It’s been an eventful past eight days in the NHL with an abundance of player movement to go along with the 2012 NHL entry draft.
The trades that happened weren’t exactly “smallish” deals. Take a look.
Tampa Bay acquired Anders Lindback, Kyle Wilson and a 2012 7th round draft pick from Nashville for Sebastian Caron, two picks in this year’s draft and a 2013 third round pick.
Winner: Tampa Bay
Tampa’s pick acquired from Nashville turned out to be 5’9” 163 lb. Nikita Gusev from Russia.
Nashville’s picks ended up being Pontus Aberg, a 5’11” 189 lb. winger, and Colton Sissons, a 6’0” 187 lb. Center.
Kyle Wilson has a chance to step right into Tampa’s lineup next year. He’s a good sized scoring/playmaking center which could help with the offensive depth for the Bolts. Anders Lindback is surely pencilled in as the starting goaltender with Mathieu Garon as his back-up. No chance the Lightning will re-sign Dwayne Roloson after his performance last season plus his age is a big factor. Dustin Tokarski will be waiting in the wings if Lindback doesn’t pan out.
Nashville might keep Sebastian Caron around to back up Rinne simply because they will want highly touted youngster Chet Pickard to play a ton in the minors rather than get ten games in at the NHL level behind Rinne. The Predators could be in trouble if Pekka Rinne goes down with an injury so one would expect them to acquire a veteran goaltender in the free agent market. Scott Clemmensen may get a look from Nashville.
Winner: Still, for now, Tampa Bay wins this deal.
Columbus acquires Sergei Bobrovsky from Philadelphia and the Flyers receive a 2012 2nd round pick (Anthony Stolarz 6’5” 210 lb. goalie) 2012 4th round pick (Fredrik Larsson 6’3” 172 lb. D-man) and a 2013 4th round pick.
The Blue Jackets were obviously desperate for a number one goaltender with the horrific play of late from once highly regarded Steve Mason. They have Allen York in the system who is probably not ready yet but who is for this team? They were at least smart and drafted Oscar Dansk (6’2” 187 lb. goalie) with their first pick in the second round of this year’s draft.
Philadelphia loaded up with some nice prospects, of course TBD if they will pan out or not, but this does leave a hole in goal with suspect goaltending last year by Ilya Bryzgalov. One has to dig VERY deep to find a suitable back-up goalie in Philadelphia but people should expect them to dip into free agency to acquire a bench warmer that is somewhat capable.
While I truly believe Bobo and Mason are going to get lit up this season, Philly has deepened their prospect depth but created a hole for a bench warmer. Not sure what their plans are for free agency (Suter?) but they had better watch their pennies if they plan to make a splash for a big time UFA. A back-up goaltender is extremely important and might not come too cheap.
Winner: Flyers, marginally.
New York Islanders acquire Lubomir Visnovsky and Anaheim receives a 2013 2nd round selection.
The 2013 NHL entry draft is supposed to be a deep one so the Ducks are probably thinking the Islanders will, once again, be near or at the bottom of the league after this season and that pick could end up being selection #31. The Ducks relieved themselves of a $5.6 million contract but also rid themselves of arguably their best D-man. Anaheim now has an extremely thin blue line and one can expect them to be making a deal or dipping into the free agent market this year. Perhaps if they finally trade (now disgruntled) Bobby Ryan, a solid top four D-man will be coming back as part of the deal.
The Islanders have solidified a nice top three trio with Visnovsky, Streit and Hamonic on the back end with MacDonald and Donovan being the four and five guys. Might see a rookie jump up this year to round out the defensive pairings on the Island this year but I wouldn’t be surprised if they took a look at a guy like Hal Gill.
Winner: Depending on what the Ducks do to get some D help, the victory in this deal goes to the Islanders, for now.
Washington trades Cody Eakin and a 2012 2nd round pick (Mike Winther 6’0” 172 lb. Center) to the Stars for Mike Ribiero.
Washington knows what they’re getting in Ribiero, a soft yet offensively skilled player who will put up the points for the Capitals. Dallas got some nice cap relief (like they needed any more) and received a young centerman in Eakin. Not sure what Dallas is doing this year but it looks like they will be struggling to get to the cap floor by the time the season begins. How long will rising star Jamie Benn put up with this? Only time will tell. This trade will help Washington right away (offensively) but will Ribiero fit into the system that the Capitals play this year? (Who knows what system that will be?)
Winner: Washington. While Dallas did what they wanted to do and dump salary, the edge goes to the Caps for creating more offensive depth.
Carolina receives Jordan Staal and Pittsburgh receives Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and a 2012 1st round draft pick (Derrick Pouliot D 5’11” 192 lbs.)
There is no doubt what Staal will bring to the Canes’ next season if he stays healthy and gets a lot more ice time, he and his brother, Eric, could both be 90 point players next season. Jordan Staal brings everything you need in a player and is going to pay great dividends for Carolina for many years.
Pittsburgh received Brandon Sutter who is a big Center and getting better and better each season. Sutter will surely be a star in this league sooner than later. Dumoulin is a puck moving D-man who also has good upside and then adding Pouliot (a big time offensive d-man); the Penguins are looking great now and down the road.
Winner: Even. The trade helped both clubs and will do so for many years.
Phoenix receives Zbynek Michalek and Pittsburgh receives goaltender Marc Cheverie, D-man Harrison Ruopp and a 2012 3rd round selection (Oskar Sundqvist 6’3” 172 lb. Center).
This seems like more of a salary dump than anything but with Pittsburgh getting some nice prospects while doing so. Yotes GM Don Maloney reaped the benefits of the salary dump and acquired a defenseman who will help fill a void if star player Keith Yandle is moved. The Penguins just deepened their minor league depth while adding some much needed cap relief.
Winner: Pittsburgh. Why re-acquire Michalek and then try to deal away Yandle? Why not keep the prospects and move forward with your star D-man who is signed through until 2015/2016?
Toronto receives James Van Riemsdyk and Philadelphia acquires Luke Schenn.
Maple Leaf fans must be ecstatic over this deal, Van Riemsdyk, 6’3” 190 lb. power forward with huge upside, has been on the wrong end of trade rumours throughout his short career in Philadelphia. James was a second round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and has played well in his three seasons so far but an injury cut his season short last year.
Schenn was also a high pick in 2008 going 5th overall and was slated to be the Leafs next great D-man. It hasn’t panned out that way thus far, unfortunately. Leafs nation was begging Brian Burke to trade away Schenn and to get something good in return and he did just that. Will Luke turn his career around in Philadelphia? Who knows, but from what we’ve seen from Schenn is digression from his rookie season in 2008/2009 and for Van Riemsdyk we’ve seen progression from his rookie season.
There seems to be a trend with uniting brothers in the NHL of late.
Winner: Toronto. Hands down.