The fact that you think the problem with this trade is SJ trading Ferraro is.... surprising to say the least.
Ferraro is a 2nd round draft pick from 2017... He has a bit more than 100 games in the NHL. Dahlin has over 100 points. Ferraro is in no way untouchable. This trade is basically a high first for a recent 1st overall pick, it makes no sense for the Sabres.
They could realistically be asking for a 1st and Eklund provided they get some protection if their pick happens to be THE 1st overall selection
It's really clear that neither of you are Sharks fans.
Is Dahlin a genuinely excellent player who is clearly much better than Ferraro? Yep. Does that mean that this trade would be a good idea for San Jose? Nope.
It really does make sense in the abstract to try to get a player of Dahlin's caliber to build around - after all, San Jose's terrible, unmoveable, and unbuyoutable contracts start coming off the books in four years and they'll all be gone in six. Dahlin will only be 27 in six years and god knows that barring injury or disaster he's likely to be one of the better defensemen in the league. But the thing is, barring a miracle, I don't think we could afford to get him to that point.
Assuming that Dahlin signed a contract for $9 million (and that's unlikely - I think he'd get more) in 23/24, that would give us $50.5 million tied up in six contracts. Assume that the cap goes up a million dollars a year between then and now, for a grand total of $85 million - that would leave around $35 million dollars to figure out the rest of the roster, meaning an average of around $2 to $2.5 million per player. Oh, and Meier has a new contract the year before that, with the insane QO of $10 million dollars, so factor that in too.
Could it be done? Yeah, maybe, but it would be super
freaking challenging and the team would have a really ridiculously bad roster. If Kane's contract vanishes off San Jose's books or Dahlin signed a $4 million bridge deal through 24/25, then it gets closer
to do-able - but I don't think either of those things is very realistic.
Would I love to have a player of Dahlin's caliber and potential on the Sharks? Hell yeah, I would. But given that financial straightjacket and the contracts that have got us there, I think that the Sharks are going to have to put their heads down, accept that the next 3 or 4 seasons are going to be rough as hell, draft high, and develop their way out of this mess. That makes trading away any first round picks inadvisable in the extreme, which is a not insignificant part of my objection to this trade. With regards to Ferraro, I don't think I can overstate how much San Jose's fanbase has fallen in love with him in an incredibly short period of time - a poll conducted by the Athletic found that he's almost tied with Couture for the 2nd most popular player behind Hertl, who we're most likely going to lose this year. Fan engagement and enthusiasm is low and I think is likely to stay that way for a while - even adding a piece like Dahlin wouldn't magically make the Sharks good
again - and trading away a player who is that
popular in that
situation is, imo, not a great plan. Additionally, we've got a major locker room issue, and he's widely regarded amongst his teammates as already being one of the best guys in the room.
Like I said: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It's a complicated situation and it's just not as easy as Dahlin > Ferraro.