Matt Beleskey

 

The trade deadline is fast approaching, so I figured now might be a good time to take an in depth look at each of the Western Conference teams to see who might be have the possibility of changing addresses at the trade deadline on March 3rd. This week we’ll examine all of the players in Anaheim, Calgary, Chicago, and Colorado to see what could be in store for them come deadline time.

Maaasquito Buzzings…


Players in the last seven days with the highest production in each category who are less than 50% owned in Yahoo leagues.

 

Goals

Assists

+/-

PPP

SOG

Upshall (3)

Simmonds (3)

Lukowich (7)

Stralman (3)

Gagner (12)

Umberger (3)

Malhotra (3)

Vlasic (5)

Liles (2)

Kariya (12)

Gagner (3)

Hnidy (3)

Kariya (5)

Tucker (2)

Beleskey (10)

Daley (2)

Stralman (3)

Oshie (4)

Salo (2)

Stewart (10)

Ortmeyer (2)

Cleary (2)

Ortmeyer (3)

Umberger (2)

Perron (10)

 

Maaaasquito Bite of the week: Matt Beleskey

 

The Ducks have been ravaged by injuries this season, which has really opened up a few slots in the Anaheim top-six. At the beginning of the season it was Dan Sexton, now might just be time for the former 112nd overall pick to shine. In the last three contests, Beleskey has spent close to 65 percent of his shifts alongside the star duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, all while averaging 19:55 during that span. He’s also raised his SOG average per contest to 2.67 in the month of January. Joffrey Lupul appears to be out for the next few weeks, which means that Beleskey should maintain a top-six role with the Ducks until after the Olympic break. He’s currently only one percent Yahoo! owned, so if you are looking for smart pickup, definitely look no further than Beleskey.


Now onto the good stuff.


I basically split the players into three categories.


HOT- look for the player to garner plenty of trade attention come deadline time.


LUKE WARM- the player does have some trade value, but will need a considerable amount of work in order to get moved.


ICE COLD- the player has essentially a slight chance of being moved, but don’t bet the farm.


Anaheim


Safe: Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Joffrey Lupul, Todd Marchant, George Parros, Petteri Nokelainen, Ryan Carter, Mike Brown, Dan Sexton, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Whitney, Steve Eminger, Brett Festerling, Jonas Hiller


Movable:


HOT


None


LUKE WARM


-Teemu Selanne- 595 goals and 1235 points in 1162 career contests. He retired a few seasons ago but came back specifically for the upcoming Olympics. I think this will be his last season, and he has stated that he wanted to retire as a Duck, so GM Bob Murray will most likely honor that request. The Ducks are only three points out of a playoff spot, so dealing him isn’t a priority unless the Ducks completely slip the next two weeks.


- Saku Koivu- 201 goals and 670 points in 835 career contests. He’s also averaged 52 points in the last two seasons, and is on a similar pace this campaign. Similar to Selanne, the Ducks will only move Koivu if they completely fall out of playoff contention in the next two weeks.


- Scott Niedermayer- Pretty much the identical statement as above. There are numerous rumors of him returning to New Jersey for another cup run, but the Devils don’t have very many pieces that may sway the Ducks into a deal, especially if they remain in the playoff hunt.


- James Wisniewski- Wizzy averages the third most ice-time and fifth most SOG in Anaheim, which demonstrates how integral he is to the Ducks’ line up. He’s also averaging 3:12 in PP ice-time in the last five contests as well and overtaking Ryan Whitney’s spot on the Ducks top PP unit. He’s up for RFA at the end of the season, so the Ducks won’t be too hard pressed to deal him at the deadline.


- J.S. Giguere- Giggy has been relegated to backup duties as he’s only appeared in two of the last 14 contests for the Ducks. His six million dollar cap hit for this season and the next will prove to be too much of a burden for potential trade partners to absorb. That plus his less than stellar stats of a 3.03 GAA and .900 save percentage, probably won’t be enough for teams (including the Ducks) to take a gamble on the former Conn Smythe winner for the rest of this campaign. He’ll remain a Duck.


