NHL Trade Deadline: Reviewing the Unexpected Deals
New York Rangers re-sign Chris Kreider to a seven-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $6.5 million
Not a trade, but Kreider was considered the top trade bait entering deadline day. Reports out of New York this morning suggested he was likely to be moved. The Rangers bent on the term, as they reportedly offered a six-year deal. Perhaps the Kreider camp gave a little on the dollars. The 28-year-old left-winger gets the long-term deal to stay put, but time will tell if this deal pans out over the long term for the Blueshirts.
New York Islanders acquire center Jean-Gabriel Pageau
The Islanders address a glaring need on their forward lines with Pageau, a skilled two-way player who can skate at center or on the wing. They overpaid to get him, sending a conditional first-round pick in 2020, a 2020 second-rounder, and a conditional third in 2022 to the Ottawa Senators. That was offset by re-signing Pageau to a six-year, $30-million contract extension. The rebuilding Senators got a fine return, leaving them with potentially 13 picks in the 2020 Draft, with nine of those in the first three rounds.
The Hurricanes shored up their banged-up blueline by parting with a first-round pick for Skjei and shipping forward Janne Kuokkanen and a conditional second-round pick to the Devils for Vatanen. With Dougie Hamilton out for several more weeks with a broken leg and Brett Pesce sidelined by an upper-body injury, Skjei and Vatanen should help fill the gaps.
Florida Panthers trade Vincent Trocheck to the Carolina Hurricanes
The Panthers were rumored for weeks to be in the market for a top-four defenseman and Trocheck recently surfaced as a trade candidate. Instead, they swap him for checking-line forwards Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark plus two prospects. Trocheck, meanwhile, should provide the Hurricanes with some welcome depth at center.
Vegas Golden Knights acquire goaltender Robin Lehner
Big pickup there for the Golden Knights, shipping Malcolm Subban, a prospect and a second-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2019 Vezina Trophy finalist. Lehner will share the duties with starter Marc-Andre Fleury, providing Vegas with a solid one-two punch between the pipes.
Pittsburgh Penguins acquire forwards Patrick Marleau, Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford made a significant move earlier this month by acquiring Jason Zucker from Minnesota. He wasn’t done tinkering with his forward lines, bringing in three key playoff rentals. They got Marleau for the San Jose Sharks for a conditional third-rounder and shipped center Dominik Kahun to the Buffalo Sabres for winger Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues. In the twilight of his career, Marleau gets a final shot at winning the Stanley Cup. It’s Sheary’s second go-around with the Penguins, winning Cups with them in 2016 and 2017. Rodrigues had requested a trade from the Sabres earlier in the season.
Edmonton Oilers deal for winger Andreas Athanasiou
The Oilers sent Sam Gagner and two second-round picks to the Detroit Red Wings for one of the fastest players in the league in Athanasiou, prompting speculation he’ll become a new linemate for Connor McDavid. If those two mesh well together, Athanasiou will regain the 30-goal form that he’s been lacking this season. Failing that, perhaps he’ll be a better fit on their second line with either Leon Draisaitl or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Oilers also acquired winger Tyler Ennis from the Ottawa Senators and defenseman Mke Green from the Red Wings.
Calgary Flames bring in Erik Gustafsson and Derek Forbort
With Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic still sidelined, the Flames sent a third-round pick in 2020 to the Chicago Blackhawks for Gustafsson and a conditional fourth in 2021 to the Los Angeles Kings for Forbort. Gustafsson is a mobile blueliner and Forbort will bring a physical edge to the Flames defense corps.
Buffalo Sabres acquire winger Wayne Simmonds
The Sabres sent a fifth-rounder in 2021 to the New Jersey Devils for Simmonds. He’ll provide leadership and experience, but won’t address their ongoing need for a scorer. At least they didn’t pay much to get him, plus the Devils picked up half of his $5-million salary-cap hit.
Boston Bruins trade winger Danton Heinen to the Anaheim Ducks for Nick Ritchie
This is a swap of two young forwards who needed a change of scenery. Ritchie was the Ducks first-round pick (10th overall) in 2014 but struggled to play up to expectations as a power forward. Heinen had a promising rookie performance (47 points) in 2017-18, but his production has eroded since then.
