After a wild night in which the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, and Vegas Golden Knights put together one of more complex trades in recent memory (here’s a brief summary for those still confused), there are still some questions to be answered. Sportsnet’s John Shannon both asked and answered one of the most prevalent questions: why would the Knights get involved? Rather than simply trading cap space for some minor assets, GM George McPhee’s motivation was a little more devious. Shannon states that McPhee knew Brassard was headed out West, likely to the Winnipeg Jets, unless he could intervene and help him stay in the East. So, not only did Vegas get a player and pick, but they also weakened their playoff competition.
- That player, Ryan Reaves, was likely no coincidence either. The 31-year-old enforcer has hardly inspired any team to pursue him with his production in 2017-18. However, as Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston points out, Reaves played his junior hockey with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings. His coach while he was there was none other than Kelly McCrimmon, the Assistant GM of the Golden Knights. Some have speculated that the Knights may try to flip Reaves, but given his connection to one of the men in charge, that may not happen.
- The 2018 fourth-round pick bound for Vegas also has a bit more value than initially suspected. The Athletic’s Seth Rorabaugh clarifies that the pick sent by Pittsburgh was the one acquired from the Vancouver Canucks for Derrick Pouliot last summer. Thus, the Knights will be picking at the top of the fourth round rather than the bottom.
- What about the prospect heading to Pittsburgh from Vegas? Tobias Lindberg is just 22 and has just six games on NHL experience, but is already used to being in the middle of major trades. Rorabaugh recalls that Lindberg, an Ottawa fourth-rounder in 2013, was shipped to Toronto in the massive Dion Phaneuf trade. He then ended up in Las Vegas when the Leafs acquired Calvin Pickard earlier this year for Lindberg and a sixth-round pick.
- Finally, the Ottawa Senators are surely happy to have another first-round pick and one of the top goalie prospects in the world now in their grasp, but the stock-up of picks and prospects from this trade won’t end there. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the Sens have been receiving calls all day about Ian Cole, the other piece added from Pittsburgh. Ottawa will surely flip the solid rearguard by Monday’s deadline.