NHL Free Agency Wrap: Nash on Broadway, Weber stays put
I know today is the MLB trade deadline, and that this is a delayed reaction. However, I’m a Phillies fan, and this isn’t exactly a happy day for me. So, I’m going to focus on hockey. I’ve been away for a little while, and in my time away, some big stuff has happened. Let’s recap:
Rangers Trade Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon, and a First Round pick in 2013 to Blue Jackets for Rick Nash
For all the crap that got heaped on New York for the Knicks allowing Jeremy Lin to walk, the other team run by James Dolan, the Rangers, made what ended up being the best move of the off-season. After the Flyers submitted their offer sheet for Shea Weber, I said that Paul Holmgren had made himself the Michael Corleone of the NHL off-season. Well, against the odds, the Predators were able to match the offer sheet. Somehow, the Predators will be able to pay Shea Weber a sum that almost nobody thought they would be able. Good for Nashville, I’m all about loyalty. The Rangers ended up pulling the off-season equivalent of a pass intercepted in the defensive zone and taking it the distance for a goal, by pulling off a deal for Rick Nash, right as the Flyers missed out on Shea Weber. Though unrelated, the Flyers’ loss coincided with the Rangers’ gain, and it has cemented the Rangers, in my humble opinion, as the favorites in the Atlantic Division. As far as Columbus is concerned, I’m impressed that they were able to get this much for Nash. After publicly mishandling this situation since February, it’s somewhat hard to believe they were able to get anything for Nash.
Scott Howson played this as far from the vest as you possibly could, and he still was able to make a move. It could be a blind squirrel finding a nut, or maybe he tapped into some deeply hidden skill. We may never know.
There’s not really a lot to say about this one. It’s great for Nashville that they were able to hang on to their franchise cornerstone. This should at least keep them in the discussion for the playoffs, despite losing Ryan Suter. They’ve got some young talent on offense that should lead to the Preds’ attack becoming a little more balanced. Kudos to the Preds’ front office on whatever financial wizadry they were able to swing in order to pull this off.
Carolina already added Jordan Staal this off-season, and this is another addition that will add some firepower to the Hurricanes’ offense. These two moves were huge for Carolina after another disappointing season in Raleigh. While the Florida Panthers have remained pretty stationary in the off-season, the rest of the Southeast has gotten stronger; Tampa Bay strengthened their back end by adding Anders Lindback and Matt Carle, Washington added Mike Ribeiro and Wojtek Wolski, Carolina added Staal and Semin. All of this has actually made the Southeast division a certain degree more entertaining to watch, for sure.
Alfredsson returning for the Sens is huge. There were multiple reports of the Senators making strong offers for Rick Nash, but being shot down in the process, because Nash would not add Ottawa to the list of teams he’d go to. There would have been a pretty sizable void left unfilled on the right side, had they lost out on Nash and Alfie. That being said, unless there is significant production and development from this team’s young core, they remain a fringe playoff contender.