Buy Low: GMJR’s Guide to Trading

GMJR has pulled the trigger on the first Penguins trade of the season, acquiring center Riley Sheahan and a 2018 5th round draft pick from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Scott Wilson and a 2018 3rd round draft pick.

 

First let’s look at what Detroit gains in this transaction:
1) They turn a 5th round pick into a 3rd round pick. Pretty straightforward.
2) They gain $1,450,000 in salary cap space. This is important because Detroit has just agreed to a contract with Andreas Athanasiou worth a reported $1.387mil. and were unable to make the contract official due to the salary cap ceiling.
3) Scott Wilson, a 25 year old rugged winger with Stanley Cup experience (and a ring). He best fits in the bottom six, but his speed and fore-checking ability allow him to move up into the 2nd/3rd line scoring wing position if necessary. He is solid in the corners and was, at times, likened to a poor-man’s Chris Kunitz.

 

Now to how this affects the defending Stanley Cup Champions…

Sheahan has been a bit of an enigma for the Red Wings. He had 3 solid years:
2013-14  42GP  9G, 15A
2014-15  79GP  13G, 23A
2015-16  81GP  14G, 11A

And then a disastrous year:
2016-17  80GP  2G, 11A      (note: he didn’t score a goal until the last game of the season)

13 points for a Detroit team that missed the playoffs for the first time in 25 years. The team scored about 30 goals fewer and allowed about 20 goals more than the league average. Is a drop in stats for a bottom six forward really that surprising?

Take a look at Sheahan’s shooting percentage through the years:
2013-14 – 15.3
2014-15 – 10.6
2015-16 – 10.9
2016-17 – 1.8

The opportunities were there, but Sheahan just couldn’t bury the puck. And apparently neither could his teammates.

The Penguins have a knack for taking players in bad situations and making something good out of them (see: Justin Schultz, Phil Kessel, Antti Niemi). Sheahan will slide into the 3rd line center spot flanked by a combination of Carl Hagelin, Patric Hornqvist, Jake Guentzel, Conor Sheary, or Bryan Rust (depending on if the team decides to show up to play that night or if Crosby takes a 10-minute misconduct penalty 1:36 into the game after being called for a penalty 39 seconds prior which the opposing team scores a PPG, if that’s not too specific) which should ease the pressure and allow him to just play simple hockey.

The Penguins have had three 3C’s between 2006-07-2016-17 (Jordan Staal – 6 seasons, Brandon Sutter – 3 seasons, Nick Bonino- 2 seasons). Those three players averaged roughly 19G, 19A per season (minimum 60GP). Those numbers may be a little lofty for the newest Penguin, but if Sheahan can chip in 25 to 30 points I think it will be a success.

Sheahan’s presence also creates an internal competition for the 4th line spot between Greg McKegg and Carter Rowney. Both skaters have similar stats through the first 9 games and play similar styles. McKegg gets my initial vote having more offensive potential, but I imagine the two will platoon at 4C.

 

“Hey! What about the 5th round pick?” you may ask. The Penguins haven’t had much luck in the 5th round beyond a couple AHL players, Jake Muzzin (who went unsigned, re-entered the draft and went un-picked, and finally signed as a free agent by LA), and Chad Johnson (never played for Penguins). This pick most likely gets flipped down the road for another need.

 

So, who wins the trade?

Both teams get exactly what they need.

 

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Minor League Scouting

I think if I could live the life of a professional hockey scout, I’d be the happiest soul alive.  Is it so unreasonable that someone pay me to watch hockey games?  Here’s my best Bill Meltzer impression of Saturday night’s Phantoms/Baby Penguins game:

Oskar Lindblom definitely stands to benefit by spending some time playing in the AHL.  He and Vorobyev both look like they’re adjusting to the smaller rink size.

Mike Vecchione looks like he’s too good for the AHL.  It’s easy to compliment the filthy wrist shot that beat Jarry, but Vecchione exceeded all my expectations at both ends of the ice.

