A surprising trade between two eastern conference teams went down on the evening of July 16th. Nick Leddy was traded from the New York Islanders to the Detroit Red Wings for Richard Panik a second-round pick in the upcoming 2021 NHL draft. A confusing trade at first glance actually makes a little more sense the further you investigate.
Breaking Down the Acquisition of Nick Leddy
Steve Yzerman once again worked his asset management wonders to perfection as acquired a very respected veteran defenseman. Yzerman traded a depth forward and a second-round pick to the New York Islanders for Nick Leddy. Leddy is an 11 year NHL veteran and should be a solid addition to the extremely youthful Red Wings roster.
Nick Leddy started his career by killing the Red Wings as a part of the rival Chicago Blackhawks. Playing four seasons with the Blackhawks Leddy racked up 20 goals and 73 assists for 93 total points in 258 games. Following a trade to the Islanders in October of 2014 Leddy has really settled down for the last seven years. Over the last seven seasons, Leddy has suited up for 518 regular-season games. He scored 45 goals and added 198 assists for 243 points for the Islanders. Also during his career, he has been to the playoffs nine of his 11 seasons in the NHL. He has racked up 33 points including seven goals in the 121 playoff games he has participated in. He in fact helped win the Blackhawks win the 2012-13 Stanley Cup championship.
Breaking Down What the New Islanders Acquired
The other team in the trade, the New York Islanders acquired Richard Panik and a second-round pick in the 2021 draft. The pick is specifically the 52nd pick in the draft. Richard Panik is a nine-year seasoned veteran in the NHL. In his career, Panik has suited up for six teams. The veteran forward is a gritty hard-working player that will fit well into Lou Lamoriello’s system. The 517 regular-season game veteran has scored 88 career goals with 106 assists for 194 points. Although he is not a point-producing forward he is exactly what the Islanders want as he is responsible defensively which fits into the system Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello implement. The last detail of the trade is Richard Panik’s contract is 50% retained by the Red Wings. So originally Panik signed a contract worth $2.75 million per season but now the Islanders now only have to pay $1.375 million.
Who Won the Nick Leddy Trade?
While both teams benefited from the trade the clear winner of the trade is the New York Islanders. The Red Wings did well by acquiring a veteran of eleven years in Nick Leddy that will help the younger members of the Red Wings roster mature and learn from a former Stanley Cup Championship.
The Islanders not only gain an extra draft pick early in the draft but they also get cap space and a player that perfectly fits the system that their head coach and the general manager want to implement. With the freed-up cap space, the Islanders now have the flexibility to sign their free agents of making a big splash in free agency.
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