ICE COLD


-Bobby Ryan- The only reason why I put Ryan on this list is because of his pending restricted free agency status this summer. He’s essentially unmovable, in my honest opinion, and should be a mainstay in the Ducks future for the next decade, but weirder things have happened in the past so you just never know. He is one huge bargaining chip he the Ducks ever decide to change things up.


- Jonas Hiller – Hiller has really established himself as the number one in Anaheim with his solid play. The Ducks once lost a solid goaltender in Ilya Bryzgalov, for essentially nothing, so I don’t think they’ll make the same mistake again in moving the young Swiss.


-Evgeny Artyukin- Artyukin was brought in to help bring some grit to the Ducks line up. With nine points and 41 PIMs in 34 contests, he hasn’t done a poor job, but he hasn’t done a great job either. He’s essentially a fourth-liner with a 900k cap-hit, so I don’t think there’s a large market for his services. Look for the Ducks to keep him past the trade deadline.


- Kyle Chipchura- Chipchura was traded earlier this season from the Habs to the Ducks for a fourth-round pick. He’s essentially a tweener third/fourth line player and probably even a borderline NHL/AHL player. Chipchura’s a RFA at the end of the season so the Ducks aren’t in an immediate rush to deal him at the deadline. He’ll probably be kept past the trade deadline.


-Nick Boynton- Boynton is up for UFA status at the end of the season, which is why he’s a potential trade candidate. His stats however probably don’t present a strong case for a lot of suitors to come calling. He has seven points in 41 contests but just 38 SOG for the season. The Ducks will most likely keep him as a fifth/sixth depth defenseman instead of moving him for peanuts at the deadline.


-Sheldon Brookbank- Pretty much an identical situation as Boynton. Brookbank is also up for UFA status at the end of the season. But with just eight assists and 21 SOG, he’ll have less interest than Boynton. Look for Brookbank to finish the season with the Ducks.


Calgary


Safe: Jarome Iginla, Daymond Langkow, David Moss, Curtis Glencross, Nigel Dawes, Freddie Sjostrom, Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regher, Cory Sarich, Mark Giordano, Adam Pardy, Miikka Kiprusoff


Movable:


HOT


-Olli Jokinen- With only one win in the last 10 games, while averaging just 1.5 goals scored per game during that span, you would think that the Flames are in dire need of some offensive scoring help. So would dealing Jokinen really make sense? Yes and here are the reasons. 1) Since joining the Flames at the trade deadline last year, Jokinen has only tallied 47 points in 70 contests, which is a far cry from the 419 in 567 that he had in Florida and not even close to the 42 in 57 he had in Phoenix. 2) His 149 SOG is tied for 38th in the league in that department, which isn’t exactly screaming out must keep. 3) He’s making $5.25 mil this season, and is only operating as the 40th ranked point-producing center. And most importantly 4) Iginla has 67 points in 76 contests, including playoffs, with Jokinen in the line up compared to 181 in 152 without. If every Flame fan, can notice that Jokinen and Iggy don’t mesh well together, why can’t Darryl Sutter? Move him already!


- Rene Bourque- One thing that doesn’t bode well in the Flames favour is the fact that Bourque is a UFA in the off-season, and in the open market could easily receive an offer of $4 to $4.5 mil per season. With the Flames already committing $44 mil of their salary cap on 16 players next season, Bourque could be a salary cap casualty come trade deadline time.


LUKE WARM


- Dion Phaneuf- With a reasonable $6.5 mil cap hit for the next four seasons and the latest news of him not getting along with GM Darryl Sutter, Phaneuf could very well be a trade candidate come deadline time. I personally don’t think that they’ve burned all bridges that they have to deal him, but we should definitely plan for to the possibility.


