The Nation Notebook: Wild acquire Hanzal, Kings confuse with Bishop trade, Eaves and Jurco move


The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don’t quite deserve their own article.

The trades have begun. After a inactive start to the season, actual moves have been made with real impact players. Patrick Eaves and Tomas Jurco were sent to Anaheim and Chicago last Friday night. Los Angeles acquired Ben Bishop? Martin Hanzal gets released from the shackles of the Arizona Coyotes and irrelevant hockey.

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The Minnesota Wild are loading up for the playoffs. Well, kind of. The Wild give up their 2017 first-round draft pick, a 2018 second-round pick, and a 2019 fourth-round pick with conditions that could evolve it into another potential second-round pick for Martin Hanzal, with fifty-percent of his salary retained by Arizona. The Wild also get Ryan White in the deal, who has 13 points in 46 games the season. Hanzal has to play in fifty percent of Minnesota’s playoff games, so the Wild have some protection in case Hanzal gets hurt, which happens quite often. Hanzal has only played over 65 games in a season once since the 2009-10 season. 

The Wild paid quite a bit for the massive center, but Hanzal gives them added depth down the middle and makes a loaded forward core even more scary come playoff time. The Wild can afford to this, too. They’ve hit on quite a few picks beyond the first-round, including Jordan Greenway and Kirill Kaprizov, and have made good on their first-round picks, too. The West looks weaker than ever, so now might be their best chance to make it out of their conference and the Wild still retain all of their top prospects. 

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For Arizona, they acquire some premium draft picks and continue on their rebuild. Keeping Hanzal made little sense and there’s always the possibility of re-signing him in the summer. The Coyotes get worse this season, and can play younger players in an attempt to catch the futile Colorado Avalanche for dead last.


The Los Angeles Kings make a move and it’s not adding scoring help. The Kings acquired Ben Bishop and a seventh-round draft pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Peter Budaj, prospect Eric Cernak, and fifth-round pick. 

This is a strange move. Budaj has performed admirably for the Kings in the absence of Jonathan Quick, while Bishop has struggled in his time for the Lightning this season. Jonathan Quick has already returned from injury, and Budaj should have been able to perform adequately backup for the remainder of the season. The Kings have five sets of back-to-back games left so this guarantees one of Quick or Bishop in the net and means the Kings don’t have to overplay Quick. Bishop didn’t cost a whole lot, Cernak was expendable in a shallow prospect pool and the draft pick is conditional, but it’s still an odd choice for the Kings. This does eliminate the possibility of Bishop landing in Calgary, the team L.A. is directly competing for during this home stretch for the playoffs, but the focus should be on acquiring scoring help up front.

Tampa Bay doesn’t get as much as you would think given how good he’s been for them previously, but they’re outside the playoff picture and Bishop is having his worst season statistically for the Lightning. He’s only played in 32 games, and last season saw James Reimer go for very little in the midst of a strong season.

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The Anaheim Ducks get one of the top goal scorers on the market in Patrick Eaves from the Dallas Stars for a conditional second pick that was originally acquired in the Frederik Andersen trade with Toronto. The pick turns into a first-rounder if Anaheim makes the conference finals and Eaves plays in fifty percent of the games. A first for Patrick Eaves might seem like a lot, but he has 21 goals to his name and a contract that is dirt cheap, which is huge for the cap-strapped Ducks.

Eaves has had some good fortune go his way this season, but he provides legitimate scoring depth at right-wing and on the power play. If the Ducks make the third round, giving up a pick in the 26-30 range is really not much, especially in a draft that’s being considered very weak.

Dallas sells high on a player that is having an incredible season. Eaves is healthy and producing, and the Stars are a long shot for the playoffs at this point, so accumulating assets is crucial as the Stars turn to sell.


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After requesting a trade from the Detroit Red Wings earlier in the season, Tomas Jurco finally gets his wish and is now a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks give up a 2017 third-round draft pick and decide to take a chance on a younger player instead of paying a premium for a rental like Patrick Eaves. 

Jurco has zero points in 16 games this season, but he’s played very little the last few years. Jurco enjoyed some mild success as he initially entered the league, putting up 0.42 points per game, but hasn’t translated beyond that. Jurco hasn’t had much opportunity in Detroit, so he should see more of a role in Chicago, who need cheap depth players to accent their core badly. 

Detroit is finally a seller after their long playoff streak looks to come to an end this season. The Red Wings are last in the Eastern Conference and face a potential rebuild period on the horizon. It’s weird to think of the Wings as sellers, but trades like this one are exactly what they should be doing. The Wings have a lot of money tied up to big contracts, and they should be sending out players on expiring contracts like Brendan Smith and Thomas Vanek before the March 1st deadline.

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  • BlueMoonNigel

    Great that the Flames were perfect on their Honey Boo Boo tour but of those four redneck clubs, how many are playoff bound? Reminder that the Flames began the roadie with a clunker against the Canucks.

