Getty

Trade: Flames acquire Mike Smith from Coyotes, likely ending Fleury pursuit

29 Comments

Update: The Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes confirmed the trade.

***

Brad Treliving’s latest attempt to solve Calgary’s goalie situation might feature a familiar face.

Per Sportsnet, the Flames and Coyotes are working on a deal that would see netminder Mike Smith head to Calgary. If so, it’d be a reunion of sorts — Treliving was Don Maloney’s assistant GM in Arizona, most notably when Smith inked a six-year extension back in 2013.

It’s been confirmed by multiple outlets including TSN’s Bob McKenzie and the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan.

The Flames’ side

Arizona retains 25 percent of Mike Smith’s salary, according to McKenzie. Smith enters 2017-18 as Calgary’s expected starter, and this likely takes the Flames out of the Marc-Andre Fleury bidding war.

Coyotes’ side

The Coyotes receive prospect Brandon Hickey, a conditional third-rounder and the rights to goalie Chad Johnson. McLellan has more:

More on Smith

Smith, 35, posted a .914 save percentage this season after facing the sixth highest amount of shots against (1,819) among all NHL goalies. And that came in just 55 games played, indicative of the young and rebuilding team Smith was playing behind.

The veteran netminder is entering the fifth year of the aforementioned six-year, $34 million contract that has an annual cap hit of $5.666 million. If the Coyotes indeed retain 25 percent of his cap hit, the Flames would be on the hook for approximately $4.25 million for the next two seasons.

Smith’s name surfaced in rumors earlier this month. Arizona GM John Chayka later responded to the trade speculation, per Arizona Sports. He spoke highly of Smith, but seemed open to the idea of a possible trade — provided the return is to his liking.

“If it’s being viewed as me making Mike available and starting a bidding war, that’s not the case,” said Chayka. “We’re taking calls on players every year. I don’t think anyone is untradeable but like we talked about last year with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, he’s up as high on that list as anyone.”

As mentioned above, Calgary has been looking for the right fit in net for quite some time. Since Treliving came on board in 2014, the club has used Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo, Joni Ortio, Niklas Backstrom, Chad Johnson and Brian Elliott, all with limited success.

Johnson and Elliott are both currently unrestricted free agents.

If this deal goes through, Smith would be a “bridge” option to hold down the starting gig until one of Calgary’s good young goalie prospects — Jon Gillies, Mason McDonald or Tyler Parsons — is ready to compete at the NHL level.

Blockbuster: Rangers send Stepan, Raanta to Coyotes for No. 7 pick, DeAngelo

12 Comments

Just when you thought Stan Bowman was the busiest man at draft weekend, John Chayka upped the ante.

Just minutes after acquiring Niklas Hjalmarsson from the ‘Hawks, Chayka went out and acquired veteran Rangers center Derek Stepan — along with netminder Antti Raanta — in exchange for the No. 7 overall pick at tonight’s draft, and young d-man Anthony DeAngelo.

The trade was first broken by TSN’s Darren Dreger, later confirmed by fellow TSNer Bob McKenzie.

Phew.

In Stepan the Coyotes get a massive upgrade at the center position, which was bereft of talent for all of last season. It’s why Arizona had been tied to Stepan for most of this week. The 27-year-old has consistently been able to go beyond the 50-point plateau, with 17 goals and 55 points last season, and will certainly be a boost to Arizona’s crop of talented young forwards.

Stepan’s entering the third year of a six-year, $39 million contract that comes with an annual cap hit of $6.5 million. And, importantly, the Rangers moved him prior to his no-trade clause kicking in next season. The money freed up by trading Stepan could be used in free agency to land, say, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

As for the other part of this deal, the Coyotes could also have their starting netminder of the future in Raanta, now that Mike Smith has been shipped off to Calgary. Raanta has been one of the league’s best backups working behind Henrik Lundqvist in New York, and a new No. 2 goalie is probably on the Rangers’ revised shopping list.

This trade also gives New York a pair of first-rounders this evening — the Rangers already held the No. 21 overall selection — which is important, given GM Jeff Gorton is without second- and third-round picks. They Blueshirts also received a good puck mover in DeAngelo, a former first-round pick himself.

