NHL Trades/Free Agency: The Best Move Each Team Made This Summer

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor ISeptember 10, 2012

NHL Trades/Free Agency: The Best Move Each Team Made This Summer

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    The beginning of the 2012-13 NHL season is just around the corner, so it is a good time to reflect on this past summer.

    This summer, each NHL team made a move of some sorts to alter their 2012-13 roster. These transactions include trades, free-agent signings, and the re-signing of players.

    Here are the best moves each team made this summer.

Anaheim Ducks: Signing of Bryan Allen

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    Bryan Allen is a 31-year-old defenseman who joined the Anaheim Ducks after previously patrolling the Carolina Hurricanes' blue line.

    The move makes a ton of sense because of the role he will fill in Anaheim.

    Allen was described by THN like this:

    A physical defensive defenseman who possesses size and strength in spades, as well as better-than-average mobility when opposed against speedy forwards. He can play a shutdown role.

    This is an apt description, because Allen likes to throw his weight around and is always providing solid defensive coverage.

    Allen is a solid shutdown defender who added some significant depth to the Ducks' blueline. The Ducks lost Lubomir Visnovsky in a trade with the New York Islanders, so adding Allen will really help the Ducks shore up their blue line.

Boston Bruins: Retention of Free Agents

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    The Boston Bruins had a list of free agents that included Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille and Brad Marchand. These players serve important roles in the Bruins' lineup, and it makes sense to keep together a roster that is only one season removed from winning the Stanley Cup.

    Marchand is a forward that was the biggest re-signing of the bunch because he has the ability to get under opponents skin and make an impact every single night.

    Overall, the Bruins did a solid job this summer keeping their group intact. 

Buffalo Sabres: Trade for Steve Ott

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    The Buffalo Sabres were a team that wanted to add some tenacity and aggression this offseason after Milan Lucic took out Ryan Miller during a game last season.

    The Sabres responded and added Steve Ott, who is an energy player that has no problem dropping the gloves and getting in your face.

    Ott is a player who won't take any nonsense and he will be an asset for the Sabres in 2012-13.

Calgary Flames: Signing of Jiri Hudler

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    The Calgary Flames added a few different players this offseason, but the addition of forward Jiri Hudler was the best move this summer.

    Hudler scored 25 goals last season and assisted on 25 others in 2011-12. The former Detroit Red Wing accomplished this by playing 15:40 a game, and his ice time is only going to increase in 2012-13.

    In Calgary, Hudler will be paired with players like Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, Curtis Glencross, Roman Cervenka and assorted others in all different types of situations, so it is safe to say this move made sense for Jay Feaster and the Flames.

    No matter how you look at it, Hudler is going to have a good selection of line-mates, more ice time, and opportunities to make an impact in Calgary.

    For the price Calgary paid, they will at least receive a duplication of Hudler's production from last season given his increased minutes.

Carolina Hurricanes: Trade for Jordan Staal

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    The acquisition of Jordan Staal made a lot of sense for the Carolina Hurricanes, because it added a winger who had tons of chemistry with Eric Staal.

    Jordan is an underrated two-way forward who managed to contribute in a productive way with limited ice time while he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    In Carolina, Jordan will be with his brother and other complementary players that will allow him to thrive. 

Chicago Blackhawks: Signing of Sheldon Brookbank

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    The Chicago Blackhawks did not make many moves this summer, but their acquisition of Sheldon Brookbank through free agency made a lot of sense.

    Brookbank is a veteran defender who will strengthen the 'Hawks' blue line. The team already had so much talent up front and a reasonable amount on the back end that this move makes sense for a team that is just looking to add a little extra.

Colorado Avalanche: Signing of P.A. Parenteau

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    The Colorado Avalanche made a solid signing when they inked P.A. Parenteau for the next four seasons, and it is a move that will pay off in the long run.

    The Avs have started their own youth movement that is starting to take shape, but adding a skilled, speedy forward like Parenteau made sense.

    Don't expect a huge drop-off in production, because Parenteau will be paired with either Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny or Ryan O'Reily, each of whom are talented centerman with upside.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Trade for Sergei Bobrovsky

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    It is hard to think of a move to be heralded for a Columbus Blue Jackets team that unloaded their captain and franchise winger for a less than favorable return, but the acquisition of Sergei Bobrovsky was a commendable move. 

    "Bob" had been the Philadelphia Flyers' backup and was thought of as a potential starter before the acquisition of Ilya Bryzgalov. He was a consistent and reliable goaltender who even got the nod to start the in the 2012 Winter Classic.

    Bobrovksy has a ton of potential, and if he develops into the starter he has shown he can be, Columbus can finally start to take steps in the right direction. If for some reason Bobrovsky doesn't pan out, the loss of draft picks will not matter in the long run.

Dallas Stars: Signing of Jaromir Jagr

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    The Dallas Stars were one of the busiest teams in the NHL this summer, but the acquisition of Jaromir Jagr stands out the most. Last season, Jagr was paired with a young star center by the name of Claude Giroux.

    This year, Jagr's pivot will be Jamie Benn, and Stars fans are hoping that the veteran winger can have a similar effect on their franchise star.

    Jagr may not be the 100-point superstar he was in the 1990s, but he has valuable knowledge that can be imparted on players like Benn and Loui Eriksson.

Detroit Red Wings: Jonas Gustavsson

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    The Red Wings may have lost a few key cogs this offseason, but they were also able to make some moves that will benefit them.

    The Wings signed a capable backup for Jimmy Howard when they inked Jonas Gustavsson to a two-year deal. His cap hit of $1,500,000 is solid, and he could provide some relief for Howard when needed.

    Gustavsson was a part of the Toronto Maple Leafs' goaltending tandem and held a ton of responsibility because he wasn't always supported up front by his offense. 

    Ty Conklin wasn't cutting it as backup for Detroit, so adding "The Monster" was a solid move by Ken Holland. If anything, Gustavsson will give the Wings a better chance to win than Conklin did, so this move is a win-win.

Edmonton Oilers: Signing of Justin Schultz

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    The only major move the Edmonton Oilers made this offseason was the acquisition of Justin Schultz.

    Schultz is a top defensive prospect who was formerly a member of the Anaheim Ducks' farm system as he finished up a stint at the University of Wisconsin.

    He is expected to join the Oilers out of training camp and will add some youth and mobility to the blue line.

Florida Panthers: Signing of George Parros

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    George Parros is one of the NHL's best energy players and fighters, and his addition is going to be a big help to the Florida Panthers.

    The Panthers will have a roster full of skilled players like Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg, Jonathan Huberdeau and they are going to need protecting.

    Parros is the ultimate teammate and, with him on the roster, opponents will be less likely to take runs at the Panthers' top players.

Los Angeles Kings: Re-Signing of Dustin Penner

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    The Los Angeles Kings didn't make any major additions to the their Stanley Cup Championship team, but they did retain Dustin Penner, who really rebounded during the playoffs.

    Although Penner had a miserable regular season, he is a player who could rebound in a big way during 2012-13.

    Penner has proven in the past that he can be a successful power forward, and this could be a an interesting season in L.A for the former Anaheim Duck.

Minnesota Wild: Signing of Ryan Suter

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    The Minnesota Wild made a splash this summer when they signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, but Suter arguably was the better acquisition. 

    When you look at the Wild, they had offensive players like Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley, Pierre Marc Bouchard, Devin Setoguchi and prospects like Charlie Coyle, Zack Phillips and Mikael Granlund.

    However, the Wild lacked a legitimate top defender and that is what they gained when Suter pulled on a Minnesota sweater.

    The Wild improved this summer, and Suter is going to be a big contributor on the blue line this season.

Montreal Canadiens: Signing of Brandon Prust

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    Although the Montreal Canadiens overpaid to acquire tough guy and energy grinder Brandon Prust, he is a player who is going to really help the team this season.

    Prust is an amazing teammate and an exceptional forechecker, who is great on the defensive side of the puck.

    Prust can chip in some offense from time to time, and has been known to be a shorthanded threat, so he will have no problem contributing with the Canadiens this season.

Nashville Predators: Signing of Scott Hannan

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    The Nashville Predators signed veteran defenseman Scott Hannan to a one-year deal this summer, and it was a deal that made a lot of sense. After losing veteran defender Ryan Suter, the Predators needed to shore up their blueline.

    Young defenders Jonathan Blum and Ryan Ellis have tons of potential, but right now it wouldn't make sense to ask them to step in to try and completely replace Suter.

    Hannan will give the Predators' defense some significant depth and will be a defender who can eat up a ton of minutes night in and night out.

New Jersey Devils: Signing of Krys Barch

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    The New Jersey Devils didn't make many moves this summer, but the addition of Krys Barch replaced the departing of Eric Boulton.

    The Devils lost Zach Parise and have yet to re-sign Petr Sykora, so the addition of a tough guy and energy grinder in Barch made sense.

New York Islanders: Trade for Lubomir Visnovsky

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    Lubomir Visnovsky would be the New York Islanders' best acquisition this offseason if the deal goes through. 

    Visnovsky has yet to hear the outcome of his NHLPA grievance filling because he claimed that he still had an active no-trade clause with Anaheim.

    The former Ducks blueliner would interject a ton of offense to the Isles backend and would help their powerplay tremendously.

New York Rangers: Trade for Rick Nash

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    The New York Rangers made the biggest trade splash this summer when they acquired the multi-time 30-goal scorer and two-time 40-goal scorer Rick Nash.

    He is a prototypical forward who has a ton of size, power and significant speed.

    Nash is a versatile forward who plays both wings and is going to have a significant impact on the Rangers' offense in 2012-13.

Ottawa Senators: Trade for Marc Methot

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    The Ottawa Senators added a top-four defender when they exchanged Nick Foligno for Marc Methot.

