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Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

WWYD Wednesday: Trade with Vegas?

NHL teams have submitted their protected lists and the Vegas Knights have been busy mocking up their roster and making side deals with clubs desperate to keep their prized players (or get rid of their worst ones).

Calgary may have already traded for their number one goalie, but the club has two more obvious needs: top six winger and top four defender. With the Knights getting to pick one player from every team it’s possible they will be willing to flip newly acquired pieces to teams like the Flames for picks or prospects.

So who might be available come Thursday?

Keep in mind the Knights are rumoured to have as many as six or seven side deals already in the works. Depending on how those deals work out, Vegas may or may not end up with some of the assets listed here. For now, we can only speculate.

Jonathan Marchessault, RW

A great Cinderella story, the 25-year-old C/RW broke out with the Panthers on a “prove it” contract last year, scoring 30 goals and 51 points. His deal extends for one more season at just $750k, making his a low risk, high reward contract.

The Panthers are one of the rumored clubs to have a deal in place with Vegas, but if Marchessault is jarred lose, he’d make for an attractive trade option for Calgary, a team sorely lacking in scoring depth on RW.

Jason Demers, D

The other guy of interest in Florida is defender Jason Demers. The 29-year-old, right-shooting blueliner has quietly flown under the radar for years but is actually a solid all-around defender. He’d make for a pretty canny partner for T.J. Brodie on the Flames’ second pairing if he was snagged by Vegas and then put on the trade market. His cap hit stands at $4.5M on a deal that extends until 2021.

 

Colin Miller, D

The Boston Bruins currently have two Millers on the backend: Colin and Kevin. Kevin is the guy they protected, but Colin is the one with really impressive underlying numbers:

Miller has mostly played in a support, third pairing role, but it seems clear he’s ready for more responsibility. The 24-year-old is right handed and also scored 19 goals, 52 points in his sophomore season in the AHL, suggesting there’s legit offensive talent there as well as the shot suppression. The best part is he currently only makes $1.1M.

If Vegas ends up grabbing Miller, Calgary should make a strong push to snag him.

 

David Schlemko, D

Remember him? He’s still a very capable possession player. Nevertheless, the Sharks chose to expose him, potentially giving the Flames the opportunity to acquire him for the second time. Schlemko is 30 and signed for two more years at $2.1M, so he’d be more of a stopgap than anything else.

David Perron LW, Dmitrij Jaskin LW, Magnus Paajarvi RW

The Blues are no doubt in talks with Vegas because they had to expose more than a number of useful middle rotation forwards.

David Perron has bounced around a lot the last few years, but he remains a Swiss army knife winger who has fit in pretty well on just about any forward line. Paajarvi, the former Oiler top 10 pick, probably suffers from the curse of raised expectations due to his draft pedigree. He isn’t really much of an offensive guy at this point, he’s surprisingly solid in terms of driving play:

As for Jaskin, he’s more of a pure defensive forward. His shot suppression rates are off the charts, but everything else is average or worse.

James Neal, LW

Owing to their embarrassment of riches on the blueline, the Predators were forced to expose sniper James Neal. The 29-year-old has had a bit of down season last scoring “just” 21 goals and 41 points, but he has been an above average point-getter since he broke into the league. In fact, Neal has scored 20+ goals in nine straight seasons.

Neal has an expensive ticket at $5M per season, but it only lasts for one more season. That said, it would likely cost a lot to pry him out of Knights’ hands if they end up picking him. Think Calgary’s first round pick to start.

Conclusion

Obviously, not all of these players will be chosen by Vegas or be made available for trade if they are. However, it’s a useful list of guys to keep an eye on depending on how things go.

So which of these options would you like to see Calgary pursue if Vegas puts them up for auction?

  • T&A4Flames

    As always, it depends on the cost. But Marchessault, Demers and Neal would intererest me. I still say we need a top 4 D that has some physicality and nastiness to his game to play with TJ.

  • Jobu

    Vegas wont need Goaltenders, so we couldn’t use a Gillies or Rittich as trade bait. It would have to be our first round pick a couple of cusp prospects, or one of our strong D prospects. Personally I would rather keep all three and sign a UFA Defense for our 4th man.

