross Smith

Dear Trade Deadline Santa,

I think I’ve been a good boy. Maybe. Depends who you ask. This is all a bit arbitrary and subjective isn’t it? I mean, who are you, some advanced-stats loving, jolly fat man in the North Pole (or possibly Flin Flon, MB) deciding whom will benefit from the trading of once, current and future assets? Have I not shown my willingness to turn this team into a winner? I fired the coach! That counts, doesn’t it? Or does that put me on the naughty list? I don’t know what you want from me!! That said… I do know what I want from you and this is ultimately the point of these letters, isn’t it?

  1. A goalie. Don’t remind me how much I paid for Pavelec, wishing with all my wishing power that he was, despite all statistical evidence to the contrary, going to be a bone fide Number 1. He’s delivered a lot of number 2, and I don’t mean back-up goalie. I mean diaper-filler. You know what? I hear maybe Ryan Miller is looking for a — Damn you, St. Louis Blues!

  2. A top 6 defenseman. Pretty sure we can’t afford an Andy McDonald but we’ll happily browse at a Tom Gilbert. Look, we don’t need a ship’s captain; we need a guy who can bail water, savvy?

  3. A Depth forward. Someone who enjoys puck possession not puck redistribution. This isn’t Keynesian economics you buffoons this is ice hockey! You deny opportunities to your opponents; you don’t put up their tents so they can occupy MTS Centre! Seriously, just bring me a player who has even a remote chance of understanding that reference and I think we’ll be well on our way to improving our team Corsi average.

Ah, TD Santa, I’m not sure how much you can help me. We’re up against much tougher opposition this year and it feels like another season of one step forward, two steps back. That’s all well and good if you’re waltzing, but this is a playoff drive, not a junior high dance. And if it was the latter, we’re a priapic, acne-ridden dork with such social awkwardness that we’ll never get Stacey Johanssen to dance with us when Sarah McLachlan comes on at the end of the night. Look at her mooning over Patrick Sharp, all suave and gold-medally. Screw that guy. Doesn’t he have enough? Can’t it be my turn? Be kind, this year, TD Santa, be kind. I’m just a poor li’l prairie boy trying to make the ‘Peggers proud.

Your friend,

Kevin Cheveldayoff,

General Manager, Winnipeg Jets

PS – I know I was a little mean about Patrick Sharp but if for any reason he wants to come to Winnipeg, please let him know I said hi and that I can totally introduce his mom to Burton Cummings.

PPS – Some intern just suggested I have to give up something good to get something good. I had to laugh. That’s not how it works, kid. I make the list and TD Santa leaves some Belarusian wunderkind under my tree, right? Right…?