directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Fedorov....not a question of if, but when?

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Fedorov....not a question of if, but when?

Saw this rumor via Kuklas Korner via the Edmonton Journal:

Knowing Bergeron could be gone for the year, and on long-term injury reserve, the Bruins can get a break on their cap issues. They only need a rental for a year. They could probably have the Columbus Blue Jackets' Sergei Fedorov, who has $4 million US left on his contract.

I personally think its a foregone conclusion that Sergei Fedorov will not finish this season as a Columbus Blue Jacket, regardless of whether the Jackets stay in the hunt or not. The reason being is his salary vs production vs. his value on the trade market. He doesn't produce enough to warrant his salary on the Jackets and the fact he only has a year left on his deal makes him an ideal target for a lot teams who are looking to solidify their lineup down the middle. Lots of GMs will say "he'll play better for us since we are a cup contender" etc, etc.

I mean really - are we that much worse off with a combination of Peca / Malhotra / Beech / Brassard / Novotny / Fritsche / Brule up the middle that we are with Fedorov, who has just 16 points in 29 GP and is a -6? I'd say the organization doesn't think so, especially when you look at what you may be able to get back and the money saved on his contract.
He is our leading scoring center but that isn't saying a whole lot at this point. Peca has 12 points in 8 less games and is a +2. Malhotra has 6 less in 4 less games and is a -2. Novotny 6 less in 7 less games and is a +1. Then if a guy like Beech can keep up his current play (5p in 5gp +1) Fedorov really becomes expendable.

The question though is when and for what he'll be traded for?

When - he won't be traded before a guy like Brassard is healthy and gets a look up on the big team. He also won't be traded until a guy like Novotny is cleared and healthy. The Jackets have played 29 games. I would say anytime after the 40 game mark and right up until the deadline you'll see #91 dealt. At 40 games he'll only cost a team just over 3 million which makes him much more attractive to teams up against the cap. At 40 games the orgnanization should know what they will look like up the middle without #91 as well if how to compensate for or may look to acquire a lower cost replacement.

What - I look at past trade deadlines to gauge what a guy like Fedorov might be worth on the open market. Last year guys like Bill Guerin, Keith Tkachuk, Peter Forsberg, Ladislav Nagy & Brad Stuart were all proven veterans slated to be UFAs at seasons end who were dealt - this is what they returned:

Bill Guerin: F Ville Nieminen; F Jay Barriball; 2007 1st round pick (dealt Feb 27th)

Keith Tkachuk: F Glen Metropolit; 2007 1st and 3rd round picks; 2008 2nd round pick (dealt Feb 26th)

Peter Forsberg: F Scottie Upshall; D Ryan Parent; 2007 1st & 3rd round pick (dealt Feb 15th)

Ladislav Nagy: F Mathias Tjarnqvist; 2007 1st round pick (dealt Feb 12th)

Brad Stuart: was packaged with F Wayne Primeau and conditional pick for F Chuck Kobasew; D Andrew Ference

Can see all trades made last year after Sept 9th here.

My hunch is that unless its a huge overpayment by a team this month or in January, Feds won't be dealt until the February time frame with the real bidding amongst the contenders heats up...with the way things are unfolding my guess is there are going to be a lot more buyers than sellers as there are going to a lot of team still in the hunt come deadline time. Which will drive the price for Feds up.

I think at a minimum Feds will return a 1st round pick and a prospect. He'll most likely end up with an Eastern conference team. I also would not be surprised to see another player moved with Feds and for Howson to go after a player that can help now and pass on picks.

Fedorov won't be the only hot commodity the Jackets may put up for the highest bidder. *If* the Jackets are out of the hunt guys like Michael Peca, Adam Foote and perhaps a David Vyborny may all be dangled as trade bait. I think we'll still be in the hunt and the Jackets will need these veterans for the playoff push.


No comments: