Monday, February 24, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Oilers acquire Green

From the Detroit Free Press

         The Edmonton Oilers have acquired defenseman Mike Green from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional 2020 4th round draft pick. If the Oilers make it to the Conference Final this year, and Green plays in at least half of their games, the pick is upgraded to a 2021 3rd rounder. The Red Wings also retained half of Green's salary.

          The Oilers have had injury problems this year. Currently, Oscar Klefbom and Kris Russell are missing on defense. Green brings stability to the right side, even when Klefbom and Russell return. Green will slot in behind Adam Larsson and ahead of Ethan Bear and Matt Benning on the depth chart. Bear could be on the second pairing with Green on the third. Green also brings experience; with Klefbom and Russell out, Larsson is the only other Oilers defenseman over the age of 25. A 15 year veteran, Green finished second in Norris voting two years in a row, and scored 30 goals one of those years, but those days are long behind him. Green's scoring has declined with age, and so has his defense. In five years with Detroit, Green has never been a plus player, with a career worst -32 rating this season. Plus, he is a pending UFA, explaining his low return.

           Green, 34, has three goals with eight assists for 11 points in 48 games for the Red Wings this year. In his NHL career for the Red Wings and Washington Capitals Green has scored 150 goals with 351 assists for 501 points in 878 games.

           The Red Wings should have gotten more for Green. They retain half of Green's salary, and take on Brodziak's contract. All they get in return is a 4th rounder. It can upgrade to a 3rd, but that is unlikely. Brodziak hasn't played a game in nearly a year. He has retired due to a degenerative back issue that left him unable to play. Once a bottom six defensive center, Brodziak will have a $1.15 million cap hit for the rest of the season.

            Brodziak, 35, scored 129 goals with 167 assists for 296 points in 917 games in his career for the Oilers, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Capitals acquire Kovalchuk

          The Washington Capitals have acquired forward Ilya Kovalchuk from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2020 3rd round draft pick. The Canadiens retained 50% of Kovalchuk's league minimum salary.

          Kovalchuk started 2019-20 with the Kings, in his second season since returning from the KHL. It didn't work out in L.A., and he was bought out. He signed a league minimum deal with Montreal and has been solid since. He is old, and a pending free agent. He is a decent middle-six winger. While the player who scored 40 goals six times and 50 goals twice doesn't exist anymore, Kovalchuk has connections to the Capitals. Head Coach Todd Reirden was a teammate of Kovalchuk during Kovalchuk's rookie season of 2001-02. That was Reirden's only season in Atlanta. Kovalchuk was also teammates with captain Alex Ovechkin at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, among other international competition. The Canadiens retain some of Kovalchuk's salary, as the Capitals are up against the salary cap, and anything helps. They get a third round pick for him, decent for a midseason free agent signing.

           Kovalchuk, 36, has scored nine goals with 13 assists for 22 points in 39 games for the Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings this year. In his NHL career for the Canadiens, Kings, New Jersey Devils and Atlanta Thrashers, the 2001 1st overall pick has scored 442 goals with 430 assists for 872 points in 919 games.

Friday, February 21, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Jets acquire Eakin

From The Athletic

          The Winnipeg Jets have acquired center Cody Eakin from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a conditional 2021 4th round draft pick. If the Jets make the playoffs or Eakin re-signs with the team at the end of the season, then the Knights receive a 2021 3rd round pick instead.

          The Golden Knights recently acquired Alec Martinez from the Kings. To shed salary and get back some draft picks (they traded two second rounders to L.A.), they decided to trade away an expiring contract. When Vegas was shedding salary in the offseason, it was a surprise that they didn't trade Eakin, who had one more year left with a cap hit of $3.85 million. It hurt them, as Eakin would have gotten a much better return in July than he did now. Then, he was fresh of his first 20 goal season. Now, he is in his worst season since 2016-17, his last with Dallas. A 2009 third rounder, Eakin is an expensive bottom six center, but for half a season it is okay. He can also play on the penalty kill. He has averaged two minutes and three seconds a game on the penalty kill this year. That is the second most for a Vegas forward, a second behind William Karlsson. While his scoring is down, Eakin is a fine defensive center and they did not give up much to get him. He is also from Winnipeg.

          Eakin, 28, has scored four goals with six assists for 10 points in 41 games for the Knights this year. In his NHL career for the Knights, Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals, Eakin has scored 102 goals and 130 assists for 232 points in 578 games.

NHL Trade Review: Bruins acquire Kase, unload Backes

           The Boston Bruins have acquired forward Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward David Backes, defenseman Axel Andersson and a 2020 1st round draft pick. The Bruins also retained $1.5 million, or 25% of Backes' contract.

           The Bruins need a right winger. Behind superstar David Pastrnak, the Bruins do not have a pure right winger worthy of top-nine minutes. Danton Heinen and Charlie Coyle can play on the right side, but they aren't primary right wingers. Chris Wagner and Karson Kuhlman aren't really second or third liners. Kase is very underrated, but always injured. He has missed the last five games, not with an injury but with an illness. While he likely won't be able to play tonight, he should be healthy to play in Boston's game tomorrow in Vancouver. He is having a down season this year, was hurt in 2018-19, but scored 20 goals in a breakout 2017-18 season. Trading a first round pick and a prospect for Kase may seem harsh, but he is just 24, and has another season left under contract at a reasonable $2.6 million cap hit. When his contract is up, he will still be an RFA. Plus, sacrificing a first round pick was necessary for getting rid of Backes' contract. I see it as Andersson for Kase, and the first to get rid of Backes. Andersson was Boston's second round pick in 2018. He adds to the Ducks' stash of defensive prospects that has seen NHLers come out of it like Shea Theodore, Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm and Brandon Montour in recent years. The young defenseman went from the Swedish League to the QMJHL this offseason. Backes signed a five year, $30 million contract with Boston in the 2016 offseason, and has significantly under-performed during it. He has one more year left with a cap hit of $4.5 million after the salary retention. He was with the AHL's Providence Bruins before the trade, but was not playing with them, due to an agreement with management. However, Backes is healthy and ready to play in the NHL.

            Kase, 24, has seven goals with 16 assists for 23 points in 49 games for the Ducks this year. In his NHL career, all in Anaheim, the former 7th rounder has scored 43 goals with 53 assists for 96 points in 198 games. He has just 44 penalty minutes in that time.

            Backes, 35, has scored one goal with two assists for three points in 16 games for the Bruins this year. In his NHL career for the Bruins and St. Louis Blues, the former second rounder has scored 245 goals with 309 assists for 554 points in 944 games. Unlike Kase, Backes has racked up over 100 penalty minutes in a season five times, with a career total of 1138.