Morin had a really nice game, even jumping into a few offensive plays and showcasing some unexpected stickhandling ability.  His game continues to not be as physical as his size suggests.

Mark Friedman was scratched.  I’ve already tried to reach out to Scott Gordon to complain, but his office is no longer taking my calls.

For the Baby Pens, Daniel Sprong looked outstanding, particularly in the offensive zone.  He unloaded on net at every opportunity, beating Alex Lyon once.

Then I got home and found out the Flyers beat the Capitals 8-2.  Neat.

 

And on yond night a Legend wast b’rn!

Slaw & fries ON the sandwich, pop, Heinz kechup, dahntahn….Ryan Reaves?

Reaves endeared himself to Penguins fans in just his third regular season game with the team. It didn’t take long for the 4th-liner to get to know perennial pain-in-the-ass Scott Hartnell, who politeley declined his invitation to dance. Austin Watson answered the call early in the 2nd, and Reaves tried to punch the goofy smile from his face. See Exhibit A.

Ryan Reaves-1

Exhibit A. Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

Please take note of 1) Viktor Arvidsson’s face (bottom left), 2) Ryan Johansen’s face (center), and 3) Big Pete’s face (top right).

Reaves’ next shift was a heavy one, throwing his weight around and ending up in front of the net with teammate Kris Letang as Olli Maatta takes a blast from the point. Letang and Reaves both attempt to deflect it, one of them does, and the puck bounces past Saros. Letang doesn’t argue with Reaves about who actually touched it and the defending Champs are up 3-0.

A frustrated Nashville tried to get something out of the game in the 3rd period, but an inspired Penguins team kept them down. It took Crosby all of 43 seconds into the 3rd to find Maatta at the point to blast one past Saros. The fast-paced game quickly turned chippy, where Reaves comes in to play again. Cody McCleod began running around before taking an interference penalty against Reaves. The two got up and dropped the gloves for the 5th time in their careers. Reaves knocks him down, and the fans go crazy as number 75 tells the Preds to get the f*** outta here. McLeod gets 2, 5, and 10 and is down for the evening. This doesn’t put an end to the shenanigans for the night, and once Reaves is freed he is put on a line alongside The Captain. Aforementioned agitator-extraordinaire Hartnell (purposefully) high sticks Crosby along the boards and Reaves is the first to greet him. Reaves picks up 4 for roughing, and a 10 minute misconduct and heads to the shower early (Hartnell picks up a 2 and a 10.)

The clock ticks away and the Pens pick up their first W of the season.

 

Reaves gets the battle helmet and becomes a local favorite.

“Well, I do wear this to bed sometimes.”

 

Quick Hits

-Matt Murray has an active shut out streak of the Predators for 206:26 minutes.

-Ian Cole’s mouth is NSFW (and its not because of what he is saying).

-Ovie gets his groove back, scoring 4 more goals.

-James Neal scores his 2nd GWG for the VGK in as many nights, Flower gets his 2nd win of the season.

The Best of the NHL

After last night’s shutout at the hands of the LA Kings, a Flyers fan posted the following on an online message board under the pseudonym of bennysflyers16:

“Get G the **** away from Jake, I’ve seen enough. Put Jake on 3rd line and rot with Flip and get TK with G.”

41 minutes later, this was up on Voracek’s twitter.

It looks like some professional athletes, our friend Jake here included, are reading what the people have to say about them, and so, it stands to reason that he’ll read this, the world’s foremost Flyers/Penguins semi-regular when-the-authors-are-motivated, unsponsored, state-themed hockey blog.

Hey Jake.  Got some news for you: Fans are dumb.

To know enough to really critique a player’s performance, a person has to have near-professional experience with the sport and its nuances.  The internet is no place for nuance.

This all, of course, comes a day after Voracek had 3 assists in the game against San Jose.

 

The New Jersey Devils installed the largest in-arena scoreboard in the NHL, which weighs 88,000 pounds and takes up 9,500 square feet.  Reports out of Jersey say that the machine is causing the ice to melt.

