Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Arizona Diamondbacks 2018 season preview

              In 2017, the Arizona Diamondbacks finished with a record of 93-69, and they ended up running away with the 1st wild card spot in the National League, with a six game lead over the Colorado Rockies, who the D-Backs beat in that game. But, the Los Angeles Dodgers swept Arizona in the NLDS. With star rental J.D. Martinez heading free agency, like all rentals, GM Mike Hazen had some moves to make. Let's take a look at what the D-backs did last offseason.

             Notable additions: OF Steven Souza, RHP Yoshihisa Hirano, OF Jarrod Dyson, C Alex Avila, RHP Brad Boxberger, LHP Antonio Bastardo, RHPs Neftali Feliz, Michael Blazek, Kris Medlen, Fernando Salas, OF Ramon Flores.

             Notable subtractions: OF J.D. Martinez, INF Brandon Drury, C Chis Iannetta, RHPs Fernando Rodney, J.J. Hoover, RHP David Hernandez, OF Gregor Blanco, INF Adam Rosales, LHP Anthony Banda.

              What they did well in the offseason: They didn't try to replace Martinez with an overpayment of Martinez or someone else. Avila and Souza might hit less homers combined in 2018 than Martinez, but with an already completed outfield, and no DH, it's understandable to let him walk. Also, the Added some relievers looking for redemption to minor league deals. See: Bastardo, Blazek, and especially Feliz and Medlen. Those are guys who could break the opening day roster. Hirano is coming from Japan, and should be a better closer than Rodney was.

              What they did bad: Not much. It would be nice to re-sign Martinez, but spending over $100 million for a guy when you already have your team set isn't worth it. It was a smart pass.

               Sneaky Sleeper: Expected to be the fifth starter with Shelby Miller still recovering with Tommy John surgery, Zack Godley had an underrated 2017, with a 3.37 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 155 innings. If he can get enough innings and stay healthy, Godley can be a good 5th starter for them.

               Uncalled for choke (it's the first preview, give me a break): After a very successful 2016, Yasmany Tomas hit just .241, and a .294 OBP. Entering his prime, I still don't think Tomas will come close to the 31 homers he hit in 2016. Plus, the addition of Souza could limit his playing time.

               Incoming outbreak (give me time to work on these names): Ketel Marte didn't play too much in the first half, but an increase in second half games led him to a still light 255 Plate Appearances. His .345 OBP is something he'll look to keep going. Even though he has a career .265 batting average, he has a very good career .314 BABIP. That is a stat that can be great one year, and be horrible the next, but if Marte can maintain his success there, it'll be a fine year.With the trade of Drury, he'll get more ABs in 2018.

                Blue chip Bopper (okay, this might come from a fantasy magazine, but I don't see anyone complaining): Paul Goldschmidt has made the last five all-star teams. He's hit thirty homers three times, and would've hit it four times if not for injuries. He's reached 100 RBIs those three years. He's undoubtedly not just their best player, but the best 1st baseman in the league.

                Astounding ace (Yay, redemption!): A really bad first season in the desert had some questioning the $206.5 million deal the D-Backs signed Donald Greinke to (you may know him by his middle name, Zack). But, Greinke rebounded in 2017, with a 3.20 ERA and 215 strikeouts in 202.1 innings. Even a year worse than 2017 should still leave Greinke as their ace.

               This is probably what you came for, but here is the D-Backs projected roster, starting with their lineup.

 2B Ketel Marte (S)
 CF A.J. Pollock (R)
 1B Paul Goldschmidt (R)
 3B Jake Lamb (L)
 RF David Peralta (L)
 LF Steven Souza (L)
 C Alex Avila (L)
 SS Chris Owings (R)

             Here is their rotation.

 RHP Zack Greinke
 LHP Robbie Ray
 LHP Patrick Corbin
 RHP Taijaun Walker
 RHP Zack Godley

 Yoshihisa Hirano (R) will be their closer, with Archie Bradley (R) and Brad Boxberger (R) in the set-up roles. Neftali Feliz (R), Antonio Bastardo (L), Michael Blazek (R), Andrew Chafin and Randall Delgado will also be in the pen.

 OFs Yasmany Tomas (R), Jarrod Dyson (L), C Jeff Mathis (R), INFs Nick Ahmed (R) and Daniel Descalco (L) are on the bench.

