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Trade Proposals: The future is on a deadline

With more than two weeks away before the trading deadline, there have been plenty names and teams thrown into the rumor mill. Mainstream media, bloggers, and countless fans have already begun to submit their wish lists for their favorite teams. And while many of the trades have the lopsidedness of a video game trade, there are a few that make sense.

This year’s deadline might be slim pickings given the fact there are going to be more buyers than sellers, but there are plenty of teams that can help themselves in the long run. After examining a handful of teams and their cap situations, I believe there are three deals that should be considered at the deadline. All of these deals make sense for both the short and long term of each franchise. Will any of these proposed trades happen? Time will tell.

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(photo by: Andy Devlin)

The Edmonton Oilers Trade Sam Gagner to the Washington Capitals

Oilers receive:

Braden Holtby – G – $637k Cap Hit – RFA after 2012-2013
Mathieu Perreault – C – $525k Cap Hit – RFA after 2011-2012
2nd Round Draft Pick

Capitals receive:

Sam Gagner – C  – $2.27M – RFA after 2011-2012

Why the skeleton of this trade works:

Washington is suffering from a severe case of the injury bug. Their top need is a center that can contribute and carry some of the weight originally held by the injured Nicklas Backstrom. By trading for Gagner, they make an attempt to save this season while gearing their roster for 2012-2013. In order for this trade to work, Green or Backstrom will have to be on LTIR.

Moving forward, it is widely assumed that Alexander Semin will bolt for the KHL following this season. This leaves GM George McPhee with a considerable amount to work with in the offseason. Not only could they sign Gagner for a few years, but he could theoretically become their second line centreman who will work extensively with Russian prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov next season.

For Edmonton, they finally have a future goalie they can work with. At 22 years of age, Holtby has a very high ceiling and is an upgrade over Yann Danis and Devan Dubnyk. With veteran Nikolai Khabibulin signed for the 2012-2013 season, they have one full season to groom Holtby until they look him to be the starter. In addition to Holtby, Mathieu Perrault can postionally fill the void that Gagner left. The rest of the season will essentially be a tryout to see if Perrault can gel with his new team.

Why it won’t happen:

If George McPhee has any plans of keeping Alexander Semin around or if both Backstrom/Green can come back this year, there won’t be any room for Gagner.

On the flip side, if Edmonton’s doesn’t like Holtby or if they want more for Gagner, they’ll turn away. You have to wonder what Steve Tambellini is actually doing. Their biggest need is defense and a netminder. Will they find useful pieces at the deadline?

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The NY Islanders trade P.A. Parenteau to the Nashville Predators

Islanders receive:

Teemu Lasko – D – $675k – RFA after 2011-2012
4th Round Pick

Predators receive:

P.A. Parenteau – C – $1.25M – UFA after 2011-2012

Why the skeleton of this trade works:

The Predators are looking to bolster their top six while they grind it out for the playoffs. Trading for Rick Nash or Bobby Ryan might be sexy, but it isn’t healthy for a club that is trying to find long term solutions while convincing Weber and Suter to stay in Nashville. Parenteau is a top six forward who is having a career year after years of being a fringe NHL player. With a low cap hit, he is a very affordable rental for Nashville’s ownership. If he continues his pace, he could be looked at long-term.

Unfortunately, this will be another year the Islanders will fail to make the playoffs. Like any good general manager, Garth Snow should maximize his return on the pieces that could walk away. There is no guarantee that Parenteau will stay with the club and the Islanders could see him leave for greener pastures.  This trade gives the Islanders a relatively young defensive prospect that they can work with. And considering their entire defense will go through a major overhaul in the offseason, they’re going to need the depth.

Why it won’t happen:

Predators GM David Poile will be looking to make a major splash at the trade deadline. Parenteau is not a wave-making move that will create headlines and will not warm fans.

There has been some speculation that the Islanders want to keep Parenteau in Long Island beyond this season. If Snow thinks he can lock him down for a few extra seasons, he will try to do so. If he decides to trade him, he’ll be looking to sell high. The Preds may not be able to match Snow’s asking price.

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(photo by Justin K. Aller)

The Columbus Blue Jackets trade Jeff Carter to the LA Kings

Blue Jackets receive:

Jarret Stoll – C – $3.6M – UFA after 2011-2012
Jonathan Bernier – G – $1.25M – RFA after 2012-2013
6th Round Draft Pick

Kings receive:

Jeff Carter – C – $5.27M – UFA after 2021-2022
Curtis Sanford – G – $600k – UFA after 2011-2012

Why the skeleton of this trade works:

It takes a real general manager to admit his mistakes. The Jeff Carter experiment was a massive failure for the Blue Jackets and they need to get rid of his 11-year contract. In return they receive a potential franchise goalie that can carry half of the workload with Steve Mason. Regrettably, GM Scott Howson isn’t going to get a fair return and the best prize in this trade is the cap space they’ll get next season. Stoll is a salary dump and the 6th round pick will be used to pick up depth. This might be the best thing Columbus can do as they prepare to welcome Nail Yakupov or Ryan Murray as the 1st overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

The Kings understand that Jeff Carter is damaged mentally. However, he is still talented and young enough to contribute but it has to be with a familiar face and in a marquee city. Reuniting Mike Richards and Jeff Carter will be good for the team while giving Carter a big enough spotlight to shine in. Los Angeles is one of the few markets that Carter can iron out his problems in and find the promised land once again. In order for this trade to work, Simon Gagne has to be on LTIR. The Kings will be able to afford Carter next season, as they’ll most likely show the door to Dustin Penner.

Why it won’t happen:

Scott Howson’s pride. If he refuses to fix the Blue Jackets, it will be a few more seasons of torture for the fans. Following those seasons of torture, the team could pick up and leave Columbus. Does anyone really wonder why Columbus was awarded the 2013 All-Star game? I didn’t think so. The alarm is sounding through the streets.

The Kings won’t pull this trade if Scott Howson demands too much for Carter and/or if Gagne can come back and contribute this season. Adding a top six forward is an awesome thought for the Kings but if they aren’t comfortable with Jeff Carter for the next 11 years, they’ll explore other options.

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