Five Marian Gaborik trades that make (some) sense

Simmons/News

Simmons/News

We have a category for “Irresponsible Rumormongering,” but this post probably belongs under “Completely Irresponsible Rumormongering That Might Raise Eklund’s Eyebrows.”  Sorry for that, but it’s that time of year…

Marian Gaborik to San Jose for Dan Boyle

Boyle for Gaborik is the rumor mentioned most frequently by those in the know and it also happens to be the deal that makes the most sense.  The Rangers get the puck-moving defenseman they so desperately need and the Sharks add some punch to their 28th-ranked offense.  The cap hits are a wash and each run through next season.  I actually thought this trade was a lot more likely a couple weeks ago before San Jose converted Brent Burns – its other offensive-minded defenseman – into a forward and traded Douglas Murray to Pittsburgh.  The Sharks could still definitely use Gaborik, but it’s a little hard to see how they’d replace Boyle.  New York also may have interest in scoreless forward Ryane Clowe, but they’d need to send more than Gaborik to make that blockbuster happen.

Gaborik and Christian Thomas (?) to Los Angeles for Rob Scuderi and Tyler Toffoli

The Rangers get the second-pairing defenseman they covet and add one of the better offensive prospects in the game.  Scuderi has an expiring contract and is a solid stay-at-home guy that could really balance out the blueline, while Toffoli has already shown flashes in his brief NHL tenure with two goals and two assists in five games.  The 20-year-old tallied back-to-back 50-goal, 100-point seasons in the WHL and posted 28 goals and 20 assists in 55 AHL games his first year as a pro before being called up.  But the Kings have loved Gaborik for a long, long time and learned last season when they traded for Jeff Carter what kind of impact adding a star to the lineup down the stretch can make.  Los Angeles might not be eager to part with one of its few promising prospects, but the Kings are obviously in win-now mode and could probably be persuaded to deal Toffoli if they got another youngster with goal-scoring potential in the swap.  Los Angeles does rank seventh in the league in offense though, so there may be no reason for the Kings to tinker with what’s working.  You could also argue that the last thing the Rangers need is another raw young forward.

Gaborik to Vancouver for Mason Raymond and Chris Higgins

Seem like a weird fit?  It’s been a weird year for the Canucks, who are struggling to stave off the Minnesota Wild in the Northwest Division after capturing the President’s Trophy in each of the last two seasons.  Ryan Kesler’s injury woes have crippled Vancouver’s secondary offense and the Canucks have to at least be thinking about getting some help for the Sedin twins.  Raymond is actually one of Vancouver’s more reliable producers, ranking fourth in points with 18, but he’s obviously not on Gaborik’s level.  Higgins’ first stint in New York was disappointing, but the 29-year-old has revived his career in Vancouver with 18 goals last season and eight so far this year.  Though Higgins didn’t put big numbers on the board with the Rangers, he was a trusted two-way forward by coach John Tortorella.  This would be a pretty dramatic overhaul for both teams to make in-season, but both find themselves at a bit of a crossroads and the deal could turn Vancouver’s offense around while replenishing New York’s depth.  The Blueshirts would probably love to get 27-year-old Jannik Hansen in this trade, but I’d be surprised if Vancouver would consider dealing him.

Gaborik to Minnesota for Dany Heatley

@TheWrage threw this out there on Twitter a couple weeks ago half-jokingly, but it actually makes some sense.  Both players have one year remaining on their contracts at $7.5 million and both could use a change of scenery.  Heatley is in a sharp decline, but he’s a proven goal-scorer and he’s money on the power play.  Gaborik is beloved in Minnesota and might be an intriguing piece for the Wild to add as the team transitions into a contender.  This is kind of a “what the heck?” trade – the kind that doesn’t often happen in real life – but it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Gaborik to Detroit for Ian White and Valtteri Filppula

Detroit is obviously a team in transition.  The loss of Nicklas Lidstrom has transformed the franchise and is one of the reasons the Red Wings rank 18th in offense.  Detroit has a host of young defensemen and has had trouble finding White a spot in the lineup, while Filppula is a pending free agent with an uncertain future with the organization.  Detroit is attempting to retool on the fly while its other stars still have something left in the tank, so bringing a 40-goal scorer on board for two more playoff pushes would be logical.  New York adds a depth defender with some puck-moving ability as well as a forward that put up 66 points last season and seemed on the verge of stardom.

New York won’t deal Gaborik to an Eastern Conference foe, and given the payroll issues and standings in the Western Conference, these seem like they may be the five trade partners worth considering.

So have at it: Which deals would you do?  Which am I crazy for proposing?  What other deals make sense to you? Why the heck do I want Higgins back?

56 Responses to “Five Marian Gaborik trades that make (some) sense”

  1. Dave says:

    While this team is not in desperate need of an overhaul, they desperately need depth.

    I really think a Gaborik trade depends on Kreider and Miller. If they can take the secondary/tertiary scoring reins, then Gaborik becomes expendable in a deal for depth.

    That said, I don’t think he gets dealt until after the season. Too many teams are scared about cap hits extending into next year (see; Jokinen, Jussi).

