In Defense of Jay Feaster…Sort Of

 

 

Henry Ford once said that customers were free to buy a car in any colour they wanted – so long as it was black.

This approach to buyer’s choice is somewhat analogous to the options faced by Jay Feaster in the Iginla trade. There was really only one option in the end and Feaster had be content with it, because Ray Shero wasn’t going to offer more than he felt he had to and Jarome Iginla had made the decision that he wanted to go to Pittsburgh.

Iginla was a highly-coveted asset by several teams, reportedly Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Pittsburgh. He had a No Trade Clause on his contract and from the very beginning no trade was going to happen unless Jarome Iginla wanted it to. Iginla was also the most valuable asset the Flames have had to trade in a generation, the fan sentiment ran deep and the clock was ticking. Bruce Arther has an article up recently outlining some of the drama here.

Hands Tied

Jay Feaster was never really in a position of strength. In fact, he was quickly relegated to the role of facilitator, a match-maker just trying to get the two parties together and taking a small commission fee for his effort.

Opposing GMs knew this and they knew that if they were in negotiations that it was likely that Iginla had okay’d a trade to their desitination, thereby limiting the number of open buyers.

Kent had a good article up prior to the trade that outlined the potential trade packages of those teams according to their local media members. Faced with that, and the impending unrestricted free agent Iginla would become this July, no GM appeared willing to offer up the proverbial king’s ransom Feaster had requested (reportedly a 1st round pick, a roster player and a good prospect). Instead the best offer reportedly came from the Bruins – that being Khokhlachev, Bartkowski and a 1st round draft pick that Chiarelli later confirmed was guaranteed and not conditional.

All in all, that wouldn’t be that bad a return when weighed against the eventual winner’s bid.

Hanowski, Agostino and a 1st round pick became the return for Iginla and the Flames book of genesis geneologies (Nilsson begat Nieuwendyk who begat Iginla…) has likely stopped at Jarome.

Feaster has an underwhelming track record in trading assets, and it should be remembered that he never really had the upper hand in these trade negotiations at any point. He had to trade the most important Flame in franchise history, everybody knew it, and the player decided which team he wanted to go to. There are no gentleman’s rules in NHL management anymore. Ray Shero knew he could get Iginla at a low cost to his team and he refused to overpay.

Feaster is now left trying to sell off the remaining assets of the Flames who can undoubtedly see the writing on the wall and know that a rebuild is coming, in spite of what Feaster or anyone else in management says to the contrary.

Take ’em To the Pawn Shop

Those assets include Michael Cammalleri, Jay Bouwmeester, Miikka Kiprusoff and perhaps even Alex Tanguay. With the exception of Bouwmeester (on account of age, an extra year remaining on his contract and the paucity of top defensemen available by trade) they are all of lesser value than Iginla. Three have clauses that limit their trade options and the fourth (Kipper) has, for all intents and purposes, put an ad hoc one into place.

Feaster and John Weisbrod have also been adamant that they will not pursue a traditional rebuild and as such are likely to place a priority on receiving prospects or roster players in trade returns over draft picks. This isn’t to say that picks won’t be included or requested, but rather that the majority of their focus in requesting assets will be spent on warm bodies coming back.

A draft pick is something of a nebulous asset to many GMs at this time of year because the value is delayed relative to real player assets, and as such can have a diminished value to a buying team outside of a top-5 pick (which are almost never dealt). A player or prospect is someone into whom a team has invested time and energy, and who may be useful for a playoff run and therefore may be held at a premium at the trade deadline.

If Jay Feaster attempts to trade Jay Bouwmeester he is immediately behind the proveribal 8-ball. Bouwmeester has a prohibitive cap hit for next year, when the cap is set to drop. Bouwmeester also has a NTC, so any interested GM will know that Feaster is in a position of weakness and will attempt to exploit it.

This isn’t to say that Feaster is going to sell off the remainder of the Flames tradeable assets this season and get routinely taken to the woodshed, but instead one needs to recognize that the Iginla deal may be a benchmark of achievable player values for this season. Bouwmeester may be worth more by trade, but it is unlikely to be to such an extent as to make the Iginla trade any more palatable.