 For my prediction, I think the Diamondbacks will make the playoffs once again, and even be a dark horse World Series contender.

My interview with Ducks forward Jason Chimera

            At age 38, new Anaheim Ducks forward Jason Chimera has had a long NHL career. The Edmonton native was drafted by his hometown Oilers in the 1997 NHL draft, 121st overall. He played for the Oilers for parts of four seasons, until a trade including draft picks sent him to the Phoenix Coyotes. The NHL lockout caused him to play in Italy, and Chimera never played in Phoenix since he was traded to Columbus in the Geoff Sanderson trade that included Chimera, Cale Hulse and Mike Rupp going to Columbus for Sanderson and Tim Jackman. Chimera played in parts of five seasons with the Jackets, and was a veteran presence on a line with Derick Brassard, who has had a good career so far, and Jakub Voracek, a player who's had an even better career than Brassard, when they were rookies. Chimera, though. was traded in the middle of the 2009-10 season to the Washington Capitals for Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina. Chimera played in parts of seven seasons for them, and is most known for his time spent in Washington. Before the 2016-17 season, Chimera signed a two year deal with the New York Islanders, but at the deadline of the next season (which is about two days before the day I'm writing this), Chimera was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Chris Wagner. Chimera will soon make his Ducks' debut. In his NHL career, Chimera has a grand total of 185 goals and 228 assists for 413 points in an astounding 1,091 games played. During his time with the Islanders, Chimera was a locker room presence. When I asked about the entire team who had the biggest personality on the team, Chimera was the leading vote-getter and one of the two players to get multiple votes (defenseman Johnny Boychuk finished in second place). Also, a quick note. This interview was conducted before his trade to the Ducks, so some of these questions might not be accurate anymore.

              Carter LaCorte (me): In your 17th season of a long NHL career, plus free agency approaching, how many more years do you think you can play for?

                Jason Chimera: I don't know. Hopefully as long until the kick me out. When you play a sport for a living, it's pretty fun, so I want to keep playing for as long as possible.

                CL: You are the oldest player on the team, but the only one to stay healthy in the last two seasons. Do you have any advice to the younger players on how to stay durable?

                JC: I think eat well. Maybe get married to a nice women (laughs). She cooks good for me, she's always keeping me in check with the healthy eating.

                 CL: The team has been very good on offense, but has struggled on defense. How can the forwards help prevent more goals from scoring?

                JC: Well, everything's a team [effort]. We need to get back and help out the defense. Everybody starts from the zone out, and that's we have approach it.

                 CL: What's it like being back here at [teammate] Anders [Lee]' kan jam event?

                 JC: It's awesome. He's a great guy so we're willing to help him out. He's a loyal guy. It's a great cause too. It was a no-brainer for all of us to help out.

                 CL: If you could name the next NHL team, in Seattle, what would you name it?

                 JC: That's a good question...I don't know. The Bears. Let's call it the Bears.

                 CL: Who has the biggest personality on the team?

                 JC: Anders [Lee] is personally a big, big person. I think I'll go with him.

Monday, February 26, 2018

NHL trade review: Lightning acquire McDonagh, Miller for Namestnikov, more

          The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Vladislav Namesnikov, forward Brett Howden, defenseman Libor Hajek and a 2018 1st round pick and a conditional 2nd rounder in 2019.

         For the Lightning, they are trying to win the Stanley Cup this year, and sorta need too. They are a must win team. McDonagh, along with Victor Hedman, makes two top pairing defensemen on their team, a lot better than most other teams. They give up a big haul, but it's worth it for a year and three months of McDonagh, plus Miller, a second line center.

          McDonagh, 28, has scored two goals and 24 assists for 26 points in 49 games this year. In his NHL career, all for the Rangers, McDonagh has scored 51 goals and 187 assists for 238 points in 516 games.

          Miller, 24, has scored 13 goals and 27 assists for 40 points in 63 games this year. In his NHL career, all for the Rangers, Miller has scored 72 goals and 100 assists for 172 points in 341 games.

          For the Rangers, they are sellers. Miller is a pending RFA, and McDonagh has just one more year on his contract. They get a huge haul, including a first, a really good player in Namestnikov, and two prospects in Hajek and Howden.

         Namestnikov, 25, has scored 20 goals and 24 assists for 44 points in 62 games for the Lightning this season. In his NHL career, all in Tampa Bay, Namestnikov has scored 53 goals and 70 assists for 123 points in 263 games/

         Hajek, 20, has scored eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points in 33 games in the WHL this season.

