In Red Wings Land
I disagree a bit. Is it the best outcome? Of course not. But the best outcome wasn’t going to happen unless Ken Holland gave up draft picks to lose a bad contract. It sucks the Red Wings are losing a young player that they’ve taken some time to develop, but let’s be real here, Tomas Nosek is likely to become no more than a third or fourth line center. You could argue he's a poor man’s Riley Sheahan.
His departure offers the Wings no salary cap relief, deprives them of a prospect who has size and showed tenacity during an 11-game stretch in Detroit this past season, and leaves them with a potentially problematic situation to resolve in goal.
Helene is correct that the team gets no salary cap relief. Is that so bad though? The Wings need to focus on continuing to develop their top young players — Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha — and not bother spending big money during the upcoming free agency. Not allowing Holland to have the opportunity to sign another bad contract isn’t the worst thing in the world.
As far as the situation in goal... yeah that’s not ideal after all the reports on Petr Mrazek’s attitude. I’m sure the team will try to trade him again or he’ll just have to prove he’s still got it on the ice and try to play his way out of town.
Around the League
Taking advantage of his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build an NHL team from scratch, McPhee made some managers feel like they were “held hostage” because he not only held firm on his task to “harvest assets” if they wanted to protect certain players, he also paralyzed the entire league’s trade market leading up to the freeze before the protection lists were due.
Only one trade with expansion impact occurred: Tampa Bay trading Jonathan Drouin to Montreal for Mikhail Sergachev, who was exempt from the draft and allowed the Lightning to protect another forward.
According to sources, McPhee did it by not agreeing to side deals with teams unless they also pledged to not make deals with other teams. He lined most deals up early, essentially closing off the other escape or pressure-relief valves for those teams, restricting their ability to find help elsewhere - and then in turn the rest of the market.
The end result was an unprecedented collection of valuable future assets.
It’ll be interesting to see if George McPhee’s strategy pays off. He now has three first round picks in the top 15 (#6, #13 and #15). According to the article, no expansion teams has ever had more than one first rounder in their first draft. He has a ton of draft currency, but would it have been smarter to just take the best players like a Matt Dumba or Josh Manson? Time will tell on that.
You’re covered if you missed the NHL Awards last night. Some of the highlights included Mike Babcock losing the Jack Adams Award again, a 10-year old kid roasting the Canucks and a couple of emotional moments from Craig Anderson and Bryan Bickell.