FORT LAUDERDALE – All right, let’s see if we have this straight. If the Arizona Coyotes can somehow keep their disputed lease in effect, the good people of Glendale will be giving money to a team that is paying a guy $575,000 to not play for them and another guy making $3 million who will actually play for them. That will cost them $3.6 million total, a little more than the $3.2 million they were paying to the guy they traded away, who will likely get paid by his new team to not play for it. The guy making $575,000, by the way, will likely be elected into the Hall of Fame in a couple of days and he now works for the league, while still being paid by the teams who are paying him to not play for them.
Only in the NHL. Shortly after the draft wrapped up Saturday, the Philadelphia Flyers and Arizona Coyotes consummated a convoluted trade that saw defenseman Nicklas Grossmann head to the desert in exchange for Sam Gagner and the rights to Chris Pronger. The reason for the deal? The Coyotes will gain $1.5 million to help them get up to the salary floor, since Pronger’s deal is for $575,000 each of the next two seasons in real money and $4.94 million against the cap, and the Flyers will get some relief at the upper level. Pronger will also become the first player in history to be taken off the league’s long-term injury list without actually being activated.
Carry on, then.
SUNRISE, Fla. – Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford was asked whether he’d ever expected to come out of this draft having selected only four players and not having made a single trade. Rutherford is big on the making deals, as you know. But he rubbed his chin, thought for a second and said, “Yeah, actually I thought that’s what we were doing.”
Don’t let the flurry of deals at the draft fool you. With four days to go before July 1, GMs are keeping their powder dry and being patient. They’ve realized that with so many teams up against the salary cap, the more patience they display, the better chance they have of getting a player at a reasonable price.
The Dallas Stars were thrilled when they drafted Jarome Iginla in 1995 and, yes, they did think he’d be available when they chose 11th.
“I believe Central Scouting had him ranked in the twenties,” recalled former Stars director of player personnel Craig Button.
The Stars envisioned Iginla as a future power forward; a John MacLean-type winger who would one day provide them with 25-to-30 goals a season.
Turns out Iginla was better than even the Stars imagined. It also turned out he’d never play a game for the Stars.
SUNRISE, Fla. – So much for a quiet Day 2 of the NHL draft. Before the second round was completed, five significant trades were completed, four of them involving goaltenders.
And perhaps the most shocking aspect of all of it was two moves by the New York Rangers to trade established players in return for prospects and draft picks. Much of that was necessitated by salary cap concerns, but it does represent something of a reversal for them.
SUNRISE, Fla. – Friday night will go down in history as the night Connor McDavid officially became a card-carrying member of the NHL fraternity and embarked on his career as the savior of the Edmonton Oilers. But that’s not all we’ll remember about the first night of the draft in 2015.
We may all look back at this night 10 years from now and identify it as the precise moment in time when two seismic events occurred. The first one is the ascension of the Buffalo Sabres into respectability. And the second is we may very well point to June 26, 2015 as the day the Boston Bruins began their downward spiral into mediocrity. Or worse.
SUNRISE, Fla. – There probably hasn’t been an NHL player involved in more trade rumors than Ryan O’Reilly has been for the past couple of years. So the fact that it finally happened on draft day shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.
O’Reilly is a guy the Colorado Avalanche loved. On the ice. When it came to crossing swords with him over a contract, that’s an entirely different story. And like the Boston Bruins did with Dougie Hamilton, the Avalanche did not relish the idea of going through a difficult negotiation that might go sideways, so they dealt him.
The Boston Bruins continue to make wild headlines in the hours approaching the 2015 draft. First, GM Don Sweeney shipped defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames in what has already become a maligned deal, at least based on the venomous social media response. Next up: power forward Milan Lucic.
As reported by Lisa Dillman and Elliotte Friedman, Boston has traded Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings for the 13th overall pick in the draft, goaltender Martin Jones and prospect defenseman Colin Miller.
SUNRISE, Fla. – Well here we are still hours before the NHL draft and already THN senior editor Brian Costello has already won Twitter today. After the Calgary Flames-Boston Bruins blockbuster, Costello took to social media to point out that according to our Draft Preview, the Bruins had traded Dougie Hamilton in exchange for Nick Merkley, Dennis Yan and Graham Knott.
Those are the three players we have ranked No. 15, 54 and 53 respectively. It almost certainly won’t turn out that way, but you get the idea. Now get this idea. Over the course of 24 hours, the Bruins traded a 50-point scorer and an elite defenseman in exchange for a package that could amount to nothing.