NHL Trade Ideas brings together players and teams with past histories of success

Reunion tours are all the rage in popular music and here’s a confession: I love them. In my experience, they rarely disappoint. See Fleetwood Mac in 2019, with Mike Campbell and Neil Finn on board and Lindsey Buckingham absent? Sure, it’s not the same as the 1980 Tour, but it was still great. Just different.

I was thinking about the reunion in the context of the NHL trade deadline and how rarely do NHL teams bring together players with a prior history of success. Maybe they should try harder. In that vein, here are five possible business scenarios where players would benefit greatly from getting the band back together.


From the Blackhawks to the Rangers to playing alongside Artemi Panarin.

Artemi Panarin signed with Chicago as a free agent in May 2015, after 62 points in 54 games in the KHL with St. Petersburg, so he was just 25 years old in 2015-16 when he and Patrick Kane developed such great instant chemistry with the Blackhawks. Panaryn won the Calder Cup, edging out Conor McDavid, as he finished ninth in the overall scoring race. Meanwhile, Kane ran away with the title this season, scoring 106 points. Second-place finisher Jimmy Bean got an 89. Kane described his partnership with Panarine as “how hockey should be played” and said that despite the language barrier, they discovered it “on the fly” and eventually developed the most “instinctive” chemistry ever with any person in his career.

In the end, they accumulated 346 points in two seasons before Chicago traded the Panarians to Columbus. Panarin subsequently left to sign with the Rangers as a UFA and remain an elite level player. Kane’s production declined during the Blackhawks restructuring and there is a suspicion that he is not healthy either. But the Rangers have a clear need for RW2, and the possibility of winning another championship in the bright lights of the big city could reinvigorate Kane. Just in case anyone’s forgotten, Kane also has a career high 132 playoff points in 136 NHL playoff games. Understandably, Panarin would be happy to see his old barn mate.

From Blues to Avalanche.

The Avalanche drafted Ryan O’Reilly in 2009. O’Reilly had six productive years for the Avalanche but always seemed to be in contract disputes with them—and once signed an offer sheet with Calgary it was later matched by the Avs. That paved his way out of town to Buffalo who eventually traded him to St. Louis, where he was MVP of the 2019 Stanley Cup-winning Blues.

Colorado, meanwhile, won the Stanley Cup in 2022 and it was an important piece of the puzzle, other than Cal Makar, Nathan McKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, that Nazim Kadri served as their second line center. Sadly, Kadri was a casualty in this off-season, and in the first half, Avs was testing replacements for him as a 2C. So far, JT Compher seems to be the best fit. Meanwhile, O’Reilly is on injured reserve in St. Louis, though predictions are he’ll be healthy again before the trade deadline, meaning he could be built into the lineup by the time the Avs start the Stanley Cup. defense.

O’Reilly has a winning percentage. He’s 32 in early February and clearly not the same player he was during the Blues’ Stanley Cup run. Almost eight years will pass between the time the Avs took O’Reilly away and this year’s trade deadline—more than enough time for old wounds to heal. And while O’Reilly’s UFA prospective teammate Bo Horvat will provide a larger current Avalanche impact, Horvat will be much more expensive and probably more than Colorado can afford. A more cost-effective addition would be O’Reilly, whose wit and intelligence would exemplify a lineup that would eventually also see Gabe Landeskog and Val Nichushkin return from injury. Avs still need to finish in a playoff spot – they’re in the bubble right now – but assuming they sort that out, there’s probably no one better than O’Reilly to slide smoothly into that spot vacated by Kadri at a price Avs might be willing to pay.

From Flyers to the Blue Jackets to playing alongside Johnny Goudreau.

Kevin Hayes is the Flyers’ No. 1 center, with 37 points in his first 42 games – a decent production on a team destined for third place in the NHL standings. John Tortorella, in his first season as Flyers coach, didn’t always see eye to eye with Hayes and last month made him a healthy scratch, the kind of sending messages you see all the time from a hardened coach, trying to extract a more complete game from a player.

Hayes played four seasons at Boston College, and in the last three years, he and Johnny Gaudreau have been dynamic teammates. In their final year together, 2013-14, Hayes scored 65 points in 40 games; Gaudreau, 80 in 40 games. After that season, they went their separate ways; Hayes joined the Rangers (after being drafted by Chicago) and Gaudreau went to Calgary.

