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NHL Notebook: Offseason kicks off as Linus Ullmark traded to Ottawa, Jake Walman to San Jose

Linus Ullmark
Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
24 days ago
The 2023-24 National Hockey League season finished Monday.
That means the off-season officially kicked off, with numerous trades being made on Monday and Tuesday. Moreover, a restricted free agent re-signed with his team, and the next set of Hall of Fame players was announced on Tuesday.

The offseason kicks off with a bang

Prior to the Florida Panthers winning the Stanley Cup on Monday, two of their division rivals made a trade. The Bruins traded the 2022-23 Vezina Trophy-winning netminder to the Ottawa Senators.
In return, the Bruins received Joonas Korpisalo with 25 percent of his $4 million cap hit retained, right-shot forward Mark Kastelic, and Boston’s 25th-overall pick in the upcoming draft. They originally traded that pick to the Detroit Red Wings for Tyler Bertuzzi at the 2023 trade deadline, while the Wings moved it to the Senators for Alex DeBrincat.
Speaking of the Red Wings, they also made two moves on Tuesday. First up was trading prospect Andrew Gibson to Nashville in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick, originally belonging to the Tampa Bay Lightning, as well as Jesse Kiiskinen.
Kiiskinen, a right-winger from Finland, scored four goals and 10 points in 36 games last season for the Lahti Pelicans in SM-Liiga. The 18-year-old was selected 68th-overall in last season’s draft.
Gibson is a right-shot defenceman drafted in the same draft with the 42nd overall selection. With the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League, he scored 12 goals and 44 points in 68 games, as well as two assists in 11 postseason games.
That second-round selection was on the move again though, as the Wings traded that pick along with Jake Walman to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations.
This one makes a lot less sense for the Wings. Last season in 63 games, Walman scored a career-high 12 goals and 21 points, along with playing top pairing minutes alongside Moritz Seider. By no means is Walman a top pairing defenceman, but his production fits the contract, which makes it odd that the Wings had to attach a second-round pick.

2024 Hall of Fame class announced

Sticking with the Wings, one of their all-time greats has been elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame, as Pavel Datsyuk will headline the 2024 class.
Selected in the sixth-round of the 1998 draft by the Wings when Ken Holland was in charge, Datsyuk won a Stanley Cup in his first season in North America in 2002, as well as a second in 2008. There were some personal achievements along the way too, as he won the Lady Byng Memorial trophy four times, as well as the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times.
Overall, he put up 314 goals and 918 points in 953 games before heading back to Russia to play in the Kontinental Hockey League for the 2016-17 season, eventually retiring after the 2020-21 season.
Datsyuk is one of the greatest two-way centres of all time, along with some of the sweetest hands you’ll ever see on a hockey player (not literally). It was only a matter of time before he was inducted.
Shea Weber and Jeremy Roenick were the other former NHL players inducted, while Natalie Darwitz and Krissy Wendell-Pohl were the other players inducted. Both women represented the United States at the Olympics, as Darwitz won the silver medals at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics, while winning bronze at the 2006 Olympics. Wendell-Pohl played for the United States at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics.
In the builder category, league executive Colin Campbell and long-time Nashville Predators general manager David Polie were elected to the HHoF. The latter drafted Shea Weber and is the winningest general manager in NHL history with 1,533 wins between his tenure with the Washington Capitals and the Predators.

Casey Mittelstadt re-signs

It looks as if the Colorado Avalanche have their second-line centre of the future, as they re-signed Casey Mittelstadt to a three-year deal with a cap hit of $5.75 million annually.
Originally drafted by the Buffalo Sabres with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 draft, Mittelstadt had 14 goals and 47 points in 62 games with the Sabres, before a trade deadline deal sent him to the Avalanche in exchange for Bowen Byram.
In 18 games with the Avalanche, the 25-year-old scored four goals and 10 points, setting a new career-high with 18 goals. He also scored three goals and nine points in 11 postseason games before the Avalanche were bounced in the second round.
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