It’s a slow day in NYR news, and NHL news overall, and I’ve gotten into a debate with several Rangers fans on Twitter over what a team should/would be willing to part with in a trade to improve itself.
Obviously, you want to trade from an area of strength to improve the team’s weakness i.e sacrificing an abundance of defense for some scoring. It’s the lay of the land to execute a trade, you need to part with something of value to get something of value. Not every sports executive is Bob Gainey.
The debate centers around Shea Weber, superstar defenseman of the Nashville Predators. If he doesn’t sign a new deal with the team, Nashville will be forced to explore trade options or risk losing him to free agency next season. Weber, 26, is a bruising 6’4” 234 lb defenseman, with the deadliest right-handed shot in the game today and the ability to score goals from the back line (19 in 2011-12, including 10 PPGs)
A package for Weber would realisticlly be greater than one for Rick Nash or Bobby Ryan and would have to include players not typically discussed in trade rumors this offseason.
One of those players might be stalwart defenseman Dan Girardi.
Purely speculation, but if Weber were to hit the market, Nashville is sure to ask for a defenseman to build around in return. Ryan McDonagh would be off limits. Michael Del Zotto is the easy answer, but may not be Nashville’s answer. Tim Erixon is a prospect with good value, but not the centerpeiece of a deal for Weber.
Would NYR Nation be willing to part with Marc Staal or Dan Girardi in a trade for Shea Weber? According to the replies on Twitter, absolutely not. Girardi is here to stay and should be considered “untouchable.”
I’m here to say that is narrow-minded thinking if you’re trying to build a Cup-winning team.
Very few athletes should be labled as untouchable, meaning if they were to leave, no matter who you brought back, the immediate impact would be detrimental to the team. Henrik Lundqvist is untouchable. Chris Kreider is untouchable (to me). If Staal or Girardi had to be sacrificed to get Weber, would the Rangers be that worse off? You’re getting, in return, one of the best defensemen in the NHL today at 26 years old, while still maintaing your core of defense.
No one knows what Nashville would want in return for Weber should they trade him. No one knows what Nashville thinks of Staal or Girardi as potential replacements, as well.
Do I want to see Girardi, Staal or any other homegrown player traded? Of course not. However, if you want to make a trade that adresses a need and improves the team both short term and long term, tough decisions have to be made.
A deal isn’t close to happening, New York would need to be assured Weber can be locked up long term and it would take several more pieces besides Girardi/Staal to get it done. There are a lot of peices that would need to fall into place to consummate a deal.
But if Girardi or Staal were the centerpiece needed in a package Nashville wanted for Weber, New York shouldn’t say no to it.
*What do YOU think? Should Girardi be included in a trade for Weber is Nashville wanted him? Or is he “untouchable?”