The Contrarian – Park Most of Those Moving Trucks

by Demetri Fragopoulos on February 21, 2016

Many of the names that are rumored to get moved are more likely to be staying put.

This week I’m going to take a look at some of the players that Steve McFarlane of Bleacher Report feels could be moved at the deadline.

Anaheim

It is crazy to think that the Ducks would part with Cam Fowler to obtain some short term help up front and to clear some cap space in order to sign future restricted free agents (RFAs) Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm.

The idea posed is “the Ducks have a tremendous pool of talent on the back end and may look to upgrade the forward group by sacrificing one of the talented young blueliners on the roster.”

The Ducks control the situation with their pending RFAs. They will want to be fair and nice, but they should be firm with what they come up with for these two players.

They went out and got Kevin Bieksa to solidify the depth on defense, not to make 24-year-old Fowler expendable.

If they are weak at the forward spots, then it is because of suspended Shawn Horcoff and underperformers Jakob Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano.

They cannot move Horcoff, and Cogliano has a no trade clause. So their best bet to improve is to trade draft picks or wait until Chris Stewart returns from his broken jaw before the playoffs start.

Why weaken their strength now? If they really want to move Fowler, they should do it before the entry draft.

Boston

Here is another one that does not make sense. Everyone knows that Loui Eriksson is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) once this season is done, so the trade talk made sense while the Bruins were outside of the playoffs.

If they were to insist on moving him now, which team would they move him to and for what? McFarlane suggests “peddle him for other assets—such as a top-four defenseman”.

I do not believe that anyone within the Atlantic or Metropolitan Divisions would pay such a price for a rental, which means that the Bruins would have to find a partner out west.

Anaheim? St. Louis? They do not need to do this for the price that is suggested.

Colorado? Nashville? Minnesota? All are fighting to earn a wild card spot, but I do not see a good fit. Maybe Arizona can be a fit, but only if they feel that they can make a big push with Eriksson to get back into postseason play.

What is really so sad in all this is that Eriksson is the last meaningful piece from the Tyler Seguin deal.

Colorado

This is simple. If they want to add to their lineup, they have to remove someone from it.

What I am getting at is that they are at the 50-contract limit, so if they feel they need to add another player, they have to give up at least one contract in return. It has nothing to do with the salary cap.

Alex Tanguay could be a depth fit to any contender, which leads me to think of the New York Islanders or Florida Panthers.

I do not disagree that he is the likeliest to go, but the cost could be even lower than what McFarlane cites. Possibly he will be exchanged for that proverbial “bag of pucks” to give the Avalanche some room for another possible deal.

Dallas

Big guys take time to develop. As such, I think it would be foolish for the Stars to move Valeri Nichushkin. They should have been planning for a longer development path. If you want a possible comparison, you may consider Blake Wheeler.

Like some fantasy owners that dump a prospect if they do not show signs of an explosion after two or three seasons, their lack of patience hurts them in two ways. They incubate the prospect on their roster, taking away time from another prospect, only to have their opponent reap the rewards.

If they were to entertain a deal swapping him for Jonathan Drouin, as suggested by McFarlane, it does not essentially deal with their defensive depth.

I do agree with McFarlane’s assessment of Jim Nill, though, which is why Nichushkin will remain a Star.

Los Angeles

Everyone focuses on the salary cap and how much space is available to a team. So in a way it makes sense that Christian Ehrhoff would be a victim this year at the trade deadline.

He and his $1.5 million salary cleared waivers a little over a week ago. Any team that wanted him could have done so without giving up anything. It’s very unlikely that he actually gets traded.

In addition, do not forget that once the playoffs start, there is no cap. I believe we will see Ehrhoff in the Kings’ line up at some point in the playoffs.

St. Louis

Like the Ducks, it seems so simple to trade from their strength by moving Kevin Shattenkirk for some forward help. However, this is another one of those teams that I do not think have to do anything to improve.

The Blues’ Patrik Berglund (shoulder) and Jaden Schwartz (ankle) have recently come back from injury.

Twenty games after his return, Berglund has earned a modest eight points. Schwartz has done a bit better in notching four points in four games.

During those same 20 games, the Blues won 11 and earned the loser point in another five.

It is only logical that they keep ‘Kirk’.

There will undoubtedly be some deals consummated by the trade deadline, but aside from Tanguay I do see the five other players listed stay with their current clubs for now.