July 6, 2014

Thomas Drance

2014-07-06

The Detroit Red Wings were left out in the cold by UFA defensemen during the free agent frenzy and as general manager Ken Holland’s comments would indicate, not to mention the exorbitant contract the club handed out to Kyle Quincey, the team is still desperate to add a right-handed shooting defender.

 

According to reports, they’re still “in” on attempting to trade for Buffalo’s Tyler Myers. If they pull it off, it will surely cost them a pound of flesh in the form of quality forward depth and high draft picks…

 

*

 

20 NHL players filed for player elected arbitration this weekend, including Derick Brassard, P.K. Subban, James Reimer and others. Most of these players won’t actually have hearings, but this device does provide RFA players with a bit of additional leverage. 

 

*

 

The Canucks signed defender Chris Tanev to a severely discounted one-year, $2 million contract, ahead of the filing deadline for arbitration. Tanev is a fancy stats darling and an ace penatly-killer, who often played top-pairing minutes for the Canucks last season.

 

At $2 million, he’s excellent value, though whittling him down to that low price tag may come with a cost down the road. Jason Botchford’s latest would suggest that Tanev’s camp isn’t particularly pleased about the fact that the team has never offered the reliable hybrid shutdown defender a multi-year contract.

 

Botchford’s article suggests Jared Cowen and Karl Alzner as comparables for Tanev, but I think those are poor comps for a player with Tanev’s skillset and history. Alzner and Cowen are both big, physical defenders that were selected in the first round. Tanev is slight and injury prone and was undrafted. I’ve always thought the better comparables for him are guys like Jared Spurgeon (who is on a three-year deal worth a bit more than $2.5 per) and Marco Scandella (who is on a two-year deal worth just over $1 per).

 

Anyway, Tanev is clearly a top-four defender for the Canucks next season (it would be interesting to see him play more often with Alex Edler than he has in the past), and at $2 million – that’s excellent value. If he proves himself the club would be wise to sign him to a long-term deal, provided that Tanev’s camp is willing, that buys out several of his UFA years. 

 

There’s some puck moving defenders in the Western Conference who have signed that type of deal in recent years, guys like Cam Fowler, Roman Josi and Slava Voynov. The RFA years for those players are valued between $3.4375 million (Josi) and $3.75 million (Fowler), which speaks to precisely how steep the discount on Tanev’s new one-year deal is.

 

*

 

Also from that Botchford piece linked above, there are reportedly three teams interested in trading for goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who Vancouver is attempting to trade in the wake of the Ryan Miller signing.

 

Once seen as the “next great NHL goaltender,” Markstrom has struggled mighitily at the NHL level in recent years despite consistent success at the AHL level. In fact, you could reasonably argue that he’s been the worst regular NHL goaltender over the past three years…

📢 advertisement:

 

Markstrom is due $1.4 million in actual salary this year, on a contract that carries a $1.2 million cap-hit. So if he’s bur