Monday, January 28, 2019

NHL trade review: Leafs acquire Muzzin

           The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired defenseman Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Carl Grundstrom, the rights to defenseman Sean Durzi and the Leafs' first round pick in 2019.

           Aside from Morgan Rielly, Toronto's defense has been their main issue. Bringing in Muzzin strengthens their team defensively, and he's also now their second best defense offensively (Rielly). They chose to use their first round pick on Muzzin, who will be a free agent after the 2019-20 season. They don't give up any top prospects. Grundstrom is a 2016 second round pick playing in the AHL, and Durzi is their most recent second round pick, and hasn't signed a contract yet.

          Muzzin, 29, has scored four goals and 17 assists for 21 points in 50 games for the Kings this year. In his NHL career, all for Los Angeles, Muzzin has scored 51 goals and 162 assists for 213 points in 496 games. He's averaged about 99 blocked shots and 152 hits in his seven career full seasons. He averaged 178 shots a year from 2013-14 to 2017-18.

         For the Kings, they are currently in last place, and things don't seem to be getting better. Muzzin was their most obvious trade bait, with just one year left after this season, and he was thought to be good enough to net them a first round pick and more. And that's exactly what they received. They get their 2019 first, which will be late in the opening round, Grundstrom, an AHL prospect that could be NHL ready by late 2019-20, or 2020-21. Durzi was recently drafted, and is a defenseman, so we might not see him in the NHL until 2021-22 or later.

         Grundstrom, 21, has 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points in 42 games for the AHL Toronto Marlies in 2018-19. He played most of last year for Frolunda HC in the SweHL, and scored 17 goals, with seven more assists for 24 points in 35 games.

          Durzi, 20, has scored five goals and six assists for 11 points in eight games for the Guelph Storm, plus three goals and 14 assists for 17 points in 18 games for the Owen Sound Attack this year. For Owen Sound in 2017-18, Durzi scored 15 goals and 49 points in 40 games.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

NHL trade review: Wild acquire Hunt


          The Minnesota Wild have acquired defenseman Brad Hunt and a 2019 6th round pick from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a conditional 2019 5th round pick (the Knights receive the better of the Wild's two fifth round picks).

           For the Wild, they have been active on the market recently, acquiring forwards Pontus Aberg and Victor Rask. They get a defenseman now. Hunt is a depth defenseman who didn't get much time with Vegas this year, but was decent when in the lineup.

          Hunt, 30, scored scored two goals and five assists for seven points in 13 games for the Golden Knights in 2018-19. In his NHL career for the Knights, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues, Hunt has scored seven goals and 27 assists for 34 points in 91 games.

          For the Golden Knights, Hunt is a defenseman getting minimal playing time, appearing in just 13 games for them this year, and 58 in two years. They didn't really need him, and they trade him and upgrade a round in the draft, which is better than losing him on waivers.

Monday, January 21, 2019

MLB trade review: Reds acquire Gray in 3 team deal

From NY Post

             The Cincinnati Reds have acquired RHP Sonny Gray and LHP Reiver Sanmartin from the New York Yankees in exchange for a competitive balance round A draft pick. The Reds also traded 2B Shed Long to the Seattle Mariners, who gave up OF Josh Stowers to the Yankees. Also, Gray has signed a three year extension with the Reds.

             For the Reds, they have acquired veteran pitchers Tanner Roark and Alex Wood, but haven't acquired a pitcher under contract for more than one year. Gray would have been a free agent after 2019, before signing an extension. They give up a pick after the first round and their seventh best prospect, which is quite a haul for a pitcher coming off a terrible year.

              Gray, 29, had a 4.90 ERA, a 4.17 FIP and 123 strikeouts in 130.1 innings for the Yankees in 2018. The best year of his career came in 2015 with the Oakland Atheltics, when he posted a 2.73 ERA, a 3.45 FIP and 169 strikeouts in 208 innings. In his career for the Yankees and A's, Gray has an ERA of 3.66, with a 3.74 FIP and 789 strikeouts in 900.2 innings.

              Sanmartin, 22, had a 2.81 ERA, with a 1.02 WHIP and 58 strikeouts in 67.1 innings for Low-A Staten Island, Single-A Charleston, High-A Tampa and AA Trenton.