           Andersson, 20, has scored two goals with 20 assists for 22 points in 41 games for the QMJHL's Moncton Wildcats this year. For the Swedish League's Sodertalje SK last year, Andersson had five points, all assists, in 41 games.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Golden Knights acquire Martinez

From the LA Times

         The Vegas Golden Knights have acquired defenseman Alec Martinez from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a second round draft pick in 2020 and 2021.

         This trade will really hurt for Kings fans. Martinez is a defenseman who has played top-4 minutes consistently for the team, has only played for them in his 11 year career, and has scored double-digit goals twice in his career with solid defense. Plus, his overtime goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals won the Kings their second Stanley Cup. Now he is with a division rival, looking for his third Stanley Cup. Martinez played for both teams. The Kings traded both Tyler Toffoli and Kyle Clifford, who assisted on that goal, earlier this season. While Clifford and Toffoli were pending UFAs, Martinez still has a season left under contract after this year. His play has declined this year. He has played in just 41 games after playing in only 60 last year. He is on pace to finish with his lowest point total since 2012-13, when he played in just 27 games. He is now 32 years old as well. While Kings fans would have liked a first round pick in return, two seconds will do. The team had to use Martinez's non-expiring contract as leverage to get a better return than other rental defensemen that were traded such as Andy Greene, Brenden Dillon and Marco Scandella. Like those three, Martinez is left handed. That actually is not a good thing for Vegas. Their only right handed defenseman is Deryk Engelland, who is arguably their worst defenseman. They traded for Martinez because he can play on both sides. Getting Martinez will push either Engelland, Jon Merrill or Nick Holden out of the lineup. Those three are all pending free agents, so the team could trade one of them and keep a younger, less expensive guy like Zach Whitecloud or Jimmy Schuldt, both of whom were recalled after the trade, an unusual thing following an addition.

           Martinez, 32, has scored one goal with seven assists for eight points in 41 games this year. In his NHL career, all in L.A., Martinez has scored 62 goals with 136 assists for 198 points in 597 games.

NHL Trade Review: Leafs acquire Malgin

      The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired forward Denis Malgin from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Mason Marchment.

     I like this trade a lot for the Maple Leafs. Malgin is a young forward with four seasons of partial NHL experience. While he has only scored double-digit goals once, he's good and fast enough to play bottom six minutes. He is a year and a half younger than Marchment, who just debuted this year. I'm surprised there wasn't a late pick attached to Marchment. The plus for Florida is that Malgin seems to have peaked and is not a fit in their system. Marchment could be. The undrafted forward has been a decent AHL forward and has earned his way up the Toronto ranks to get little playing time in the NHL.

     Malgin, 23, has scored four goals with eight assists for 12 points in 36 games this year. In his NHL career, all in Florida, Malgin has scored 28 goals with 32 assists for 60 points in 184 games.

     Marchment, 24, has one assist in four career NHL games, all this year. In the AHL for the Toronto Marlies, Marchment has scored 13 goals with five assists for 18 points in 24 games.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Blues acquire Scandella

         The St. Louis Blues have acquired defenseman Marco Scandella from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2020 second round pick and a conditional 2021 4th round pick. The Canadiens get the 4th rounder if Scandella re-signs in St. Louis, or if the Blues win two playoff rounds and Scandella plays in at least half of the games. The Canadiens also retain 50% of Scandella's $4 million cap hit.

         This is a really good return for the Canadiens. They acquired Scandella for a 4th rounder earlier this year, and exchanged him for a second and potentially another 4th round pick. That is an odd thing considering his scoring and +/- numbers went down post trade. The Blues might have been desperate. A third round pick was a more appropriate price for Scandella. He is a defensive defenseman that will play bottom pair minutes. The Blues could use a left handed defenseman as now Jay Bouwmeester is out indefinitely. Vince Dunn and Carl Gunnarsson are the only other lefty defensemen on the roster.

          The Canadiens are not in a good spot this year, currently sixth in the Atlantic Division with 62 points. It is very unlikely that they make the playoffs. They are looking to trade their rentals. They will profit big on in-season additions Scandella and Ilya Kovalchuk. Moving up two rounds for Scandella is an absolute steal for GM Marc Bergevin.

           Scandella, who will be 30 on Sunday, has scored four goals with eight assists for 12 points in 51 games for the Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres this year. In his NHL career for the Canadiens, Sabres and Minnesota Wild, Scandella has scored 42 goals with 94 assists for 136 points in 569 games.

NHL Trade Review: Capitals acquire Dillon

From NBC Sports

      The Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Brenden Dillon from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2020 second round pick and a conditional 2021 3rd round pick. If the Capitals win the Stanley Cup this year, than the Sharks get Arizona's 2020 third round pick. The Sharks also will retain 50% of Dillon's salary.

      The Sharks are not normally in the position that they are currently in. The last few years, they have been trade deadline buyers. But, everything has gone wrong for them this year. They are currently 6th in the Pacific Division with 56 points and no hope to make the playoffs. Like all the other bad teams do annually, it's time for the Sharks to sell their pending UFAs. Dillon is a defensive defenseman that won't have value for the Sharks, but can play on the bottom pair for the Capitals. The team needed a left defenseman to play behind Michal Kempny and Dmitry Orlov. Dillon fits the bill. Paying a second and a third is a rough price, but for a team that will finish top three in the league, draft picks aren't a concern right now. Previous deadline deals have found the Caps acquiring really good fits. Kempny and Carl Hagelin were once rentals like Dillon but were extended by the Caps.

        Dillon, 29, has one goal with 13 assists for 14 points in 59 games for the Sharks this season. In his NHL career for the Sharks and Dallas Stars, Dillon has scored 22 goals with 92 assists for 114 points in 588 games.

NHL Trade Review: Jets acquire DeMelo

    The Winnipeg Jets have acquired defenseman Dylan DeMelo from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2020 3rd round draft pick.

           The Jets badly need a defenseman. Dustin Byfuglien isn't coming back this season. Neal Pionk is in the middle of a career season with 38 points, but the depth on the right side is lacking behind him. Tucker Poolman has played in a career high 46 games this year, but he's 26 and has not shown signs of being a future piece. 23 year old Samu Niku has played in just 16 games, taking six penalties. He had one penalty in his previous 31 career games. DeMelo comes in at a good cost. He will not score, but he is a good defensive defenseman, and suitable for a bottom four role. Even though he is a rental, a third round pick is not much. He will turn 27 in May, so they could re-sign him. He averaged nearly 20 minutes a night in Ottawa, and while he should probably be averaging around 18 for a playoff team, the Jets might need him to play even more. Playing on a horrible Senators team, DeMelo has been a +2 player in his two year career with the club. Besides Pionk and Josh Morrissey, the defense will be a big issue. DeMelo will help easy the load of starting goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who has faced an NHL high 1520 shots, saving a high of 1397.