  2. Tom T says:

    I would be all for the LA trade. LA gets scoring now and in the future and we get defensive depth and scoring for the future.

  3. RangerTex says:

    I find this line somewhat funny
    “New York also may have interest in scoreless forward Ryane Clowe, but they’d need to send more than Gaborik to make that blockbuster happen.”
    NYR need to add more to get a scoreless forward on a team that can’t score goals?

    • Kevin says:

      Clowe is still very highly regarded around the league and many teams are interested in him, he won’t come as cheap as you’d think

      • RangerTex says:

        We don’t know what he’d cost if he is dealt. With Sharks paying good hockey again, they may keep him.
        My point was the wording of the sentence was funny.
        Ryan “scoreless” Clowe.

  4. James says:

    Kevin, I’m glade your not the Rangers GM. The only trade that makes any sense is the DB trade.

    I would go straight up trade MG for Evander Kane.

    This season is a wash as far as the Rangers going anywhere. We need to hold the course and start bringing in the kids. Grit/scoring is needed in the bottom 6 in 48 years as being fan this is the softest ranger team I can remember.

    • Kevin says:

      Not sure why Winnipeg would deal a 21-year-old star goal-scorer that is frankly already better than Gaborik…

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        agree w/ Kevin…

        Not even Jay Feaster would trade away Evander Kane for Marion Gaborik.

        0 % chance

  5. Mikeyyy says:

    Gabby for Jagr.

  6. RangerTex says:

    On the Scuderi deal, how is he the second pairing Dman they covet, and how will he balance out the defense?
    Scuderi is a lefthanded Dman, the Rangers specifically stated they are looking for a top 4 right handed Dman.

  7. RangerTex says:

    On the Detroit deal, you are essentially trading Gaborik as a cap dump, both Flippula and White are UFA. Yeah, I am glad you are not the GM, some of these deals lack a basic smell test.

    • Kevin says:

      Part of the requirement of dealing Gabby is to not take on cap hits past the end of next year because of all the RFAs that must be re-signed

      • RangerTex says:

        Agreed, it doesn’t mean however it excludes getting back a cost controlled player. If I were making a deal with Detroit, I’d insist on getting one of Andersson/Nyquist back in the deal.

        • Dave says:

          Detroit isn’t dealing Nyquist. Andersson is interesting, but doesn’t address the current needs. Too unproven.

    • Dave says:

      Trading Gaborik isn’t a cap dump. It’s a move to make the team deeper. Just because someone has a high salary doesn’t necessarily mean trading him is a cap dump.

      • RangerTex says:

        Well, we will disagree. If you are trading Gaborik for 2 UFA’s, you are dumping his next year’s cap with nothing to show for it. This is the guy who was 3rd ranked scorer in the whole league last season. Those players are not “traded” for UFA’s only. Unless you want to get rid of them.

  8. RangerTex says:

    On the Heatley trade
    Last 3 years goal production
    Heatly: 77 goals
    Gaborik: 105 goals

    Not sure how you can state they are comparable.
    What I take from this post is you are not a big fan of Gaborik, which is your right.

    You have gotten the page hits you wanted with these deals, but something else took some hits, your credibility.

    • VinceR says:

      “We have a category for “Irresponsible Rumormongering,” but this post probably belongs under “Completely Irresponsible Rumormongering That Might Raise Eklund’s Eyebrows.” Sorry for that, but it’s that time of year…”

    • VinceR says:

      “So have at it: Which deals would you do? Which am I crazy for proposing? What other deals make sense to you? Why the heck do I want Higgins back?”

    • Kevin says:

      Fair. Don’t think you can deny that there’s a school of thought that both could benefit from a change of scenery right now

      • The Suit says:

        Fun post Kevin. Like the exercise. Credibility still in tack!

      • Dave says:

        I liked the post. No credibility lost. As you said in the first sentence, “Completely Irresponsible Rumormongering That Might Raise Eklund’s Eyebrows.”

    • TxRanger says:

      First off, stop trying to steal my name. Secondly, how is anyone’s credibility lost in this article? Thirdly, Gabs should not be traded. He’s in a slump. He and Richy both need time. You guys seriously think we’re winning the cup this year? This team took a serious step back from last year. I dont think the play of two players is going to change anything. With all these fallacies being thrown around, how come nobody is blaming Hank? He’s the one giving up all the goals, you know. Chill out on the blame game. We’re still in the playoffs, as of now. We got 15 games left, let’s see what happens.

      Also good luck to Zuke out there tonight. I think he gets an assist.

      • The Suit says:

        No one is blaming anyone Tx. You said Kev (the author) lost his credibility, which is a tad extreme for a post that admittedly is supposed to be fun and get the conversation going. Relax dude.

        • Dave says:

          Suit, TxRanger wasn’t the one telling Kevin he lost his credibility. It was RangerTex (different IPs).

  9. Bloomer says:

    I believe the most likely scenario is Gabs going to Detroit, he be a perfect fit there. There are rumours that Flippula is on the move. He can play center, and would fit in nice on the 3rd line. Ian White can not hurt the Rangers PP maybe, they can sent Gilroy with Gabs to make some roster room.

