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Rumor’s Corner: the transaction market for defensemen is complex

After two months of NHL activity, we now have a clearer picture of the league’s 32 different teams. The sample is now fairly robust, so the GMs of the various teams know a little about what their line-ups need to improve.

The Canadiens, for example, need the injury gods to give their players a break.

That said, across the NHL, once again, good defenders are in demand. A team like the Maple Leafs, for example, is looking for reinforcements on the blue line.

With John Klingberg not playing again this season, this complicates matters… but as Renaud Lavoie pointed out to JiC this evening, it gives them the resources to be aggressive on the transaction market.

The problem, however, is that right now, the transaction market for defensemen seems rather complex. In the Insider Trading segment, Darren Dreger mentioned that a guy like Chris Tanev can cost a second-round pick right now.

And Sean Walker, not the biggest name, is worth a first-round pick right now.

With Ilya Lyubushkin not even up for trade to the Ducks, the market for right-handed defensemen is, well, rather peculiar.

And that’s where you have to wonder if David Savard could bring the Tricolore a big prize between now and the deadline if he were traded. I’m not saying I’d trade him at any price, but given the current state of the market, it might be worth considering.

In fact, there are two exceptions: Tony DeAngelo and Tyson Barrie, two very offensive right-handed defensemen, are worth a pittance on the market, as Pierre LeBrun explains.

Considering their contracts ($1.625M for one year for DeAngelo and $4.5M for one year for Barrie) and their poor defensive play, it’s understandable that players don’t come cheap.

The other option for clubs looking to avoid the trade market is to try to reach an agreement with Ethan Bear, still a free agent (recovering from injury).

And whether it’s the Canucks, Leafs, Devils or Penguins, there’s no shortage of interest in Bear’s services, according to Chris Johnston.

We’ll have to keep an eye on it, but once again, it looks like a good year to try and sell defensemen, especially right-handed defensemen who aren’t completely catastrophic in their own zone.

And I hope Kent Hughes is aware of that.

In gusts

– I love it.

– Seven goals in less than seven minutes (and an eighth a few minutes later), eh well.

What do you think?

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