Chicago has traded defenseman Cam Barker to the Minnesota Wild, and in return are receiving defenseman Kim Johnsson, and 2009 1st round draft pick Nick Leddy.
Chicago receives: A stready two-way defenseman who can log more minutes than Barker. Johnsson isn’t physical, but he plays a sound game and is much better in his own zone than Barker. Additionally, he is a free agent this summer, so the Hawks will save cap space for next season. Nick Leddy was Minnesota’s first round pick last summer, and has five points 19 games so far with the University of Minnesota.
Minnesota receives: A young top four defenseman who is most effective with the man advantage. Barker can be exposed at times defensively, but he has a great shot and passes the puck very well. He is signed for two more years with a cap hit of $3.1 million per season.
This is a great trade for Chicago. They upgrade on defense for the rest of the season, cut some salary for next season, and add a 1st round pick in the process.
Players impacted positively, in order:
1. Barker. He was the odd man out in Chicago, but expect him to quickly become Minnesota’s power play quarterback, as Marek Zidlicky is on the trade block as well.
2. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Johnsson is a defenseman who, unlike Barker, can play on the penalty kill. This will give them a bit of a rest and allow them to focus a bit more on offense.
3. Minnesota’s first PP unit. Barker is an upgrade on the power play and will help the unit.
Can’t really think of any players this impacts in a bad way. Brent Burns is struggling to produce, but that is to be expected after battling a concussion for so long. Expect Burns and Barker to be Minnesota’s top defensive pairing on the power play for the near future.