The transactions ranged from predictable to staggering. They shaped the coming season for three marquee Canadian franchises. And they happened at once — or, more precisely, within 23 minutes on an otherwise leisurely June afternoon.
Taylor Hall, the Edmonton Oilers’ top scorer in three of the past four seasons, was traded to the New Jersey Devils for Adam Larsson on June 29; the deal was announced at 3:34 p.m. ET. By 3:57, word emerged that Steven Stamkos had re-signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning on the eve of free agency, spurning, among other likely suitors, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In many off-seasons, these deals would have been momentous enough to dominate chatter for the rest of the summer. But something, of course, happened in between.
There are a few reasons why the Montreal Canadiens’ blockbuster swap with the Nashville Predators quickly upstaged the Hall-for-Larsson deal. P.K. Subban and Shea Weber were cornerstones of typically strong teams. Weber was a Canadian Olympic hero, Subban the Norris Trophy winner of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. And since they play the same position, it’s inevitable they’ll be compared for the duration of their careers.
In that spirit, here at the end of their first regular season with their new teams, let’s compare them.
A cheap nhl jerseys authentic few caveats should be noted from the outset. Claiming Weber had a superior season to Subban, as most metrics discussed below indicate, doesn’t mean Weber, who’s four years older and signed through 2025-26, has made Montreal the winner of the trade. And their bodies of work this season are not quite equal: Subban missed 16 games from Dec. 15 to Jan. 20 with an upper-body injury.
That said, Weber has the edge through 2016-17. Here’s why.
*All stats are from NHL.com unless otherwise noted.
LOS ANGELES — All those years being so close to the ultimate goal have built up inside Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh and crystallized as extra motivation.
McDonagh was rewarded for his revitalized individual performance through the first half of this season by being the Rangers’ lone representative in this NHL All-Star weekend, starting with Saturday’s skills competition and followed by Sunday’s 3-on-3 tournament at Staples Center.
But last season’s disappointing five-game first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Penguins did not sit well with McDonagh, not after three of the previous four years ended in the conference final or the Stanley Cup final.
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“Like any player, you want to play up to your full potential or what you think is your best ability,” McDonagh told The Post prior to leaving for the break.
The Rangers are 31-17-1, two points out of third in the terrific Metropolitan Division, behind the Capitals, Blue Jackets and Penguins, while solidly eight points clear of the ninth-place Maple Leafs.
“Had a long summer to think and work on a lot of stuff,” McDonagh said. “Pretty motivated here to not only play for myself, but play for this team and get something done here. We’ve been talking about it for a while. So that’s been a big motivation key for me, keeping my focus on my game and where it needs to be.”
During those deep runs into the postseason, the Rangers’ strength always was defense and goaltending. But last season, the defense started to crack, and it seemed like all those cheap nhl jerseys authentic hard, tight-checking games were catching up to them. Even McDonagh, who splendidly skated his way to Norris Trophy consideration en route to the 2014 Stanley Cup final, where the lost to the Kings in five games, had fallen off. It was the culmination of injuries to his shoulder and his foot and all of those short summers inadequate for proper rehabilitation and a training regimen to prepare for the grind of the NHL season.
But general manager Jeff Gorton also saw how the past was going to affect the future. So he retooled his team under the tight restraints of the salary cap and added youth, speed and skill up front. Yet it still was imperative McDonagh respond for the Blueshirts to be good again.
He did, and they are.
“Our group is real focused,” McDonagh said. “We’ve been consistent in our game. For me, that really helps. Certainly we’re a fast team, and myself, as a good skater, want to try to keep evolving the play. And the skill that we’ve added, seems like more opportunities have been there for me to contribute offensively and defensively. So just really trying to focus on making the right read on if there’s an opportunity or not and also make sure I set a good example for a lot of the new faces here.”
Now in his third year of the captaincy, the broad-shouldered 27-year-old out of St. Paul, Minn., is becoming more comfortable in the limelight. If the “culture” of an organization can be described by example, then McDonagh is the one at whom the Rangers front office wants everyone to look.
“He’s grown into this position,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “He’s his own man. He understands the culture that myself and [Gorton] want to bring to this team. He’s a great extension of when we’re not around of what to do and how to do it. We’re very fortunate to have a gentleman of his caliber be captain of this team.”
It also helps that in his seventh season in the league, McDonagh is on pace to surpass his career-best points total. He is second on the team with 26 assists and has added two goals while continuing to grow into his role as the quarterback of the power play.