              DeMelo, 26, has no goals with 10 assists in 49 games for the Senators this year. In his NHL career for the Senators and San Jose Sharks, DeMelo has seven goals with 57 assists for 64 points in 259 games.

              The Senators are starting their third annual fire sale. While it won't be as big as last year's or as small as 2018's, the team is expected to bring in some high draft picks. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and potentially Anthony Duclair will go. DeMelo is the start. A third rounder is a little light, especially after the Devils got a second round pick and David Quenneville from the Islanders for Andy Greene. However, Greene is better and more experienced and was New Jersey's captain. I thought that Ottawa could've gotten an add-on pick, like a sixth or seventh.

NHL Trade Review: Canucks acquire Toffoli

            The Vancouver Canucks have acquired forward Tyler Toffoli from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forwards Tim Schaller and Tyler Madden, plus a 2020 second round pick and a conditional 2022 4th round pick. The Kings only get the last pick if Toffoli, a pending UFA, re-signs with Vancouver.

             The Canucks don't necessarily need scoring, they are tied for eighth in the league in goals scored. However, you can always use another goal scorer on your team. Toffoli is a pure rental, which saves them their first round pick. The JT Miller trade cost them their first this year, but they still have one next season. They give up the second rounder which will likely be a late pick. Schaller is a depth forward who is having a bad season, with just one assist in 51 games and a career worst -13 rating. Madden, a 2018 third round pick, is having a great season at Northeastern. He projects as a middle-six forward. He is still 20, though. Toffoli had a down year in 2018-19, but has bounced back, already tying his point total from last season. He is on pace for a 20 goal season. Unless he goes on a tear, he will not reach 30 goals for the first time since 2015-16.

             Toffoli, 27, has scored 18 goals with 16 assists for 34 points in 58 games for the Kings this year. In his NHL career, all in Los Angeles, Toffoli has scored 139 goals with 151 assists for 290 points in 515 games. He carries a $4.6 million cap hit.

             The Kings tried to sell high on Toffoli following his hat-trick in the Stadium Series win vs Colorado. It didn't really work, as they failed to receive a first round pick. The market for forwards will be higher with a lower quality of players on the market. Behind Chris Kreider, Toffoli might be the best rental forward available. There is a good chance that if L.A. waited until Monday's deadline, they could have gotten a higher price.

             Schaller, 29, is also a pending free agent. He has scored five goals with an assist for six points in 51 games for the Canucks this season. In his NHL career for the Canucks, Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres, Schaller has scored 29 goals with 28 assists for 57 points in 274 games. He carries a $1.9 million cap hit.

             Madden, 20, has scored 19 goals with 18 assists for 37 points in 27 games for Northeastern University. In his two year career at Northeastern Madden has scored 31 goals with 34 assists for 65 points in 63 games.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Lightning acquire Coleman

From NBC

           The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Blake Coleman from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Nolan Foote and a 2020 1st round pick from Vancouver.

           The price for Coleman may seem high at first, and that's because it is. Coleman is a good player, but that's essentially two first round picks given up for him. Foote was Tampa Bay's first round pick in this past draft. On the bright side for Tampa Bay, Coleman has one more year under contract, and at $1.8 million he has a very low cap hit. Plus, if he is playing with better players like Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, he could see an increase in scoring. He already is one goal away from tying the career high he set last year. Coleman does not get many assists, though. He has 20 less assists than goals in his career, uncommon for a forward with less than 100 career points. Coleman can play center and wing. He also can kill penalties. For the Devils this year, Coleman has averaged 2:47 minutes a game short handed. He is very underrated and can blossom even more in Tampa Bay, but it still is a really good trade for a Devils team without hope this year. The team is in the hunt for the first overall pick again, and probably next year too. Coleman, at 28, does not have much value for them. Foote will be a key part of the team when they start to be competitive again. It is not good to see the Lightning give up on Foote this early into his Lightning career, nearly eight months after he was drafted. Also, the first round pick is based off of where the Canucks finish, which is not good for the Lightning. It is better to bet on yourself and trade your own pick than trade someone else's pick. However, if the pick is high, the team will feel better than if their own pick was a high pick.

              Coleman, 28, has 21 goals with 10 assists for 31 points in 57 games this year. In his NHL career, all for the Devils, Coleman has scored 57 goals with 37 assists for 94 points in 237 games.

              Foote, 19, has scored 15 goals with 18 assists for 33 points in 26 games for the WHL's Kelowna Rockets this year. In his four year career for Kelowna, Foote has scored 83 goals with 88 assists for 171 points in 194 games.

NHL Trade Review: Islanders acquire Greene

           The New York Islanders have acquired defenseman Andy Greene from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman David Quenneville and a 2021 2nd round pick.

           After top defenseman Adam Pelech went down with an achillies tear, the Isles mainly rotated through five defensemen with top prospect Noah Dobson gets little, but increasing ice time. This trade pushes Dobson out of the lineup, but Greene evens out the amount of righties an lefties on defense. Greene is left handed, opposed to the right handed Dobson. Unless an injury occurs, don't expect to see Dobson back in the lineup for the rest of the year. Dobson was playing with Scott Mayfield, who's normal partner Devon Toews was with Pelech's partner Ryan Pulock on the top pairing. There is a good chance that Greene could start with Mayfield, but when he gets comfortable, there is a good chance that Toews and Mayfield are reunited, and Pulock and Greene are the top pairing. Greene fits all the boxes for GM Lou Lamoriello. He is experienced, he has leadership experience, and he also was on the Devils when Lamoriello was there from 2006-2015. He was the Devils captain since the start of the 2015-16 season.

            For the Devils, it will be hard to say goodbye to Greene, who was with the team for 14 seasons, and the captain for five of them. A second round pick is a really, really good price for him, too. They will not name a new captain. Greene had a cap hit of $5 million, but due to the fact that there are only 49 days left in the season, Greene will only carry a cap hit just over $1.3 million for the Islanders. Quenneville is a prospect who had great junior numbers but has struggled professionally.

            Greene, 37, has scored two goals with nine assists for 11 points in 53 games. Even though the Devils have a -43 goal differential, Greene is one of three Devils players with double digit games played that has a positive +/- rating (+1). In his NHL career, all with the Devils, Greene has scored 49 goals with 197 assists for 246 points in 923 games.

            Quenneville, 21, has one goal with five assists for six points in 18 games for the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 14 games for the ECHL's Worcester Railers, Quenneville has two points, both assists in 14 games. He was New York's 7th round, 200th overall pick in 2016.

