Trades like this happen all the time. Jack Johnson is terrible and Columbus traded Jeff Carter for him and a 1st round pick. The league still hasn't figured out that Jack Johnson is bad. Truth be told, the league is pretty ignorant of what is going on on other teams.
It's also a bit of teams thinking they can fix a player and that its the other teams fault for not getting more out of the player. Gelinas definitely has value in a league where Jason Garrison can get a major contract after one decent season with a bunch of PP goals. But he needs to be protected defensively and we desperately need some core forwards.
BTW, fantastic thread to start and great post.
I really love Zibanejad and I think he is very much obtainable for a fair price that we can afford. Makes so much sense for both teams actually.
I'd be surprised if Lou does not make some such trade either by the deadline but especially this offseason. He's almost going to be forced to do so.