The Detroit Red Wings have acquired Nick Leddy from the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Richard Panik and a 2021 2nd round pick (52nd overall). Detroit also retained 50% of Panik’s salary.
First off, the second-rounder was originally from Edmonton, via the Andreas Athanasiou deal from the 2020 Trade Deadline. This is a weird trade for the Wings. They aren’t really renting out their cap space, rather making a buyer’s move. Leddy has one more year left at a $5.5 million cap hit and Detroit took all of it on. Plus, they didn’t even unload all of Panik’s cap hit. The Wings will not be contenders this year, so getting a veteran a year away from free agency is odd. However, the Red Wings may believe that Leddy can be good to start the season, then they could flip him at the deadline for more assets. Still, 52nd overall is a pretty hefty price. Leddy is a second-pairing defenseman who can play on the power-play and racks up assists, but really struggled defensively in the Islanders’ long playoff run.
Leddy, 30, scored two goals with 29 assists for 31 points in 56 games for the Islanders this year. In his NHL career for the Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks, Leddy has scored 65 goals with 271 assists for 336 points in 776 games.
Cap space is the big question for the Islanders this offseason. They don’t have a ton of it and need to sign restricted free agents Adam Pelech, Anthony Beauvillier, and Ilya Sorokin while Casey Cizikas is a UFA. After retention, the Isles clear up $4.125 million. Panik is a fine, bottom-six forward who the Isles saw earlier this year as a member of the Capitals before he was traded to Detroit at the deadline. He can be physical and responsible defensively, something that Head Coach Barry Trotz will love. Panik has two more years left on his contract. Each team will have a $1.375 cap hit courtesy of him. The 52nd overall pick can be used to boost a thin farm system, or be dealt to clear up more cap space or improve the team.
Panik, 30, scored four goals with nine assists for 13 points in 48 games for the Red Wings and Washington Capitals in 2020-21. In his NHL career for the Wings, Caps, Chicago Blackhawks, Arizona Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs, Panik has scored 88 goals with 106 assists for 194 points in 517 games.