Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings Draft Analysis

The Detroit Red Wings turned the draft on its head with the sixth pick. Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman provided the first “Hold my Beer” moment of the draft by taking the high rising, high-upside, right-handed defender Mortiz Seider from the DEL. The “Yzerplan” was fully underway.

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The Picks

Moritz Seider, RHD, Alder Mannheim (DEL), Round 1, 6th overall

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The big right-handed blue liner has been rising on draft boards over the last three months. Seider was often ranked as the second or third best defender in the draft come June, usually in the top-15. Taking the German born and trained Seider at sixth overall may have been a bit of reach at the draft time but in a few years we may realize Wings general manager Steve Yzerman’s genius. He’s a mobile, 6’4″ right shot defender who excelled in latter half of the year playing against men in the DEL (top German league). Seider possesses the ability to defend with efficiency. He uses his long reach and stick to disrupt plays and isn’t afraid to close out and engage physically. Offensively, he showed promise at the junior level and on the international stage, including during his men’s World Championship with the German national team. Although this may seem like a reach at the time of the draft, even Moritz Seider looked surprised to hear his name so early, but could end up being looked back upon in a much more positive light. Grade C+

Antti Tuomisto, RHD, Ässät U20 (Jr A SM-Liiga), Round 2, 35th overall

Another big, right-handed rearguard for Detroit. Another pick that may have been slightly higher than anticipated but a good player nonetheless. An interesting fact about Antti Tuomisto is that he was set to be promoted to the Liiga but declined the promotion because he wanted to preserve his NCAA eligibility. This led to his stock not being as high as it could have been. He has a big shot from the blue line and makes a good first pass in transition. More of a passer to transport the puck than a puck carrier but he’s a strong skater at 6’5″, 198lbs. Defensively he is solid and creates separation with his large frame. He doesn’t seek out big hits, rather he engages physically with purpose. He does have a bit of an edge to his game, being suspended for crossing the line at the U18s with a knee-on-knee. With the likelihood that he fills his large frame out and his advanced hockey IQ, his defensive positioning is likely to improve over time. Grade B-

Robert Mastrosimone, LW, Chicago Steel (USHL), Round 2, 54th overall

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The first forward taken by the Red Wings was a smaller winger (5’10”, 170lbs) who was a goal scorer at the USHL. He is a decent skater but not could work on it. Robert Mastrosimone has a good first step but his top speed isn’t anything to ride home about. He has a good shot and excellent hands. He will need to learn when and when not to use his go-to move, the toe drag, to get around players. He uses the toe drag on shots as well which is an excellent skill to have as it changes the angle on the shot and deceives goalies with the shot. He will need to get stronger but the skill is there. Defensively, he’s inconsistent but shows a good ability to get his stick on passing lanes. He isn’t going to be a physical presence in the defensive zone but his stick work helps make up for it. Grade B+

Albert Johansson, LHD, Färjestad BK (SHL), Round 2, 60th Overall

A 6’0″ defender who skates well, see the ice and makes good crisp passes. Albert Johansson has a good first step, accelerates quickly and has good top-speed. He carries the puck well and has good hands as a blue liner. He has a good hard shot thats accurate from the point. Seems to get the puck through traffic more often than not. He isn’t afraid to shoot the puck and may need to hone in when to shoot it and when to pass it off. He’s very poised in his own end and does a decent job defending but could definitely work on his positioning when the opposition gains the zone and sustains pressure. He has very high hockey sense and the poise allows him to make good passes under pressure. He has a strong overall game but doesn’t “wow” anyone. Grade B

Albin Grewe, RW, Djurgårdens IF (SHL), Round 3, 66th Overall

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Graded by most as a late-first/early-second round pick, Detroit getting Albin Grewe (pronounces Gre-vah) in the third round is a steal. The Swedish winger plays like a bulldog. He is built like a truck at just 6’0″ tall, 195lbs. He is a combination of grit and skill. Grewe has the ability to turn the momentum of a game on its head. He can get a big hit on he defensive end, get the puck through the neutral zone before dangling a defender and putting the puck top shelf. He’s often been compared to Brad Marchand and Tyler Bertuzzi stylistically and if he falls anywhere on that spectrum this third round pick will be a steal. Grade A

The Lottery Tickets: Round 4 and Beyond

Ethan Phillips, C, Sioux Falls (USHL), Round 4, 97th Overall

Good two-way center who is quite undersized. At just 5’9″ and 146lbs, Phillips will be a project. He excels defensively and could be a good penalty kill player at the next level. He was a big factor in the Sioux Falls’ USHL title this past year. He will be attending Boston University in the fall.

Cooper Moore, LHD, Brunswick High School (USHS-Prep), Round 5, 128th Overall

High school players are hard to project because the level of competition is generally low. This is a home run swing late in the draft. In a game where his team was down 6-3 with three minutes left in the third period, he put the team on his back and scored three goals, as a defenceman, to tie the game. He almost scored again in overtime which would have been his SIXTH goal of the game. This was a late round flyer that could pay off big time later. Moore is going to play in the BCHL next year and then at the University of North Dakota in 2020-21.

Elmer Söderblom, RW/LW, Frölunda HC J20 (SuperElit), Round 6, 159th Overall

The massive winger is an excellent stick handler. Although intimidating at 6’7″ and 220lbs, there seems to be more skill than grit in his game. Plays on the perimeter for the most part but likes to take the puck to the net with his stick handling prowess. Taking a flyer on a forward of this size and skill set is the perfect 6th round pick.

Gustav Berglund, RHD, Frölunda HC J20 (SuperElit), Round 6, 177th Overall

A right-handed defender who progressed through the junior ranks in Sweden through the year. Good size and talent but had a rough start to the year. He was living on his own and had a hard time adjusting initially but once he was sorted out by his team and coaches in Sweden he began to excel.

Kirill Tyutyayev, RW/LW, Avto Yekaterinburg (MHL), Round 7, 190th Overall

Tyutyayev dominated the MHL, the Russian junior league, this year. He was his teams leading scoring in the regular season and playoffs. A long-term project, he possesses good puck skills, a decent offensive game and potential to get better with time. A good 7th round swing for the fences.

Carter Gylander, G, Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL), Round 7, 191st Overall

A goalie in the seventh round. He’s big, 6’5″, but needs to fill out his frame as he sits at 172lbs. Good numbers in a second tier Canadian junior league. He will return to Sherwood Park next season before he attends Colgate University in 2020-21.

Draft Summary

The Detroit Red Wings draft was a bit controversial. Taking Seider with players such as Trevor Zegras and Dylan Cozens still available. Seider is a good blue liner who could be a solid 2/3 defenceman who could be a strong defender and underrated offensive contributor. Based on public lists and rankings, it was a bit of a reach with the sixth overall pick.

The value that the Red Wings got in round two and three was good. Tuomisto, much like Seider, is a good player and excellent addition to the defensive pipeline for the Wings but may have been take slightly ahead of where he should have been. Mastrosimone and Johansson were high-upside picks who need to work on areas of their game but if they can harness the obvious skills they have and build on their weaknesses, they could be solid contributors with some time. Grewe may have been the steal of the draft. With many rankings and talent evaluators putting a late first round grade on him, getting the high-motor Swedish pinball could pay huge dividends within a few seasons.

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Overall, Steve Yzerman began the “Yzerplan” with a high-risk, high-reward 2019 NHL Entry Draft. He took the guys that he, along with his scouting team in Detroit, seems the best player available in Seider and then continued to stock pile defenders who play a good two-way game and highly competitive forwards who have never ending motors. Yzerman had a directive of the type of players that he felt the Detroit organization needed and he did an excellent job sticking to his guns and filling them when he say fit.

 

For more the draft, prospects and the NHL in general you can follow me here at @TheTonyFerrari

All statistics and information courtesy of Hockey Reference, the NHL, Elite Prospects and Prospect Stats.

Featured Image Photo Credit – Nikos Michals

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning: Awful Trades and A Slow Off-Season

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois has not impressed anyone yet. Since taking over a star-studded team built by former GM Steve Yzerman, BriseBois decided not to add at the trade deadline.

 

His team, regardless of that, had an historic season. Or should I say, Yzerman’s team did, because BriseBois only added Jan Rutta, who played 14 games in blue and white. He also called up Cameron Gaunce, who stepped in for two games.

Then, with forward Brayden Point waiting for a contract as a Restricted Free Agent, BriseBois tests everyone’s patience by first extending Rutta, and then trading a bright, young, and talented goaltending prospect in Connor Ingram for a bucket of pucks. I mean a seventh round pick, in a draft three years from now, ultimately has the same value as a bucket of pucks. But at least you can get the pucks immediately and not wait three years for them. You’re welcome Nashville.

 

Why Is The Ingram Trade Bad?

