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The Dubois/Laine Trade: Did either team get better?
The biggest news of the week was the Patrik Laine and Pierre-Luc Dubois trade.
Dustin Kagan-Fleming and I went pretty in-depth on the topic on The Nosebleeds Podcast, so if you want to hear that here’s the episode:
If you just want the bullet points here they are:
- Dubois and Laine were both unhappy with their situations, and both need new contracts in the near future. Are either of them with their new teams for their next contracts? I doubt it.
- Both teams needed to get rid of unhappy assets, and if you look at this with that being the goal, but teams did as well as could be expected.
- I was a little shocked Winnipeg bought as high as they did on Dubois, but a top-six of Wheeler, Scheiffle, Connor, Perfetti, Dubois and Ehlers seems pretty nasty.
- Columbus wanted a star player, they got one. Laine is one of the premier goalscorers in the league. The question is now how he’ll fit in with Torterella. If 2-way center Dubois was having trouble in the system, how will all-gas-no-brakes Laine fit in?
- Neither team got better with this trade, but both did what they needed to do to get rid of locker room distractions.
- This is the first time since 1995 that two of a draft class’ top three picks have been swapped. Last time was Wade Redden for Bryan Berard.
The Vancouver Canucks came into the season with high expectations. I was one of those people who was vocal about these expectations. You don’t go into the playoffs and have a great run without those types of proclamations from fans and media.
But so far this season, it feels like a completely different Canucks team has come out of the gate. Last year’s team was dynamic and explosive. This year’s team feels anything but. Aside from captain Bo Horvat, the Canucks offence has looked toothless.
There’s not a doubt in my mind that Elias Pettersson has the talent to be a top player in this league. He has 2 points in 7 games. When your 1C is having trouble finishing, that puts a backlog on the entire team’s offence.
Losing pieces like Jacob Markstrom, Chris Tanev, Troy Stecher and Tyler Toffoli hurt them much more than they must’ve expected. Toffoli especially, considering he seems to be hell-bent on dominating the Canucks every single shift. He has 7 points in 3 games against his former team.
Jim Benning excels in many areas as a GM, especially develoment, but the way the Canucks managed their cap space has forced them to make difficult asset decisions. Toffoli, Tanev and Markstrom were all big-name casulties of this, but players like Stecher also go a long way to building successful teams.
The NHL’s TV future
Last Friday brought the news that NBC Universal will be shutting its NBC Sports Network down by the end of 2021.
For the NHL, this has huge consequences.
With this news, the NHL are likely to head to the USA Network according to Sean Shapiro of The Athletic.
There are many paths now open for the league. If they stay with NBC once NBCSN shuts down but want to take on fewer games, then the NHL could go searching for a second TV partner, ESPN being the ideal candidate. ESPN already has the rights to the NBA, paying $24 billion to air games. A deal with the NHL would come in quite below that, considering NBC was paying $200 million per year.
There’s been talk of some games going to streaming services, but the NHL is a tradional-minded league. They’ll look to be on TV as much as possible.
In the interest of serious analysis, here are five broadcast partners that the NHL should partner with.
After the success of the NFL on Nickelodeon, the NHL should partner with YTV and do the same. Extra points if Carlos from The Zone takes up the Ron MacLean role
2. DC Universe
What will happen first, the release of the 18-hour Justice League movie, or the Leafs beating the Bruins in a playoff series? Let’s find out!
Let’s be honest, this site has more streams than all four major sports leagues combined.
4. Fox Sports
Bring back the glowing puck why not.
5. A drive-in movie theatre in middle America
Could be fun.