Brooks Orpik Retires from NHL

Defenseman Brooks Orpik has played in the NHL for 15 years. He officially announced his retirement from the NHL on Tuesday and it came as a surprise.

Orpik is 38 years old and I thought he was going to come back for at least another season or two. Brooks Orpik was not washed up by any means and I am surprised that he decided to retire.

Orpik won two Stanley Cup titles and they were with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 and with the Washington Capitals in 2018.

He was a solid defenseman throughout his entire career and Brooks Orpik was a well respected defenseman across the league.

He was the 18th overall pick in the 2000 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. In his career, Orpik scored 18 goals and recorded 176 assists. His plus/minus was 79 and he played in 1,035 games in his NHL career.

He scored two goals and recorded seven assists in 53 games played last season with the Washington Capitals and his plus/minus was 9.

In seven postseason games, Brooks Orpik scored one goal and recorded one assist. His plus/minus was -1. In 53 career postseason games, he scored four goals and recorded 22 assists. His plus/minus was 12.

Orpik was an assistant captain with Washington last season and it will be interesting to see who the Capitals decide to give the other assistant captain title to this upcoming season.

John Carlson, T.J. Oshie, or Evgeny Kuznetsov are some of the possible candidates to potentially be the other assistant captain with Nicklas Backstrom next season now that Brooks Orpik has decided to retire from the NHL.

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J.T. Miller Traded to the Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks made improvements over the 2018-2019 season under second year Head Coach Travis Green. They have some young important players on the roster like Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser.

To add to a potential promising young core, Vancouver acquired winger J.T. Miller from the Tampa Bay Lightning for goalie Marek Mazanec, a 2019 third-round pick (occurred in Saturday afternoon’s draft in Vancouver), and a conditional first-round pick.

Miller is 26 years old. In 75 games last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, he scored 13 goals and recorded 34 assists. His plus/minus was 8.

In his career so far, J.T. Miller has scored 95 goals and recorded 142 assists.His plus/minus is 23.

He will have four years remaining on his contract and Miller’s cap hit will be $5.25 million per season. The Tampa Bay Lightning made this trade in order to make some more cap room.

Goaltender Marek Mazanec played in only 10 games last season in the AHL with the Utica Comets. His record was 3-5 with a .874 save percentage and a 2.99 GAA, along with one shutout.

He will most likely compete for the backup goaltending spot with Louis Dominuge.

Both teams will look to make more moves this offseason in either free agency which begins on July 1 or trades that could shake up the roster.

 

Anaheim Ducks Buy Out Corey Perry, What’s Next For Him?

On Wednesday, the Anaheim Ducks bought out of Corey Perry’s contract. He was one of the most iconic players in franchise history. Perry is 34 years old and he won a Stanley Cup title with Anaheim in 2007.

Corey Perry won the Hart Trophy in 2011. In 988 career games with the Ducks, he has scored 372 goals and recorded 404 assists. His plus/minus was 76.

Perry was a first-round pick by Anaheim in 2003. In 31 games played last season with the Anaheim Ducks, he scored six goals and recorded four assists. His plus/minus was -16.

In 118 career postseason games, Corey Perry scored 36 goals and recorded 53 assists. His plus/minus is even.

He had a meniscus and MCL injury that caused him to have surgery and miss the start of the 2018-2019 season.

What is going to happen now that he was bought out of his contract that had two years remaining on it?

Perry will most likely not retire and he will most likely sign with a contending team. The Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins, the New York Islanders, the Nashville Predators, the Winnipeg Jets, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Calgary Flames, or the Edmonton Oilers could very well be some of teams that could be in play to sign him.

Corey Perry is not the player he once was but when he is healthy, it is possible Perry could score 15 to 20 goals a season.

Kevin Hayes Signs Contract with Philadelphia Flyers

Kevin Hayes was traded from the Winnipeg Jets to the Philadelphia Flyers a couple of wees ago. Before the trade deadline this season, Hayes was moved from the New York Rangers to Winnipeg.

He will be happy that he doesn’t have to do any traveling from team-to-team any longer because Kevin Hayes has signed a seven-year deal worth $50 million to play for Philadelphia.

He is only 27 years old. In 71 games last season with Winnipeg and New York, Hayes scored 19 goals and recorded 36 assists. His plus/minus was -5. In Hayes’s career so far, he has scored 92 goals and recorded 137 assists in 381 games. His plus/minus is 28.

Kevin Hayes scored two goals and recorded one assist in six playoff games last season with the Winnipeg Jets. His plus/minus was 2.

This was the right move by the Flyers in signing him to a long term deal after trading for him. It will be interesting to see which line he plays on next season. Hayes also played for Alain Vigneault when he was with the New York Rangers.

