According to this article from cbssports.com, the Florida Panthers are willing to trade anyone and anybody. While to me this seems a bit of a rash statement, and even the article curls the claim back a bit with, “With the exception of centre Jonathan Huberdeau, defenceman Erik Gudbranson, goalie Jakob Markstrom and centre Drew Shore,” this got me thinking about ‘what if’, and what could happen as we get closer and closer to the trade deadline.
The Detroit Red Wings trade Johan Franzen and Xavier Ouellet to the Florida Panthers for Brian Campbell and a 5th round pick.
Yes? No? Well let’s see what’s what.
Why Franzen? Because he has an attractive cap-friendly contract that has been grandfathered in. You see, he has a fairly low cap hit of just under $4 million and will be only getting paid 3.5, 2, 1, and 1 million per year for the last four years of his contract – looks pretty good, right? This could give the needed cap hit to the Florida Panthers without having to pay the bill. Yeah, he will be 40 years old when his contract is expired, but he is a very big guy and should age fairly well.
Xavier Ouellet is a fairly good defensive prospect who could turn into a future solid defenseman for the Florida Panthers. “An offensively talented blue liner, it might be easy to assume that Ouellet isn’t as attentive in his own zone, but that certainly isn’t the case. Poised at both ends of the ice and with the ability to quarterback a power play, he plays a mature game and was trusted with a big role on a veteran team. Just scratching the surface of his potential, he’ll only get better as he gets stronger and improves his skating.” – Hockeysfuture.com.
Now why would Detroit give up such a good prospect and a player that has delivered for them time and time again?
Simple. Brian Campbell is everything the Detroit Red Wings are missing right now. His $7 million dollar per year contract is a hefty bag for the Florida Panthers, a franchise notorious for riding the bottom of the cap floor. Detroit, though, has enough cap space to afford him now and down the road. His assets could be a game changer for Detroit.
The best thing Brian Campbell does is carry the puck and QB the power play like no other defenseman in the league right now, besides maybe Kris Letang. He is literally carrying the Florida Panthers on his back and while his plus/minus is atrocious, Florida is not exactly playing great right now as a team, and their goaltending has been up and down all season (and has been especially down since the injury to Jose Theodore).
He would fit in Detroit like jelly on a peanut butter sandwich…. or as I prefer, vodka on ice. He can slide in on the top pairing and the Wings can lose Ouellette due to the emergence of Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl, and the fact that they also have Ryan Sproul in the system. Campbell can help Detroit now and can be useful to the Red Wings in the future as he can continue to teach the young defensive core. Along with Nik Kronwall, the Wings would feature a pair of veteran defenceman with experience and skill.
So while Campbell is a highly skilled puck moving defenseman that can make a Florida Panthers PP look insane, he had 30 PPA last year. What Detroit offers is a chance at playoffs and another possible Cup run.
Am I crazy? What would you give up for Brian Campbell?
Please feel free to comment below.
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