          Howden, 19, has scored 22 goals and 36 assists for 58 points in 38 games for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL.

           I think this is an even trade. The Lightning get their desperately needed players, and the Rangers get the prospects and picks they need. It's an even deal.

NHL trade review: Bruins acquire Wingels

            The Boston Bruins have acquired forward Tommy Wingels from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a 5th round draft pick.

             For the Bruins, Wingels is a solid bottom six depth player. He helps their depth situation, and is a good veteran for the locker room. A 5th isn't much to give up.

             Wingels, 29, has scored seven goals and five assists for 12 points in 57 games for the Blackhawks this season. In his career for the Hawks, Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks, Wingels has scored 60 goals and 78 assists for 138 points in 430 games.

              For the Blackhawks, Wingels is a pending free agent and they don't need any of those. Stockpiling on picks is a better strategy for a last place team.

            I think this is an even trade. The Bruins get a solid player, and the Blackhawks get another draft pick.

NHL trade review: Hurricanes, Penguins swap McKegg and Jooris

          The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Josh Jooris from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for forward Greg McKegg.

          For the both the Pens and Canes, both McKegg and Jooris are pending UFAs that can play wing and center, plus bottom six. McKegg is a little bit younger, though. It's a very even trade.

          McKegg, 25, has scored two goals and two assists for four points in 26 games. In his NHL career for the Penguins, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs, McKegg has scored seven goals and six assists for 13 points in 91 games.

          Jooris, 26, has scored three goals and three assists for six points in 31 games for the Canes this year. In his NHL career for the Canes, Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames and New York Rangers, Jooris has scored 23 goals and 32 assists for 55 points in 204 games.

NHL trade review: Flames acquire Shore

             The Calgary Flames have acquired center Nick Shore from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2019 7th round pick.

             For the Flames, Shore is a solid depth player, and a fourth line center. This is actually the least amount possible for them to trade for him. It hard seeing this going wrong for them.

            Shore, 25, has scored four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in 55 games for the Sens and Los Angeles Kings this season. In his NHL career for the Kings and Sens, Shore has scored 14 goals and 36 assists for 50 points in 227 games.

             For the Sens, they got minimal value out of Shore, but he was just an add-on in the Dion Phaneuf/Marian Gaborik trade, and flipping him wasn't necessary, but they wanted too. I don't get it too much, but I think it's just a dump-off.

             I think the Flames win this deal. They get a 25 year old NHL player for a 7th rounder. That is the best deal possible for Shore.

NHL trade review: Habs acquire Reilly

            The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenseman Mike Reilly from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a 5th round pick.

            For the Habs, they get Reilly, a depth defenseman to replace Joe Morrow, who was traded earlier to the Winnipeg Jets for a 4th rounder, so they move up a round. Reilly is younger than Morrow, and has more potential.

            Reilly, 24, has scored two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 38 games this season. In his NHL career, all for the Wild, Reilly has scored four goals and 14 assists for 18 points in 84 games.

           For the Wild, the rise of Nick Seeler has made Reilly expendable. I think they could have gotten more than a 5th for him, but it's not a horrible haul.

            I think the Habs win this deal. Their full trade is Morrow and a 5th for Reilly and a 4th, and that's a win, so this is a win. It's simple.

NHL trade review: Devils acquire Maroon

               The New Jersey Devils have acquired forward Patrick Maroon from the Edmonton Oielrs in exchange for a third round pick and prospect J.D. Dudek.

                For the Devils, they are in the playoff hunt. Maroon is a top nine winger that will help their forward core. He's a rental, and they don't give up too much for him.

                Maroon, 29, has scored 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points in 57 games for the Oilers this season. In his NHL career for the Oilers and Anaheim Ducks, Maroon has scored 75 goals and 90 assists for 165 points in 358 games.

                 For the Oilers, they trade a rental in Maroon, who won't help them for the rest of the year. Maroon did say he'd re-sign with Edmonton after the season (even after the trade). They don't get too much for him, but it won't matter if they sign him. Dudek is a college prospect who's rights were only dealt.

                 Dudek, 22, has scored six goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 33 games for Boston College this season.

                 I think the Devils win this trade. They get a solid winger who should cost more in an increased market, which affects every trade made this year. That's why they win.

