Hockey Headlines

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Lots Of Assets Up For Grabs

With the NHL Entry Draft upon us tomorrow, many teams are staring at the salary cap ceiling and looking to move assets. Twitter was abuzz with rumors about players moving from one team to the next, but no actual trades had been made. In other words, there was a lot of tire-kicking, but we're still waiting for the floodgates to open. In any case, Vancouver's goaltending situation sounds like it may get resolved this weekend, but not how you may expect.

Vancouver GM is apparently fielding a lot of calls regarding Cory Schneider as opposed to Roberto Luongo, and he seems to be taking these calls seriously as he looks to move one of his two highly-paid goalies. Edmonton reportedly was "very interested" in Schneider, so this appears to be the direction that Vancouver may go if they need that cap room relief.

You may be saying to yourself how dumb Gillis is for even considering this move now as opposed to making a deal a long time ago in moving Schneider. I would agree with you wholeheartedly as I've always believed that Schneider was the move movable asset when you consider his age and contract. He'd be the more attractive of the two goalies for teams looking to trade with Vancouver based on those factors alone.

But that's also one of the reasons why Vancouver wanted to keep him - he has a very manageable contract, and he's still improving. He's already a solid goaltender, playing lots of minutes this season, so you know you're trading for an excellent asset if you were able to pry Schneider away from the Canucks.

My concern for the Canucks now is that if they do trade Schneider, what do you do with Roberto Luongo? Of course he'll play - he's still under contract for the next 300 years - but the relationship between him and Mike Gillis may never be repaired. I fully expect Luongo to be professional about playing if he is once again the starter for the Canucks, but I can't see him ever warming up to Mike Gillis ever again after what he's been through over the last year.

Either way, assets are up for grabs on the Canadian left coast.

Other names mentioned yesterday? Reportedly, Philadelphia is trying to move defenceman Brayden Coburn. Minnesota has been fielding calls on a few players, including fan favorite and hit machine Cal Clutterbuck. Kris Letang may be available for the right price via trade as his camp and Ray Shero are still trying to find common ground in their contract extension talks. Mike Cammalleri's time in Calgary appears to be up as Jay Feaster is looking for a trade partner. And for some strange reason, St. Louis wants to swap David Perron out of town.

Lots of players are in play as the NHL Entry Draft approaches, and it appears that many can be had if the price is right. The only question GMs have to ask themselves is whether or not they are spending wisely or overspending to take on these players. After all, with the cap going down, you don't want to take on a massive contract by giving up a ton of young players and picks if you aren't going to see your team take steps forward. So what do GMs do if they have some cap space and can swing a deal for an established veteran?

That is the $64 million question this weekend.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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