Some GM’s were backed into a corner either because of bad contracts or the potential of losing a good player. These teams though, didn’t throw their wallets at George McPhee before he even looked in their direction.
Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay – Jason Garrison (D)
Jason Garrison’s contract is bad and the Lightning were in desperate need of salary cap relief going into the 2017-18 season. This cap relief came at a pretty reasonable price. The Lightning parted ways with prospect Nikita Gusev, who was a linemate of Vadim Shypyshev in Russia. Even though the Shypychev experiment didn’t work out, Gusev had always been non-committal about taking his game to North America. So the Lightning parted ways with a player who may never come, a 2017 2nd round pick, and a 2018 4th round pick. Not a bad day at the office for Steve Yzerman.
Ron Francis, Carolina – Connor Brickley (F)
Francis giving up prospect Connor Brickley and a 2017 5th round pick was the right move. This prevented the Golden Knights from taking a player like Klas Dahlbeck who they were far higher on.
Jason Botterill, Buffalo – William Carrier (F)
The Sabres gave up a 2017 6th round pick for the Knights to take Carrier. Sure the guy hits everything that moves, but let’s not make him out to be more than what he is… a bottom line energy guy that is easily replaceable and a have been traded for higher picks than a 6th.
Garth Snow, NY Islanders – Jean-Francois Berube (G)
Garth Snow wanted to get out from under the dead cap space that was Mikhail Grabovski. Unfortunately for Snow, his injury status made it so he could not be exposed in the expansion draft. In order to make this happen, he packaged up Grabovski with defensive prospect Jake Bischoff, a 2017 1st, and a 2019 2nd round pick. Considering Grabovski was never going to count against the Golden Knights salary cap, it seems like a pretty significant price to pay. Included in the deal though, Garth Snow was able to send a member of his three-headed goalie monster away as well.
Garth Snow could have done a lot worse. He could have done better though.