NHL Trade/Free Agency: One Dumb Move Each Team Made This Summer

Jeff LangridgeCorrespondent IIISeptember 3, 2012

NHL Trade/Free Agency: One Dumb Move Each Team Made This Summer

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    Every NHL offseason, there are moves made that are lauded over for being the greatest moves of that offseason. There are even more moves that are looked at as being some of the worst moves of that offseason. Dumb moves that make fans and media alike wonder why their general manager has a job.

    Whether it's trading a player, letting a player go or signing a player to a ridiculous contract, these moves weren't the smartest moves out there.

Anaheim: Trading Lubomir Visnovsky

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    The Anaheim Ducks decided to make changes on their defense this offseason, letting go of Lubomir Visnovsky and Sheldon Brookbank while bringing in Bryan Allen and Sheldon Souray to replace them. While Brookbank had a pretty good season last year, it's the loss of Visnovsky that will be felt the most.

    Outside of Cam Fowler, Visnovsky was the best defenseman on the team, and he was the quarterback of the power play. Fowler will now take that position on full time, but being only 20 years old, there is a question whether he will be ready for the spotlight.

    I understand if the team wants to get tougher. After all, that's how they won their only Stanley Cup in 2007. However, a team still needs its offense, and Visnovsky has been one of the better offensive defensemen in the league for some time.

    If the trade that sent Visnovsky to the New York Islanders gets reversed, this will be one of those few times when a dumb decision can be nullified.

Boston: Not Trading Tim Thomas

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    The Boston Bruins are in a sticky situation with Tim Thomas. With Thomas stating that he will not play in the 2012-13 season, the Bruins are going to have to go with Tuuka Rask as their starter. That's not the problem.

    The problem is that other than trading him, there is no way to get rid of Thomas' $5 million cap hit. If the salary cap goes down in the new CBA, and it probably will, it might not be as easy to trade him later on.

    The Bruins might have to go the entire season carrying the dead weight that is Thomas' contract.

Buffalo: Trading Derek Roy

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    The trade that sent Derek Roy to the Dallas Stars brought them something that they desperately needed: toughness. Acquiring Steve Ott will go a long way to making the Sabres a more difficult team to play against. It comes at a price, though, as there is a big question facing Buffalo this season.

    Who will be their No. 1 center?

    Roy might not have been the best first-line center in the league, but he was good enough on a team like Buffalo. Now they must rely on the young talents of Tyler Ennis and Cody Hodgson.

    The hope is that one of them will step up and take the reins as the No.1 center. If they don't, Buffalo could be in trouble.

Calgary: Signing Dennis Wideman

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    You can't blame Calgary for signing Dennis Wideman. He's an above-average defenseman and he will definitely improve the Flames' defense. The dumb part of it was the contract he was signed to.

    Now, Calgary might be one of those teams that has to overpay to acquire players, but there is no way that Wideman is worth a yearly cap hit of $5.25 million.

Carolina: Letting Bryan Allen Go

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    Bryan Allen had only been with the Carolina Hurricanes for a little over a season, but he provided veteran leadership to a defense that was pretty young. With Justin Falk, Jamie McBain and the addition of Ryan Murphy this year, the Canes have a very inexperienced defensive core.

    There are veterans around in Joe Corvo, Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkanen, but Allen was one of those defenseman who stayed in the background and helped out a team without much attention.

    With all the additions Carolina made to their offense, it might be their defense that keeps them from taking the next step.

Chicago: Failing to Make a Big Move

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    Zach Parise? No. Ryan Suter? No. Martin Brodeur? No. Roberto Luongo? No.

    Chicago went into the offseason trying to improve their team by any means possible. They were players in all the big names that were out there that were available with the exception of maybe Rick Nash.

    However, the only addition they have made in the offseason so far is the signing of Sheldon Brookbank.

    For a team that won the Stanley Cup only three seasons ago, the Blackhawks don't seem to be able to bring in the best talent. That has cost them in the last two seasons, bowing out of the playoffs in the first round both years.

Colorado: Signing P.A. Parenteau to a $16 Million Deal

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    I'm not saying that P.A. Parenteau was a bad signing for the Avalanche. The fact is, however, that for a player that has never received a contract longer than one year in his career, the Avs are sure taking a chance signing him to a four-year contract.

    He had a great year last season, although anyone playing with John Tavares is liable to have at least a good season. With the chances high that he will be playing with Matt Duchene, his point totals shouldn't drop that much.

    Still, the money and term might be a bit of a stretch for Parenteau.

