Pretty surprising trade. I've been impressed with Gauthier's recent play, though, so I'm not that surprised that Lemieux might've been the odd man out. The streak of very good NHL role players coming from the Carolina farm system continues in earnest. Kuokkanen, Nicolas Roy, Gauthier, Luostarinen, Forsling, Clark Bishop; it's a pretty huge list of successful full-time NHL graduates for different clubs. No wonder clubs like to wheel and deal with our FO.
I think the logic behind this trade is the upcoming expansion draft. NYR wanted to make sure they gain something for the guy, while making room for Kravtsov as well. LA acquired a somewhat interesting asset which they just might ship to Seattle as a sweetener to prevent them from taking Clague. This assuming they go 7-3-1. Or perhaps LA wanted to add a guy that could fill the ExReq rule...hard to say.
That's a good price for a competent 4LW. NYR might've been able to push for a little more given Lemieux's age and RFA expiry status, but the deal benefits both teams nonetheless. Fair trade, maybe tilt LAK.