|The Price is Right (Come on Down!)||Tweet|
|Written by Ryan Ma|
|Tuesday, 03 March 2009 03:41|
I used to love watching The Price is Right when I was growing up. I mean the old school Bob Barker Price is Right none of this new school Drew Carey mumbo jumbo. I always loved how Rod Roddy would announce the competitors down to contestant’s row and they get to make their bids. They make their bids while you yell at the tv as loud as you could thinking 'you IDIOT'! This trade deadline is going to be very much of the same. Fantasy pundits like us will be doing that very thing in the forum, yelling and b****ing at the crazy trades, or praising the great moves that benefits both teams. This week we’ll take a look at all the Western Conference teams and further analyze who is a buyer/seller and which players are potentially gearing up for a new uniform. I’ve also thrown in a few of my own trades that would make sense for both teams.
Players with the highest totals in each category who are under 50% owned in Yahoo leagues.
Most of the rumours coming out of Anaheim have the Ducks dealing Chris Pronger to a variety of teams. There’s one rumour where the Bruins that will land Pronger and Travis Moen for a first rounder, Joe Colborne and a late round draft pick. There’s also another one floating around with Pronger returning to the St. Louis Blues. With so many rumours, along with the recent acquisition of Ryan Whitney, you gotta think that there’s some truth that Pronger is being shopped around by the Ducks.
Calgary will be buyers at the deadline, it just won’t be of the big time variety. Mike Cammalleri and his 63 points, will remain with the Flames for the remainder of the season, unless a huge deal gets offered to Darryl Sutter. The injury to Rene Bourque really threw a wrench into the Flames’ top-six, but they’ll be alright. There’s also a rumour floating around that the Flames are interested in the Avs’ Ryan Smyth. The only kicker is that Smyth has a no-trade clause, but if the Flames could free up the necessary cap space, would captain Canada return to Alberta for a second gig? How painful would it be for Oiler fans to see Smyth donning the flaming C? Adrian Aucoin is scheduled to become an UFA at the end of the season, if the Avs are willing to take on his contract, and perhaps get a throw-in such as Matthew Lombardi, it could be enticing enough to benefit both teams.
The Blackhawks should be buyers this trade season. They really don’t have any glaring scoring needs but more of a need for complementary players as a supporting cast. They’re still seeking a quality faceoff-taking centre to help complement their young guns. Could the Hawks go after Rod Brind’Amour? Brindy has two years left on his contract at three million per season, but isn’t really finding a place in the Hurricanes’ lineup this season. Brindy’s only averaging 18:58 in ice-time this season compared to 22:28 last season. He’s also averaging 1:30 shorthanded ice-time this season, which could help ease the loss of Patrick Sharp. The Hawks have also been trade partners before with Andrew Ladd and Tuomo Ruutu swapping teams a few seasons ago, so the trade network is there. The Hawks have plenty of prospects that could help the Hurricanes for now and in the future. Igor Makarov, Akim Aliu, and Jack Skille could prove lucrative enough for the Canes.
The Blue Jackets are sitting pretty in sixth but are also only four points off from being in 12th place. Like many Western Conference teams that makes it fairly hard to determine if they will be buyers or sellers at the deadline. The main thing that is in Columbus’ favour is that they have plenty of cap space remaining this season, which means that if a team is desperate to unload a hefty contract, the Blue Jackets could get away with giving up very little and getting back quality talent in return. Philly’s Daniel Briere is one example, so is Olli Jokinen of the Coyotes and perhaps even Wade Redden of the Rangers. If they teams are willing to sacrifice the salaries without expecting much in return, you might just see the Jackets jump on those players.
The Avalanche are last in the Western Conference, and following Monday night’s loss to the lowly Islander, are definitely sellers at the deadline. Jordan Leopold, Ian Laperriere and Tyler Arnason could garner some interest during the trade deadline. Leopold will probably garner the most interest, but won’t fetch much more than a prospect or a second/third round pick in return. Arnason once played for the Blackhawks, and could be a cheaper and easier option to obtain for Chicago than some of the big named stars available at the deadline.
The Stars are also one of the teams who are in a borderline playoff position. The Stars have lost five consecutive contests and has slipped outside of a playoff position. Jere Lehtinen is scheduled to become a UFA at the end of the season and if the right offer comes around, could find himself on new team on Wednesday. I think he’d look good beside Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh to be honest. The Pens still have around $3.658 million available in cap space remaining, so salary cap isn’t a roadblock for the move. If the Pens are willing to swap a Miro Satan, Petr Sykora or Ruslan Fedotenko it would pretty much become a straight equal salary swap.
There probably won’t be any major changes to the Red Wings lineup at the trade deadline. The Wings are happy with their top-nine and their defense looks solid. The only change that could possibly happen is if they shop for a goalie. The Wings are pressed at the cap so they won’t have much wiggle room to accommodate for another goalie unless they offload some serious salary. I think they’ll live and die with the Ty Conklin and a Chris Osgood duo this season.