Last summer, Gaudreau left Calgary to sign with Columbus as a free agent. He’s under contract through 2028-29. On Columbus’s team that isn’t going anywhere, Gaudreau has played well, though there are a variety of different centers dotted around there – from veteran Boone Jenner to some youngsters coming through the system. In the end, perhaps one of them will settle as a center for Gaudro. Alternatively, they could trade for Hayes and reunite BC products, which would buy the Blue Jackets kids time to find their stride in the NHL. Columbus and Philadelphia have a history of doing deals and there is precedent for a reunion here in Jacob Furak, who started with jackets, went to Philly, and then came back this year in a Cam Atkinson trade. Hayes signed a seven-year, $50 million contract extension with the Flyers in June 2019. This is the fourth year of the deal. For the first three years, Hayes had no perfect stride. It has evolved into a modified non-trading status this year and for the remaining three years until the contract expires in 2025-26. If Columbus were to get all of Hayes’ contracts, they’d probably get him practically for free because Philly would love nothing better than offloading this deal. If Philly eats some contracts, you can probably compensate him for doing so. But still – Gaudreau and Hayes together again. This will make him happy and motivated. Why not?


Jack Campbell with the Kings in 2019 (Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today)

Commercial premises in Edmonton and Los Angeles.

Work with me on this. Jack Campbell, 31, was landed in the Kings organization in the 2016-17 season in a minor league trade. That year, Campbell played 52 games for the AHL affiliate Kings and managed to rebuild his game. Meanwhile, Cal Petersen signed with the Kings as a free agent in 2018. During 2018-19, Campbell played in 31 NHL games for the Kings and Petersen made his NHL debut, making 11 NHL starts, a respectable performance (. 924). SP, 2.61 GAA).

In fact, the Kings were developing a couple of candidates to replace Quick, as Quick aged. In the end, they decided Petersen had the biggest upside and, as a result, traded Campbell to Toronto, where he had a string of ups and downs with the Maple Leafs before landing in Edmonton last summer as an unrestricted free agent, five-year, $25 million contract. dollar.

Petersen signed a three-year extension with the Kings starting this season worth $15 million. AAV is identical. The term isn’t — Campbell has two more years on his contract. Both players have been overwhelmingly unlimited this year. Campbell lost his first job in Edmonton to Stuart Skinner. Petersen fell further – he’s back in the AHL trying to rediscover his form. Pheonix Copley, meanwhile, took advantage of the opportunity to take on regular NHL duty and basically worked his way up – for the time being – in the rookie role in Los Angeles.

This looks like the goalkeeper’s version of James Neal-for-Milan Lucic. Neither player has any real value as a trading chip; In fact, they both have a negative value because their contracts do not justify current levels of performance. It would be a provocative exchange and require a leap of faith on both sides — that a change of scenery, a fresh start, the sound of a new goalkeeper training, something — could get both players back to the levels they were at when they earned that five bucks. Million contracts per season in the first place. Possibly sticking to the status quo, and hoping for a solution to come internally, will get one or both of them back on track. Or maybe Campbell’s answer is to return to the team where he found his niche in the NHL in the first place.

Together again after a successful partnership in Florida.

In the 2020-21 season, Sam Bennett was asked by the Flames to trade him. In April of that year, they were finally able to oblige him. Calgary received a second-round draft pick, plus prospect Emil Heinemann in return. Bennett went to Florida and was an overnight sensation, playing five minutes and five minutes on the second line with Huberdeau. He had 15 points in 10 games for Florida after the trade and then contributed a career-high 28 goals last season, largely due to Huberdeau’s playmaking.

Last summer, the Panthers traded Huberdeau to Calgary for Matthew Tkachuk. Without Huberdew getting a puck, Bennett’s numbers slipped – nine goals in his first 42 games. Without Bennett accepting those passes (and not playing with the great Alexander Barkov on PP), Huberdeau’s numbers dropped dramatically as well. When Huberdeau signed an eight-year contract extension last year with Calgary, it wasn’t unreasonable to offer $10.5 million annually to a player who finished second in the NHL in scoring last year with 115 points. It feels pricey today, with Huberdeau running about half that year this year.

Now, even in this fantasy world, there is no scenario on earth in which Bennett would want to return to Calgary, or for that matter, Huberdeau would return to Florida. In order to reunite the couple, they would need a third party. Like Montreal. The Canadiens are said to be interested in Huberdeau as a potential UFA signing in July 2023 — or before he signs an extension with Calgary. There is no reason to think there will be no interest there again. Meanwhile, Montreal has Florida’s No. 1 in 2023, thanks to the Ben Chiarott deal. Theoretically, they could go out and take Bennett by sending that pick back and then adding Huberdeau if Calgary were to win back Josh Anderson or Brendan Gallagher’s contract. Understandably, injuries color their own values. But Calgary would then break out of the $84 million commitment to Huberdeau and add the type of heavy player (Anderson) or type of energy bunny (Gallagher) that coach Daryl Sutter would approve of. Meanwhile, Montreal gets an immediate second line back up for Nick Suzuki and Cole Cofield.

(Top photo by Artemy Panarin and Patrick Kane: Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

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