It’s Dan Mount again and I’m here with another edition of the Three Periods blog. This week I take a look at the unexpected trade frenzy earlier in the week, the John Scott to the All-Star Game mess and the red-hot Florida Panthers.
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I must have missed the memo on the trade deadline being moved up from Feb. 20 to Jan. 7. A couple of days ago, the Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets made a rare straight-up swap as Nashville sent Seth Jones to Columbus for center Ryan Johansen.
The trade helps both teams fill needs that the other had. Johansen gets a chance to be a top-line center on a team that needed a pivot. Johansen was struggling to adjust to new coach John Tortorella, who demoted and even bench Johansen. The Blue Jackets get a number-one defenseman that they can build their blueline group around. Jones is a talented player, but wasn’t going to unseat Shea Weber and Roman Josi to become a top defenseman.
Both players are also very young as Johansen is 23-years-old and Jones is 21. We probably won’t know the winner of this deal for quite a long time, as both have the potential for long careers in the league. This could to be the rare trade, where both parties might win.
The Los Angeles Kings also added a little depth to their squad by acquiring VinnyLecavalier and Luke Schenn for Jordan Weal and a third-round pick. This deal allows the Kings to have some more scoring punch and Schenn is an extra defenseman. Weal has a lot of promise as the Flyers are in the midst of a rebuild.
The New York Rangers even got into the act as they sent Emerson Etem to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Nicklas Jensen and a sixth-round pick in 2017. Etem had just been returning from injury, while Jensen is a young prospect from Demark.
It’s nice to see some deals as of late because the salary cap somewhat paralyzes general managers, who are afraid to make a costly mistake that will cripple their team.
The final rosters for the All-Star Game have been released and the NHL fans have hijacked the voting once again. The last votes showed that Arizona Coyotes enforcer John Scott is one of the leading vote-getters and a captain for the Pacific Division. Scott is more known for his fighting than his scoring. In fact, Scott has been already waived a few times by the Coyotes and no one has claimed hi,.
The inclusion of Scott takes away from a more deserving teammate like an Oliver Ekman-Larsson or Max Domi that would be more enjoyable to watch. If I wanted to see a boxer fall down a lot, I’d watch the video of Mike Tyson on his hoverboard.
It’s been like this in other leagues as guys like Derek Jeter and Magic Johnson have been given honorary spots in their last go-around. It’s going to be like that for Kobe Bryant this year. I’ve got no problem with the fans voting, but I’d weight it so the fans, media, coaches and players all get an equal shake. This will prevent this type of silliness from happening.
I do want to leave the blog on a good note and talk about the Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers. The Cats have won 11 straight games as of Jan. 8, and are looking like a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
Old hands like JaromirJagr and Roberto Luongo have tapped into the fountain of youth with their recent play. Young guys like AleksanderBarkov and Aaron Ekblad are playing like future stars, and their role players have been fantastic. General manager Dale Tallon, who was rewarded with a contract extension, and head coach Gerrard Gallant have molded this team into a contender.
The fans in South Florida should come out in droves and support this team. There was some concern about whether the Panthers would stay, but a new deal will allow the team to stay for the foreseeable future. If you’re down in the Miami area, get out and see this team.
That’s it for this week. Take care, and I’ll have another edition of Three Periods for you again next week.
Dan Mount is a producer for Spadora on Sports. He’s also a writer for NHL on the Ice and is the Nashville Predators beat reporter for The Hockey Writers. He can be found on Twitter @DanMountSports.