Wow, people. Wow. Can we just revel in the madness of yesterday’s trades for a minute?
My mind was racing over the wild couple of minutes yesterday afternoon when the Flyers traded Vinny Lecavalier and Luke Schenn to the Kings in exchange for prospect Jordan Weal and a third round pick and then Mike Richards signing on with the Capitals for one year.
I also covered the trade for Sportsnet so you have a couple of different takes though we are mostly in agreement.
I did receive a few questions after these pieces were released so I’ll touch on those quickly.
Will Mattias Ekholm see power-play time with Jones out?
My assumption is no. The Predators have enough forward talent to go four forwards on their second power-play unit, leaving Ryan Ellis as the lone defenseman.
Does this help Pekka Rinne?
I have been calling for Rinne to have a big second half for a while now so whether this helps or not is somewhat irrelevant to my stance. He is elite in my books.
What about Brandon Saad?
Now, some words on the other moves made yesterday.
The Capitals and Kings, both serious contenders have questionably filled needs they had both long been rumoured to be looking to fill.
Richards immediately replaces Jay Beagle (lost for a while due to injury) as the Capitals’ third line center. He had to meet with the league to get clearance to resume playing but was granted clearance. Presumably his legal issues are now out of the way as well. Can’t see any fantasy relevance for Richards, especially once Beagle returns and he is pushed to the fourth line.
Meanwhile, the Kings filled the void left by an injured Matt Greene (who is lost for the season) by acquiring pending unrestricted free agent Schenn. They wanted a heavy/physical blueliner in the Greene mould and they certainly got one in Schenn who ranked 14th among defensemen in hits last season.
I do wonder if Schenn, in Los Angeles could become more of an asset in hits leagues. His hitting is down this year but he has also been a frequent scratch in Philadelphia. Maybe on a better structured team he could find value. The big thing is not hurting you in the plus/minus deparment.
Meanwhile, Lecavalier will reportedly make this his last season in the league, which removes all concerns about the two years remaining on his contract after this one. The Kings are hoping Lecavalier offers an improvement on Nick Shore as their third centerman. If nothing else he is insulation.
Lecavalier did have some brief moments of relevance skating on the power play for the Flyers last season so unlike Richards, I am not completely writing him off, just mostly writing him off.
The Flyers are eating half of the contracts for both Lecavalier and Schenn. Lots of people are throwing around cap hits of $2.25 million for Lecavalier and $1.8 million for Schenn but are forgetting to prorate those deals to the current date. Halfway into the year both guys are already halfway into their contracts for the season so my belief is those guys are actually costing half of what’s being thrown around. $2 million for the rest of the year for those two isn’t so bad.
Also, some folks (myself included) are wondering about cap recapture penalties. The word is Lecavalier’s contract does not qualify for cap recapture so his arranged retirement after this season won’t cost the Flyers or Kings anything. For all intents and purposes, Lecavalier is on a one-year deal.
Still just the one goal for PK Subban. He is shooting more than he has at any point in his career. Or, at least, the pucks are getting through more than ever before as he is on pace for a career high 218 SOG. His shooting percentage has fallen below 1.0%. He is still producing enough assists that you aren’t worried but this is something else.
If Moore is out maybe we see something out of Eric Gelinas. Gelinas did skate 3:02 on the power play last night but it was Andy Greene, of all people, who led the Devils in power-play time. One assist for Greene.
If I’m grabbing one guy off the waiver wire it’s probably Greene but if you are stuck aiming for Devils defensemen you are in a tough spot.
No matter who the top New Jersey defenseman is they almost certainly won’t be productive with Mike Cammalleri on the shelf.
I think Marc-Andre Fleury is going to have nightmares about Artemi Panarin who beat him four times in the span of two days. I keep hearing rumbles about Dylan Larkin, Jack Eichel and even Connor McDavid creeping back into the Calder race. It still isn’t close for me. Panarin is running away with this.
This isn’t the be-all, end-all but Panarin is the only guy you would have wanted on your fantasy team for the entire first half of the season. There is something to be said for that.
Back to Fleury, still two very impressive performances against the Blackhawks who outclassed the Penguins in the home-and-home. Not bad for a guy coming off of a concussion.
I am growing intrigued by what is happening with Phillip Danault in Chicago. He is irrelevant in like 95% of leagues out there but he has skated 14 minutes or more in four straight games, ahead of some seasoned pros like Ryan Garbutt and Bryan Bickell.