“Certainly the power-play time really helps, confidence-wise, especially plays on the blue line and getting shots,” he said. “Probably wish I had a few more goals at this point, but the way our forwards have been able to create opportunities, I feel like I’ve focused a lot on distributing and getting them pucks in situations to finish. So far, it’s helped us win a lot of hockey games.”
This is McDonagh’s second All-Star appearance after his debut last season in Nashville, Tenn. But what a difference a year can make, and McDonagh is proud to represent his own revitalized game as well as that of his team.
“Very excited, very honored,” McDonagh said. “We have a lot of guys on this team that are having great seasons and worthy of All-Star consideration, so I’ll try to represent our team as best I can.”
It’s now been two years and a month since the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded Phil Kessel, Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon, and a second round pick who turned out to be Kasper Bjorkqvist. In return, they got Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington, Nick Spaling, a first round pick, and a third round pick.
The Leafs then traded most of these pieces. They were left with Kerby Rychel, Kasperi Kapanen, Raffi Torres, Frederik Andersen, a 2018 second round pick, and a 2016 third round pick who turned out to be J.D. Greenway.
Let’s see what pieces the Leafs got out of this trade.
Kerby Rychel is a great prospect who is a major player on the Toronto Marlies. He had the most points on the Marlies, with 52 points in 73 games. Admittedly, a lot of the star players on the Marlies such as Leipsic were injured, but this gave a chance for Rychel to prove his worth. Rychel is an expendable piece who can be packaged for a right handed defensemen.
Kasperi Kapanen is one of the top prospects of the Leafs right now, and had an amazing opportunity to prove his worth in the late season with the Leafs. He scored when the Leafs really need it, such as his first NHL goal in the playoff clincher versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. With five minutes left and the Leafs down 3-2, Kapanen scored which could have been the difference between making the playoffs or not. And even more, when Kapanen scored the double-ot winner against the Washington Capitals. Kapanen is an amazing prospect and could really turn out to be a core piece on the Leafs in the future.
Frederik Andersen was the answer to the Leafs’ goaltending problem. When the Leafs traded Reimer and Bernier, the Leafs needed a reliable netminder who was more consistent than Reimer or Bernier. The Leafs acquired him from the Anaheim Ducks for the 30th overall pick from Pittsburgh and a second round pick. Andersen was a great solution for the Leafs and was reliable when the Leafs needed him most. Not a star goalie, but he’s an above average goalie who will do the job.
So was it worth it?
These are the core pieces that the Leafs acquired. Other than that, Raffi Torres was acquired, who is not likened in the NHL. As a result, the Leafs got rid of him. J.D. Greenway was also acquired. He was added to the US Roster for the cheap jerseys authentic World Juniors Showcase recently. Greenway is an overlooked prospect.
But most importantly, by trading Kessel, the Toronto Maple Leafs dropped to the bottom of the standings, getting them Matthews. The trade isn’t worth it at all if you don’t consider Matthews, but once you do, it’s a great trade.
If you’re hankering for some hockey, want to support a good cause, and/or live near Geneva, Ill., then we got a good opportunity for you.
The 2017 Chicago Hockey Charity Classic, which will feature Blackhawks players Patrick Kane and Vinnie Hinostroza, is just a few days away on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Fox Valley Ice Arena, home of the USHL’s Chicago Steel.
The special event is being held to raise money for Special Olympics-Chicago, which helps provide training and competitions for athletes with disabilities. It should be a fun day, and a worthy cheap jerseys cause for your support.
Beyond Kane and Hinostroza, the rosters for the charity game will also include broadcaster Eddie Olczyk, former Blackhawks forward Brandon Pirri, Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe, Maple Leafs goaltender Garret Sparks, and Blackhawks prospect Anthony Louis.
The game will feature two 25-minute halves, and presumably not a lot of defense.
In addition to the game, there will also be a special hockey clinic in the morning for kids, a silent auction, raffles, and other cool prizes for those attending.
So if you’re looking to get your hockey fix this weekend, or simply want to give some money to people who could really use it, then check out the Chicago Hockey Charity Classic this weekend.
Tickets for the event are $25 each, and can be purchased here. Additionally, if you’d like to donate directly to Special Olympics-Chicago, you can do so here. They’re trying to raise $100,000, and at the time of writing this, they’ve already passed $61,000. Let’s help them reach their goal!