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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Trading Places

With the draft complete and free agency right around the corner teams are starting to get active on the trading block. 2 major moves have already taken place: Toronto Maple Leafs traded Luke Schenn to the Flyers in exchange for James van Riemsdyk. The Pittsburgh Penguins also made a major splash at the draft when they sent Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the 8th overall pick in the draft which was used to select Derrick Pouliot.

Luke Schenn trade:

The Toronto Maple Leafs under the reign of Brian Burke once again failed to make the playoffs last season something GM Burke has said himself is not good enough. Next season could be Burke's last chance to get the Leafs to the postseason, so many were expecting him to make some major trades. He's already made 2 moves and free agency hasn't even begun yet: Trading Luke Schenn to the Flyers and sending the rights to Jonas Gustavsson to the Winnipeg Jets.

After the Leafs drafted Morgan Reilly with their pick in the first round, many speculated the pick made current Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn expendable. There has been speculation since the beginning of last season that Schenn's days in Toronto may have been numbered. He's a solid defenceman but was just unable to flourish with the buds. Burke managed to pull off a trade that will unite the Schenn brothers in Philadelphia and give the Leafs a exciting young player.

Van Riemsdyk brings a big physical aspect to the Leafs who were lacking in toughness in their top 6. At 6"3 203 pounds he will be a force to be reckoned with and isn't afraid to use his size when needs it. He's a big forward who can play centre when needed and most importantly can put the puck in the net, he just wasn't able to flourish with the Flyers. He is a former 2nd overall draft pick (2007) so he has the skill and potential that the Leafs are looking for. The only problem is the baggage he brings: He tends to be injury prone. He missed the majority of last season with a concussion, he suffered a rib cartilage injury, a hip injury and I believe he needs foot surgery to fully repair a broken bone in his foot. But he is big tough forward who isn't afraid to block shots, the exact player Brian Burke is after.

Jordan Staal trade:

The Jordan Staal trade was something that was going to happen sooner or later, the Penguins chose sooner. Less than 24 hours after Staal turned down a 10 year $60 million contract the Pens had worked out a deal that would send Jordan to play alongside his brother Eric in Carolina, something that was important for both brothers. Jordan had come out and said he wanted to play with his brother and he got his wish.

Due to the skill on the Penguins roster (Crosby and Malkin) Staal was doomed to spend his entire career as a 3rd line centre, but he is much better than a 3rd line centre and deserves a chance to be a number one or number 2 centre. He will likely fill the 2nd line centre role in Carolina behind his brother Eric who is the number one centre.

Jordan completed his 6th season in the NHL and with the Penguins and set career highs in assists (25) and points (50) despite only playing in 62 games. He has already won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins and will now have an opportunity to win a Cup alongside his brother.

One other trade:

One of the more interesting trades in regards that it came out of no where was the Dallas Stars trading Mike Ribeiro to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Cody Eakin and a draft pick. A odd trade, Ribeiro has been on the trading block for the last 2 seasons but no one has bitten, while Eakin is thought to be an unproven prospect. Only time will tell who got the better deal.

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