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As The Trade Deadline Approaches Plus Observations

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

- A year ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning were in a similar position to where Toronto is now. They were cruising along as one of the best teams in the league. But they still went big at the deadline, giving up a pair of first-round draft picks for Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow, then beefed up their blue line with the additions of Zach Bogosian and Luke Schenn.

None of those players was among Tampa’s top five in playoff scoring or in its top 10 in ice time. But at some point, each provided the necessary grit that was essential in helping a skilled Lightning team advance past the Blue Jackets, Bruins, Islanders and Stars.

If I was Dubas, I’d be looking for something along those lines.

The team doesn’t need a winger like Taylor Hall. It doesn’t need more skill or scoring. It needs more blue-collar players like Bogosian and Simmonds. Guys like Nashville defenceman Mattias Ekholm and Calgary forward Sam Bennett. It needs guys that can push back against Boston and Tampa and Vegas. Guys that can help the Leafs go the distance....

- If you’re the Flames, would you trade Johnny Gaudreau and Bennett for Jack Eichel? Better yet, if the Jets would have been willing to wait, could they have traded Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic for Eichel rather than Pierre-Luc Dubois?

- In any other year, I’d praise Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen for standing by his coach during a tough stretch for the team. But this isn’t any other year. With John Tortorella on the final year of his contract and with Claude Julien, Gerard Gallant and so many other top coaches available, this is a perfect opportunity to make a change.

- After all, if Jeff Skinner could go from scoring 40 goals alongside Eichel to securing an eight-year extension worth $72 million, imagine what the possibilities for a Hart Trophy winner who had never played with a No. 1 centre?

It seemed as safe a bet as any. But two months into the season, no one could have wagered this would be happening.

The Sabres, who are en route to missing the playoffs for a 10th straight year, are not being led by Hall and Eichel. Instead, Sam Reinhart leads the team with eight goals and Victor Olofsson is tops with 16 points.

Hall has one goal and 12 points in 20 games. Eichel has two goals and 15 points. A duo that was supposed to dominate the nightly score sheets and get Buffalo back in the playoffs has been a disaster.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink



No Taylor Hall did not seem like a safe bet
- and not in Buffalo of all places.

If Eichel was so automatic why did Skinner drop so precipitously
after that huge outlier year?

More to the point, when has Hall ever been consistent,
even when healthy? The one big Hart season in NJ.
Other than that he’s been a very up and down player
who has bounced around to four teams now - none of whom can
seem to be appreciably improved as a team by his presence.

He got 8M for one year because the market wasn’t there for a longer
at anywhere near that price. And he probably assumed teams would be
more bullish about spending in a year, even if it took a while for the cap to rise.

Hall is an inconsistent, injury-prone winger who bet on a black hole of a team
that can’t seem to approximate the sum of its parts. Not a safe bet, ever.

Posted by lefty.30 on 03/04/21 at 01:24 AM ET

d ca's avatar

Very misleading article....Tampa didn’t trade 1st to gear up for the deadline….they traded 1st to get players that were significantly outplaying their contracts for their upcoming cap crunch.

For example Coleman had 21 goals (in 57 games) with NJD the year he was traded and had 22 the year before with 1.5 years left at $1.8M. They also got a 3rd round pick back.

Barclay Goodrow numbers were roughly about half of Coleman’s numbers including his contract AAV with the same time left.

As for Zach Bogosian, Buffalo terminated his contract when he did not report to their AHL affiliate as he was severely overpaid at 5.1M before his contract was terminated. Even then Tampa only responded when 3 of their top 4 d-men were injured (Jan Rutta, Ryan McDonagh were injured 1st and Erik Cernak went down over a weekend before the trade deadline).

Luke Schenn was signed in the 2019 offseason and was a league minimum depth contract as his previous team told him he didn’t have the speed to play in the NHL and was going to be an AHL player for them. He signed with Tampa knowing their cap crunch and counted on the fact they would need an NHL minimum salary player if any LTIR situation happened to their defense.

Posted by d ca on 03/04/21 at 02:19 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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