With the NHL offseason in full gear I have been hesitant to begin writing again because of all the news that comes with each new day. I wanted to do a special leading up to the NHL awards but the summer weather has been too nice to stay indoors for too long (even as I write this I am soaking in some rays on my balcony). General managers are closing deals every day and now that the draft and July 1st have come and pass I wanted to sit back and reflect on all of the action with 2 new posts, one follow trades and the other unrestricted free agent signings. This way all relative info will be in one convenient place.
Draft Day Deals
The biggest trade of the offseason thus far came at the draft, with Carolina acquiring Jordan Staal from the Pittsburgh Penguins. The trade in its entirety broke down to:
1st Round Pick 2012 (Derrick Pouliot)
I liked this trade for both teams, though I always tend to favor the team who ends up with the best player in the deal. Unfortunately for the Penguins and their fans, I think everyone saw this day coming when they drafted Staal 2nd overall in 2006 (still can't believe they could have had Toews!). A player with such talent and potential does not want to be stuck behind Crosby and Malkin his whole career. Although they were offering him a staggering pay check for 3rd line center duties (6M for 10 years, which Carolina later signed him to) I understand his urge to leave as a free agent. Ray Shero's hands were tied but he still got very good value for someone who they would only got one more year out of. Brandon Sutter is still very young and will be a great fit, thriving in the role as a 3rd line center on the Pens. I don't know very much about either of the defensive prospects Pitt picked up but have only read good things. Especially with the addition of Olli Maata later in the first round to join fellow London Knight Scott Harrington, the Penguins boast one of the most impressive groups of defensive prospects in the league. Staal should have a great year in Carolina playing with his older brother. I'd expect to see a breakout year with points, registering 60+.
Other notable deals included:
2nd Round Pick (2013)
I thought this was a great trade for the Islanders. It's no secret that the Ducks have been looking to shed salary but I was shocked that Lubo could be had for so little. I was surprised there wasn't more of a market out there for a defenseman who put up 68 points just 2 seasons ago, even with his 5.6M cap hit and 7M salary. Look for the Islanders to compete for the playoffs this year.
2nd Round Pick (Mike Winther)
I'm not huge fan of Riberio, but for straight up value this is a good trade for the Caps. They found a 2nd line center to take some pressure off Backstrom, and a skilled one at that to fit the mold of their team. Trouble is, I don't see this helping them very much come playoff time, but we shall see. I have been a big fan of Cody Eakin from his World Junior Championship days and he should turn into a good forward for Dallas, although they sold Riberio a little short here.
D Harrison Ruopp
G Marc Cheverie
3rd-Round Pick (Matthew Murray)
The Pens continue to shed salary with this trade, and it is a very nice salary dump pick up for Maloney and the Coyotes. Michalek is as steady as they come on the back-end, and he was obviously missed in Phoenix after leaving. Michalek and Oliver Ekman-Larsson should make a nice complimentary pairing. I don't know much about any of the prospects involved, but this should turn out well for the 'Yotes.
2nd Round Pick (Anthony Stolarz)
4th Round Pick (Fredrik Larsson)
4th Round Pick (2013)
Great trade for the Flyers. Get 3 prospects, an area which is lacking in Philly for a backup goalie that will likely not be anything more than a backup goalie in the forseeable future, especially not in Philly with Ilya Bryzgalov at the helm. Bobrovsky is an okay backup option but he is by no means the answer in net for the Blue Jackets. Look for them to continue to struggle this year with a Bobrovsky - Mason tandem in goal.