In order to maximise the return on a player like Jay Bouwmeester the Flames would be best to get him to waive his NTC to a number of teams in advance, agree to retain up to 50% of the salary cap hit for this season and next, and then prioritize the asset types for return. Focus on one type of asset, be it picks or prospects, and limit the range of return in order to attain the greater quality. The Flames need to make Bouwmeester the most desireable asset on the market for the teams feeling the pressure to keep pace with the Penguins.

I’m not going to go into specifics about what the returns for these players could be. Prior to Wednesday I would never have guessed that Iginla would be moved for the package Feaster received. But I do think that there are times to move players, and this may not be the best time to shop players like Cammalleri, Bouwmeester or others.

The blood is in the water around the Flames. Feaster would be best served to be patient at this point and let the scales balance out a little more in his favour.

  • Wizard22

    I would be for Ron Hextall. I just hope the next GM can adapt to different situations quickly, and isn’t that interfered with by others. It would also be nice to see a GM in place for 10-15 years to bring stability and credibility ti the franchise (NJ,Det, Nashville )

  • Wizard22

    Alright alright, enough calling for feaster’s head. He has not been that bad. Yes, the O’Reilly gaffe would’ve been bad but at least he tried. And ticked off Greg Sherman. And yes he should have made Iginla sign off on the NTC before fielding offers, but honestly he has been way better than Darryl. Agostino and hanowski won’t be another Iginla, nor should they be expected to, but if they can turn out to be something like a Stempniak or just good possession forwards than I think it’s fine, also I’ve heard this draft is a deep one . There is a chance that we could even end up drafting at #1 could you imagine!!!!!! If this is a year to suck, please let us suck there are just barely 15 games left in this season! Flames fans can handle that in exchange for a Mackinnon or Drouin, because they are not going outside the top 3. The only advice I have for Feaster at this draft is forget about the character / athletiscm crap. It’s definately good theology, but I believe it should only be employed after the first round. We have two first round picks so pick the best freaking player available please!!!! Now for example I could see us picking anywhere from 2-6 which basically gives us the cream of the crop. Mackinnon, Drouin, Barkov, Lindholm, Nichuskin. Please. Feaster just go with the safe, and most talented player. PLEASE.

      • Wizard22

        No, that’s the industry standard. Player comes up with a list, signs off on it and from that point on is out of it. GM takes the best offer from what’s on the list. Otherwise, you get what happened to Calgary and the player screws you over at the last moment (unless you buy the conspiracy version that the other 3 were just camouflage to drive the price up. I don’t, but nobody really knows the truth, so I’ll give that a pass).

  • Wizard22

    Just wondering….

    If in fact the Flames are busy on deadline day, do they have a plan in place to ensure enough warm bodies are here for that nights game. I assume most returns would be in form of prospects and picks, but even if they receive some roster players in exchange, they most likely wouldn’t make it here in time.

    Somebody could clarify, but I don’t think they can call up players from the Heat in advance, due to the 23 man roster limitation.

    There is a chance that Calgary moves a significant number of roster players Wednesday morning. Three they can work around, but six or seven or eight….

    I’m just trying to help Jay Feaster out here. He has struggled lately…

  • Wizard22

    How ironic that Sid is out indefinitely after iggys first game. Guess they won’t play together after all. Now that Pitt has 8 mill off the books til he’s back, maybe they’ll trade for cammi.

      • Wizard22

        I don’t think it takes tampering to get an aging winger to sign on to a team with two of the best centers in hockey. He has been without a real center all his career, now he has two great ones. I don’t think a call from Crosby was heavily influential.

        Iggy did similar things for Jokinen and Tanguay I think. No different.

        Calling Crosby’s injury karma smacks of sour grapes.

        • Wizard22

          I’m fine with the karma suggestion. Personally I think Pitt loses to Chicago anyways. I don’t give a rats whether iggy gets a cup either! It’s all about our flames and the future. He has loads of cash and can go hide in Jamaica or something every yr when he loses. All I want is stacks of picks!

  • Wizard22

    Thought there would be more trades this weekend! Jays probably sacked out on the couch after cooked ham for Easter and not answering calls! “Get in my belly”

  • Emir

    I’m more in the side of burning sensation. While the feast hasn’t had the best situation, he also hasn’t been awful. I actually think jay’s best moment was the erixon trade. He was over a barrell but read sathers position well and did good.

    and IMO, I’m convinced that chirelli had a Conditional first and after getting screwed over called it unconditional just so the fan base would go after Jay. All of TSN had the deal reported correctly, its not like they messed up on the players involved too right?

    as for judging on results, that’s accurate, but to an extent. Jay was given the mandate to win with what he had, and not to trade anymore draft picks if possible. When you have a mediocre team and no prospects, you can’t exactly go and make any good moves. So your roster stays the same and that’s that.