              For the Yankees, they actually originally had Long, then flipped him to Seattle. The reasoning for that is since Long would take up a spot on the 40 man roster, they needed to open up a spot so they can sign reliever Adam Ottavino. But, they ended up downgrading prospects, getting Stowers, who is almost 22 and has barely played pro ball. Their main haul ended up being a draft pick.

              Stowers, 22, hit .260 with five home runs, 28 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 244 Plate Appearances for Low-A Everett in 2018, his first pro season.

              For the Mariners, they get a much better prospect who is already on their 40 man roster, and is just a year older than the one they give up. They had no business being in this trade, and ended up improving.

              Long, 23, had a .281 batting average, with 16 home runs, 50 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 439 Plate Appearances for High-A Daytona and AA Pensacola.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

NHL trade review: Ducks acquire Grant

         The Anaheim Ducks have acquired center Derek Grant from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Joseph Blandisi.

         For the Ducks, they re-acquire Grant, who had a decent season on the fourth line for them in 2017-18, after bouncing around from team to team to start his career, and not scoring a goal for the first 86 games of his career. They trade Blandisi, who never got a big chance for them after coming over from New Jersey.

         Grant, 28, has scored two goals and three assists for five points in 25 games for the Penguins this year. Last year, he scored 12 goals with 12 assists for 24 points in 66 games for the Ducks. In his career for the Ducks, Penguins, Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators and Buffalo Sabres, Grant has scored 14 goals and 22 assists for 36 points in 177 games.

          For the Penguins, Grant wasn't doing as well as expected after signing in the offseason. They get a player who was decent with the Devils before a trade to the Ducks, where he never got a real chance.

          Blandisi, 24, scored no points in three games for the Ducks this year. In his NHL career for the Ducks and New Jersey Devils, Blandisi has scored eight goals and 18 assists for 26 points in 74 games.

NHL trade review: Ducks acquire Del Zotto

            The Anaheim Ducks have acquired D Michael Del Zotto from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for D Luke Schenn and a 7th round pick.

             For the Ducks, they have been struggling, and GM Bob Murray has been wildly dealing. In his first trade acquiring a defenseman, he trades his seventh defenseman, and acquires a starting defenseman. And the only extra thing he gives up is a seventh round pick.

              Del Zotto, 28, has scored one goal and three assists for four points in 23 games for the Canucks this year. In his NHL career for the Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers and Nashville Predators, Del Zotto has scored 54 goals and 161 assists for 215 points in 589 games.

              For the Canucks, they are rebuilding. They get a cheap defense and a pick for a defenseman with a big cap hit. It's about saving money for them.

              Schenn, 29, has scored no points in eight games for the Ducks this year. In his NHL career for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings, Schenn has scored 30 goals and 113 assists for 143 points in 716 games.


NHL trade review: Wild and Hurricanes swap Niederreiter, Rask

         The Carolina Hurricanes have acquired winger Nino Niederreiter from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for center Victor Rask.

         For both the Hurricanes and the Wild, they swap struggling players. The Canes get a winger, and the Wild get a center, which is what both teams needed more. While Niederreiter is older, he has a shorter term deal than Rask, and is getting paid $1.25 million more a year. But, Niederreiter has had a better 2018-19.

        Niederreiter, 26, has scored nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points in 46 games for the Wild this season. The best year in his career came in 2016-17, when he scored 25 goals, with 32 assists for 57 points in 82 games. In his career for the Wild and the New York Islanders, Niederreiter has scored 112 goals and 119 assists for 231 points in 498 games.
         Rask, 25, has scored one goal and five assists for six points in 26 games for the Hurricanes this year. The best year of his career came in 2015-16, with 21 goals, 27 assists for 48 points in 80 games. In his NHL career, all in Carolina, Rask has scored 63 goals and 100 assists for 163 points in 339 games.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

NHL trade review: Wild acquire Aberg

From SBNation

           The Minnesota Wild have acquired forward Pontus Aberg from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for F Justin Kloos.

           The Wild are currently in the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, and are one point behind the 1st Wild Card team, the Stars, and the third place team in the Central, the Avalanche. To bolster their lineup, they get some scoring in Aberg. In 37 games, he already has a career high in goals and points for the Ducks, and will set a new career high in games when he first suits up for Minnesota. They just give up an AHL forward, so it's unlikely to hurt them this year.

