February 09, 2012
The Seven is an arbitrary list of randomly connected hockey subjects that will run every Thursday on Puck Daddy. Agree to disagree.
Defense wins championships in the National Hockey League, but the number of impact defensemen available at the 2012 trade deadline grows forever smaller.
Still, there are a few blue-liners that could be had at the deadline and won't embarrass themselves on a contender. Here are the 7 defensemen that could make an NHL trade deadline impact.
The puck-moving defenseman being hockey's answer to the left-handed middle reliever in baseball, Campoli could move to his fourth team in two seasons. He's making peanuts ($1.75 million), he's a spare part in Montreal (averaging 15:58 TOI) and he's an unrestricted free agent this summer. Maybe a reunion with the Chicago Blackhawks, despite being best remembered for The Turnover?
Suspended twice this season and forever immortalized as an Internet meme, Sutton's also a veteran physical presence with an edge that can help a contending team. He has a manageable cap hit ($2.125 million) and goes unrestricted next summer. He'll be available.
Acquired by the Hurricanes in the Tomas Kaberle deal, the 37-year-old makes $3,833,333 against the cap. He's not all that physical, logs around 17 minutes of ice time, but he's got Stanley Cup Finals experience from his days with the Oilers. Also, has lovely skin after receiving a facial from Milan Lucic.
Teammate Shane O'Brien could get a good look at the deadline too, but Quincey ($3.13 million hit) is the more intriguing option as a puck-moving defenseman who, as Adrian Dater notes, would bring back the biggest return. Thing is, he's leading the Avalanche in ice time (22:25), he's a restricted free agent next summer ... and at one point out of the No. 8 seed, might the Avalanche just want to hang onto him for a playoff run?
The Lightning are currently in a playoff race, or at least that's how they perceive it. Kubina plays on the second unit for the penalty kill and the power play. He averages 19:51 TOI per game, which is a bit misleading: He's been well over 20 minutes per game in 20 of his last 22 games.
He'll have a prorated $3.85 million cap hit and has a limited no-trade clause. But he's unrestricted next summer and could really add a veteran presence for the right team. If he's available.
2. Bryan Allen, Carolina Hurricanes
Spacek's the bigger name, Allen is the cheaper player ($2.9 million) and, frankly, the better defenseman in 2012. The 31-year-old plays 19:03 per game in a shutdown role, leading the Hurricanes with 117 blocked shots. The type of player who can go from "We Traded For Who?" at the deadline to being credited as the final piece of a title puzzle.
1. Hal Gill, Montreal Canadiens
Gill's availability at the deadline is about as obvious as a 6-foot-7 player on the Habs bench. He's a playoff stud who plays shutdown defense, blocks shots and clears the crease, which makes up for the fact that he's got the mobility of a parking meter. Still, he's going to be coveted by teams that need veteran help on the blueline. Philly and Chicago leap to mind; but what about a return to the 'Burgh?
Previously on Puck Daddy's The 7
The 7 NHL stars that have yet to score an empty net goal (Update: Make It Six)
The 7 Ugliest NHL All-Star Game Jerseys
The 7 best hockey toy commercials
The 7 Ilya Bryzgalov HBO spinoffs we'd pay to see
The 7 Sean Avery fights that aren't completely terrible
The 7 great skater vs. goalie collisions that resulted in hilarity, chaos
The 7 NHL players with mind-blowing career plus/minus ratings
The 7 NHL journeymen nearing Mike Sillinger levels of relocation
The 7 neglected NHL fan pages we love
The 7 players we'd pay to watch in an NHL shootout
The 7 NHL veterans still livin' the dream in minor leagues
The 7 most heartwarming stories of the NHL preseason
More sports news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute: