Pick your sports cliche. The dam broke. The other shoe dropped. The NHL trade market, which re-opened for business on Thursday afternoon finally delivered the bombshell trades. Seth Jones, Rasmus Ristolainen, Connor Garland, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson were rehomed before the 2021 NHL Draft. It appears Sam Reinhart will do more than vacation in Florida via trade completed in the wee hours of the morning. And the Pittsburgh Penguins had a silent night, but sources dished the offseason Penguins trade and free agent wishes.
But no Jack Eichel trade. Not even close, apparently.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins trade and free-agent shopping will be for a goalie “like” Darcy Kuemper and “sandpaper.” Sources dished the Penguins’ activity.
Penguins Draft: All three NHL prospects we initially circled are still on the board, including a very intriguing sandpaper forward from the Calgary.
NHL Trades & Chatter:
The Buffalo Sabres dumped two of their three trade chips.
Florida: The trade may have been finalized while most of the country slept. Sam Reinhart is the latest Buffalo prisoner to escape. As of 7 a.m. EST, it still wasn’t official. But the Florida Panthers are ready to take these broken wings and learn to fly again…
Philly: The Twitter GMs hated it. The analytics crowd bemoaned it. And, you guessed, I liked it. The Philadelphia Flyers acquired snarling defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen from Buffalo–it was a hefty price.
After his performance against the Penguins last season, I’d take him on my team any day of the week. But you know how Twitter works. One person hates it, so 10 more have to hate it more than the last, and it becomes a virtue-signaling pig pile.
ESPN: The Chicago Blackhawks finally pried Seth Jones out of Columbus. They also paid a steep price, including a pair of first-round picks. ESPN Trade grades and details.
NHL.com: A year after the Oliver Ekman-Larsson NHL trade sweepstakes had no winner, the Coyotes captain was ready to go anywhere, but Arizona granted his initial wish. Ekman Larsson and talented RFA Connor Garland are now Vancouver Canucks.
Seriously, it’s OK to like something. Anything. Hating does not make you smarter. Good grief.
St. Louis Dispatch: With Vladimir Tarasenko on the NHL trade block, the Blues made a nice trade with the Penguins’ rival New York Rangers. St. Louis picked up Pavel Buchnevich for a pick and a plugger.
And New York got salary cap relief, and Twitter GMs discovered their love for the soft, (thus far) underachieving Buchnevich.
Washington: Now, THIS is really interesting. Could the Washington Capitals re-acquire their 2018 Stanley Cup-winning goalie, Braden Holtby from Vancouver?
NYI: Our boys in New York cracked the Lamoriello wall– The Kyle Palmieri deal is all but done. Gabriel Landeskog is “intrigued” by the situation in New York, and the Islanders are still interested in Vladimir Tarasenko. Hello!
Everything Else You Need to Know
Boston: Hello, Taylor Hall. The Bruins got their man, magically, a day or two after the expansion draft, and it was a team-friendly deal, too. Here are the full deets on Hall’s $24 million deal.
San Jose: There’s a party in the bay. William Eklund wasn’t supposed to be available at No. 6 for the San Jose Sharks. But he was. And the Sharks were “over the moon.” Here’s everything–the Draft selection, the player’s reaction, and the Sharks reaction.
Detroit: The Red Wings snagged a big, smooth-skating Swedish defenseman (sound familiar??) at No. 6. Then traded up in the first round for a prized goalie. Here’s the full Detroit night, which looked like fun.
Colorado: Here’s the quote of the night from a drafted prospect. Oskar Olausson, “I’m dangerous in the offensive zone.”
Vegas: Quiet night for Vegas Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon. No trades. No real scuttle. Just another prospect center, Zach Dean.
Montreal: Controversy–The Canadiens selected skilled defenseman Logan Mailloux at No. 31 Mailloux made a public apology this week after it was revealed he was charged and fined in Sweden last season for showing teammates a photo of him and a woman engaged in a sex act. The punishable part was the photo was taken without her consent. As part of his contrition, Mailloux asked not to be selected in the draft. Montreal liked the sincerity and forgave him via the 30th pick. Here’s the full story.