The upcoming Seattle expansion draft helped cause a large flurry of NHL transactions in the early weekend. Teams made moves to try and protect more of their desirable players from the draft and to clear some salary. With these trades also came some surprising news of players that will be left unprotected in the expansion draft. There was also a major contract extension that’s going to help set the market for other possible extensions. After so many moves happening, here is a recap of the significant happenings and what they mean going forward.
3 Way Trade Between Flyers, Predators and Golden Knights
One of the biggest trades of the early weekend included Philadelphia acquiring Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis. In return they sent defenseman Phil Meyers and center Nolan Patrick to Nashville. Nashville then sent Patrick to Vegas for center Cody Glass. A lot happened in this trade, but the biggest benefactor from this deal is Philadelphia. On top of acquiring a high quality, veteran defenseman in Ellis, they also get to protect an extra forward by trading Patrick.
For Nashville, they gain some extra cap space by moving Ellis’ $6.25 million cap hit over the next five years. They also get a young defenseman with some potential in Meyers to try and replace Ellis. As for Glass and Patrick, this is the case of two players who significantly underperformed their draft position. They were both selected in the 2017 draft, Patrick 2nd overall and Glass 6th overall. Management from both teams are hoping a change of scenery could help these players capitalize on the potential that resulted in them being top 10 picks.
Miro Heiskanen Re-signs with the Stars
The Stars top defenseman Miro Heiskanen signed a big contract extension to stay with the team. The contract is worth $67.6 million over eight years with an average hit of $8.45 million. This is a big deal for Dallas as Heiskanen is just 21 years old and already their best defenseman. This is also a big deal for the Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks. They have young, star defensemen of their own to give new contracts to in Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes respectively. Heiskanen’s extension should set the market for what their new contracts will look like. Their contracts will likely have more value if not around the same value as Heiskanen’s $67.6 million.
Islanders Clear Cap, Re-sign Greene
The Islanders only had around $5 million in cap space coming into the weekend, but that amount has grown. General Manager Lou Lamiorello traded defenseman Nick Leddy and forward Andrew Ladd to clear up space. Leddy was traded to Detroit for winger Richard Panik and a second round pick in this year’s draft. Ladd was sent to Arizona along with three second round picks (one being conditional) and no return. With these moves, the Islanders have an estimated $18 million in cap space now. They also re-signed Andy Greene to meet the standard of having one eligible defenseman for the expansion draft.
Rangers: Howden Out, Goodrow In
The Rangers got involved in the trade action, acquiring the signing rights to Barclay Goodrow and sending Brett Howden to Vegas. The Lightning received a seventh round pick for Goodrow as they work towards clearing cap space. Goodrow is a tough, gritty player whose work on the Tampa third line was critical to their back to back championships. This growing Rangers team will benefit greatly from having his strong physical play and championship experience.
The return for the Howden trade included a 4th round pick and pending free agent defenseman Nick DeSimone. Howden has been a disappointment for the Rangers as one of the key return pieces in the Ryan McDonagh trade. The move was made to receive some sort of compensation before leaving him unprotected in the expansion draft.
Stars Left Unprotected
In two very surprising moves, Carey Price and Vladimir Tarasenko will be left unprotected by their respective teams for the expansion draft. Price is waiving his no movement clause so the Canadiens can protect backup Jake Allen. The hope here is that Seattle finds Price’s average $10.5 million salary over the next five years undesirable and won’t select him. But it’s risky business leaving a goalie of that calibre available for a developing team with no current cap commitments.
Leaving Tarasenko unprotected is an even more head scratching decision. It’s hard to believe there was nothing significant the Blues could get back for him on the trade market. Regardless, the Blues will hope Seattle takes him and his remaining $7.5 million cap hit over the next two seasons. If not, the Blues will have to settle on trading him and possibly retaining some of his contract.
Featured image courtesy of NHL
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