NHL Trade Review: Isles acquire Coburn

 

       The New York Islanders have acquired defenseman Braydon Coburn from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2022 7th round draft pick. 

This would be terrible value for the Islanders if it was anything more than a 7th round pick. Coburn is a below replacement level defenseman at this point in his career, but he can be physical, and won a Stanley Cup last year with the Lightning. Unfortunately his beard will be a victim to Lou Lamoriello\’s weird rule. Coburn\’s place on the Islanders depth chart will be unclear. He will likely sit on the taxi squad for the majority of the time, and will either be the 7th or 8th defenseman, fighting with Thomas Hickey for the former. He can kill penalties, but takes way too many of them himself, and his $1.7 million cap hit is a lot, but the Islanders were unlikely to use it anyways, unless it was on another depth defenseman.

Coburn, 36, has two assists with 25 hits in 16 games for the Senators this year. In his NHL career with Ottawa, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers and Atlanta Thrashers, Coburn has scored 49 goals with 185 assists for 234 points with 925 hits in 980 games. 

Coburn was not remotely high on Ottawa\’s depth chart, and was sitting on their taxi squad. He would likely clear waivers, so good on GM Pierre Dorion for getting some value for him. 

NHL Trade Review: Leafs get Rittich

 

       The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired goaltender David Rittich from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 2022 3rd round draft pick. 

The Maple Leafs have been without goalie Frederik Andersen due to injury, but replacement Jack Campbell has been amazing, with a .934 save percentage and an 11-0-0 record. This trade is merely insurance in case Andersen misses even more time, as Rittich is a backup goaltender at best. He also does not have to quarantine entering Canada, as he already plays for a Canadian team. Trading a third round pick is a big price for a guy who will hopefully be a third goalie in the playoffs, unless Toronto plans on moving away from Andersen, which would be weird to see. The Flames retained half of Rittich\’s salary, so Toronto only takes on $1.375 million. 

Rittich, 28, has a .904 save percentage with a 2.90 GAA and a -1.6 GSAA in 15 games for the Flames this year. In his NHL career, all in Calgary, Rittich has a .908 save percentage with a 2.83 GAA and a -12.4 GSAA. 

The 17-21-3 Flames are six points out of the playoffs, and sellers at this year\’s trade deadline. The team should be getting as many assets as they can for their pending free agents, and Rittich was one of them. A third round pick is good value for a backup goaltender. They get a bit more thanks to their ability to retain half of Rittich\’s salary. 

NHL Trade Review: Bruins acquire Reilly

 

       The Boston Bruins have acquired defenseman Mike Reilly from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2022 3rd round draft pick. 

This trade comes immediately after an embarrassing 8-1 loss to the Capitals, where Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk were absent. Jeremy Lauzon and Jack Ahcan made up the top pairing, which is pretty bad, considering Ahcan is an undrafted 23 year old playing in his second NHL game. This trade definitely bolsters their defensive core, both before and after McAvoy, Carlo and Grzelyck return. Reilly played second pairing minutes in Ottawa, where he excelled offensively alongside rookie Artem Zub. The interesting part here is that Boston decided to give up next year\’s third round pick, considering they still had the one from this year. Reilly has a $1.5 million cap hit, and will become a free agent after the 2020-21 season. 

Reilly, 27, has no goals but 19 assists in 40 games for the Senators this year. In his NHL career for Ottawa, the Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets, Reilly has scored eight goals with 64 assists for 72 points in 244 games. 

As the fire sale continues for another year, Reilly is the next Senator to leave. The value is good, and it is much better than the fifth round pick and Andrew Sturtz that the Senators traded 16 months ago to Montreal to acquire Reilly. Trading Reilly and potentially Erik Gudbranson opens up space for younger players, most notably Erik Brannstrom, to get more playing time. 