    I will say he did do an average job in his tenure so far.

  • Derzie

    The title says it all. Ask yourself how many times we see the need to come to defense when speaking of Ken Holland or other exemplary GMs? Feaster and King need to go. Nothing positive will happen until they do.

    • Emir

      Exactly. The fact that we had to have two separate blogs up in the last month with virtually the same title tells you that there is a big problem.

      Both have to do with potential gaffes as opposed to the general suckage of the Flames. Which means if you really want to defend Feaster you would need at least a third.

      “Defending Jay Feaster: Why it isn’t his fault the Flames have been horrible despite assurances from the GM that the team would be competitive”.

      Seriously people. Your stuck in the weeds and missing the big picture. It is the type of thing only local fans do. They look at the detail until it tells them what they want it to tell them. Its a bad perspective.

      Anyone outside of Calgary (and thus out of the weeds) are looking at the results and can tell you we need a new leader in Calgary.

  • Victoria Flames Fan

    Wow, this thing reminds me of a Monty Python movie. “Bring out your dead” Feaster raises his head in the wheel barrell “I’m not dead yet” Then Sincity, Derzie & Wolf hit him over the head with clubs. Must I remind everyone, we have 3 days left to the trade deadline. We “need” to make trades in the next 3 days. We “need” to be ready for the biggest draft this franchise is going to have in years. Lets talk about Feasters successor in July. Wolf has said it right, the first step was trading Iggy, the return is more or less irrelevant. Those who think not naming a Captain now means Iggy is coming back, think again. Whats the point of naming a Captain when they’re traded or rumoured to be traded in 3 days. We got 15 more games, we cant win more than 5 so lets get our eyes on the target, OK guys?

  • RexLibris

    To begin, I hope nobody here actually believes that I would defend Feaster as a hockey executive beyond this point: he had virtually no say in the Iginla trade, so judge him on his other moves and let this one go.

    Somebody earlier mentioned the Flames organization operating in a cloud of controversy these past few years. I’d like to expand on that a little if I may.

    Remember the official tweet from the Calgary Flames account last year that said, and I quote: “$10 million over two years for Hemsky is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long, long time. I hope it happens. #whatajoke”. Then we can add on the comment about referring to the Oilers as wandering in the desert. Or perhaps we can go back to the Darryl Sutter days when the Flames arranged to have a private session for players and family members to receive the H1N1 vaccine ahead of the general public and high-risk individuals.

    The Flames as an organization, though not the players necessarily or as any reflection on their fans, have some systemic character issues. For several years now there have been incidences that speak to an intolerable level of arrogance. All of it entirely unearned.

    There are problems in this organization, outside of on-ice talent, that one season of losing will not fix. I question whether three or even four would be enough to correct these internal issues.

    • Michael

      Good job Rex on hitting the proverbial nail on the head.

      If you look back on good teams, good organizations, and especially when the Flames were considered one of the classiest organizations in the league it all flowed down from ownership.

      Ilitch and his personality have a huge impact on how the Detroit Red Wings operate as an organization. The original Flames ownership group had that same impact to the Flames. They were happy being hockey fans, the understood that they were great in their respective fields but made sure that they hired hockey people to run the hockey team. They believed that the end goal was to win the Stanley Cup and that was what needed to motivate each and every decision.

      Why are the Flames the joke of the league now? Because of the change in ownership. Because of Murray Edwards. I do not doubt that Edwards is a very smart guy, and what he has done with CNRL is very impressive. But the same heavy handed approach that you use in oil and gas companies is not going to work the same in an entertainment industry like the NHL. Owners need to hire the best hockey people possible and then back away and let them work. They can evaluate their progress towards the end goal, but they should never hinder or interfere in the daily operations.

      Ken King has a reputation that has few that have worked with him wanting to go back for seconds. He is a hatchet and fire control type of manager that manages with both hands directly in any situation. His hiring would not have been necessary had the ownership not have hired that idiot Bremner to create PR spin for an organization that could not keep up with a poor Canadian dollar. King was needed at the time to fix the donkey show that Bremner and Button had created, but his shelf life is three years tops and the Flames organization would be in much better shape had he been let go of at the end of 2004. Sutter needed some hockey people to help keep him in check and King is not one of those people.