            Aberg, 25, has scored 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points in 37 games for the Ducks this season. In his NHL career for the Ducks, Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators, Aberg has scored 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points in 105 games.

             I don't understand this trade for the Ducks. While they are on a 12 game losing streak, and traded Andrew Cogliano two days ago, Aberg seems like an unlikely player to be the second traded. He was in his first year in Anaheim, was 25 on a cheap deal, and was second on the team in goals. And all they get in return is a player without NHL experience and is the same age as the outgoing player.

             Kloos, 25, has scored 12 goals and 18 assists for 30 points in 34 games for the Iowa Wild (AHL) in 2018-19. In his AHL career, all for Iowa, Kloos has scored 31 goals and 49 assists for 80 points in 110 games.

Monday, January 14, 2019

NHL trade review: Stars acquire Cogliano

from ESPN

           The Dallas Stars have acquired forward Andrew Cogliano from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Devin Shore.

            For both the Stars and the Ducks, they are looking for a shakeup. Both teams have been struggling, with the Ducks currently sporting an 11 game losing streak.

           For the Stars, star players Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin haven't been producing as expected, and were recently called out in an article in the Athletic by CEO Jim Lites. Bringing in a veteran forward could help put the load off of Benn and Seguin.

           Cogliano, 31, has scored three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 46 games for the Ducks in 2018-19. The best year of his career came in 2013-14 for the Ducks, when he scored 22 goals and 20 assists for 42 points in 82 games. In his career for the Ducks and Edmonton Oilers, Cogliano has scored 160 goals and 219 assists for 379 points in 912 games.

           For the Ducks, they are looking for a big change with their 11 game losing streak still active. They trade the older Cogliano for a younger and less expensive Shore, who also has more points.

           Shore, 24, has scored five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 42 games for the Stars in 2018-19. In his NHL career, all for Dallas, Shore has scored 29 goals and 53 assists for 82 points in 203 games.

Friday, January 11, 2019

MLB trade review: Dodgers acquire Martin

             The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired C Russell Martin from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for RHP Andrew Sopko and SS Ronny Brito.

             For the Dodgers, Yasmani Grandal left as a free agent, leaving them with Austin Barnes behind the plate. Martin started his career as a Dodger, making two all-star teams in 2007 and 2008. While he isn't the same player offensively, Martin is still a good defensive catcher.

             Martin, 36, had a .194 batting average, 10 home runs and 25 RBIs in 352 Plate Appearances for the Jays in 2018. The best year of his career came with the Dodgers in 2007, when he had a .293 batting average, with 19 home runs and 87 RBIs, plus 21 stolen bases. In his MLB with the Blue Jays, Dodgers, New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates, Martin has a .249 batting average, with 185 home runs, 751 RBIs and 100 stolen bases in 6399 Plate Appearances.

             For the Blue Jays, they are rebuilding. They released SS Troy Tulowitzki, and now out goes Martin. Martin was a big part of their 2015 team that made the ALCS. But, it was time to move on after a bad 2018. They get two prospects in return.

             Sopko, 24, had a 3.52 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 121 strikeouts in 117.2 innings for High-A Rancho Cucamongo and AA Tulsa.
              Brito, 19, had a .295 batting average, with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs in 262 Plate Appearances for rookie level Dodgers Robinson and Ogden.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

MLB trade review: Mets acquire Davis

       The New York Mets have acquired 1B/3D J.D. Davis and INF Cody Bohanek from the Houston Astros in exchange for OF Ross Adolph, C Scott Manea and INF Luis Santana.

       For the Mets, Davis is a player that was blocked by Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel in the Astros system. While he has struggled in the majors, Davis has been dominant in AAA. He had a .342 batting average, 17 home runs and 81 RBIs with AAA Fresno in 2018. They had an extra prospect in Bohanek.

        Davis, 25, had a .175 batting average, one homer and five RBIs in 113 Plate Appearances for Houston in 2018. In his MLB career, all for the Astros, Davis has a .194 batting average, with five home runs and 12 RBIs in 181 Plate Appearances.

         Bohanek, 23, had a .214 batting average, with with six home runs, 38 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 460 Plate Appearances for Single-A Quad Cities, High-A Buies Creek and AAA Fresno.