NHL trade review: Kane to Sharks

                The San Jose Sharks have acquired forward Evander Kane from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forward Danny O'Regan, a conditional 1st round pick and a conditional 4th round pick.

                 For the Sharks, they are in the playoff race, and Kane could help them make the playoffs. He is a rental, but they give up less than they would for most other rentals. He can help a lot. Even though he isn't the best locker room guy, he's only going to be there for three months tops, and how bad could it get in that short of a time?

                 Kane, 26, has scored 20 goals and 20 assists for 40 points in 61 games this season for the Sabres. In his career for them and the Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers, Kane has scored 177 goals and 163 assists for 340 points in 557 games.

                 For the Sabres, they are one of the worst teams in the league, and Kane, who is a very trade able player. They didn't get as much as other players who were traded, though. O'Regan is a depth player, and they just need to draft the right player with the 1st to win this deal.

                 O'Regan, 24, has scored four points, all assists in 19 games for the Sharks this season. In his NHL career, all in San Jose, O'Regan has scored one goal and those four assists for five points in 22 games.

                 I think the Sharks win this trade. With players with numbers worse than his getting better returns, the Sabres could've gotten more for Kane.

NHL trade review: Blue Jackets acquire Vanek

             The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired forward Thomas Vanek from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forwards Jussi Jokinen and Tyler Motte.

              For the Blue Jackets, they are making a push to make the playoffs, acquiring Mark Letestu, Ian Cole, and now Vanek. Vanek has very similar stats to Rick Nash, who was dealt for a 1st, a prospect and a 3rd line center. This is a trade they couldn't pass up on.

             Vanek, 34, has scored 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points in 61 games for the Canucks this year. In his career for Vancouver, the Florida Panthers, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders, Vanek has scored 350 goals and 388 assists for 738 points in 946 games.

               For the Canucks, they basically had no choice but to deal Vanek. They could've gotten more, but I think GM Jim Benning is satisfied. This will now be Jokinen's fourth team of the season, so everybody wants him (or doesn't want him). Motte is a speedy winger acquired in the Artemi Panarin trade with upside.

               Jokinen, 34, has scored one goal and six assists for seven points in 46 games for the Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers this season. In his NHL career for the Blue Jackets, Oilers, Kings, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars, Jokinen has scored 187 goals and 366 assists for 553 points in 937 games.

               Motte, 22, has scored three goals and two assists for five points in 31 games for the Blue Jackets this season. In his NHL career for the Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks, Motte has scored seven goals and five assists for 12 points in 64 games.

               I think the Blue Jackets win this deal. With an increased trade market, this trade is more of a deal you'd see in a dying market. An increased trade market makes this deal horrible for the Canucks, because they could've gotten more.

NHL trade review: Golden Knights acquire Tatar

                      The Vegas Golden Knights have acquired forward Tomas Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 2018 1st round pick, a 2019 2nd rounder, and a 2021 3rd round draft pick.

                      For the Golden Knights, they are way up in a playoff spot, something nobody expected from them at the beginning of the year. Tatar is a player who can score goals, something that will never negatively affect a team. They give up a little too much, but it may be worth it, especially since they get three additional years of him.

                     Tatar, 27, has scored 16 goals and 12 assists for 28 points in 62 games this season for the Wings. In his NHL career, all in Detroit, Tatar has scored 115 goals and 107 assists for 222 points in 407 games.

                     For the Red Wings, they are in the midst of a rebuild, and need to free up cap space. Tatar's $5.3 million cap hit over three more years was a no-brainer to trade. They get picks in the first three rounds, and even though they are all in different years, they all have a good chance to be a valuable player.

                      I think the Red Wings win this deal. While Tatar is valuable, I don't think he's worth a 1st, 2nd and a 3rd round pick. It's a fleece.

NHL trade review: Jets acquire Morrow


    The Winnipeg Jets have acquired defenseman Joe Morrow from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 4th round draft pick.

        For the Jets, Morrow is completely for depth. He’s a 7th defenseman type of guy, and it’s a low cost deal, so it can’t hurt too much.

        Morrow, 25, has scored five goals and six assists for 11 points in 38 games for the Habs this season. In his NHL career for the Habs and Boston Bruins, Morrow has scored seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points in 103 games.

