The craziest week of the offseason is in full swing and we're barely one day in. In case you were under a rock all day and missed our post about it, the Wings took center Dylan Larkin with their first pick in the 2014 NHL draft. The youngster out of the US National Devleopment program is heading to play at Michigan while he grows into his role a bit more.
Here's what else made news on Day 1:
The Ryan Kesler Saga in Vancouver finally came to an end as new GM Jim Benning dropped his stamp on the future of his team by giving Anaheim a good 2nd-line center and their 2015 3rd-round pick in return for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, the 24th overall pick (used on Jared McCann), and Anaheim's 3rd-rounder. Later in the day, the Canucks traded Jason Garrison and other random junk to Tampa for the 50th overall pick. Finally, he capped off the day by flipping that Anaheim 3rd-round pick to New York in return for Derek Dorsett.
Reaction-wise, I'm really only concerned with how much better Anaheim got in the deal and am slightly concerned that Garrison will help out Tampa's blueline corps (overall, Garrison wasn't bad, but despite his 33 points to lead the Canucks defense, he didn't live up to his $4.6M cap hit). Kesler only wanted to go to Anaheim or Chicago, and the $69M cap made it harder for the Hawks to compete. He was never an option for the Wings.
More like James SQUEAL, PIGGY, SQUEAL [theme song from 'Deliverance' plays]
Pittsburgh and Nashville were nice enough to let the first round get off and running before announcing a swap that sent James Neal to the Predators in return for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. Neal's a proven goal-scorer and certainly the best player involved in this trade. Hornqvist is a big dummy who falls down easy and scores garbage goals while Spaling is kind of a random Hudleresque nobody that I'm sure yinzers will absolutely adore.
As is tradition, in looking at whether I wish the Wings would have made this deal, I can confidently look at both sides and make a fart noise with my mouth. I'm just happy James Neal is now Conference III's problem. Let him go kick some Avalanche players in the head or whatever. Fuck that guy.
Mike Ribeiro scored 47 points for the Yotes this season and was such a grating shitheel that the team used a regular buyout on him while Don Maloney pretty openly trashed his attitude to the press in explaining the decision of the league's financial punching bag team to pay a guy to go away.
Mike Ribeiro sucks. I hope nobody signs him.
Drafts of Note
I don't know if there really can be much to call surprising in a draft that fell apart pretty quickly after the first five picks or so. The top three picks fell how they should have and everything else just kind of happened. San Jose traded down to collect an extra pick, as did Tampa Bay (to the Hawks and Islanders respectively). The two kids who many claimed could fall out of the first round due to attitude problems, Anthony DeAngelo and Josh Ho-Sang, were taken by Tampa at 19th and by the Isles at 28th (a pick they traded up to get).
Kyle's mock draft kid Alex Tuch got Tuchen by the Wild at 18th.
If you're interested, the entire list of first round picks can be found here.
Rumors. Just... Rumors
As the day flew on, there wasn't much talk coming out of Ottawa in regards to Jason Spezza and it's not surprising he finished the night still a Senator. Kesler dominated the discussion and the Sens will have to fight to see what kind of value they can get out of a guy making $7M against the cap in the last year of his deal. The Salary Cap coming in at just $69M doesn't help much either. This is basically a trade deadline deal that Ottawa is trying to make just prior to free agency.
As for the Wings? The scuttlebutt of the day seemed to revolve around the team's interest in defensemen, specifically Buffalo's Tyler Myers and
Phoenix Arizona's Keith Yandle. Nobody credible seems to have leaked an asking price for either of those players, so it's very hard to tell whether or not the Wings made a mistake in not grabbing either player yet. Personally, I'd probably be surprised with even myself to find out how much I'd be cool with the team letting go in order to get Tyler Myers and see how much the kid can live up to his potential on a non-awful team. As for Yandle? It seems like he's being shopped every year. It's easier to say that the problem on that end is Don Maloney's insistence on getting the moon for him.
The Wings have six more picks to make in the draft before it's all over, provided nothing else changes. All the GMs will continue to hang out in the same smelly Philadelphia room all day, so there's plenty of opportunity for stuff to happen. If nothing does, we'll see the next Wings' draft pick at the #76 overall, since Detroit's 2nd rounder belongs to Nashville after the Legwand trade.
So assuming no moves, here are the picks the Wings still have:
- #201 (From San Jose - trade for Brad Stuart's rights in 2012)
We'll have a live thread up a before Round 2 starts and will update everybody with picks as they happen. Hopefully we'll get some bigger news as well.