That wasn’t a joke.  That actually happened.

Notes After 1 Day of NHL Action

Auston Matthews now has 7 points in 2 season-opening games.  *Disclaimer: Do not hold breath waiting to see what he does in next season’s inaugural game.  Doctors say that holding breath for that length can sometimes cause death.  PAPuckChronicles and all affiliates are not responsible for any voluntary suffocation.

Wayne Simmonds is on pace to score 246 goals this season.  

The Oilers have decided to rename the franchise The Edmonton McDavids.  Leon Draisaitl was the only member of McDavid’s supporting cast that could be found for comment.  Those comments were in German

Alex Pietrangelo is awesome (not news, but it needed to be said).

Twine Flu

Fantasy hockey…it’s a love/hate relationship. For as much as I love hockey, the nuisance of having to check your lineup daily for 20-some weeks is just wearisome. My favorite game mode of the EA NHL franchise has always been GM Mode with a fantasy draft; I absolutely love building NHL teams and managing the rosters. You would think fantasy hockey would be a perfect fit, right? But no, it just doesn’t get my pucks off.

So what did I do? I joined a fantasy hockey league (sorry, Chris).

Maybe blogging about it will keep my interest from waning.
League Overview
14 Teams
Head-to-Head
Roster: 16 players – C, C, LW, LW, RW, RW, D, D, D, Util, Util, G, G, BN, BN, BN, IR+, IR+
F/D Stat Categories: 9 – Goals (G), Assists (A), Plus/Minus (+/-), Penalty Minutes (PIM), Powerplay Points (PPP), Shorthanded Points (SHP), Game-Winning Goals (GWG), Shots on Goal (SOG), Hits (HIT)
G Stat Categories (min. 3 starts): 4 – Wins (W), Goals Against Average (GAA), Save Percentage (SV%), Shutouts (SHO)

I present to you, the 2017-18 5-Hole Hockey League Twine Flu:


D
raft Results
Round Pick Player Position
1. (11) Patrik Laine RW
2. (18) Leon Draisaitl C,RW
3. (39) P.K. Subban D
4. (46) David Pastrnak RW
5. (67) Andrei Vasilevskiy G
6. (74) Alex Pietrangelo D
7. (95) Ryan Suter D
8. (102) Jonathan Drouin C,LW,RW
9. (123) Scott Darling G
10. (130) Evander Kane LW
11. (151) Max Domi LW
12. (158) Jared Spurgeon D
13. (179) Alexander Wennberg C
14. (186) Bo Horvat C
15. (207) Matt Duchene C,RW
16. (214) Ivan Provorov D

 

Let’s take a closer look at those top 5 picks…

11th Overall – Patrick Laine
After bursting on to the NHL scene last season, Laine looks to avoid the dreaded ‘sophomore slump.’ Scoring 36 goals last year, he gives Twine Flu a legit scoring threat and with top powerplay unit time, should chip in significant powerplay points.

18th Overall – Leon Draisaitl
Draisaitl scored a big contract in the off-season and has high expectations in Edmonton as Connor McDavid’s starring cast. Draisaitl excelled as McDavid’s winger last season, the two will get significant powerplay time, and if the Edmonton coach spits the duo up, Draisaitl will be afforded the opportunity to play against lesser opponents. Win-win.

39th Overall – PK Subban
The Nashville defenseman has scored 10 goals 5 times in his 7 full NHL seasons. The Nashville d-corps is still a busy place, but PK alwas gets more than his fair share of TOI.

46th Overall – David Pastrnak
With Laine being mainly a goal scorer and Draisaitl being mainly a setup guy, ‘Pasta’ fits right in between the two bringing a balanced attack. Having 34G, 36A with 24 points on the PP last season, Pastrnak should be a stat category monster.

67th Overall – Andrei Vasilevskiy
With Ben Bishop gone, Vasilevskiy gets full control of the crease in Tampa. With a healthy team in front of him (looking at you, Stamkos) he should give his team every opportunity to rack up the W’s and lead TB to the top of the division.