       For the Canadiens, this deal could set up another depth defensive deal. Morrow wasn’t playing every night, and to get a fourth out of a guy like that is pretty successful.
       I think this is an even trade. The Jets strengthen their depth, while the Habs stockpile on picks.

NHL trade review: Ducks, Isles swap Chimera and Wagner

         The Anaheim Ducks have acquired forward Jason Chimera from the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Chris Wagner.

         For the Ducks, Chimera is a veteran, and is also a rental, like Wagner. He has a bigger cap hit, but a better career. Both players are very similar, fourth line players, penalty killers, but I think experience is the reason behind this trade for Anaheim.

        Chimera, 38, has scored two goals and nine assists for 11 points for the Islanders this season in 58 games. In his NHL career for the Isles, Washington Capitals, Columbus Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers, Chimera has scored 185 goals and 228 assists for 413 points in 1,091 games.

       For the Isles, they free up just under $2 million in cap space, and get a big hitter (212 hits this year). Wagner is a rental, and will take up Chimera’s roster spot.

       Wagner, 26, six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 64 games for the Ducks this year. In his NHL career for Anaheim and Colorado Avalanche, Wagner has scored 16 goals and 12 assists for 28 points in 159 games.

       I think this is an even trade. Even though Chimera is over 10 years older than Wagner, they are both rentals, and have similar stats. I think Wagner has a little more upside, and Chimera has a better history.

2015 NHL trade deadline revisited

           Today is the 2018 trade deadline. So far, there hasn't been too many moves today (just Ian Cole to Columbus), but there will be more, including a potential deal between the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks. But, about three years ago was the 2015 trade deadline. There weren't many big deals, but today, we'll be re-visiting some of those.

            Trade number one: Montreal Canadiens acquire defenseman Jeff Petry from the Edmonton Oilers for a 2015 2nd round pick (flipped to the Rangers in the Cam Talbot deal, then again so the Capitals could move up in the draft, and they picked defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler) and a conditional 5th round pick in the same draft (became a 4th, and they selected defenseman Caleb Jones).

            Current winner: Montreal.

            Petry has been a top 4 defenseman for Montreal, scoring 26 goals and 81 points in 211 games since the trade, and is currently still on Montreal, though he could be traded soon. Jones and Siegenthaler haven't played in the NHL yet, but remember that they are still very young. Petry has scored four points, including three goals in 18 career playoff games for Montreal.

           Trade number two: Vancouver Canucks acquire winger Sven Baertschi from the Calgary Flames for a 2015 2nd rounder (Rasmus Andersson).

            Winner: still TBD.

            Baertschi has been a good pickup for the Canucks, with double digit goals every year for them, including 49 in his 190 game Canuck career. Andersson is one of the Flames top prospects, and while he has just two games of NHL experience, but has scored 33 points in 45 games in the AHL as a defenseman, so this trade's outcome is currently based on if Andersson can live up to his potential.

           Trade number three: Anaheim Ducks acquire defenseman James Wisniewski and a 2015 third (Brent Gates) from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Rene Bourque, William Karlsson and a 2015 2nd rounder (Kevin Stenlund).

           Winner: Blue Jackets.

           Wisniewski was a rental, and had just five assists in 13 games for them. Bourque scored 12 points in 57 games for Columbus. Now having an amazing season for the Golden Knights, Karlsson was durable in his Blue Jackets career, missing just two games from 2015-16 to 2016-17. He scored less points then than this season in Vegas, but he was still better in Columbus than Wisniewski in Vegas. Neither Gates or Stenlund have done anything in the NHL, so it's a trade-off between them, but Karlsson and Bourque helped more in Columbus than Wisniewski, and that's what matters.

             Trade number four: Tampa Bay Lightning acquire defenseman Braydon Coburn from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Radko Gudas, a 2015 1st round pick (pick was flipped twice, and Columbus selected Gabriel Carlsson, the Flyers moved up when they flipped the pick, and even though they just missed out on Brock Boeser, they drafted Travis Konecny) and a 2015 3rd rounder (goalie Matej Tomek).

             Winner: Philadelphia.

              Gudas for Coburn straight up is a win for them, as Gudas has been a solid player for them, scoring 47 points in 193 games since the trade. Coburn hasn't been as effective, and has scored 35 points in 219 games. Yes, he is a defensive defenseman, but since the Flyers got Konecny out of it, who has scored 26 goals and 62 points in 131 games in his two year career, and is still 20, is an even bigger win. This is a no-brainer looking back at it.