It is also obvious that General Manager Chuck Fletcher is not done making moves for the Philadelphia Flyers.

 

Philadelphia Flyers Trade for Justin Braun

With the San Jose Sharks signing defenseman Erik Karlsson to an eight-year contract worth over $11.5 million per season on Monday, San Jose decided to trade defenseman Justin Braun to the Philadelphia Flyers for a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 third-round pick.

Braun is 32 years old and he has one-year remaining on his contract worth $3.8 million. Last season with the Sharks, Justin Braun played in 78 games and he scored two goals and recorded 14 assists. His plus/minus was -14.

This may not be a bad thing for him because he is a good defense and Braun had a down year last season.

This isn’t General Manager Chuck Fletcher’s first move this offseason. He also acquired defenseman Matt Niskanen from the Washington Capitals for defenseman Radko Gudas.

It is possible that defenseman Shayne Gostisberhere might be the next defenseman to be traded from the Philadelphia Flyers.

I think it would be a mistake for Philadelphia, but there has to be a reason why they are acquiring all of these defenseman in trades.

The San Jose Sharks will now have between six to ten picks in the 2019 NHL Draft.

New York Rangers Acquire Jacob Trouba

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba has mentioned in trade talks for over the past couple of seasons. Those talks could finally end now as he was traded to the New York Rangers for defenseman Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Trouba is set to be a restricted free agent on July 1st and it is most likely he will sign a long-term deal with the New York Rangers.

The New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils were two of the teams that were also interested in him. There were also some other suitors for Trouba.

In 82 games last season, he scored eight goals and recorded 42 assists with the Winnipeg Jets. His plus/minus was 8.

In six postseason games, Trouba recorded one assist. His plus/minus was -2.

In 408 career games, he has scored 42 goals and recorded 137 assists. His plus/minus is 37.

In 27 career postseason games, Jacob Trouba has scored two goals and recorded four assists. His plus/minus is 3.

He is only 25 years old and Trouba has many good years ahead of him. He is a very good puck distributor and his defense is average at best. Jacob Trouba was the ninth-overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

As for Neal Pionk, he played in 73 games last season with the New York Rangers. He scored six goals and recorded 20 assists. His plus/minus was -16.

Pionk has work to do on his defensive game. In 101 career games, he has scored seven goal and recorded 33 assists. His plus/minus was -17.

I think the New York Rangers got the better end of the deal for now. With that being said, Neal Pionk could still develop into a solid defenseman and it will also depend on what Winnipeg does with the 20th pick in the upcoming NHL Draft.

 

Carl Hagelin Re-Signs with the Washington Capitals for Four Years

Forward Carl Hagelin played with three different teams last season. He was with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Washington Capitals. Hagelin re-signed with Washington for four seasons and each season is worth $2.75 million.

He is one of the best skaters and penalty killers in the NHL. At 30 years old, Carl Hagelin isn’t known for his goal scoring, but Hagelin is definitely serviceable. In 58 games last season with all three teams, he only scored five goals and recorded 14 assists. His plus/minus was 7.

In seven postseason games with the Washington Capitals, he recorded one assist. His plus/minus was 7.

This was a great call by Washington to bring him back for the next four seasons. They were ousted in seven games in the first-round of the playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Capitals will be around for the next few years and they will look to win another Stanley Cup title. Carl Hagelin won two Stanley Cup titles with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. He was also in the Stanley Cup Finals with the New York Rangers in 2014, but they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.

Washington still has some other offseason moves to take care of in either free agency or in trades. The NHL Draft will be this Friday night in Vancouver.

 

Would the Flyers and Maple Leafs Swap Gostisbehere for Kadri Straight Up?

The Philadelphia Flyers and the Toronto Maple Leafs are both looking to shake up their respective rosters this offseason. Philadelphia already made a trade that sent defenseman Radko Gudas to the Washington Capitals for defenseman Matt Niskanen.

I am sure that General Manager Chuck Fletcher is not done wheeling and dealing for the Flyers. I am also sure that General Manager Kyle Dubas wants to make some trades to clear up cap space so they sign 22-year-old centerman Mitchell Marner to a contract extension that could potentially be over $10 million a season.

A trade that could make sense for the Flyers and the Maple Leafs is defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere for centerman Nazem Kadri straight up.

Toronto needs help on defense and Philadelphia needs some grit and goal scoring down the middle.

Both of their contracts are the same. They both are currently under a six-year $27 million contract. The cap hit for each season is $4.5 million.

Gostisbehere is 26 years old and his contract is up after the 2022-2023 season. In 78 games last season, he only scored nine goals and 28 assists. His plus/minus was -20.