    Methot will fit in well with the Senators because he adds depth to a blue line that includes Erik Karlsson and Sergei Gonchar.

Philadelphia Flyers: Trade for Luke Schenn

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    The Philadelphia Flyers finally completed the long-rumored trade of James van Riemsdyk for Luke Schenn this summer. 

    Schenn is a physical defenseman who plays the game with an edge, and is really going to help a Flyers team that is currently thin because of devastating injuries.

    The Flyers really will benefit from this move in the long run because Schenn has tons of untapped potential.

Phoenix Coyotes: Signing of Steve Sullivan

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    The Phoenix Coyotes signed Steve Sullivan to a one-year deal earlier this summer, with the contract worth $1.85 million in salary for the year, he will count $2.6 million against the salary cap

    In 2011-12, Sullivan scored 18 goals and assisted on 31 others for 48 points.

    That production came in a secondary role with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he will receive more opportunities in Phoenix considering the departure of Ray Whitney.

    Sullivan is an older veteran who still has some juice in the tank, and is a very underrated signing for the Coyotes.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Trade for and Signing of Tomas Vokoun

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins traded for the rights of goaltender Tomas Vokoun before the NHL draft and they proceeded to sign him to a two-year-deal.

    The acquisition of Vokoun finally gives the Penguins a suitable and reliable backup for starting netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.

    With Vokoun as the Penguins' backup, the Pens will have a better chance to win games when Fleury isn't in net, and their starter will be fresher later in the year when playoff games are on the line.

San Jose Sharks: Trade and Signing of Brad Stuart

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    The acquisition of Brad Stuart was one of the best moves made all summer. Stuart is a quality blueliner who had a stint with the Sharks earlier in his career.

    Stuart is still a quality second-pairing defender who will eat up a lot of minutes for the Sharks. He will complete a Sharks blueline that features Dan Boyle, Brent Burns, Douglas Murray and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, meaning the team will be deeper than ever on defense.

St.Louis Blues: Re-Signing of TJ Oshie

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    The St.Louis Blues retained TJ Oshie this offseason by signing him to a five-year-deal that will pay him $4,175,000 a season. Oshie had 54 points last season and he is a player who really represents the style of the Blues.

    He is a two-way forward that can check, hit, score and play solid all around defense. Locking up Oshie was a solid move by the Blues' brass.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Trade for Anders Lindback

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    The Tampa Bay Lightning were one of the rare teams that took the bull by the horns and really overhauled their team this summer.

    The Lightning needed a goaltender, so Steve Yzerman traded for Anders Lindback, who will be the No. 1 netminder this season.

    Lindback has a lot of untapped potential, so this move really will benefit the Lightning in the interim until 2012 first-round draft pick Andrei Vasilevski Is ready for action

Toronto Maple Leafs: Trade for James Van Riemsdyk

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    The Toronto Maple Leafs didn't address any of their major needs this offseason but they added a promising young goal scorer in James van Riemsdyk.

    Van Riemsdyk battled injuries during his time with the Flyers and became expendable with the additions of Matt Read, Jakub Voracek and the breakout of forwards Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds.

    JVR will help the Maple Leafs, but it will be interesting to see if they try him out at center, a position he hasn't played full-time in quite some time.

Vancouver Canucks: Signing of Jason Garrison

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    The Vancouver Canucks signed Jason Garrison to a six-year deal, and while it may be questioned because of his experience to this point, it is a deal that makes sense when you look at his skills and supporting cast.

    Garrison's booming shot will fit in well with the NHL's best power-play unit and will enable him to rack up some points.

    The Canucks added Garrison to fill the void left by Sami Salo, and that isn't a bad thing. Garrison is a competent defender, and could prove to be a smart signing.

    Garrison may have had his best year with the Panthers in 2011-12, but if he is feeding players like Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and playing alongside Alex Edler on the power play, there is a good chance he racks up 40-50 points with ease.

Washington Capitals: Trade for Mike Ribeiro

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    Mike Ribeiro is a talented and creative playmaker who will fit in well with the Washington Capitals.

    Ribeiro is a wizard with the puck and he could have the opportunity to play with one of the NHL's greatest goal scorers in Alex Ovechkin.

    His playmaking abilities won't go unnoticed in Washington under new bench boss and former powerplay specialist Adam Oates either.

Winnipeg Jets: Signing of Olli Jokinen

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    The Winnipeg Jets needed a No. 1 center, and they got one when they signed Olli Jokinen in free agency.

    Jokinen is coming off a 61-point campaign and will be surrounded with talented players like Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler, Alexander Burmistrov and Evander Kane in Winnipeg.

    Jokinen is starting to look like the 70-point player he was in Florida, and he should be able to at least repeat his 2011-12 performance with more ice time in Winnipeg.

    If you add Kane to the mix, Winnipeg could have a dominant one-two punch on their roster next season.