First off, Ingram is a prospect, and the best in the Lightning system for his position. That alone should be reason enough for him to warrant a hell of a lot more than a seventh round pick in 2021. But there’s a lot more than meets the eye, so a deeper dive should do the trick.

 

Who Is Connor Ingram?

Ingram is a 22 year old goalie, who was drafted in the third round (88th overall) in 2016, where he was ranked as a top-10 goalie (and the eighth off the board).

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After being drafted, he returned to the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League, where he had played for the previous two seasons. In 45 games, he posted a 2.44 goals against average (GAA) and a .927 save percentage (SV%). Then, in six postseason games, he was magnificent, with a 2.18 GAA and .946 SV%.

The following season, he began with the Lightning’s ECHL affiliate at the time, the Adirondack Thunder, where he quickly proved he was too good to be there. With a 1.30 GAA and .960 SV% in three games, he was called up to the Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. There, he stepped into a big role, starting 35 games and posting a 2.33 GAA and .914 SV%.

Ingram started this season once again with Syracuse. But then, out of the blue, his playing time was rolled back. Despite being in the AHL all-star game this past season for his stellar season with the Crunch, he was sent to the new ECHL affiliate, the Orlando Solar Bears, after 22 games.

In those said 22 games, Ingram had a solid 2.26 GAA and .922 SV%. He was beginning to show why he was worthy of being a third-round selection (about where top goalies tend to get selected). That’s when things fell apart. According to personal sources, there was a dispute between Ingram and Lightning management, though it is unclear what exactly the disputes were about at this time. He did not play well in the 13 regular season ECHL games that followed (2.81 GAA, .914 SV%), but did play up to expectations in the playoffs (10 games, 1.94 GAA, .935 SV%), before ultimately falling short and getting knocked out of the playoffs.

 

In Conclusion

His frustrations were clear in his struggles at a low-level of hockey, and he reportedly requested a trade when he initially was sent down to the ECHL.

Just like with the Jonathan Drouin situation however, Ingram went back to his true on-ice self in the playoffs, and the problems seemingly, were no longer problems anymore. But at least the Lightning were able to snag Mikhail Sergachev for Drouin. Granted, Drouin had a lot more value than Ingram does, but the Lightning could have easily gotten more. At least get a third round pick back for him, or even a B-level prospect. But instead, in essence, a bucket of pucks that will get delivered in 2021.

 

All stats via Elite Prospects

Featured Image Photo Credit: Nikos Michals

Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings: Wings Legend, Steve Yzerman, Returns For GM Position

In May of 2010, the Red Wings legend left the Detroit Red Wings for the first time in his professional career to take over as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He served as GM until September of 2018. Steve Yzerman stepped down and took an advisor position with the team. Now, he’s chosen to return to the Red Wings.

The Detroit Red Wings are a team in dire need of a little TLC. The Red Wings not that long ago seemed to be an inevitable postseason competitor has become somewhat of a season to season afterthought. The flame that once lit underneath GM Ken Holland has seemingly died off and the team is looking for life.

Yzerman’s Playing Career

But fear not Wings fans, that life may have arrived in the form of a beloved figure in Motor-City. Steve Yzerman, a man who played 1514 regular season games as a Red Wing and 196 playoff games, will return to Detroit as GM. Throughout his playing career as a member of the Red Wings, he was part of three Stanley Cup winning teams. Two of those three were back to backs (1997 and 1998). Yzerman won the Conn Smythe award for his work throughout the 1998 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

To boost his popularity in Detroit, he was not only their longest-serving captain, but he was the longest-serving in league history as he served 19 seasons as team captain.

On Jan 2, 2007, the Red Wings retired the number 19 in honour of the great playing career he had.

Retiring & Front Office Career

However, Yzerman’s life with hockey was far from over. Post-playing career, he went on to show that he has a phenomenal hockey mind. On July 3, 2006, he retired from playing.

A few months later, on Sept. 25, 2006, he was named a team VP and alternate governor to the Detroit Red Wings. In that position, he would see another Stanley Cup championship in 2008 followed by another trip to the final in 2009 where they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins (whom they beat just the year prior).

With a desire for more responsibility, Yzerman was offered a job as VP and GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning and on May 25, 2010, he was introduced as such. Through his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning, they would go to a Stanley Cup Final in 2015 (lost to the Chicago Blackhawks) and in the 2017-18 season, they placed first in the Atlantic Division. In the year 2015, he was rewarded for his work as a GM as he was named the 2014-15 GM of the year for getting the Bolts from missing the playoffs to the promise land of the Stanley Cup Final.

