Tag: trades

Cal O'Reilly, Adam Larsson

Kyle Turris insurance? Coyotes trade for Cal O’Reilly


Call it Kyle Turris insurance if you’d like, but either way, the Phoenix Coyotes got a little bit deeper at center today by acquiring Cal O’Reilly from the Nashville Predators. It’ll cost the ‘Yotes their fourth round pick in 2012.

O’Reilly showed flashes of brilliance in Nashville, but with the emergence of veteran pivot Mike Fisher and competition from Craig Smith, Blake Geoffrion and other youngsters it seemed like he was the odd man out. (Some wonder if this might be a prelude to a bigger move for the Predators, but we’ll see.) The Coyotes can always use a little boost to an offense that isn’t especially exciting on paper, so we’ll see if coach Dave Tippett can squeeze out more of O’Reilly’s offensive potential.

Coyotes GM Don Maloney more or less admitted that the move has at least something to do with Turris’ holdout.

“(O’Reilly) is good young center ice man, very clever, creative,” General Manager Don Maloney said. “I’m not overly optimistic that Kyle will sign with us this season. However, the door is always open for him to return. O’Reilly is a good player. We’ve targeted him for a while, a clever center iceman, quick.”

Exceedingly literal Predators fans can say that GM David Poile generated a “gain” in the deal, too; O’Reilly was drafted in the fifth round in 2005 (50th overall). His production in Phoenix this season (and beyond) will tell us if the team will regret the move in the future, though.

Ducks boost D slightly by trading for Kyle Cumiskey

Kyle Cumiskey, David Moss

Defense is expected to be a mighty issue for the Anaheim Ducks this season, so don’t blame GM Bob Murray for throwing out a few blind pinata swings. A late night move to acquire Kyle Cumiskey ranks as one of those swings.

The Colorado Avalanche recently placed Cumiskey on waivers, so the Ducks probably figured that he could be had at a cheap price. They were right; all it took was undrafted 22-year-old defenseman Jake Newton and a 2013 seventh rounder to get the deal done.

Cumiskey won’t set the world on fire, but he fits into some of the Ducks’ few strengths on defense. Like Lubomir Visnovsky and Cam Fowler, Cumiskey can skate very well. His career-high is just 20 points, but he could be a poor man’s Fowler, which is strange since he’s almost exactly five years older.

Considering how little the Ducks gave up, this is a low-risk medium-reward move. He might not always be pretty in his own end, but that will help him fit in with his new teammates.

Another unthinkable trade: Devils unload Brian Rolston to Islanders for Trent Hunter

Brian Rolston, Marc-Andre Fleury

After the Florida Panthers acquired Brian Campbell earlier this summer, I was forced to contemplate the idea that there is no such thing as an “untradeable contract” in the NHL anymore. Not after teams unloaded the likes of Campbell, Scott Gomez and so on.

One of the first “Yeah, but …” comments I remember receiving revolved around the New Jersey Devils’ and Brian Rolston’s ugly 35+ contract. As it turns out, the Devils and New York Islanders proved that even Rolston’s deal could be moved as New Jersey sent Rolston and a conditional 2012 draft pick to Long Island in exchange for Trent Hunter. Let’s break down the ins and outs of the deal now.

Huge savings for the Devils = Re-signing Zach Parise?

If you shot Devils GM Lou Lamoriello with some truth serum (as seen in “Kill Bill: Vol. 2”), he would probably admit that the team would’ve bought out Rolston or buried his cap hit in the minors if they could. The four-year, $20.25 million deal the Devils handed Rolston ranks as one of the worst moves the savvy GM ever made and most figured they would need to eat the last $5.06 million in cap space from the deal this season even though Rolston’s skills have diminished in a glaring way.

Instead of wasting precious cap space on Rolston, the Devils gain about $3 million to work with (Rolston minus Hunter), putting them about $8 million under the cap ceiling. That’s convenient timing for the franchise since Zach Parise’s August 3 salary arbitration hearing looms. Don’t be shocked if they find a way to avoid that process by giving the outstanding forward a hefty contract extension – one made much easier with that intense cap relief.

Oh yeah, there’s also Trent Hunter. In the grand scheme of things, his name could have been “Bag of Pucks” and this would have been a big win for the Devils. He carries a $2 million cap hit for 2011-12 and 12-13, with at least some potential to contribute. He’s big (listed at 6-foot-3, 210 lbs.) and is a two-time 20+ goal scorer. He missed 61 games last season with a torn MCL, however, so one wonders if he might even be a candidate for the long-term injured reserve. Either way, if he contributes in a significant way – which is plausible but unlikely – then this trade is an even bigger victory for the Devils.

The Islanders’ side of the equation

It’s pretty tough to look at this as anything more than the Islanders’ attempt to reach the $48.3 million salary cap floor. They’re certainly closer now; Cap Geek lists them at about $42.35 million after the trade. With solid power forward Blake Comeau and up-and-comer Josh Bailey awaiting new restricted free agent deals, they could inch a bit closer to that ceiling (not to mention the possible addition of some unrestricted free agent named Alexei Yashin).

