I should call these yearly posts something clever. Something like…Wheelin’ and Dealin’.
But you’re not here for puns. You’re here for TRADE DEADLINE. The one day a year where NHL GMs all do things they we all think are mostly crazy and yet also make a lot of sense. This year felt weirder and weirder as the weekend went on. Karlsson, McDonagh, Nash, Brassard, there were a lot of names out there and deals were all hung up on who was going to pay for what. And in the last hour, we got a bevy of deals done by a lot of teams. Though it seemed for most of the weekend with no rumors about the Red Wings out there, Kenny was able to get some deals done before 3pm today. Let’s break them down
Petr Mrazek to Philadelphia Flyers for a 2018 Conditional 4th and a 2019 Conditional 3rd
So first let’s break down those conditions:
- The 2018 pick is guaranteed to be at least a 4th. If Mrazek wins 5 games for Philly and they make the playoffs, it becomes a 3rd. If they make it to the conference finals and Mrazek wins 6 playoff games, it becomes a 2nd.
- The 2019 pick is only given to Detroit if the Flyers resign him
First of all, Mrazek has already won 2 games for the Flyers and I think they have a pretty good chance of making the playoffs, so this in all likelihood becomes a 3rd this year. I do not have high hopes for them making the finals, but if so bully for us. I like the 2019 pick as insurance against Mrazek becoming some sort of dominant force that Philly re-signs without us getting anything in return, but in all honesty they probably let him walk to UFA. I am not 100% positive but I believe they can attempt to sign him to a deal without being forced to match his current salary, so if he does get really hot there is a little bit of hope for that 3rd rounder next year.
As for the deal, what can I say that hasn’t already been said before? Mrazek is a good goaltender who struggles with consistency. There are pretty substantial rumors about him being some sort of problem in the locker room. I would have rather stuck with the young guy and moved Howard but clearly the relationship between Mrazek and Management was strained. This was a good trade to get what we could get for him, and I give Ken Holland credit for jumping on Philly when they got their injuries. The only thing I’ll say is if Mrazek does turn into a top 10 goalie in the league, this trade will look really, really bad in hindsight. For now, I’m good with it.
Tomas Tatar to Vegas Golden Knights for a 2018 1st, a 2019 2nd, and a 2021 3rd
This was when my holy shit quotient for the day really exploded. I did not expect such a return for Tatar. I definitely thought he was worth a 1st, but to get a 2nd and a 3rd as well is just a fantastic rebuilding trade. It sounds like Vegas was hard in on Karlsson and when they couldn’t get him, they fell back and snatched Tatar at the last minute. More gain for us by them overpaying a bit last second. That’s a huge $5.3M cap hit off the book for the next 3 years as well as a roster spot opened up for a young player (Rasmussen sounds to be pushing for a roster spot out of camp next year to the sigh of relief from our PowerPlay).
The only thing bad about this trade is how much I liked Tatar as an on ice personality and the wealth of gifs he’s provided over the years. I wish him well in Vegas. Dance on my man.
The Deals That Weren’t
There were so many rumors, it would be remiss not to talk about these.
First of all, I think we all assumed Mike Green being traded was a foregone conclusion. What happened instead was a combination of a lot of factors.
- I don’t think the league was ever really high on Mike Green. Generally speaking I think they consider him an offensive middle pair guy who makes a lot of mistakes on the back end at best. No one thinks he’s 70+ point Mike Green anymore.
- He has missed 5 games straight with injury and doesn’t know when he’ll be back yet. That’s a lot of risk if you are picking up a rental to win now
- He had a full NTC and would have had to waive it for any move. There are multiple rumors about this. I heard he refused to waive for Toronto. I heard he only waived for Washington or Tampa. I heard he didn’t waive at all because talks never got that far. Hard to know the truth out of these.
- Karlsson and McDonagh were the two big names waiting to fall, and they didn’t fall until the very last minute. Really lowered his value knowing what other defensemen were on the market.
All of this means it makes a lot of sense that Green was traded. Though I am pretty upset (I think we should have moved him when the playoffs became a pipe dream over a month ago, personally. Would have been good to get Hicketts up here again), I understand the inability to trade him. What I don’t understand is that we have apparantly approached him about signing an extension. That, to me, makes no sense for the future of this team and I worry what contracts will suffer because of it. I’d rather keep the cap space open for the future, because we have a huge history of overpaying on cap hit and term. That makes me a bit more skeptical of the situation. Seems to me like maybe they didn’t try too hard to move him.
Next, Toronto apparently offered a 5th for Luke Glendening. Holland wanted a 2nd.
I like Luke Glendening a lot. I think he’s a smidge overpaid but he brings a lot to the table at the 4th line and I am not sold that Turgeon can come in and be as good. I think the potential money you save replacing him with a kid from Grand Rapids is negligible at best. I’d be happy with him playing out his contract here.
That said, this should be fire sale season. You get ANY pick for a player with term, and you take it. Statistically once you’re out of the second round the draft is a wash anyways. Kenny should have taken the 5th, no question.
Finally, teams apparently called about DeKeyser. That was all the rumors. Same as above. DDK has an albatross of a contract that you move if you can, but I guarantee you KH did not listen to offers seriously. It’s the same narrative we saw last year. He does just enough to stop you from having a full meltdown, but all the actions he takes implies that he still thinks we’re a bubble team that can push for the playoffs. The management’s philosophies are broken right now, and if they keep waffling on what they want the team to do it’s just going to hurt us more in the long run.
So as a grade for all he potentially could have done, I give KH a grade of D-
Overall, I am satisfied but underwhelmed by this trade deadline. I like that we have the most draft picks going into the draft at 11. I like that we got so much for Tatar. I am terribly worried that management is going to do something really stupid this offseason (I’m talking about re-signing Ken Holland so he can’t go to Seattle). We’ll have to wait and see. At the very least, we can talk solace in the fact that there is still time to make trades before the draft. Maybe some of these pieces will finally be moved.
Final Grade: C