This was not the preamble I originally had in mind, but it's not everyday that a) Patrick Sharp is traded; and b) GM Stan Bowman is taken to the cleaners. In case you missed it, here's a rundown of what happened: the Chicago Blackhawks traded Patrick Sharp and Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars, in exchange for defenseman Trevor Daley and winger Ryan Garbutt. The Dallas Stars are also retaining 50% of Garbutt's contract.
And that's it.
I know what some of you are thinking. That trade doesn't look great, but surely the Blackhawks just created some meaningful breathing room against the cap ceiling? Let's do the math. Sharp has a $5.9 million cap hit, Daley comes in at $3.3 million, Ryan Garbutt post-retention sits at $900,000, and all of them have two years remaining. Stephen Johns played in the AHL and is still on his entry-level contract, which is to say he personally was a non-issue to the Blackhawks' cap and so I won't count him. My Windows Calculator tells me that 3.3 + 0.9 = 4.2, and 5.9 - 4.2 = 1.7. Unless I forgot to carry a 1 somewhere, that means the Blackhawks gain cap relief totalling less than half the AAV of Bryan Bickell's contract.
We haven't even really looked at the players involved yet. Patrick Sharp is still a quality top-six forward, and his CF% at 5v5 Close was the best among all Chicago forwards during the regular season. He was somewhat goal challenged in 2014-15, but his regular season shooting percentage of 7.0% was also 4.4% lower than his career average. Packaged with Sharpie for reasons beyond my comprehension, Stephen Johns may not have been Chicago's top RHD prospect, but he was a solid defenseman who some saw as a Blackhawks' regular as soon as this coming season.
On the other hand, Ryan Garbutt is a very good third liner, except for the times he loses his head. The traditional offensive numbers Trevor Daley put up in 2014-15 are unsustainable, and his fancy stats were the worst thing since Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (okay, that may have been a bit too harsh).
The point is that for Dallas, this trade constitutes both addition by subtraction and addition by addition. For Chicago, it diminishes the on-ice product and advances their cap space cause by less than one Andrew Shaw. Stan Bowman described the transaction as "more of an old-fashioned hockey trade". Could somebody please tell me when the definition of a hockey trade became synonymous with pyrrhic victory? As our friends at Second City Hockey discuss, this is not the end of the Blackhawks' offseason moves. But unless those yet-to-occur transactions directly involve the pieces obtained in this one, this trade was, simply put, bad.
All of this makes me wonder what the market for Patrick Sharp actually looked like. We kept on hearing about how the price was high, much too high. And then the price ended up being Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt. Even more than the trade itself, that difference between supposed and actual value is the equivalent of Jack going from King of the World to Atlantic Ocean ice sculpture.
Speaking of never letting go...
If they had to include Johns to dump Sharp, what the heck do teams want to take on Bickell?— Second City Hockey (@2ndCityHockey) July 11, 2015
And now the news, weekend edition!
Colorado's development camp had a particular focus on speed and skating. I can only assume this means they'll be faster at blowing the zone and not coming back to help out Semyon Varlamov. (Denver Post)
Dallas' Jamie Oleksiak has reason to feel more secure now that Trevor Daley is gone and the Stars are down to seven D. Unless they go out and sign Johnny Oduya. (Dallas Morning News)
But really, the only takeaway you need regarding our Texan friends is this:
Quick recap: The week began with Tyler Seguin naked on a Zamboni and ends with Patrick Sharp traded to Dallas. Go figure— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) July 11, 2015
I am irrationally wary of prospects going back for their senior season, but when a kid is quoted as saying "I don't want to screw them over", I begin to believe him. Plus, Mario Lucia is from Minnesota and his dad is University of Minnesota Head Coach Don Lucia. So maybe he'll sign with the Wild after all. (TwinCities.com)
Growing up, I used to discount the importance of play-by-play announcers and colour commentators, thinking they were all the same. I was a very silly kid. (The Tennessean)
The quality of some undrafted invitees absolutely astounds me. Enter Ken Appleby, vanquisher of Connor McDavid, to the Blues development camp. If they sign him, it's found money. (NHL)
And All The Rest
Our frenemies at Pucks of a Feather keep telling me something called a Max Friberg might be on their NHL roster next season. (Pucks of a Feather)
The Arizona Coyotes signed John Scott yesterday. How do you think they feel about Auston Matthews? (Yahoo! Sports)
Unless Chicago goes and trades for Malkin, Boston GM Don Sweeney may or may not be the topic of tomorrow's FlightZone preamble, so I'm just going to say I really like this signing and leave it at that. (NESN)
Buffalo has a lot of intriguing young goalies not named Robin Lehner in the system. Also, did anyone else completely forget that Chad Johnson is slated to be the Sabres' backup next season? (WGR 550)
I thought the 2nd round of the 2015 NHL Draft had several instances of highway robbery. The Flames selecting Oliver Kylington 60th overall is one of them. (Calgary Herald)
Eddie Lack put a picture of Roberto Luongo's face on his mask. No, seriously. (CBS Sports)
Yesterday, I mentioned how I didn't necessarily agree with the idea of only signing Gustav Nyquist for a couple of seasons. And then the Detroit Red Wings signed him to a four year, $19 million dollar contract. Score one for the blogging hack. (Winging It In Motown)
If you have longer than a moment, Sheldon Souray's retirement letter is a good reminder of the humanity we so often forget professional athletes have. (The Players' Tribune)
Something tells me that even without Max Pacioretty, the Montreal Canadiens should be okay in the season opener against Toronto. It's the games against teams not named Toronto that I would be more worried about. (Sportsnet)
Say what you will about Joshua Ho-Sang, but I think the kid's got moxie. Between the Islanders and the Sabres, you've got two fascinating 'chip-on-our-shoulder' teams in the East. (NHL)
Speaking of NYI, the Edmonton Journal has a great look at that franchise's long, proud tradition of parting with top-five selections. "Because Islanders" makes for a surprisingly convincing argument. (Edmonton Journal)
San Jose Barracuda Head Coach Roy Sommer's quote of "Anyone can teach defense or play defense, but not a lot of guys are gifted offensively" should be a mandatory PowerPoint slide at scouting meetings. Also, Nikolai Goldobin needs to hurry up to the NHL so that I can see him on Joe Thornton's wing. (CSN Bay Area)
Attention Manitoba Moose fans: expect a ruleset in lockstep with the NHL. (ProHockeyTalk)
Not to put too much pressure on the kid, but Madison Bowey is going to be Mike Green's one-for-one replacement sooner rather than later, right? (Washington Post)
And finally, Jim Benning is a mysterious man. This wouldn't be so bad if his plan for success in Vancouver wasn't equally perplexing. (The Province)
Thanks for reading! Be sure to tell me in the Comments section whether or not you're choosing to ignore the reboot of ReBoot.