In this week’s online mailbag, Adam Proteau answers questions on the Sabres trading Tyler Myers to Edmonton, Thomas Vanek’s future in Montreal, the Red Wings’ emerging young players, and more.
Yes, THN’s mailbag is back. What, you were expecting something different, maybe? It’s Friday. This is what happens on Fridays. Prepare yourself accordingly.
Adam, what are the possibilities of the Oilers acquiring Tyler Myers?? I realize you are going to give up a lot to get him, but could a trade similar to the Phil Kessel trade be a good deal?? I know Buffalo is loaded in terms of picks (this year and next), but could they go for a first-round pick in 2015 and a 1st round pick in 2016? I only say this because I would love to see the Oilers’ future with Tyler Myers and (possibly) Aaron Ekblad together, and a supporting cast of Justin Schultz, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and Martin Marancin. I would also love to see the top six forwards not change. If you were Tim Murray, would you accept my proposal and trade Tyler Myers?
T.J. Zielman, Exeter, Ont.
Not only would I accept your proposal, I’d also jump into your arms and hug you for a long time, because two first-rounders for a blueliner whose stock has fallen as much as Myers’ has since he won the Calder Trophy in 2010 is a major overpayment. First round picks are far too valuable to expend on a player who has regressed and who also comes with a bulky contract that has five years left with an annual salary cap hit of $5.5 million.
Now, Edmonton may have more interest in a Myers deal centered around Sam Gagner, but that’s another story altogether. Murray and coach Ted Nolan might look at Myers – who still is just 24 years old – and decide they’d rather not give up on him just yet, especially if it means taking on Gagner’s $4.8-million salary for the next two seasons when Buffalo is on a long-term rebuild. Further complicating matters is Myers’ limited no-trade clause. So I wouldn’t get overly excited about him joining the Oilers just yet.
Adam, you suggested online the Canucks try to trade Daniel and Henrik Sedin along with Ryan Kesler this off-season. While there’s little doubt they’ll shop Kesler, is it realistic that they find a taker to add $14 million in salary for the past-their-prime and injury-prone Sedins? As well, do you think they’ll shop other veterans like Alex Edler, Dan Hamhuis or Alex Burrows?
Alex Hoegler, Vancouver
It may take significant cap juggling, but never underestimate the power of a creative and/or desperate NHL GM or owner. What seems unreasonable to you or I is anything but to someone ensconced inside the NHL’s competitive bubble. Did Rick DiPietro’s massive contract make a lot of sense to everyone? Was it realistic for the Leafs to propose a James-van-Riemsdyk-for-Luke-Schenn trade? To many people, the answer is no and no. And while a team undoubtedly would be taking a huge gamble on the latter years of the Sedins’ contracts (which expire in the summer of 2018), there’s no question they could still help a Stanley Cup contender next year.
As for other veterans on the roster: I’m not sure anyone outside their youth contingent is completely safe. That’s as it should be; when you have as dismal a year as the Canucks have had, no cows are sacred.
With so many young players proving themselves for Detroit this year, what roster moves should the Red Wings do to accommodate them next season?
Michael Mallen, Windsor, Ont.
There will be two major questions facing the roster next year: who they turn to if Daniel Alfredsson retires – which isn’t a guarantee by any means – and whether or not they re-sign center David Legwand, who has been a good fit since coming over from Nashville. If I had to guess, I’d say both veteran forwards return. They can play while still allowing Detroit’s youngsters to grow. And there’s nobody better to balance their immersion into the NHL level than head coach Mike Babcock. As always, the Wings are in good hands.
Adam, do the Habs have a real chance to re-sign Thomas Vanek? I find it hard to believe GM Marc Bergevin would give up a second round pick and solid prospect for a rental when everyone knows they aren’t a legit Cup contender yet. Also, will Michel Therrien’s job be in jeopardy if the Canadiens get blown out in the playoffs again?
Bill Shahidi, Toronto
Sure, the Canadiens have a chance at re-signing Vanek. Let’s say they enjoy a very deep playoff run and Vanek is a key contributor; that almost assuredly would give him pause for thought when he hits the open market this summer. The prevailing sentiment surrounding Vanek is he’s destined for the Minnesota Wild because of family connections, but that is just speculation and the Habs have every opportunity to change his mind. But I don’t know that a second-rounder and prospect is a gigantic price to pay for a rental player of his caliber. Bergevin recognized his team needed help and got it without robbing the franchise of a big chunk of its future.
Therrien is signed through next season and considering how well the Habs have played down the stretch, I’d bet he returns. However, if they do collapse in an ugly way – especially if it involves the coach’s relationship with P.K. Subban – there is a chance Bergevin identifies a crossroads between the Canadiens and Therrien and brings in a different bench boss. You can’t ever be sure of what’s to come in a volatile market like Montreal.
Ask Adam appears Fridays on THN.com. Ask your question on our submission page. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Adam on Twitter at @ProteauType.