         For the Astros, like I mentioned before, Davis is blocked by Bregman and Gurriel. But, they couldn't just keep him in the minors while hitting .342. So, they traded him. And, they got some decent prospects, including Santana, the Mets 24th best. Not a bad deal for them.

          Santana, 19, had a batting average of .348, with four home runs, 35 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 242 Plate Appearances for rookie league Kingsport.

          Adolph, 22, had a .276 batting average, with seven home runs, 35 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 264 Plate Appearances for Low-A Brooklyn.

          Manea, 23, had a .261 batting average, with 12 home runs and 53 RBIs in 405 Plate Appearances for Single-A Columbia in 2018.

MLB trade review: Mets acquire Broxton

Sports Illustrated

         The New York Mets have acquired OF Keon Broxton from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for RHP Bobby Wahl, RHP Adam Hill and INF Felix Valerio.

          For the Mets, they currently have Juan Lagares at center field, but they are looking to trade him. Broxton is a very good fielder, and has good power, plus speed. He gives them the opportunity to trade Lagares, and helps their outfield defensively. Due to the Brewers stacked outfield, Broxton spent most of 2018 in the minors. But, he had a good 2017.

          Broxton, 28, hit .179, with four home runs, 11 RBIs and five stolen bases in 89 Plate Appearances in 2018. The best year of his career came in 2017, when he had a batting average of .220, with 20 home runs, 49 RBIs and 21 stolen bases in 463 Plate Appearances. In his MLB career for the Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates, Broxton has a batting average of .221, with 33 home runs, 79 RBIs and 50 stolen bases in 798 Plate Appearances.

           For the Brewers, they have a crowded outfield with MVPs Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun, plus Lorenzo Cain. Broxton played a lot in AAA in 2018. In return, they get the hard-throwing Wahl, plus two prospects. A good haul for someone that couldn't crack your opening day roster.

           Wahl, 26, allowed six runs in 5.1 innings (10.13 ERA), with seven strikeouts with the Mets in 2018. In his career for the Mets and Oakland Athletics, Wahl has allowed 10 runs in 13 innings (6.92 ERA), with 15 strikeouts.

           Hill, 21, had a 2.35 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 26 strikeouts in 15.1 innings for Low-A Brooklyn in 2018, his first professional season.

           Valerio, 18, had a .319 batting average, with three home runs, 22 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 303 Plate Appearances in rookie league in 2018.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

NHL trade review: Sens acquire Nilsson


         The Ottawa Senators have acquired G Anders Nilsson and F Darren Archibald from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for C Tom Pyatt, G Mike McKenna and a 2019 6th round pick.

        For the Senators, they were without a goalie with starter Craig Anderson sidelined with a concussion. They had McKenna, a career AHL goalie, as their starter. Nilsson can start while Anderson is hurt, and be a better backup than McKenna when he returns. Archibald is an AHL forward who could play some games on their fourth line. He is the Utica Comets (Canucks' AHL team) all-time leader in games played (305) and goals (75), and is second in points (144).

       Nilsson, 28, has a 3.09 GAA and a .895 SV% in 12 games for the Canucks this season. In his NHL career for the Canucks, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and St. Louis Blues, Nilsson has a 3.07 GAA and a SV% of .905.

       Archibald, 28, has scored one goal and one assist for two points in nine games for the Canucks this season. In his NHL career, all in Vancouver, Archibald has scored six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 52 games.

       For the Canucks, they trade a struggling backup for an AHL goalie that has served as a mentor to many goalies before, and will to top goalie prospect Thatcher Demko, who is currently in the AHL. They also get Pyatt, a fourth line center who was recently waived by the Senators, and a late round pick.

        Pyatt, 31, scored two points, both assists, in 37 games this year. In his NHL career for the Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens, Pyatt has scored 43 goals and 58 assists for 101 points in 445 games.

         McKenna, 35, has a 3.96 GAA and a .897 SV% in 10 games for the Senators this year. In his NHL career for the Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Arizona Coyotes, New Jersey Devils, Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets, McKenna has a GAA of 3.58, with a .892 SV%.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

5 NHL transactions in 2018 that will heavily impact the future

           2018 was a big year for hockey. In late September, the Philadelphia Flyers introduced Gritty, their new mascot that would immediately go viral. As an expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals. And no hockey franchise had a bigger 2018 than Alex Ovechkin's Washington Capitals, who won their first Stanley cup in their 44 year history. Throughout the year, there were many transactions that will be noted for years to come. Here is a look at five of them.

