This here’s the final trade-deadline-related mailbag of the season. We’ll return to our regular mish-mash of inquiries starting Friday and remember – it’s not too early to start sending in trade-deadline questions for next season!
And please, tell me you know I jest!
Can you help me figure out the whole Marian Hossa thing? Sure he's second in offensive production on the team right now, but I'd think that most anyone would say he's grossly underperformed this season with the Thrashers. I'm having difficulty imagining a good trade for the Thrashers at this point, given that his market value is likely lower than his real potential. Any thoughts? Thanks,
Bob Landstrom, Atlanta
Great minds think alike. I also think Hossa has been positively underwhelming in Atlanta this season. He doesn’t look any better when you consider he’s averaged nearly a point-per-game during his regular season NHL career, yet in 55 playoff games, he’s averaging less than two-thirds of a point per game and is a career minus-9.
Here’s where we differ: I believe, with Mats Sundin and Peter Forsberg off the market, Hossa and Olli Jokinen are the top two prizes available. And, though I wouldn’t hand over a large helping of draft picks and/or prospects for the Thrashers winger, I think some team – maybe San Jose, maybe Vancouver – will be desperate enough to do so.
Consider it karma payback for Don Waddell’s panic-inspired deals at last year’s deadline.
To get anywhere in the playoffs, I think the Sharks need some help. Any suggestions for them?
David Lee, Santa Rosa Calif.
I agree, and there’s no doubt the pressure is on San Jose to at least make it out of the second round of the playoffs this spring.
That’s why some people expect they’ll make a big push for Hossa, or Boston’s Glen Murray, or Buffalo’s Brian Campbell, or some other veteran with a knack for helping to produce offense. And I do, too.
In a recent mailbag column, you said not to expect any big name trades for the Wild, but more likely a third- or fourth-line center. Do you have any suggestions or ideas on who would be a good fit? Could you see Todd White return to The State of Hockey?
Stephen Plantan, Wayzata, Minn.
In my most recent blog, I wrote about Thrashers center Bobby Holik possibly fitting in nicely with the Montreal Canadiens. I think you could make the same argument if he wound up with Minnesota.
Holik would be a great dressing room presence for the Wild, isn’t signed beyond this year – unlike White, who has three years and more than $7 million remaining on his contract with Atlanta – and knows Jacques Lemaire as well as anyone. He’d be the guy I’d chase.
Every year it seems like Olli Jokinen might be traded. Now I am hearing rumors of a deal to bring him to the Ducks. Is a trade giving Bobby Ryan and Edmonton's first-round pick something the Panthers would even consider? Is it cap-feasible for the Ducks next year after signing Perry? After seeing the Ducks without Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer earlier this year, they will clearly need more next year and Jokinen would help.
Kal, Orange County, Calif.
You make a good point. Brian Burke would have to do some more salary juggling to make a Jokinen trade work under the cap for next season, but if Selanne and/or Niedermayer take another extended (or permanent) vacation, the Ducks certainly could use another veteran point-producer to soften the blow.
If I’m Florida GM Jacques Martin, Ryan and a first-rounder for Jokinen is a deal I do right away. Depending on how far out of the playoffs the Panthers finish, they could have two of the top five picks in this year’s entry draft.
Even better, they could be single-team-edly responsible for a riot this summer in Toronto, when Leafs fans see what could’ve been, had Sundin agreed to leave the team via trade.
Brad Richards and Mike Lundin to Ottawa for Chris Kelly, Martin Gerber and a 2008 third-round pick.
Andrew Bakker, Nanaimo, B.C.
You forgot the question mark. And unless Jay Feaster is a closet Senators fan, there’s simply no way he takes the package you’ve suggested.
Besides, everybody knows Lundin won’t waive his no-trade clause.
(Yes, this trade deadline is making me very, very tired.)
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