- Craig Conroy – There’s not a very large market for third line centers at the trade deadline, so there isn’t going to be a huge amount of interest in the 15-year NHL veteran. If they move Jokinen, Conroy could garner added responsibility in the Flames line up, but then again his miniscule one million dollar salary could be quite attractive to a contending team for a playoff push.


- Dustin Boyd- With Curtis Glencross and David Moss both in the mix for a top-six spot in Calgary, it really has left Boyd in the outs on the Calgary depth chart. He’s picking up just 12:19 per contest and is a decent blue-chip player that could easily be dealt at deadline time.


- Jamie Lundmark- Lundmark was once a ninth overall pick in the 1999 NHL entry draft. In six NHL seasons, he has amassed 93 points. Lundmark has picked up 216 points in 159 WHL contests, and followed that up with 227 in 306 AHL contests, which shows that he does have plenty of offensive upside. It just hasn’t translated at the NHL level yet, but if a team is willing to take a gamble on the 29-year old, I’m sure the Flames are willing to listen.


ICE COLD


- Eric Nystrom- With only 30 points in 173 career contests, there isn’t going to be large market for the former tenth overall pick, even with his 688k salary cap hit.


- Brian McGrattan, Brandon Prust- As discussed earlier fourth line players don’t get moved at the deadline. Both are playing their roles nicely for Sutter and co., so there isn’t going to be much movement on the fourth line for the Flames.


- Aaron Johnson- There’s not much demand for a depth defenseman, who’s amassed just 39 points in six NHL seasons. So look for him to maintain a Flame uniform post-deadline and for them to let him go in the off-season.


Chicago


Safe: Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Dave Bolland, Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith


Movable:


HOT


- Andrew Ladd- Ladd had a decent regular season (49 points in 82 contests) last year, but completely disappeared in the post-season (four points in 17 contests), which could be a negative point that Hawk’s management may look upon at the trade deadline this year. He’s up for RFA status at the end of the season, and at a salary cap hit of just $1.55 million, he could be a good “project” candidate that trade partners could possibly take a gamble on.


- Brian Campbell- Campbell does play an integral part of the Hawks’ blue-line corps as he ranks second on the team with 32 points in 52 contests. The main problem is his $7.14 million cap-hit for the next six seasons, which could seriously hamper any trade negotiations. After doing some research, there are a plethora of teams (Columbus, Dallas, Atlanta, Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Nashville, Islanders, Phoenix, St. Louis, and even Toronto), who do have a bit of cap room to take on Campbell’s salary. Considering he’s been amongst the top 10 in defensive scoring for the last three seasons, his salary can certainly be justified. If the Hawks are willing to toss a few of the players listed below or a first rounder as throw-ins, Campbell could certainly be had.


- Cam Barker – Barker is essentially your prototypical young defenseman still learning the defensive aspects of the NHL game. If you’ve been following the Jack Johnson situation in Los Angeles, it bears a very similar comparison to Barker’s situation. Barker is great offensively, but is a huge defensive liability as demonstrated by his -16 rating in 193 career NHL contests. 45 of his 80 career points have come on the PP, which is great if you’re looking for a PP QB, but not if you’re after an all around defenseman. With Keith, Seabrook, and Campbell all there, Barker is left out of a role of responsibility on the Hawks’ blue-line. I don’t think Barker is a must trade candidate, but he should garner plenty of attention during trade deadline time.


LUKE WARM


- Patrick Sharp- There isn’t very many signs that point to Sharp being dealt at the deadline, but given his situation, skill set and salary, he could be a highly sought after if the Hawks are looking for a “big named” playoff rental for a Stanley Cup push. He has 16 short-handed points in his career, and is also leading the team in SOG, which could be quite attractive as a bargaining chip. I don’t think he’s on the top of the list to be dealt, but teams won’t ignore his upside.