           Honorable mention: 2018 NHL draft
I'm not including this as one of the five transactions since the draft is an obvious one, and isn't really a transaction to me. But, it did introduce future stars Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and a lot others to the NHL, so of course it had to be mentioned on this list.

            5. Blues acquire Ryan O'Reilly
While all other teams were busy signing players on July 1st, the St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres pulled off a blockbuster. 27 year old top six center Ryan O'Reilly was traded to the Blues in exchange for forwards Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund, Tage Thompson, a 2019 first round pick and a 2021 2nd round pick. For the Blues, they got the top-6 center they desperately needed, and got him under contract for the next five years. While he carries a large $7.5 million cap hit, they shipped out nearly $8.3 million in cap hit in the three players traded. The Sabres freed up the long term money, while acquiring a first round pick, a 21 year old ex first round pick in Thompson, a second round pick, and two bottom six forwards (though Berglund was released in December).
              4. Flames, Hurricanes blockbuster
On the second day of the draft, the Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes pulled off a blockbuster that shocked many people. Calgary acquired 21 year old defenseman and 2015 5th overall pick Noah Hanifin, as well as forward Elias Lindholm, in exchange for 25 year old top pairing defenseman Dougie Hamilton, gritty forward Michael Ferland and prospect Adam Fox. Calgary acquired a young defenseman, who they signed later to a six year deal (Hanifin was an RFA at the time of the trade), and a forward that would play on a line with stars Johnny Gaudreu and Sean Monahan. Carolina got a good defenseman with three years left on his contract, a forward that can play second/third line, and a young prospect that had showed promise at the WJC the year prior. It is a trade that will take a lot of time to see who won.

                3. Lightning acquire McDonagh, Miller
The only move on the list that happened during the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning were looking to improve their team for their playoff run in 2018. At the 2017-18 trade deadline, they acquired New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh and promising forward J.T. Miller for forward Vladislav Namestnikov, a 2018 first round pick (Rangers picked Nils Lundkvist), a conditional 2019 2nd round pick (It would become a first if Tampa wins the Stanley Cup in either 2017-18 or 2018-19), and prospects Brett Howden and Libor Hajek. Signed under contract through 2018-19, McDonagh is a top pairing defenseman they were putting on their second pair. Miller is a top six forward that was an RFA after 2017-18, and was later signed to a 5 year deal. Miller then scored 18 points in 19 games down the stretch for Tampa Bay. For the Rangers, they moved on from their captain, and acquired a young forward in Namestnikov, a first round pick (possibly two), and two top prospects, including Howden, who would later make the 2018-19 roster. Another huge trade.

                  2. Leafs sign Tavares
The only signing on this list, Tavares was the only big free agent on the market in the offseason. He had an offer from both the Leafs and his old team, the New York Islanders, for $11 million a season. He took one year less to go home to Toronto, possibly sparking a new rivalry. It made the Leafs a big time contender, and put the in jeopardy, as they had stars William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews soon becoming RFAs.

                  1. Sharks acquire Karlsson
The top defenseman in the NHL, the Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson is a UFA after the 2018-19 season. After an awful 2017-18 season, it was hard to see Karlsson sign an extension with Ottawa. So, they traded him to the San Jose Sharks for forward Chris Tierney, defenseman Dylan DeMelo, prospects Josh Norris (who is the best friend of recently drafted Senators prospect Brady Tkachuk) and Rudolfs Balcers. Plus, the Sens also received a conditional 2019 2nd round pick (higher pick between the two 2nd round picks the Sharks own), a conditional first round pick in 2020 (Becomes a 2019 first if Sharks don't make the playoffs in 2018-19), a conditional 2021 2nd round pick (Sens get the pick if Karlsson is re-signed) and a conditional first round pick no later than 2022 (Sens receive the pick if Karlsson is on an Eastern Conference roster in 2018-19). This trade changed the league, making the Sharks an immediate favorite, as the now had two Norris trophy favorites in Karlsson and Brent Burns. The Sens get a couple of picks, and a bunch of players. While Karlsson may only be on the Sharks for a season, it is a trade that will no doubt impact the league for years to come.