When you get a lot of hockey executives and decision makers in the same building at the same time, a lot can happen. And a lot of moving and shaking occurred tonight at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh. Aside from teams selecting players in tonight’s first round, a lot of players currently on teams will be placing phone calls to moving companies over the weekend as several players changed teams. Here’s the rundown of notable trades went down Friday in Pittsburgh.
Reunited And It Feels So Good
Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero caused the biggest news of the night when he traded center Jordan Staal to Carolina for the No. 8 overall pick, center Brandon Sutter and defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who Carolina took 51st overall at the 2009 draft. Dumoulin will be a rookie in the league this fall after winning the NCAA Frozen Four title with Boston College. Word on the street is that Shero offered Staal a massive 10-year, $60 million contract only to be shot down by Staal. This allegedly left Shero “livid” and opened up trade talks to other organizations. It is believed that Staal didn’t want to spend his entire career in Pittsburgh stuck behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. This will allow Staal to play alongside his brother Eric, creating a solid 1-2 punch for the Hurricanes. The ransom they paid however could be massive considering they gave up a top-10 pick (which Pittsburgh used to draft defenseman Derrick Pouliot). Sutter was an up and coming forward for Carolina, who has not missed a game in the last two seasons and averaged 17 goals over the last three years. Last off season he signed a three-year, $6.2 million extension.
Visnovsky Goes Coast to Coast
Needing the salary cap space to re-sign young defenseman Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa, Anaheim traded 35-year-old Lubomir Visnovsky in exchange for second-round pick in the 2013 draft. This is a good move for both teams, as the Islanders acquire a veteran defenseman entering the final year of his current front-loaded deal with a $5.6 million cap hit. His salary for 2012-13 is just $3 million as the Slovak is returning off a down and injury-plagued year — scoring just 27 points in 68 games — a far cry from his outstanding 2010-11 season, where he posted a career-high 68 points. Look for the Islanders to possess a powerful defensive combination featuring Visnovsky and Mark Streit to score a lot and to open up more space for John Tavares.
Flyers Ship Bobrovsky to Blue Jackets
The first trade of the day came earlier in the afternoon when Philadelphia traded goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to Columbus in exchange for draft picks. According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, three picks are going to the Flyers including No. 45 this year. It looks like Steve Mason will have competition for the starting goalie position. Mason is on the books for one season at $2.9 million. Bobrovsky, 29, appeared in 29 games with the Flyers last season, recording a 14-10-2 record with a 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage. Like Mason, he has one year left on his contract that pays $1.75 million annually.
Ribeirio Heads to the District
With the Washington Capitals appearing to lose Alex Semin come July 1, the team was proactive and traded for Mike Ribeiro in exchange for Cody Eakin and the 54th pick at this year’s draft. Ribeiro returns to the East for the first time since 2006 when he played for Montreal. Ribeiro was the leading assist man for the Stars last season when he tallied 45 assists in en route to a 63-point season. The 32-year-old is in the final year of a deal that pays $5 million annually and has a modified no-trade clause (could specify a 10-team no-trade list according to Capgeek.)
Shero Wasn’t Done; Sends Michalek to Phoenix
Shero was a very gracious host with the NHL having the draft at the Consol Energy Center, he completed his second trade of the afternoon in an attempt to clear salary cap space and revamp their roster when he dealt Zbynek Michalek to Phoenix for prospect Harrison Ruopp, goalie Marc Cheverie and the 81st pick in this year’s draft. Shero is believed to clear the cap space when he dealt Michalek and Staal in an attempt to become a player in the Zach Parise sweepstakes come July 1. Michalek had an eight-team no-trade list, and it is a homecoming of sort for Michalek. He spent the first four years after the NHL lockout with the Coyotes. The Coyotes have not dealt Keith Yandle as of midnight, as he was a hot rumored name to be dealt during the draft weekend. Michalek, 29, is in the middle of a deal that pays $4 million annually and expires in 2015.