Monday, February 10, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Twins acquire Maeda

          The Minnesota Twins have acquired RHP Kenta Maeda, C Jair Camargo and cash considerations from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for RHP Brusdar Graterol, OF Luke Raley and a 2020 Competitive Balance Round B Draft Pick.

          The Twins need a starter. They have Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi, but in the ALDS, they struggled when they had to send out Randy Dobnak to pitch Game 2. They added former Dodgers Homer Bailey (LA pays his salary) and Rich Hill in the offseason, but they aren't anything special. Maeda is a solid 3rd-4th starter who can strikeout batters. He comes with Camargo, a young catching prospect who will not be a top 30 prospect in Minnesota's system, per MLB Pipeline. Injuries have been an issue for Maeda, as he has only qualified for the ERA title once in four seasons. At age 31,  Maeda is still under contract for four more seasons and is owed juts $3 million per season.

          Maeda, 31, had a 4.04 ERA with 169 strikeouts and a 3.95 FIP in 153.2 innings for the Dodgers in 2019. In his MLB career, all in Los Angeles, Maeda has a 3.87 ERA with 641 strikeouts and a 3.71 FIP in 589 innings.

          Camargo, 20, had a .236 batting average with four home runs, 41 RBIs, five stolen bases and a .642 OPS in 316 Plate Appearances for Single-A Great Lakes in 2019. In his minor league career Camargo has a .250 batting average with 11 home runs, 95 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and a .671 OPS in 726 Plate Appearances.

          The Dodgers recently traded for former MVP winner Mookie Betts and former Cy Young winner David Price. They cost a lot of money, so the Dodgers need to shed salary. After acquiring Price, the Dodgers have four rotation locks in Price, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Alex Wood. Add in prospects Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, plus swingman Ross Stripling and the rotation is set. They trade Maeda and get Graterol, who can throw over 100 miles an hour and will be a big bullpen piece, plus a draft pick and an extra prospect. Graterol enters the system as their 4th best prospect, and is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 53rd best prospect in the MLB.

          Graterol, 21, debuted in 2019, striking out 10 batters in 9.2 innings, allowing five earned runs for a 4.66 ERA. In the minors for AA Pensacola and AAA Rochester, Graterol had a 1.92 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 61 innings.

           Raley, 25, had a .302 batting average with seven home runs, 21 RBIs, four stolen bases and an .878 OPS in 138 Plate Appearances for AAA Rochester in 2019. In his minor league career Raley has a .288 batting average with 46 home runs, 178 RBIs and 21 stolen bases, plus an .833 OPS in 1525 Plate Appearances.

NHL Trade Review: Penguins acquire Zucker

           The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Jason Zucker from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Alex Galchenyuk, defenseman Calen Addison and a protected 2020 first round pick.

            The Wild are in full sell mode. Last year, they traded from their core, dealing Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund and Charlie Coyle, and now Zucker this year. The Wild need pieces for the rebuild, but they don't have many pending UFAs. Mikko Koivu is a pending UFA, but he is a Wild legend and it would be hard to see them trading him. Zucker has three more years under contract after 2019-20. For a top-6 winger, the price may seem high, but the first round pick had to go, plus the Penguins needed cap space. He should be a consistent 20 goal scorer. Galchenyuk is having a terrible season, and he is a UFA at the end of the year. Addison is a good prospect, but he does not have star potential. Galchenyuk, a former third overall pick, is still only 25. However, he has not scored 20 goals since 2015-16, when he scored 30. He is not great defensively. The Penguins, despite injury issues, will finish in a great spot this year. The first round pick will likely be in the 22-31 range. Addison has scored at a point per game pace in the WHL, good for a defenseman.

             Zucker, 28, has scored 14 goals with 15 assists for 29 points in 45 games for the Wild this year. In his NHL career, all in Minnesota, Zucker has scored 132 goals with 111 assists for 243 points in 456 games.

             Galchenyuk, who will turn 26 on February 12, has scored five goals with 12 assists for 17 points in 45 games this year. In his NHL career for the Penguins, Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens, Galchenyuk has scored 132 goals with 181 assists for 313 points in 535 games.

             Addison, 19, has 10 goals with 33 assists for 43 points in 39 games for the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes this year. In his WHL career Addison has 41 goals with 134 assists for 175 points in 241 games.

MLB Trade Review: Dodgers acquire Betts and Price (again)


       The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired OF Mookie Betts, LHP David Price and cash from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for OF Alex Verdugo, SS Jeter Downs and C Connor Wong.

        Not often do we get trades in baseball where everyone will instantly agree that it will change league history. This one will. Betts was the 2018 AL MVP, and is arguably the second best player in baseball behind Mike Trout. He is definitely top-10 on everyone's list and he should be in the top-5 on most lists. Betts will be a free agent after the 2020 season. In his last year of arbitration, Betts received a record $27 million. He has finished top ten in MVP voting in all of the last four seasons, including the win in 2018 and a second place finish in 2016. Betts has won a Gold Glove in all four of those seasons, and won a Silver Slugger in all of those years excluding 2017. He has led the league in runs in 2018 and 2019. He led the league in batting average (.346) and slugging percentage (.640) in 2018. He also had an outstanding 10.4 fWAR that season. He followed in up with a 6.6 fWAR in 2019. While Betts had 92 more Plate Appearances in 2019 than in 2018, he still finished with four less hits. Even though Betts' walk rate and strikeout rate were both better in 2019 than in 2018, his batting average and on base percentage both dropped by around 50 points, and his slugging percentage dropped by over 100 points. His 40 doubles and 16 stolen bases in 2019 were career lows, not counting his 52 game 2014 season. His defense, in terms of defensive runs saved, has decreased by the season. He had 32 in 2016, 31 in 2017, 20 in 2018, and was down to 15 in 2019. Still, 15 defensive runs saved is elite. However, Betts has played worse as he has entered his prime. He struck out 101 times in 2019. It isn't a lot compared to most of baseball, but considering he struck out just 80 times in 2016, when he had 75 more Plate Appearances than he did in this past season, it could be slightly concerning. And with the Red Sox looking to get under the luxury tax in the worst way, trading Betts, and Price was inevitable, but that still doesn't mean that Betts should be traded. There were rumors over the last year and further that Betts declined extension offers. If that is true than the Red Sox figured that it was best to trade Betts, especially under a new regime, with Dan Dombrowski and Alex Cora out as GM and Manager, and no one in to replace them (Chaim Bloom is the closest thing to a General Manager, but that is not his official job title).

