Musings: Dwindling list of available D-men and pre-draft player movement

Kevin Shattenkirk is on the market, but he's one year away from free agency (Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
Kevin Shattenkirk is on the market, but he’s one year away from free agency (Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

– The list of available puck-moving defensemen has quickly dwindled with the Ducks re-signing Sami Vatanen and Avalanche GM Joe Sakic insisting he will keep Tyson Barrie. The one possibility floating around that still makes a lot of sense is a match with Minnesota, which might be willing to part with Matt Dumba, Marco Scandella, Jared Spurgeon, or Jonas Brodin in exchange for an impact forward. There were rumors a few weeks back that the Wild coveted Derek Stepan, so there’s some smoke here.

– The one other big name that looks like he may be on the move is Kevin Shattenkirk. It’s common knowledge that Shattenkirk would love to be a Blueshirt, but with one year remaining on his current contract and a hefty raise inevitable, moving major assets to acquire him is not without risk. A Shattenkirk for Rick Nash swap still seems possible, but St. Louis has cap woes of its own that makes things tricky.

– If I were a Coyotes fan, this explanation by baby GM John Chayka after acquiring the negotiating rights to Alex Goligoski would really inspire confidence in the team’s direction. Probably the third-best UFA D-man after Yandle and Goligoski is fellow former Stars blueliner Jason Demers, who is reportedly seeking $5.5 million annually. Demers seems like a potential consolation prize for the Rangers and while I like the player, this has me nervous. Too much money and not a great enough impact.

– With the draft coming up on Friday, ESPN’s prospect guru Corey Pronman took a look back at his last five years of pre-draft prospect evaluations and compiled a list ranking the top 30 players during their draft year that’s well worth your time.

– Brilliant job by the Hurricanes swiping Teuvo Teravainen from Chicago as the prize for taking on Bryan Bickell’s contract. Carolina was surprisingly competitive last season based on many metrics and has really begun to assemble a stable of talented young players.

Following that move up by re-signing Cam Ward for two years, $6.6 million was a bit puzzling though.

– The list of cap casualties the Blackhawks have had to stomach to keep their core together is absurd.

– Pretty hilarious piece here analyzing the Mighty Ducks’ Corsi and PDO and coming to the conclusion Gordon Bombay was an awful coach. I’m glad we’re getting to the point we can move past the #Fancystats wars and have some fun with it.

– On that note, one thing we need to happen this summer is for Phil Kessel to bring the Stanley Cup to Toronto and eat hot dogs out of it on the street in front of Air Canada Centre or Steve Simmons’ office.

– Major kudos to the NHL and its clubs for being such strong supporters of green initiatives. This is one area where hockey is significantly more progressive than the other major sports leagues.

– This cracked me up:

Question time:
1) Great concept from @katyapolo. Would love to hear some thoughts from you guys on who should win from both the BSB community and on Rangers Twitter.

2) What do you think the Rangers will do on defense?

3) Predict one bombshell that might happen during the draft.

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  • My guess at a crazy blockbuster is on Toronto. With 5 picks before the NYR have their 1st, they can swing a deal with some of those picks and get a real center man or a stud defender they lack. Look for them to trade with a Cap strapped team like the Blackhawks.

  • The Islanders realize that Barclays center is a hot mess and announce their move to Quebec City for 2017-18

  • I have no idea what so ever what the next move will be from the Rangers. Let’s take off the blinders for a moment, we have needs, many needs, and we have cap issues, with two specific pylons that can’t be moved, what can we expect??????????

    If, and that is a big if, Gorton can swing any deal ridding us of at least one of the two, preferably Danny boy, and get any quality player, pick, or even prospect, we should all stand on our heads, and be happy as all get out. This at least opens up a spot for someone else, I don’t care who, to play in his place, while saving us $5.5 mil cap hit.

    The up coming season will be dreadful, and will be the beginning of the rebuild, and so be it. We then put Staal, or Dan if we didn’t move him already, on the expansion list, and go from there. Shatty will be coming off of a contract, we make a move for him at that time. Nash should have been moved, giving us major cap relief, and then we can start trading for some quality players, young and quick. If Gorton can do this in a two year period, well then I’d say he was successful, but again, never give away #1 for anyone. This is a cap league, and we have to put value on our picks !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Chicago sorta doing it the right way except that their top players are getting $10mm/yr and too many NMC. Get your top level talent, then you develop the bottom half of roster like a college program. Don’t sign bridge deals, lock in cost certainty, then figure if a keeper or trade bait.

  • Awesome links- Chayka, Mighty Ducks, Predraft lists. Great fodder to get us to the draft.

    Oh how I wish I was a Coyotes fan with banter like that coming out of the front office. And don’t give me that grass is greener spcheel…. ain’t no green grass in a desert /sarcasm.

    On to the questions:
    1) I don’t twit

    2/3) Girardi or Staal will be moved at the draft. Dave said it once upon a time, and all I can do is hope.

