Author Topic: Zaitsev trade ideas  (Read 3361 times)

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Offline CarltonTheBear

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Zaitsev trade ideas
« on: May 31, 2019, 09:43:46 AM »
Was thinking about potential landings spots for Zaitsev. The common teams I'm hearing fans talk about are Dallas and Vancouver, and I can definitely see some interest there. But I think Ottawa actually makes a lot of sense here:

1) They just hired D.J. Smith, who presumably has a lot of faith in Zaitsev

2) They need help pretty much everywhere and might not be able to attract top free agents to fill those holes

3) It of course wouldn't be the first time they'd helped us out of a bad deal for a defenceman

Using that Phaneuf trade as a template, I'm obviously going to assume we'll be taking back some money from Ottawa. Three names that jumped out at me are the two LTIR'd players (Gaborik and MacArthur) and Boedker. MacArthur has just 1 year left on his contract while Gaborik has 2. Generally speaking these contracts are mostly insured but not entirely, so Ottawa is likely still paying out something here. Let's use Gaborik's deal here just because it's longer and because of his prior injury history presumably has less insurance coverage (although who knows). Obviously they'd be getting LTIR'd.

Boedker has 1-year left on his deal with a $4mil AAV and a $3mil salary and is coming off a pretty terrible year. If the Leafs bought out that contract right away they'd have a $2mil hit this coming season and just a $1mil hit for the following season. That seems like a reasonable hit to take.

So the Leafs are taking on two negative assets here, I'd want something decent in return. Looking over Ottawa's roster and Dylan DeMelo jumps out on me. I'm not an expert on him, but from a glance he appears to be a decent puck moving defenceman with average size. He was acquired from San Jose in the Karlsson trade. Why him? Well he's a right-handed defenceman with a low AVV ($900k) so that seems pretty appealing. In Ottawa he'd be bumped to the 3rd pairing behind Ceci and Zaitsev. He's also an UFA at the end of this coming season so let's just go ahead and assume he won't be re-signing with the sens after that.

So far we've got Zaitsev for Gaborik (LTIR), Boedker (buy-out), and Demlo (RHD). Assuming the Leafs can take advantage of all/most of Gaborik's hit on LTIR, they'd come away with $1.6mil in additional cap space with this trade. Not exactly as much as I would have thought, but maybe they could package Boedker in a Brown trade or something to avoid buying him out.

I'll be the first to admit I have zero idea what Zaitsev's trade value is. I've made my thoughts on his play pretty clear but I also think other teams see a right-handed defenceman who can play a ton of minutes and has experience on both the powerplay and penalty kill. There's enough not-smart GMs out there that I think would glance over the fact that he's not very good in those minutes.

Offline Nik

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2019, 09:49:39 AM »

Yeah, obviously I can't speak with any authority or anything but I don't immediately get the sense that Zaitsev is so toxic that he's a "bribe another team to take him" sort of thing.

Right now he should be seen as a 27 year old guy with a five year deal. Maybe it will take until after free agency and some teams miss out on their targets but I think you might be able to move that sort of deal and get some sort of asset back without taking back a bunch of money.
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Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2019, 09:50:08 AM »
A much simpler trade proposal that I see making the rounds is Zaitsev to Dallas for Honka. Or at least something revolving around that. They've shown to have a pretty questionable taste in defencemen (Polak, Methot, Lovejoy, Oleksiak, Fedun) recently and only have 4 D under contract right now.

Offline cabber24

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2019, 09:51:32 AM »
I don't think Zaitsev is useless. He's a right-handed defenseman and is coming off some decent play down the stretch while paired with Muzzin. His cap hit isn't ridiculous for a #3-4 right-handed defenseman. He will contribute in a meaningful way wherever he lands. Yes, he doesn't have that great breakout pass locked down but perhaps a team that plays a different style would be a better fit.
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Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2019, 09:57:55 AM »

Yeah, obviously I can't speak with any authority or anything but I don't immediately get the sense that Zaitsev is so toxic that he's a "bribe another team to take him" sort of thing.

Right now he should be seen as a 27 year old guy with a five year deal. Maybe it will take until after free agency and some teams miss out on their targets but I think you might be able to move that sort of deal and get some sort of asset back without taking back a bunch of money.

Yeah I might be taking back a little too much dead weight in my Ottawa deal, or maybe not getting back enough real value in the form of an additional pick or something. I am hopeful that we can move him in a deal that benefits us.

Justin Bourne said something similar to your point today which was that if another team signed Zaitsev to a 5-year deal at this cap hit today everyone would say it's a little too much for a little too long but it's also believable considering deals signed in the past. GMs always have a blindspot for defencemen who play a lot of minutes.

