As reported by Ek and confirmed by the Ducks, Brian Burke has finally found a new home for Mathieu Schneider in "Blueland." The full details of the trade are as follows:
D Mathieu Schneider
| Age 39 | Contract: 1 year, $5,625,000
D Ken Klee
| Age 37 | Contract: 1 year, $1,250,000
W Brad Larsen
| Age 31 | Contract: 1 year, $535,000
LW Chad Painchaud
| Age 22 | Contract: 1 year, $563,333
Overall, I think Burkie got great value back, considering the highly-publicized jam he was in.
Under the circumstances, the first way to evaluate this trade is to calculate how much cap space it frees up. Assuming Larsen joins Painchaud in Iowa, the difference between Schneids' and Klee's salaries takes $4,375,000 off the books, leaving the Ducks' payroll at about $55,560,000. With this year's ceiling set at $56.7 million, Anaheim is now approximately $1.14 million under the cap. While Teemu Selanne has proven himself to be a team player, asking him to accept anything under $1.5 million is borderline insulting, and even that figure is much lower than he could find on the open market.
In other words, the vehicle dropping off Schneider at the airport might have to swing back and pick up at least another one of his now ex-teammates. The most likely candidate to bid farewell to Anaheim remains Todd Marchant. Given his experience and ability to play anywhere on the four forward lines, it would be a shame to see him go, but his salary-to-contribution ratio just isn't a good fit for a club that needs all the room it can get.
For those of you suggesting that the Ducks simply send Klee east as well, I believe that due to his age, his salary would still count against the cap, much like Matheiu's would have if the team had sent him down to the A. Besides, Klee is a veteran defenseman who is not only the prototypical seventh defenseman with his locker room presence and steady play, but he also has that elusive right-handed shot from the blueline.
So with Schneider going from one flock to another, all there is left to do is sit back and wait for Burke's next move in his ongoing chess match against the salary cap...
For sure, 3 players are much easier to trade or find their way to the minors, than 1 high priced contract player.