NHL moves….Here’s my two cents worth!
Taylor Hall (Edmonton) for Adam Larsson (New Jersey). This is an absolutely brutal trade for the Oilers as they succeeded in trading an A-Level right-winger for an at-best B-Level defenceman. If Edmonton general manager Peter Chiarelli was so intent on shoring up his mediocre corps of blueliners, he could have shipped the underachieving Nail Yakupov to Jersey for Larsson. And if that wouldn’t get the deal done, why couldn’t Chiarelli wait for free agency to start just two days later so he could sign Jason Demers, another right-handed defenceman who is certainly comparable to Larsson? That way Edmonton could have kept Hall while still improving their defence. Again, just a very bad and short-sighted trade for the Oilers.
P.K. Subban (Montreal) for Shea Weber (Nashville) If the old axiom that the team that receives the best player in a trade is the winner of the deal, then the Canadiens win this deal by a sizable margin. Weber is significantly better defensively and is just as good offensively as Subban – all of this in addition to not being a team distraction off the ice and/or in the dressing room. The only drawback to this move for the Canadiens is that Weber’s contract runs longer than Subban’s and they will be paying their new acquisition until he is 40-41 years old.
Kerby Rychel (Columbus) for Scott Harrington (Toronto) and a conditional fifth round pick in 2017 – A former team captain of the Windsor Spitfires, Rychel was clearly in need of a change of scenery and the Leafs obtained him for a very reasonable price. These days, Toronto is the land of opportunity for young players such as Kerby. Good luck kid – you’re going to need it.
Patrick Seiloff (Calgary) for Alex Chiasson (Ottawa) It never ceases to amaze me how NHL teams rush players to The Show – only to discard them quickly in the following seasons. Seiloff, a hard-rick of a rearguard who joined the Flames as a 19-year-old from the Spitfires, should be an immediate contributor for the Senators.
Free Agent Signings
LW Milan Lucic – Edmonton – 7 seasons @ $6 Million – The Oilers obviously had this guy in their sights when they made the short-sided trade of Taylor Hall. While Lucic should do fine riding shotgun on a line with superstar-in-the-making Connor McDavid, the length of his contract is about three seasons too long.
RW Troy Brouwer – Calgary – 4 seasons @ $4.5 million – A good combination of size and skill, it won’t be too long before Brouwer wears the ‘C’ with the Flames.
LW Matt Martin – Toronto – 4 seasons @ $2.5 million – The NHL’s hit leader for the past few seasons with the Islanders, this Windsor native – who made the OHL’s Sarnia Sting as a free agent – will make an immediate impact in Toronto. He will have to extend his time with the Leafs if he wants to still be with the team when they finally become a force to be reckoned with in the NHL. This is possibly the best free agent signing by a Canadian-based NHL team so far this off-season
C Steve Ott – Detroit – 1 season @ $800,000 – A low risk/high reward move for the Wings. Look for the former Spitfire, who is coming off an injury-plagued season with the St. Louis Blues, to be motivated by playing in his virtual backyard and revive his career. Detroit general manager Ken Holland may want to start contract extension talks mid-season.
C Frans Neilson – Detroit – 6 seasons @ $5.25 million – Neilson was possibly the best two-way forward available in free agency this summer. While the former Islander pivot won’t make the pain of losing Pavel Datsyuk go away anytime soon, his stellar play will help lessen the discomfort somewhat. His cap hit is but the length of his contract is two seasons too long.
LW Thomas Vanek – Detroit – 1 season @ $2.6 million – This is probably not money well spent by the Wings. Vanek, who was bought out of his contract by the Minnesota Wild, will likely be KHL-bound by mid-season.
D Zach Redmond – Montreal – 2 seasons @ $612,500 – Redmond, who played last season in Colorado with the Avalanche, will never be an all-star, but he is a serviceable journeyman NHL depth defenceman. His nominal contract will likely help keep top pick Mikhail Sergachev in Windsor this season with the Memorial Cup-hosting Spitfires.