Today, 5 teams decided to make deals that will hopefully benefit them. The deals include the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings as the first deal, then later the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators reached a big deal. The Washington Capitals signed a veteran center.
First, the Philadelphia Flyers cleared tons of salary by dumping Vincent “Vinny” Lecavalier and Luke Schenn. The Flyers will pay 50% of each players contracts. Vinny did say that he is thinking on hanging up the skates after this season, which would eliminate the rest of his contract. Now since, Vinny left Tampa, he has struggled to stay healthy and earn playing time, but this year the Flyers treated him like dirt by not playing him when he was healthy. The 35 year old only has played in 7 games and earned 1 assist. He has not played a game since November 12th, 2015. Vinny is willing to accept any role with the Kings, which Vinny is still a good two way player, so any line he would fit in. Finally, all he wants to do is play before he retires. Now, the Flyers separated the Schenn brothers. Luke can help the Kings by being a solid number 5 or 6 defenseman. Schenn is a unrestricted free agent after this year and is only 26 years old. Schenn has earned 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points in 29 games. Bottom line the Kings add depth for the road for the Stanley Cup.
In addition, the Flyers will receive a 3rd round pick in this years upcoming draft and center Jordan Weal. Weal is 23 years old and this is his first season in the NHL. He does not play much for the Kings and only has appeared in 10 games. He is still looking for his first NHL goal. Now, Weal has been a solid player in the AHL by scoring 58 goals and assisting 115 times in 219 games.
Next, the Ryan Johansen ERA has ended in Columbus. Johansen has been on the hot seat since John Tortorella became the head coach. Rumor has it that Johansen has attitude problems, but maybe he was playing bad because he did not want to be there or that he was in a bad slump. Don’t get me wrong, he has a job and should work hard no matter who his boss or coach is. Johansen has been lights out since entering the NHL. He has scored 79 goals with 114 assists for 193 points in 309 games. Also, the 23 year old is a restricted free agent after next season, which could be another reason to trade him. He is was scheduled to make $4 mil this year and the same for next year. Johansen helps the Predators by giving them a true number one center that can score and win faceoffs also. Johansen will join Colin Wilson and Filip Forsberg on the Predators’ top line.
Now, Seth Jones will be heading to Columbus, which they do need some help on the defensive side and by acquiring a potential number one defenseman they are set for the future. The Predators trading Jones away is hard to do, but when you have a deep area of depth in your organization it is worth pulling the trigger for a number one center. Jones has had a good career so far for a defenseman by tallying 15 goals, 48 assists for 63 points in 199 games. The 21 year old is a two way player that has the ability to shut down the opposition and to skate the puck up with excellent vision. He also has a nice shot and is not scared to shot the puck. Many hockey fans believe he will be an anchor on the blue line for the Blue Jackets for many years to come. Jones will pair with Ryan Murray on the second line, but could find himself on the first line next year.
Finally, the Washington Capitals decided to add depth to their 3rd or 4th line by signing former Flyers and Kings player Mike Richards. Richards will earn $1 mil for this season only. Richards has 179 goals and 482 points in 710 regular-season games with the Flyers and Kings. Now, Richards can help the Capitals by bringing a hard nose style of forechecking into the boards. He will also add some scoring to the lower lines. Richards was bought in due to Jay Beagle breaking his hand and undergoing surgery on the hand this past Saturday. Also he is expected to miss up to 6 to 8 weeks of the season.
Blue Jackets: A