DeAngelo, 21, made his NHL debut last year and scored 14 points in 39 games. He’s been described as a skilled offensive defenseman, but one with a history of disciplinary issues. That continued last year in Arizona, when he was suspended three games for abuse of an official.

More to follow…

 

Chicago Fire: ‘Hawks re-acquire Saad, send Panarin to Columbus as massive shakeup continues

Getty
28 Comments

Stan Bowman has made good on his promise for big changes in Chicago.

Just minutes after sending longtime defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona, Bowman got the band back together by re-acquiring former ‘Hawk Brandon Saad, who he traded to Columbus two years ago.

Per Sportsnet, the Blue Jackets will receive Artemi Panarin in exchange. Right now it’s unclear if any other pieces are involved in the deal, though earlier the ‘Hawks were reportedly looking to move up to the No. 7 pick in tonight’s draft, a pick Arizona currently holds.

UPDATE: Per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, Chicago will also get goalie Anton Forsberg and Columbus’ fifth-round pick in 2018. Columbus will get Tyler Motte and Chicago’s sixth-round pick this year.

Saad left Chicago shortly after the 2015 Stanley Cup win, in a deal that landed the ‘Hawks Artem Aninisov and a handful of others. The 24-year-old has since gone on to score 31 and 24 goals in his two years with the Blue Jackets.

Immediately after Saad left, Panarin joined the ‘Hawks and immediately stepped in as a frontline contributor. He’s posted back-to-back 30-goal campaigns — capturing the Calder as the NHL’s top rookie in 2016 — and has been a dynamic offensive player, often alongside Patrick Kane.

As for the money involved, both carry identical $6 million hits. Big difference is that Saad’s locked in through 2021, whereas Panarin is eligible to be a UFA in 2019. So there’s certainly more cost certainty for Bowman with this trade.

More to follow…

After helping ‘change the culture,’ Greene’s Kings career ends with buyout

Getty
1 Comment

The Los Angeles Kings made it official on Friday and bought out the remaining years of defenseman Matt Greene‘s contract.

Greene spent nine years as a member of the Kings, winning two Stanley Cups with the team in 2011-12 and 2013-14.

In a statement announcing the move, team president Luc Robitaille spoke about Greene’s impact on the organization and how he helped change the team’s culture as soon as he arrived.

“Matt has made incredible contributions to our hockey club and we are very grateful for everything he has done since joining our organization including his outstanding leadership,” said Robitaille.

“Upon his arrival to Los Angeles he played a significant role in helping change the culture of the Kings and his contributions to our two Stanley Cups in particular is immeasurable.”

Injuries have completely decimated Greene’s career in recent years, limiting him to just 154 games over the past five seasons.

The buyout will cost the Kings a salary cap hit of $833,333 for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

Trade: Chicago sends Hjalmarsson to Coyotes for Murphy, Dauphin

Getty
8 Comments

One of the key pieces of Chicago’s three Stanley Cup championships is on the move.

Blueliner Niklas Hjalmarsson, who’s spent his entire 10-year career with the Blackhawks, has been dealt to Arizona in exchange for fellow defenseman Connor Murphy, and prospect Laurent Dauphin.

Hjalmarsson, 30, has been a staple of the Chicago defense for quite some time. He’s durable, having only missed 11 games over the last four seasons, and has earned his reputation as a reliable top-four defensive defenseman.

As for the financials, Hjalmarsson has two years remaining on a five-year, $20.5 million deal with a $4.1M average annual cap hit. It’s worth noting he has a modified no-trade clause, in which he had to submit a 10-team trade list.

Murphy, 24, just wrapped the first of a six-year, $23.1 million deal with a $3.85M hit. That he was moved has to come as some surprise, given he signed a lengthy extension just last summer and, at the time, GM John Chayka said Murphy was “a guy we think can be part of our leadership group for a long time moving forward.”

Murphy appeared in 77 games for the Coyotes last year, scoring 17 points. It’s probably worth noting his TOI actually decreased after signing his extension, from 20:30 in ’15-16 to just 19:11 last year.

Dauphin, 22, was the 39th overall pick in 2013. He split last year between Arizona and AHL Tucson, and was a good scorer at the minor league level (28 points in 38 games).