Actually, the story might be about how Garbutt, Bickell and Dennis Rasmussen are basically getting scratched skating just 5-6 minutes the past few games. The Blackhawks are effectively running three lines and it is working as they have won five straight.
With the Blackhawks trading away Trevor Daley for a minimal return and Garbutt collecting slivers in his ass, the return on Patrick Sharp amounts to essentially nothing for Chicago. The Blackhawks are still doing fine so this is more about a shrewd deal by the Stars than anything. You look at it now and you shake your head wondering how the Blackhawks made that move within the division but obviously they though Daley would be more impactful for them.
After an impressive run Conor Sheary is working his way back to the minors. First it was getting dropped to the third line, then the fourth line. Now he is getting scratched. Next step, minors. He needs to have a good game the next time he gets in.
Tyson Barrie continues to pile up the minutes with Erik Johnson sidelined. 29:01 for Barrie last night with 3:47 on the power play. It’s worth noting that this one did go to overtime but the point holds. Barrie is exploding without Johnson. Another assist after a four-pointer on Monday.
Upon further review, Barrie has simply been piling up the minutes with or without Johnson. He is averaging over 23 minutes a night, which is damned impressive for someone who doesn’t kill penalties.
A Patrik Berglund sighting! The lumbering forward scored his first goal of the season last night. Please don’t get excited. Berglund will be on the fourth line by season’s end.
In recent weeks, Lack has reverted back to playing deeper in his crease. His save percentage still sits south of .900, but he’s managed a .923 save percentage in his last six starts.
This is all too reminiscent of Braden Holtby having his game messed with by Olaf Kolzig a couple of years back. Now Holtby is arguably the best in the game. It would be surprising if Lack took over the Hurricanes’ crease in the second half.
Not the best outing for Lack last night as he allowed three goals on just 21 shots but the overall theme is still positive.
A two-goal night for Bo Horvat is something else. That makes three goals in the last two games. His ice time has also been creeping up lately even getting into the 20-minute range on a few nights.
A quick reminder though, Brandon Sutter will be back soon enough to squash whatever development is taking place here.
John Gibson had to leave last night’s game after a collision with Nazem Kadri. No word on his status at the time of writing but this appears to be the injury that a few of us have been anticipating for some time.
Whether it is serious or not it is safe to assume Freddie Andersen gets the next start, which opens up the possibility of him reaffirming his status as the #1.
On the other side, Jonathan Bernier is trying to reaffirm his own status as the #1. That’s three straight games in which he has stopped 39 shots for the win, this time it was a shutout. I still don’t trust Bernier yet. He has as many good games as bad ones since getting recalled.
Two more goals for PA Parenteau who is up to 21 points on the year but with 11 of those coming in the last 12 games. Where do you put Parenteau’s upside for the second half? For my money I can’t trust him to deviate from the 40-point pace he is currently on. Just too many hot and cold streaks.
Kadri had one of those nights that makes you think he can be a star. Eight SOG, five hits and a goal. That makes 10 points in the last nine games.
You can see the pattern. In the last two-plus months, Drouin has played a total of nine games, missed 19 games, and the games he has played have been in fits and starts, lasting no longer than a week at a time.
The injury situation is definitely one to monitor. Maybe Drouin does make good on his potential and become a star but if he remains injury prone, what are we looking at?
Sasha Barkov told me today during practice: i'm not tired but my legs don't move :) Well kid, at least you know how I feel last 15 years :)
As always, some goodies in Elliotte Friedman’s latest 30 Thoughts:
11. Very quietly, after some difficult seasons, John-Michael Liles is putting together a good season in Carolina. It goes Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey, then Liles on the Hurricane blue-line. Hainsey and James Wisniewski are signed for another season, so there probably isn’t a fit. If Liles keeps playing this way, he will be an under-the-radar rental at the deadline.
Liles hasn’t been fantasy relevant in a long time, though he did score a shorthanded goal last night. I do wonder if on a more offensively inclined team he couldn’t claw out one more run of relevance. I do think the Lightning, for instance, could use Liles. He wouldn’t beat out Anton Stralman or Victor Hedman but they need someone to replace Matt Carle who has been a scratch far too frequently.
My latest Waiver Wednesday column is a bit dated with all the trade action that went down but I stand by all six of the options I suggested.
Thanks for reading. Follow me on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.
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