NHL Notebook: Three team blockbuster sends Ivan Provorov to Columbus Blue Jackets, can the Florida Panthers trust Sergei Bobrovsky in game three, and more

Photo credit:Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
The NHL’s offseason is kicking off early this year, so it seems.
A three-team blockbuster deal broke out Tuesday afternoon that saw the Philadelphia Flyers, LA Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets broker a massive deal for all three franchises.
The blockbuster sees the Columbus Blue Jackets solidify themselves as a team looking to improve acquiring defenceman Ivan Provorov, while the LA Kings get out from some bad money in goaltender Cal Petersen. The Flyers, meanwhile, signify their desire to be sellers and a team willing to eat some money in exchange for picks and prospects.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Acquires: defenceman Ivan Provorov.
Gives up: 2023 1st round pick (LAK – 22nd overall), 2024 conditional second-round pick (Columbus must decide after the 2024 first round is complete if they’re sending a 2024 2nd round pick or the 2025 2nd round pick to Philadelphia).
LA Kings
Acquires: defenceman Kevin Connauton, right winger Hayden Hodgson, 30 percent of Provorov’s contract ($2.025 million through 2023-24).
Gives up: goaltender Cal Petersen, defenceman Sean Walker and Helge Grans, 2024 2nd round pick (LAK).
Philadelphia Flyers 
Acquires: goaltender Cal Peterson, defenceman Sean Walker and Helge Grans, 2023 1st round pick (LAK – 22nd overall), 2024 2nd round pick (LAK), 2024 or 2025 2nd round pick (CBJ).
Gives up: defenceman Ivan Provorov.
As Cam Lewis wrote earlier this afternoon, rumours have begun to float of the Flyers potentially trading goaltender Carter Hart, so that will be a big story to keep an eye on.
Over at Daily Faceoff, Matt Larkin dove into some way-too-early trade grades on the deal. Here’s how he broke it down:
Blue Jackets
With Provorov, the Blue Jackets clearly deepen their blueline with a viable minute muncher, replacing a lot of the minutes fellow left-shot Vladislav Gavrikov had given them. A D-corps including Werenski, Provorov, Adam Boqvist, Andrew Peeke, Erik Gudbranson and perhaps Jiricek looks much better than what Columbus trotted out there for much of last season. Provorov isn’t the needle mover he’s sometimes advertised to be, and he hasn’t become the perennial Norris Trophy threat many of us envisioned years ago. But the acquisition cost (a 1st and conditional second, with 30 percent of Provorov’s salary retained) from the Blue Jackets’ perspective wasn’t too prohibitive. They already have a loaded youth crop and they’ll strengthen their pipeline further with the third overall pick in the 2023 Draft later this month.
Grade: B-
The Kings did surrender a promising prospect in Grans, whom they’d picked in the second round of the 2020 Draft. a big, mobile right-shot blueliner who came over from his native Sweden starting in 2021-22 and already has two AHL seasons to his name. Keep in mind, however, the right side of the D-corps was an area of extreme surplus for the Kings; just among their prospects, let alone their NHL roster, Brandt Clarke and Jordan Spence were ahead of Grans in the pecking order.
The Kings are clearly prepping for a bigger move, and the price they paid to clear up cap space was reasonable.
Grade: B, with potential for a higher or lower grade depending on what Kings do with their cap space
What’s not to like here for the Flyers? They strengthened their draft capital significantly, added a solid prospect and picked up another tradeable veteran asset for down the road. Given Grans and the draft picks are theoretical assets more so than bankable ones, I’ll stop short on the A+, but Briere’s first trade was about as impressive it comes.
Grade: A


Bobrovsky off the case?

