Huberdeau Out 3-4 Months


By Shawn Spatz

Florida Panthers Writer

 

Jonathan Huberdeau, fresh off a six-year extension with the Panthers, suffered a leg injury last night in West Point that will knock him out of action until at least January. This is a huge blow to a team that has also lost Nick Bjugstad to a broken hand for the first few weeks of the season.

 

It will be hard to replace the 59 points that Huberdeau had last season, good for 3rd on the team behind Jussi Jokinen and Jaromir Jagr. Possible replacements on the Panthers’ top line include team newcomers Jonathan Marchessault, who signed on in July for two years after showing flashes in Tampa Bay, and Jared McCann, who came over from Vancouver in the Erik Gudbranson trade. In addition, one of those two will have to see time on the power play. Marchassualt saw time last night on both the power play and first line after Huberdeau’s exit, notching two points in Florida’s preseason finale. Florida will most likely not want to break up the line of Jokinen, Vincent Trocheck, and Reilly Smith, who enjoyed success last year as a solid unit. Either way, it is a tough break for a young team trying to get back into the playoffs.

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Coyotes Acquire Lawson Crouse


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By Tim Waugh

Arizona Coyotes Writer

 

Coyotes GM John Chayka was back at it again this morning, making Arizona hockey a year-round spectacle. The Arizona Coyotes have traded their 3rd round pick in 2017 and a conditional 2nd in 2018 for Panthers prospect Lawson Crouse and veteran Dave Bolland.

 

Arizona possesses their own and Detroit’s 3rd rounder, the higher of the two by season’s end will be the one sent to Florida. The 2nd round pick in the deal becomes a 3rd in 2018 if Crouse does not play 10 games for Arizona in the 2016-17 season.

Lawson Crouse was the 11th overall pick in 2015 for the Panthers. Hoping to join his former gold-medal winning World Junior Championship teammates Max Domi and Anthony Duclair in Arizona next season, Crouse logged 23 goals and 62 points in 49 games for the Kingston Frontiacs of the OHL last year. A big, strong left winger, Crouse is more known for his size and puck protection than offense, but no slouch at scoring points either.

30-year-old center Dave Bolland is a veteran center, playing for Chicago, Toronto, and Florida in his nine years in the NHL. With a $5.5 million contract he inked after winning the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks still valid for 3 more years, and nowhere near as productive as he once was, the addition of Bolland seemed to be more of a cap subtraction for Florida. Although not worth the price tag, Bolland can still be a serviceable depth centerman for the Coyotes, bringing some extra experience to a ever-growing youth movement in the locker room. Bolland scored 5 points in his 25 games in Florida, also playing 2 games for their AHL affiliate Portland.

BREAKING: Senators Acquire Brassard for Zibanejad


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By Bobby Bauders

Senior Writer/Editor

 

The Ottawa Senators have acquired Derick Brassard from the New York Rangers for Mika Zibanejad and a 2018 2nd Round Pick.

 

Brassard, 28-years-old, scored 27 goals and 58 points in 80 games last season. Brassard was one of the Rangers leading scorers. New York has been cap pinched, so basically anyone was on the table for a trade.

 

Zibanejad, 23-years-old, scored 21 goals and 51 points in 81 games last season. New York traded one of their best scorers for someone younger, and someone who can put up similar numbers. They also got a 2nd Round Pick out of it, and high draft picks are something the Rangers have been lacking lately.

 

The Rangers may not be done, this trade opens up some cap to re-sign Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes, but they’re still going to need some cap relief. Zibanejad’s contract expires next summer, and he’s going to want a raise, depending on this year’s performance will determine how much. Expect the Rick Nash rumors to continue to swirl.

 

Brassard has a cap hit of $5M for 3 more years, Zibanejad has a hit of $2.625M.

BREAKING NEWS: Frederik Andersen Traded to Toronto


By Bobby Bauders
Senior Writer/Editor

UPDATE: Toronto agrees to a 5 year extension with Andersen.

The first domino of the 2016 goalie drama has fallen. The Anaheim Ducks have traded goaltender Frederik Andersen to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 30th overall pick and a 2nd round pick in 2017.

Toronto addresses their need for a high end goalie. Now some of the trade speculation falls on Jonathan Bernier.

Anaheim has addressed their goaltender drama. With next year’s expansion draft, the Ducks would likely only protect one goaltender. Now their decision has been made, and that goalie is John Gibson.

This trade was valued pretty well for Anaheim. Andersen is 26-years-old is a RFA on July 1st. Although, they probably could’ve swung some sort of prospect.

The Leafs’ rebuild is now coming along faster than expected. If they can get their hands on a top 4 D-Man, they could be fighting for a playoff spot in a year or two.

The Leafs are wanting to win. They’re long history of just being plain awful has gotten old. They’re acquiring for now, and the future. With Andersen’s young age and the right development, he could be the goalie of the future in behind an Auston Matthews and Kasperi Kapanen lead offense.

Penguins acquire Kessel in Blockbuster Trade



By Bobby Bauders

Pittsburgh gets:
Phil Kessel – Winger
Tim Erixon – Defenseman
Tyler Biggs – Forward
2016 2nd Round Draft Pick – Pittsburgh

Toronto gets:
Scott Harrington – Defenseman
Kasperi Kapanen – Forward
Nick Spaling – Forward
2016 1st Round Draft Pick – Pittsburgh
2016 3rd Round Draft Pick – Pittsburgh

Wow. Talk about train robbery. Honestly, Pittsburgh stole Phil Kessel. Harrington, Kapenen, third round pick, and a first round pick pretty much cover Kessel. But to throw back to Pittsburgh 2 former first rounders and a second round pick?

