With the Ryan Miller, Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, Steve Ott and a bundle-o-picks deal in mind (quick advice: you can make an argument for every player being on a fantasy roster aside from William Carrier, depending upon your format), it now seems more reasonable to ask for the moon in imaginary trades on Monday morning than it did on Friday afternoon.
Rather than grinding out analysis for each guy - frankly, I’d like to see where Stewart and Halak really land before I do all that, and you should know to pick up Miller if he’s available - I thought I’d have a little fun with this week and put together one hypothetical trade per NHL team.
(Besides, plenty have covered the deal already since it’s been around for a while; Ryan Dadoun breaks it all down for Rotoworld here.)
A few ground rules to fend off the trolls who can at least read:
1. Not every single offer would really help the team(s) involved.
2. … As a good number of these will probably be in jest. (So, try not to get weird and take this too seriously, even though you might anyway.)
3. It’s possible a move or two will be redundant (example: every stray goalie to Minnesota!!!!).
4. OK, a few of these might not involve actual trades. You’ll learn to cope, I hope.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday's late NHL games. It's just $10 to join and first prize is $350. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.
ANAHEIM: Trade for Dany Heatley in an acquisition in which the Minnesota Wild send many foodstuffs and eat some of his hideous salary.
Look, Heatley’s either “basically done” or “totally done,” so this is less of a hockey deal and more of a “let’s make it less of a no-brainer to name Corey Perry as the Ducks’ biggest scoundrel” deal. Note: this trade will be negated if the Ducks also get Raffi Torres and John Scott, as such moves might force the U.S. government to quarantine Orange County.
BOSTON: Sends assets to Phoenix for Keith Yandle.
Ryan Miller finally got taken out of his misery, so why shouldn’t Handle get a break after that increasingly baffling Olympic snub? Claude Julien’s system doesn’t exactly set Yandle free, yet it would still be more fun to watch him with the Bruins than it would be with the Coyotes.
BUFFALO: Trade Matt Moulson (and Halak, and Stewart) for the scant remainder of draft picks in the next two drafts that aren't already owned by Buffalo.
Seriously, the Sabres are loading up.
CALGARY: Trade anything/anyone of value for assets.
If that means sending everyone’s favorite couch to Florida, so be it. Really, though, why is Buffalo the only team landing incredible packages for players everyone knows they want to get rid of?
CAROLINA: Trade Cam Ward while not retaining some of his salary, somehow.
If the Hurricanes have the stones to do this, I’ll respect Jim Rutherford 150 percent more.
CHICAGO: Just cool it this year.
The Blackhawks have had enough fun at everyone else’s expense merely by acquiring Kris Versteeg in a “Dale Tallon’s making sure he can line up a consultant job in Chicago once the Panthers inevitably fire him” trade.
COLORADO: Ryan O’Reilly and/or Paul Stastny for a top pairing defenseman.
Don’t wanna re-sign both? Move one or both for a defenseman who can make a big impact. All of a sudden, the Avalanche would look truly scary instead of at least partially lucky.
COLUMBUS: Wait, they didn’t trade Marian Gaborik yet?
They should get on that.
DALLAS: Trade Sergei Gonchar so we can identify the dimmest GM in the NHL.
It would be like one of those situations where bank robbers are foiled by a “dye pack.”
I’m not sure if the former or especially the latter is even on the market, but both of those players practically screamed “future Red Wings” until you realized that this team now only adds players who are broken or past their prime (in an effort to force as much magic out of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, I assume?). Getting these two would right those wrongs … plus, seriously, the Red Wings are so obviously in need of a dangerous right-handed shot in Semin.
EDMONTON: Send Ales Hemsky to a contender.
The man has suffered enough, and the Oilers - in a rare twist - have actually shown impressive patience regarding Hemsky and his injuries. They should be rewarded with some low-level assets while hockey fans get to see Hemsky on a good team for once.*
FLORIDA: Send Tim Thomas to a playoff-caliber team.
How fun would that be? I have the sneaking suspicion he has at least one more strong run in him. Bonus points if such team would meet the Bruins in the postseason.
LOS ANGELES: See Chicago.
Yes, they need offense, but that strikes me as a matter of system and bounces. Besides, getting a third-rounder for Ben Scrivens already shows that Dean Lombardi is competent beyond a point of fairness to other general managers.
With all the big, dumb money invested in this team, missing the playoffs is a risk the Wild really cannot take. Getting bounced casually from the first round again wouldn’t be ideal, either.
MONTREAL: Trade P.K. Subban in a blockbuster … maybe to (dreams big) Colorado?
