NHLN Notebook: ASU Falls Through, Shattenkirk in Jersey, and Deadline Selling in a False Parity League

nhlnbook

The NHLN Notebook is a semi-regular feature of interesting hockey content from the past few days that doesn’t quite deserve its own article. 

The Coyotes plans to stay in Arizona have been foiled, and with the trade deadline approaching, we explore a new possible suitor for Kevin Shattenkirk, a Brandon Davidson trade, and who, with the reality of false parity, the NHL’s sellers are. 

ASU DITCHES THE COYOTES


Just as the NHL is getting ready to trot out the Las Vegas expansion franchise next season, the Arizona Coyotes once again have an uncertain future. The Coyotes planned to partner with Arizona State University in a move that would bring them to Tempe, but it fell apart when it the university felt it might threaten potential funding they would receive from the state.

Without a new arena on the horizon the Coyotes are left with few options. The team can’t survive in Glendale without a massive subsidy and the appetite for that seems long gone. The Coyotes last hopes hinge on either an unlikely partnership with the Phoenix Sons or a privately funded arena, which would take an incredible amount of faith for a franchise that has always struggled.

Expansion looks more confusing with the Coyotes consistent issues, the Islanders and the Barclay situation, and another potential problem brewing in Carolina, but the good thing is the NHL didn’t award Quebec City an expansion franchise. Gary Bettman can now use Quebec as his ace in the hole to finally remedy the situation in Arizona. Quebec has an NHL-ready arena and a fanbase more than willing to support a team, but it creates a  conference imbalance if another team from the West heads East. The NHL is probably wishing Seattle had their stuff in order, but their arena situation is unsettled and their current hockey arena, KeyArena, doesn’t seem suitable even as a temporary home. 

The NHL has always tried to avoid relocation if a team has stable ownership and an arena to play in, but the latter is appearing to fade and might give Bettman an excuse to finally pull the plug in Arizona. 

INTEREST IN BRANDON DAVIDSON?


With the Las Vegas expansion draft in mind, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman says there’s going to be some talk around Brandon Davidson as the Edmonton Oilers don’t want to lose him for nothing.

Davidson has played in 21 of Edmonton’s games due to injury. The 25-year old averages 14:52 minutes per game, which is down from 19:12 last season. The Oilers having defensive depth is a strange concept, but the emergence of Matt Benning and the impending return of Darnell Nurse will create a logjam that could be used to improve the team’s need at forward. What world are we living in?! Edmonton seems destined to go with the 7-3-1 option for expansion as neither Benning nor Nurse require protection, so parlaying Davidson into a forward makes sense given their current playoff aspirations. 

Davidson is a young, mobile defensemen on a cheap contract, which is always a combination that will draw interest. Although, if the Oilers can’t find room to protect him it might be difficult to find a team that can.  

RACE TO THE DEADLINE


With roughly 30 games left in the season, the majority of the league is still in range of each other excluding Arizona and Colorado. Bettman points! Bettman points everywhere! The NHL’s current bottom five has two teams, Vancouver and Dallas, within five points of a playoff spot with games in hand, and another in Tampa Bay that’s only seven points back of a Wild Card position. Sports Club Stats, which calculates a team’s odds of making the playoffs, gives those respective teams a less than ten percent chance at making the playoffs, but whether management feels they can make up the difference between now and the deadline is another thing.

The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch says that there’s the only two real sellers at this point, and that might make for an unusual trade deadline. Many teams like Detroit and Buffalo might feel like giving it a shot at a miracle run, especially with the wonky schedule this season, but how many teams will be ready to sell off and look towards the draft?

The trade deadline is less than a month away and the playoff teams haven’t necessarily separated as much as you would expect. A winning streak can put a team right back into the hunt, although not selling off pending free agents could have long-term implications for some of the league’s bubble teams. 

ALL-TIME (REGULAR SEASON) G.O.A.T CAPS? 


It seems like every year is the one that people predict Washington finally breaks the barrier into the third round of the playoffs, but this might actually come to fruition this spring.

The Capital’s 0.736 wining percentage is just barely behind their 2009-10 pace, but they seem well poised to make another playoff run in a shallow Eastern Conference. Washington’s depth is even better than last season with the emergence of Dmitri Orlov and Andre Burakovsky, and they should take care of their first round opponent handedly. 