         Betts, 27, was a 5th round pick out of Overton High School in Nashville in 2011. In 2019, Betts had a .295 batting average with 29 home runs, 80 RBIs, 16 stolen bases, a .915 OPS and a 6.6 fWAR in 706 Plate Appearances. In his MLB career, Betts has a .301 batting average with 139 home runs, 470 RBIs, 126 stolen bases, a .893 OPS and a 37.2 fWAR in 3639 Plate Appearances.

         What Price will be in this deal is the cash. When he signed a seven year, $217 million deal with the Red Sox in December of 2015, everything related to him would be about money. When he wasn't elite in 2016 and was hurt in 2017, it was about cash. When the Red Sox needed to trade him due to the luxury tax, it was obviously about cash. Conveniently, going with him to L.A. is cash. Price's tenure in Boston would be much worse if it weren't for his big role in the 2018 World Series Championship team. Price was hurt again in 2019, finishing with just 22 starts and averaging under five innings a start. Price's 4.28 ERA was his worst since his rookie season of 2009. The silver lining to it is his 10.7 K/9, the first time ever in his 12 year career he had a K/9 over 10. That and his 15 home runs allowed (which is tied for a career low in seasons where he pitched in at least 100 innings) lead to a 3.62 FIP, which is not ace caliber but still respectable and better than his 2018 FIP. The 2012 Cy Young winner will go to Los Angeles to help win the World Series, as his expectations are very high, the same way they have been since he was the first overall draft pick in 2007.

          Price, 34, is from Tennessee, like Betts. In 2019, he had a 4.28 ERA with 128 strikeouts and a 3.62 FIP in 107.1 innings. In his MLB career for the Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, Price has a 3.31 ERA with 1981 strikeouts and a 3.35 FIP in 2029.2 innings.

          The Dodgers don't need Verdugo for 2020, and after years of holding onto him, they finally found the right trade. Verdugo had a very impressive rookie season, playing in 106 games. The Dodgers have their outfield in Betts, MVP winner Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock. A trade with the Angels that included Joc Pederson fell through, so he will also be a starter. Betts was originally a center fielder, but mainly played right field in Boston. He could play center in L.A., with Pederson and Bellinger at the corner spots and Pollock as the fourth outfielder. He would be the best 4th outfielder in baseball, with a career OPS over .800. Verdugo might be their future, but it is fine to trade him to get a cornerstone in Betts and a pitcher in Price. Downs was acquired last offseason from the Reds as a sweetener for taking on Homer Bailey's salary. He is a top prospect, but with Gavin Lux and Corey Seager, the Dodgers are set up the middle for the next few years. Wong is a decent prospect, but the Dodgers have a strong catching system, and he was behind players like Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz.

           Verdugo will go right into Betts' right field spot. He is a good hitter, but not on Betts' level. He is a good comparable to Andrew Benintendi, the Red Sox left fielder. Downs will now be Boston's 2nd best prospect per MLB Pipeline. He is ranked as the 87th best prospect in baseball. The Sox just extended Xander Bogaerts before last season, so he doesn't have a future at shortstop. However, the Red Sox don't really have a plan at second base beyond Jose Peraza's one year deal, and Downs, who could be in the big leagues by 2021, could be their starter there. Wong has backup catcher potential. He is versatile, as he played both second and third base in the minors last year. He will be Boston's 18th best prospect.

            Verdugo, 23, had a .294 batting average with 12 home runs, 44 RBIs, four stolen bases and a .817 OPS in 377 Plate Appearances for the Dodgers in 2019. In his MLB career Verdugo has a .282 batting average with 14 home runs, 49 RBIs, four stolen bases and a .784 OPS in 488 Plate Appearances.

              Downs, 21, was a first round pick (32nd overall) in 2017. In 2019 for AA Tulsa and High-A Rancho Cucamonga, Downs had a .276 batting average with 24 home runs, 86 RBIs, 24 stolen bases and an .888 OPS in 535 Plate Appearances. In his minor league career Downs has a .267 batting average with 43 home runs, 162 RBIs, 69 stolen bases and an .817 OPS in 1268 Plate Appearances.

              Wong, 23, was a third round pick in 2017. In 2019 for Tulsa and Rancho Cucamonga, Wong had a .281 batting average with 24 home runs, 82 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and an .878 OPS in 465 Plate Appearances. In his MiLB career Wong has a .275 batting average with 48 home runs, 160 RBIs, 18 stolen bases and an .852 OPS in 1004 Plate Appearances.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Padres acquire Pagan

           The San Diego Padres have acquired RHP Emilio Pagan from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for OF Manuel Margot and C/OF Logan Driscoll.

           Pagan debuted as a 26 year old with Seattle in 2017. He was traded to Oakland for Ryon Healy in 2018, and then to Tampa Bay a year later in a three team deal netting Oakland Jurickson Profar. When he debuts for San Diego, he will have played for his 4th team in four career seasons, and his teammate will be Profar, who the Padres acquired from the A's earlier this offseason. Pagan's best season came in 2019. He rose to the closer role in Tampa Bay, earning his first career save early and finished in a tie for 21st in the league in saves by the season's conclusion. Pagan will see a big dip in saves however, as the MLB's leader in 2019 was San Diego's own Kirby Yates with 41. The Padres had a 4.52 bullpen ERA in 2019, finishing 19th in the majors. With a 3.66 ERA, the Rays edged out Cleveland to lead the league. Trading their closer will definitely hurt, but the Rays are very at finding diamonds in the rough and their pen should be fine. The Padres have upgraded their bullpen this offseason, signing Drew Pomeranz, bringing back Craig Stammen and trading for Pagan. They lose Margot, a speedy outfielder with a great glove but a weak bat. The Rays could platoon Margot and Kevin Kiermaier, a left handed bat with the same skills. With Kiermaier in center, Margot in right and former Padre Hunter Renfroe in left, the Rays will have a very good defensive outfield. Austin Meadows and new acquisition Randy Arozarena also will see outfield time. Meadows will likely see more right field time than Margot, but the Rays did DH Meadows often last season. For the Padres, Tommy Pham (who was acquired from the Rays for Renfroe this offseason), Wil Myers and new acquisition Trent Grisham will likely make up their outfield for most of the season. Franchy Cordero and Josh Naylor are options as well. Driscoll was San Diego's 2nd round pick in 2019 out of George Mason University. He will not be a top 30 prospect in the Rays system, per MLB Pipeline.

               Pagan, 28, had a 2.31 ERA with 96 strikeouts, 20 saves and a 3.30 FIP in 70 innings for the Rays in 2019. In his MLB career for the Rays, Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics, Pagan has a 3.26 ERA with 215 strikeouts, those 20 saves, and a 3.84 FIP in 182.1.