Trading P.K. Subban would be a breathtakingly stupid thing for the Canadiens to do … HOWEVER, like Yandle in Phoenix, Subban is basically wasted in Montreal. Michel Therrien consistently undermines him and people regularly discredit his resounding talent. Imagine Patrick Roy both clashing with and combatively defending Subban. Imagine Subban playing with a bevy of talented forwards in a scheme that could more creatively utilize his skills.
*Foams at the mouth a little*
NASHVILLE: Send David Legwand to Pittsburgh.
That scenario isn’t even far-fetched; as a former Nashville Predators assistant GM, Penguins GM Ray Shero probably loves Legwand (and I’m sure Dan Bylsma would appreciate Legwand’s two-way game). Legwand could provide a lot of what the team misses in Jordan Staal's absence while it’s clear the Predators are probably ready to part ways with their first-ever first-rounder.
NEW JERSEY: Send Jaromir Jagr to Pittsburgh.
OK, put this one in the P.K. Subban “just getting greedy” category but … how much fun would this be, especially since Penguins fans would feel a little dumber for booing Jagr all these years? The Devils need him, but Jagr on a real contender is so much more fun.
NY ISLANDERS: Trade Thomas Vanek for some hope and a few assets.
Garth Snow HAS to be a little worried about his job security, although Charles Wang seems like a … unique individual who might just leave Snow at the controls for better (unearthing hidden gems like Matt Moulson over the years) or worse (totally ignoring their goaltending deficit this past offseason).
NY RANGERS: Trade Ryan Callahan in a package to Vancouver.
Alain Vigneault can say all the right things, but he simply doesn’t use Callahan like John Tortorella did. Then again, it’s possible no one would use Cally like Torts does … so why not just reunite the two?
OTTAWA: Trade for some defensive help, for goodness sakes.
Imagine how much more effective Erik Karlsson would be if Ottawa had some defensive talent around him?
PHILADELPHIA: Do something bizarre as usual.
The Flyers aren’t really going to sit on their hands here, are they? Come on Paul Holmgren, we know you’re itching to totally shift your team’s paradigm like people change their car’s oil.
PHOENIX: Seriously, send Keith Yandle to a loving home.
PITTSBURGH: Trade for Chris Stewart.
OK, here’s the deal: I don’t think Stewart is the absolute ideal fit for the Penguins because he doesn’t grind like Bylsma prefers his players to grind. This is partially for the theater of it all: his dangerous right-handed shot could make him a huge asset for Pittsburgh or his faults could be exposed on a grand scale. Either way, it’s hope-you-brought-popcorn fare for unbiased observers.
SAN JOSE: Make a typically understated and smart move.
The Sharks seem like the perfect team for underappreciated forward P. A. Parenteau, if you ask me.
ST. LOUIS: Trade for Thomas Vanek.
Honestly, I’m a big fan of moderation and think that splashy deals usually backfire. Still, the Blues made one blockbuster already, so why not throw the gauntlet down and do two? There might be better values out there, but if you’re dreaming big, Vanek is the sexy pick. It would create some real drama whether St. Louis goes deep or continues its weird history of flaming out in the playoffs.
TAMPA BAY: Trade Martin St. Louis to the Rangers.
I think people who throw Martin St. Louis under the bus for asking for a trade lack a sense of history. The guy’s been through years of incompetent management in Tampa Bay, and he’s finally proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that his size doesn’t keep him from being an elite player, so what happens when those clashing forces collide? It’s hard for me to blame him for asking for a trade. He’s getting old, and let’s face it … the Bolts seem to have a “good but not great” vibe.
Besides, imagine Martin St. Louis vs. the Lightning in a playoff series.
TORONTO: Just do something weird as usual.
The Maple Leafs are living off some serious good fortune, but they usually do something dopey and exciting, so I’ll just leave Dave Nonis with that more open-ended task.
VANCOUVER: Clean house.
What a mess. Personally, I think the John Tortorella hire backfired the most. It’s probably best for everyone involved if you go into rebuild mode while making a few moves that make Torts happy (like distracting him with a shiny toy named Ryan Callahan).
WASHINGTON: Add some scoring depth.
How absurd is it that Alex Ovechkin - a guy who drags this team to (semi-)respectability alongside Nicklas Backstrom - is still getting the blame for the Capitals? This team is badly in need of an upgrade, and not a “blind Hail Mary Martin Erat”-type fart of a move, either.
WINNIPEG: Trade for James Reimer.
The Jets need change, especially in net. They might be stuck with Ondrej Pavelec’s contract, but that doesn’t mean they need to let him submarine their admittedly faint hopes each season. Why not grab a consistent performer like Reimer as 1A/1B competition? In a fair world, Pavelec would probably just become his backup.
* - Look, we need to have a talk: the playoff team he was on was dragged through months of play because of Chris Pronger, plain and simple.