It’s begun! The NHL’s trade deadline is only four days away and teams are already starting to make moves. Wednesday saw one of the most coveted soon-to-be-UFA D-men get picked up and a few depth forwards swap addresses.
Here’s a quick recap of what happened:
Jets get Tlusty for draft picks
Winnipeg acquired forward Jiri Tlusty from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2016 conditional 3rd round draft pick, and a 2015 6th round draft pick. The condition in the deal is the 2015 6th round pick becomes a 2015 5th round pick if Winnipeg makes the playoffs this season.
The Jets take on $0.730 million in the deal, while the Hurricanes shed that same amount. The Jets are also off the hook at the end of the season, as Tlusty hits unrestricted free agency.
The Jets are having some injury troubles up front, so Tlusty can help bring some depth back to their lineup. Blake Wheeler was just placed on the injured reserve with a knee injury and Mathieu Perreault is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season with a lower body injury. The Jets are currently hanging on to the first wild card spot in the Western Conference with 73 points, with Calgary trailing them by three and Minnesota by four points with two games in hand.
Tlusty has 13 goals and 23 points for Carolina this season, and two years ago he set a career high in goals with 23. He also has a 40.7 GF% at even strength which is solid in relation to his teammates, and a 54.7 CF% which is second on the Canes behind only Eric Staal.
Leafs unload Winnik to Penguins
The Leafs traded forward Daniel Winnik to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Zach Sill, a 2016 2nd round draft pick, and a 2015 4th round draft pick. Toronto retains 50% of Winnik’s salary.
The Leafs take on Zach Sill, who will cost them $0.136 million for the rest of the season, and keep 50% of what’s owed to Winnik, which costs them $1.139 million. The Penguins get Winnik for $0.161, so the Leafs end up saving $25,000 in cap space. Both Sill and Winnik are unrestricted free agents this offseason.
With the deal, the Leafs continued on with their trend of dumping players and moving towards the future, while the Penguins shore up more depth for their playoff run.
Winnik has had a pretty strong season for the Leafs this year. Through 60 games, he has seven goals and 26 points, which is just four points shy of his career high set last year in Anaheim. At even strength, he has a team leading 64.4 GF% while facing pretty strong competition. Sill, on the other hand, came really close to setting the record for most games played without recording a point this year, as he has one goal and three points in 42 games.
Kings find a replacement on D in Sekera
The Kings acquired defenceman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes for prospect defenceman Roland McKeown and a conditional 1st round draft pick. The condition in this deal is that the pick is lottery protected, meaning if the Kings miss the playoffs this season and enter the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, the Hurricanes will receive Los Angeles’ 1st round pick in 2016 instead.
The Kings take on $0.680 million in the deal, while Carolina saves that amount. Sekera is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Although they might be in cap hell, the Kings are still going for it. I don’t blame them. They’re on fire recently (they’ve won eight straight games) and they currently sit third in the Pacific Division with 70 points. They’re starting to look much, much more like the 2014 Stanley Cup Champions we all know and love. Possibly the biggest issue they’ve faced this season has been an unexpected loss on their blue line, as Slava Voynov has been suspended for legal issues. On top of that, Alec Martinez is suffering from concussion-like symptoms, so the Kings don’t want to take any chances.
Sekera has a 46.2 GF% on the Hurricanes, good for second on the team. On top of that, his GF% looks even more respectable because of the difficult competition he faces. Last year, he put up 11 goals and 44 points in 74 games, but this year he only has two goals and 17 assists. McKeown, the prospect the Kings gave up, currently has five goals and 26 points in 55 games for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL.
Stats courtesy of Hockey Analysis