Now that Florida’s Stephen Weiss, premium chum for the fake trade waters, is out for the season due to wrist surgery, he’s fallen out of the public eye just enough so we can take a brief interlude from the James Mungro Memorial Award to talk about him.
Before Weiss’s surgery, it was the Red Wings were interested according to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrich. The Red Wings want to add more depth up front. With the Red Wings in the thick of the playoff run, Weiss isn’t going to be any help sitting in the press box.
But with the Red Wings seemingly outside of the circle of NHL Elites this season, should they still try to swing a deal for him in order to have him for the 2013-14 season? And is it possible to do so without hurting your team this season? Weiss is set to become a free agent at the end of this year. The Red Wings could pick him up for nothing this summer. Or we could have the Parise/Suter Saga Part Three and Detroit could sitting there, again, putting a contact offer on the table only to have Weiss’s agent use it to clean up coffee spills.
Nothing is guaranteed in July. If the Red Wings can swing a deal with a Panthers organization desperate to get anything for him in order to exclusively negotiate a contract extension with Weiss, isn’t it worth it? I mean, this guy is the bees knees.
I guess that all depends on how much you, acting as the Red Wings manager, are willing to give up. A recent trade may give us some insight into the going rate for a player of Weiss’ caliber.
Weiss accumulated 57 points last year for the Panthers, just two less than a player that was the talk of trade market for a solid six months last year: Rick Nash. Now, Nash scored 59 points for a horrible team and is generally regarded as a better player than Weiss, but his deal can give us a starting point. Here’s the full deal the Rangers made for the Blue Jackets to acquire the services of Nash:
- New York gets: Rick Nash (59 points), a conditional third-round pick, and minor league defenseman Steve Delisle.
- Columbus gets: Brandon Dubinsky (34 points), Artem Anisimov (36 points), defensive prospect Tim Erixon and a first round pick.
Let’s not worry ourselves with minor league throwaways. This was basically Rick Nash for two NHL players, a prospect and an upgrade of two rounds in the draft. Add a broken wrist, Weiss scoring those points on a good team last year instead of the worst in the league and him not being Rick Nash, and you probably drop an NHL player and lesson the quality of the draft the pick.
So who does Detroit send the other way? Well if the Red Wings are looking for depth at forward this season and still believe they’re in the playoff race, which they obviously are, they’re not going to give up any NHL-ready forwards, or anybody they think can contribute points down the road, like Gustav Nyquist.
After just about every defensemen getting hurt in the early stage of the season, they’re all coming back. All of the sudden the Red Wings have a superfluous amount of average/slightly above average defensemen. One of them could go. Which one? Well if there’s a motto in Sunrise it’s “Always Build for the Future.” Weiss is 29. Anybody 27 and up is probably too old or too good for the Red Wings to give up. The Red Wings probably believe too much in Brenden Smith (24) to send him packing. Brian Lashoff (22) is a candidate, but he’s just signed a three-year extension. Management has to feel it has something. Then there’s Jakub Kindl (26).
Kindl has been OK, but not the type two-way defenseman the Red Wings thought they were getting when they drafted him 19th overall in 2005. A change of scenery might be good for him. Plus, the Panthers are looking for two-way defensemen.
There’s your NHL player. The Panthers are going to need another prospect, a high-end one that’s going to hurt the Red Wings a little. How about another defenseman? Ryan Sproul is slated to be a good offensive defensemen in a couple of years. He’s got 54 points in 61 games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL this year (EDIT: those were actually stats last year. He has 64 points in 45 games this year) and is just about the same caliber of prospect as Tim Erixon.
Swap late round picks and you’ve could have a deal here:
- Detroit gets: Stephen Weiss, 7th round pick
- Florida gets: Jakub Kindl, Ryan Sproul, 5th round pick
Fair trade? Fair trade for a guy with a broken wrist? I’ll stop asking myself questions now.