The Florida Panthers have come to earth and have been humbled by the Vegas Golden Knights through two games. Now heading home with their tail tucked between their legs, questions have arisen about whether or not they can go back to Bobrovsky.
It’s not all on him, but at the end of the day Florida has been outscored 12-4.
Tyler Yaremchuk and Mike McKenna dove into it on Tuesday’s edition of Daily Faceoff Live.
Tyler Yaremchuk: I want to get your thoughts on who Florida has between the pipes. Sergei Bobrovksy was obviously pulled. That always brings up the question of whether the Panthers will make a change in net heading into Game 3 at home. Alex Lyon started the first handful of games in this playoff run: would you make a goalie change if you were Paul Maurice.
Mike McKenna: No, I think you go right back to Bob. A little bit of help in front of him, a little more patience from Bobrovsky on his edges, and he should be able to bounce back.
When you look at Hill’s play, and he’s been awesome, you do have to look at the offenses of these two teams and why they’re scoring. When you look at the shot charts from last night, over half of Vegas’s attempts were up high; their goals come in the top half of the net. When you take a look at where the Florida Panthers are chucking pucks, Adin Hill is not going to have a tough night when the great majority of those shots are at those big 6 ‘4 legs of his.
It doesn’t matter if it’s from the slot, it doesn’t matter if it’s a rebound chance; if you don’t put it in the air on that guy you’re in deep trouble. Even the big glove saves he made were on mid-level shots. Hill’s been rock solid, but Cassidy’s system and the Florida Panthers’ inability to bear down and make the most of their chances.

Can Lou fix the New York Islanders?

The Lou Lamoriello-led Islanders once again find themselves in cap purgatory with too many mid-level forwards making far too much money. He’s handed out lengthy, expensive deals to guys like Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, JG-Pageua and Casey Cizikas, and now has big deals for Bo Horvat and Mat Barzal kicking in.
On Tuesday’s edition of Daily Faceoff Live, Yaremchuk and McKenna opined about what could be done to improve things.
Mike McKenna: Lou is lucky that he’s got a bunch of guys that really work. This is a team that work their ass off, they play hard defensively, and they’ve got a world class goaltender in Ilya Sorokin. But, keep in mind, you’re going to have to pay Sorokin double what he’s making now easily after this season’s up. He’s going to be a UFA in 24-25. He’s making $4 million this year, he’s going to be an $8-9 million goalie, because he might be the best one on Earth.
This roster, this construction against the cap, the salaries that are on it, the number of no-trade clauses, no-movement clauses, this is a huge mess. This is a contractual mess and they’ve got to create flexibility. This feels ripe to me for Lou to take a big swing and make a trade this summer. The problem is he hasn’t done it in so long, and I’m not sure if that’s really in him. He did it for Horvat, but that’s a deadline piece. Is he willing to move on from Josh Bailey? $5 million for 20-30 points, that contract’s got to go, and he’s not alone.
And they still have to sign a top four defender, because I think Mayfield is going to walk. He’s been way too underpaid. $1.45 million for what he brings to the team, he’s out the door. He’s been undervalued for too long, it’s time to get paid. They’re going to need a big time defenseman, and they still need another goaltender to go with Sorokin. I think they’re going to have to dumpster dive on that one because you’re not going to have Semyon Varlamov come back for anything less than $3-4 million at the very minimum.
Tyler Yaremchuk: Just because I have this image of Sorokin as a young, up-and-coming goalie, even though he’s been dynamic for so many years, I forget he’s heading into his age 28 season because he spent so much time in Russia. A UFA next summer for Ilya Sorokin, you need to almost take a look at that this year. I’m sure Sorkin’s very open to signing there, but if you can’t get that done, I’d be scared shitless of letting that guy potentially walk through next season not signed to an extension.
McKenna: We’re talking about the importance of the Leafs getting Auston Matthews locked up this summer, this deal for Sorokin could define that franchise in Long Island, because you don’t come across goalies like this.
Yaremchuk: They’re a lottery team if they don’t have him.
McKenna: Yes! That guy saved their ass last year. So Lou’s got his work cut out for him, he’s created the mess. Again it’s very similar to what happened to the end of his time in New Jersey, so he’s going to have to reinvent himself and that roster.
Yaremchuk: Could Horvat and Barzal bounce back next season? I think yeah, Horvat scored 30+ goals, I know he wasn’t great when he got to the Island, but those two could bounce back.
I’m still not convinced that that’s enough. Lou’s got to do some roster reconstruction.
McKenna: Yeah, for sure, I agree. I don’t mind having Barzal, I think Barzal’s deal was an overpay at $9.15 million.
But Barzal and Horvat, sure. But that murky middle, all those $5 million contracts and no-trade clauses, a lot of them are just bad deals. They’ve got to go, but I don’t know how.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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