Let’s look at each trade and grade them between 1 and 5 from both teams’ viewpoint, with 5 being perfect.
Vancouver’s Eddie Lack to Carolina for 2015 3rd-round and 2016 7th-round
Fan favorite Eddie Lack’s trade comes as no surprise. Vancouver GM Jim Benning announced the Canucks would trade goalies Eddie Lack or Jacob Markstrom at the draft. Markstrom is ready to be an NHL backup goalie, and with Ryan Miller owning the starting job, one goalie had to be moved. Markstrom is two years younger and two inches taller than Eddie Lack. Markstrom is a restricted free agent, so the Canucks must feel confident they can re-sign him. While the price seems low for Lack, it is important to consider that Lack only has one year left on a deal that sees him become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
San Jose send Antti Niemi’s rights to Dallas for 2015 7th-round
The Dallas stars are interested in a 1a,1b goaltending setup. Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen sharing a crease is a strong goaltending combo. The Dallas stars are also creating internal competition to perform, with both goalies aware that the net is theirs to win or lose. Either San Jose did not want Niemi, or the player did not want to re-sign. In any scenario San Jose benefits by gaining a prospect instead of losing Niemi a week later for nothing.
San Jose: 4/5
Anaheim sends Emerson Etem and 2015 2nd-round pick for New York Rangers’ Carl Hagelin, 2015 2nd-round, and 2015 6th-round
Carl Hagelin was a well-liked team player and fan favorite. However, this deal is financially motivated. Hagelin has had great years as a penalty-killer and depth forward for the New York Rangers. Hagelin is in a position to demand a lot of money, but the Rangers want to focus their resources toward Derek Stepan, Jesper Fast, and J.T. Miller. Additionally, at the end of next year Chris Kreider and Kevin hayes will be restricted free agents. Etem is a restricted free agent this year but he is not in a position to ask for a significant amount of money. Etem is fast, skilled and will slide into the Rangers lineup in a similar role as Hagelin had. The Rangers moved up significantly in the 2nd round going from 59th overall to 41st overall.
New York: 3/5
New York Rangers send Cam Talbot and 2015 7th-round to Edmonton for 2015 2nd-round 2015 3rd-round and 2015 7th-round
New York’s Cam Talbot was an incredible backup for two years with the New York Rangers. After the 2013-14 season, many questioned if Talbot’s 12-6-4 record with a .941 save percentage was a fluke. Talbot not only proved his skills, he went above and beyond for the Rangers. Talbot was called upon heavily following an injury to Henrik Lundqvist, and Talbot answered the call with a record of 21-9-9 and a .926 save percentage. While next season will be different, likely as a starting goaltender, Talbot appears to be ready for the task. Talbot is incredibly solid on fundamentals, thanks to the coaching of Benoit Allaire in New York.
New York: 4/5
Toronto acquires Martin Marincin from Edmonton for Brad Ross and 2015 4th-round
Toronto made a strong trade acquiring Marincin. Brad Ross is a struggling forward who will be playing in Germany next year, so the Leafs are not losing too much there. Additionally, the Leafs’ other smart moves regarding draft picks made a 4th-round pick available for trade. Marincin is a big strong defenseman with 85 games played in the NHL. He has limited experience, but will still contribute in the NHL very soon. Marincin is also the ideal player for a rebuilding team to pick up. Young and strong is exactly what the Maple Leafs need. The Oilers, however, had a surplus of left-handed defenseman, so they can afford to lose Marincin.
Anaheim sends James Wisniewski to Carolina for Anton Khudobin
James Wisniewski has two years left on a five and a half million dollar cap hit contract. The Ducks now have plenty of cap room to re-sign expiring players and leave space for top players who have one year remaining on their current contracts. Furthermore, the Ducks have a surplus of young defenseman who can fill Wisniewski’s spot. The Ducks also like the security in goal, having three NHL caliber goalies. The Hurricanes gain a much needed defenseman, and the made room for Eddie Lack with Khudobin departure.
Chicago sends Antti Raanta to New York Rangers for Ryan Haggerty
Both teams have made an excellent trade. The Rangers needed to fill the backup goaltending position Cam Talbot vacated. While the Blackhawks have another goalie in Scott Darling, and they gain a promising forward in Ryan Haggerty. Raanta had a 7-4-3 record and a .936 with the Blackhawks this season. These numbers are strong for a backup and Raanta can only grow more under Benoit Allaire’s coaching. Ryan Haggerty was in the top 30 for rookie scoring in the AHL with 15 goals and 33 points. Haggerty is fast, skilled and can only grow.
New York: 5/5
** contract information from www.generalfanager.com