               Margot, 25, had a .234 batting average with 12 home runs, 37 RBIs, 20 stolen bases, a .691 OPS and six defensive runs saved in 441 Plate Appearances for the Padres this past season. In his MLB career, all with San Diego, Margot has a .248 batting average with 33 home runs, 130 RBIs, 50 stolen bases, a .695 OPS and 27 defensive runs saved in 1526 Plate Appearances.

               Driscoll, 22, had a .268 batting average with three home runs, 20 RBIs and a .797 OPS in 162 Plate Appearances for Low-A Tri-City. In his college career at George Mason, Driscoll had a .337 batting average with 17 home runs, 108 RBIs and 22 stolen bases and a .939 OPS in 661 Plate Appearances.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Leafs acquire Campbell and Clifford

          The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired goalie Jack Campbell and forward Kyle Clifford from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Trevor Moore, a 2020 third round pick (originally from Columbus) and a conditional 2021 3rd round pick. If Clifford, a pending free agent, re-signs with the Leafs, the draft pick becomes a second rounder. It also becomes a second round pick if the Maple Leafs make the 2019-20 playoffs and Campbell wins six regular season games.

           For the second year in a row, the trade deadline season was kicked off with a trade between the Leafs and the Kings. Last year, it was Toronto sending their first round pick, Carl Grundstrom and Sean Durzi to L.A. for Jake Muzzin, who is still with the club. While this trade is not as big as its predecessor, Toronto is finally upgrading a position of dire need: backup goaltender. Starter Frederik Andersen is day-to-day with a neck injury, and backup Michael Hutchinson has been terrible. He has lost 10 of his 14 decisions (counting his one overtime loss). Hutchinson has a .886 save percentage and a 3.66 GAA this year. Campbell is definitely an upgrade. The 11th overall pick in 2010, Campbell was a late bloomer, not getting a real NHL chance until last year, with his second team. He was very good as Jonathan Quick's backup, with a .928 save percentage. He has regressed this year, with a save percentage that has been hovering around .900. Campbell is very cheap, with a cap hit of $675k. Campbell would have been a free agent at the end of the year, but in September he signed two year extension with a $1.65 million cap hit. If Campbell can get to half of his 2018-19 production, that will be a steal of a contract. Clifford also brings something that the Leafs don't really have - a defensive forward not afraid to hit. The Leafs' forward corps consist of skilled forwards like Moore, but not much hitting. Grinders aren't necessary anymore, but it is good to have one. The Leafs' forwards leader in hits is Dmytro Timashov, who isn't a regular. He also has 75 hits, 15 less than Clifford. While Clifford has played in nearly 20 more games, he also brings the veteran presence that Toronto lacks. He won two Stanley Cups in his Los Angeles tenure.

             Campbell, 28, has a .900 save percentage and a 2.85 GAA in 20 games for the Kings this year. In his NHL career for the Kings and Dallas Stars, Campbell has a .916 save percentage and a 2.58 GAA in 58 games.

             Clifford, 29, has six goals with eight assists for 14 points in 53 games for the Kings this year. In his NHL career, all in Los Angeles, Clifford has scored 60 goals with 69 assists for 129 points in 660 games.

             The Kings are in sell mode. If they had not signed Campbell to an extension the trade would make more sense, however, they need a goalie. It does help them tank more. Quick has been terrible this year, with a save percentage under .900 and a GAA over 3.00. Cal Peterson is the only other goalie on the roster. The 25 year old from Iowa has had an encouraging first NHL season, with a .924 save percentage in 11 games. Moore can be an upgrade from Clifford. The undrafted forward has 24 goals and 41 points in 48 games over the last two AHL seasons, but has struggled in the NHL. He has played all but two of his professional games this year in the NHL. He will get a bigger chance with the Kings, but if he couldn't score in a very offense heavy system in Toronto, there might not be much hope for Moore. This trade marks the start of a big February for the Kings. Former Cup winners Alec Martinez and Tyler Toffoli are likely on the way out.

               Moore, 24, has three goals with two assists for five points in 27 games for the Leafs this year. In his NHL career, all in Toronto, Moore has scored five goals with eight assists for 13 points in 52 games.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Diamondbacks acquire Marte

             The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired OF Starling Marte and cash from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHP Brennan Malone and IF Liover Peguero, plus international signing bonus pool money.

            Marte trade rumors have been spread all offseason, with multiple teams including the Mets reportedly in on the former all-star. Marte has always been a speed threat, with 20 stolen bases in all of his first seven full seasons, including a career high 47 in 2016. He won two Gold Gloves from 2015-16. He had his best offensive season in 2019, with career highs in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS. The Pirates are entering full rebuild mode, and shedding salary is a common first step. The Pirates get two young prospects, but neither are top 100 prospects.

            With bringing in a center-fielder, the Diamondbacks could move Ketel Marte back to the infield, as there are no clear front-runners to start at second base. The new Marte will play center while David Peralta and newcomer Kole Calhoun are on the corners. Speedy outfielder Tim Locastro will fit in as the fourth outfielder, and prospect Josh Rojas can play left field as well. Marte going back to the infield all depends on if Jake Lamb can win back the third base job and move 118 RBI man Eduardo Escobar to second base. Lamb hit 30 home runs in 2017 but has been horrendous in the two seasons since.

            Marte, 31, hit 23 home runs with 25 stolen bases, a .295 batting average and a .845 OPS in 586 Plate Appearances in 2019. In his MLB career, all in Pittsburgh, Marte has hit 108 home runs with 239 stolen bases, a .287 batting average and a .793 OPS in 3986 Plate Appearances.

            Malone, 19, was the 33rd overall pick in the 2019 draft. In his professional debut in rookie league and for Low-A Hillsboro Malone had a 4.50 ERA with eight strikeouts in eight innings.

            Peguero, also 19, hit five home runs with 11 stolen bases, a .326 batting average and a .866 OPS in 249 Plate Appearances for Hillsboro and rookie league Missoula. In his minor league career Peguero has hit six home runs with 18 stolen bases and a .299 batting average plus a .781 OPS in 410 Plate Appearances.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Cardinals acquire Dean

          The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired OF Austin Dean from the Miami Marlins in exchange for OF Diowill Burgos.

           The Cardinals recently traded two right handed hitting outfielders in Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena to the Rays. Like them, Dean is a right handed hitter. However, he is not really a starting outfielder. Dean figures to be more of a 4th or 5th outfielder, and because he still has minor league options, he will likely be a part of the AAA-MLB shuttle. After breaking out in the minor leagues and making his MLB debut in 2018, Dean was a decent choice for a breakout season in 2019. However, he played in just 64 MLB games, and the numbers were more of the same from his weak 2018 stint. He once again had a great AAA season, but now he gets a new MLB chance. If Dean has a 2020 season similar to his 2019 and 2018 MLB seasons, it will be hard to not classify him as a AAAA player. The good news is that they do not give up much in Burgos.

