Monday turned out to be a busy day on the NHL trade market with a pair of one-for-one swaps taking place.
Let’s get to the details.
Penguins give up on Daniel Sprong
The writing has been on the wall for a while now that Daniel Sprong was never going to fit in with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has not developed as the team hoped he would, he never gained the trust of the current coaching staff, and he hasn’t really performed when he has been on the ice.
On Monday, the Penguins finally traded him to the Anaheim Ducks for 22-year-old defenseman Marcus Pettersson.
It’s the classic “take our prospect that hasn’t panned out in exchange for your prospect that hasn’t panned out and let’s hope it works” trade.
There is no doubt Sprong has talent, but it has yet to translate to the NHL level.
Even if you want to argue that he hasn’t been given enough of an opportunity, he hasn’t really done much to convince anyone he has deserved more of a look. In 42 career games he has just nine points (four goals, five assists) and has never developed his game away from the puck. The Penguins spent the offseason talking about how he was going to be a part of this year’s team, and they gave him a ton of playing time in training camp and the preseason. But after a dreadful preseason performance he was back to being the odd-man out on a regular basis, and when he did get in the lineup he was consistently buried on the fourth line.
He never really did anything to play his way out of it.
Pettersson will add some defensive depth to an organization that badly needs it, but it remains to be seen if he will be able to crack the lineup or make any sort of an impact. The Penguins have tried to take on a lot of reclamation projects on defense over the years with very mixed results. He is also waiver exempt (unlike Sprong) so he could be sent to the American Hockey League without having to pass through the waiver wire.
With William Nylander finally back in the mix for the Toronto Maple Leafs on a six-year contract, they had to make some room for him on the roster.
That move was to trade forward Josh Leivo to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Michael Carcone.
Leivo appeared in all 27 games this season for the Maple Leafs, scoring four goals to go with two assists. After being selected by the team in the third-round of the 2011 draft he has mostly been a depth player over the past six years. Before this season he had never played more than 16 games at the NHL level. He might get more of an opportunity on a rebuilding Vancouver team that is short on depth.
The 22-year-old Carrone has spent the past three seasons playing for the Canucks’ AHL team in Utica. He has six goals and 11 assists in 20 games this season.