Carolina Signs Tim Gleason, Blackhawks Shopping Continues

On Monday, the Carolina Hurricanes and defenseman Tim Gleason agreed to a four-year, $16M contract.

Gleason is the second defenseman to leave the theoretical trade market with a multi-year contract, as the Canes followed the lead provided when the Anaheim Ducks inked Francois Beauchemin.

This removes a second defenseman from the list of potential trade targets for the Chicago Blackhawks. So who could be some of the names the Hawks look at moving forward?

First, let’s look at three names that will be unrestricted free agents at the end of this season.

  • Johnny Oduya, Winnipeg Jets
  • Hal Gill, Montreal Canadiens
  • Pavel Kubina, Tampa Bay Lightning

What we have here are three teams that are building for future seasons, and would likely take a bottom-six forward or decent (but not top) prospect as the centerpiece of a trade. Considering the previous relationship the front office in Winnipeg had with Chicago, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff might be interest in players he knew in Chicago like Bryan Bickell, Ryan Stanton or Shawn Lalonde in a deal for Oduya.

Tampa needs goaltending, but might be interested in a young defenseman like Winnipeg. Montreal would undoubtedly prefer to add a forward to help their NHL roster immediately, and might be open to taking Bryan Bickell or Michael Frolik.

What about restricted free agents?

  • Cody Franson, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche

Franson’s a guy that has been mentioned quite a bit in the last year or so, and he’d be familiar with the competition in the Central Division after playing in Nashville last year.

Johnson, who turns 24 at the end of March, might be the wild card in this discussion. The former number one overall pick in 2006 (two spots ahead of Jonathan Toews) has been a disappointment for the Blues and now the Avs, where he has 19 points and a minus-10 rating so far this year. He’s been credited with 65 hits and 54 blocked shots in 45 games this year with Denver.

What makes Johnson intriguing are two factors.

First, he’s big (6-4, 232), and has a lot of upside still. He was the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade last year that shipped him to Denver from St. Louis. The total deal, finalized on Feb. 19 last year, was Johnson, forward Jay McClement and a first-round pick to the Avalanche for winger Chris Stewart, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and a second-round draft choice.

The second aspect of Johnson that is intriguing is his place in the Colorado lineup, and their cap situation. Johnson is averaging over 21 minutes per game on the ice, and is contributing significant minutes on both special teams. But, if you look at the Avs pending salary cap armageddon that is coming this summer, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made, and not everyone is going to get paid.

Chicago could put together a package of younger players that are under organizational control for the next couple years to help limit the Avs’ exposure to potential losses this summer when guys like Matt Duchene, David Jones, Peter Mueller, Ryan O’Reilly, Kyle Quincey and Ryan Wilson need a new deal.

Johnson fits a similar profile to Andrew Ladd, who was also a top-three overall pick but who needed a change of scenery from the team he was with (Carolina) at that time. With a $2.6M cap number, Johnson might just be too expensive for the Avs to retain.

Certainly the Blackhawks could consider players that are signed for longer than the rest of this season. But with the organization investing heavily in quality blue line prospects in recent drafts, including Dylan Olsen, Lalonde, Stephen Johns, Adam Clendening and Justin Holl, it’s doubtful that the organization would add another player with more than one more season on his deal, effectively putting a concrete ceiling over the heads of these prospects.

17 thoughts on “Carolina Signs Tim Gleason, Blackhawks Shopping Continues

  • January 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Eric Johnson

    I’ve watched him quite a few times this season and the guy turns the puck over and over and over. Chicago fans would eat him alive if he became a Blackhawk.

  • January 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I’d take a chance with E.Johnson in a heartbeat. Yeah – big disappointment as the #1 overall, but still a big right handed d-man that is young and hasn’t hit his peak yet.

    I doubt Colorado deals him though because that would really put egg on their face after getting fleeced by the Blues last year. And if they were to trade him I doubt the Hawks would be able to offer the best package.

  • January 30, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    That’s the thing, we don’t need another “prospect” we need a seasoned vet. Our own prospects are coming up. This is about THIS YEAR.

  • January 30, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    I think that Chicago, at this point, will only be looking to add one veteran DMan who has an expiring contract…so I think your first list of three, is much more likely.

    I like the idea with Johnson, but I just have that feeling the Hawks are about all played out, and Rocky will not spend any more major dollars.

  • January 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Agree with Mr. V

    I like Hal Gill. He’d be a good fit with Nick Leddy. He logs 18 minutes per game. Won a cup in Pittsburgh. Well liked in dressing room. Don’t think he’d cost much either.

  • January 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    @ Mr V – Johnson is hardly a prospect. He’s at least a #3/4 which is exactly what we need. The fact he’s big and right hand shot is a plus. Put him at RD with Hammer and put Leddy at LD with Monty. Done.

    @ Logan Reilly – The Hawks don’t need to acquire someone to be a good fit with Leddy because Leddy should be paired with Monty on the 3rd pairing. The Hawks need someone to play with Hjalmarsson on the 2nd pairing – and that isn’t Hal Gill or anyone on the current roster.

  • January 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Pavel Kubina looks like a good option to me. (6-4, 250). Hes a D-man who is willing to throw his body around and isn’t afraid to get in front of the puck. A veteran D-man that would make his presence known on the ice. The one down side is that his contract is a little more pricey than the others on the list.

