Finally the NHL trade market has shown signs of life this week!
There were two big deals earlier this week.
First Vinny Lecavalier and Luke Schenn were sent from Philly to LA. The Kings get 2 more big players to fit into their heavy game and make another Cup run. They are already having a strong season, comfortably leading their division and now they add some depth pieces to reinforce the roster. Going the other way were prospect Jordan Weal and a 3rd round pick.
The second big deal saw Columbus ship Ryan Johansen to Nashville for Seth Jones. With the Blue Jackets having a bad year, and Johansen a poor season, the move is not completely surprising. In Nashville, they have so much depth on defense that Seth Jones was not getting a big opportunity to contribute. The Predators have Shea Weber on a long term deal and Roman Josi has been fantastic the last few years. Along with their great D, they have always had solid goaltending in their franchise history, but scoring has been a challenge. Now they add a potential 40 goal scorer who is only a few years older than the defenseman they had to give up. It is interesting to see the number of players with less than perfect reputations that Nashville has given a home. They traded for James Neal a few years ago, signed Mike Ribeiro 2 summers ago, and brought in Cody Hodgson this past offseason. So far, most of these risks have paid off. Johansen has been said to not give a full effort every time out and this season was not able to get into shape, due to an injury according to him. Even with the questions of his effort, he is a big talent to give up and his scoring will be hard to replace for Columbus. In return the Blue Jackets get a potential number one defenseman in Jones. This is a little curious in that Columbus has a solid D and it is more the case that their goaltender cannot stay healthy and consistent that has cost them. Replacing Johansen’s scoring will be difficult, but if Jones develops as hoped he is also a rare commodity. Nashville never expected to have Seth Jones, with him being rated ahead of their #4 draft slot in 2013. When he fell they decided to take the best player available and capture the best asset. So this week they were able to trade him for the #4 pick in the 2010 draft. This will be an interesting deal to track over the years and see how each franchise progresses.
Let’s hope for more interesting deals in the months to come prior to the trade deadline.