Trades happen every off-season but we just saw two franchise shifting trades that had many scratching their heads. Most thought both trades were a little lopsided. Particularly, Edmonton trading Taylor Hall straight up for Adam Larsson. It’s not easy to be an NHL General Manager these days, especially with the expansion of Las Vegas coming. Were yesterday’s moves a sign teams are starting to prepare for June 2017? After yesterday’s transactions, expansion projection lists really need to be blown up.
My first reaction when I heard about the PK Subban trade was WTF. I’m not down on Weber, but just think the younger Subban has much more upside. Anyways, after the initial shock my second reaction was Las Vegas related. Weber’s now off the board for Las Vegas. Myself and many others projected Nashville to expose Weber. Now Weber is a Canadien and safe from being selected by Las Vegas.
Looking at it even deeper, the expansion pool just got a little weaker. Weber’s off the board creating a small issue for Nashville. If the Preds utilize the 7/3/1 process, they’d be forced to expose a player like Ryan Ellis, who may have been passed over in the expansion draft. Ellis, a young, decent player, would be exposed to Las Vegas. Dropping the level of talent on one team’s unprotected list.
The same happened when the Oilers traded under rated forward Taylor Hall to New Jersey. The Devils sent back Adam Larsson to beef up the Oilers defense which created a logjam of defenseman to protect. Saddled by a few no-trade clauses, Edmonton may be forced to expose defenseman Mark Fayne. The former Providence Friar would be available to Las Vegas, but don’t get excited. The blueliner posts a career +/- of -20. Again, dropping the talent selection of next year’s expansion draft.
From all indications, franchises are trading away conflicts before the season starts. This way they can start analyzing what players to protect from Las Vegas. If they can move potential issues now, it may help with their overall plan next summer. However, some teams appear to be panicking. Somehow, Las Vegas expansion has caused NHL GM’s to make mental mistakes. Hopefully they make more of them next June.