Colorado Avalanche land Vladislav Namestnikov
With their forward lines depleted by injuries, the Avs sent a 202 fourth-rounder to the Ottawa Senators for the versatile Namestnikov. The 27-year-old is a solid two-way forward who can skate at center or on the wing. He should fit in well on their checking lines.
Philadelphia Flyers add Derek Grant and Nate Thompson
The Flyers had an interest in Jean-Gabriel Pageau before the Senators shipped him to the Islanders. They instead went a more affordable route, sending a minor-league forward and a 2020 fourth-rounder to the Anaheim Ducks for Grant, and a 2021 fifth-rounder to the Montreal Canadiens for Nate Thompson. The two veterans will provide the Flyers with experienced depth up the middle.
Vancouver Canucks acquire Louis Domingue
With starting goalie Jacob Markstrom sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury, the Canucks sent minor-league goalie Zane McIntyre to the Devils for Domingue. He’ll split the duties with Thatcher Demko and should provide some additional insurance once Markstrom returns.
The NHL Trade Deadline is 3 pm ET today. This listing will be updated regularly throughout the day until all trade activity is complete.
Anaheim Ducks trade defenseman Korbinian Holzer to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Matt Irwin.
Washington Capitals trade defenseman Christian Djoos to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Daniel Sprong.
Montreal Canadiens trade Nick Cousins to the Vegas Golden Knights. Details to follow…
New Jersey Devils trade goaltender Louis Domingue to the Vancouver Canucks in exhange for goalie Zane McIntyre
Tampa Bay Lightning acquire Barclay Goodrow from the San Jose Sharks for a first-round pick.
New York Rangers traded defenseman Brady Skjei to the Carolina Hurricanes for the Hurricanes’ first-round pick in 2020.
Vegas Golden Knights acquired goaltender Robin Lehner from the Chicago Blackhawks for Malcolm Subban, Slava Demin and a 2nd round pick.
New Jersey Devils trade defenseman Sami Vatanen to the Carolina Hurricanes for winger Janne Kuokkanen and a second-round pick.
Buffalo Sabres trade Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Dominik Kahun.
Calgary Flames acquire defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the Chicago Blackhawks for a third-round pick.
Los Angeles Kings ship defenseman Derek Forbort to the Calgary Flames for a fourth-round pick.
Edmonton Oilers trade a fifth-round pick in 2021 to the Ottawa Senators for Tyler Ennis.
Edmonton Oilers acquired Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner from the Detroit Red Wings for Sam Gagner, a second-round pick in 2020 and a second-rounder in 2021.
Boston Bruins trade Danton Heinen to the Anaheim Ducks for Nick Ritchie.
Buffalo Sabres acquire winger Wayne Simmonds from the New Jersey Devils for a conditional fifth-rounder in 2021.
Philadelphia Flyers acquire center Derek Grant from the Anaheim Ducks for minor-league center Kyle Crisuolo and a fourth-round pick in 2020.
Toronto Maple Leafs trade goaltender Michael Hutchinson to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Calle Rosen.
Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Patrick Marleau from the San Jose Sharks for a conditional third-round pick in 2020. The pick becomes a second-rounder if the Penguins win the Stanley Cup.
Montreal Canadiens trade center Nate Thompson to the Philadelphia Flyers for a fifth-round pick in 2021.
Florida Panthers trade center Vincent Trocheck to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for forwards Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark and prospects Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen.
New York Islanders acquire center Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the New York Islanders for a first-round pick (lottery protected) in 2020, a second-rounder in 2020, and a third in 2022. There are conditions attached to all picks. The Islanders re-sign him to a six-year contract extension.
Ottawa Senators trade Vladislav Namestnikov to the Colorado Avalanche for a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft.
Detroit Red Wings trade defenseman Mike Green to the Edmonton Oilers for sidelined forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional draft pick.
Game recaps, stars of the week, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: NHL scoring leading Nikita Kucherov scored twice and set up three others to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Kucherov is now one point shy of 100 on the season. He was also named the league’s first star for the week ending Feb. 17. St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby were the second and third stars.
The Lightning didn’t escape from the game unscathed as defenseman Victor Hedman left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. However, Lightning coach Jon Cooper doesn’t think it’s too serious.
