Ramblings: Recapping Trade Deadline Day

Michael Clifford


While most of the news on Monday was for trades, we did get an update that Igor Shesterkin and Pavel Buchnevich were involved in a car accident. Neither has significant injuries, though Shesterkin is said to have fractured ribs. The team said he'll be reassessed in a couple weeks. Buchnevich is considered day-to-day for now.

Thankfully, nothing major came of this. For fantasy owners, it seems like it's back to the early-season duo of Georgiev-Lundqvist.


Staying with the Rangers, they extended forward Chris Kreider for seven more years with an average annual value of $6.5M, which includes short-term trade protections to hold him off the expansion list. Kreider has endured some gnarly injuries over the years, but he's rebounded from them very well this year with a career-high pace in both goals and points. He's putting up roughly 2.5 shots and 2.0 hits per game to boot. It's been a great year.

The AAV is lower than I imagined it would be – I thought for sure it'd just be the Anders Lee deal – but power forwards tend to not age very well. Just look around at guys like Jamie Benn, Milan Lucic, and Wayne Simmonds from very recent memory. Kreider will be going into his age-29 year in 2020-21.

This is going to be fine in the short-term. The team has some flexibility with guys like Chytil, Kakko, and Fox on cheap RFA deals for next year, and two of them for the year after. With that said, they now have $72M committed to 2020-21 with a couple RFAs to sign. It seems this largely be the roster that the Rangers will go with next season.


In other news, Ondrej Kase was skating on Boston's second line in practice. It sure seems like he's not far from returning and will get that top-6 spot we thought he would. Give him a week.


Carolina told us that Petr Mrazek is dealing with a concussion while Brett Pesce has a shoulder injury, and both are longer-term injuries. This could change a lot of things with the lineup for the foreseeable future, so checking those game logs after Carolina games is going to be important. I would like to see Jake Bean, personally. Give us The Bean. (We probably won’t see The Bean.)


Mark Giordano was practicing on the power play for Calgary on Monday, and that's typically the final step before a return to the lineup. We don't have official confirmation here, but when players are working their way back from injury, practicing the PP indicates readiness.


Gabe Vilardi was sent back to the AHL. It seems he'll remain there for the balance of the season. Sorry, dynasty owners.


Elvis Merzlikins was injured on Monday night after a collision in Columbus’s game against Ottawa. Joonas Korpisalo, in his first game back from injury, entered in his stead.


It was one of the more memorable trade deadlines in recent memory. We saw teams ramping up in the few days leading to Monday, we got Mike Green traded overnight, and we got impact deals very early on in the day like Vincent Trocheck to Carolina and J-G Pageau to the Islanders before my coffee could cool down.

Readers can check out all the breakdowns here. I'm going to further talk about some of the trades below.


Gustafsson to Calgary

The first thing I thought of is this: why is Chicago trading another useful defenceman? I get the cap problems, but this team was thin on the blue line eight months ago when they traded Henri Jokiharju. This team stayed thin on the blue line and now have traded Gustafsson. They could always sign him in the offseason, but it doesn't seem likely. This team needs to rapidly rebuild the blue line if they hope to contend in the Kane/Toews era again.

Regardless, Calgary gets a very good puck-moving defenceman who is a liability in his own end. I like the trade for Calgary because that's the type of guy the blue line desperately needs, even when Mark Giordano is healthy. It will put a damper on Rasmus Andersson shares, though.

You can read Dobber's take on the trade here.


Trocheck to Carolina

I think this took everyone by surprise. Dobber has his thoughts on the trade here.

I have long been a big fan of Trocheck. He's a true two-way centre, something the team hoped Erik Haula would be. He's signed for a couple more years, so he's firmly part of this team's Cup plans for the near-future.

This should help Martin Necas but I'm not sure it'll help Trocheck. He's unlikely to get to the top PP unit and will play a middle-six role as he had been in Florida. It seems like a deal that is likely to help Carolina more in real terms than it will fantasy owners in our world.


Vladislav Namestnikov to Colorado

I never understood the hype around Vladislav Namestnikov. He had a good two-thirds of a season playing with Tampa's elite players a couple years ago, but other than that, has largely been forgettable, particularly in fantasy leagues that don’t count hits. Over the last three years (which includes his far-and-away best season of 2017-18), he's put up a lower points/60 rate at 5-on-5 than Nick Cousins, Chandler Stephenson, and Brock McGinn. He also doesn't shoot. He can provide a good amount of hits and some PIMs but that's about it, and it's really not enough to significantly move the needle. It's hard seeing him play any higher than the third line for the Avs, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the fourth line when everyone is healthy.

You can read Dobber's take on the trade here.


Athanasiou to Edmonton

Once again, you can read Dobber's take on the trade here.

This is one of the more interesting deals of the day. One reason I think that is I wrote less than a week ago about what an interesting player Athanasiou is. The other reason is because of the apparent slotting: right to the top line with Connor McDavid.

An interesting point I saw on Twitter is this: both Athanasiou and McDavid excel off the rush (obviously). If the team generates the same amount of shots off the rush, but transfer some of those from McDavid to Athanasiou, is that better for Edmonton? Probably not. Is it better for Athanasiou, fantasy-wise? Probably yes. That's where I'm torn on whether this really is a good move for Edmonton or not. Athanasiou is undoubtedly a better offensive talent than someone like Josh Archibald, but unless the team generates more volume, does it make the team better? We'll see.


Skjei to Carolina

We knew the Hurricanes would be looking for defencemen. I think this one may have been a bit of a surprise. You can read Dobber's take here.

This is a fascinating trade because Skjei's defensive metrics are pretty bad but he is a good offensive driver. He reminds me of another defenceman traded today in Erik Gustafsson; neither good defensively, both good in transition, both with good offensive instincts. How Carolina – probably the best analytically-inclined team in the league – uses him will be fascinating to see.


J-G Pageau to the Islanders

This is going to be bad for his fantasy value. He's going to go from 19-20 minutes a night on the top line/top PP unit for Ottawa to the middle six and second PP unit with the Islanders. I don't think we're going to see him slot in as the sure-fire third-line centre, but rather be moved around the lineup as necessary. That could see him playing a bit more than we might expect; maybe around the 17- or 18-minute mark.

I think Pageau will work in well with the Islanders but it's hard to see this as anything but a negative for his fantasy value. He will still provide hits and face-off wins, but everything is going to take a hit as his ice time declines and as he moves to play with guys like Leo Komarov, Tom Kuhnackl, and Michael Dal Colle.

I wrote more extensively on the trade here. He was subsequently extended for six years by the Isles with an AAV of $5M.


Simmonds to the Sabres

I wrote my thoughts out here.

Honestly, this is still the strangest trade of the day for me. The team has to jump several other teams to get to a playoff spot, and this isn't a trade that moves the needle. Something for the guys in the room, it seems.


Vincent Trocheck to the Hurricanes

I still don't know what Dale Tallon is doing. Assuming Haula is gone this year and Wallmark doesn't turn into much (if Carolina is giving up on a 23-year old forward, it should probably tell you something), this is two prospects for Trocheck. Feels light for a bona fide second-line centre who has a couple more years at a very reasonable cap hit.

As far as fantasy goes, it's really hard to see where Trocheck fits, at least right now. He almost assuredly will start on the third line with Martin Necas, which is not a bad spot to be. With that said, if we're assuming Trocheck just takes Haula's third-line and PP minutes, that means 15-16 minutes whereas Trocheck had been playing close to 17 in Florida.

You can read Dobber's take on the trade here.


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