Yzerman’s office work is not limited to the NHL as he has spent a significant amount of time with operations of Team Canada. He was the GM of Canada for the 2007 IIHF World Championships, in which the team won. He was also named executive director for Canada’s Men’s Hockey Team for the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games, both tournaments saw Canada win Gold. In 2014, Yzerman was awarded the Order of Hockey in Canada. The award recognizes players, coaches and office staff for their contributions to the game of hockey.

Returning to Detroit

And now, after a little while away, it seems that Yzerman will be returning to where he played out his entire playing career. The Red Wings and their fans have gone through a tough few seasons and the excitement of this announcement has given the Wings base some life. There will be a rebuild, it will most likely take a year or two before the Red Wings see postseason action again. However, given the track record of Yzerman, he will give the Wings the tools they will need to get back to where this franchise once was. Postseason bound more times than not.

Stats and awards: NHL.com and Hockey-Reference.com

Featured Image Photo Credit – Nikos Michals

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning: Yzerman’s Draft Steals

Former Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman was instrumental in the build up of what has become a dominant force in the NHL.

The former GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning, as addressed in a prior article, made many great trades to acquire high end talent. But, it doesn’t just stop there. Through the years, Yzerman was able to make the right selections at NHL entry drafts, not just in the early rounds, but in late rounds as well. Here are a few of the steals that Yzerman had in his tenure as GM of the Lightning.

2011 Entry Draft

It all started in the 2011 NHL entry draft. The first round had concluded, and the first few selections of round number two were made. Finally, with the 58th overall selection, Tampa Bay was on the board. Picked prior to their second round selection was Tyler Wotherspoon at 57 and Lucas Lessio at 56. Still on the board at that time was Rasmus Bengtsson, Mario Lucia and Shane Prince.

But, there was a Russian hockey player who the Lightning went with at 58 instead. His name? Nikita Kucherov.

Nikita Kucherov

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He had only played one season prior to the draft in the KHL. He only played 8 games that season and registered just 2 assists. After the Lightning scooped him up, he played 18 games with CSKA Moscow in 2011-12. He racked up a total of 4 points.

The following season, the Russian right winger took his talents across the globe, playing for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He played 8 games for the Remparts before being traded to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Through the 35 total QMJHL games, Kucherov had 63 points (29 goals, 34 assists).

The following year, he joined the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL affiliate of the Lightning,  playing 17 games with 24 points, including 13 goals, and was finally called up to join the NHL squad in Tampa. He finished that season with 18 points through 52 games, as well as 1 goal in 2 playoff contests. The following 4 seasons, spanning from 2014-2018, Kucherov recorded 313 games played with 316 points (1.01 points per game), including 138 goals. This season, he is on a historic pace, recording 100 points for the second consecutive season, but this time, there’s still 20 games to play. He is projected to finish with 132 points if he remains at his current rate of 1.61 points per game (40 goals and 92 assists to be exact).

In addition, Kucherov’s career Corsi For % is 54.4 (relative CF is +3.8) and his career Fenwick For % is 53.9 (relative FF is +3.3). That goes to show just how much better the Lightning are with him on the ice. And to think he was a late second round pick…

Ondrej Palat

Also in the 2011 NHL entry draft, the Lightning found another gem. It was in the seventh round, 208th overall, directly following the selection of Garrett Haar and Derek Mathers. That selection became Ondrej Palat.

Prior to getting drafted, Palat played two seasons with the Drummondville Voltigeurs, recording 40 points through 59 games in his first year and 96 points through 61 games in his second year. Upon being drafted, he went straight to the Norfolk Admirals, the former AHL affiliate of the Lightning, playing in 61 games with 30 points, including 9 goals. The following year, he played 56 games with the new AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch and tallied 52 points. He was called up to play a total of 14 NHL games with 4 points, but ultimately remained in the minors, going on a tear in the Calder Cup playoffs. He had 26 points through 18 postseason contests, but ultimately falling short in the Finals.

He finally made the final cuts for the NHL roster in 2013-14 and never looked back. He has played a total of 407 NHL games, with 279 points. This season, through 44 games, he sits at 26 points. The Frýdek-Místek, Czech Republic native has a CF% of 52.3 in his career (relative CF is +1.2) and a FF% of 52.1 (relative FF is +0.9). In his career, he has more takeaways (234) than giveaways (230), which shows just how responsible he is with the puck on his stick.