      The Flames organization needs King to move upwards or onwards. It needs Edwards to hire a proper hockey person to be the president. And it needs to hire a general manger that does more than talk in circles while achieving nothing.

      I am not a big Burke fan. I think that he is smart and bold in what he does. But I also think that he likes to take the credit for work done before him. That said, if he were hired you would know that Edwards has learned his lesson and that at the very least the organization would be moving forward with a hockey basis again.

  • Franko J

    No matter who the Flames have hired in the past 20 some years as a GM they all have their flaws. The only thing which is in common with Feaster, Sutter, Button, Coates, and Risebrough is they never assembled a strong scouting staff and neglected to develop players. The scouting record speaks for itself.

    Interesting enough the owners spends to the cap, pays the coaches and GM well enough, however until Feaster came on board as GM for this organization the scouting staff was grossly understaffed and they had no idea or clue how to develop young talent. I know if I was President of this team I would hire the best hockey operations guy that money can buy and from there the best “bird dogs” as well.

    Every GM in the history of this game have had their fair share of mistakes and successes, but in fairness the ones who last longer seem to find a good balance between the two. Right now Feaster is a GM who has inherited a team which have more flaws then he even realizes. Both ownership and management were seriously convinced that nothing was wrong with this team until this season.. Funny how when a player is drafted their is always talk about improvement. Well in the past 20 years has there been improvement from the management side with this team?
    If fingers are going to be pointed shouldn’t ownership be evaluated and scrutinized as well?

    • Big Ell

      “No matter who the Flames have hired in the past 20 some years as a GM they all have their flaws. The only thing which is in common with Feaster, Sutter, Button, Coates, and Risebrough is they never assembled a strong scouting staff and neglected to develop players. The scouting record speaks for itself.”

      Totally agreed. It sure is painful when you put those five together. My god.

  • loudogYYC

    As much as Rex makes his point in this article, I can’t defend Feaster after the moves he’s made in the past 20 or so months.

    Signing Babchuk and Sarich with a degree of urgency and giving them NTC’s was a terrible decision. Spitting out guarantees about playoffs and prospects was stupid and unnecessary, and hiding from the public after what appeared to be a gigantic offer sheet gaffe is just plain weak.

    Elliotte Friedman’s article on the Iginla trade a few days ago was bang on, Iggy controlled the trade so getting Pittsburghs best in return wasn’t gonna happen, but at the same time, this organization can’t do anything without controversy or confusion.

    Craig Button was a terrible GM, Darryl Sutter was better yet still terrible, and Jay Feaster seems under qualified when compared to these other GM’s making real moves and keeping their mouth shut.

    Meddling ownership is the bigger problem here, I can’t think of a solution for that unfortunately.

  • Captain Ron

    Good article Rex. The biggest problem I have when evaluating Jay Feaster is that I always find myself wondering how much of the decision making is/was truly his and how much of it is the mandate that has been placed upon him by the owner(s) and/or president.

    But admittedly his loose lips and bravado at times have certainly not helped his cause.

    Move as many parts as you can between now and the deadline and hope for a top 3 pick at the draft.

  • RexLibris

    @Rex – thanks. Amazes me how some fans on here still view everything with the Flames through rose and gold colored glasses.

    That said, I probably disagree about JBo. He’s a legit top pairing D who can probably play for another decade and although it would be mistake to trade him as a rental, Flames can afford to wait until the summer if the right offer is not there.

    @chilling – I wouldn’t call Teravainen 4th line material. While one can argue that no player is a sure thing, that same logic applies to Janko. So why pick the 5 year project then? You cam say Flames liked him best, sure, but that’s am awful lot of projection for a team with very few prospects.

    That said, I really hope Janko works out and have never knocked him. It’s just an odd move for a team in the Flames’ situation is all. Then again, Feaster seems to specialize in the odd.

    • RexLibris

      Don’t think I disagreed with you on Bouwmeester. Although there was an article I read just this week looking at the advanced stats, specifically WOWY, on Bouwmeester which found that this season his partners have actually suffered when playing with him.

      Giordano has had the upper hand in that category this year, by all accounts.