Toronto’s future looks brighter though. They’ve got Kapanen who will be a great winger, and Harrington who will be top 6 in a couple years. Also, the draft picks they got will help their future. Not to mention they got great work ethic in Nick Spaling.

Erixon could be pretty good and Biggs just didn’t develop will in Toronto. The Pens are hoping to change that. Phil Kessel is going to do amazing in Pittsburgh. No matter what line he plays on, Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. You need to remember, Kessel was an All-Star on a less than average team with. All he had at center was Tyler Bozak. Well that’ll change. Plus, he hasn’t missed a game in 6 years. That’s great for a team like the Pens who has had trouble with injuries in recent years.

I think the media unfairly attacked Kessel in the past. He’s a great player and will do great in Pittsburgh. If the Pens can stay healthy, they are serious Cup contenders again, and will be lethal. Plus they just got a top 6 Russian Winger in Sergei Plotnikov to play with Malkin. Watch Eastern Conference teams, the Penguins are back, and better than ever.

Sweeney Proving his Worth



By Bobby Bauders

After making Bruins fans think he was the worst GM to step foot in the Northeast United States, Don Sweeney is beginning to prove is worth to the Boston Bruins. After acquiring Martin Jones the day of the draft in a deal that sent Milan Lucic to LA, Sweeney traded Jones to the San Jose Sharks for a first round pick and a prospect.

Boston gets:
2016 1st Round Draft Pick – San Jose
Sean Kuraly – Forward

San Jose gets:
Martin Jones – Goalie

In my opinion, Boston gets the win here. Don’t get me wrong, Jones is going to be great, but not worth a first round pick and a prospect. Although, San Jose did get their future goaltending situation figured out after Niemi was traded to Dallas.

Overall Team Trade Scores (As of now) (First 15 teams)


By Bobby Bauders

Anaheim Ducks: A-

That Hagelin pick up was crucial to making the Ducks faster up front, great trade. The Palmieri looks pretty average on paper, but the second round pick they got in that trade was used in the Hagelin trade. Essentially, Palmieri was traded for Hagelin, plus additional assets. Etem was also involved in that trade.

Arizona Coyotes: B-

The Coyotes only made one trade, and it makes sense to help them with the cap floor, but kills them on the ice. But hey, it inches them closer to hometown boy Auston Matthews. Coyotes acquire Chris Pronger from the Flyers in exchange for Sam Gagner.

Boston Bruins: A-

To say that Don Sweeney pissed of Boston is an understatement. Trading Lucic and Hamilton, then using their picks on “the wrong players,” as some Bruins fans put it, doesn’t really make you a fan favorite in Bean Town. Sorry Bruins fans, those trades weren’t as awful as you all think. Hamilton didn’t like his teammates, and probably would not have re-signed, and Milan Lucic isn’t the 2010 Milan Lucic we all knew and “loved.” Considering what the Bruins got in return, and the situation at hand, not bad.

Buffalo Sabres: A+

The Sabres absolutely rocked it this weekend. After their trades, they’ve got depth at center, and a proven starting goaltender. If Eichel decides to play another year in the NCAA, the Sabres won’t be too terrible now that they’ve got O’Reilly AND Legwand. Now if Eichel decides to come to the pros, watch out members of the Atlantic Division, you’ve got yet ANOTHER potential playoff team to deal with. (How about the Atlantic Division? Habs, Sens, and Bolts in the playoffs plus the Bruins narrowly missing? Props to you guys.)

Calgary Flames: A

Great pickup in Dougie Hamilton. Giving up 3 high draft picks isn’t easy, but it’s money well spent.

Carolina Hurricanes: B

The Hurricanes didn’t do anything spectacular or horrible. Pretty average trading. But now they’ve got more defense behind Faulk with Wisniewski, and figured out what to do with Khudobin.

Chicago Blackhawks: D+

Picking up a backup goaltender should not be at the top of Chicago’s list. That’s why they have Scott Darling. Getting out of cap hell should be their priority, and they still have Sharp, they still have Saad, and they still have Bickell. Something’s wrong with this picture. Well, Stan Bowman’s got about 3 days to figure that out, good luck!

Colorado Avalanche: A-

The Avs made a necessary move to dump O’Reilly. He hated playing in Colorado. You don’t need a player who hates playing with you, duh! Plus, they got a pretty good return.

Columbus Blue Jackets: n/a

They were only involved in draft pick trades.

Dallas Stars: A+

Assuming Niemi signs with the Stars, great pickup to relieve Kari Lehtonen.

Detroit Red Wings: n/a

Edmonton Oilers: A-

The Oilers picked up Cam Talbot for a very low price. With McDavid, Hall, and Talbot in Edmonton, the future looks bright for Alberta.

Florida Panthers: C

That Zach Hyman for Greg McKegg trade was average.

Los Angeles Kings: C-

If Lucic decides to play hockey on the ice instead of the penalty box, great trade! If not, well you’re out of first round pick in one of the deepest drafts in history. Congratulations.

Minnesota Wild: n/a