Columbus: Trading Rick Nash

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    It had to happen, but anytime you trade one of the NHL's premier players for a package like the Blue Jackets received, it's going to be perceived as a dumb move. Rick Nash will be playing somewhere he has a chance to win a Stanley Cup.

    The newest Columbus Blue Jackets will have a chance to enjoy mediocrity.

Dallas: Trading Steve Ott

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    The entire Dallas-Buffalo trade was designed to give each team something they needed. Dallas got more secondary scoring, while Buffalo got tougher.

    Though, in each case, the teams created another problem.

    Buffalo now has no No. 1 center and Dallas could be pushed around a lot like the Sabres were last season.

    Ott went a long way to discourage anyone from taking a run at players like Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson. Now that protection is gone and the Stars' top players could be roughed up a little more.

Detroit: Not Signing Ryan Suter

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    Yes, Detroit had no power in where Ryan Suter chose to play next season, but the price for Suter not signing in Detroit will be heavy for the Red Wings. With the retirement of Nick Lidstrom and departure of Brad Stuart, the Red Wings' defense is now led by Niklas Kronwall.

    No offense to Kronwall, but he is a huge step down from the likes of Lidstom and Suter. The Red Wings needed to bring in a replacement and they couldn't.

    For the first time in a long time, things are not looking so good in the Motor City.

Edmonton: Signing Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to $6 Million Contracts

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    Edmonton had to sign Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to long-term deals because of their obvious talent and the huge parts they will play in the Oilers' future. What they did not need to do was sign them to deals paying them $6 million a year.

    For players that have only been in the league for two years, that type of money is a little excessive. I get the whole "paying for potential" bit, but it just seems ridiculous that two of the youngest players in the game are making more than some of the older, and right now, better players.

Florida: Signing Filip Kuba

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    Filip Kuba is returning to the organization that drafted him. He should provide some valuable veteran experience to Florida's young defense. Seeing that he played with Norris trophy winner Erik Karlsson in Ottawa last season, it would not be a surprise to see the Panthers put him with the likes of Dimtiry Kulikov or Erik Gudbranson.

    This is another situation, however, that a player is over-payed. Although Kuba is only making $300,000 more than he did in Ottawa, he is making too much. He should have gone down in salary, not up.

    Although, from a team such as Florida , I guess it's to be expected since they're paying Ed Jovanovski $4 million or more for the next three seasons.

Los Angeles: Not Trading Jonathan Bernier

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    Situations like Jonathan Bernier's, in which a player wants to be traded but the team seems fit to keep the player, never seem to end well. Bernier will be unhappy sitting on the bench for the majority of the season in Los Angeles and will only be a problem in the locker room.

    A defending Stanley Cup champion doesn't need that type of problem, seeing the problems that Stanley Cup champions usually face. The Kings, however, seem to be inviting it by not trading Bernier.

Minnesota: Spending $196 Million on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter

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    Alright, the NHL wants to eliminate these huge cap-circumventing deals that teams are handing out nowadays. They say that the players are making too much.

    That might be true. However, there's one thing wrong with that statement.

    The players make too much because the owners are the ones OK'ing these types of contracts. If the NHL owners truly cared about how much players were making, these and other contracts like them would never be signed.

Montreal: Singning Brandon Prust

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    I could pretty much quote the Colorado and Florida slides here, in that while Brandon Prust improves the Canadiens' roster somewhat, the money they're paying him is more than the improvement is worth.

    Prust will more than likely be a third- or fourth-line player, yet he is making more than some second-liners. At $2.5 million per year, it doesn't seem like a lot in NHL terms, but over four years, he is making $10 million to pretty much be a pest.

Nashville: Matching the Shea Weber Offer Sheet

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    At first, this does make sense. Why wouldn't Nashville match an offer sheet on one of the league's best defenseman? It seems dumb not to match the offer sheet from Philadelphia.

    However, the reason Shea Weber might have wanted to leave Nashville was that they are not doing enough to contend. Looking at what the Predators did this offseason, it's hard not to agree with him.

    Other than matching the offer sheet, they didn't re-sign Ryan Suter and Jordin Tootoo. They traded Anders Lindback for picks and prospects and the only notable acquisition they made was backup goaltender Chris Mason.

    Now they have a player signed for 14 years that potentially could want out in just a few. With that contract, it could be a lot harder than it looks.

New Jersey: Letting Zach Parise Go

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    Again, New Jersey couldn't control whether Zach Parise re-signed with the Devils. The problem is that the departure of Parise is going to leave a huge hole in the Devils' lineup that can't be filled.

    Even with Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils need more scoring and they just don't have it. What's worse is that some of their secondary scorers are going to be free agents next offseason and could leave as well.

