Let’s take a spin through the latest around the league shall we?
- For Sens fans, most of the focus these days is on the draft. I’m sure you’ve all read Ary and Colin’s pieces on the available prospects for the Sens but if you’re looking for another perspective TSN ran their draft primer on Tuesday. Maybe most interestingly, Button has the Sens picking Marco Rossi with the 5th overall selection to fill a need at centre.
- If you’re looking to feel nostalgic, though, I strongly recommend this piece from Scott Wheeler at the Athletic where he looks back at Erik Karlsson’s ludicrous performance in the 2017 play-offs. For a couple of months there, he really was the best player in the world, and almost the sole reason the Sens even got out of the first round. I definitely went back and watched some of the highlights from 2017 after reading.
- The big news in player movement this week was the Minnesota Wild trading Eric Staal to the Buffalo Sabres for Marcus Johansson. Staal is at the end of his career now, but the Sabres could use the goal-scoring help he might be able to provide. Marcus Johansson is a useful player but he was also a year away from being a UFA and might have been leaving after this season. It’s a bit of a weird trade all around.
- Speaking of the Wild, they signed Jonas Brodin to a seven year, $42M contract extension on Tuesday. Brodin is one of the best defensive defensemen in the league, but that seems like a steep price to pay for a player who’s already 27. If nothing else, it will likely force the Wild to make some moves, and there are already rumblings that Matt Dumba could be on the move. Could the Sens be interested in the right-handed defenseman? He would be by far the team’s second best-blue liner if he was acquired, and Dorion has said before he’d like to draw in some reinforcements. He’s also due only $4.8M in real dollars next year despite having a $6M cap hit — something that could well be appealing to the Sens, and to the Wild.
- The Montreal Canadiends traded a fifth round pick for Joel Edmundson on the weekend, which seemed like a decent enough depth move for a team that’s awfully thin on the blueline. Then they went and gave him an absolute howler of a contract: 4 years at $3.5MM AAV. You would think the Habs, of all teams, with the Karl Alzner contract still on their books would know better than this but here we are. Arpon Basu is a bit gentler in his assessment than I am over at the Athletic, but he still comes to mostly the same conclusion: the Habs overpaid for a defenseman mostly because he was big. We’ll see if that works out for them!
- Peter Laviolette was hired by the Washington Capitals on Tuesday to replace Todd Reirden, who was not able to duplicate the magical run orchestrated by Barry Trotz. Greg Whyshynski has a detailed breakdown of the move over at ESPN. My take is that the Caps probably felt like they needed an established name to coax the most out of their veterans, but Laviolette feels like a wholly uninspiring choice. One thing is for sure with Laviolette: there will be yelling.
- In other coaching news, Jim Montgomery has found his way back behind an NHL bench; this time as an assistant coach for the St. Louis Blues. Montgomery, you may recall, was dimissed from his job as the head coach of the Dallas Stars for behaviour that was inconsistent with the “core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League.”