             Trade number five: New York Rangers acquire defenseman Keith Yandle, defenseman Chris Summers and a 4th round pick in 2016 (Tarmo Reunanen) from the Arizona Coyotes for Anthony Duclair, defenseman John Moore, a 2016 first rounder (the Coyotes traded it to Detroit to move up to draft Jakob Chychrun, Detroit picked Dennis Cholowski) and a 2015 2nd (traded to Calgary Flames, who picked Oliver Kylington).

             Winner: Arizona.

              This is a very, very close trade. Yandle was very useful during his time with the Rangers, scoring 58 points in 107 games. Duclair had one good season in Arizona, but struggled the next two until being traded to Chicago. He had a 34-40-74 stat-line in 172 games in the desert. Chychrun is the deciding factor. He has a stat-line of 1-9-10 in 32 career games, but has lots of upside for them.

               Trade number six: Florida Panthers acquire F Jaromir Jagr from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a 2015 2nd (was traded in the Kyle Palmieri deal, then again for Carl Hagelin, Rangers picked Ryan Gropp) and a 2016 3rd (this pick was traded a multiple amount of times, eventually to the Predators, who drafted Rem Pitlick.

              Winner: Panthers.

              It seemed obvious at the time that the Devils won this trade. Jagr was in his 40s, and Florida gave up too much for him. The Devils ended up trading that pick for Palmieri, who is one of their best players, but the pick wasn't the main part of that trade. Jagr had a stat-line of 49-81-130 in 180 games for the Panthers, and even though he was a rental at the time, the Cats repeatedly signed Jagr to one year extension, and they had him for two and a 1/4 years.

               Trade number seven: Los Angeles Kings acquire defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Roland McKeown and a 2015 1st round pick (the pick was conditional, and since the Kings made the playoffs, it became a 2016 1st, and Julien Gauthier was selected).

                Winner: TBD

                Carolina ended up with two good prospects, and it is more likely that they'll win. Sekera was a rental, and Sekera scored just four points in 16 games for them. Unless McKeown and Gauthier flop, Carolina wins.

                 Trade number eight: Nashville Predators acquire forward Mike Santorelli and defenseman Cody Franson from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forwards Brendan Leipsic, Olli Jokinen and a 2015 1st rounder (it was the pick the Flyers traded up to get Konecny, so now we're mixing two deals).

                  Winner: Nashville

                  Leipsic played six games for Toronto until being in the Vegas' expansion draft. Jokinen six games as well in Toronto. Franson scored four points in 23 games in his second stint with the Preds (he was with them before the Leafs). Santorelli also previously played in Nashville, and scored four points in 22 games in his second stint. Nashville only wins because their players were more effective as rentals than the returning players.

                   Trade number nine: Detroit Red Wings acquire forward Erik Cole and a 2015 3rd rounder (Vili Saarijarvi) from the Dallas Stars for defenseman Mattias Backman, forward Mattias Janmark and a 2015 2nd rounder (Roope Hintz).

                  Winner: Dallas.

                  Janmark has been a good top 9 player for the Stars, with a stat-line of 31-28-59 in 135 games in his two year career for them. Backman never made the NHL, but Hintz could make it one day, and is a decent AHL player. Cole was a rental, but was helpful, and scored six points in 11 games. But, he didn't play in the playoffs for them, though that was the reason for his acquisition. But, Janmark has been more effective in Dallas than Cole was in Detroit, thus, they win.

                 Last trade (number 10): Winnipeg acquires defensman Tyler Myers, forwards Drew Stafford, Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux and a 2015 1st rounder (Jack Roslovic) from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forward Evander Kane, defenseman Zach Bogosian and goalie Jason Kasdorf.

                Winner: Winnipeg

                This is a close one. Despite many injuries, Myers has a 20-60-80 stat-line in 170 career games for Winnipeg. Stafford was a good player for them as well, with a  34-36-70 stat-line in 144 games. Armia has a 24-27-51 line in 159 games for them. Lemieux has played in nine career games, all in Winnipeg. Roslovic has scored eight points in 21 career games. On the other hand, Kane might be traded as I'm writing this, but has a 68-50-118 line in 196 games for Buffalo. Bogosian has a line in Buffalo of 9-34-43 line in 159 games. Kasdorf played in one NHL game. Winnipeg had more successful players, and that matters more.

