Full disclosure, I’m writing this wearing my Brandon Saad Saginaw Spirit jersey, so that’s where I am emotionally.
Ok… let’s see if we can parse this altogether. It’s not going to be easy. So here’s the facts. The Hawks first traded Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin. Then, presumably getting buzzed on the fumes from that, Stan Bowman turned around and traded Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte and a pick to Columbus for Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg, and another pick.
Well…. well… let’s get to it, shall we?
I’m not going to bury the lede here on how we feel. The Hammer trade has the potential to be a very good one. Yeah I know, you’re throwing something at the screen right now, hoping it will somehow be absorbed by the internet and then spit out through my screen and hit me in the face.
But I know what I’m saying. Put the sentiment aside. For the second half of last year, Niklas Hjalmarsson was not good. Where before he could smother the best any opponent had to offer, he couldn’t do that last year. It wasn’t just Seabrook getting torched by the Predators last year. It was Hammer too. And as we’ve said repeatedly the past couple years, the aging curve on a less-than-mobile puck bag that Hammer was can get very ugly in an awful hurry. Think Rob Scuderi. Think Robyn Regehr. Think Niklas Kronwall. Think Brooks Orpik. Not pretty, no?