- Kris Versteeg- Similar to Sharp’s situation, Versteeg is a young up-and-comer with offensive upside. He isn’t up for any free agent status, but with alternatives in the minors like Kyle Beach, Jack Skille, Akim Aliu, Billy Sweatt, and Igor Makarov, they could very easily move Versteeg and replace him with someone with a similar skill set. An NHL-ready player like Versteeg could be a very interesting bargaining chip for the Blackhawks to utilize at deadline time.


- Dustin Byfuglien- Along the same lines as Sharp and Versteeg, Buffy could be utilized as a bargaining chip as well. He’s has the advantage of size, but doesn’t possess as much offensive scoring ability as Sharp or Versteeg. His cap-hit is also a bit lower than Sharp or Versteeg, so that could be an additional tick for potential trade partners.


- Tomas Kopecky – Much like the three players above, Kopecky isn’t really up for any sort of free agency status at the end of the season, but with the depth available in the minors, he isn’t an untouchable trade candidate by any means necessary. Kopecky probably doesn’t carry as much trade value as Sharp, Versteeg, or Byfuglien, but his $1.2 million is more than half the amount of the other three and could be a strong trade-bait candidate come March.


- Cristobal Huet – Huet still has two years left on his contract at $5.625 per season. His stats aren’t actually that bad with a 2.26 GAA along with a .904 save percentage, but his counterpart Antti Niemi is outshining him with 1.99 and .918 numbers on a salary of just 827k. The saving grace for him is that there isn’t a large market at the trade deadline for an overpriced underachieving goalie when there are cheaper options like Martin Biron available on the market. Huet stays, but if he doesn’t play well during the post-season, he could be Chicago’s favourite whipping boy next season.


ICE COLD


- John Madden- Madden has taken the 25th most faceoffs in the league, while ranking 20th overall in faceoff win percentage (53.1 percent) amongst players who have taken over 500 faceoffs. He is up for UFA status this summer, but his team-leading SH ice-time as a third-line shut down center, will see him remain a Hawk for the Stanley Cup push. He won’t be changing addresses at the trade deadline.


- Ben Eager and Colin Fraser – Eager is pretty much accomplishing everything that the Hawks are asking him to do. He’s basically a fourth line tough guy who can occasionally chip in with a bit of offense. He has 10 points along with 81 PIMs in 35 contests. Rarely do fourth liners get dealt at the deadline, so even though Eager and Fraser are both up for RFA status at the end of the year, I wouldn’t expect Eager or Fraser to be dealt at the trade deadline in March.


- Brent Sopel – Sopel is a solid stay-at-home defenseman, but with only six points in 51 contests, along with a cap hit of $2.33 million, he won’t garner enough upside for a team to take a gamble on the 11-year veteran.


- Niklas Hjalmarsson – The third-year Swede only made the list because he’s scheduled to become a RFA at the end of the season. The Hawks are confident in Hjalmarsson by giving him 19:29 minutes per contest, and most importantly 2:17 shorthanded. He’s too important for the Hawks to deal at the deadline, he stays!


- Antti Niemi- I only listed Niemi because he’s scheduled for RFA status at the end of the season. I don’t see any reasons why the Hawks would move him at all, so consider him immovable at the deadline.


Colorado


Safe: Paul Stastny, Milan Hejduk, Matt Duchene, Cody McLeod, Ryan O’Reilly, T.J. Galiardi, David Jones, Ryan Stoa, Scott Hannan, Kyle Cumiskey, Craig Anderson


Movable:


HOT


- Marek Svatos – The 27-year old Czech is having himself a terrible contract year as he’s only appeared in 36 contests due to injuries. With all the youngsters like O’Reilly, Stoa, Chris Stewart, and Brandon Yip all stepping up this season, Svatos has really lost his top-six spot on the Avs roster. His $2.05 mil cap hit isn’t too big of a deal, and the Avs will probably be shopping him at the deadline for a bit more veteran depth for the post-season push.

