The NHL draft has come and gone and even though there were impactful trades and key additions for each team, it is nothing compared to what happened at the end of last week.
Think of July 1st (the first day of NHL free agency) as the first round of an all-out brawl between 30 teams. The Pittsburgh Penguins traded the biggest blow by acquiring Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs. For the Pens, it’s win and win now while Toronto is in rebuild mode by distributing a player that seemed to cause more drama than score on an unorganized disaster of a team.
Are you like most sports fans who intensely watch hockey during the Winter Olympics? Then you remember the USA’s darling shootout superstar T.J. Oshie. When he’s not playing for his country, he plays left wing for the St. Louis Blues, until July 2nd. The Capitals fired their heavy hook and landed the 28-year-old Oshie for Troy Brouwer. Didn’t quite understand this move for the Blues but for the Capitals, it’s a no brainer. They want to keep up with the Pens and the rest of the Eastern Conference and adding a 60 point scorer will do wonders for Ovechkin and company.
Now let’s look at your Dallas Stars. They resigned Patrick Eaves for a one year deal, but their biggest move so far is adding goaltender Antti Niemi. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with Kari and the rest of the Stars. If it’s like the quarterback position in the NFL and a team splits the starting quarterback playing time with two then they don’t really have one. Hopefully this isn’t the only move left for the Stars. Goalie was a point of concern, but their defense is a point of need. There isn’t much top d-men left in free agency so if the Stars want to land a strong defense man, it will have to come in a trade. Big ones like Mike Green and Paul Martin have already been dealt. Keep your eye on Johnny Oduya, of the Blackhawks, and Vincent Lecavalier, Flyers. Other than that, there isn’t much in the “blockbuster trade” but the Stars have a core of young defensemen that they can work with.
Other NHL deals and notes:
Brandon Saad traded for the Blackhawks to the Blue Jackets.
Brad Richards signed a one year deal with the Red Wings.
Former Stars Jonas Enroth, Shawn Horchoff and Anders Lindback signed by Kings, Ducks and Coyotes respectively.