When the Florida Panthers shipped Lawson Crouse off to Arizona in exchange for a pair of draft picks and the Coyotes taking on Dave Bolland’s cap hit, many people were shocked. Bolland was (and remains) on long-term injured reserve, without a clear picture on whether he’ll ever play hockey again. Crouse on the other hand was a 19-year old blue-chip prospect who looked like he had a long NHL career ahead of him as a prototypical power forward. Speaking to George Richards of the Miami Herald, Panthers GM Tom Rowe admitted it was tough to lose him:
We got criticized for giving up on a great young prospect but we had to. That contract was strangling us, cap-wise. When we traded him, our scouts were furious. I’m not going to lie. But we had to do something and that was trade Lawson.
Crouse has just 11 points this season for the Coyotes, but he’s gaining valuable experience as a teenager and still has a bright future ahead of him. Meanwhile the Panthers have already essentially used that cap space, as extensions for Aaron Ekblad, Vincent Trocheck, Jonathan Huberdeau and Derek MacKenzie kick in next year.
- The New Jersey Devils have assigned Nick Lappin to the AHL today, after their loss last night to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team is headed home for the next three games, as they continue to battle for position in the draft lottery. The team now sits 28th in the league, meaning they’ll have a solid shot at a top-5 pick in the draft this year.
- Montreal has signed Jeremiah Addison to a three-year, entry-level contract. The Windsor Spitfires forward is still in the OHL playoffs and will be playing at the Memorial Cup this year regardless of the outcome. Windsor hosts the tournament, and therefor gets an entry even without winning the OHL championship.
- The Buffalo Sabres will lose Rasmus Ristolainen for three games following his suspension, but as John Vogl of the Buffalo News writes, won’t actually be shorthanded in their next game. That’s because Kyle Okposo, William Carrier and Dmitry Kulikov are all ready to enter the lineup after being held out with various injuries. The Sabres take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.