Tag: NHL Trade Rumors

Are the Boston Bruins in the market for depth up the middle?

What an idea it has been from Bruins´ head coach Bruce Cassidy! His Bruins lost three in a row for the first time in the season without getting at least a point. And with one simple move, a move many asked for: play David Krejci as a top line center.

And since then, the Bruins won their last three games and the newly created top line has been delivering big-time. David Krejci has one goal and five assists for 6 points and +7 plus/minus, David Pastrnak has the same numbers, but +6 rating and Brad Marchand benefited form this change the most, Marchand collected three goals and five assists with +6 rating in last three games.

Brad Marchand just recently ended his 7-game goaless drought and right after breaking that streak (against New York Islanders two weeks ago) he went three games without a point. After David Krejci´s promotion to the top line, Marchand is suddenly playing his best hockey of the season.

Bergeron´s chemistry with Pastrnak and Marchand was arguably the best in the NHL, but since Bergeron´s injury (12 games as of now), it has not been pleasant for either Pastrnak or Marchand, whatsoever with having Colby Cave centering them… But David Krejci is not Colby Cave, he is still a top-quality center in the NHL.

Good center might be the missing piece for the Bruins

Well, this has something to tell the Bruins. First, keep that top line together, of course. Secondly, the Bruins need a quality center, even with Bergeron back. Boston´s fans have been calling for reenforcement up front since forever. But who should the Bruins aim, Rick Nash-type player to combine as a right-winger with David Krejci, or someone else?

Yes, the Bruins should acquire quality center. Fluto Shinzawa from The Athletic talked about the possibility of trading for Charlie Coyle from Minnesota or Jeff Carter from Los Angeles. Bingo. That´s what the Bruins really need. When Bergeron will be back, top line should stay hot.

David Krejci has a very formidable season and Jake DeBrusk was having quite a run before being out with unfortunate concussion. But what about the third line? What about the potential scenario of Krejci´s or Bergeron´s injury? Acquiring a good quality center (like Coyle or Carter, maybe even Nugent-Hopkins) would do the trick.

cut
Bruins showed what could they do with improved center position

Why? The Bruins have so many great young wingers, Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork, or Peter Cehlarik and Zach Senyshyn from Providence. David Backes or Ryan Donato showed that they are playing their best hockey on the wing and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson has been solid in the middle, but not quite what the Bs are looking for on a consistent basis.

Without Bergeron and yet without any trade being realized, the Bruins are still able to deliver with just one good center, just what they showed in last three games. And what about having three of them? The Bruins are a play-off team with ability to deliver and get some results even with so many injuries. If they want to have legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup, aside from not having injuries, Boston needs a help in the center position.

Advertisements

Where Phil Kessel Will and Will Not End Up?

The 31-year-old goal scorer was recently to be rumored on the trade mill. Is this the end of the road for Kessel in Pittsburgh? Kessel has spent three and a half season with Pittsburgh scoring 93 goals, 157 assists with 250 points in 272 games. Kessel has played all 82 games in his three seasons with Pittsburgh and has played in all 26 games this season he has yet to miss a game during his time in Pittsburgh. Kessel has spent 13 seasons in the NHL playing 940 games by the age of 31-years-old with 770 points over those 940 games. Kessel has a career of 340 goals and 430 assists. It would be shocking to see the goal scoring Penguins forward shipped off to yet another team at this point in his career. The Penguins are rumored to be looking to move Kessel and for a matter of fact everyone else as well besides Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Where Kessel MAY go?

Kessel has a cap hit of 6.8 million until 2022-23 therefore finding a partner for him would not be easy at all. The Penguins projected cap space is $116,525 at the moment, with the increase of the salary cap next season this certainly benefits the Penguins but the Penguins also need to find someone to eat at least 25% or more of Kessel’s contract if he were to be moved.

Kessel will probably not go to Boston, they have a projected cap of 2.5 million so no way that is happening, he is not going to Toronto either so we should probably shut the down like right now. The Leafs have a projected cap of 5 million and they need to sign Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner so no shot there. Blackhawks have 3.2 million projected cap and not many players to re-sign but I am not sure with what is going on in Chicago they would welcome Kessel plus they do not have many prospects or current roster players to give up. No shot for Dallas with $317,000 left in cap and already way too many high contracts on the roster. Calgary, Edmonton and Anaheim are probably in no shape to go after Kessel either, essentially anyone in that Pacific can afford him. 

