The Detroit Red Wings should trade for Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
At one time, Marc-Edouard Vlasic had been a household name anchoring the San Jose Sharks backend along with Brent Burns. Now, Vlasic is an aging, overpaid defenseman that is quickly becoming a liability rather than the impactful player he once was.
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Coming off of a six-point season for the Sharks, Vlasic is owed $7 million per season for five more years. It’s arguably one of the top five worst active deals currently in the NHL. Vlasic is 34-years old and coming off of statistically the worst season of his career, and the first time he’s averaged less than 20-minutes of ice-time per game.
Vlasic scored just one goal last season in 51 games and averaged just over 17 minutes per night. He produced a Corsi For Percentage of just 46.5%, a far cry from his career average of 51.5.
In the past, Vlasic had been a sound defender. With Marc Staal hitting the open market, the Detroit Red Wings could use a reliable left-handed defender to pair with and help mentor their top prospect, Moritz Seider, over the next few seasons. I feel that Vlasic is still a better option than Danny DeKeyser.
Even with the abundance of cap space, I suspect Yzerman is not willing to absorb $7 million per season for such a long duration. If they hope to get some cap relief, the Sharks will need to retain the maximum 50% of Vlasic’s salary for this deal to be considered.
Here is what I propose.
It’s a deal that has the potential to help both organizations. The retained salary softens the blow for the Detroit Red Wings as we know this contract has not seen its darkest days yet.
We can’t rule out the trade and buyout method either. The Red Wings could simply add the draft capital from San Jose and buy out the remaining 50% owed to Vlasic at a later date and move on with their day.
The cap flexibility will also allow the Sharks to make one last-ditched effort to add a difference-maker in hopes of making one more run with their veteran core led by Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski, Erik Karlsson, and Logan Couture.
There is a changing of the guard happening in San Jose as those veterans give way to the likes of Thomas Hertl, Timo Meier, and Kevin Labanc.