Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How Is Marc Methot Worth So Little?

The Vegas Knights dealt one of the biggest prizes of last week's expansion draft today to the Dallas Stars. That's not surprising. What is surprising is how little of a return general manager George McPhee was able to bring in for Marc Methot, a veteran defenseman who was integral in the Ottawa Senators Cinderella run to the Eastern Conference Final this spring.

Sure, Methot played the majority of his minutes alongside Erik Karlsson, and that's perhaps the cushiest job there is on an NHL blue line these days. But the fact that Methot was dealt for a second-round pick in the 2020 draft and a goalie prospect that was drafted in the seventh round of last weekend's draft (his name is Dylan Ferguson if you really must know) must have Senators' GM Pierre Dorion steaming. Dorion reportedly worked hard to make a deal with Vegas to keep them from picking Methot before the expansion draft to no avail. Then, when the writing was on the wall, he attempted to trade Dion Phaneuf and his much-publicized no-movement clause so that he could protect Methot from being picked.

Dorion's best intentions could not help him get any of the aforementioned done, and today he had to pick up the paper and read that Methot had been dealt for peanuts.

Peanuts, incidentally, was not what McPhee was asking Dorion to pay for the privilege of having him not select Methot in the expansion draft. According to Senators beat writer Bruce Garrioch (venerable), the ask was a first-round pick.

If that's the case then the market has soured a bit for McPhee and the many defensemen he drafted with the hopes of turning them into assets in the trade market. Methot was one of the biggest fish of his expansion draft picks, so Vegas and McPhee could be in for a rude awakening in the next few weeks as they try to unload Alexei Emelin, Luca Sbisa and Clayton Stoner. The Golden Knights selected 13 defensemen in total at the draft, and they were under they belief that defensemen were the hottest commodoties on the trade market. It may be true in general, but to be more specific, puck-moving defenseman (and exceptional ones) are the ones driving the market. The players in McPhee's stable right now are not exactly Paul Coffey-type players.

None of this likely matters to Pierre Dorion or the Senators right now. They lost the defenseman they wanted and Ottawa's loss is Dallas' gain.

Methot, 32, and earning $4.9 million for the next two seasons, should provide some good stay-at-home defense for a Stars team that badly needs it. Dallas swooped in and scored a win in this deal. Other teams eyeing Vegas defenseman might want to pony up and do the same. It may not take a whole lot to make a deal.