    Kings just got a lot better. Bishop is world class. For cripe’s sake, with Quick and Benny between the pipes, LA has got Team America in net! When is the last time a club had two All-World goalies to pick from? And the Flames have a couple of career backups holding down the fort, both of whom are now at even money to sign elsewhere in the summer.

    Huge advantage in goal for the Kings. Either guy can and has carried his team when he is hot.

    Oh, remind me again of the king’s ransom LA paid to get Benny? “Next to nothing,” you say. How that be?

    Unlikely that Flames can get a 4th defender by midweek. Flames got Stoned last week and that might be as good as it gets. In lieu of a true 4th defenceman, the Flames need to solidify the net.

    Clubs will be looking to shed goalies this week leading up to the playoffs and expansion draft.

    MAF now appears to be the man the Flames need more than ever. His rock star pedigree is even more impressive than Quick’s and Benny’s. I daresay that if the Flames can counter with MAF in the last 3 games against LA, the edge in the psychological war goes to the Flames. Quick and Bishop both know very well the antics of MAF as does Jeff Carter. I am not going out on a limb by saying that with Fleury in net, the Flames will finally have a guy who can give them some legitimate swagger. You don’t think the Flames going into Anaheim in early April with MAF in net would make the boys look like 10 Foot Henry? Getzlaf and Perry know full well what a hot Fleury can do?

    Cost? Kings got Bishop for peanuts. Fleury will cost more because he is under contract and his NMC. If Pitt is going to move him this week, it will likely be to a Western Conference club that at this time is either struggling to make the playoffs or is not deemed a serious cup threat. Jets, Blues, Oilers and Flames all fit the bill. Unless JR can get a bidding war started between the aforementioned clubs, acquiring MAF won’t break any bank.

    Can the Flames afford not to go all out for this guy?

      • Dirty30

        As a Canucks fan I disagree!

        Realistically though, top three ways to avoid seeing the SC in your lifetime:

        1. Hire Benning to be your GM;
        2. Hire Jenny McCarthy to be your team doctor (mumps anyone?)
        3. Put MAF in net.


    • Sanintarious


      His numbers for SAVE % and GAA aren’t great. Yes, he wins, but that is far more a product of being with Pittsburgh. He is not an upgrade on Elliott.

      Why waste cap space adding MAF, who has a not so great contract, is injury prone, and is aging. Hard pass.

      Flames would be far better off targeting a DET goalie, or perhaps Raanta.

      Main focus should be defensive depth, and a winger. Thou i’d also look at adding a guy who can win some FO down the stretch….especially with games vs. LAK who have solid FO guys.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        That was the same argument Mikey Vernon haters used when they said the Flames won the cup in spite of Mikey. Mikey proved all the haters wrong when he went to Detroit won cups and also the Conn Symthe.

        Jump to next year. Let’s say the Flames keep one of Elliott or Johnson, how much does he get paid? Around $4M a pop–more if he gets the team in playoffs. Toss in a million dollar backup and that’s $5M. Fleury is just over $5M so throw in the million dollar backup and for just over a million for the next couple of seasons, the Flames could have an elite, world class goalie, which may come in very handy as the Flames could be looking at at least 3 new defencemen come next year, some of whom could be very inexperienced due to a tight budget and the need to grow young talent.

        MAF checks the all the boxes, so if the price is right, why not?

  • 4000miaway

    An unexpected move by LA for sure. But I wonder, besides official statements about Quick’s injury, if they were worried the Flames might get him. With this move they made LA stronger but also denied Calgary a piece they needed.

    Dying to see if Chiarelli pulls the trigger soon and for what. I’m not expecting anything huge but a solid 2nd RW, 3rd C or backup G would be great.

      • 4000miaway

        Would love to see Boyle but fear the price might be unreasonably high.

        Vanek could be more plausible, but since Red Wings is my “other team” I know Ken Holland and he’s probably looking for at least a 2nd round pick for him, which Edmonton lacks. And Holland doesn’t want to go into a long rebuild so he’s probably not that interested in 2018 picks.

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    I think Eaves’ kids are going to be disappointed to find out that they’re now much farther away from Disney world. Maybe Disneyland will be some consolation though.

  • Not a First Tier Fan

    Holy smokes that was a lot to give up for Hanzal… if that just set the standard for rentals this year then I can’t see many trades actually happening.

    Seems like a hell of an overpay…

    • Getrdone

      How much of this chatter is actual and how much is a pile of do-do? The Leafs would be nuts to give up a first round pick for a 4th line center at least on the surface that is what it looks like to me or is Babcock a miracle worker that will make Sheahan into a 20 goal scorer?

  • oddclod

    Brilliant chess move by Lombardi. Tre has to step up.

    In other news Sutter just became the Kings leader in coaching wins. What a beast. Happy to see the Calgary media didn’t ruin him like they tried to. Victim of success. Thanks for Gio and Brodie. Congrats Darryl.

    And…. Go flaame