The Calgary Flames acquired goaltender Brian Elliott from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for their second-round pick (35th overall) and a conditional third in 2018.
Having struck out on Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury and Tampa Bay’ Ben Bishop, the Flames finally land their starting goaltender in Elliott.
How long he’ll be with them could depend upon his performance next season. He’s eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, which explains why the Flames are kicking in a conditional third.
Still, the Flames gave up little to land Elliott, who carried the Blues to their first Western Conference Final since 2001. Consistency seems to be an issue for the 31-year-old. If the Flames opt to play wait-and-see on a new contract, he’ll need a solid performance throughout next season to extend his tenure in Calgary.
Montreal Canadiens trade center Lars Eller to the Washington Capitals in exchange for the Capitals second-round selections in 2017 and 2018.
The Canadiens also acquired center Andrew Shaw from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Montreal’s 2016 second-rounder (39th overall) and the Minnesota Wild’s second rounder (45th overall).
Once again, salary-cap constraints force the Blackhawks to part with a good young restricted free agent they couldn’t afford to re-sign. They’ll miss Shaw’s aggressive style. The 25-year-old won two championships with the Blackhawks as a pesky two-way center.
Re-signing Shaw won’t be a problem for the Canadiens, who could reportedly ink him to a five-year deal. He makes the Canadiens a tougher team to play against, bringing much-needed grit to their checking lines, as well as invaluable playoff experience.
They made room for Shaw by shipping Eller to the Capitals. He will likely slide into the third-line center spot in Washington, allow Jay Beagle to skate on the fourth line.
Eller’s performance seemed to suffer at times playing for Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien. Perhaps he’ll shine playing for Capitals bench boss Barry Trotz.
The Detroit Red Wings trade center Pavel Datsyuk and the 16th overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for center Joe Vitale, the New York Rangers first-round pick in 2016 (20th overall) and a second-round pick in 2016 (53).
Datsyuk is heading to Russia next season for family reasons. As expected, the Wings shipped out the remaining year ($7.5 million cap hit, $5.5 million in actual salary) to a club with the cap space willing to absorb it.
Earlier this month, there was talk the Wings might have to add a good young player like Teemu Pulkkinen or Tomas Jurco in the deal to move Datsyuk’s contract. Ultimately, it only cost them moving down four spots in the first round and taking on Vitale’s $1.116 million contract for next season.
The Coyotes, meanwhile, moved up four spots to select defenseman Jakob Chychrun, who was once considered a possible top-10 pick but slid down in the draft order.