      I think Bouwmeester could have a long career ahead of him, but he needs to be re-cast as a defenseman. He is more of a shut-down player now with a solid 1st pass out of the zone. In many ways he is like a Ryan Whitney with elite skating ability. If Bouwmeester were being paid $5 million I think the Flames could move him in a heartbeat (NTC aside). The $6.8 million against a declining cap, and NTC, saps a considerable amount of value in trade.

      Finding the right team to take him and offer up relative value is going to be tricky. A move at the draft may be the best bet where a team can acquire him based on their projected abilities rather than current standings (Philadelphia as an example).

      • supra steve

        I do agree that there is no hurry to move Jay Bo before the deadline. But, the Flames are in a position to eat some of that cap hit. If they were to consider that, I think there are LOTS of teams interested. We could get a very handsome return right now.

        • RexLibris

          I had heard Detroit, Boston, Carolina, and St. Louis. Detroit rarely moves a prospect or a 1st round pick for an older player in recent years (1 1st for Kyle Quincey is closer to the norm).

          Boston may offer a part of the proposed Iginla package for Bouwmeester but may also ask that some money or cap hit be retained. I don’t believe Chiarelli would hold a grudge over the Iginla trade when it comes to improving his team, however he likely would demand assurance that the NTC has been waived before proceeding.

          There is speculation that the acquisition of Jordan Leopold means the Blues are not interested in the asking price of Bouwmeester, but then people said the same thing after Shero acquired Morrow.

          Personally, I’d target Carolina. Rutherford has made some very bad moves of late (remember Spacek – an impending UFA – for Kaberle a few years ago?). If Feaster could somehow convince them to go Bouwmeester for Faulk that would be one very good trade. Its a reach to imagine it happening, but those are the kinds of trades that made Brian Burke’s career.

          • supra steve

            Agree. How could BOS hold a grudge for missing out on Iggy if they now have a shot at Glencross (who at this point is a better player, in his prime, and on a great contract)?

  • Captain Ron

    I am very impressed with all the great comments on this forum. A true testiment to the writers who attract intelligent hockey buffs.

    Leaning towards rationality like most of you, may I suggest for the reality that any team’s recent fortunes or miscues are related to historical player aquisition / development management dating back as much or as little as five years.

    Judging by the past 5 years, Feaster had ample proof of a horific down trend. He either signed on to an ownership pipe dream or thinks he’s a magician. There is probably some truth to both. Either way, I’m sure he’s reflecting on his exit interview with Brent. He knew there was no way this team had an opportunity without a rebuild.

    Proof is in the pudding, in terms of asset managment for attempting to tread above water, you don’t let a valued tough minute munching center walk in Jokinen and throw a hail mary at Cervenka as a notable replacement.

    From all optics, Feaster is playing too many narratives while some of which I would be lost in deciphering the lies, from ownership tampering to ineptitude.

    I would give all of the above a discerning brow if they think I was allured by any of their lipstick, bubble gum & nonsense that has been trotted out.

    It’s over and if you think you can have a balance attack into the mod to late rounds in the playoffs, you need at least two super-stars coupled with balance throughout your secondary and depth infrastructure. It’s silly how simple it really is.

    The most pathetic notion of Feaster is that being a basement dweller for a few seasons like Edmonton is a futule excersize. Edmonton is a great case study of a team that held on to playoff hopes for too long and fell off a cliff. He seems to think that he would have navigated that strategy better. Guess what Edmonton is an example of what not to do while teams like Pitt, Chi, La built sound rosters with all neccesary tangibles. Weren’t they the winners of 3 recent cups?

    Its blasphemy I tell you. There is merit to submerging for a few intervals like the above teams did, but Feaster may not be a developmental strategist. His trotted out media bravado rests on no correlation to a strategist that needs at 5 years to show results. Clearly he thinks his strategy is fool proof as his brashly articulated forecasting would suggest. Bravo for him if confidence supercedes success. He’s shot himself in the foot in terms of my optics. Arrogance and bravado only gets you attention. Sadly without success its just hot air.

    I suspect the hot air balloon has already burst and is racing down yo the tundra. Ownership may however grant lenience based on servitude, but alas, all we know is that things are very dysfunctional in Flames land. Until ownership and management have the courage to look in the mirror for the culprits, expect thr mismanagement of assets to continue for at least another 1-3 years. And by then, kiss another 10 years of contention goodbye instead of retooling in 5.

    Great blog FN, Cheers.

