We’re still nearly two months from the trade deadline but the ball started rolling yesterday before games got underway for the day.
A pair of trades (which was pretty much a three-way trade) sent defenseman Marco Scandella to the Montreal Canadiens.
Scandella is a 29-year-old left-handed defenseman who has eclipsed the 20 point mark each of the last six seasons. He’s been more of an offensive-minded defenseman over the course of his career but his offensive numbers are down a bit this year with just nine points in 31 games and averaging only about a shot per game while his defensive game has shined posting 1.7 defensive point shares this season.
Scandella is set to become an unrestricted free agent and carries a cap hit of $4 million. The price on the trade market for Scandella was a 4th round pick without any salary being held by the Sabres.
It’s still early, so trade prices will certainly fluctuate a bit as teams fall in and out of contention and the deadline approaches, but a 4th round pick for a mid-range rental gives us a starting point for what it might cost when the Golden Knights are ready to dip their toes into the blue line trade market.
Erik Gustafsson (Chicago)
Gustafsson posted a 60 point season last year while averaging nearly 23 minutes of ice time per night. Also set to become an unrestricted free agent, Gustafsson is currently making just $1.2 million against the cap. He has some defensive shortcomings, but offensively Gustafsson is exactly what the Golden Knights are looking for. He’s a puck-moving blueliner who sees a majority of his starts in the offensive zone and plays on a top power-play unit. Gustafsson is what Scandella was a few years ago with more potential upside and a cheaper cap hit. Projected Price: 2nd Round pick and a prospect
Mike Green (Detroit)
A George McPhee draft pick in 2004, Green used to be one of the NHL’s best offensive-minded defensemen. Father time has caught up to him quite a bit seeing his production dip drastically, but he’s still been around a half-point per game player each of the last four years. This year the numbers are completely in the tank, with Green posting just seven points in 31 games and a 0.2 point share count. Also a pending UFA, Green’s cap hit is enormous at $5.375 million. Projected Price: 6th round pick