In summary Kessel will NOT end up in

Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, Calgary, Edmonton, Anaheim or any Pacific team.

Where Kessel MAY end up: 

Carolina has 16 million left in cap space but they do have six top-nine players to re-sign next season two of them Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho who will be getting a nice contract. Columbus has six million left in cap right now but Artemi Panarin may be leaving so that could be an option to add another scorer if Panarin leaves. The Devils have 14 million but have nine contracts to work out next season. The Islanders have 10 million and four to five must sign back players next season, Flyers have 8.5 million with two must sign back players if the Flyers let go of Simmonds it really opens up space. Colorado has 12 million but Mikko Rantanen to re-sign and four other players to re-sign, Wild have 2.45 million left in cap, a good amount of projected prospects and draft picks to shed along with current roster players to shed.

The final verdict: 

Kessel goes no where because if the Penguins trade Kessel and expect any young player and or any other player to play and produce the way Kessel has is slim. Kessel is grossly under valued on the Penguins roster but he is always consistent and has been a 0.92 point per game player and coming off a 92 point year. I am sorry but if the Penguins actually think they are going to go out on the market and get someone to do the same or more then Kessel than they would be making a huge mistake. I think this whole Kessel trade rumor junk is for Jim Rutherford and Mike Sullivan to scare the Penguins players and show them no one is safe.

Artemi Panarin to sit down with agent and talk future with Blue Jackets come All-Star break

It is no surprise here that the Blue Jackets and Panarin are coming to an end in their contract. Panarin is on a 6 million dollar deal and becomes a UFA (unrestricted free agent) at the end of the 2018-2019 season. Panarin is leading the Blue Jackets with 6 goals and 20 assists on the year and seems to be enjoying his time right now in Columbus as they are 2nd in the Metropolitan division, one point behind Washington for the lead with a 14-8-2 record. 

Dan Milstein, Panarin’s agent said come the All-Star break January 20th- January 24th he will sit down with Panarin and discuss Panarin’s future with Columbus. 

Milstein also reported to the Columbus Dispatch that Panarin “is genuinely happy with the way things are going this season,” Milstein said. “We will talk business during his break (in January).”

Panarin is a 27-year-old super star right now, he has been in the league for 3.5 years, playing in 266 games recording 259 points (94G, 165A). It would be an absolute tragedy in Columbus if the Blue Jackets allow this kid to walk for nothing and do not end up trading him by the time his contract expires or re-sign him. There were reports that Panarin would be open to hearing offers from the Blackhawks but other than that tiny rumor, there has been no movement in terms of contract talks between Panarin and Columbus. 

Bruins with plenty of options on defense, not so much up front. Would a move make sense?

The Bruins have plenty of things to think about. Trade deadline is not that much close, but there are some questions, which may require answers until next spring. The need is pretty much clear and same all the time – how to improve offense.

We do not need to be geniuses to see that the Bruins have one of the best defenses in the league, but many times they fall short in terms of their offensive production. Maybe a trade or move would solve it? Last season GM Don Sweeney did not hesitate to improve his team, most notably he acquired Rick Nash and gave up 1st round draft pick in the process.

This should not be an indication of future moves to happen, but it may help us to read whole situation. The Bruins seemingly need make their offense better. Even with Bergeron in the lineup Boston has been shut out four times this season, which is already more times than whole last year.

Healthy D-core indication for potential trade?

If the Bruins are healthy within their defensive core, they may be ready to shuttle stuff up front. Why? There might be two answers – they need improvement up forward and… How will they rotate their whole defense? If healthy (and IF is a big one here), the Bruins have Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy as first pair, Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo as second pair, John Moore and Kevan Miller as third pair.

