Michael’s Musings – Prepping for Expansion

Hey hockey fans! Welcome to “Michael’s Musings” where I look at the past week in the hockey world and give my takes on them. Kinda like Elliotte Friedman’s “31 Thoughts” blog, but with some more snark to it.

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Duncan Keith’s New Home

After spending his entire career in the Windy City, Duncan Keith is now calling Edmonton home after a trade from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Oilers. The trade gives the Oilers and past three time Stanley Cup winner, but also gives Duncan Keith the ability to be closer to home to his son Colton.

Good trade by Chicago to unload some cap space, and good move for Edmonton getting some needed depth on defense.

Pekka Rinne’s Farewell

Being able to spend your entire career with one franchise is something special. Pekka Rinne got that as he announced his retirement from the NHL after 15 seasons, all of which with the Nashville Predators.

I’m not surprised by this though. Rinne I didn’t see wanting to go to another team to try to win the Cup. He had a great career and now it’s Juuse Saros time to shine in Nashville.

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Pierre McGuire to Ottawa

Honestly didn’t see this coming but really glad he’s not going to be on ESPN or Turner. Just can’t stand him as an analyst. Of course now we have to deal with Barry Melrose on ESPN, and we still have that parrot EJ Hradek on NHL Network to unfortunately deal with.

The Buyouts Hitting Hard

Buyouts are happening and to all the right people, whether they agree to them or not. It had a Wild start as Minnesota would buy out forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryab Suter.

Story on this one is nuts. General Manager Bill Guerin calls Suter first, and Suter doesn’t pick up the phone. Guerin then calls Parise and tells him about the buyout. Parise is upset and calls Suter, who gets a call from Guerin again and then proceeds to just hang up the phone on Guerin after being told he was bought out. Just crazy.

Then you got Keith Yandle being bought out by the Florida Panthers. More business as usual, but also not surprising. All three buyouts were going to happen.

Now just waiting on official confirmation on that dirtbag Tony DeAngelo’s buyout by the New York Rangers.

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Moves Ahead of Expansion

So there are a lot of moves so I’m going to go one by one real quick and just give my quick thoughts.

  • New Jersey trades Mikhail Maltsev (F) and a pick to Colorado for Ryan Graves (D).
    • Smart move for the Devils, but also one that can come back to haunt them too. Graves is a good young solid defender that will upgrade the D corps, but at the same time they gave away Maltsev who was impressive this past season. Either way, I see great things for both players in their new locales.
  • Detroit adds Nick Leddy (D) in exchange for Richard Panik (F).
    • Poor Richard Panik. The guy can’t catch a break. Also the Wings are retaining 50% of his salary too so that’s a coup for the Islanders. However, the Isles just hurt their defense by trading one their only two really good puck moving defensemen. Leddy is a guy the Isles should’ve kept and protected. Their mistake is Detroit’s gain here.
  • Dallas did a signing and a trade.
    • First the Stars started with re-signing defensive stalwart Miro Heiskanen to an 8 year deal with an AAV of $8.45 million per season. Good solid signing for a team that has their top defensemen locked up for the foreseeable future.
    • Then they would trade forward Jason Dickinson to the Vancouver Canucks for a 3rd Round Pick in this year’s draft. This move makes sense as they may not have been able to protect him, so it’s better to get something for him than nothing at all.
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  • The Rangers made a couple trades. One for the better. One for getting something back in return.
    • The Rangers acquired Barclay Goodrow (F) from Tampa Bay, and honestly this is a move the Rangers needed to make. They needed to get a little tougher and Goodrow brings that. Also it was know that he wasn’t going to be back in Tampa so the Lightning get a pick and the Rangers get exclusive negotiating rights.
    • The other move saw the Rangers move forward Brett Howden to Vegas for defenseman Nick DeSimone. Odds are that Howden could have been selected in the expansion draft so getting DeSimone in return alleviates that a bit even though he would be left unprotected too.
  • Massive Three Team Trade
    • So before I break this trade down super quick, I called my dad when the news broke it was going to happen. He expressed great disappointment and echoed what he said when Chuck Fletcher was hired by the Flyers, “Fire Chuck Fletcher”. The Flyers traded away Philippe Myers (D) and Nolan Patrick (F) to Nashville for Ryan Ellis (D). The Predators would then flip Patrick to Vegas for Cody Glass (F). Philippe Myers was possibly the Flyers second best defenseman, behind Ivan Provorov, and the upside to him is enormous. Trading Myers for Ellis will haunt them unless the win the Stanley Cup this upcoming season. Patrick I can see why they traded him, but it looks like Fletcher didn’t want to wait on Patrick to continue to develop after missing a lot of time due to migraine issues.
  • Here are some trades that I don’t have comments on but were made before the roster freeze:
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The Women’s Landscape

There was a lot of movement in the NWHL this past week as we would see Mariah Fujimagari re-sign with the Connecticut Whale, plus multiple signings by the Buffalo Beauts, Metropolitan Riveters, and a signing by the Toronto Six.

The Boston Pride would announce a new General Manager while the Riveters General Manager would commit an “ice crime” (watch the games on Twitch and you’ll know why it’s called that), but massive respect to Anya Packer for stepping up and admitting that she made a mistake. Transparency like that helps us grow.

Lastly, earlier in the week Elena Orlando announced her retirement from professional women’s hockey after playing six seasons with the Whale. She was a standout defender, and with fellow defender Shannon Doyle retired after 6 seasons as well, the Whale have some huge voids to fill.

The Capitals

Ok so in all fairness this wouldn’t be a proper article if I didn’t talk about the Washington Capitals. Solet’s hop into it as I have three topics I want to touch on.

  • Vladimir Tarasenko
    • It’s been made known that Tarasenko wants out of St. Louis, and he will be exposed in the expansion draft for Seattle to take if they choose. Tarasenko has two years left on his current deal with a $7.5 million cap hit. Oh, and he has had three surgeries in the last two years on the same shoulder.
    • Tarasenko is damaged goods, and an expensive one at that. I personally wouldn’t trade for Tarasenko. Between his shoulder and his cap hit, he isn’t someone that I would deem as desirable.
  • Ryan Suter
    • So after being bought out by the Wild rumors began to swirl that the Caps had interest in him. Please no. For the past few seasons Suter has been unable to remain healthy and his play has dipped excessively. It’d honestly be safer to re-sign Zdeno Chara for another year than to sign Suter.
  • The Expansion Draft
    • As we prepare for Seattle to select their inaugural team we need to temper expectations. Between who the third defenseman they’ll protect to whether it’s Vitek Vanecek or Ilya Samsonov that’s going to be protected, one thing is for sure. Expect the unexpected. When Vegas came into the League we all thought that they were going to select Philipp Grubauer, but instead threw us a curveball and selected Nate Schmidt instead. We need to be ready for something like that when the list become available. We may see one thing, but then the Kraken go another direction. So let’s keep it chill as we wait and see who Seattle really selects.
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