      • Scary Gary

        Yep 49. I imagine we’ll be moving some contracts for draft picks and prospects by Wednesday.

        Comeau, McGrattan, Byron, Begin, McDonald, (Nemisz, Aliu, Irving, Kolanos, etc), and Carson all come off the books at the end of the year. We then have to sign our two new college prospects and Ramo among others.

        Man I’d love to get another first rounder and a couple second if we could.

  • Rockmorton65

    I keep hearing that Feaster NEEDS to make all theses trades before the deadline. I respectfully disagree. He could just as easily move Jaybo, Cammi, etc at the draft instead of rushing to unload them by the deadline. Iggy was the only one we were going to lose. That being said, I think Feaster is in the drivers seat right now (NTC’s aside). There are players on the Flames that could help other teams in the playoffs. If he doesn’t get the offer he wants, he can just wait until the offseason. The urgency is on the other teams to improve by the deadline. That may drive up the asking price.

    • Michael

      I respectfully disagree. We are about to formally head down the rebuild path. You need to acquire as many high picks as possible & this is the time you get GM’s, even good ones willing to pay prospects & picks for needs for a playoff run. To do nothing would ve absolutely insane.

  • RexLibris

    I’m going to re-state my position on Jankowski, just to be clear. I have no qualms with him being a drafted prospect. I have no issues with him as a potential player. I will not project him as anything right now until he has had at least another full season of NCAA hockey under his belt. Any criticism I have over his selection and projection is entirely towards the management group, specifically Feaster, and their publicly anointing him the best player in the draft in ten years.

    Jankowski would have been a smart pick for a team with some solid forward depth. If Columbus had taken him, with players like Johansen and Jenner already in the fold, it would have been a good move. Lacking system depth, you have to select responsibly.

  • jeremywilhelm

    But if they truly believe Jankowski has the highest upside at that point, they made the right choice Rex.

    Taking the safe bet is what cause this franchise to be sitting at this point right now. Taking player with limited upside but with a good chance to play in the NHL is no way for a team with no legitimate home runs in 20 years, to buck that trend.

    There isn’t a single player in the previous 10 picks or after Jankowski that have any high end upside, or upside higher than his.

    So that’s a moot point really.

  • RexLibris

    Feaster on the Iggy options: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobson's_choice

    I really wonder about Wisebrod sometimes, what is his hard on for NCAA players out of the Boston area. I like the approach, only in part due to the lack of viable options for making up ground within the NHL itself, and/or the lack of teams willing to deal with the org (see: burnt bridges). Are they simply out of other options? or are they on a magic bean hunt? either way, I’m not sold.

    Also, Tod Button, how the @#$% does he still have a job??? I mean really??? and a related side note – Is Craig still towing the company line?? it certainly seemed like it during TSN’s botched Iggy trade coverage, it was almost embarrassing to watch at times.

  • Michael

    Doesn’t the new CBA allow a team to eat a portion of the contract for a traded player? Back to Rexlibris point, if the Flames ate $1.6 something million of JBo salary for next year, you would have a $5 million d man….That would make JBo much easier to move, and likely produce a better return.

  • Michael

    @Scary Gary

    Comeau, McGrattan, Byron, Begin, McDonald, (Nemisz, Aliu, Irving, Kolanos, etc), and Carson all come off the books at the end of the year. We then have to sign our two new college prospects and Ramo among others

    This looks like an opportunity to drop a number of marginal contracts; McGratton, Byron, Begin, Carson gone for sure, if Kipper retires you might have to keep one of McDonald/Irving short term (insurance), otherwise both gone, Nemisz I might resign for 1 year and try as a fourth liner, but his prospects looks marginal. Aliu and Kolanos, depends on Abbotsford needs.

  • RexLibris

    The best trades Feaster could make this Wednesday are those that target playoff bound teams with contract slots and cap space in exchange for expiring UFAs and a depth pick. This way the Flames can move out extraneous pieces that would otherwise have little or no value by taking back a warm body and getting a pick in the process.

    An example would be Blake Comeau to the Leafs for a pick (perhaps 3rd or 4th round) and a player like Greg Scott, an expiring AHL UFA.

    Looking through the reserve list on Capgeek, these teams are playoff-bound and have contract space: Anaheim, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, Ottawa, Phoenix, Toronto, and Winnipeg.

    They may be interested in adding some depth for a playoff run at the cost of depth picks.