Brayden Point

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In the 2014 NHL entry draft, the Lightning had one more thing up their sleeves–their 3rd round pick, 79th overall. Prior to their selection, the New York Islanders selected Russian netminder Ilya Sorokin of the KHL. The Lightning decided they would go with the young Canadian center of the Moose Jaw Warriors, Brayden Point.

In his draft year, he recorded 91 points through 72 games. However, it was his size that held him back, as he was 5’9, 160 pounds. He would go on to prove that you don’t have to be physically dominant to be a great hockey player. Point recorded 87 points through 60 games with Moose Jaw in the 2014-15 season. After his Western Hockey League season ended, he joined the Syracuse Crunch in their playoff push. He played the final 9 AHL games, recording 4 points, and played 2 postseason games for Syracuse, but didn’t register any points.

In 2015-16, he returned to the Moose Jaw Warriors, putting up 88 points through 48 games and having a stellar playoff run, where he appeared in 10 games with 16 points. In 2016-17, he made the NHL squad and never turned back. He has now played in 210 games in a Lightning jersey with 184 points. He has become a fantastic two-way center. This season he’s been paired with Kucherov, for the most part, helping him hit 78 points in just 60 games, as well as 35 goals.

Point could very well win the Selke trophy this season, and could go on to win more throughout his career. While he does have some tough competition from rival center, Patrice Bergeron, he can pull it off.

He has a career CF% of 52.0 (relative CF is +1.0) and a career FF% of 51.6 (relative FF is +0.9). Like Palat, Point is extremely responsible with the puck, as he has far more takeaways (105) than giveaways (60) in his career.

Other Draft Steals 

Some other draft steals that I didn’t mention include Tyler Johnson (Undrafted free agent following 2011 NHL entry draft), Andrei Vasilevskiy (19th overall in 2012, was selected after Teuvo Teravainen, Radek Faksa, and Slater Koekkoek, to name a few), and Yanni Gourde (undrafted free agent, following the 2014 NHL entry draft).

Time For BriseBois To Shine

Steve Yzerman and his scouts have done a magnificent job in building a stellar organization. Hopefully, BriseBois will have the same success.

All stats via hockey-reference and hockeydb

Featured Image Photo Credit – Nikos Michals

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning: Looking Back At Previous Deadline Trades

In light of the trade deadline approaching us here in the 2018-19 NHL season, I decided to look at some of the deals that the Tampa Bay Lightning have made at previous trade deadlines.

Kyle Quincey To Detroit

To start off, we’re going to look at the Kyle Quincey trade to the Detroit Red Wings.

Sorry Detroit fans, this may be a tough pill to swallow, but the Colorado Avalanche were a part of the trade that sent defenseman Kyle Quincey to the Red Wings, which the Red Wings in turn sent Steve Downie to Colorado and their 2012 1st round pick to Tampa Bay, which turned out to be Andrei Vasilevskiy.

At the time, Kyle Quincey was 26 years old, with 5 goals and 18 assists for 23 points in 54 games played, and upon joining Detroit, wrapped up the final 18 games with 2 goals and 1 assist for a measly 3 points. Over the next four years with Detroit, he played in 238 games, registering 45 points, and a +/- of +13, which isn’t terrible. However, he wound up leaving Detroit at the end of the 2015-16 NHL season, where he joined the Columbus Blue Jackets, then got traded to the New Jersey Devils, and is now currently with the Minnesota Wild, where he has played just 18 games. Safe to say Quincey wasn’t what Detroit was expecting him to be.

Vasilevskiy

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Meanwhile, Andrei Vasilevskiy has gone onto be the Lightning’s all-time shutout leader, and was a Vezina finalist last season. He’s also expected to be one again this year. It only took two seasons for the Russian goalie to crack the NHL squad. As Ben Bishop’s backup, he posted a save percentage (SV%) of 0.918 and a goals against average (GAA) of 2.36 in his first season.

The following year, in the 2015-16 season, “Vasy” as he has been called, played 24 games, winning 11 with a 0.910 SV% and a 2.76 GAA. In 2016-17, Ben Bishop was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, and Vasilevskiy split time with Peter Budaj, who was part of the Bishop deal. This trade allowed “Vasy” to play in 50 games, starting 47, registering 23 wins. In those 50 games, he had a 0.917 SV% and a 2.61 GAA. The following two years as the uncontested starter of the Lightning, he has recorded 69 wins in 100 starts. He had a 0.920 SV% last season and currently stands at a 0.928 SV% this year. His GAA last season was 2.62 and so far this year he has a 2.32 GAA. In addition, he has recorded 18 shutouts since his 2014-15 rookie season, which is the most in franchise history for a single goaltender.

