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Sbisa Might Make Most Sense To Move Before Camp Ends

As the excitement builds for fans, the reality of training camp means tough decisions for the Golden Knights. It’s no secret, the defensive logjam will create headaches for the organization. Early last week, GM George McPhee told us the team is hoping to get down to eight defensemen.

I think, we would ideally carry eight. We have a good crop and defensemen are hard to come by. And we’ll have to see they all fit together.- George McPhee

One defenseman that could be the answer to McPhee’s conundrum is veteran Luca Sbisa. A deal could help the organization get down to eight defensemen, and who knows, maybe McPhee can squeeze out another team’s draft pick.

Sbisa, in my opinion, is one of the most attractive defensemen on the market. At this time of year, NHL clubs are looking for players that are reliable and under limited contracts. The Swiss defenseman played 82 games last season and has one-year left, at $3.6 million. A reasonable contract for contending teams looking for blueline help. To compare his salary, here are other defenders paid around the same per season.

Braydon Coburn TB $3.7M
32YO/ 6’5/ Left/ 778GP/ 43Pts/ +37
Last 3 Seasons: 203GP/ 33Pts/ +13

Mark Fayne EDM $3.6M
30YO/ 6’3/ Right/ 389GP/ 65Pts/ -19
Last 3: 147GP/ 17Pts/ -26

Luca Sbisa VGK $3.6M
27YO/ 6’2/ Left/ 465GP/ 88Pts/ -27
Last 3: 199GP/ 32Pts/ -4

Michael Stone CAL $3.5M
27YO/ 6’3/ Right/ 343GP/ 102Pts/ -35
Last 3: 220GP/ 69Pts/ -34

Erik Gudbranson VAN $3.5M
25YO/ 6’5/ Right/ 339GP/ / -63
Last 3: 170GP/ 28Pts/ -15

Radko Gudas PHI $3.3M
27YO/ 6’0/ Right/ 269GP/ +69
Last 3: 174GP/ 42Pts/ +/- 0

Brenden Dillon SJS $3.2M
26YO/ 6’4/ Left/ 366GP/ 56Pts/ +3
Last 3: 137GP/ 31Pts/ -7

Clayton Stoner VGK $3.2M
32YO/ 6’4/ Left/ 360GP/ 48Pts/ +5
Last 3: 133GP/ 16Pts/ +2

Now, all Vegas needs is a suitor. Since the GM mentioned ‘ideally carrying eight’ NHL defenseman, I examined teams with eight or less. A few teams at the limit, like Montreal, are reportedly unhappy about their overall roster.

Teams with 8 Defensemen; Boston, Buffalo, Dallas, Montreal, New York Rangers, Vancouver

Teams with 7 Defensemen; Arizona, Calgary, Carolina, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Toronto

Teams with 6 Defensemen; Florida, Minnesota, New York Islanders, San Jose, Tampa Bay

Teams with 5 Defensemen; Chicago, Colorado, Philadelphia

Will it be tough moving Sbisa’s $3.6M before the start of the season? Absolutely. It could be the only reason a deal doesn’t happen. Contenders may look at VGK blueliners but wait for the deadline to add salary. However, there is a market for defensemen now, and the Golden Knights will listen to every offer. Just as long as a draft pick is included.

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2 Comments

  1. Good write-up, Jason!

    It’s obvious Sbisa would be on the trade block, but I think we may have a tough time moving him. The rebuilding teams don’t need him, and the contending teams probably aren’t going to have the cap space.

    I would never wish ill on another player, but I’m afraid we may need some injuries to occur around the league in order to find a suitable trade partner. I’d keep an eye on Arizona – if the Chychrun injury is worse than expected, and if they plan to push for the playoffs, I’d imagine we might be able to get a 3rd or 4th round pick from the Coyotes. That’s my best-case scenario.

  2. RJ

    Sbisa is definitely the guy I think we WANT to move. I’m having a hard time thinking they’d give up assets for a player with the skill set and salary of Sbisa. There isn’t much available in Free Agency, Fedor Tyutin is maybe the best available? Chicago signed Cody Franson to a PTO, so we know they are desperate for an additional defenseman.

    How much salary is Foley willing to retain? We can retain salary on I thin a maximum of 3 players at a time, one is used on Alexi Emelin, retaining a chunk of Sbisa’s contract is what could make a difference to teams like Chicago and Philly who might be interested, but have cap issues.

    If we can squeeze a 4th or 5th round pick out of a team willing to take Sbisa (or Stoner or Garrison for that matter, hell take all three) I’d be more than happy to have Foley pay that guy’s salary for a season.

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