Vancouver Canucks Trade Proposals: Luca Sbisa Edition

Apr 2, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa (5) after having his lip cut by a high stick from Chicago Blackhawks center Antoine Vermette (not pictured) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa (5) after having his lip cut by a high stick from Chicago Blackhawks center Antoine Vermette (not pictured) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 1, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) adjusts his stick during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Joe Louis Arena. Red Wings win 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Red Wings: A Salary Dump?

The Detroit Red Wings desperately need to move out the Pavel Datsyuk contract should the star center continue leaning towards playing in the KHL. The contract carries a $7.5 million cap hit for just one more year.

With veteran defenseman Kyle Quincey not returning and Niklas Kronwall already 35 years old, the Red Wings really need to shake up their defense while considering retaining restricted free agents like Danny Dekeyser. Prospect Xavier Ouellet most likely draws into the blueline this coming season.

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The Red Wings have good size on the blueline. Dekeyser is 6-foot-3, Jonathan Ericsson is 6-foot-4, while Brendan Smith is 6-foot-2. Don’t be fooled by the numbers though — Ericsson is criticized for being too soft a defender.

Though many may deem this a strong blueline by the looks of it, Detroit has already been tied to Kevin Shattenkirk of the St. Louis Blues. The issue? The price is most likely to be a good young forward like Gustav Nyquist or Dylan Larkin.

Maybe Sbisa isn’t too good a fit for an already physical Red Wings blueline. If I am the Red Wings, I am totally comfortable waiting to see if a guy like Kris Russell hits free agency and signing him despite his undersized stature. The rest of the blueline can cover for him, right?

But they need the money to sign guys. How do they make money? Like this:

The Canucks will be just fine taking on a $7.5 million cap hit for just one year. If Datsyuk indeed heads to the KHL, the Canucks will not have to pay Datsyuk a single nickle. His $5.5 million NHL salary is erased off the payroll the moment he signs with the KHL. What does this mean?

The Canucks will lose the ability to sign $7.5 million’s worth of contracts cap-wise for one year, but financially the management loses nothing.

Subtract from Datsyuk’s cap hit Sbisa’s $3.6 million cap hit and the Canucks lose in total just $3.9 million in cap space.

Though the Canucks may not need too much of that this year, the Red Wings may come to use every cent when re-signing Petr Mrazek — Detroit’s next number one netminder — and Darren Helm, as well as the RFAs — Riley Sheahan and Teemu Pulkkinen.

Of course, the Wings need to bring in the replacement for Datsyuk, too.

In Luca Sbisa, the Wings will be getting a defenseman who actually hits. Playing around with the salary cap might be the way to go if Benning wants another pick in the first round without giving up a bigger asset.

Next: Trading Luca Sbisa: The Wrap-Up