10 Brilliant NHL Offseason Moves That Flew Under the Radar
The signing of David Clarkson, the trade of Tyler Seguin and the acquisition of Nathan Horton were transactions that got tons of media attention this summer.
These moves were all high-profile stories during the early stages of the offseason, but there were some brilliant moves that completely flew under the radar.
They may have been briefly mentioned, but they surely didn't get the recognition or attention they deserved.
Here are 10 wise decisions general managers made this summer.
Minnesota Wild Sign Jonathon Blum
The Nashville Predators could regret giving up on Jonathon Blum. The young blueliner was the Predators' first-round pick in 2007 and signed with the Minnesota Wild as a UFA. The 6'1" defender is a mobile defenseman that has offensive upside.
He has the skills necessary to be a power-play quarterback and could get a chance to learn from his former mentor, Ryan Suter.
Jonas Brodin had a good enough rookie season in 2012-13 that he could be separated from Suter and man his own unit in 2013-14.
That would allow Suter to once again take Blum under his wing. Blum is 24 years old, and with the Wild, he will have a chance to play and find his game.
Carolina Hurricanes Acquire Andrej Sekera
The Carolina Hurricanes shipped out Jamie McBain and a second-round pick for Andrej Sekera, and it was a great move by GM Jim Rutherford. Sekera is a solid puck-moving defenseman and great skater.
The 6'0" defender averages around 21 minutes a game and adds depth as well as some skill to the Hurricanes' back end. Last season, defensive depth was an issue in Carolina, so Sekera's veteran presence will benefit the franchise.
Montreal Canadiens Acquire George Parros
The Montreal Canadiens added toughness and grit last summer, and they skyrocketed up the standings. Brandon Prust was the key addition last year and the addition of George Parros this offseason is another great move.
Prust was immediately embraced by the city of Montreal, as he was known for being a great teammate.
Parros is another great fighter and teammate who will add character to the Canadiens roster. Having multiple pugilists will balance the lineup and ensure that there is muscle on the ice at all times.
Don't underestimate the impact this move can have, because offensive players will take more risks when they know that someone has their back.
Colorado Avalanche Acquire Alex Tanguay
The Colorado Avalanche had a nostalgic summer. Joe Sakic was given an expanded role in the organization, Patrick Roy was named coach and 2001 hero Alex Tanguay was re-acquired.
Tanguay is still a solid secondary scorer and he will have a chance to play with a quality center with the Avalanche. In 2012-13, Tanguay averaged 0.68 points per game, which is solid production for a second-line winger.
In Colorado, Tanguay will have the potential to increase his production because he is a goal scorer with a great shot.
Minnesota Wild Sign Matt Cooke
The Minnesota Wild had a balance of skill and youth in their lineup, but they needed grit. Matt Cooke not only brings grit and toughness to the table, but he makes the Wild a stronger team defensively.
Cooke is one of the league's top penalty-killers and a great teammate.
If Cooke is on your team, you love him. If he isn't on your team, you hate him with a vengeance. He is an aggressive pest who has cleaned up his act significantly and he will make the Wild a tough team to play against.
New York Rangers Sign Dominic Moore
Bringing back former New York Ranger Dominic Moore was a solid move by GM Glen Sather. Moore took a year off because his wife, Katie, passed away, but he is motivated for the 2013-14 season.
The addition of Moore will bring snarl and depth to the Rangers' bottom six. He will likely be the team's fourth-line center, but he could play wing if necessary. Moore can also kill penalties and will add versatility to the roster.
Winnipeg Jets Flip a Draft Pick for Devin Setoguchi
The NHL draft is a huge crapshoot at best, so it is hard to get upset when teams trade draft picks. In this instance, the Winnipeg Jets made a smart deal in acquiring Devin Setoguchi.
Although he is inconsistent, Setoguchi has offensive talent. He has great hands and amazing wheels that allow him to accelerate up and down the ice.
Setoguchi scored 13 goals last year, and with the right center, bench boss Claude Noel can make the most out of his newest asset.
Setoguchi could score 20 goals and tally 50 points next season. That would be great value at the expense of a second-round pick.
Carolina Hurricanes Sign Anton Khudobin
Dan Ellis was never taking Cam Ward's job, but at the very least, Anton Khudobin could motivate him. While it is not likely that Ward would lose his job, Khudobin will provide more stability than Ellis.
If Ward struggles, bench boss Kirk Muller would have no issue letting Khudobin steal the crease for a stretch of games.
It is always good to have multiple starters on your team because competition always makes for great goaltending.
Edmonton Oilers Sign Boyd Gordon
It may have been a bit expensive, but Boyd Gordon is a tremendous pickup for the Edmonton Oilers. As a tough forward who is one of the league's best defensive centers, he is a great bottom-six center. This is because Gordon hits, forechecks, blocks shots and does whatever is asked of him.
He is a replacement for veteran Shawn Horcoff and will provide more all-around value than the former Oilers captain.
Gordon is also regularly among the league leaders in faceoff percentage and a top penalty-killer.
New York Islanders Sign Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Pierre-Marc Bouchard could be a bargain winger for the New York Islanders. If the idea is to pair him with Matt Moulson and John Tavares, the move is already a win that could pay huge dividends.
Bouchard is a talented offensive player who has struggled to find his way since returning from a 13-month absence from the NHL because of a concussion. He became a victim of numbers, and a player of his caliber was never going to be an asset on the third line for the Wild.
Bouchard is a smooth skater with a decent shot, and on a line with other offensive players, he will be a great asset for the Islanders.