Today is the NHL's deadline for trades before the Christmas break.
Rumors abound and everyone wants to know whether or not Shea Weber will be traded.
If he is traded, to what team and for what?
Truth be told, Shea Weber will command a hefty ransom if anyone is going to acquire his services. For argument's sake I'm going to assume he lands in Philadelphia, the perceived front runner to the Shea Weber sweepstakes.
General Manager Paul Holmgren will have his hands full getting this done that's for sure. The Flyers are just below the cap and Weber is getting over $7 million a year in salary.
All that really means is the Flyers will have to place Chris Pronger on LTIR and move some salary.
Flyer fans are worried that getting Weber will require gutting the team's roster.
Nashville fans are worried about losing the league's best defenseman.
Both sides need not to worry. Trades happen usually because both sides have something the other side needs. In this case the Predators need scoring help. The Flyers have plenty of lamp lighting forwards.
The Flyers need a stud defenseman to stand in for Chris Pronger, and the Predators just so happened to have stolen him at 26 years old from a parallel universe. What, you haven't heard?
The Flyers are a team that is built to win now and the future—their usual M.O.
The Predators aren't built to win anytime soon but could be primed to win now and in the future by trading Weber. The Quebec Nordiques did it in the early 90s by trading Eric Lindros to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Yea, Flyer fans will be letting out a collective expletive at that one. It's true that the trade never delivered a championship, but that was no fault of Lindros.
Flyer Management at the time failed to put the supporting cast around him he needed. In Weber's case the supporting cast is already in Philly, they are just missing a defenseman of his talents.
Allow me to present my possible trade packages that could land Philly their first defenseman to win a Norris trophy.
Yes I know.
I told you the Predators needed offensive help. I also told you the Flyers need to move salary.
Matt Carle is a guy that the Flyers are rumored to not re-sign in the offseason.
Right now Carle commands a $3.4 million salary. His salary or one equal to it will have to come off the books even if the Flyers put Pronger on LTIR.
Along with Carle, the Flyers could send their first round pick for the upcoming draft and a second to next year's.
The Predators get a solid defenseman who has plenty of years left but half the money they would pay for Weber.
I'm sorry Predator fans, but if your team isn't going to give Weber what he wants then you will have to settle for a player like Carle.
He's not all that bad either. In fact he's a pretty good defenseman. His four goals and 14 assists put him close to Weber's eight goals 14 assists.
Carle puts a band aid on the boo boo left by Weber's departure.
The draft picks allow for the Preds to stock their weapon supply and give their fans something to look forward to.
Yes this sounds crazy but so did giving Philly Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timmonen for a first round pick that the Flyers got for Peter Forsberg to begin with.
In the off season I myself thought this young forward would blossom into a top ten scorer in the league.
Yet he has suddenly found himself serving time on the Flyers third line. James Van Riemsdyk is set to receive a $4.2 million pay day next year.
If he's going to play on the third line this is not justifiable.
While JVR has put up 8 goals and 10 assists in 26 games, he's just not good enough to crack the top six anymore.
In Nashville Van Riemsdyk could easily see first or second line minutes and help a malingered Predator offense.
If anything he's a guy that definitely shows up in the playoffs. No Flyer fan should ever forget his goal in game seven against Boston in the 2010 playoffs. His 7 goals in 11 games during last year's playoffs is nothing to scoff at either.
JVR and three picks of Nashville's choice should suffice to spring Weber.
JVR, Matt Carle and one first round pick.
Philly Fans will want to slap me for this one, but let's think about this.
Shea Weber is a Norris Trophy worthy defenseman.
Matt Read is a poor man's Claude Giroux.
We have Giroux.
Nashville would love to have him.
They are not getting Giroux. But they could get the next best thing.
Flyer fans would rather see Danny Briere or Scott Hartnell gone. Unfortunately both have no trade clauses.
Danny Briere has issues with his child custody case, so getting him agreeing to a trade is probably non existent.
Hartnell is a type of player the Flyers need. In short they won't trade him, because in doing so you soften your offense considerably. For more elaboration on why Hartnell won't go, check out my article on the subject.
Matt Read however is a talented player, but doesn't quite bring that tough gritty style the Flyers love. He is a player that Nashville would love to have given their offensive struggles. Furthermore he's slated to get under a million dollars until 2015.
As much as the Philly Phaithful love Read he is not an integral part of the team.
If you go to Cap Geek and calculate a trade involving Read, Jody Shelley, Kevin Marshall (I doubt anyone will miss the last two), then add Pronger to get his LTIR credit, for Weber you get a cap space of $158,912. Follow the link here to see for yourself.
The deal is possible from a cap perspective.
Will Nashville take Jody Shelley and Kevin Marshall off our hands? I'm not sure but at the very least you can waive Shelley and or send Marshall back to the minors.
However the deal would make sense for Nashville as they are getting a promising young affordable forward with a couple fringe players. On top of that you send them the sacrificial draft picks.
According to the NHL rumor mills on the various websites and media outlets, the Nashville Predators are very interested in Brayden Schenn.
Eric Engels from Hockeybuzz.com reports that to get Weber, all Philly has to do is send Schenn and two first round picks over.
That would be great but it doesn't solve the Flyers cap woes, which I tried to do on the previous slide. As much as I want to believe this I think it will take a little more than a rookie who has struggled to stay either healthy or register a point.
If this deal goes down just that way, look for the Flyers to definitely move some pieces to other teams. Sergei Bobrovsky has shown he can play at an NHL level and as we all know a goalie is a hot commodity.
If Schenn is all a deal would take, look for Bobrovsky to be moved too. He's making $1.7 million per year and his contract ends next season. The Flyers will be strapped to pay him more than what he's getting now, and making a move for Weber all but dictates his departure.
Again Matt Carle won't be resigned this offseason most likely, so he would be a definite trade candidate. The Flyers could easily recoup whatever draft picks they lose in the Weber deal for these two guys.
Whatever void is left by these departed players, with exception to Bobrovsky, a player like Weber more than makes up for it.