First off, congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins and their fans on winning the Stanley Cup. It has been a hectic couple of weeks with us at Because Hockey between making some site updates here and there, admins getting married, friends moving to Europe, and the everyday grind of work and life that I haven’t been able to write much lately. Plus, it was a little hard to watch the Sharks lose their chance at The Cup, especially after watching Tampa get so close and lose it last year in the same number of games (6) during the Final. But, nonetheless, the Pittsburgh Penguins were the better team and capped off quite an impressive Stanley Cup run in emphatic fashion. If you want to read all of those articles about it, there are tons out there so we won’t go back down history Laine.
Speaking of Patrik Laine, the NHL draft has come and gone as well. As you might have heard, that Auston Matthews guy went number one overall to Toronto, just behind him Laine went to the Jets, and then the Blue Jackets surprised everyone by selecting Pierre-Luc Dubois at number three. The man everyone thought would go third, Jesse Puljujarvi, fell to the happily awaiting Oilers at number four and the Canucks rounded out the top five by selecting the first defensemen of the draft in Olli Juolevi. All in all there were 12 Americans that were drafted during the first round of the NHL Draft (a record), 45 total players drafted that had ties to USHL clubs, and 11 trades. Some of those trades just involved draft picks (thanks Devils and Senators) but several teams moved key components. The Canadiens traded away Lars Eller to the Capitals and brought in Andrew Shaw from the Blackhawks with two second round picks tossed in on both deals. The Blues traded tandem goaltender Brian Elliot to the Flames for close to nothing (2nd round pick used on forward Jordan Kyrou and conditional pick in 2018). Also the Red Wings used some magic left by Pavel Datsyuk to trade away his contract plus their first rounder (Jakob Chychrun) to the Coyotes for Joe Vitale, a first round pick (Dennis Cholowski), AND a second round pick (Filip Hronek).
After Detroit made their big trade, the rumors started swirling about how they had become the new front runner for coveted Free Agent to be Steven Stamkos. They had some competition, however, between just about everyone else in the league who had around $10 million to spend. With Free Agency a mere two days away to start the day, the league had stayed relatively quiet. There had been some recent activity, but nothing that could have prepared everyone for what was about to happen this afternoon.
First off, today was CHADMANs birthday. If you’re new to the site or don’t know the story behind CHADMAN, you should. Before site admin Jerm got hitched, we had a Because Hockey road trip/Bachelor party. For this road trip, we traveled from here (Kearney, NE) to Denver to catch a couple of Avalanche games and drink copious amounts of alcohol. During one of these blurred nights, we found ourselves at Dave and Busters playing some horse racing game. We didn’t know much of what we were doing except drunkenly calling each other by our horses names, and our friend Tyson happened to have the horse named CHADMAN, in all caps, for some reason. Well, there were two Tysons on the trip so we decided to call him CHADMAN for the remaining time. It ended up being probably our best decision of the trip. So long story short, CHADMAN and hockey go hand in hand (if you want more to the story, joins us on the weekends during Puckin’ Drunk). Based on that, we should have known that something epic was going to happen today. Spoiler Alert: it did.
SO WHAT EFFING HAPPEND? Basically…Canada lost, again.
In the span of 20 minutes, the Oilers sent Taylor Hall to the Devils for Adam Larsson, Steven Stamkos resigned with the Lightning, and the Canadiens sent PK Subban to the Predators for Shea Weber.
In the span of 20 minutes, the Oilers made maybe one of the worst trades in their history, the Leafs lost out on their long lost son returning home, and the Canadiens ended what turned into an ugly situation between management and player.
In the span of 20 minutes, the hockey universe exploded.
WHAT TO MAKE OF ALL OF THIS? First, let it sink in….
While this wasn’t all that happened today (Seth Jones, Jason Zucker, and Tomas Hertl all got re-signed with their respective teams) it was definitely the most exuberant.
The Oilers sent Taylor Hall to the Devils because the have a silly amount of offensive forwards making too much money and need defensive help. Too bad all they got in return was Adam Larsson. I for one like Adam Larsson, but he is not a number one defensemen and that is what the Oilers need. Maybe the Oilers have some more moves up their sleeve (Kevin Shattenkirk?) but for now they have some young defensive help in Larsson and shed a forward from their crowded top 6. The Devils reap the rewards in this one and will have that scoring forward they crave in Taylor Hall moving forward.
Steven Stamkos re-signed with the Lightning because he wants to win, now. The big “contenders” in the Stamkos Frenzy were Detroit (who Tampa has beaten the last two years in the opening round of the playoffs), Buffalo (who has depth down the middle but hasn’t made the playoffs in 5 years), and Toronto (just drafted Matthews and still rebuilding). It was simple, Stamkos loved it in Tampa, knows where he is on the depth chart, knows his teammates around him, and knows they have been so close to accomplishing the ultimate goal there. Why mess that up? Plus, no income tax in Florida doesn’t hurt, and it makes his 8 year, $8.5 per season deal not look as cheap as what other might have offered him. Key word: Simplicity.
Montreal traded away PK Subban because the writing was on the wall, and basically Nashville’s GM David Poile brought up the name “Shea Weber” to them. Montreal was in trouble last week when they had to hold a press conference about trading PK Subban only to say they shouldn’t of had a press conference about trading PK Subban because they weren’t gonna do it, they weren’t ‘shopping’ him. Well, shopping him or not, Montreal and Nashville had words about swapping the two defensemen during the NHL draft and POOF! here we are. I like the trade for both franchises. It was getting clear that Montreal was going to have to do something with PK after all the rumors, and they found a dance partner. In exchange they get a rugged, older, safer bet in Shea Weber who just so happens to have the hardest slap shot in the league. While Weber is blasting one-timers in Montreal, PK will get to let his style of play shine bright, in a bright yellow uniform far away in Nashville. It will also help him to get out from under the tense spotlight in Montreal. Again, like the trade for both the teams and the players buy man are they gonna look weird in their new uniforms…
What a day it was.
But wait! Free Agency hasn’t even started yet…Friday July 1st will be the first day of Free Agency with names like David Backes, Kyle Okposo, Andrew Ladd, and Milan Lucic still out there…