Shayne Gostisbehere underachieved last season after he 13 goals and 52 assists, in 78 games the season before. His plus/minus in 2017-2018 was 10.

Nazem Kadri is 28 years old and he is an enforcer down the middle of the ice. When Kadri doesn’t get dirty and try to injure people, he is a very good hockey player with skill.

His contract will expire after the 2021-2022 season. In 73 games played last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Nazem Kadri scored 16 goals and recorded 28 assists. His plus/minus was -2.

He scored a goal and recorded an assist in two postseason games against the Boston Bruins, until Kadri was suspended for the remainder of the series because of another boarding penalty. He was also suspended the year before for a few games because of another dangerous his.

His plus/minus in those two games was 2.

I think this trade would benefit both teams because they wouldn’t have to worry about any salary cap issues.

There are some other teams will that will also try and pursue both Gostisbehere and Kadri in potential deals. It will be a hot market for the both of them.

Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Defenseman Olli Maatta to the Chicago Blackhawks

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta was scartched three times in four postseason games. Maatta was horrendous in Game 1 against the New York Islanders and he was one of the reasons why Pittsburgh got off to wrong foot in the playoffs and then eventually got swept.

Because of his lack of speed and ability to play defense at various moments, General Manager Jim Rutherford had enough and he traded him to the Chicago Blackhawks for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and forward Dominik Kahun.

Maatta is 24 years old and he was a first-round pick (22th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft. He has underachieved big time with his time here in Pittsburgh. In 60 games last season, Olli Maatta only scored one goal and recorded 13 assists. His plus/minus was 9.

In 362 career games, he has scored 25 goals and recorded 82 assists. His plus/minus is 61.

In 69 career postseason games, Maatta has scored two goals and recorded 19 assists. His plus/minus was 21.

Olli Maatta’s plus/minus in that playoff game against the New York Islanders on the road was -2.

He still has three years remaining on his contact and Maatta will be owed $4.083 million each season. The Pittsburgh Penguins are happy that they were able to get his contract off the books.

Dominik Kahun is 23 years old and he was a rookie last season with the Chicago Blackhawks. His position is a centerman, but Kahun is expected to be a winger with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In 82 games last season, he scored 13 goals and recorded 24 assists. His plus/minus was 10.

A lot of Chicago Blackhawks fans weren’t not happy with this trade and I don’t blame them. Dominik Kahun is a very good skater and he also has very good skill. Kahun’s potential is there and it is possible he could have a breakout year next season in Pittsburgh.

As for Olli Maatta, he gets a fresh start and maybe Maatta could exceed expectations for himself because he was supposed to be a stud as an offensive defenseman but Olli Maata never lived up to that reputation.

This is only the beginning for a potential busy offseason for General Manager Jim Rutherford in Pittsburgh and Stan Bowman in Chicago.

 

NHL Transactions

With the Stanley Cup Finals just concluding on Wednesday night between the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins, teams are already making moves for the 2019-2020 season.

The Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers made a trade with each other. Washington sent defenseman Matt Niskanen to Philadelphia for defenseman Radko Gudas.

Gudas is in the final year of his contract and the Capitals will take on $2.345 million of his $3.35 million contract. Radko Gudas played in 77 games last season and he only scored four goals and recorded 16 assists. His plus/minus was 6.

Niskanen is 32 years old and his numbers took a dive last season in 80 games played. He scored eight goals and recorded 17 assists. His plus/minus was -3.

Matt Niskanen has two more years remaining on his contract and he will be owed $5.75 million each season.

The Philadelpiha Flyers got the better end of the deal in this trade. Niskanen is a puck moving defenseman and Radko Gudas is a heavy hitter. A lot of people find it interesting that Gudas and Tom Wilson will be teammates next season. Wilson has a reputation of being a dirty hitter at various moments and so does Gudas.

The New York Islanders also re-signed forward Jordan Eberle to a five-year deal with an annual average of $5.5 million per season.

Eberle is 29 years old and it was a monster surprise he came back to New York. I thought he was going to team up with Taylor Hall next season with the New Jersey Devils because they were both teammates with the Edmonton Oilers a few years ago. In 78 games played last season, Eberle scored 18 goals and recorded 16 assists. His plus/minus was -6.

Mathew Barzal and the rest of the New York Islanders are excited he is back for another season. I am surprised that Jordan Eberle took a cheap contract and I guess that means that the New York Islanders front office has the potential to make some big moves this offseason. They finished in second place last season in the Metropolitan Division and they are not satisfied with that happening.

New York was swept away in the second-round of the postseason against the Carolina Hurricanes. Jordan Eberle had a good year last season, but he could be better in his second season with the New York Islanders. A lot of players also enjoyed playing for first year head coach Barry Trotz after he decided to leave the Washington Capitals.