Trading For Goaltender Ben Bishop

In April of 2013, the Tampa Bay Lightning traded for then Ottawa Senators net-minder Ben Bishop in exchange for Cory Conacher and a 4th round pick in 2013. The fourth round pick wound up being Tobias Lindberg.

Conacher & Lindberg

At the time, Conacher was a 23-year-old forward, who had registered 24 points through 35 games with the Lightning in his rookie season. After arriving in Ottawa, he finished his rookie campaign with 29 points in 47 games, registering just 5 points in the 12 games he played with Ottawa. The following season, Conacher was traded to the Buffalo Sabres after posting 20 points through 60 games with Ottawa. He has since gone to the Islanders before finding his way back to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. Currently, he’s playing for Tampa’s AHL squad, the Syracuse Crunch.

As for Tobias Lindberg, he hasn’t played a single game with Ottawa, and only 6 total NHL games. At the moment, he’s playing for Ottawa’s AHL affiliate, the Belleville Senators.

Bishop’s Time In Tampa

Meanwhile, Ben Bishop went on to play with the Lightning for the following 3.5 seasons. He finished the remainder of the 2013 season with 9 starts, 3 wins, a 0.917 SV% and a 2.99 GAA. Bishop played a total of 227 games, starting all but 5, with 131 wins, a 0.921 SV% and a 2.28 GAA. Oddly enough, Bishop has yet to have a better save percentage or goals against average with any other NHL franchise.

Trading Away Goaltender Ben Bishop

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In February of 2017, Ben Bishop was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Peter Budaj, Erik Cernak, and a 2017 7th round pick.

Before this trade was made, Bishop had racked up some hardware, collecting two Vezina trophies. He also led the Lightning to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2014-2015 and the Eastern Conference Finals in 2015-2016. The 2016-2017 season, however, wound up being Bishop’s worst as a member of the Lightning, as he registered 16 wins in 31 starts, a 0.911 SV% and a 2.55 GAA.

He split time in Los Angeles with Jonathan Quick, who had just returned from a major injury. Bishop recorded 6 starts with 2 wins as a King. Additionally, he posted a 0.900 SV% and a 2.49 GAA. Unfortunately for Bishop, the Kings, who were battling for a wild card spot at the time, missed the playoffs. Following the unsuccessful attempt to make it to the playoffs, he was traded to the Stars that off-season in exchange for a fourth round pick.

Acquiring Budaj

Meanwhile, the Lightning acquired veteran goalie Peter Budaj, who split time with Andrei Vasilevskiy. Budaj helped groom the Russian goaltender into the starter he has become today. Plus, Budaj wound up posting 4 starts, 3 wins, a 0.898 SV% and a 2.80 GAA. He went on to start only 7 games the following season before Louis Domingue came aboard. After Domingue joined the club, he then returned to the Kings organization this season. Currently, Budaj is playing for the Kings’ AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign.

Cernak & The 7th Rounder

The 7th rounder got flipped for Mark Streit, along with Valtteri Filppula and a 2017 fourth rounder. Streit was then flipped for the Penguins 2018 fourth round pick. That pick was then traded to the Vegas Golden Knights to ensure they would select Jason Garrison (who has only played 8 games with Vegas before leaving to go to the Edmonton Oilers).

Let’s move to Cernak. He was the Los Angeles Kings second round pick in 2015 (43rd overall). He was called up earlier this season on an emergency basis after a number of injuries to the Lightning blue-line, after having posted 2 goals, 5 assists in 9 AHL games. He has since become a mainstay on the NHL roster and a key contributor. He has a stat-line of 2 goals, 7 assists through 36 NHL games. In addition, Cernak has  recorded a 50.7 corsi for % (CF%). That isn’t bad for a rookie defenseman. Just for reference, Cernak has a 1.3% higher CF% than Thomas Chabot of the Ottawa Senators (48.8%).

Recap

So, through the years, I guess it’s safe to say that Steve Yzerman has pulled the trigger at the right time and delivered for Tampa. These trades have been vital to one of the most dominant teams ever in the NHLs salary cap era. So, I can speak for all Lightning fans in saying that we thank Steve Yzerman for some of the greatest trades ever, and looking forward to some more with Julien BriseBois.

All stats via hockey-reference and hockeydb

All trade information from nhltradetracker

Featured Image Photo Credit – Nikos Michals