The Oilers are barely in a playoff position but if they continue to play inconsistent hockey they’ll find themselves on the outside looking in come playoff time. Ethan Moreau’s eye injury could seriously put a damper on their season as well as the trade deadline as he is irreplaceable to the Oilers’ lineup. Their biggest bargaining chip is Erik Cole, who is scheduled to become an UFA at the end of the season. There were numerous rumours regarding Cole going to the Bruins at the deadline, but that might depend on whether or not they land Pronger. Denis Grebeshkov, Robbie Schremp, Ryan Potulny could also be a good bargaining chips as many teams are looking for an young cheap NHL options in the salary cap era of the NHL.
The Kings are pretty much in the same boat as the Blue Jackets. They have a whopping $12.551 million available in cap space for the deadline. They seem to be set in goal with Jon Quick and Erik Ersberg and their young defensive corps looks ready to take their next step in their development so it doesn’t look like they have any holes to fill on the backend. Which means that pretty much leaves their major changes to be on their offense, similarly with the Blue Jackets situation, if a team is willing to get rid of a high priced contract cheaply, you might just see the Kings make a big splash at the deadline this year. They’re probably looking for a top-six forward but with that amount of cap space who knows what could happen in the City of Angels.
In Wild country, two big profiled athletes could be leaving at the deadline. Nik Backstrom and Marian Gaborik who are both scheduled to become UFA’s at the end of the season could possibly be leaving. Gaborik just passed a physical which deemed his hip “mechanically sound, repaired and healed”. That might just be enough of a push for a team to go out and pick him up for a cheaper than retail price. Similarly, the Wild are better off in dealing Backstrom for something rather than to keep him and lose him to free agency in the off-season for nothing. They have a fully capable backup in Josh Harding to take the reigns, so it’s not like they are going to be in serious goaltending trouble. If the Wild could squeeze a first-rounder plus a NHL ready prospect for Gabby that might just be enough for GM Doug Risebrough to cave.
The Coyotes might as well count this season as a wash as they’ll need around 500 miracles to happen in order to get them into the playoffs this year. One miracle that was supposed to pan out was the off-season acquisition of Jokinen. His 42 points in 57 contests, is well shy of the numbers that he is fully capable of producing. He’s a potential candidate to shed unnecessary salary, while picking up some quality players or draft picks in return. His $5.25 million salary is a bit hefty for many teams but for teams like Columbus, or LA, who have the available cap space along with a need for a scoring centre might be able to accommodate if the selling price is right. Derek Morris has pretty much packed his bags and is ready to go to another team when the phone rings on Wednesday. There’s a few teams out there looking for a physical defenseman, and could be a big minutes chewer as he’s averaging 21:16 in ice-time this season. If Boston can’t land Pronger, Kaberle or Leopold, I think they could seriously make a run at Morris.
The Sharks are set. With no cap space and a top-six set in stone they won’t make any major moves this deadline.
The Blues have been surging thanks to the quality goaltending of Chris Mason as they sit three points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. St. Louis can lean either way with Keith Tkachuk, if they get a great offer for him they could deal him, if they don’t it doesn’t really hurt them to keep him for a playoff run. If the Blues decide to be buyers at the deadline they’ll be looking for some blue line veteran presence on the backend to shore up the defense. With the quality play of Jay McClement recently, the Blues could use David Perron as a bargaining chip at the deadline on Wednesday. The Blues will probably also try to unload one of the two overpaid defenseman in Eric Brewer or Jay McKee if they possibly could. B.J. Crombeen could also prove to be a value asset for toughness come playoff time for a Stanley Cup contending team.
In Vancouver around half the team is up for UFA at the end of the season, which means this season they are going to try to hit a homerun ball in the bottom of the ninth. The Canucks have $2.731 million available in cap space, so they have a bit room to perhaps add a checking centre or a depth defenseman, but not enough to make a huge splash at the deadline.
Anyway, back towards my Price is Right analogy, what price would you pay to compete with the Dobber crew in a fantasy pool and be leading the pool by 5.5 points with roughly six weeks left? Well yours truly is leading doing exactly that and leading Dobber himself by 28.5 points in our Expert’s roto-league. It’ll be an interesting to see what happens in the next six weeks as a few moves already have caused me to panic a bit. Eric Maltais pulled off a stunner sending Spezza, Booth, Kessel, Jokinen and Kipper to Notch for Crosby, Kovalev and Pronger, which has pushed me to think about some possible deals to help improve my team. Next week we will analyse the some of the trades that went down at the deadline and how it impacts fantasy teams heading forward. Be sure to check the website for the most up-to-date trades and analysis today and Wednesday in order to help you get a competitive edge in your fantasy pools for the final stretch run of this season.