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May 17, 2015
New Jersey Devils
2nd Favourite Team
Tampa Bay Lightning
Posts per Day
Even if we assume that the value is fair, this trade fits neither the Devils' needs nor their timeline. I can see what you're going for, but ultimately the Devils' and Leafs' needs (i.e. defensive help) are too similar for this kind of trade to work.
As New Jersey attempts to complete their rebuild, they wouldn't trade their 23-year-old starter for a starter who turns 31 in October, and whose contract expires after next season. Blackwood is the Devils' present and future; even if Andersen is a clear upgrade (which, based on each goalie's numbers from the last two years, I'm unsure about), he does not fit the Devils' timeline. Regardless of how much value the Leafs send in return, the Devils are not likely to give up Blackwood without getting another goalie of the future.
Damon Severson was-- at 25 years old --the Devils' most-used defenseman in 2019-20. They may consider trading him in a package that includes Liljegren and a 1st, but only if they also receive some short-term help in the trade. Johnsson and Kapanen would provide that short-term help in theory, but in practice they would be redundant on New Jersey's roster. This season, middle-6 calibre wingers were just about the only thing that New Jersey had enough of. It's not that Severson is worth more than Liljegren, a 1st, Johnsson, and Kapanen-- in fact, you've probably overrated Severson in this trade. It's that Johnsson and Kapanen are of no use to the Devils.
As a side note, I don't think Severson is the defenseman that you want him to be; he probably won't satisfy Toronto's need for a rock-solid 1st pair RHD. Severson occasionally shows all the skills of a two-way dynamo, but he generally suffers from the same defects that have doomed Toronto's previous defensive projects: he's prone to disastrous lapses in judgement (both with and without the puck) and he often makes sub-optimal puck decisions when faced with pressure from opponents. Yes, Severson is more physical than Tyson Barrie or Jake Gardiner, and more dependable than Cody Ceci. But he's not the answer for Toronto, and he's not worth gutting the Leafs' middle 6. Similarly, Connor Carrick isn't exactly world-beater; I wouldn't be surprised if Liljegren is a better option as soon as next year.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>BurgerBoss</b></div><div>What should be changed? I don't know if Devils need Vatanen that much, but Killer is a decent 40-point winger and Stephens is a decent prospect.</div></div>
Unfortunately, the trade is both insufficient in value and incongruent with the Devils' needs.
First, on value: Even if Killorn is equal in value to Vatanen (which I'd disagree with), the Devils would give up the best, most NHL-ready prospect in this trade. Quenneville is a year older than Stephens, but he has been far more productive at the AHL level. Neither player is a top prospect, but Quenneville is a better bet to eventually play on an NHL bottom 6 (he will likely play on the Devils' fourth line in 2019-20). Ben Thomas has not shown NHL potential. The 3rd-round pick is not enough to bridge this gap, especially given that New Jersey also eats $2M of Cap in this trade; the Devils may have Cap space to spare, but that they'll still demand a premium to help other teams with their Cap problems.
Second, on need: To answer your question, the Devils do need Vatanen that much. He may be the best Defenseman on a team that lacks top Defensemen, and his ability to play either side of the ice has been invaluable. Meanwhile, New Jersey will have enough decent Forwards to fill out their middle-6 (especially with Hughes or Kappo on the way). If the team does need a middle-6 Forward, they could probably find one in Free Agency (one that may be cheaper than Killorn).
That being said, the Rangers trade is a cool concept. I don't know that the Rangers would give up a prospect in the deal (even if it means that they get less value from the Lightning), but the idea that Tampa could pay them to eat Callahan's contract is a good one.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>MelonVK</b></div><div>MacKinnon is exiting, but him being like the 2nd best center is spreading like the plague</div></div>
If loving MacKinnon is like spreading the plague, then y'all better get ready to vomit blood cause this Oriental Rat Flea is coming to spread the good news. Sure, he took a few years to become elite, but like disease-carrying Mongolian invaders, Nathan has <em>arrived</em>. Nathan Mackinnon may not have been the leading cause of death from 1347-1351, but he is leading the NHL in primary points-per-game from 2017-present. It's like that old children's rhyme says:
"Skates rings around defenders,
picks pockets, and intends to
pass it, shoot it,
Goalies fall down!"
I sure am glad that the planets aligned to unleash the scourge of Nathan Mackinnon unto the NHL, cause I go miasmic whenever I see that boy dangle. There must really be something in the air in Cole Harbour.
Maybe I'm just an overprotective Devils fan, but I wouldn't be a fan of that Schneider trade. It has less to do with the general concept of the trade, and more with me thinking that Zykov isn't worth anything; his perceived value is based entirely on one good AHL season, where his numbers were grotesquely inflated by a lucky shooting percentage and Power Play Goals. Numbers will always tell you that the Forwards who maintain their production are the ones whose production is built on 5v5 scoring and a shooting percentage of around 10%.
