Wednesday June 29th 2016 turned out to be quite the exciting day in the NHL, from blockbuster trades, to the big key agent agreeing to terms. Here I’ll break down each trade and state the winners of the trades.
Edmonton trades winger Taylor Hall to New Jersey for defenseman Adam Larsson
First off let me say that this trade absolutely blew my mind. Edmonton has been looking for a top-2 defensemen for years and somehow they decided upon Larsson. While not being a horrible defensemen Larsson is still young (23 years old), and he’s still a year or two if not more away from being that possible top-2 guy. Hall who is only 24 would have presumably played alongside young phenom Connor McDavid and had a career year barring any injuries. In my personal opinion Hall could win a scoring a title if he was given the line mates to help him out. He has the shot, vision, speed, and everything else you want out of a former first overall pick in the 2010 draft. Looking at stats now when healthy and playing Larsson averages around 20 points per season, around 20 penalty minutes (minus last season where he was at 77 PIMs) and has been a plus player for most of his career. While he may not ever win a Norris trophy he is a solid defenseman who won’t take a ton of penalties. As for Taylor Hall the guy averages about 50 points or in his career, while averaging about 40 penalty minutes, and being a minus player for the better part of his career so far. Now keep in mind he has played on some absolutely awful Edmonton teams, and just as it seems they’re about to turn it around GM Peter Chiarelli moves him. Fun fact Chiarelli the former Boston Bruins GM has now traded both the first overall pick Taylor Hall, and second overall pick Tyler Seguin from the 2010 draft. As for cap hits Taylor Hall carries a $6M cap hit with him to New Jersey while Larsson carries a $4.166M cap hit to Edmonton both very affordable contracts for young talent.
Is it even a question who won this deal? Ray Shero has once again pulled absolutely robbed a team. New Jersey are the clear winners here, Taylor Hall played his minor league career with the guy who will probably be his center on the first line in Jersey Adam Henrique. There’s already a small bond there from their Windsor Spitfire days, so if they can recreate what they had then watch out NHL.
Montreal trades defenseman P.K. Subban to Nasvhille for defenseman Shea Weber
Wow another trade involving a two huge players for each respective team who would have thought? First off let me say I’m glad Subban is now out of the Eastern Conference so that my Penguins don’t have to deal with him anymore. Both defensemen are absolute studs, both are also making a lot of money and have huge cap hits, Weber takes a $7.857M cap hit with him to Montreal while Subban carries a massive $9M cap hit to Nashville. Either of these guys is someone you can build a franchise around and I believe that’s why Montreal pulled the string on this deal. Subban is a great guy off the ice and he has been for years up in Montreal. In fact I believe he just donated like $10M to either start up a children’s hospital or help out a children’s hospital. On top of him being a great guy off the ice he’s a force on the ice. Looking at stats now both guys could easily win a Norris or two in their careers, Weber will give you around 50 points a year, and take very few penalties, oh and he has the hardest slapshot in the league. As for Subban he will produce almost the exact same as Weber albeit taking a few more penalties. If P.K. can work on his attitude problems on the ice he’ll be one of the top 3 defensemen in the league.
To me the winner has to be the Nashville Predators, they got the younger guy in Subban even while taking his huge contract on. Shea Weber is great don’t get me wrong but I think adding a guy like Subban to the group they have will be deadly. A pairing of Subban and Roman Josi will arguably be one of the best if they work well together. Nashville has young guys coming up still and they got younger by making this move.
Steven Stamkos agrees to resign with the Tampa Bay Lightning
Now for what may have been the biggest news of the day forward Steven Stamkos has decided to resign with the team that drafted him the Tampa Bay Lightning. Stamkos signed an eight year, $8.5M contract with the Lightning. Sorry Toronto, but you have some help coming with Mathews and others coming up. Stamkos appears to be poised to want to bring a cup to Tampa Bay, and stay on a true contender. Tampa Bay could easily be favorites to win the Stanley Cup next year with all the young talent they have.
The league. This may seem odd to some but if you think about it Stamkos is taking a huge chunk out of that Tampa Bay salary cap, what does that mean the future of Victor Hedman, Ben Bishop, Jonathan Drouin, Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, and others who are free agents after this coming season, or Nikita Kucherov who is an RFA this off season. All deserve contracts but I don’t think it’ll be with Tampa Bay especially with the uncertainty of the salary cap.
There you have it all of the signings, and trades that happened before the free agent frenzy on July 1st. Be sure to come back for more news on free agents.