            Dean, 26, had a .225 average with six home runs, 21 RBIs and a .665 OPS in 189 Plate Appearances in 2019. For AAA New Orleans he had a .337 batting average with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs (1.036 OPS) in 282 Plate Appearances. In his MLB career Dean has a .223 average with 10 home runs, 35 RBIs and a .656 OPS in 311 PA. In his AAA career he has a .331 average with 27 home runs, 111 RBIs and a .944 OPS in 640 PA.

           Burgos is much more of a longshot. A soon to be 19 year old, the Dominic Republic native still has not made it past rookie ball. He did have a good 2019, and could start 2020 in Single-A.

           Burgos, who will be 19 on January 29, had a .316 average with 11 home runs, 50 RBIs and a .999 OPS in 251 Plate Appearances. In his two year minor league career Burgos has a .263 average with 17 home runs, 81 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and a .841 OPS in 493 Plate Appearances.

MLB Trade Review: Angels acquire Andriese

From USA Today

       The Los Angeles Angels have acquired RHP Matt Andriese from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for RHP Jeremy Beasley.

     Andriese is one of those pitchers that can both start games and come out of the bullpen. However, 2019 was his first season in where he only did one of those things. Andriese made 54 appearances in 2019, all as a reliever. Coming up with the Rays in 2015, Andriese was mainly a starter but accumulated four saves in his first three seasons (he had another in 2019). In 2018, he was having his best season, with a 4.07 ERA in 59.2 innings before being traded to the Diamondbacks for Michael Perez and Brian Shaffer. He was terrible down the stretch, allowing 19 earned runs in 19 innings, raising his season ERA up to a career worst 5.26. In 2019, he had a 4.71 ERA, which is his second worst mark in his career. He finished 13 games for Arizona, but he is more of a middle reliever at best, or a long man. The Angels need starting pitching, so Andriese could start some games, maybe as an opener or a bulk guy. But while he has allowed a lot more runs in Arizona, Andriese did improve in some places. His 10.1 K/9 in 2019 (79 strikeouts in 70.2 innings) was a career high, but unfortunately, so was his 3.4 BB/9. Thanks to his career best K/9 and HR/9 (1.0), Andriese had a career best 3.72 FIP. The Angels will try to limit the walks, and that could lead to much better results. If Andriese walked only 15 batters compared to the 27 he did in 2019, everything else probably would have improved by a lot. As a reliever, he is not a bad bet.

      Andriese, 30, had a 4.71 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 70.2 innings in 2019. In his MLB career for the Diamondbacks and Rays, Andriese has a 4.58 ERA with 391 strikeouts in 428.2 innings.

      The Diamondbacks surprisingly got a decent prospect for Andriese. A middle reliever with an ERA over four and a half does not normally get you a top 30 prospect, but it did in Arizona's case. According to MLB Pipeline, Jeremy Beasley is now the Diamondbacks' 27th best prospect. A 30th round pick in 2017 from Clemson, Beasley has good minor league numbers as a starter. However, his 2019 numbers aren't impressive overall because of his 7.90 ERA in three AAA starts in his first taste of the highest minor league level. 2018 was a big year for Beasley, as he made his Single-A debut and ended the season in AA, finishing with a combined 2.66 ERA. His AA numbers were not as good in 2019, and he will likely start 2020 there.

        Beasley, 24, had a 4.49 ERA with 115 strikeouts in 122.1 innings for AA Mobile and AAA Salt Lake in 2019. He had a 4.06 ERA in 108.2 innings in Mobile alone. In his minor league career, Beasley has a 3.56 ERA with 256 strikeouts in 265.2 innings.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Rays acquire Martinez

From Bleacher Report

          The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired OF Jose Martinez, OF Randy Arozarena and a competitive balance A draft pick from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for LHP Matthew Liberatore, C Edgardo Rodriguez and a competitive balance B draft pick.

           The trade can be a lot to unpack at first sight, especially with the draft picks. But the main roster player involved is Martinez. He can play the corner outfield spots as well as first base, and has always hit well. However, there was never a spot for him in the Cardinals outfield or at first base, and without the use of a designated hitter in the National League, he was used as a backup and pinch hitter. He has some power, but he has never hit 20 home runs in a season in his career. However, he is a terrible defender, with a career DRS of -28. That could be why he was such a late bloomer, playing in the White Sox, Braves and Royals organization before making his debut with the Cardinals in 2016. His main appeal is his ability to crush left handed pitching. In 2019, he hit .329 with five home runs and a .997 OPS in 78 Plate Appearances against southpaws. In his career, he has a .331 batting average, a .976 OPS and 15 home runs in 298 Plate Appearances. Overall, he has not struggled against righties, with a .288 batting average, but that was hurt dramatically in 2019, when he hit just .254 with a .685 OPS. His struggles against right handed pitching, his defense, his lack of a position on the team, his price going up and his age (31) all factored into making this trade for the Cardinals. The Rays could use a guy like Martinez, almost like a replacement to Tommy Pham, who was traded earlier this offseason to the Padres in a big deal that netted the Rays outfielder Hunter Renfroe and more. Martinez, like Pham, hits for average and has some power. However, the Rays will lack on the defensive side (which Renfroe brings).
             Arozarena is MLB ready, and could make the Rays to start the 2020 season, although it is unlikely. He made his MLB debut in 2019, appearing in just 19 games, and getting just 23 Plate Appearances. Arozarena had a really good minor league season, playing in AA and AAA, finishing with a combined OPS over 1.000. MLB Pipeline now ranks Arozarena as the 12th best prospect in a stacked Rays system. Also, the Rays move up roughly 30 draft spots in the next draft.
             They give up a top prospect in Liberatore, who MLB Pipeline ranks as the 41st best prospect in all of baseball, and the third best in the Cardinals system, behind Nolan Gorman (38th overall), who is good friends with Liberatore, as they were both 2018 first round draft picks from Arizona (different high schools). Even after parting with Liberatore, the Rays still have a great farm system, which includes the top prospect in the MLB, Wander Franco. The 12th best prospect, Brendan McKay, made his MLB debut in 2019, starting 11 games, and the Rays also have shortstop Vidal Brujan (39) ranking above Liberatore. This deal marks the second top 50 prospect in the MLB that the Rays have traded since the trade deadline, when Jesus Sanchez, then ranked the 42nd best prospect in the big leagues (he has since fallen to number 51), was dealt with flame-throwing opener Ryne Stanek to the Marlins for Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards.
              Rodriguez is a wild card in this trade. A 19 year old from Venezuela, he signed an amateur deal with the Rays in July of 2017. He has not played past the rookie league, and appeared in just 10 games in 2019.

