NHL trade grades: Breaking down the DeAngelo, Husso and Vanecek deals

NHL trade grades: Breaking down the DeAngelo, Husso and Vanecek deals

The trade

Flyers get: Defenseman Tony DeAngelo and a seventh-round pick, No. 220, in 2022.

Hurricanes get: A fourth-round pick, No. 101, in 2022; a third-round pick in 2023, and a second-round pick in 2024.

This is a win for the Hurricanes. Strictly from a business perspective, they took a gamble on Tony DeAngelo with a cheap contract. Carolina reaped the benefits of the offense the defenseman clearly can create, saw the downsides when he couldn’t maintain his discipline, and moved him before investing any further. Instead of paying the pending restricted free agent the raise he was looking for, they flipped him to a team to recoup draft assets.

On the other side of the equation, this was a choice for the Flyers. Flipping a second, third, and fourth-rounder for a player as volatile as DeAngelo when their blue line isn’t exactly stellar was indeed a decision. If management wanted a puck-mover, they could have just kept Shayne Gostisbehere instead of trading him last year. Maybe management feels he’s the offensive defender they hoped Keith Yandle was going to be this past season. But for as much offense as he can create, DeAngelo can still allow quite a bit back if he doesn’t have a defensively sound partner (like you know, one of the best in Jaccob Slavin).

Then there’s the rest of the chaos that comes with the package. It’s possible Chuck Fletcher feels that the defenseman will stay in line under the direction of John Tortorella, but it’s certainly a risk to take. If Ryan Ellis isn’t healthy to start next season, the right side of the depth chart kicks off with Rasmus Ristolainen and DeAngelo.

The contract itself, a two-year contract worth $5 million on average, really isn’t a problem thanks to the term. It’s the investment to acquire a player with character concerns and the current makeup of the Flyers’ blue line that is suspect.

Flyers: C
Hurricanes: A-

— Shayna Goldman


The trade

Devils get: Goalie Vitek Vanecek and a second-round pick, No. 46, in 2022.

Capitals get: A second-round pick, No. 37, and a third-round pick, No. 70, in 2022.

The thing about this one is that the most obvious question — “Is Vitek Vanecek good?” — isn’t quite the correct one. Has he been? Not really. He’s at .908 in his 79-game career. He was also at .908 in 2021-22 with a goals saved above expected of -2.85. Nothing great — and then he short-circuited in the playoffs. He and Ilya Samsonov both had chances to establish themselves as the Capitals’ No. 1 guy, and both failed. It was time for Washington to do something different, and getting picks 37 and 70 for Vanecek was decent enough. He’s about to be an RFA and, again, nothing special.

“Nothing special” for the Devils, though, represents a gigantic upgrade. They were a solid team that was submarined by goaltending, particularly in the form of Mackenzie Blackwood, who’s gotten progressively worse after a solid two-season start to his career. New Jersey can make a playoff run with “nothing special.” With an already thin goaltending market starting to thin out, it was time to make a move. The price is fine even if Vanecek tops out at mediocre — at least they tried — and there’s at least some chance it winds up better than that.

Devils: B-
Capitals: C+

— Sean Gentille


The trade

Red Wings get: Goalie Ville Husso

Blues get: A third-round pick, No. 73, in 2022.

A minor deal in the grand scheme of things — we don’t usually assess trades for negotiating rights — but this one is intriguing due to the free-agent goalie landscape. The options are dwindling quickly and the Red Wings were wise to cut the line and snag their guy before the market even opens.

Ville Husso was looking like one of the better options out there after a strong sophomore season and the eventual contract he earned is definitely sensible. In 40 games last year, Husso saved 13 goals above expected off the strength of a .919 save percentage. That ranked seventh in the entire league. In that sense, the Red Wings did really well here.

The concern comes from lessons learned last season with Alex Nedeljkovic, a move that carried a similar vibe. Excellent numbers … in a small sample. How trustworthy is that? It’s always tough to say with goalies, but the safe bet is not to expect Husso to be as good as he was in 2021-22. That’s especially true since he tailed off in the second half after a scorching first half. Expect a serviceable starter, with a lot of room for error.

It’s a decent bet, but it does carry some risk in terms of on-ice performance. The cost to get his negotiating rights wasn’t high though and that’s the key. There aren’t a lot of options left out there and Detroit did well getting ahead. As for the Blues — any time you can get anything for a player not coming back is a win.

Blues: B+
Red Wings: B

— Dom Luszczyszyn

(Photo of Tony DeAngelo: James Guillory / USA Today)


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