At 27-20-12, the Florida Panthers are one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for eighth in the East, led by Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
With the trade deadline three days away, I’m ready (I think) for the one time all year I’ll answer all trade-related questions in the mailbag. I do answer a trade question every once in a while otherwise, but it hurts my head too much to do an all-trade-proposal question-and-answer session regularly. Anyhow, remember that if I don’t answer your question here, check the magazine and radio show to see if I got to it in one of those forums. Oh, and be sure to check back on THN.com throughout the day Monday for our all-encompassing trade deadline coverage.
(Takes deep breath…)
Hey Adam, With all the talk of the Columbus Blue Jackets shopping captain Rick Nash and Jeff Carter, why hasn't there been any talk about James Wisniewski?
Eric Duncan, Toronto
Because, with five years remaining at a cap hit of $5.5 million, Wisniewski is essentially untradeable. That isn’t to say the 28-year-old veteran blueliner couldn’t help a team – indeed, he’s been traded a couple of times over the past few years – but his disastrous season (including a suspension and broken ankle) have made him all but radioactive among GMs.
That status may change once there’s a new collective bargaining agreement in place – and don’t think labor uncertainty doesn’t play a role in the decision-making processes of deal-makers – but until then, the Jackets and Wisniewski are a match whether one or both sides like it.
With all these trade rumors, the one team I never hear mentioned is the Florida Panthers. Why? They’re fighting to make the playoffs after being out of the mix for so long, they’ve got good prospects in the system to include in a deal and their ownership along with GM Dale Tallon is willing to spend money. Why are they sitting on their hands when other teams are doing whatever possible to improve?
Jeremy Dollard, Sarasota, Fla.
Good question. It’s tough to argue against any point you make in your question – but I think you could use all those same points to make a very good case why Tallon should stand pat. The franchise has surprised many in how quickly what appeared to be a patchwork roster came together and Tallon has drafted wisely, giving them a bright future with the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau, Erik Gudbranson and Jacob Markstrom on board.
So why would they want to give some of that accumulated youth and talent away as swiftly as they amassed it? Simply to push the Panthers into a playoff position, where they more than likely would be fodder for the Rangers or Bruins? That doesn’t work from my perspective. In fact, that’s an example of the short-term thinking that can cripple a team’s ability to be competitive over the long term.
In short, I say the Panthers should be patient and cautious this year. Even if they don’t make the playoffs, they’ve got something good going. Stopping that in its tracks to make Florida fans feel better for a short period of time is exactly what the franchise doesn’t need.
Hey Adam, ever since last year’s draft, I hoped the Oilers would move up and be able to select Dougie Hamilton. Do you think there is any trade possible to get him without trading the Oilers youth core of players?
Steven Holan, Edmonton
In short, no, not a chance. The type of player the Oilers are shopping – namely, Ales Hemsky – isn’t someone Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli would be intrigued by, either as a short-term rental or as someone he could re-sign when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. There’s no doubt the Oilers would love to have Hamilton, but Boston brass know they’ve got a blue-chip prospect and aren’t going to move him unless there’s a ready-for-the-NHL young elite player coming back to them in return.
Hey Adam, I've been a long time Canucks fan and have been wondering what they should do with Cory Schneider. Here's my proposal (assuming Luongo isn't bought out in an amnesty deal) Cory Schneider to the Devils for Adam Larsson. The Devils get their next great goalie after Brodeur retires and the Canucks get an excellent young defenseman they need. Sure, Schneider is due a raise (and the Devils have money issues), but do you think the Canucks prize goalie prospect is enough to land the Devils prize defense prospect?
Matthew Corradetti, Guelph, Ont.
No, I do not. Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure Devils GM Lou Lamoriello would acquire Cory Schneider in an instant if he could, but not at the cost of Adam Larsson, who has become New Jersey’s top minute-munching defenseman in his rookie year. You know the old phrase “robbing Peter to pay Paul”? That’s what this is. Sure, the Devils would have a great goalie to lean on for a number of years, but they’d immediately be looking for all of Larsson’s skills they dealt away. Forget it.
Adam, I know people are saying all these crazy trade rumors of Rick Nash going to Toronto, but wouldn't Steve Mason be a better fit in Toronto? He has one year left after this season on his contract and with Francois Allaire in Toronto he could help turn Mason back into the star goalie he was in his rookie season. So I'm suggesting the Leafs trade a mid-level prospect and Gustavsson for Steve Mason. Thoughts or ideas?
Sam Tiedemann, Waterloo, Ont.
Nothing personal, but my first thought is this proposal is an example of why I don’t answer trade proposal questions in each and every mailbag. The idea of Steve Mason (who can’t handle the pressure of playing in a small market like Columbus) succeeding in the hockey fishbowl that is Toronto is flatly preposterous. The Leafs already have tried and failed to rehabilitate a former Calder Trophy winner (Andrew Raycroft) and won’t go that route again for a very long time.