San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton tallied his first hat trick since 2010 but it wasn’t enough to prevent his club from dropping a 6-5 overtime decision to the Boston Bruins. Charlie McAvoy tallied the winner for the Bruins, who extended their win streak to six games. Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci each had three-point performances.
Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat also had a five-point game (three goals, two assists) as the Chicago Blackhawks nipped the Ottawa Senators 8-7. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane collected three points to extend his points streak to 18 games. Colin White and Thomas Chabot each tallied twice for the Senators. The Blackhawks (59 points) sit one point out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
The Colorado Avalanche also moved to within a point of that wild-card spot by blanking the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0. Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves for the shutout.
Alex Ovechkin scored twice and John Carlson collected his 300th career point as the Washington Capitals hung on for a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Ovechkin leads the league with 42 goals.
The Calgary Flames (79 points) took over the top spot in the Western Conference by downing the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund, and Michael Frolik each had a goal and an assist.
WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo has returned to Buffalo for evaluation after not feeling well over the weekend. Defenseman Marco Scandella is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
SPORTSNET: Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen will be sidelined for a month with a fractured rib.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei is expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes after suffering a minor leg injury over the weekend.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers placed forwards Jujhar Khaira and Jesse Puljujarvi on injured reserve, recalled defenseman Andrej Sekera and Josh Currie, and placed defenseman Brandon Manning on waivers.
TSN: The Chicago Blackhawks acquired center Peter Holland from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Darren Raddysh.
THE SCORE: Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’amour doesn’t care what critics think of his club’s elaborate post-game victory celebrations. “It’s about our players engaging our fans and thanking them for sticking with us, being there (for us), and trying to provide a little levity to a pretty serious game. We push these guys pretty hard,” he said.
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Scott Powers interviewed former Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa, who explained how a serious skin condition changed his life and brought his playing career to an end. The condition began about six years ago and worsened over time, while the treatments also took a toll. Since he stepped away from the game in 2017, the condition has cleared up and Hossa said he can now lead a normal life. He’s also finally accepted that his playing days are over.
Latest on the Leafs, Rangers, Penguins, Senators, and Canadiens in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
LATEST ON THE NYLANDER IMPASSE
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston provides an update on the contract standoff between the Toronto Maple Leafs and restricted free agent winger William Nylander. Though the Dec. 1 deadline to get him under contract is less than two weeks away, Johnston said the Leafs are comfortable letting the winger sit out the season if a deal cannot be reached or if a suitable trade offer doesn’t present itself by then.
Nick Kypreos reports there are teams that aren’t discouraged by the high asking price set by the Nylander camp. At one point it was believed they sought $8 million per season but some clubs feel that could come down to closer to $7 million.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers are among the clubs interested in Nylander though they’re not considered among the front-runners. He dismissed speculation suggesting they’re out of the running because they won’t include defenseman Brady Skjei in the package, noting the Leafs prefer a right-handed blueliner over a lefty like Skjei. If he was to be the primary part of the deal, Brooks believes that move would be made quickly, especially given Skjei’s struggles this season.
Brooks also wondered if the Leafs could be further enticed by adding winger Chris Kreider to the deal. Kreider will be eligible for unrestricted free agent status in 2020. Brooks speculates he could be shopped at the February trade deadline or the draft if the Rangers aren’t comfortable with the cost of re-signing him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering how well the Leafs are playing without Nylander and with Auston Matthews sidelined, it’s understandable why they could be willing to let Nylander sit out the season. Of course, if a club makes a substantial offer for the young winger before Dec. 1, Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas could jump on it. For now, however, I expect the Leafs and the Nylander camp will use the next couple of weeks trying to hash out a contract. The pressure could be building on Nylander more than the Leafs now.
As for Brooks’ suggestion of Kreider and Skjei for Nylander, I don’t think that’s going to happen. After all, the Rangers supposedly aren’t among the front-runners, and if Skjei isn’t the type of defenseman the Leafs want, then there’s no point discussing this further. I don’t see Kreider for Nylander straight up taking place.
