Another Niclas Wallin Update
Per Canes Country, our Carolina Hurricanes affiliate on SBN.
Chuck Kaiton was on 99.9 The Fan late today and told Mike Maniscalco that the trade sending Niclas Wallin to San Jose was close to being completed, but was still not finalized. The problem? Wallin's agent was negotiating a contract extension with Sharks GM, Doug Wilson.
According to Kaiton, he believed that the Sharks wanted to sign the big defenseman for a longer term than Wallin originally wanted. Apparently, the Swede did not want to sign a deal for longer than one year, but Wilson wants two. Plus, there is still a small matter of dollars and cents to be agreed upon as well.
The "Hall of Fame Voice" of the Hurricanes said that the return would be a good one for the Carolina organization, reportedly a second round draft pick. But to give up that much, Wilson wanted to make sure he could lock up "The Swede" for longer than a year.
Time to kick around all the information that is out there.
David Pollak of Working The Corners reported yesterday that Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford referred to San Jose giving up a young asset in exchange for Niclas Wallin. I have never heard of a draft pick being described as a young asset-- they are not synonymous with each other, at least in terms of the common verbiage used by those describing potential trades.
So, if Canes play by play announcer Chuck Kaiton and general manager Jim Rutherford are both citing facts, adding them together means San Jose is giving up a second round draft choice as well as a young player (Joslin, Mitchell etc., take your pick). That's overpayment to the nth degree, and just doesn't make sense. Someone has it wrong here, or two potential deals are in place-- one with a second round draft choice (contingent upon Wallin negotiating a contract extension), and the other with a young asset Rutherford initially alluded to.
There's a third option, and I'll get to that after the jump.
Worst case scenario-- Doug Wilson has lost his mind, like Darryl Sutter before him, and thinks that Wallin is the only missing piece to a successful San Jose Stanley Cup run. He pays accordingly and Fear The Fin shuts down for a month while we all develop drug habits.
Another thing that doesn't quite add up is the fact that Kaiton said San Jose was negotiating a two year extension for the 35 year old blueliner. As we know, Doug Wilson does not negotiate contracts during the season. It may be a case of playing by different rules due to the fact Wallin is not currently on the Sharks roster, but that seems to be a liberal interpretation of self imposed organizational procedure.
Regardless, you can only imagine what the conversation at the bargaining table would sound like:
Wilson: So Nic we're looking at something in the two year range. We like what you bring to the table and could use another veteran on the backend to eat up some minutes.
Wilson: Um, I'm not quite sure what that means. Care to elaborate?
Wilson: Yeah, sure, we could throw in some hamburgers if that makes the decision easier.
Wallin: Nic. Nic the nickname.
Wilson: What? What the hell is going on here? Do you want to call your agent and talk this over or something?
Wallin: Hey momma.
If Wallin is signed to the rumored two year extension you have to wonder if Kent Huskins will be next on the trade block, possibly with Ryane Clowe. Those two players combined clear enough cap space to bring in a premier top-four defenseman that can take some of the pressure off Rob Blake when the unit is completely healthy again; Jamie McGinn finds himself on the third line where he, in my opinion, has deserved to play all season.
If Clowe is moved, the return would hopefully involve a player that has at least one year remaining on his contract.
As for the the third option I mentioned earlier in this article, it is possible that another Carolina Hurricanes player is included in the deal. This consolidates the seemingly conflicting statements that a second round pick and young asset would be what San Jose is giving up for Wallin. I have spoken with Canes Country over email the last two days and they explained Tim Gleason is not on the market; therefore, in my eyes at least, Ray Whitney and Joe Corvo would be the possible players Wilson may be interested in.
Whitney, along with Wallin, both have NTC's built into their contract. Corvo fulfills FTF's perceived need for another top-four defenseman and would be a better fit with San Jose in relation to Whitney, previous history with the organization notwithstanding.
Of course, that additional player is purely speculation. Wallin has been the only Hurricanes player mentioned in every report circulating, and I would be very surprised if this happens. Just something to chew on.
There was a question in the comments last night that I figured deserves some explaining on the front page. When a player is placed on the LTIR, the team is only temporarily allowed to exceed the cap by that player's base salary until he returns. Placing Vlasic on the LTIR for ten games just means that the Sharks can exceed the cap by $3.1 M (Vlasic's hit). It is not like sending a player through the Worcester Shuttle; cap space does not accrue. I know that I have been confused with this before as well.
Hope that clears up any questions.
We should know something more later today, with 4:30 PST being the likely deadline as reported by Carolina based newspaper the News Observer.
More FTF coverage of Niclas Wallin can be found here and here.