It was a whirlwind day for the New Jersey Devils, Martin Brodeur, and Cory Schneider. Just as Dallas Stars fans were gearing up for the possibility of having Valeri Nichushkin gracefully fall into their laps at the #10 slot (when some had him ranked as high as fourth), the Vancouver Canucks swooped in to grab the #9 pick from the New Jersey Devils.
After years of speculation in Vancouver about the future of Roberto Luongo and Schneider, the Canucks dealt away the younger starting goaltender in favor of re-installing the oft-maligned veteran, Luongo. The rumor mills went from penciling in Luongo onto the lineup cards of the Philadelphia Flyers or Toronto Maple Leafs, to the reality of having Schneider split time with the legendary Martin Brodeur. [The Province]
Does the end of Vancouver's on-going goaltender controversy mean the start of one in New Jersey? Who exactly is their starting goaltender now? The aging, but untouchable, future hall of famer, or the up-and-coming new addition that is already much too old to be considered an up-and-comer? [Yahoo!]
The goaltending pipeline in New Jersey didn't stop growing with that trade, however. Corey Schneider was joined by another goaltender that may one day challenge him for playing time... one with a familiar name, and eerily familiar face. Anthony Brodeur, the son of Martin Brodeur, will begin his NHL career in the New Jersey Devils organization, just like dear old dad. [USA Today]
While it may be hyperbole to describe the wheeling and dealing at the draft as a "flurry of trades," there were still quite a few key transactions of interest for established NHLers. The Chicago Blackhawks, just as the last time they were defending champs, were one of the most active traders.
Chicago sent Dave Bolland, the man who just scored their Stanley Cup clinching goal, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for an impressive package of three draft selections. [TSN]
They then sent Michael Frolik to the Winnipeg Jets, in a deal that made me a little bit jealous. Chicago added two draft picks, while Winnipeg added a deceptively talented penalty killer in Frolik, who really came into his own for the Blackhawks, after starting his career in Florida. [NBC]
The reason for these trades, in lieu of keeping the band together? The NHL is a salary cap world nowadays, and they needed the space to extend Bryan Bickell. Bickell was rewarded with a four year deal, worth 16 million over the life of the contract. [Chicagoist]
Former division rivals, the San Jose Sharks, also got into the action, when they added Tyler Kennedy from the Pittsburgh Penguins for a second round selection. [Globe and Mail]
The New York Islanders ended their sometimes contentious relationship with Nino Niederreiter, when they shipped him to the Minnesota Wild for Cal Clutterbuck. Two very talented players in one of the best hockey-name for hockey-name swaps I can remember. Was Zarley Zalapski involved at any level? [ESPN]
Dallas's own Seth Jones saw his stock fall a bit from his originally predicted first overall slot, as he was passed over by the first three teams, in favor of Nathan MacKinnon, Sasha Barkov, and Jonathan Drouin. Sadly for Stars fans that held out hope that he'd end up on a harmless team as far as rivalries go, Jones ended up on the Nashville Predators. Don't let that spoil the historic nature of his accomplishment, however. [Post Crescent]
Of course the most important drop of the draft, as far as I'm concerned, belonged to Valeri Nichushkin, who ended up on our Dallas Stars at #10, despite being ranked fourth on the ISS Rankings. Valeri became the latest victim of the NHL's new anti-Russian bias, but does that bother him? "I don’t care, it’s even better for me that I wasn’t selected earlier, because I happened to get into Dallas." Now that is what I like to hear. [R-Sport]
Today's video is the heartwarming moment that is one of the rarest occasions in all of sports. Having your name called out on draft day, not only by the team your father made famous, but having that very same man get the honor of making the selection. Good stuff.
And to all our readers north of the border, Happy Canada Day!