There could be teams willing to pay what Nylander wants salary-wise, but are they willing to meet the Leafs’ asking price in the trade market? That could be a more difficult question to answer.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford might not be done dealing as he tries to shake up his struggling roster. Last week, Rutherford shipped left wing Carl Hagelin to the Los Angeles Kings for winger Tanner Pearson. Young forward Daniel Sprong could be one of the players the Pens GM is willing to move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman isn’t the only one who thinks Rutherford could make another move. TSN’s Bob McKenzie also believes Rutherford isn’t done seeking a trade that can reverse his club’s fortunes. While he expects the Penguins GM could get creative and aggressive he doesn’t see him moving any of his core players. That means someone like Sprong, Bryan Rust or maybe even Jake Guentzel could be on the move soon.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports significant contract talks between the Ottawa Senators and pending unrestricted free agent forward Mark Stone haven’t started yet. There’s a feeling the Senators hoped to readdress it in mid-December. The earliest Stone can be re-signed is after January 1. Kypreos notes Stone and fellow UFA Matt Duchene will want significant signing bonuses.
Chris Johnston reports there were more contract conversations between Duchene’s agent and the Senators. That could indicate Duchene could be sticking around.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both will be expensive to retain. Stone will likely cost over $7.5 million per season to re-sign. Duchene’s off to the best start of his career and could look for over $8 million per. While it’s not a certainty either guy gets shopped at the trade deadline, I’m not sure if the Senators can afford to keep both of them. Cap space isn’t the issue but it’s widely known the Senators are having money troubles. Owner Eugene Melnyk could be unwilling or unable to invest the big bucks to keep those two in Ottawa.
CANADIENS SHOPPING A DEFENSEMAN?
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Montreal Canadiens could be looking at moving a defenseman via trade with sidelined blueliner Shea Weber expected to return to the lineup soon.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin would probably love to move Karl Alzner and his $4.625-million annual cap hit through 2021-22. Alzner’s been a healthy scratch for most of this season as his slow-footed defensive style doesn’t suit the Habs fast-paced game. However, I doubt he’ll find any takers for the veteran blueliner.
Rangers re-sign Brady Skjei, list of remaining arbitration hearings, reviewing the Islanders offseason moves and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers avoided salary arbitration with defenseman Brady Skjei as the two sides agreed to a six-year, $31.5-million contract. The annual average value is $5.25 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This signing reflects the faith Rangers management have in the 24-year-old Skjei, who has blossomed in just two seasons into a mobile top-four defenseman. He’s expected to start the coming season on the top pairing alongside Kevin Shattenkirk. If Skjei continues his anticipated development, this contract could turn into a bargain for the Rangers.
NHLPA.COM: Only nine players remain scheduled for hearings entering the final week of the 2018 NHL salary-arbitration period.
Calgary Flames winger Garnet Hathaway’s hearing is slated for July 30, Ottawa Senators defenseman Cody Ceci and Dallas Stars center Gemel Smith have theirs on August 1, New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes and Nashville Predators winger Miikka Salomaki are slated for Aug. 2, Senators winger Matt Stone for Aug. 3 and Vegas Golden Knights’ center William Karlsson, Colorado Avalanche blueliner Patrik Nemeth and Rangers forward Ryan Spooner on Aug. 4.
NEWSDAY: New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello is getting mixed reviews for his offseason moves since taking over the role on June 5. He’s earned praise for overhauling the front office and coaching staff (including his hires of Barry Trotz as head coach and Mitch Korn as goaltending director) as well as his selections in the 2018 NHL Draft. However, his roster moves have drawn criticism, especially his free-agent signings of bottom-six forwards such as Leo Komarov and Valtteri Filppula, and his inability to bolster the blueline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I understand the unhappiness over Lamoriello’s roster moves but he had little choice. John Tavares, the club’s franchise player, opted to sign with Toronto and there really wasn’t any viable options via the trade or free agent markets to replace him. The loss of Tavares means the Isles are now forced into a transitional period as Lamoriello evaluates the roster in 2018-19.
He‘s opted to bring in checking-line depth while promoting Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson into larger roles. The pickings were slim for decent free-agent defensemen and the cost of a top-four rearguard in the trade market was likely more than he was willing to pay right now. Bringing in goaltender Robin Lehner could improve the Isles between the pipes, especially under Korn’s tutelage.
The Islanders appear to be a long shot to reach the 2019 playoffs. Under Trotz’s coaching, however, they should be competitive in the coming season.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour is seeking $3 million for his North Raleigh home.