Offline Nik

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2019, 10:03:35 AM »
Justin Bourne said something similar to your point today which was that if another team signed Zaitsev to a 5-year deal at this cap hit today everyone would say it's a little too much for a little too long but it's also believable considering deals signed in the past. GMs always have a blindspot for defencemen who play a lot of minutes.

That's sort of my thinking. It'd be Kris Russell bad, not Jeff Finger bad.
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Offline cabber24

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2019, 10:07:09 AM »
I know were in cap-crisis mode but I was optimistic about a continued Zaitsev-Muzzin pairing. They were great down the stretch and through the playoffs.
Upon the wicked He will rain Jerseys; blue and white and burning waffles will be the portion of their cup.

Offline Zee

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 10:17:20 AM »
I'm all for Clarke MacArthur retiring a Leaf on LTIR, let's make it happen.

Offline Bill_Berg

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 10:25:33 AM »
I suppose the willingness to trade Zaitsev means Dubas intends on keeping Marleau around next year. I always felt one of these guys needed to go to be able to re-sign Marner, Johnsson, and Kapanen. If that's the intention, he'll probably go for picks or prospects in an effort to save all his cap space.

Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2019, 10:27:12 AM »
Justin Bourne said something similar to your point today which was that if another team signed Zaitsev to a 5-year deal at this cap hit today everyone would say it's a little too much for a little too long but it's also believable considering deals signed in the past. GMs always have a blindspot for defencemen who play a lot of minutes.

That's sort of my thinking. It'd be Kris Russell bad, not Jeff Finger bad.

Since you brought up his name in another thread, it'll be pretty funny to me if the Leafs can deal Zaitsev in a trade that works out favourably for them while the Habs can't give Karl Alzner away for free. They both have roughly the same cap hit but Alzner's deal is 2 years shorter. The only other noticeable difference I can see between the two is that Zaitsev's coach kept playing him while Alzner's didn't. I might have to thank Babcock for his usage of him after all.

Online herman

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2019, 10:46:33 AM »
Justin Bourne said something similar to your point today which was that if another team signed Zaitsev to a 5-year deal at this cap hit today everyone would say it's a little too much for a little too long but it's also believable considering deals signed in the past. GMs always have a blindspot for defencemen who play a lot of minutes.

That's sort of my thinking. It'd be Kris Russell bad, not Jeff Finger bad.

Since you brought up his name in another thread, it'll be pretty funny to me if the Leafs can deal Zaitsev in a trade that works out favourably for them while the Habs can't give Karl Alzner away for free. They both have roughly the same cap hit but Alzner's deal is 2 years shorter. The only other noticeable difference I can see between the two is that Zaitsev's coach kept playing him while Alzner's didn't. I might have to thank Babcock for his usage of him after all.

Mmhmm. Babcock has cachet in the NHL circles and they'll largely believe what he tells them through his actions. You send a big contract down into the AHL and you've tarnished his value significantly with the old school GMs.
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Online herman

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2019, 10:49:42 AM »
What about Anaheim as a landing spot? They have to go for it and they have frittered away a lot of their RD depth but still have a good pool of centre prospects to deal from.
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Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2019, 10:57:35 AM »
What about Anaheim as a landing spot? They have to go for it and they have frittered away a lot of their RD depth but still have a good pool of centre prospects to deal from.

It's kinda incredible how the Ducks went from having one of the deepest defence groups in the league to... whatever they have now.

Online herman

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2019, 11:29:08 AM »
What about Anaheim as a landing spot? They have to go for it and they have frittered away a lot of their RD depth but still have a good pool of centre prospects to deal from.

It's kinda incredible how the Ducks went from having one of the deepest defence groups in the league to... whatever they have now.

The Ducks are an internal cap team, don't use advanced stats (other than Dallas Eakins). If Zaitsev is amenable to the locale, we could pay off the signing bonus first to bring back more of a sweetener.
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Offline Michael

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Re: Zaitsev trade ideas
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2019, 11:32:47 AM »
If Zaitsev is traded away then it makes sense the Leafs need would be to get defense in return. But what kind of deal can they land with another team when their greatest area of need is a right shot defenseman? Maybe the right deal is out there somewhere, but given that the Leafs are already in cap trouble, I cannot think of one.

It seems more likely, to me anyway, that the Leafs can best address their D by trading away Zaitsev plus a forward (shedding more salary in the process) and then taking back a quality D man in the process. Otherwise I just do not see how they do not come out behind on this one. Unless of course they just shed the salary, show Marner the money and then play with rookie D next year.