Be a GM!

One of my favorite things to do, and I know other fans feel the same way, is to try to create trades that would better my team. The difficulty comes in trying to figure out the math involved with making deals that complies with the NHL’s complicated salary cap. Well, one of the best sites on the internet, Cap Geek, has a tool to solve all of your problems.

The Cap Geek Trade Calculator is the ultimate tool for wannabe GMs like me and you. I have also added this link to the blog roll on the right hand task bar, for easy access. Go ahead and use it, but I warn you…it gets pretty addicting.

I’ll go through a couple of trades to show you how the machine works. While you’re here, take a look at my Trade Deadline Preview post from a couple days ago, and my analysis of the four most recent trades in the NHL.

First, I’ll be impersonating Paul Holmgren, General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. While the Flyers boast one of the league’s best lineups, they are weak in goal. I will be phoning up Scott Howson, the GM of the Blue Jackets. Rumor has it that Steve Mason might be available at the deadline, given the recent slide of the Jackets down the standings.

In order to make the deal, Howson wants a goalie back in return, and some grit on forward. With that in mind, I offer up Brian Boucher and Ian Laperriere, as well as this year’s third round pick. In exchange, Columbus sends to Philadelphia the aforementioned Steve Mason as well as their 7th round pick. As well as giving up an upgrade in net, it also gives us a little bit more cap space, to potentially add a depth defenseman or forward. Here is how the rosters with the affected cap space for each team looks after the trade.

Next, I am going to play the part of Ray Shero, GM of the Penguins. With the recent loss of Evgeni Malkin for the season, and Sidney Crosby being out for who knows how long with a concussion, I really need some help at forward. I am putting in a call to Bryan Murray of the Ottawa Senators about reacquiring a former Penguin in Alexei Kovalev. We have all the space in the world with Malkin’s salary going onto LTIR. Ottawa isn’t even looking for a roster player right now, because they are in rebuild mode which means we don’t have to lose someone to add Kovalev.

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First I should mention that Kovalev has a no trade clause, but I think he would waive it to come here. He has publicly expressed his displeasure with being there. I think he would love to join our team when we have a shot to win the Cup again.

In order to pick up Kovalev, we are going to have to part ways with a goaltender we really like. John Curry is having a good season in the AHL, and even played in the AHL All Star game. However, with Fleury under contract until 2015, we can afford to part ways with him. In addition to moving Curry to Ottawa, we will also send Ottawa our 3rd round pick this year.

In making this deal, we acquire a bonafide scorer, without taking anything away from the current roster. Kovalev is also a UFA this summer who we could resign at a lower price. We lose Curry, a promising goaltending prospect, and a third round pick, which Ottawa will most likely waste anyway. Here is the updated rosters and cap space – note it shows Pittsburgh over the cap due to the fact that certain players haven’t yet been placed on IR.

Now go out there and make your own deals! Tell me what moves you’ve come up with to better your favorite teams in the comment section. Who knows, you may just stumble onto the blockbuster of the year!

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