The NHL season and our NHL picks may have concluded but that doesn't mean teams are sitting idly by waiting for training camp. Let's see what teams are swapping and how that will affect the NHL odds for the 2013-2014 campaign.
Who's Going Where?
Sometimes the biggest news is not the deals that are made but the critical players that are re-signed. Sure it's not as sexy as a big deal but then again a team like the Boston Bruins re-upping All-World netminder Tuukka Rask to a multiyear deal will be the most important piece of business the Stanley Cup runner-ups will tend to in this offseason. So let's take a look at which teams made the biggest deals and how it will impact their prospects going forward.
Take a look at our NHL Picks: 2013-14 Stanley Cup Future Odds.
Anaheim Ducks/Ottawa Senators
Perennial Anaheim favorite Bobby Ryan has been shipped north to the Ottawa Senators for right winger Jakob Sillfverberg, a first-round pick in 2014 and Stefan Noesen, the Sens' first-rounder in 2011. Ryan's play slipped in the strike shortened season of 2013 but Ottawa thinks that it's a mere aberration which will be corrected once inside the friendly confines of Scotiabank Place. Hopefully they'll add a few more working parts after captain Daniel Alfredsson departed for the Motor City.
Boston Bruins/Dallas Stars
I reported last month that the Boston Bruins would have to either re-sign Nathan Horton and trade Tyler Seguin or let Horton walk and keep Seguin in the fold. Well, it never occurred to me that both players would be gone less than two weeks after their Stanley Cup run ended. Horton wanted a quieter town and got it when he chose to sign a lucrative deal with Columbus while the Bruins decided that their young hotshot Tyler Seguin was more concerned with the ice in his cocktails than the ice under his skates.
When you're a 21-year-old multi-millionaire and adored by hockey chicks everywhere bad habits come quite naturally. But usually the organization can get a handle on a young guy and set him straight. Boston brass apparently lacked either the time and/or the inclination to do so which set the wheels in motion for a big deal with the Dallas Stars. Boston shaved several millions off their payroll when they dealt Seguin, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button for left winger Loui Eriksson, defenseman Joseph Morrow and forwards Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser. They then signed Jarome Iginla who spurned them for the Penguins during their playoff run. No hard feelings obviously.
New Jersey Devils/Vancouver Canucks
The Devils realize time and tide wait for no man. Unfortunately the time has come for a passing of the proverbial torch as New Jersey dealt their first-round pick (number 9 overall) to Vancouver who used that pick to pluck Bo Horvat, a center with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. In return they received the heir apparent to Martin Brodeur's throne, 27-year-old Corey Schneider. This is no doubt a bittersweet trade for the Devils and their fans as Martin Brodeur has been an institution in New Jersey and perhaps the greatest goaltender ever to tend the twine.
Vancouver has also reconciled themselves to the fact that the enigmatic and supremely fortunate Roberto Luongo is once again their starting goalie. Luongo has nine more years on a contract that pays him north of five million annually. If that's not the most fortunate backup goaltender in the history of the NHL then I'm not sure who is. However, the truth of the matter is that Luongo has the talent to deliver the goods on a regular basis. He sputters from time to time but when he's on, he's as good as there is and that's what the Canucks are counting on by shipping Schneider south and keeping Luongo in their net.
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