  • Jessemadnote

    I think Treliving is scared of the potential bidding wars that Vegas starts and that explains some of the Smith trade. Theoretically, having nearly every team forced to expose their number four defender will mean that there are a lot of teams in the market for a replacement. I like the look of Miller’s numbers and upside Calgary seems to be giving out way too many picks lately so I’d like to see them steer clear of further depletion.

  • Just.Visiting

    I’m going to go for none of the above. It’s too easy at the moment to chase the next new shiny thing and get caught up in the excitement of let’s make a deal when there are a number of your competitors circling the same target. You can’t create a hole to attempt to address another hole, where your acquisition has its own share of risks that you may be very prone to understating. We also need to be very cautious about making moves that potentially compromise the longer term objective of positioning to be a serious contender for 2018-2019 and the three to four year window after that.

  • Nick24

    If they could get Marchessault and/or Colin Miller they’d really be set up well, provided they could resign both. Excpecting Marchessault to have a similar season as last year may be a tad lofty, due to his shooting percentage of over 15%, but he could still be really valuable. I’m not sure how often he was used at center, but it looks like he took more than a few faceoffs this past year. He could offer further utility in a pinch.

  • Al Rain

    Pass on all of these. McPhee is in the driver’s seat and the prices will be too high.

    All teams are losing one asset. Some teams will be weaker because of it (or because they tried to buy their way out of it), but the Flames won’t be hit that hard. Treliving is a smart dude – I expect him to not get involved until sanity is restored.

    • PrairieStew

      I’m not so sure McPhee will be in the drivers seat. By tonight he’ll have 30 NHL players competing for 23 spots (22 if you count the Russian he already signed). The 7 or 8 that don’t make his roster must clear waivers before sending them down, so he risks losing them for nothing. By comparison Calgary only has 14 guys under contract now that need to clear waivers. They’ll be up to 22 or 23 when they sign 3 defense, 4 RFA forwards and a goalie. I suppose he can auction off 8 guys among 30 buyers, but he has to be careful not to set the prices too high or the other GM’s just might call his bluff.

      • Al Rain

        I wasn’t aware that they could only pluck players that had to clear waivers. Kulak, for example – isn’t he waiver-exempt? Asking ’cause I don’t know.

      • supra steve

        Agree, he will have an excess of players, so the price for a #4 D will probably be a little less than could have been expected from another club. If that is not the case, then shop elsewhere.

      • StarIV

        Sounds like McPhee will be selecting a surplus of defensemen, meaning many teams will be down their 4th defensemen. He plans on trading some of these defensemen immediately for prospects. Vegas won’t have to place players on waivers until the fall; it doesn’t matter how many players are on the roster in the off season. There is no way that other GM’s will “call his bluff” and let players get claimed off waivers. Why would any GM refuse to make their team better, so that they can gamble on a waiver wire months down the road? Especially if they’re low on the waiver priority? McPhee will be selling defensemen come tomorrow.

      • deantheraven

        McPhee has his own farm team to stock too, doesn’t he? I Imagine there’ll be a few AHL players-and/or prospects-for- promises- to-not- take- NHL- roster players deals, too. McPhee is definitely driving.

      • I made a similar point yesterday. If McPhee is playing hardball beforehand, when he is left holding too many players when the music stops the other teams can play some hardball. I would like to see this.

  • freethe flames

    With very few assets BT has to be careful not to overpay. There might be nothing to from LV and he might need to deal with other teams directly, but we will know soon enough who LV has and whether we might be able to acquire them.

  • Just.Visiting

    I would be very interested to try to swap for Theodore out of LV. Now, that’s a potential number 4Dman for the future….Looked like a veteran out there in the playoffs.

    • Lucky 13

      I like Shea Theodore as well. He’s what 21? He’s a lefty, so you know.. we’ll probably pass on him.. but wouldn’t he be great beside Brodie.. then Brodie can go back to his preferred right side..

    • piscera.infada

      You would think that given Theodore being a high-end defensive prospect, he’s probably not one of the players Vegas is looking to “flip”. I mean, what would they do? Trade Theodore for number 16 overall, and then draft a player who might have the ceiling Theodore has?