By Pierre LeBrun 1h ago 13
A first-round pick and a prospect is beyond what I thought the Anaheim Ducks could get for Ondrej Kase.
Back on Feb. 3, when I felt Kase to Boston made sense as a potential deal, I had a second-round pick and a prospect as the price to pay.
Of course, taking on 75 percent of David Backes’ contract is why the pick becomes a first. The Ducks will only be on the hook for about $3 million next season on Backes so it’s well worth it in my mind. Pretty good job by Ducks GM Bob Murray to weaponize his salary cap space.
There’s risk on both sides here, though. The speedy Kase could go on to score 20-25 goals a year for the next 6-7 seasons in Boston and if that’s the case, the Ducks may regret this move depending on what becomes of the first-round pick. But Kase comes with enough health concerns (concussions) that one NHL team told me this week while they liked the skill set they decided not to call Anaheim because of that alone.
I think Bruins GM Don Sweeney gambled wisely here. It’s a low first-round pick and he got out of cap jail on the Backes deal. And I don’t think Sweeney is done, either. He’s probably out of the Chris Kreider situation after having traded his first-round pick but he can still get in on other rentals before Monday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline.
Last year he rented Marcus Johansson and made a hockey deal for Charlie Coyle. His hockey deal is now done. Even if Sweeney doesn’t make another trade, the Bruins have got as good a shot as any other team to win the Cup this year.
Of course, the Bruins weren’t alone in pursuit of Kase. Two other teams that showed real interest were Calgary and Carolina, according to sources.
That the Hurricanes got in there shouldn’t be a surprise given that Kase is the player they wanted from Anaheim in the failed Justin Faulk trade back in September. The Canes have liked Kase for a long time. My understanding is that they offered a second-round pick and a prospect for Kase. The Canes have two second-round picks in June, the Rangers’ and their own, so it would have been interesting to know which one they offered. A low first-round pick from Boston or the Rangers’ second-round pick (and no Backes contract) plus a prospect? But clearly Anaheim went the Boston route for a reason.
That the Flames inquired makes sense, too. Calgary has been after a top-six, right-shot option. Give Flames GM Brad Treliving credit. He’s trying. He also tried on right winger Tyler Toffoli and blueliner Brenden Dillon, among others so far over the past week. Calgary can use a boost both up front and on the blue line and Treliving is taking his swings.