In what was one of the worst-kept trade secrets leading up to the trade deadline, Thomas Vanek is on his way to his third team this year.
There’s no mistake about it, Vanek is one of the truly elite goal scorers in the NHL: Since 2009, Vanek is 18th on the list of goal scorers, tied at 127 goals with Patrick Sharp. He’s been as consistent a scorer as there has been in the NHL for the better part of a decade as Vanek has posted nine straight 20-goal seasons. That total includes an injured season-shortened season where Vanek only played 38 games.
The need for goal scoring in the NHL is higher than ever; scoring has been going down in almost a linear fashion since 2008 (ignoring the spike in the lockout-shortened season) and that puts goal scoring at a premium. There’s almost none better than Vanek.
This is a move for Montreal to add scoring depth up front and the cost wasn’t as bad as it could have been; Vanek cost Moulson, a first round pick and a second round pick three months ago, now it’s just a second and a prospect. It could have been much, much, worse.
The guy who was traded out of Long Island (along with a couple high draft picks) for Thomas Vanek earlier this year was sure to be moved by a rebuilding Buffalo team. Sure enough:
Moulson is a player who took a long time to develop but eventually found his stride in New York: He’s scored 129 goals since 2009, just one fewer goal than Patrick Kane over that span. He adds a significant scoring punch to a team that has lacked exactly that for most of the time in this team’s history.
This is a great trade for a team that is making a playoff push.
Reto Berra (G)
Colorado’s back-up goalie in J-S Giguere is a free agent after this year and hasn’t played to well as it is. As such, the Avalanche got a little insurance in net:
Berra is simply a depth play here for the team to shore up some goaltending.
Legwand is a free agent after this year so this is a perfect move for the Wings to try and get to the playoffs.
The Capitals hopefully got a goaltender to stop the bleeding in net:
Halak could be used as a rental for Washington this year while they get goaltender Braden Holtby‘s confidence back.