  • The thing with Shattenkirk is this for the Blues much like the Rangers: how do you deal with a squad where your #6D is getting paid way too much for his slot? I’ve made the argument for trading for him in my GM submission, but half of me wonders if him being stuck in bottom pair drives down what you’d have to give up once it got closer to camp.

  • Cam Ward is a cap floor/expansion draft re-signing. Las Vegas is gonna be able to put together a really solid defense and get a good goalie, but the adventure is who they blackmail to have a team expose a forward so as to not lose a Dman they would otherwise want to keep(SJ, BUF.)

  • A good test for Gorton to step in an replace Sather. We have some holes an they need to be addressed. Don’t know with limited Cap space if we can fix everything at once. But passing for now on Yandle was a right start. Moving Stepan would be my first choice in the right direction.

      • I like passing on Yandle, but moving Nash over Stepan is my move. You need to try to move one of the defensive liabilities.

        • I can respect that.

          Question though…. by one of the defensive liabilities, i assume you mean Yandle. Who else do you have in that category?

        • Neither Nash or Step are defensive liabilities. They’re like our only two forwards who actually play D. This is part of the reason I find Brass to be the most eligible to ship out and clear some cap space without hurting us on both sides of the puck – at least if the end game is Stamkos, anyways. Stamkos will do everything Brass does, but better…can’t say that in comparison to Nash and Step. Just my two cents.

          • Eggy, you are right that neither Stepan or Nash is a defensive liability. One of Stepan/Brassard will have to go if Stamkos is signed & Stepan gives 1.5 mil more toward the Cap & will bring back more in prospects & picks than Brassard. But if Brass is traded over Step, so be it.

  • Big shake up is coming for the LR. What yet I don’t know. If there’s any truth to the rumor of Stepan to Minny for 2 of the following Dumba/Tuch/1st you have to think NYR is in. Save money, get younger and replace missing 1st rounders. I don’t see how Minny wants to make that move but if they do I bet NYR is highly considering it.

    Thinking the Rangers need to get a C back in a Stepan deal is flawed as long as there’s a big overhaul coming. Stepan (or Brassard) heading out and bringing in depth elsewhere just frees up more trade options. Moving anyone for good young players will just lead to the next trade. Assuming the organization is actually ready to make these moves, like they say they are.

  • The Rangers are going to trade Stepan, Klein ++ to Minny for one or two D, prospects and/or draft picks. It will be THE blockbuster transaction at the draft. The ultimate biggest boo boo in the draft will be the Laughs drafting Matthews over Laine.

    • I’d take Matthews 7 days a week and twice on Sundays.

      My notes on Laine;
      11 November

      Patrick Laine. 6’4″ 200
      Brutal PP2, poor handling on the PP, limited spatial awareness. Good hustle to negate icing.
      Good/great skating, uses body well to shield puck.

      So-so from point on PP. Getting poor service for 1 timer, quick wrists. Spacing okay, doesn’t see passing lanes.
      Great 1 on 3 rush, stick handling, shot. Knocked on his ass after the whistle, went right back at him.

      Gm2 vs Ilves
      On for full PP. Great wheels, and stick handling, bad passing & shot choices.
      On RD for major penalty, power play was a mess.

  • Looking at the schedule, willing to wager 400 quatloos that AV is gone before Xmas and if pressed for a date, I’ll call December 21st.

  • 1. I don’t follow widely enough to fully participate fully on the Twitter aspect. But the one BSB category I would say is no debate is that Josh would get the Chart Ross trophy (as a major fan of advanced stats myself, I always look forward to his infographics).

    2. I have no clue. There is no projecting what this front office will do. My gut tells me whatever it is, it isn’t what I’d do for starters (buy Girardi out, trade Staal for the best package and/or lowest retained salary I could get). I have very little faith that they are going to make a string of smart moves, but I most certainly hope I’m wrong there. The rumors of Nash plus us retaining 30% or more for Cam Fowler is not something I’d do – Cam Fowler is no Yandle or even close really, and he makes $4MM in the first place – therefore we would save little to nothing in cap space if we are retaining significant dollars. So, I fully expect this front office to do it, sigh. Nobody will be happier than me if they make me eat my words and actually do pull off a string of smart moves, but I just don’t think they will.

    3. Malkin to the Blackhawks. No idea what for, no idea how the heck they fit Malkin under their cap, but there are already some rumors that the Hawks are seriously considering it/discussing internally. I’d assume the conversation begins with Panarin, but there would be much more to it if something gets going there, including some draft picks one way or the other (which is basically the only way I’m tying this to the draft, haha…sorry.)

    Arizona may be a team to keep an eye on. With the 7th and 20th (groan) picks up top plus several others down the line, and a pretty decent young core already started, they could perhaps make some manner of huge splash for a proven vet or two during the draft.

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