And what about Matt Grzelcyk, left-handed defenseman, who has been stellar for the Bs this year. Okay, we can easily over-regard Steven Kampfer (sorry Steve!), but currently playing Connor Clifton and Jeremy Lauzon have been one huge surprise. Everyone thought, that the top talent guy in Providence in the AHL is Jakub Zboril, but it is Jeremy Lauzon. Connor Clifton, absolutely unexpectedly, just played his 6th game for big Bruins and was pretty solid.

cut
This line has been great… But what about the rest?

Then the Bruins got Urho Vaakaneinen, who is a 1st round draft pick from 2017. He was first choice out of Providence, not Lauzon, Zboril or Clifton, but was limited to play just four periods and sidelined ever since with a concussion. Vaakanainen has ton of upside, same with Lauzon, maybe Clifton. Matt Grzelcyk himself took advantage of the opportunity given last season and never looked back.

Okay, so seven solid defensemen in Boston, other three in Providence. Aside Chara or Miller, lot of future here. That´s also a reason why Adam McQuaid is not there anymore. Will the Bruins use experienced guy (Krug) or young promising Dman (Zboril, Lauzon) for trade purposes in order to improve offense? We will have to wait and see. But at one point, the Bruins may regret having overweight on their defense and lack of production within their forward lines.

Blackhawks send Nick Schmaltz to Arizona for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini

This was a late night deal that occured around 11:30 PM (EST) between the Coyotes and Blackhawks. Which certainly woke people up out of their sound sleep or probably was the last thing we all saw before our head hit the pillow Sunday night. This trade leaves us all a little confused. What was the objective of this trade?

Dylan Strome the Coyotes 2015 1st round third overall was quickly shipped out of Arizona only playing 48 total games with the Coyotes in the 2.5 years he was called up and down. The Coyotes may have moved on too quickly from the potential top-six forward but, Coyotes General Manager John Chayka said following the trade “There is a difference between patience and hope. The latter is not a way to build your organization”.

We can all agree this is hinted at Strome, Chayka clearly felt that there was hope for Strome to be good and they felt it was time to stop being patient with the player and move on from him.

They also part ways with 2014 1st round 12th overall pick Brendan Perlini. Perlini played 153 games with the Coyotes tallying 33 goals and 24 assists for 57 points. Perlini’s best season came last year where he tallied 30 points in 74 games. Perlini was another player not developing as quickly as the Coyotes would have liked.

With that acquire another 22 year old forward, Nick Schmaltz the Blackhawks 2014 1st round 20th overall pick. Schmaltz has played 162 games in the NHL scoring 29 goals and 91 points. He is coming off a 50 point season and 20 goal year. Yet on the year Schmaltz only has 2 goals and 9 assists in 23 games. 

Who won the trade? 

I think both make out well. The Blackhawks needed some depth it would have been nice to get a defenseman for the Blackhawks but with Strome and Perlini it makes the Blackhawks a bit deeper on the front end. The Coyotes now slate Schmaltz with his old teammate in Chicago Vinnie Hinostroza who has been buzzing this season. Plus Alex Galchenyuk, this is a solid second line and now the Coyotes have two very competitive lines that can score vs 1.5 lines that can score. In addition to the third line of Michael Grabner Brad Richardson and Christian Fischer, the Coyotes have a lot more depth now and balance in their line up. Either way more so better for the Coyotes right now could be better for Blackhawks long term. 

New York Rangers News: Ryan Strome heads to Broadway in exchange for Ryan Spooner

Yeah, not breaking news here we all know by now, but felt the need to cover it. The coverage will RAMP up once I get NHL.TV but anyways the Rangers welcome the “best” Strome to emerge in the league for Ryan Spooner.

Ryan Strome spent his first 4 years with the New York Islanders was traded for Jordan Eberele in 2017-18 off season.  Strome spent 82 games with the Oilers collecting 34 points (13G, 21A) last season. Strome scored 7 goals in the first half of the season and 6 in the second half. He went 22-games without scoring, then scored in his next four games. This is brought to light because this is Strome’s career in a nutshell, he is either ice cold or on fire. A former 2011 1st round fifth overall pick by the Islanders emerged in the league in 2013-14, he played 258 games with the Islanders collecting 126 points. Strome came in the limelight after his 2014-15 50 point season, since then he has not been the caliber player the Islander nor hockey reporters expected him to be. Strome spent 100 games with Edmonton tallying 36 points (14G, 22A). 

