The joys of the offseason know no bounds. The Ducks need help in a couple of areas, primarily on the blue line, but you can't always get everything in a one stop shop. That means we should look everywhere.
This series of posts will look at deals that are possibilities and can help the organization in one way or another. They aren't meant to be the best deals possible between the two teams, or the most likely. They are meant to be examples of good deals that can be made using certain pieces. There are many possibilities; for example, the Islanders might be interested in taking Bryan Allen or Sheldon Souray off our hands after they lost Mark Streit (to Philadelphia).
The deals below are the ones I felt had a good potential for impact and a fair possibility at happening. The post itself will follow a simple formula. I'll list the deal and who gets what; then, I'll tell why the team we are trading with will go with the trade and why they won't, followed by similar treatment from the Ducks' perspective.
Pens get: Patrick Maroon, 2013 second round pick,
Ducks get: Olli Maatta
Why Pittsburgh does it: Pittsburgh has issues with young guys on the wing not named Beau Bennett. Maroon has shown that he is reformed from earlier issues and can be a productive AHL player and at minimum a contributing bottom 6 NHL forward. He'll be cheap for two years; something Pittsburgh will like. They also don't have a pick until the third round of this year's draft, which means they should be interested in moving up. Moving Maatta out of the system means they won't have to pay him in a couple of years when he finally emerges leaving the money for Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and eventually Benoit Pouliot.
Why Pittsburgh doesn't do it: Maatta is a very solid defensive prospect that is efficient in his end and adept in the offensive zone. Guys like that don't necessarily grow on trees. He's going to be an NHL defenseman; it's just a matter of how much of an impact he'll have there.
Why we do it: The Ducks' blueline is long in the tooth, with a couple of VERY young guys mixed in and good prospects lined up. Adding Maatta allows us to improve our AHL affiliate next year when we inevitably start pulling up Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm to fill in for an oft-injured Souray and a struggling Allen.
Why we don't do it: Maatta isn't exactly the prime aged defender we need, and he'd just be one more guy in the AHL that can make it to the NHL some day, like Vatanen or Lindholm. Plus, he's not necessarily known for his physical game which the Ducks are going to need from their blue line with guys like Lindholm and Vatanen on their way up.
Overall assessment: This is an organizational deal. It addresses needs on both sides, and can benefit everyone. However, it won't have a huge immediate impact on the Ducks and the price might not be enough to pry Maatta out of Pittsburgh.
Ducks get: Sean Couturier, 2013 First round pick, 2014 second round pick
Why Philly does it: Because they want Bobby Ryan...badly. This is the epitome of breaking eggs to make an omelette. The price isn't quite as hefty as the one they collected for Jeff Carter, in fact it's almost the same price, so they can take the hit and get the player they want.
Why Philly doesn't do it: They have to at least partially love Claude Giroux, Luke Schenn, and Coots up the middle because it's kind of sexy. It also doesn't address the major problems they have on the blueline. They need to get younger back there and pretty quickly
Why we do it: Couturier's offensive upside is probably higher than he's performed given the fact that he logs some of the toughest minutes in the forward corps. Bobby Ryan has also probably been priced out of the team given the contracts of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry as well as the potential cheaper options in Kyle Palmieri and Emerson Etem. Couturier might be the answer for getting younger and better in the middle, or at the very least is a viable, if not better, shutdown option than Saku Koivu. Plus picking in the top 11 of this year's draft will yield a quality NHL player, or make us a candidate for trading up.
Why we don't do it: Murray somehow convinces himself that Bobby Ryan isn't leaving at the end of his next contract or that he can somehow pay Bobby the money he'll need to keep him around.
Overall assessment: I'm sure someone has already screamed about how cheap of a price that is for Bobby Ryan, but it's pretty much the same price Philadelphia got for Jeff Carter who is arguably a better player than Bobby Ryan. Honestly, it's not an argument. Carter is better. This is a chance for us to get younger up front, and improve our prospect cabinet, both of which are good things for making other deals for more players in their respective primes.
New Jersey Devils:
Devils get: 2013 5th round pick
Ducks get: Ryan Carter [Ed. Note: Getting Carter back = SK is one happy, happy lady. - JN]
Why the Devils do it: To replace the fifth round pick that they gave up for Andrei Loktionov, and get another pick in a pretty solid draft. That's important considering the vast amount of free agents they have this summer.
Why the Devils don't do it: A fifth round pick might not be enough to get the guy who anchors their 4th line.
Why the Ducks do it: Carter will anchor the 4th line well and probably for less money than David Steckel
Why the Ducks don't do it: If Bruce loves Steckel, there's no real reason to replace him.
Overall Assessment: Look, they can't all be game changers. New Jersey has six forwards under contract for next year, a blue line that is full of aging shutdown guys, a moderately untouchable guy in Andy Greene, and their top prospects probably aren't getting moved. This is a small time move for a team that will want to deal, but doesn't necessarily have anything we should be looking at.
Islanders get: Viktor Fasth
Why the Islanders do it: Fasth would solve the goaltending issues that have plagued the Islanders for years now. He's on an affordable contract for two years, and he's probably more interested in staying in the NHL than anything else, which means he can probably commit to the Islanders going forward. They might also like to make de Haan someone else's project.
Why the Islanders don't do it: Okposo isn't necessarily a top line player, or maybe a top 6 player, but he is to the Islanders. He might be one of those guys that has more value to his team than what his actual value might look like.
Why the Ducks do it: Okposo will be a top 9 forward who can bring some scoring to our lineup. Last year was tough for him, but he's a guy who can notch close to 20 goals and has eclipsed 40 points 2 of the last 3 years, four if you calculate out the totals from this year. He'll be a good depth scorer or even a potential replacement in the top 6 if Bobby gets moved and Teemu Selanne doesn't come back. Otherwise, we can move Daniel Winnik to the 4th line duty he's a little more suited for and add scoring to the third line. Not to mention we pick up a defensive prospect with top 4 potential who's only crime so far has been to be injury prone
Why the Ducks don't do it: Jonas Hiller probably doesn't get this deal done because he doesn't have as many years left and he's slightly more expensive. If Murray really is married to Fasth, then he probably won't be interested in moving him, thus nixing this deal.
Overall assessment: This is a pretty good deal for both parties. It solves problems and everyone gives something up. The only question is whether or not the Islanders see Okposo as too much of a price. Everyone gets better. Perhaps an even better impact is the Islanders getting someone out of the way so they can give Nino Niederreiter a legitimate shot to crack the lineup.
Rangers get: Bobby Ryan
Why the Rangers do it: They're going to buy out Brad Richards, more than likely, and they'll need more scoring up front. They have the centers in Stepan and Brassard. They have most of the wingers too, but Bobby Ryan will finish that crew perfectly.
Why they don't do it: They have to pay extra because of Staal's injury history, more on the eye later. The two quality defenders is a hefty price, but one worth paying when you consider they've scored a little over 2 goals a game the passed two playoffs. Still, that's a top prospect and a top 4 defender.
Why the Ducks do it: We need prime aged defenders really bad, and any structural arguments I've made before about Bobby staying here. We'd also get McIlrath who is tough and can season a little longer, or come up to the bottom pair while we move an Allen or a Souray someplace else.
Why the Ducks don't do it: Staal has had injury issues and might not be the fix we want him to be. McIlrath might top out as a tough bottom pairing guy.
Overall assessment: Obviously, this thing is 100% contingent on Staal's health. If his eye can come around and be fine, then this is a good deal for us, and a pretty good deal for the Rangers. The price is heavy, but sometimes Sather walks head first into the fire. It's something worth exploring.