With the city of Pittsburgh hosting the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, some thought Pens GM Ray Shero might make a bold move in front of the hometown fans.
He did just that.
The Penguins shook up the evening by trading C Jordan Staal to Carolina in exchange for the eighth overall pick, C Brandon Sutter and D Brian Dumoulin, who Carolina took 51st overall at the 2009 draft.
The marquee name of the deal is obviously Staal, the 23-year-old center who’ll head to the ‘Canes and play alongside his brother, Eric. Staal had 50 points in 63 games last year (including 25 goals) and was outstanding in Pittsburgh’s six-game opening round loss to Philly in the playoffs, scoring nine points (including six goals.)
That said, the ransom Carolina paid to acquire Staal was massive — Sutter was one of the Canes’ brightest young stars and had signed a three-year, $6.2 million extension with the club in July 2011. He hasn’t missed a game over the last two years and averaged 17 goals over the last three.
In addition to Sutter, Pittsburgh also gains the services of Dumoulin — who in April won the Frozen Four with Boston College — and got the eighth overall pick, which the Penguins used to select Portland Winterhawks defenseman Derrick Pouliot.
An emotional Ray Shero thanked Staal for his six years of service to the club prior to selecting Pouliot. That was preceded by a massive reaction from the Consol Energy Center faithful upon learning of the deal.
One of the driving forces behind the NHL’s growth over the last decade is moving on.
John Collins, who’s served as the league’s chief operating officer for the last seven years, will be leaving his post to embark on a new business opportunity.
More, from the League:
Collins, who joined the NHL in November 2006, had been COO since August 2008.
“John leaves a lasting mark,” said Commissioner Bettman. “His energy, creativity and skill at building strategic partnerships helped drive significant revenue growth for our League. We are grateful for his many contributions and wish him the best in his new endeavors.”
Said Collins, “I’m grateful to Commissioner Bettman for his leadership and friendship over the past nine years. He had a vision for extending the reach of the NHL and supported us completely as we set out to make the game as big as it deserves to be.
“The NHL’s future is filled with promise and potential and I will admire and cheer the League’s successes to come on the global stage.”
Collins, 53, was regarded as one of main presences behind a number of the NHL’s most successful initiatives, including the Winter Classic and Stadium Series, the HBO 24/7 collaboration, the relaunched World Cup of Hockey, Canadian and American television deals and partnerships with companies like SAP, Adidas, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and GoPro.
During Collins’ tenure, the NHL was twice named “Sports League of the Year” by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily — once in 2011, and again in 2014.
Columbus will have some reinforcements up front when it takes on the Devils tomorrow in New Jersey.
Brandon Dubinsky, who’s missed the last six games with an elbow injury, and Alexander Wennberg — who’s also missed the last six games, but with a foot ailment — have both been activated from injured reserve, and should be available for selection on Wednesday.
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)