New York Islanders Nick Leddy Trade With Blackhawks Still Golden
Just about three years ago the New York Islanders acquired Nick Leddy in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks. And three years later it still looks like a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious trade.
For those New York Islanders fans who never saw Marry Poppins, that ridiculously long word means extraordinarily good. And the Nick Leddy to the Islanders trade is exactly that.
Searching for a top pair puck-moving defenseman the Isles went shopping in the Chicago Blackhawks sales bin. There they found a 22-year-old Nick Leddy who had put up 31 points for the Hawks. And it cost them absolutely nothing. At least in hindsight.
To acquire Leddy, the New York Islanders sent T.J. Brennan and Ville Pokka and the rights to Anders Nilsson. All Islanders prospects. The Isles also acquired goalie Kent Simpson from the Hawks. So that’s two prospects and the rights to a third for Leddy and a prospect in return. I know, right.
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Now jump forward to 2017. And as the Chicago Blackhawks go and cut their rosters down like the rest of the NHL, Ville Pokka was sent to waivers. For what could be a one-way ticket out of the organization.
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Why is that important? Because Pokka was the last remaining piece of the Nick Leddy trade in Chicago. Both T.J. Brennan and Anders Nilsson never played from them. Brennan was flipped to the Maple Leafs just five months later for Spencer Abbott.
While Nilsson was sent to the Oilers the following June for Lima Coughlin. Neither would play a single game for the Blackhawks.
Should Pokka truly be out of the organization it would mean the Blackhawks have nothing left to show for the Islanders indisputable number one defenseman. So the Isles win that trade easily right? Yeah, but put an asterisk next to that win.
The Blackhawks needed to make some room on the cap. That much is obvious. When haven’t they needed to do that? In 2013-14, the Hawks sat with a $65.536 million cap hit. Which was $1.236 million above the ceiling. Dealing Nick Leddy got them under that. So they did what they needed to do in that regard.
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They would also go an win the Stanley Cup that season. That was their third in six seasons. So wh, le sure they lost a premier defender it certainly didn’t hurt them in the short term. Although if all they needed to do was shed $1.2 million, sending Marcus Kruger and his $1.3 million cap hit would have made even better short term and maybe even long-term sense for the Hawks.