Oh the dreaded trade deadline. Barter for Carter. Splash for Nash. Away from the forest (and away from Central Ohio), there are some very good options out there to improve teams at the trade deadline that are hidden in the weeds, and away from the spotlight a little. Searching for that last piece or two on a team that’s built around a system could be difficult, but rewarding if the system is successful. And brother, no one turns out defensemen like the Predators, a product that everyone would love to have.
With prospects, picks, and players considered, a total mix up of the roster is not required to find the right guy to add in. As the deadline approaches, let’s look away from Columbus, and look a little closer, and closer to home.
Our situation is unchanged.
- Nashville needs another top 6 forward. Preferably someone who can shoot.
- Nashville would like someone to pair with Ellis or Josi that is a solid stay-at-home defender.
- Nashville has their franchise goalie locked up until the breaking of the world, and a very good prospect behind him.
- Nashville has a collection of decent prospects in Milwaukee, similar skill sets for most of them.
- Nashville has a certain 1st round pick in Milwaukee playing defense who had a great playoff campaign, and needs a scenery change.
- Nashville has an improved third round pick (Leafs), and extra picks in the 4th and 6th rounds in the 2012 draft.
So, picks and prospects can be shifted. I doubt Trotz/Poile want to jumble up the current roster, which does have LOADS of upside, so we’re working with:
- Who needs a solid defenseman prospect.
- Who would like a good #2 goalie with upside and has a UFA backup they don’t intend on re-signing.
- Who needs young forward prospects.
- Who needs to get rid of a UFA/Bad Contract.
- Who wants to rebuild.
Wow, that does sound like Columbus.
Today’s mission on here- get those needs resolved for cheap.
- Dallas Stars, Center
- 32 years old
- Making $5 Million this year and 2012-2013
- Playmaking Center, good wrist shot
- VERY good in the shootout (went 60% last year)
With Dallas starting to sink, and the Kings starting to rise up the standings, the Stars are replicating last year’s fall back to earth. The only difference is last year they were leading the division for most of the year before surrendering it to the Sharks (The San Diego Chargers of hockey).
Having a good corps of younger forwards led by Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson, the Stars are a year or two away from really causing headaches. Ribeiro likely won’t be retained since he’s plateaued after his great year and run in the 2008 playoffs. It’s not like he’s been terrible though. In fact, his stats would put him second on the Preds in points, tied with Shea Weber.
The Catch: He’s not great on the dot, he’s averaged around 43% over the last three seasons in the faceoff circle. And his knock is also not being a shooter first. (See Sergei Kostitsyn, Martin Erat) So he would need to be paired with guys who like to shoot (See Craig Smith, Matt Halischuk) to be part of a very productive line.
The Cost: Pretty cheap, relatively speaking. Dallas needs a puck moving defenseman, and help in that general area. Hi, we’re Nashville. He gotta a truck load of them guys. Blum? Draft Pick? You bet.
The Epilogue: Trotz loves Dallas, and predicted their success last year until that James Neal trade that still turns the milk in North Texas sour. Plus, this lines would be anchored four deep:
Since Ribeiro needs faceoff support and guys that shoot, the marriage between him and smith is inevitable. Halischuk is the garbage man. Plus that affords more freedom for the checking line, poised to ruin some lives. Yo Quiero Ribeiro.
- Carolina Hurricanes Defenseman
- 31 years old
- Making $3.125 million, but with a $2.9 million cap hit, UFA after this year
- Stay-at-home defenseman, dealt last year from Florida
- Checks well, consistent with the Vancouver system he was brought up through.
Carolina is clinging to their slim playoff chances, but the East is 2 great teams, 3 good teams, and everyone else. Carolina currently sits at the bottom of the conference. With Tim Gleason signed up, and Tuomo Ruutu likely scaring off major buyers with his injury, the Canes’ best hope to acquire pieces is this guy.
Carolina needs a few things, but this team was snakebit with injuries and bad luck this year. They do have a GOOD top pair, and a good top 6 forwards, and a very good goaltender. They need depth and youth, and picks. On more of a budget than most of their rivals, the Hurricanes could stand to move last year’s midseason acquisition for some needed help.
The Catch: Allen plays around 20 minutes a night, which sound like an improvement over guys like Francis Boullion who can’t seem to stay healthy. However, he’s strictly a defender. This isn’t scary to Nashville since we’ve draft guys like Blum, Josi, and Ellis to be the puck mover. Allen isn’t Shane O’Brien, but he’s not Cody Franson either. He’s similar to a Kevin Klein, with a bit more simple programming.
The Cost: Allen isn’t a franchise player like Tim Gleason or Joni Pitkanen, so he won’t warrant the ransom those would. Allen is one dimensional, so that might scare off teams that struggle offensively. A second rounder and a mid-level prospect might do the trick.
The Epilogue: This, while not the sexy move fans are clammering for, could be the best move out there. This would set up the defensive pairings like so:
Klein/Josi (or Boullion depending on the matchup)
Much improved, and a happy Trotz is good for us all.