              Martinez, 31, had a .269 batting average with 10 home runs, 42 RBIs and a .751 OPS in 373 Plate Appearances in 2019. In his MLB career, all in St. Louis, Martinez has a .298 batting average with 41 home runs, 172 RBIs and a .821 OPS in 1288 Plate Appearances.

             Arozarena, who will be 25 on Opening Day, went 6-for-20 (.300 batting average) with one home run, two RBIs and two stolen bases in his short stint with the Cardinals last season. For AA Springfield and AAA Memphis, Arozarena had a .344 batting average with 15 home runs, 53 RBIs,  17 stolen bases and a 1.003 OPS in 399 Plate Appearances.

              Liberatore, 20, pitched for Single-A Bowling Green in 2019, and finished with a 3.10 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 78.1 innings. In his minor league career the former 16th overall pick has a 2.59 ERA with 113 strikeouts in 111 innings.

             Rodriguez, 19, went 10-for-25 (.400 batting average) with no home runs and six RBIs for the rookie league Rays in 2019. In his two year minor league career Rodriguez has a .338 batting average with six home runs, 40 RBIs and a .885 OPS in 244 Plate Appearances.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Predators acquire McCarron

         The Nashville Predators have acquired F Michael McCarron from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for F Laurent Dauphin.

         McCarron was the Canadiens' first round pick in 2013, but he could never stick in the NHL. He has not played since 2017-18, and was struggling in the AHL. The Predators, who also introduced a new head coach today in John Hynes, might see something in McCarron, who is still fairly young at 24. He is definitely a better option than Dauphin, who also has not played in the NHL regularly in a while and is having a bad AHL season.

          McCarron, 24, last played in the NHL in 2017-18, when he had one point, an assist, in 18 games. In his NHL career, McCarron has scored two goals with six assists for eight points in 69 games. For the AHL's Laval Rocket this year, McCarron has scored five goals with nine assists for 14 points in 29 games.

         The Canadiens added forward help recently in Ilya Kovalchuk, and seeing that McCarron hasn't played in the NHL in two seasons, he wasn't going to get called up. But neither is Dauphin, who is arguably having a worse AHL season that McCarron, and as a second round pick, doesn't have the same upside McCarron does at the same age. This trade might just be an AHL move, but it still doesn't make sense for Montreal.

         Dauphin, 24, last played in the NHL in 2018-19, when he did not score in one game for the Arizona Coyotes. In his NHL career, all for the Coyotes, Dauphin has three goals with an assist for four points in 33 games. For the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals, Dauphin has scored seven goals with nine assists for 16 points in 33 games.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Sabres trade Scandella to Montreal, acquire Frolik

From USA Today

          The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenseman Marco Scandella from the Buffalo Sabres for a 2020 4th round pick. The Sabres have already traded that same draft pick to the Calgary Flames for forward Michael Frolik.

          The Canadiens wanted an upgrade on defense. Currently in fifth place, they are looking for an energizer. The team just traded Mike Reilly to the Senators, and now they get Scandella for slightly more than they got for Reilly (Andrew Sturtz and a 5th round pick). Reilly was not playing most nights, but Scandella will in Montreal. After a rough second season in Buffalo, Scandella has rebounded this year. If his plus/minus rating of +9 were to hold up, it would be the second best of his career, just one behind his +10 rating in 2013-14. He has missed games this year, but he would be on an 82 game scoring pace of a career high 24 points. He will be a decent bottom pairing option for coach Claude Julien, and they don't part with much. He does have a $4 million cap hit, but he will be a free agent after 2019-20.

           Scandella, 29, has scored three goals with six assists for nine points in 31 games for the Sabres this year. In his NHL career for the Sabres and Minnesota Wild, Scandella has scored 41 goals with 92 assists for 133 points in 549 games.

           The Sabres have a lot of good defensemen. They have seven defensemen in the NHL that are all arguably better than Scandella. They also have NHL ready defensemen in the AHL like Casey Nelson, Lawrence Pilut and John Gilmour. Also, they free up $4 million in cap space that was soon used on Frolik. Scandella is a pending UFA and was not playing every game. They trade the same draft pick, so there is no loss. Frolik is having a bad season with the Flames, playing on the fourth line. Like Scandella, he is a UFA after the season. Frolik has a slightly higher cap hit of $4.3 million. He is at best a third liner, as he has not scored over 20 goals since he was 21 in 2009-10. But the Sabres could really use a veteran forward. At 31, Frolik is tied with Kyle Okposo for the team's oldest forward. The Flames free up the cap space for a potential addition down the stretch. They now have around $2 million in cap space.

            Frolik, 31, has scored five goals with five assists for 10 points in 38 games with the Flames this year. In his NHL career for the Flames, Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers Frolik has scored 158 goals with 222 assists for 380 points in 831 games.

NHL Trade Review: Senators acquire Reilly

From The Athletic

        The Ottawa Senators have acquired defenseman Mike Reilly from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Andrew Sturtz and a 2021 5th round pick.

       The Senators don't need a defenseman. They currently have nine defensemen on their roster, including the two on injured reserve. Both Dylan DeMelo and Ron Hainsey shouldn't be out for so much longer. But Reilly is a better option than Andreas Englund, Christian Jaros and Cody Goloubef, all who are on the active roster and have combined for just 24 NHL games this year. The Senators might also shop veteran defenseman Mark Borowiecki. If Borowiecki gets dealt, then Reilly would likely be his replacement. The Senators could try to see if Reilly has a good two months leading up to the trade deadline and then flip him then. But Reilly is not a UFA at the end of the season. He is under contract for the rest of this season and 2020-21 at a $1.5 million cap hit. Getting Reilly isn't risky, and they give up a fifth rounder and a fringe AHL/ECHL player.

      Reilly, 26, has no goals with four assists in 14 games for the Canadiens this year. In his NHL career for the Canadiens and Minnesota Wild, Reilly has scored seven goals with 34 assists for 41 points in 174 games.

      Even after signing Reilly in the offseason, he was very expendable with the rise of former third rounder Cale Fleury. Also, the team would acquire Marco Scandella from the Sabres less than an hour later. They traded away a fourth rounder for Scandella, so they upgraded defensemen while just downgrading picks by one round. They also get Sturtz, which just seems like an extra contract the Senators are getting rid of. He has played in both the AHL and ECHL this year.

      Sturtz, 25, has scored one goal with one assist for two points in 14 games for the AHL's Belleville Senators this year. He also had a goal and an assist in four games for the ECHL's Brampton Beast.