The saving grace is that Rolston’s cap hit mercifully expires after the 2011-12 season. The 2012 off-season could be an interesting time for the Islanders, who will only have eight of their 20 current players under contract. While John Tavares will likely get a solid raise, the Isles could have some nice flexibility if the Collective Bargaining Agreement changes the NHL’s spending climate.

As far as the on-ice gains, it’s tough to imagine the Islanders getting a whole lot from Rolston, but maybe a change of scenery would help. He’ll get the chance to get revenge on the Devils plenty of times next season and also has the motivation of a contract year/last chance to continue his NHL career dangling in front of him. If nothing else, he’ll be the Islanders’ highest paid player next season.


Ultimately, the Devils are probably cackling at their good fortune, possibly even more than they were when they landed Adam Larsson. There was a disturbing span in which it seemed like Lamoriello was “losing it,” but it seems like he’s back to fleecing other teams. The Islanders took on a lot of salary with limited reward, but if you look hard enough, you can see at least a few reasons why they did it.

That being said, this is a huge win for the Devils and a tough pill for Islanders fans to swallow.

Simon Gagne expects to enjoy successful reunion with Mike Richards in Los Angeles

Simon Gagne, Mike Richards

Whether the player sees it coming or not, being traded can often create a very uncomfortable transition. On the bright side, many of the players involved in this summer’s biggest deals could enjoy a slightly smoother transition since they’ll be reunited with former teammates.

It’s possible Jeff Carter is still a bit upset about being shipped from Philadelphia from Columbus, but former Flyers teammate R.J. Umberger might be able to show him the ropes in Ohio. Devin Setoguchi was elated when Dany Heatley told him that he would join him in Minnesota after the Wild completed a second blockbuster trade with San Jose.

Yet when you consider the best reunion from a pure chemistry standpoint, the Los Angeles Kings’ might have hit the jackpot by signing Simon Gagne and trading for Mike Richards. The two made their best music together in the 2008-09 season with Philly; Gagne scored 34 goals (matching his goal-scoring output from the last two seasons) while Richards scored a career-high 80 points.

Injury issues could plague Gagne and a different offensive system could foul things up for the both of them, but it’s tough to deny the wisdom of bringing the two back together. It’s a point that hasn’t been lost on Gagne, who discussed the reunion with Helene Elliott as he visited Los Angeles earlier this week.

“I had a lot of success with Mike in Philly for many years. It’s always a plus to have the chemistry building right away,” said Gagne, who will wear No. 12, which he has worn since childhood. “We didn’t play together last year, but a year is not too bad. … I’m sure we’ll have a chance to show what we can do and we will try to take that chance. We have a lot of other players offensively that I’m sure we could find chemistry with too.”

While the Washington Capitals’ mind-numbing bargain contract with Tomas Vokoun topped it soon after, the Kings’ deal with Gagne still ranks as one of the best free agent gambles of the 2011 off-season. Health is the biggest concern for Gagne, but he’s a natural goal scorer who has good speed and can play a decent defensive game to boot.

Plenty of people wonder if the Kings will be a genuine Stanley Cup contender in 2011-12. That might just happen if Gagne finds a good groove with Richards once again.

Small moves: Senators re-sign Bobby Butler, Flames trade for goon and Matt Smaby joins Ducks

Cam Janssen, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond

Want to stay up to date on the smaller moves made around the NHL? Here are a few from July 14, 2011.

  • The Ottawa Senators re-signed Bobby Butler to a two-year deal. It is unclear if the contract is a one-way or two-way deal and the financial terms haven’t been revealed, but either way, it caps a busy day or so for Ottawa. The team also signed their first round pick Mika Zibanejad to an entry-level deal recently.

Butler seems like one of the Senators’ more promising young forwards. He split time between Ottawa and Binghamton last season, scoring 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 36 games at the NHL level. Butler scored 33 points in 47 AHL regular season games and returned to Binghamton for their playoff run, helping them win the Calder Cup by scoring 13 goals and four assists for 17 points in 23 playoff games.

  • The Calgary Flames sent their 2012 fifth round pick to the New Jersey Devils for long-named fighter Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond. Let one thing be for sure: “P3L” doesn’t have much use beyond his ability to punch and be punched. As far as that’s concerned, you can remember him for two fights.

Glass half-empty: He jumped Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson in a very ugly scene. He received a one-game suspension by the NHL but was demoted to the AHL and never played another game for the Devils.

Glass half-full: Many will remember him for his epic fight with Cam Janssen. The two fought for three solid minutes and, well, just watch for yourself by clicking on the link above.

That’s an amazing fight, but a fifth round pick seems like a heavy price to pay for a “player” the Devils clearly hand little interest in keeping.