To follow up the cost and value of a possible trade for Sami Vatanen, I wanted to talk about another potential target in Minnesota Wild LHD Jonas Brodin. The Wild are in an even tougher position than before given the fact that not only do they have defensemen galore, they also have plenty of great forwards who are worthy of protection. They also might have a tough time making side deals with Las Vegas if they wanted to try and pay for extra protection slots. They only have one first round pick in 2018 in the first two rounds, and only have third rounders available in 2017 and 2018.
Players who could be on their protection radar for forwards include: Zach Parise, Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter, and Mikael Granlund. They also could protect Eric Staal, and long time center and captain Mikko Koivu has a no movement clause. As far as defenseman, Ryan Suter has a no movement clause, and Matt Dumba and Jared Spurgeon will be protected.
The Minnesota Wild have need two things: cap space, and youth down the middle. Koivu has one year left on his deal which will provide a lot of relief after next season, but raises will be coming to guys such as Niederreiter, Zucker, Granlund, Huala, and Matt Dumba. They also would probably like to get out from under Jason Pomminville's contract. Pomminville had a respectable season for the Wild, but could use the cap relief.
What does Brodin bring to the table?
Jonas Brodin is very strong in his own end, and on any other team would likely be a legitimate top pair defenseman, which he may never be in Minnesota because of the presence of Suter. He's a strong puck mover who has made strides in his offensive game.
What does Marco Scandella bring to the table?
If you are looking for a solid shutdown defenseman, but at the same time, don't want to pay the long term big money that Karl Alzner is going to get, then Marco Scandella is your guy. Scandella had a down year under Bruce Boudreau, but on a different team in a different situation, he could have a strong year next season.
Possession wise, considering Scandella's heavy useage in the defensive zone, a -1.2 CF% Rel for his career is a pretty good number for a shutdown defender. Talent wise, Scandella is big, at 6'3, 210 lbs, has a big point shot, and has plenty of all around ability. Scandella to me has always been like another Henrik Tallinder.
What will it cost to get them?
Even with Minnesota in a tough position for the expansion draft, I cant imagine them losing Brodin for nothing. Brodin is turning 24, and is on a bargain contract, only making $4.1 million for the remaining four seasons of his contract.
They could work out a deal with Las Vegas for Staal, who would be a good name for the team to market, if they were desperate of course. Staal is coming off a 65 point season, and is on a cheap contract. I could also see Minnesota sending picks and prospects to Las Vegas to ensure they wont select him. Even after a down year, Scandella is still a top four defenseman on a great deal. There will be a market for both players. Scandella may be the easier one to pry away coming off a down year, and being 27 years old. Scandella can also be deployed on the left and right sides if needed, although he is better on his left side.
The cost to get Jonas Brodin will likely end up being, a young center, and some form of cap relief. For Scandella, picks and prospects, along with some cap relief might get it done.
I don't think Evander Kane gets it done for Minnesota considering that they have a massive arsenal of wingers. They need centers, and preferably young centers. Evander Kane would also be a one year rental who would not fit into Minnesota's lineup too well. Any deal for Brodin in particularly here would have to include Sam Reinhart or the #8 overall pick.
The Offers for Jonas Brodin
Option A: Buffalo acquires LHD Jonas Brodin from the Minnesota Wild for the 8th overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft.
Option B: Buffalo acquires LHD Jonas Brodin from Minnesota for Sam Reinhart
Option C: Buffalo acquires LHD Jonas Brodin, and Alex Tuch,(or Joel Eriksson-Ek), Erik Huala, Jason Pomminville, and a third round pick from Minnesota for Sam Reinhart, Hudson Fasching, and the 8th overall pick.
Option D: (The Vegas Option)
Buffalo acquires: Jonas Brodin, Alex Tuch (or Joel Eriksson-Ek), Erik Huala,
Minnesota acquires: Sam Reinhart, 8th overall selection, Hudson Fasching
Las Vegas acquires: Minnesota's 2017 3rd round pick, Buffalo's 2017 2nd round pick, and Zemgus Girgensons in agreement that the Golden Knights select Matt Moulson and Jason Pomminville from Buffalo and Minnesota in the expansion draft.
The Offer for Marco Scandella:
Option A: Buffalo acquires LHD Marco Scandella, and RW Jason Pomminville for Hudson Fasching, Connor Hurley, and two second round picks, both picks In 2017 (37th, and 54th overall)
Option B: (The Vegas Option):
Buffalo acquires: LHD Marco Scandella, RW Nino Niederreiter, C Joel Eriksson Ek, RW Jason Pomminville, and D Mike Reilly
Minnesota acquires: C/RW Sam Reinhart, 8th overall selection, and the 37th overall selection, Hudson Fasching,
Las Vegas acquires: Zemgus Girgensons, Tyler Ennis, Buffalo's second 2017 second round pick, and their second in 2018 in agreement to select Matt Moulson in the expansion draft, and an agreement to not select Jonas Brodin from Minnesota (Thus buying Minnesota an extra protection slot for Jonas Brodin)
Any deal where I send Sam Reinhart should get a young unproven forward prospect with upside in return. Alex Tuch is a big 6'4 220 lb power forward prospect who can play both center and right wing. He is probably best suited for right wing. He is also from Syracuse, NY, so it is closer to home for him. If the plan is to lock up Evander Kane, then Alex Tuch would complement Eichel and Kane very well on the top line.
Alex Tuch is not proven but we know Sam Reinhart is somewhat proven. With Reinhart, we know what we are getting at the very least a forward who can play in the NHL in a top six. What we don't know yet is if he will be elite, great, or just very good. The upside is there, especially for a former #2 overall selection. Joel Eriksson-Ek, would be an alternative option to Tuch in a deal around Sam Reinhart. Eriksson-Ek has some real top six center potential in the NHL.
Erik Huala is has great speed, and is versatile top nine forward who can kill penalties. He can lineup at center or left wing, and immediately helps the Sabres bottom six depth. He was often playing on a line with Jason Pomminville. Speaking of Pomminville, he has two years left on his deal at 5.6 million. He had a bounce back year with 47 points, but was dreadful on their powerplay.
I am not sure how true the Nino Niederrieter rumors are, but if he is available for trade, he is one of the best defensive wingers in the game, who can also score. In the Scandella Vegas deal, I am trading for Scandella, Niederrieter, and Eriksson-Ek, and I am also sending assets to Las Vegas to essentially buy them an extra protection spot so they can protect Jonas Brodin in the expansion draft, along with Suter, Dumba, and Spurgeon.
If Pomminville is apart of any trade, he would have to waive his no movement clause which he may not do. But would we waive is no movement clause to finish out his career where he started? I'll tell you right now, i'd prefer to have Pomminville back in Buffalo next season over Thomas Vanek. Pomminville, Brian Campbell, and maybe Ryan Miller as a backuip would be the only former Sabres from those Regier-Ruff teams that I would have no issue with welcoming back.