 

LUKEWARM


- Brett Clark- Clark ranks fourth in ice-time amongst all Avs blue-liners by averaging 19:23 per contest. He also ranks third behind Kyle Quincey, and J.M. Liles in PP ice-time by averaging 2:38 on the Avs second PP unit. The Avs have a ton of cap space available for the next few seasons, and if they’re going to be buyers at the trade deadline, they might be able to move Clark, and his pending UFA status, for some upgrades at the deadline.


- Adam Foote – The 18-year NHL veteran is on his last legs in the NHL, but he’s still very useful to teams who are in need of a great stay-at-home defenseman. With Salei returning back to the Avs blue-line fairly soon, the Avs will face a dilemma of who to ice amongst, J.M. Liles, Quincey, Cuminskey, Clark, Salei, Foote, and Hannan. As you can see with seven names, but only six roster spots, someone’s gotta move...


- J.M. Liles- Liles was a member of the Joe Sacco doghouse earlier this season, and has been recently criticized by Sacco for his lack of defensive responsibility. Liles has two years left on his contract and at a cap hit of $4.2 mil per season, he isn’t a prime candidate to move at the deadline, but GM Greg Sherman might have other thoughts on his mind. Either way just wanted to float the idea out there that he might be moved at the deadline.


- Ruslan Salei – The 35-year old Belarussian Olympian is having himself an injury plagued season, which really has hindered his trade value for the upcoming trade deadline. He’s scheduled to become a UFA at the end of the season, but with only one game under his belt this season, it’d be hard-pressed to see any buyers for Salei in early March.


ICE COLD


- Wojtek Wolski- It’s a good thing that Wolski is having a career year on a contract season with 45 points in 51 contests. He’s showing great chemistry playing alongside Paul Stastny and Chris Stewart and pretty much earned himself a decent-sized contract in the off-season. I stuck him on the movable list because of his pending RFA status, but he’s pretty safe in my opinion.


- Chris Stewart- Stewart is up for RFA status in the off-season, but with his huge breakout season this year, he’ll be secure come trade deadline time.


- Brandon Yip – Similar to Stewart, Yip is having a great breakthrough season right before RFA status in the off-season. He’s currently settling in well on the second line alongside Matt Duchene and T.J. Galiardi in the last few games, but after the Olympics when Hejduk returns from knee surgery, the Avs will most likely form a very formidable second line of Hejduk, Yip and Duchene. Yip’s safe come deadline time.


- Kyle Quincey – Quincey was acquired from the Kings as part of the Ryan Smyth deal last summer and has been quite the addition especially to the Avs PP. He’s garnering the second-most ice-time on the Avs’ PP after Stastny. Quincey is up for RFA status in the off-season, which is why I formally listed him as a movable candidate, but between you and me I think he’s safe to be in an Avs uniform for the remainder of the season.


- Darcy Tucker- Tucker is up for UFA status at the end of the season and that usually always drums up rumors at deadline time. The problem is the Avs are right in the middle of a playoff push and even a division crown (who woulda thunk that?), so they’ll need the toughness of Tucker for that run. I don’t see him moving unless the Avs slip.


- David Koci, Matt Hendricks, Chris Durno  – As mentioned before fourth liners aren’t really sought after at the deadline. Koci, Hendricks and Durno don’t carry much value to be acquired by potential suitors at the deadline so look for them to maintain a fourth line role with the Avs for the remainder of the season.


- Peter Budaj – Budaj is up for UFA status in the off-season, and with Craig Anderson in the full helm of the Avalanche ship, there probably won’t be much need to make dramatic changes for the remainder of the season. It wouldn’t make sense to bring in a backup who would only play in a handful of games anyways.


Questions or comments? Like always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them with you in the comments section below. Stay tuned next week as we discuss the trade deadline situation of Columbus, Dallas, Detroit and Edmonton.



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