NHL Trade Review: Leafs bring in Columbus Captain Foligno

 

       The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired forward Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a three team deal with the San Jose Sharks. Toronto also brought in forward Stefan Noesen from San Jose, while trading a 2021 1st round pick and a 2022 4th to Columbus, and a 2021 4th round pick to the Sharks. The Blue Jackets retained 50% of Foligno\’s salary, while the Sharks retained 25%, or 50% after the half from the Blue Jackets. 

This is a confusing trade, but it is very similar to a trade made by Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen yesterday, as he sent David Savard to Tampa Bay through Detroit. While it could be argued that Savard should have netted a first round pick and a third round pick, Foligno should not have fetched up that much. He has great leadership qualities, as he captained the Blue Jackets, and is solid defensively, but still not worth over a first round pick. Foligno only scored more than 20 goals twice in his career, most recently in 2016-17. He is a physical player, but better suited for a third line role. The Maple Leafs will likely move him to the second line, so he could play with John Tavares and William Nylander, a hole that the Leafs have had for a long time. Toronto has little cap space, so by adding the Sharks into this trade, they only take on 25%, or $1.375 million of Foligno\’s $5.5 million cap hit. They also get Noesen in this trade. He is a former first round pick who has bounced around in the NHL, but has mostly been in the AHL this year. 

Foligno, 33, has scored seven goals with nine assists for 16 points in 42 games with 109 hits for the Blue Jackets this year. In his NHL career for Columbus and the Ottawa Senators Foligno has scored 203 goals with 279 assists for 482 points with 2030 hits in 950 games. 

Noesen, 28, has no points in five NHL games this year, and two goals with four assists for six points in 12 games for the AHL\’s San Jose Barracuda. In his NHL career for the Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks, Noesen has scored 31 goals with 24 assists for 55 points in 204 games. 

There are no more players left in the deal, but still plenty of value. Most of that goes to the Blue Jackets, who add their third first round pick of this year\’s draft, including their own and Tampa Bay. Foligno is one of the best players in franchise history, finishing third in games played, goals, assists and points. He fell just one game shy of 600 in a Blue Jackets uniform. Getting a first round pick for Foligno, a pending UFA, is robbery by Kekalainen. They do have to take back some of Foligno\’s salary, for $2.75 million. 

The Sharks are in the exact same boat as the Red Wings were yesterday. They have to take on a few hundreds of thousand dollars more than Detroit did, but they still receive a 4th round pick for what feels like pennies on the dollar. Noesen has played 4th line minutes for them, but he is not worth a fourth round pick, so they get a good deal. 

NHL Trade Review: Habs acquire Merrill

 

       The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenseman Jon Merrill from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 2021 5th round draft pick and forward Hayden Verbeek. The pick is from Ottawa, acquired by Montreal in January 2020 for Mike Reilly. 

The Canadiens get a really good defensive defenseman for cheap here. Merrill is arguably better than Patrik Nemeth, who the Red Wings got a 4th round pick for. Merrill had elite expected goal rates since being picked in the expansion draft four years ago, but that has fallen to 48.31% this year. His defensive numbers have been good, it is just his offensive stats that ruin his xGF%. The Canadiens have a bunch of defensemen, but they waived Victor Mete today, and Merrill will step in as a solid third pairing player. The price is not that high, as Verbeek is not a big prospect. Merrill is a pending UFA with a cap hit of just $925k. 

Merrill, 29, has five assists with 58 blocked shots in 38 games for Detroit this year. In his NHL career for the Red Wings, Vegas Golden Knights and New Jersey Devils, Merrill has scored 12 goals with 54 assists for 66 points and 494 blocked shots in 392 games. 

The Red Wings are obvious sellers, so the only surprising thing about this trade is who Merrill would be going to. The return is subpar. The 5th rounder will be an early one, as it is from the Senators. Verbeek is an undrafted forward who has spent time between the AHL and ECHL since 2018-19. At this point he is an NHL long shot. He played in Slovakia this year, with two goals in four games.

Verbeek, 23, has one goal with two assists for three points in seven games for the AHL\’s Laval Rocket this year. In his AHL career, Verbeek has scored five goals with five assists for 10 points in 61 games.