  • January 31, 2012 at 9:41 am

    franson for bickell or lepestio, prospect and pick

  • January 31, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Its kinda been said both ways, and I agree with both sides. Yes I wouldn’t mind taking a shot on Johnson, but we would have to pay him. By locking up a guy for 3-4 years we would hinder the development of Lalonde, Olsen, ect into the NHL system. Getting a one-year vet gets us what we need. Frolik and Scott for Kubina and a low pick would be fine with me. It would allow us to bring back Hayes too. At full strength this would be our roster, and I like the looks of it. Im know people aren’t high on bickell, but he would be a scratch most of the time anyway, and Im not sure if Tampa would rather want Bickell or Frolik.
    Stalberg-Toews-Kane Keith- Seabrook
    Sharp-Bolland-Hossa Kubina- Hammer
    Shaw-Morrison-Kruger Leddy-Monty
    Brunette-Mayers-Hayes -OD
    -Bickell -Smith

  • January 31, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Glenn-Johnson may play 3rd or 4th d-man but his decision making is poor and so you might as well have Leddy play there then.

    Tim-Yzerman should be fired if that deal was made.

  • January 31, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Tab, what happened to Ryan Johnson? Not saying he should be playing with the Hawks this season or anything, but he seemed to be a pretty good fit rolling into the playoffs last year – just wondering where he ended up and if you think he could have been a contributor this season.

  • January 31, 2012 at 11:57 am

    The ownership has told Stan Bowman to limit his moves to expiring contracts because there will be a little matter of labor negotiations that look to revise structures.
    They do have a defenseman on the radar and there seems to be an agreed deal that will not be sealed for a bit, since the team involved doesn’t want to appear eager to throw the towel yet. It involves none of the names mentioned above…

  • January 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Logan- How is that a horrible trade? I’m not trying to start anyting, but what part is off? Tampa is one point out of a 4 way tie for last in the east, and has a 3.5 million, 34 yr. old D-man on their hands. If they were planning on resigning Kubina, I would think they would have done it by now (like Beauchiman and Gleason). So if they don’t plan to resign Kubina how is Frolik (a 24 year forward with 2 more years on his contract and a decreasing cap hit each year) and Scott (an expiring contract) poor compenstion for him and a low pick (like a 6th or 7th rounder)? I would even include Bickell if needed (so long as we get a little bit back for him such as making the pick a 5th instead). It would give Tampa flexability for the future and help the Hawks with D-man they need. We could even attempt to resign Kubina for one more year as a stop gap until Olsen or Lalonde are ready.

    And on the note that we may be going after one of the players not named above, the only I can only think of Shane O’Brien (COL), Cory Sarich, and Scott Hannah (Both CGY) if we are talking one-year deal defensemen on teams that don’t want to “throw in the towel”. The Flames are the more likely of the two to fall i think. But either way, I don’t like any of those names over Kubina.

  • January 31, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Hey Tim: If roles were reversed and you’re the Tampa GM…you would take Frolik and Scott for Kubina and a low pick?

  • January 31, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Ya, I would. Outside of Stamkos, my team has scored 102 goals in 48 games (League low is 107) . My team gives up more than 3 goals a game (Last in the league in GPG) . My best winger is 35 Yrs old (St Louis). Frolik was a two time 2o goal scorer with Florida, and is still only 23 years old. He could play on a 2nd line given the current roster. I would try to not give up a pick and I would ask for someone like Pirri or McNeil who could turn into a replacement for Lecavalier. Would it work? who knows. Chicago might let go of McNeil if it gets them Kubina. But IF it was off the table, and I had ZERO intention of keeping Kubina. I would take Frolik and the expiring contract.

  • January 31, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Bowman created this situation with the Defence by signing Montador, who is fast becoming a WASTE…he barely played in the 3rd period versus the Canucks, which wore down Keith and Seabrook, and meant that Leddy was on the ice WAY too much…plus the Hawks dressed Scott, and he skated 5 minutes.

    We have 4 of the best players in the world…we have some young, improving talent who are going to be good players, but we have an average to BELOW AVERAGE Defence.

    And we can all pin this one on Bowman…he still hasn’t pulled the trigger on a new DMan, and we just had the all star break. The OT loss in Vancouver tonight can be chalked up to 2 things…Vancouver’s goalie and Stan Bowman.

    I have supported Bowman a lot, but it is time to call it even…he has down some very good things, and he has made some very bonehead moves. Not properly addressing our Defence during the summer is all on Stan.

    And now, word is, Wirtz is not giving Bowman the go ahead to make any deal for a contract that continues after this season. Look for a MINOR move and look for the Hawks to begin to fade out of it during this road stretch.

    Brutal loss tonight…that is a game we should have won!

  • February 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Black Hawks are in trouble and they know it…some say Bowman is looking to dump some of the inspiring talents in the minors for a #2 Center ….right now he has been given the strings but is not doing the pulling….The Party boys for the Hawks may soon find themselves playing else where….Hawks know full well they are not contenders for the Championship…they are relying on their farm team players….to be their next solid foundation..The Party Boys helped them win one Championship…..those days are gone….they all are getting to be too much of a liability for the rest of the Team…Vancouver deserved the win …..if the Hawks scored the winning goal they would have deserved the win…Crawford made excellent saves as well…once again the referees have been very poor…we do not have good officials any more..perhaps they have to go back to the one referee system but have linesman call penalties just a the man in the middle. Hawks are a very exciting Team…Play nice Hockey at times.but make way too many defensive errors to be successful all the way thru..

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