The Impact of Potential Players Available at the Trade Deadline

https://i2.wp.com/www.rumeursdetransactions.com/uploads/2014/12/keith-yandle-antoine-vermette.jpg

The 2015 NHL Trade Deadline is now less than a week away and with this today’s deals of Jiri Sekac for Devante Smith-Pelly and Sean Bergenheim to Minnesota, the domino’s are starting to fall for a busy deadline week.  Every year there are buyers and sellers which are largely determined from the standings and whether a team is in the playoff hunt or on the outside looking in.  The buyers try to add pieces that will help them down the line and into the playoffs while the sellers start to look toward future seasons unloading players they likely won’t sign come free agency or don’t see part of their long-term plan.

This year there are two extra incentives for sellers to unload in hope to fall further in the standings.  They include top prospects Connor McDavid & Jack Eichel of the Erie Otters and Boston University Terriers respectively.  Behind these elite forwards is Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin.  The draft is considered one of the deepest in years and every position a team has the opportunity to move up matters.

This year there are two extra incentives for sellers to unload in hope to fall further in the standings.  They include top prospects Connor McDavid & Jack Eichel of the Erie Otters and Boston University Terriers respectively.  Behind these elite forwards is Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin.  The draft is considered one of the deepest in years and every position a team has the opportunity to move up matters.

A lot of players have been rumored to be on the move or are being shopped around the league waiting for a potential suitor to bite on a deal.  Whether or not a deal goes down will be determined if the asking price is reasonable and if the buying team is willing to part with the draft picks, prospects, or roster players necessary to acquire new pieces to help their team.

Here are a few players I could see get moved and what they will bring to their new team:

Sean Bergenheim – FLA ($2.75M cap hit, 2015 UFA)

**Traded to MIN along with a 2016 7th round pick for a 2016 3rd round pick on 2/24/15**

Bergenheim is a talented forward that has recently asked for a trade out of Florida.  He first made a big name for himself during the 2011 playoffs with Tampa Bay when he tied for fourth in the playoff scoring race and almost lifted the Lightning to the Stanley Cup Finals.  When he became a UFA that off-season, he cashed in, signing a 4 year, $11M contract with Florida.  Bergenheim had two good seasons in Florida each setting new career highs in goals before missing the entire 2012-2013 season due to a groin injury.  This season, Bergenheim has gotten reduced ice time and linemates have come and gone without any real chemistry forming.  He’s spent time with Aleksander Barkov, Brad Boyes, and Tomas Fleischmann recently.

BergenheimHeroChart

Bergenheim will bring speed and depth scoring to whatever team he plays for next (now we know it will be Minnesota).  He is second among Panther forwards on puck possession, (55.5% Corsi rating) on a team that carries the play only 51% of the time.  Looking at his “Hero” Chart (seen above), he has played above his ice time for the past three seasons.  Assists are the only category ranked lower than his ice time, which isn’t a concern as he’s been a shoot-first type of player his entire career.  He would fit on a team’s second or third line to provide offense as long as he’s surrounded with playmaking forwards (shouldn’t be a concern as most teams have more depth at the forward position than the Panthers already).

Keith Yandle – ARI ($5.25M cap hit, UFA 2016)

**Traded to NYR along with prospect Chris Summers and a 2015 4th round draft pick for John Moore, Anthony Duclair, a 2015 2nd round draft pick, and a conditional 2016 1st round pick on 3/1/15**

Keith Yandle’s name has been on the rumor mill for the past few seasons but it is likely that he’ll finally get moved at this year’s trade deadline. The Coyotes are at the bottom of the standings (currently in line for 3rd pick with a 11.3% chance of landing the 1st overall pick) and they’re married to goaltender Mike Smith who can’t seem to save a shot this season.

YandleHeroChart

Yandle is one of the league’s top offensive defenseman (ranks 9th in points among defensemen on a team that ranks 28th in goals for) and plays over 24 minutes a night (ranked 20th among defensemen) on the Coyotes’ top defensive pairing.  He can also quarterback a power play (23 of his 40 points this season come from the power play).  He has played a more disciplined games this year, on pace for the lowest amount of penalty minutes in a season since 2010.  Looking at Yandle’s “Hero” Chart, he has strong possession numbers for, but the weak possession numbers against can likely be blamed on Arizona’s weak puck possession as a whole (49% Corsi).

Yandle wouldn’t be acquired as a rental player as he has another year left on his contract with a manageable $5.25M cap hit.  This raises the price of what already was a high asking price for Yandle.  The return of a top draft pick or prospect will help the Coyotes start a rebuild while acquiring a top pairing offensive defenseman will help Yandle’s new team, especially down the road if they can resign him after his current contract expires.

Yandle will likely slip into a second pairing role with a new team.  This will take the pressure off of him being the go-to defensemen while still giving him big minutes and will allow him to focus more on his power play production.

Jaromir Jagr – NJD ($3.5M cap hit, UFA 2015)

**Traded to FLA for a 2015 2nd round pick and a 2016 3rd round pick on 2/26/15**

With New Jersey most likely out of the playoff picture, they’ll look to deal Jagr to both help them secure a top pick and to get Jagr a chance at another Stanley Cup Championship before calling it a career.

JagrHeroChart

Jagr may be 43 years old, but can still compete at the top level.  He is producing at a pace of about a point every other game on the Devils’ top line.  Jagr leads the team’s regulars in controlling play with a 51.7% Corsi rating on a team that controls the play only 47.2% of the time.  Every forward on the Devils’ roster has a higher possession rate with Jagr on the ice with them compared to without him.  Jagr’s ice time and numbers have gone down considerably since Adam Oates & Scott Stevens took over coaching the team and have had a focus on playing the younger core to help them grow.

