The National Hockey League has seen more than 30 trades in July before and after the 2022 Draft and the beginning of free agency. Some were made related to a club’s constraints against the salary cap, while others were consummated to open up room to add other players to enable a team to go in a different direction.
With the exception of deals that involved just draft picks, here is a review of the trades made this month and who at first glance came out on top.
Minnesota Wild acquire G Filip Gustavsson from the Ottawa Senators for G Cam Talbot
Advantage – Sens
With the re-signing of Marc-Andre Fleury, the Wild needed Gustavsson as a low-cost backup and could not afford Talbot’s $3.66 million salary in the last year of his deal. The Sens needed Talbot to form a solid tandem between the pipes with Anton Forsberg.
Boston Bruins acquire F Pavel Zacha from the New Jersey Devils for F Erik Haula
Advantage – Draw
Zacha’s name has been in the rumor mill because the big 25-year-old winger is one year away from a payday in unrestricted free agency, and the Devils were not thought to be inclined to pay him. Boston will be short-handed on the wing with both David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand recovering from off-season surgery, and Haula was expendable with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci reportedly returning.
Arizona Coyotes acquire D Patrik Nemeth, a conditional 2024 3rd round pick, and a 2025 2nd round pick from the New York Rangers for D Ty Emberson
Advantage – Rangers
A dump deal in the purest sense. Nemeth lost his spot to Braden Schneider on the Rangers blueline going into the playoffs and was slated to make $2.5 million the next two seasons. GM Chris Drury paid the price of two draft picks to clear space, which New York needed to sign free agent Vincent Trocheck.
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Carolina Hurricanes acquire D Brent Burns and F Lane Pederson from the San Jose Sharks for F Steven Lorentz, G Eetu Mäkiniemi, and a 2023 3rd round pick
Advantage – Canes
Hurricanes GM Don Waddell used DeAngelo as a stop-gap to replace Dougie Hamilton last season but found a more permanent replacement in Burns, who San Jose needed to move out for cap reasons. The Sharks retained one-third of his salary and only got back a decent third-liner in Lorentz and a goaltending prospect.
Washington Capitals acquire F Connor Brown from the Ottawa Senators for a 2024 2nd round pick
Advantage – Caps
Capitals were the beneficiaries of Ottawa’s spending spree and their need to clear salary, sending a solid two-way winger in Brown in the final year of his contract.
Carolina Hurricanes acquires F Max Pacioretty and D Dylan Coghlan from the Vegas Golden Knights for Future Considerations
Advantage – Canes
The Golden Knights wildly out-of-control spending force them to give a six-time 30-goal scorer and a depth defenseman for nothing to get under the salary cap. Carolina says thank you very much.
Montreal Canadiens acquire D Michael Matheson and a 2023 4th round pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins for D Jeff Petry and F Ryan Poehling
Advantage – Pens
The Habs honor Petry’s request to be traded from last season, sending the 34-year-old to Pittsburgh. Petry had four excellent seasons in a row before slumping last year, and in spite of Matheson being six years younger, the Pens got the better player in this deal.
Pittsburgh Penguins send D John Marino to the New Jersey Devils for D Ty Smith and a 2023 3rd round pick
Advantage – Devils
Marino is a steady 25-year-old blueliner with five years left at $4.4 million AAV that Pittsburgh had to move to make room for the new contracts of Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. In return, the Pens hope to get Smith back on track, after a sophomore slump season.
Seattle Kraken acquire F Oliver Bjorkstrand from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 2023 3rd round pick and 2024 4th round pick
Advantage – Kraken
Columbus hit paydirt with the signing of Johnny Gaudreau and got Patrik Laine extended, but the surprising landing of “Johnny Hockey” meant having to clear nearly $6 million in salary. Seattle was on the lookout for offense this offseason, and Bjorkstrand (who scored a career-high 28 goals last season) was added for a bargain price.
Calgary Flames acquire F Jonathan Huberdeau, D MacKenzie Weegar, F Cole Schwindt, and a 2025 1st round pick from the Florida Panthers for F Matthew Tkachuk and a 2025 4th round pick
Advantage – Florida
The rule in most deals is that the winner of a trade is the club that gets the best player. In this deal, some people believe that Huberdeau (who finished in the top five for the Hart with 115 points) is at least equal to Tkachuk.
The real factor here is Tkachuk was not going to re-sign in Calgary after this season and after the trade, the Panthers signed the big winger to an eight-year, $76 million contract. Huberdeau and Weegar are both unrestricted free agents after next season and if the Flames cannot get them extended, this deal could go down as one of the most lopsided deals in league history.
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