Us hockey fans get all worked up over the trade deadline because there is about 14 hours of TV coverage that day. The thing is, sometimes all the big trades happen in the weeks leading up to the deadline. This was definitely true this year, where the biggest trade on the actual deadline day centered around Kris Russell. I’ll get back to that one later. The weekend leading up to the deadline saw a lot of trades, though. I’m going look into some interesting trades that occurred in the last few days and share my unwanted opinion on them.
F Tomas Fleischmann 2018 second round pick
F Dale Weise F Phillip Danault
G James Reimer G Alex Stalock
A lot of Leafs fans seemed to be upset with this one, but I’m not sure what else you could do here. The Sharks were the only team in the market for a rental goaltender. There goes all of your leverage. At that point you take the two salary dumps and your draft pick and move on. From the Sharks standpoint it’s a good deal. After Lou Lamoriello fleeced Sharks GM Doug Wilson for two second round picks in exchange for Polak and Spaling, Wilson got some value back in this deal. They have a young goaltender in Martin Jones who has been inconsistent and they can now split starts to take a little pressure off of him. By the way, the condition on this pick is that the fourth round pick turns into a third round pick if the Sharks make the Stanley Cup finals this year. Don’t count on it.
2016 2nd Round Draft Pick F Jiri Hudler
2018 4th Round Draft Pick
Dale Tallon woke up on Saturday morning, stuffed a bunch of draft picks into a t-shirt cannon and just sprayed them around the NHL. First they traded a second and fourth rounder for Hudler, which was a good return for the Flames. Then he traded a 2016 third round pick to the Oilers for Teddy Purcell. That’s a good deal for both sides. Then he decided he needed Jakub Kindl who he traded a sixth round pick for. Kindl has only played in 25 games for the Red Wings this season, but he owns a CF of 55%. Maybe they see that as promising for a potential bottom pairing role. I understand that the Panthers felt they needed to make these moves and go for it while Luongo is still really good, but I don’t think they’re legitimate contenders just yet. They have a good mix of young stars and wily veterans, but they are riding a lot of luck as well. Their score adjusted CF sits 20th in the league and they are riding a PDO of 101.9 which is good for second highest in the NHL. While I think they are only a couple of years from being annual cup contenders, those numbers suggest that they aren’t as good as their record says just yet. The Panthers have to make money while they can, though. If they can put people in the seats for an added playoff series, they have to do it.
F Aleksi Saarela F Eric Staal
2017 2nd round pick
The New York Rangers have traded future assets for an aging star. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. I think the Rangers are in a lot of trouble moving forward. Henrik Lundqvist is 34 years old and the rest of their core aren’t particularly young. They also don’t have much for prospects or picks in the pipeline because they’ve been throwing them around like candy for a few years. They have to try to win right now, but I don’t think they’re that good. Their CF percentage is just above the Panthers and they also sport a pretty high PDO. They’ve made some mistakes along the way, signing Dan Girardi and Marc Staal to long term deals while letting Anton Stralman walk. Staal and Girardi’s contracts are the definition of negative value, while Stralman is one of the most underrated defencemen in the league. I think Eric Staal will help them right now, but I don’t think he moves the Rangers into the top tier of the league. Decent haul for the Hurricanes though, picking up two second rounders and a good prospect for their rebuild.
D Jyrki Jokipakka D Kris Russell
Cond. 2016 2nd Round Pick
F Brett Pollock
The overvaluation of Kris Russell is one of the most mysterious things to me. This guy drags all of his defensive partners down in terms of possession numbers and sports a CF of 43%. That’s terrible. People like to mention he’s a good shot blocker. I sure hope so. He plays the entire game in his own end he has no choice. The Stars gave up a good young defenseman, a good prospect and a conditional second rounder for a guy who drags his teammates down. The kicker is that the Stars apparently had their choice of Russell or Dan Hamhuis and chose Russell. Also, the condition on the second round pick is that it becomes a first round pick if the Stars make the Conference Finals this year and Russell plays in 50% of those games. So yeah. Good haul for the Flames.
F Alex Tanguay F Mikael Boedker
F Conner Bleackley
D Kyle Wood
Boedker is another guy who all of a sudden became way overvalued in his contract season. So, naturally, the Avalanche went out and way overpaid for him. They’re clinging onto the last wild card spot in the West and have no chance of doing anything if they make the playoffs unless they miraculously wake up and make a coaching change with 20 games left in the season. Now they’re trading young assets for Boedker. Boedker sports a terrible CF of 45% and has never scored 20 goals in his career. All of a sudden he’s in his contract season and his value. Tanguay was thrown into this deal as a contract dump and I think he’s actually better than Boedker. Anyway, Elliotte Friedman highlighted an interesting part of this trade in his “30 Thoughts,” column on sportsnet.ca. Conner Bleackley is a 2014 first round pick of Colorado’s who was not going to sign with the team. If the Coyotes choose to leave him unsigned by the draft, they get a second round pick in compensation. The location of that pick is determined by where he was chosen in the first round. He was chosen 23rd, so the Coyotes would get the 23rd pick of the second round, which would be 53rd overall.
D Connor Carrick F Daniel Winnik
F Brooks Laich 2016 5th round draft pick
2016 second round pick
I had to slip this one in here because I love it. Daniel Winnik was traded by the Leafs for the second time in a year and once again brought in a second round pick. Last year he was traded to the Penguins for a second rounder and fourth rounder. This year he was traded with a fifth for a second, a good young defenceman in Connor Carrick and Brooks Laich as a salary dump to sweeten the deal. Laich had to be taken back to make this deal work, as he’s signed for $4.5 million through next season. These two teams face off on Wednesday night. Look for my game day report on leafshub.com tomorrow afternoon.
Until next year
It was much more fun to write this than it was to refresh twitter for hours on Monday hoping for trades that didn’t come in until the deadline was within an hour. My favourite part of this year’s deadline day was all the Marlies getting called up to the Leafs and playing against the Lightning that night.