Jagr will bring talent, a scoring touch, uncanny speed for his age, leadership, and experience to a contender.  He won’t be relied for offense, but for a team to make a deep playoff run, Jagr will have to be contributing.

Antoine Vermette – ARI ($3.75M cap hit, UFA 2015)

**Traded to CHI for prospect Klas Dahlbeck and a 2015 1st round draft pick on 2/28/15**

Antoine Vermette is an intriguing player that could be on the move.  He has 35 points in 60 games this season and is on pace for the most points in his career since 2010 when he was with Columbus.  Despite this, Vermette only has 10 points over his last 24 games.  His possession numbers are well below the team’s overall possession this season (47.6% compared to Arizona’s Corsi rating of 49.1%).  His possession numbers have steadily decreased over the past four seasons.  On top of this, Vermette isn’t scoring to the level of his ice time. 

VermetteHeroChart

There are a lot of question marks with Vermette’s game right now, but with a new team and the right linemates, he may be able to recapture the magic he had in Columbus where he was a dominant forward.  The asking price will have to be right (read: low) for Vermette to get moved.  Vermette will likely fit into a 3rd line depth scoring role on a contending team.

Andrej Sekera – CAR ($2.75M cap hit, UFA 2015)

**Traded to LAK for a conditional 1st round draft pick depending on if the Kings make the playoffs this season along prospect Roland McKeown on 2/25/15**

Carolina is a bottom-4 team in the league and with a deep draft coming up, now is a perfect time to cash in on Sekera (cost Jamie McBann & a 2nd round draft pick to acquire him from BUF) and get younger in the process of the Hurricanes’ rebuild.  There is always risk in trading a NHL level talent for picks/prospects that are unknown how they will turn out, but Carolina may be willing to take the chance if the offer is right.

SekeraHeroChart

Andrej Sekera has gotten the most buzz around the media this trade deadline and for good reason.  He is one of the most underrated defensemen in the league, known for his puck moving ability, speed, and discipline.  At 28 years old and a $2.75M cap hit, Sekera is a reasonably priced defenseman that a team could build around for years to come.  He is due for a well deserved pay upgrade at the end of the season (likely in the $5.2-5.7M AAV range).

Sekera’s numbers have dropped this season (just 19 points in 56 games compared to a career high 44 points in 79 games last season) but you expect offensive numbers are expected to drop on a team that ranks second to last in goals for this season.  Expect his numbers to reach back into the 40 point range on a contender.  Despite lower production, Sekera is controlling play at 52.9% which is almost a full 2% over Carolina’s average as a team.  As a whole, Sekera’s teammates control the play better when on the ice together with him compared to being apart. 

Chris Stewart – BUF ($4.15M cap hit, UFA 2015)

**Traded to MIN for a 2017 2nd round draft pick on 3/2/15**

Chris Stewart’s name has been rumored to leave Buffalo since arriving last year in the Ryan Miller trade.  Buffalo is a bad hockey team and is fully committed to rebuilding through this year’s draft.  It is very unlikely Stewart will resign in Buffalo this upcoming summer so it will be smart for Buffalo to trade the power forward to to get a piece they can build with in the future.

StewartHeroChart

Stewart’s career has consisted of one strong offensive season (09-10 with COL), two injury-plagued, but still solid offensive seasons (10-11 with COL, 11-12 with STL), and four years of production in the 20 and 30 point ranges since. 

While Buffalo’s puck possession has been at a NHL worst 37.1%, Stewart has somehow possessed the puck even worse at 35.7%.  This is likely a fluke season that Stewart will want to forget about as his career puck possession has hovered from 47-50%.  On top of this, Buffalo has scored the least amount of goals by any team this season by a large margin. 

On a contender, Stewart could be a very effective power forward taking the body and making plays in deep.  Playing in a deeper system will make him a much more effective player and has the potential to show glimpses of the Chris Stewart from 2009.

Curtis Glencross – CGY ($2.55M cap hit, UFA 2015)

**Traded to WSH for a 2015 2nd round draft pick and a 2015 3rd round draft pick on 3/1/15**

Calgary currently sits one point out of the Western Conference playoff picture, but may still unload on a contract or two at the deadline.  Puck possession is usually a good indicator of success so it is rather impressive that Calgary has a winning record and is in the playoff picture with a 44.7% Corsi rating (3rd worst in the league).  A winning record and bad puck possession often equals good puck luck which isn’t sustainable over time (see Colorado’s drop from last year to this year). 

GlencrossHeroChart

Glencross has been used less and less this season in terms of ice-time (just over 13 even-strength minutes per game) and overall role (reduced power play time) while on the ice.  Being an aging asset on a young Flames roster, it is clear that he is being phased out of the system and unlikely that the Flames would offer him a new contract this summer. 

Despite having possession numbers slightly below the team’s average, Glencross is still producing at a rate of over a point every other game.  He has been in a slump during the second half of the season, so far totaling only 7 points in his last 21 games played (and only 1 point in the last 12 games).

Glencross is a similar player to Bergenheim where he scores at a much higher rate than he assists goals and will fit in on a contender’s third line.  The price for Glencross will be low compared to other players available at the deadline (and listed above) so even though he has struggled this season, a team may take a small gamble.  Hopefully he can regain some of his scoring touch, because if he doesn’t he may struggle to find a contract offer this summer.

More to Come..

Follow me on Twitter: @QuickkNess

All data from Leftwinglock, Puckalytics, Stats.hockeyanalytics.com, OwnThePuck, & NHL.com.

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