His counter part he was traded for Ryan Spooner has been the down the same path as Strome, spending time with three different clubs now in a matter of three years. Spooner came into the league in 2013-14 playing 23 games assisting on 11 goals, without scoring that season. The following year he played again 29 games for 8 goals and 10 assists this time around. Much like Strome, Spooner broke out in his second full season. Spooner played in 80 games in 2015-16 collecting 49 points (13G, 36A) spending another two years with Boston until he was shipped to New York mid-season in 2018. Spooner was involved in the Rick Nash deal many are aware of but Spooner  quickly made his presence known in New York, playing in 20 games tallying 16 points (4G, 12A) for the remainder of the 2018 season. Again, much like Strome, Spooner has just 1 goal and 1 assist on the year. Spooner has the chance to crack a struggling top-six in a hockey crazed market and possibly play alongside the games best Connor McDavid. 

Who won the trade?

Calling it a push. Spooner has 289 games played (46G, 114A) for 160 points in his career vs Strome’s 358 career games (59G, 103A) for 162 points. Both get young forwards with potential that maybe need a change and kick in the a**. This trade is a head scratchier to some because over the summer the Rangers signed Spooner for 2-years 3.1 million a year plus this was a complete shock to many because there were no rumblings, no releases to the public before this, it just happened and some were caught off guard. Strome still also has 2-years of a 3.1 million dollar deal left to him, therefore this really is a push of a trade, nearly the same production, same price tag and sort of similar type of game. Spooner now plays alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ty Rattie now as Strome plays alongside Lias Andersson and Vinnie Letttier on the fourth line. The Rangers centers are now Strome, Zibanejad, Howden, Hayes as the Oilers left wingers improve to Caggiula, Spooner, Lucic and Khaira

Where Paul Stastny may land come July 1st, Ryan O’Reilly seeing interest from numerous teams

Paul Stastny was sent to Winnipeg during the trade deadline, where he spent 19 games recording 13 points, but during the 2017-18 season, Statnsy recorded 53 points in 82 games. Even as Stastny has reached his mid-thirties he is still a very reliable number two center among most NHL teams and after spending the last 3.5 years in St. Louis and playing in two playoff rounds with Winnipeg. Statsny may be returning to the team that drafted him back in 2005. It has been rumored that Colorado is the destination for Statsny. With Colorado’s 22 mil in cap space and Statsny’s projected 6.5-7 mil contract, the Avalanche would be able to afford him. But the other teams interested like Montreal(14 mil cap space), Winnipeg(20 mil cap space) and St. Louis(12 mil cap space) do not appeal to Statsny as much as Colorado does. Colorado is a familiar home for Statsny,  and he knows he has a top two role in Colorado. I think we see Statsny return to Colorado and play it out there, he will be put in a great situation to be a veteran face for a young team, earn a solid amount AAV wise as well as still be of contribution on the top six and help this Colorado team out.

O’Reilly out in Buffalo? 

Some other shocking news is that Ryan O’Reilly has gained some serious interest from the Blues, Hurricanes, and Canadiens. It is clear the Blues and Canadiens need a center(stated above their desire in Statsny). Anyways Ryan O’Reilly did come out later in the year and say how he was unhappy in Buffalo and was not enjoying the game because they were doing so poorly. O’Reilly has spent the last three years in Buffalo after coming over from Colorado in 2015, where he spent 6 years with the Avalanche who drafted him in 2009. O’Reilly despite not “enjoying” the game tallied 61 points in 82 games this season with 37 assists and 24 goals. O’Reilly has been a CONSISTENT 55 plus point player since the 2011-12 season, proving to be a sure top two center on any NHL roster. The tricky part for teams interested in O’Reilly is that one it will cost a 2nd round pick or 1st, an NHL ready player and a prospect, along with the fact O’Reilly still has 5 years at 7.5 mil left on his contract. Therefore a team will for sure have to eat at least half or more of that contract. O’Reilly is a solid center that can play on any top line with any two people lined up next to him, his better fit would probably be in Carolina or St. Louis. The situation is not great in Montreal right now, this news is still new, so well wait and see what comes out on the 27-year-old established center.