    • Kevin says:

      Not sure where Detroit stands on the 50 contract limit but that’s possible. Adding a fringe minor league prospect to make room could certainly happen too

      • Dave says:

        They actually have 51 contracts, which is interesting. They have 4 guys with sliding contracts though, which I assume don’t count against the limit.

  10. Walt says:

    Gabby for Boyle, not googd. Boyle has a big cap hit for next year, yes it is a wash, but he is way too long a tooth for us at this stage of his career!

    Raymond and Higgins, what makes anyone think that Higgins will do any better the second time around. As for Raymond, don’t know too much about him!

    Heatley is so soft, and doesn’t do much on the defensive side, Torts would eat his lunch, besides he too is getting long a tooth, and as you stated, his best years are behind him!

    Scuderi and Toffoli makes sense. We get a stay at home d-man, pair him up with MDZ when Staal returns, and a young kid that has so much up side to him. That trade I’d make.

    Ian White, and Filppuia also make sense, but White isn’t as sound as Scuderi, and Filppia being a free agent, we may get crap in return for Gabby long term. No on this move.

    If this is the best we can get now, wait till the draft, I believe Gabby can be more valuable at that time.

    The one thing for certain, I’d walk away from Jgar, no way do we go that route.

  11. Walt says:

    Kevin

    Possible trades that make somewhat more sense:

    Jay Bouwmeester-Flames for Gabby
    Tom Vanek-Buffalo for Gabby
    Steve Ott-Buffalo, and a throw in for Gabby
    Keith Yandle-Phoenix for Gabby

    Food for thought!!

    • Kevin says:

      - Doesn’t really make sense for the rebuilding Flames
      - Ha! That one would be nice, but why would Buffalo do that?
      - Not sure how that helps the team…
      - Tricky for NYR to take on 3 more years at $5+ million

  12. Sally says:

    Is this a preview of what we will be doing all summer long?

  13. Gary says:

    Gabby to the B’s. It’s eastern conference, but really, how scared of the guy should we be? R’s/B’s are all done until the playoffs, if the Rangers even make it.

    Coming back? 2nd line center Kreji (sp?) and a bag of pucks. Bruins lost out on Iginla while Pittsburgh promoted an outright nuclear arms race.

  14. Gary says:

    So in other words, this gives us Stepan, Kreji (sp?) as 1 & 2 for next year. Richards get it together or buyout. Gabby is not thriving in Torts’ system. So either get rid of Torts or…

    Next year’s centers could be Step, Krej, Lindberg, Boyle. Miller back to wing.

    • Kevin says:

      No way NYR deal him to a team they could see in the first round, he scored 40 goals last year!!!

      • Gary says:

        Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?? Don’t talk about playoffs! Playoffs? ;-)

      • Gary says:

        Or maybe the Iginla pressure makes the B’s pay up. Don’t forget, Gaborik has had some memorable games against Boston. This would be as much about the B’s fans as the roster move. But yes, I can see reluctance by the Rangers too. I just would not personally be reluctant in the least to deal him to the east.

        • Bobby G says:

          The Bruins missed out on Iginla and IMO have no need to make any major moves. The team is stacked and if they do make any moves, I seriously doubt they’ll be moving any significant roster players to do so.

  15. Gary says:

    Oh and BTW, I love this blog. Love it! Thank you so much for the time, effort and excellent work you put in.

    • Kevin says:

      Thanks a lot Gary, we all appreciate it

    • Walt says:

      Gary

      It’s by far the best in town. People express themselves, without someone coming down on them, with nasty names, etc. The articles are thought provoking, and well written.

  16. Seahorse says:

    well to answer the question instead of hammering the poster, im still convinced the lack of scoring depth is oodily more important than getting another defenseman, so id go the Vancouver trade. 4th in goals against, last in goals per game. itd be nice to see someone other than stepan hags and nash/(anyone paired with him), to score. that first goal is killer for us this year

  17. Regan Russell says:

    The Kings have been dealing with injured d-men all year so why would they give up Scuderi? Typical hometown trade theory that doesn’t consider the other teams needs… it reminds me of all the Dodger fans who are convinced that they can trade Uribe, Harang and a bag of balls to get a quality SS.

    • Dave says:

      They have 9 defensemen under contract, of which only Scuderi is a UFA. Mitchell is on a 35+ contract, Greene had knee surgery. Jake Muzzin sounds interesting, but it’s unlikely the Kings deal anyone like Martinez or Voynov. Hence: Scuderi.

  18. D says:

    The Kings are looking to add a stay at home defenseman at the deadline, not trade one.

    They also have no room for Gaborik’s cap hit next year. Interest in Gaborik pre-Carter trade is one thing, but that ship has sailed.

    It makes no sense for your trading partner at all.

  19. Bobby G says:

    I still vote we do not trade Gaborik at all, although I may be in the minority on that one. His stock has never been lower and Gaborik has had a weird “great year then down year” pattern since the 07-08 season. Maybe there are deeper issues we are not fully aware of. Personally, I woul keep him through his entire contract.

  20. Tom says:

    Higgins? Really Higgins? Shudder