After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!
Sports Couple 640x140.png

2012 NHL trade deadline: Sports Couple's top 10 available defensemen

If you missed part one of our trade deadline special, check it out: 

Part two: the top 10 available defensemen at this year’s deadline:

10) Mark Eaton, New York Islanders, 2.4 million, UFA: Eaton is a big bodied, defensive defenseman with a Stanley Cup ring. He'll make an attractive, low cost option for teams looking to add defensive depth for the playoffs. Possible destinations: too many to count...Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks.

9) Toni Lydman, Anaheim Ducks, 3 Million through 2012-13: Lydman is a solid, all around defenseman with some decent offensive upside. Anaheim should get at least a 2nd round pick if they decide to deal him. However, with Anaheim’s recent push to make the playoffs, it’s unknown if they will be sellers next Monday. Possible destinations: Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres, St Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins.

8) Niklas Grossman, Dallas Stars, 1.625, UFA: Traded to Philadelphia for 2nd and 3rd round picks. Apparently the going price for 3rd pairing, UFA defensemen is two high draft picks. Yikes. All the more reason to build your team during the offseason. 

7) Hal Gill, Montreal Canadiens, 2.25 million, UFA: The Gill to Vancouver rumours are rampant. If a trade to Vancouver goes down, the possible pairing of Hal Gill and Andrew Alberts would strike fear into the hearts of... every Canuck fan in Vancouver. But big, net clearing defensemen are valuable come playoff time. The Habs should be able to bleed a 2nd round pick out of desperate team. UPDATE: traded, with a 5th round pick to the Nashville Predators for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney and a 2nd round pick.

6) Bryan Allen, Carolina Hurricanes, 2.9 million, UFA: My vote for most likely to get dealt this deadline goes to Allen. The rugged, stay at home defenseman will make a great addition to any team wanting to add a top four d-man with size. The bidding for Allen could get out of hand. Possible destinations: Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers.

5) Marek Zidlicky, Minnesota Wid, 4 million through 2012-13: The underachieving, offensive defenseman could be a coup for a team in need of a power play quarterback. Zidlickly will almost certainly be dealt by the 27th, but the question is, for what? I doubt there is a team willing to take Zidlicky’s four million dollar cap hit without giving up some serious dead salary in return. Minnesota would happily get rid of him for a mid-round pick. Rumours persist that Zidlicky is willing to waive his no trade clause to unite with his fellow Slovakian pal, Patrick Elias in New Jersey. Possible destinations: New Jersey Devils.

4) Pavel Kubina, Tampa Bay Lightning, 3.85, UFA: Kubina was a healthy scratch last night as the Tampa mid-tier player fire-sale gets underway. If Niklas Grossman is going for  2nd and 3rd round picks, the price for Kubina should be a steep. UPDATE: traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for prospect Jon Kalinski, and 2nd and 4th round picks.

3) Filip Kuba, Ottawa Senators, 3.5 million, UFA: The Senators had a post all-star break free fall, but after two straight wins they've . With the Sens in playoff contention, Bryan Murray would have to be blown away by any offer for Kuba.

2) Jack Johnson, Los Angeles Kings, 4.35 million through 2017-18: The book on Johnson reads: great skater, huge offensive upside... defensive liability. Any team looking for a long term power play quarterback will take a long, hard look at Johnson. If he continues to improve in his own end, Johnson could be a bargain for years to come. Possible destinations: New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning.

1) Lubomir Visnovsky, Anaheim Ducks, 5.6 million through 2012- 13: Despite his age, high salary and relatviely low production this season, Visnovsky is the most sought after defenseman on the market. GM Bob Murray should be able to get a top prospect and a first round pick if he decides to deal Visnovsky. Possible destinations: Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers.

On Monday, we'll have part three of our four part special: The top 10 available forwards.

More in Sports Couple

Canucks post-mortem week: the defencemen

Can Alex Edler step up and become an elite NHL defenceman?

Canucks analysis: a history of the Mike Gillis era

After a look back, it's surprising how many mistakes Mike Gillis, the reigning GM of the year, has made for the Canucks.

Canucks post-mortem week: The forwards

Will the Canucks look to add a playmaker to the top six this offseason?
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.