               I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you like it, and this article gets, let's say, 65 pageviews, I'll write a 2014 trade deadline re-visited post.

NHL trade review: Canucks acquire Leipsic

               The Vancouver Canucks have acquired forward Brendan Leipsic from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for defenseman Philip Holm.

                For the Canucks, Leipsic is a good player who has had trouble making a name for himself in his career. He has had some potential, which is why he was picked in expansion draft. Vancouver is a third chance for Leipsic.

                Leipsic, 23, has scored two goals and 11 assists for 13 points in 44 games for the Golden Knights this year. In his NHL career for Vegas and the Toronto Maple Leafs, Leipsic has scored three goals and 13 assists for 16 points in 50 games.

                For the Golden Knights, they have too many forwards, and defensemen, but have better forwards. Holm is more depth for team with the most depth in the league. Leipsic didn't have too much value for them.

               Holm, 26, has scored no points in one game for the Canucks this year, his in the NHL. For the Utica Comets this year, Holm has scored 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points in 42 games.

               I think this is an even trade. Both teams get the player of position that they need, which is obviously a plus.

NHL trade review: Jets acquire Stastny

              The Winnipeg Jets have acquired center Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2018 lottery protected 1st round pick, a 2020 conditional 4th rounder and the rights to forward Erik Foley. The 4th will be awarded to St. Louis if they don't sign Foley. Oh, and the Blues retained 50% of Stastny's salary.

              For the Jets, they've been looking for a center, and have missed out on Derick Brassard and Tomas Plekanec. Stastny is an expensive rental, but is worth it for the Jets, especially since they are in the playoff hunt. His $7 million cap hit will only be about $3.5 million for them for the rest of the year, then they can say goodbye to it.

             Stastny, 32, has scored 12 goals and 28 assists for 40 points in 63 games for the Blues this season. In his NHL career for the Blues and Colorado Avalanche, Stastny has scored 216 goals and 417 assists for 633 points in 805 games.

              For the Blues, they have lost six straight games, and were in a similar situation that they were with Kevin Shattenkirk last year, and they traded him. The Blues are in the middle of the standings, and didn't want to make any risks, and went the safe path and traded him for a good value.

              Foley, 20, has scored 15 goals and 19 assists for 34 points in 32 games for Providence College this year. That exactly matches his numbers last year, but with four more games.

              I think the Blues win this deal. Stastny is a good player, but like most trades, it depends on the prospect and the player picked with the draft pick.

NHL trade review: Hartman to Preds

              In a surprisingly big deal, the Nashville Predators acquired forward Ryan Hartman and a 2018 5th round draft pick for a 2018 1st, a 2018 4th and prospect Victor Edjsell.

              The Preds are in a must win situation, and I guess this will fit the bill. Hartman is a young winger who can score, and played alongside Jonathan Toews, but I'm not sure this is a good deal for them. A 1st and a prospect is a little too much for him.

               Hartman, 23, has scored eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points in 57 games for the Hawks this year. In his NHL career, all in Chicago, Hartman has scored 27 goals and 30 assists for 57 points in 141 games.

                For the Hawks, they are actually sellers this year, and Hartman is a good place to start, especially when that's your return. Edjsell, a Swedish prospect, has some potential.

               Edjsell, 22, has scored 17 goals and 13 assists for 30 points in 44 games for HV71 Jonkoping of the Swedish league this year.

               I think the Hawks win this deal. While Hartman is a good player, and would be worth Edjsell straight up, adding in a 1st doesn't make too much sense. The Preds must think very highly of Hartman, though.

NHL trade review: Blue Jackets acquire Cole

              The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired defenseman Ian Cole from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2020 third round draft pick and forward Nick Moutrey.

              For the Blue Jackets, they weren't necessarily in the market for a defenseman, but, they have been shopping rental Jack Johnson, and this trade could signal a Johnson trade. The Ducks have made a push for Johnson, so that is probably the reason behind this trade. Oh, and Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen drafted Cole when he was with St. Louis.

              Cole, 29, has scored three goals and 10 assists for 13 points in 47 games this season, for the Pittsburgh Penguins. In his career for them and the St. Louis Blues, Cole has scored 18 goals and 72 assists for 90 points in 385 games.

               For the Sens, they got Cole in the Derick Brassard trade with the sole intention of flipping him. They get their expected third round pick, plus Moutrey, an AHLer.

