For all the hype that was the NHL Expansion Draft, and to a lesser extent the NHL Amateur Draft, there wasn’t a lot of fireworks. Outside of mid-day on Friday it was pretty boring. And if it wasn’t for just a few teams (Chicago, Arizona and Calgary) it would have been a complete dud.
Where were all the hyped trades? The “wild west” as it was rumored to be. Where did Matt Duchene get traded to? Oh that’s right, Joe Sakic couldn’t pull the trigger.
The Expansion Draft did not produce the trades that were projected and with a down year for the crop of prospects it made draft picks almost insignificant trade bait.
With all that being said there were few things that actually surprised me, exciting or not, over the past few weeks. Here they are:
1. Ducks trading Shea Theodore
The Ducks trading Shea Theodore was the only thing that surprised me during the expansion draft. He was the Ducks top prospect according to The Hockey News. And from all the rumors it seemed like the Ducks would not part with Theodore, but now he is with the Golden Knights and he has the potential to be an anchor there for a long time.
2. George McPhee fleeced the entire NHL
If the expansion draft were The Christmas Story movie George McGhee would be getting an A-plus, plus, plus, plus, and on and on around the blackboard just like Ralphy did. But it’s not so poor George will have to settle for an A+ for the job he has done with his Vegas team.
The cost that teams like the Islanders, Anaheim, Columbus and Winnipeg had to pay to protect players blew my mind. For a few weeks there he was the most powerful man in the NHL. He had all the power. McPhee was like a maestro and the expansion draft was his orchestra.
3. Jim Benning might be the worst GM in the NHL
Everything Jim Benning has done in Vancouver has most hockey followers wondering what he is doing. He has not been good at drafting and his NHL trades have been as bad as Don Sweeney’s. At least Sweeney seems to have a handle on the draft.
The rumor out there was that Vegas wanted Cody Glass. They tried trading into the top three of the draft to get him but failed. With Glass eventually still available at the 5th pick, which Vancouver owned, Vegas offered Benning and his Canucks to flip picks (Vegas had the 6th pick). Vegas would give Vancouver a 2nd rounder as well. Vegas backed out of the deal because they found out that Vancouver was not going to take Glass with the 5th pick. Now how would Vegas find out that Vancouver was not going to pick Glass unless they told them. How dumb can you be? Benning 101 stuff right there.
4. Ryan Reeves is worth a 1st round pick
The Stanley Cup Champions traded the 31st overall pick to St. Louis for tough guy Ryan Reeves. Let that one sink in a bit. The Penguins gave up a 1st round pick for Ryan Reeves.
Doug Armstrong must have had the same reaction as Ron Hextall did when Don Sweeney offered him a 3rd round pick for Zac Rinaldo. He probably couldn’t say yes fast enough.
First of all, Ryan Reeves is a much better player than Zac Rinaldo, but shit, for a first round pick? Really? It isn’t like toughness is the final piece for the Penguins. They have won the last two Stanley Cups. On the other side of the argument this trade could be more indicative of this years draft and the value the picks carried in comparison to past years.
5. Peter being Peter
Peter Chiarelli traded to the Islanders Jorden Eberle for Ryan Strome. Boy does Peter like those 1-for-1 deals. Eberle has scored at least 20 goals in the last 4 seasons. He topped 34 in his second season in the NHL. Ryan Strome has topped out at 17 goals in his second season in the NHL. Eberle is 27 and Strome will be 24 in July. But, Peter had to clear some cap right?
Not so fast my friend.
Peter then re-signed Kris Russel to an absurd extension, 4 years for $16 million. And no ill advised Peter Chiarelli extension/signing would come without a no movement clause. So Russell received a modified no move. Below was my favorite tweet from Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports:
6.Vegas basically traded Methot for nothing
For as much as I like how George McPhee worked the Draft and Expansion Draft I do not get the trade of Marc Methot to the Stars for basically nothing. Vegas received a 2020 2nd round pick and Dylan Ferguson, who the Stars just drafted in the 2017 draft in the 7th round.
I am not sure why (or if?) the Bruins were not interested in Marc Methot. He is a left shot and they could have slotted him with Charlie McAvoy on the second unit. He was only the D partner for Erik Karlsson in Ottawa. I think he could have handled playing with McAvoy. I would have thought Ryan Spooner to Vegas would have gotten it done easily. Maybe even less. Oh well, just another missed opportunity in the trade market for the Bruins. Nothing new there.
7. Hall of Fame inductees are announced
Congratulations to Mark Recchi on a long over due induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was a great mentor for a young Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. There is no doubt in my mind that part of their success is due to Recchi’s time in Boston.
Also, congratulations to Paul Kariya. His career was cut short due to concussions, but he was a great hockey player. His skill would dominate in today’s NHL. He also put up the best freshman season in NCAA hockey history. He helped the University of Maine win a National Championship that freshman season with 25 goals and 75 assists for 100 points in 39 games. Truly remarkable.
8. The Bruins Didn’t Tender Joe Morrow, The Last Remaining Piece Of The Seguin Trade
I’m not going to carry on about this other than say that the Tyler Seguin trade has officially been reduced to Seguin-for-Jimmy Hayes. By not getting an a new offer from Sweeney defenseman Joe Morrow is now gone for nothing in return, as was Matt Fraser and Loui Eriksson.
I’m not convinced Seguin will go on to win anything in his career, but it’s nightmare fuel thinking about the bag of pucks he was given away for. Thanks, Chiarelli!
Look for our full draft review posted on BostonPucks.com on Wednesday.
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