Their real test likely comes in the second round where they’re bound to meet the Pittsburgh Penguins. If they’re able to move past Crosby and co. their path to the finals could not be easier with whoever comes out of the Atlantic. Any Atlantic division matchup is one that heavily favours Washington. Montreal will not be able to handle Washington’s attack unless Carey Price goes full Jaroslav Halak. Ottawa and Boston don’t have the depth to keep up with the Capitals, especially if they’re relying on Mike Condon or a struggling Tuukka Rask. Toronto and Florida might be able to give Washington a good fight, but they have to make the playoffs first. 

The Capitals have always struggled to make it past the second round, but it’ll be either them or Pittsburgh likely representing the East in the Stanley Cup Finals. 

NEW JERSEY A FIT FOR SHATTENKIRK? 


It’s been long well known that Kevin Shattenkirk wants to play in the Eastern Conference. Specially, the New York native has said he would love to play in front of the crowd at Madison Square Garden. But with the New York Rangers current cap situation, that probably isn’t going to work out. 

An article in NJ.com ponders whether the Devils could be a possible fit for Shattenkirk’s homecoming. It certainly isn’t the Rangers, and Newark isn’t Manhattan, but it’s still something similar. Plus the Devils actually have the cap room to make it happen. But with that in mind, it’s hard to imagine the Devils, who certainly aren’t playoff contenders, making a deadline buy for a rental. If they were going to give the Blues something for Shattenkirk, it would surely have to be a sign-and-trade scenario. 

GHOST BEAR FALLING OUT OF FAVOUR


And finally, we have this. Shayne Gostisbehere has been healthy scratched by the Philadelphia Flyers for the third game in a row. It’s interesting because Gostisbehere was Philly’s best offence producing defenceman last season, and was a key reason why the team was able to squeeze into a playoff spot. 

He’s having a solid season numbers wise, rolling at a 0.50 point-per-game pace and leading the Flyers in relative Corsi For percentage, but Philly has struggled immensely with the actual defensive aspect of the game all year. 

At this point, it’s time to start wondering if there’s actually something going on here. Is Ghost Bear still a key member of the Flyers future? Or is he someone they might look to move in the coming future? Or, tin foil hat time, is this the team trying to keep him from reaching entry-level bonuses (40 points, top-four team TOI, etc) for defencemen? 

  • Natejax97

    The Oilers have defensive depth…

    Look at the injuries, there will always be guys banged up. You need depth for any kind of playoff run.

    Trading Davidson would be ludicrous IMHO…

    We are going to lose a player, every team will. Why not keep what we have instead of another 3rd rounder

      • Natejax97

        The whole idea of being in the playoffs is having the depth to overcome injuries without putting rookies in the lineup.

        So unless we are getting a rental D man trading Davidson is ridiculous.

        • Trevy

          Ok, lets play it your way…if you’re going the 7-3-1 expansion protection format, which 3 defense man do you protect, make that 2 if one is Davidson. Just figuring out your logic.

          • Natejax97

            I don’t protect Davidson, maybe they take him maybe they don’t.

            Unless you are going to add an NHL Dman at the deadline, trading him makes no sense (unless you get a good entry level player that you don’t have to protect) which isn’t going to happen.

            My point is this. Say you trade Davidson for a third round pick, then Sekera gets hurt and Gryba goes down, now you are reaching for an Oesterle or a Musil in the playoffs???

            Isn’t it important that this team gets set up to do the best they can in the playoffs, or is 1 series enough for everyone? Davidson can help the team win some games this year, maybe even get to the second or third round. That’s my point.

          • Trevy

            Well let me just add that I’m not an Oiler fan so I personally don’t care. Having said that, if I were Vegas’ GM and you didn’t protect Davidson, I would hands down grab him over what would be exposed from your forward group.

          • jonnyquixote

            Maybe there could be an incentive for Vegas to take, say, Pouliot instead. Like one or two of our AHL prospect defensemen and/or a pick. Or take something else and then we send Pouliot to them while retaining a big chunk of his salary.

            Vegas is going to have lots of choice for their blueline but they’re going to be pretty hungry for decent forwards. There’s probably a deal to be made that gives them additional assets in exchange for skipping out on Davidson.