               Moutrey, 22, has scored three goals and three assists for six points in 22 games this season for the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL.

              I think this is an even trade. The Blue Jackets get their defenseman, and the Sens continue to pile up on picks.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

NHL trade review: Preds acquire Bollig, Grosenick from Sharks

             The Nashville Predators have acquired forward Brandon Bollig and goalie Troy Grosenick from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 6th round draft pick.

             For the Preds, they get Grosenick, an AHL goalie to help with their organizational depth there. Plus, there isn't a big goalie trade market, so trying to grow their own goaltender isn't a bad alternative. I don't get the Bollig acquisition too much, but it seems like more of the same: depth. A sixth is nothing for two players.

            Bollig, 31, hasn't played in the NHL this year. In his career for the Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks, Bollig has scored 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points in 241 games.

            Grosenick, 28, hasn't played too much in the NHL, but has a .948 SV% and a GAA of 1.53 in two NHL games for the Sharks.

            For the Sharks, they get rid of two AHLers that they didn't need. They only get a sixth, but like I said, it's a dump off.

           There is just one word to sum up this trade: why? It doesn't make too much sense for either team. Maybe it's setting up another deal for San Jose to come. That's all I can think of.

NHL trade review: Preds acquire Letestu, flip him to Blue Jackets

               The Nashville Predators have acquired center Mark Letestu from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Pontus Aberg. Surprisingly, Letestu was soon flipped to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a 4th round draft pick.

               For the Oilers, they are trying to sell their rentals, like Letestu. They traded Brandon Davidson to the Islanders (don't get me started on that trade) and are shopping Patrick Maroon. They get a pretty good prospect in Aberg.

               Aberg, 24, has scored two goals and six assists for eight points in 37 games for the Preds this season. In his NHL career, all in Music City, Aberg has scored three goals and seven assists for 10 points in 52 games.

                For the Preds, I don't get this trade. If they could get Aberg for Letestu, but not Letestu for a 4th, why would they do Aberg for a 4th? It's weird, unless they were just trying to clear up a roster space for another trade, but then they would've gotten Letestu involved. It's okay if you don't understand what I'm saying.

               For the Blue Jackets, they get Letestu, who was their fourth line center and assistant captain a few years ago, before leaving for Edmonton. He is a solid player, and they know it.

               Letestu, 33, has scored eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 60 games this season. In his NHL career for the Oilers, Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins, Letestu has scored 92 goals and 114 assists for 206 points in 538 games.

               For the trade grading process, I'm going to grade it like it's a three team deal. I think the Blue Jackets win this deal. They get a solid player, who's a rental, for just a 4th round pick. Then, the Oilers. They get a solid player with some potential still for a vet that they had just two months left of him. Then, it's the Preds. Aberg isn't anything special, but they could've gotten something better than a fourth for him.

NHL trade review: Leafs acquire Plekanec

                  The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired center Tomas Plekanec and forward Kyle Baun from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Rinat Valiev, forward Kerby Rychel and a 2018 2nd round pick.

                   This trade reminds me a lot of when the Leafs acquired Brian Boyle last trade deadline. Pleakanec has had a rough last two seasons, but hasn't decreased in the faceoff circle, as he still has a faceoff percentage of over 50%. They give up some prospects, but Valiev and Rychel were both blocked by other players.

                    Plekanec, 35, has scored six goals and 18 assists for 24 points in 60 games for the Habs this season. In his NHL career, all in Montreal, Plekanec has scored 232 goals and 373 assists for 605 points in 981 games.

                     Baun, 25, hasn't played in an NHL game this season. In his NHL career, all for the Chicago Blackhawks, Baun has scored no points in five games. Baun's grandfather, Bob Baun, was a four time cup winner with the Leafs.

                      For the Habs, Plekanec is way past his prime, and is a rental. To get two young players and a second rounder is a pretty good haul for him. It is hard to trade players that have played on the team for 15 years, but the time came to deal him.

                      Valiev, 22, hasn't played in the NHL this year. In his NHL career, all for the Leafs, Valiev has no points in 10 games.

                       Rychel, 23, hasn't played in the NHL this year. In his NHL career, all for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Rychel has scored two goals and 10 assists for 12 points in 37 games.

                       I think the Habs win this trade. Plekanec is not worth a second, plus two young players. Increased trade market or not, this is a bad deal for the Leafs.