Friday, July 30, 2010

Ducks Immediately Move Wisniewski

2009-2010 NHL Statistics2011 Cap Info
To Long IslandPositionAgeGPGAPYearsCap Hit
James WisniewskiDefense2669327301$3.25 million
To AnaheimPositionAgeGPGAPYearsCap Hit
2011 3rd Round Draft Pick

Of course, as I'm polishing up the James Wisniewski signing post, the Ducks go ahead and trade him all the way across the country, landing him on Long Island. Now, earlier in the day, the Islanders placed Brendan Witt on unconditional waivers, which I didn't get a chance to write about, so this could easily be a replacement move by GM Garth Snow, having a little more cap space used by a possible buyout and a new contract, getting themselves closer to the cap floor.

Looking at the Islanders team, from where I am and not being posted here, the team is really stacked up with defensemen at the moment, even with the potential buyout of Witt coming up. At least with Wisniewski on the books, they can have a $3+ million defender that will pick up some points, as Witt really couldn't do that and wasn't making up for it with his defensive prowess.

The Ducks still have a rather thin blueline now that they have dealt Wisniewski and only getting a 3rd round pick suggests that they want to make some more room under the cap for something, be it a few players or to keep themselves under budget.  With the lack of movement on the blueline, the Ducks could be looking towards a transition season, likely giving 2010 1st rounder, Cam Fowler, a good run for a spot this year, among other bubble players.

Salary CapI was going to comment that the Ducks were still in pretty good shape when you added Wisniewski's new deal to the mix, but we can immediately call that off. The Ducks are in the bottom 3rd of the league in cap space committed, according to my own spreadsheet, which isn't as assuming as Right now, I have the Ducks with 16 players more than likely going to start with the team at a cap hit of $40.8 million (before buyouts), which is very low. Not as low as the Islanders though, who sit with 20 players, including Wisniewski, with an annual hit of $37.2 million, before buyouts. When both teams are so low, why worry about what's on the books and not on the ice?

I don't think it's unfair to call this a domino deal in the league, before anything else really falls. It is the second sign-and-trade set of circumstances we've seen this week, which suggests that the seats underneath general managers are getting warmer. The rumour mill should be moving a little faster now, as scuttlebutt about the Ducks should improve and rightly so. The Ducks are not deep on the blueline and there are options available, as the stories go.

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