          • Xtnct

            I’d protect Larson, Klefbom, and Sekera.

            The Oilers are going to lose one player to Vegas. No way around it. If you trade Davidson for pennies on the dollar then you are just going to lose a different player anyway.

            If you can sign Russell to a reasonable contract do it now. Leave Russell, Davidson and GR all exposed. Vegas can only take one and the Oilers keep the other two. I’d keep Pouliot around for the playoffs too. Leave him exposed also. Vegas can only take one player. If they take Pouliot then the Oil keep everyone else.

            I’d rather lose Davidson for nothing than trade Davidson for pennies on the dollar AND lose another player for nothing.

      • You know I do get that but doesn’t expansion draft happen after this year’s playoffs? Are we a better team with Davidson in the lineup or not? If we’re a better team with him in the lineup we need to run with him in the lineup so we have a chance at winning the cup. Isn’t that why we play the game? I mean What if Nurse comes back and he’s just not as effective as he was earlier in the year, then what?

      • TomAce

        He’s saying every team loses a good player for nothing this offseason so you can’t do things to avoid it, it’s inevitable. I would also like to have Davidson in the lineup come April, but if he gets you a good winger back then it’s understandable.

  • JBear

    I will never understand why the NHL didn’t move Phoenix back to Winnipeg in 2011. You’d have the original team moving back home to keep all the history and it’d be a Western to Western Conference move. Atlanta could’ve moved to Columbus or Minny eventually. Drives me bonkers every time I think about it.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      “Atlanta could’ve moved to Columbus or Minny eventually”

      Generally agree with what you’re saying but this…?

      Why would the Thrashers move to either of these cities seeing they already have NHL teams?

      • Finnish Oiler fan in Edmonton89

        I think he meant to write Quebec or Hamilton…

        may as well be Quebec,

        They built that nice arena with all that equalization money from Alberta oil (which they hate)

        might as well put it to good use.

  • Big Jacks Meat

    Only the Flyers would keep a guy out in order to avoid paying a Bonus. Mediocre Flyers as usual.

    Ghost Bear for Ethan Bear plus… hmm sounds like a deal. lol

  • Natejax97

    the ghost would be a nice offseason pickup for the oil…

    Klefbom – Larrsonn
    Sekera – Benning
    Nurse – Ghost

    PP QB – Ghost and Klefbom / Sekera

  • Sorensenator

    Anyone who thought Arizona was going to work obviously lost way too many brain cells. Hell when the Oilers are in town there we have more fans cheering for our team in the stands, it’s pathetic.

  • toprightcorner

    Bettmans parity league has actually had a negative affect and prevented mediocre teams from getting better. Points wise it makes teams falsely believe that they can make a push for the playoffs so they don’t make moves at the deadline that could help them in the future. Less trades mean less teams are improving themselves or doing quality rebuilding.

    Bettman points make certain teams look way better than they are, giving them false hope and prevent them from making major decisions for how to improve their hockey team. The same 8 teams are in the same bubble position every year so they are not sellers and not buyers so they don’t get better.

    Let the cap enforce parity, not these extra points handed out.

  • Anton CP

    When I read ASU ditched Coyotes that my first reaction is: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!! Suck it Bettman!

    About Shattenkirk to Jersey, what Jersey has to offer to get a right shot D back? They gave up Larsson for Hall and I don’t think that Jersey has much to offer unless Shattenkirk is forcing a trade.

    Gostisbehere was never really part of Flyers’ plan until the surprising rise of his offensive skills took over. It was a perfect storm for Ghost when Streit got hurt last season but with Provorov inserted into lineup this season that Flyers are now getting the real plan going. At this point that don’t be surprised that Ghost can be traded.

  • Looch#27

    All this trade Davidson talk so we get something for him in case we lose him is complete hogwash! First of all he cost us a 5th round draft pick so nothing, second of all the guy isn’t trending up he’s at best treading water playing third pair minutes and third we need def depth for playoffs so dumping one of ours without filling the void is just plain stupid. Wa need to add players at deadline to help the playoff push and not worry about losing Davidson or anyone else in the expansion draft because we are losing someone just like 29 other teams.