Last year, Zykov had 33 goals, 54 points, and 112 shots in 63 games. This comes out to a shooting percentage of 29.5%; among players who took at least 100 shots in a given season, that is by far the highest AHL shooting percentage of the last decade. If Zykov had shot at his previous career high of 13.9%, he would have scored roughly 16 goals and 37 points: a G/Gm of .25 and a P/Gm of .58. Not to mention that Zykov scored fewer than half his Goals at 5v5, and that he benefited from AHL star linemates.
Simply put, Zykov's 2017-18 season-- the reason that he's thought to be a future NHL scorer --was a total fluke.
If Zykov isn't worth anything, than the Devils would be giving up Zacha to make (at best) a lateral move in net, save $1.85M in Cap 9 (which they already have enough of), and gain a 2nd + 7th. Not to mention Schneider's full NTC and Darling's partial NTC.
The Nylander trade seems fine; maybe it's a little off somewhere, but the general idea seems realistic and fair.
Even during that 4-0-0 run, flaws were masked by Kinkaid's hot streak. The Devils' system asks Defensemen to pinch regularly, even when it's risky. Last year, the Defensemen were largely successful when they pinched, and Forwards were quick to cover for them when things went poorly. This season, these pinches have been less successful, and the Forward have been a step behind on the backcheck. This is why, even in those dominant first four games, the Devils gave up quality chances.
The team has also been ineffectual in their own zone from day 1. Don't get me wrong, they're disciplined and structured on Defense, which limits the amount of quality chances they concede. My gripe is that they can't regain the puck once their opponents have it in the O-Zone. Opposition cycles last for entire shifts, which (on top often yielding Goals Against) tires the Devils and inevitably leads to mistakes. I don't know if this is because the players have been coached to be conservative on Defense, or if they aren't getting proper instruction on winning puck battles. My hunch is that whatever the strategic reason, it's exacerbated by the team's lack of size. Boyle, Severson, and Santini are the only players who can and do push anyone around; that makes it hard to disposes attackers of the puck.
Goaltending has also contributed to the losses. In those first 4 games, the Devils allowed 4 Goals on 103 shots (for a save % of 96.12). Since then, they have allowed 51 Goals on 483 shots (for a save % of 89.44), with Kinkaid stopping of 336 of 372 shots (90.32%) and Schneider stopping 96 of 111 (86.49%).
Depth scoring has also been an issue. While the top line has cooled down since the beginning of the season, they've still done well (at least when Hischier was healthy); since game 4, that trio has combined for a respectable 12 Goals in 15 Games (even as Hischier mas missed 4 matches). Meanwhile, players who weren't named Hall, Palmieri, or Hischier scored 10 goals (2.5 Goals/Gm) in the first 4 games of the year, but only 26 Goals in the 15 games since then (1.7 Goals/Gm). In a league where 19 teams are scoring at least 3 Goals-per-game, the Devils can't win without more production from their Dmen and depth Forwards.
All that being said, I still think the team can turn it around (although probably not enough to make the Playoffs). The Defensive issues aren't likely to be fixed without better personnel, but Goaltending and depth scoring may improve. Even if Kinkaid and Schneider return to their mediocre 2017-18 numbers, the Devils will win more games. The Johansson - Zacha - Bratt line has played well, while Johansson and Wood (who are both currently snake-bitten by poor shooting % and low on-ice shooting %) need only for their bad luck to recede. If those two players catch some breaks and Nico returns to health, the Devils' offense should be competitive.
<strong>Arizona Trade</strong>: You're right that Chayka likes the idea of a steady top-pairing veteran to play with OEL (after all, that's why they traded for Hjalmarsson). Now that the team's blue line and net are healthy though, Defense is of less concern than Offense. Even if Arizona wants to add veterans, I don't see them swapping major Forwards for a Defenseman.
<strong>Toronto Trade</strong>: If you're right that Toronto needs to trade Nylander (or someone similar), they wouldn't be interested in a package of Grabner, Nash, and a couple picks in return. Nylander is a 1st line Forward (which his 5v5 numbers show) at 21 years old, and Leivo is a wildcard who could be fit for a middle 6/PP specialist role; together, the two of them are worth far more than a pair of rental middle 6 wingers, a 2nd, and a 4th. Plus, the only reason Leivo gets scratched in the first place is that Toronto has a logjam at Forward; why would they want a pair of rental Forwards?
<strong>Carolina Trade</strong>: You said it yourself: Nick Holden is bad. TVR is better, younger, and cheaper than him. The Hurricanes don't have any reason to make that trade
<strong>Vancouver Trade</strong>: There's a year-and-a-half left on Zuccarello's contract, and this season is already lost for the Canucks. Even if Vancouver wants to trade picks/prospects for veterans, I don't think they'd forfeit a lottery pick in this draft for the last year of Zuccarello's contract.