Wednesday, February 1, 2017

NHL news: 3 minor league deals occur as trades are starting to heat up


 
In every NHL season, the beginning has very few trades. Eventually, a team will make a deal, and by late January or early February, flurries of trades are confirmed, then a month later at the trade deadline, A LOT of deals occur, and players, many upcoming free agents, are traded. Today (you might read this later) is February 1st, and those flurries of deals have started, although they were all AHL trades. Here are the 3 trades that occurred today.
    In the first trade, the Ottawa Senators acquired F Marc Hagel from the Minnesota Wild for future considerations. On January 24th, the Sens traded away AHL players Buddy Robinson and Zach Stortini in order to get F Tommy Wingels from San Jose, (read about it on my 1/24 article) leaving a need for AHL forwards. Hagel had played just 26 games this season for Minnesota's affiliate, the Iowa Wild, and talked about getting more ice time to management. The future considerations won't be much, as a AHL player doesn't acquire much for an organization.
    In the second trade, the Dallas Stars acquired G Justin Peters and D Justin Hache from the Arizona Coyotes for Fs Brendan Ranford and Brenden Troock. The Stars' 2 NHL goalies are Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen, so they are obviously trying to improve that tandem. Peters used to backup Braden Holtby when he was with the Washington Capitals, and he also made 3 appearances with Arizona while all star goalie Mike Smith was injured. He was 0-1-0, had a 3.16 GAA and a .900 sv% with the big club this year, and has struggled in the AHL. Plus, the Coyotes AHL affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners, had faith in Adin Hill and Marek Langhammer as their goalies. Hache has been bouncing between Tucson and ECHL squad Rapid City Rush this year, and wasn't needed anymore for the "yotes." The Coyotes have been looking for forward depth for years now, and got some in Troock and Ranford, 2 guys to call up for injuries, or to be solid AHL players. At the time they made this trade, their depth was set, but the 3rd trade opened up a better chance for them because:
      The Coyotes also acquired F Mitchell Moroz from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for F Henrik Samuelsson. Samuelsson, the former first round pick for Arizona, didn't work out as he only played 3 games with the club, scoring 0 points in 2014-15. The Oilers must of wanted to take a small chance on the 22 year old, pawning up another 22 year old in Moroz, who fills into that same depth position Troock and Ranford do.
        So those are the 3 trades that occurred today. They might not matter to you, but it could start the rampage of trades leading up to March 1st, the trade deadline day.

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