Thoughts on Trading Clarkson?

Good or Bad, my Thoughts on Trading Parise? post proved pretty popular in generating some talk on the site, so why not a little sequel? Please know i'm not just doing these for the sake of doing them and hope they'll merely engage an intelligent debate on said player and any realistic return a trade could bring.

Let me start things off by saying I know Clarkson is a fan favorite... Hell he's one of my favorite Devils! He embodies NJ Devils style hockey and is an asset to the team. That said while perusing Fire & Ice I couldn't help but notice some fans refer to him as "Irreplaceable." Really? Is Clarkson irreplaceable?

When I thought about it some more it hit me that "no he wasn't"... at least not to me. While I do love his game, there are always players to varying degree out there that can be plugged in essentially do what Clarkson does. Maybe were he more of a Power Forward in the traditional mold, I'd think otherwise but there's no reason to think that Clarkson will somehow someway turn into a 30+ goal scorer, 60pt player.

What Clarkson is however, is young and forceful. He made quite an impact in his short time playing last season. Enough so that I'm certain he caught the eyes of a few GMs. As pointed out by user dr(d)evil, Matt Cooke just resigned for 3 years at 5.4 mill. That's a 1.8 cap hit annually. Clarkson is probably going to command anywhere between 2 to 3 per given his age, but they are essentially players of the same mold.

What If...

What if we traded Clarkson, packaged him with a bad contract like say Salvador's for a mobile puck moving defenseman? We're pretty good on wingers (overstocked in fact). But a puck moving, offensive skilled D-man? Not so much. Clarkson is also desirable enough to not only get us back something we need, but possibly even allow us to move out a bad contact (well one within reason, like say Salavdor's) along with him.

What if Clarkson brought us back a Kaberle and we could also still keep Martin? What if indeed.

So anyway... What are your thoughts? Is trading Clarkson tantamount to a mutiny amongst your ranks? Or does anyone else feel that while he is an asset to the team, he could also bring back something we have a greater need for than his particular skill set.

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