    The re-signing of Parise could have gone a long way in those players wanting to stay next year.

New York Islanders: Letting P.A. Parenteau Go

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    When you find a good thing, you don't let it go. That's just what the New York Islanders did this offseason in letting P.A. Parenteau go. He had some great chemistry with John Tavares and now, Tavares is going to have to get used to a new linemate.

    Although that shouldn't be a problem for Tavares, the Islanders lose the 18 goals and 67 points that Parenteau put up last year. Whether anyone can replace that production remains to be seen.

New York Rangers: No Mistakes

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    It's hard to point out any dumb moves by a team that arguably became the best team in the Eastern Conference on paper.

Ottawa: Letting Filip Kuba Go

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    Alright, Ottawa has the Norris trophy-winning Erik Karlsson in their lineup. You'd think that Ottawa would do everything in its power to ensure that Karlsson stays at that level of play.

    Apparently not.

    Letting go of his defense partner, Filip Kuba, might not have a good effect on the young Swede. Now he will have to get used to a new defense partner and that might take away from his offensive talents.

Philadelphia: Making the Shea Weber Offer Sheet

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    Again, why would it be dumb to present an offer sheet to Shea Weber? In Philadelphia's case, if the offer sheet had been successful, they would be $4 million over the current salary cap. If the cap stayed the same, it would not be a big problem, as Chris Pronger's cap hit would not be counted as well as those of Andrei Meszaros and Andreas Lilja.

    However, with the cap likely going down, the Flyers might have had to do some maneuvering with their cap space had Weber become a Flyer. Whether it was jettisoning a couple of players with smaller cap hits or losing one of their top players, the price would have been high.

Phoenix: Staying in Phoenix

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    The Phoenix Coyotes as a team are, in a way, a free agent every year. Prospective buyers look to buy the team either to keep it in Glendale or move it to some other city.

    Somehow, the team has stayed where it is for more than a couple of years. It looks like they will be staying in Phoenix for at least another year, so it looks like the dumb move will be made again.

Pittsburgh: No Mistakes

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    You'd think that a team that lost one of the best two-way centers in the game would have had a bad offseason. Not so in Pittsburgh. They traded Jordan Staal and got more than fair value. They brought in a quality backup goaltender in Tomas Vokoun and they barely touched a defensive core that didn't really need fixing.

St. Louis: Letting Jason Arnott Go

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    This one is almost a stretch, as the St. Louis Blues have the veteran leadership that Jason Arnott brings. The Blues are now one of the top teams in the Western Conference and did not need to do much in the offseason.

San Jose: Failing to Make a Big Move

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    The San Jose Sharks are fading in the Western Conference, finishing seventh in the West last season. With the only moves that the Sharks made in the offseason being the re-acquisition of Brad Stuart and acquisition of agitator Adam Burish, the Shark didn't do much to stop the slide.

    Don't be shocked to to see the Sharks miss the playoffs if they don't do anything in-season.

Tampa Bay: Signing Sami Salo

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    If Sami Salo somehow finds out how not to get injured in a season, this signing might turn out to be a good one. However, history would suggest that is highly unlikely.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning might regret signing the most fragile player in the NHL.

Toronto: Failing to Acquire a Veteran Goaltender

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    If there has been one story repeated throughout hockey this offseason, it's the Toronto Maple Leafs' need for a veteran netminder. The Leafs have been connected to almost every goaltender available this offseason, yet they have been unable to land a new starting goaltender.

    If the Leafs are to go into the season with James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, they are expecting a lot from a tandem that only has 83 games of experience in the NHL.

Vancouver: Not Trading Roberto Luongo

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    This is a situation not unlike Boston's. Roberto Luongo seems to be on his way out of Vancouver, but he has not been moved as of yet because of general manger Mike Gillis' high demands in a return.

    If and when the cap goes down, Gillis might have no choice but to deal Luongo for a very low price. That could still be prevented.

Washington: Not Re-signing Alex Semin

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    The Washington Capitals chose not to re-sign Alex Semin. While he was wildly inconsistent, he still had the potential of being elite. Now the Capitals will have to deal with the consequences.

    While the Caps' third- and fourth-line right wingers might be good for their positions, the jury is still out on whether Troy Brouwer or Marcus Johansson can take the No. 1 and 2 spots and play well. Re-signing Semin would have solved things, for the most part.

Winnipeg: Signing Olli Jokinen

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    Olli Jokinen is coming to Winnipeg, and he will become the Jets No. 1 center. If the Winnipeg brass is expecting anything special, they should think again. A team with Jokinen on it has never been particularly successful, and the Jets won't be, either.