Like usual, I was completely away from my phone when piles of news came through. But its rare when it all comes from the same league, and when the magnitude is this large. Yesterday was one of those days. Here’s a recap:
On Steven Stamkos re-signing with the Lightning…
The only thought/hope I had on Steven Stamkos leaving the Lightning was if he went to New York to sign with the Rangers. I always thought he’d return to Tampa Bay. The Lightning are so close to going all the way. A year ago, Chicago was simply the better team. This season, injuries killed them towards the end of the season.
The Lightning are so close to a championship, and I think Stamkos realized that if he left, it’d be like starting over again. All the teams that he was considering are no where near as close as Tampa is to contending. That was, I think, the key factor in him staying.
At the same time, I was surprised by the contract. Reports had the Red Wings and Rangers offering Stamkos $10 million per year, and report had as high as $12 million. Numbers like those would have made Stamkos the highest or third-highest paid player instead of the 9th. Its a tad confusing, because there’s no way Tampa Bay asked him to take a hometown discount. You don’t do that when you’re trying to re-sign the best free agent in years. Perhaps the length and total value of the contract made up for the lower-than-expected AAV.
As much as I would have liked the Rangers to sign Stamkos, his decision to re-sign with the Lightning was no surprise.
On the Edmonton-New Jersey trade…
I don’t think anyone associated with hockey can explain this one. Taylor Hall was one of the many exciting players they have in Edmonton, and now he’s been dumped on this crappy, no-good Devils team. This is an excellent trade for New Jersey.
Its mind-boggling that Edmonton was convinced to give up Hall for Adam Larsson, who’s a good defensemen, but has a long way to go and may not get to that potential. Hall is young and proven.
Peter Chiarelli’s comments were idiotic. “This is the price you have to pay for defense.” OK, how about paying a guy in free agency (Milan Lucic?), and having that be the price you pay?
I’m upset if I’m Taylor Hall. I feel really bad for him, and agree with his comments.
On the Montreal-Nashville trade…
This put the cherry on top for an already crazy day. No matter how lopsided or not this trade was, everyone’s mind was blown that this type of blockbuster went down. Wait, can blockbusters be 1-for-1 swaps? Anyways, there is so much to cover with this single trade.
Canadiens fans are pissed, and they have a right to be. P.K. Subban is one of the five best players in the league. Shea Weber has been plummeting down that list for awhile now. However, its not like Habs fans should be all that surprised. We’ve known since the trade deadline that a Subban trade was possible, and the draft only gave those rumors more momentum (Including a fake trade that got Twitter really confused, including me!). But Habs’ fans anger is in the return. Other teams would have had larger and more talented packages to give Montreal. Nashville gave them one of their best players, but Weber’s in decline and has one of the worst contracts in the league.
There is no way Subban has the same value as Weber. Thats why the one-for-one aspect of this trade was so shocking. It seemed insane that Montreal didn’t ask for more.
However, let me make a case for how this trade ends up being good for the Canadiens. Habs fans, hear me out. The Canadiens have made two major moves this offseason: Shea Weber and Andrew Shaw. Essentially, Montreal traded Subban for Shaw and Weber.
I think putting it that way sounds better, and maybe leaves Montreal fans a little more content with this trade. In my mind, Subban for Shaw and Weber sounds pretty good.
But to many fans and probably other NHL GMs, Subban would widely be considered untouchable. There’s another reason why the trade was so shocking. I think there’s no doubt there were issues between the team and Subban. I think the Canadiens had secretly been shopping him since the trade deadline. There’s no reason to just gauge that type of player’s value, like many teams do at deadlines and drafts with their players. Those issues, which had to exist, are so disappointing considering Subban’s popularity with the city. Thats yet another reasons why Habs fans are so upset.
As for Nashville, I mean, that was a sweet trade. I think the Predators should be very pleased with themselves. And honestly, I think they feel like they got away with murder, which may or may not be true. Subban’s an awesome addition, and the Predators are finally closing holes they’ve had for so long. There’s no doubt they will be a contender heading into next season.