In case you missed the news late last night, the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers hooked up on a trade last night with prospects Aleksi Saarela and Ian McCoshen changing locales.
Check it out:
It’s not a trade that will get a lot of attention, but NHL insider Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet believes it’s a “change of scenery” type trade that could be fruitful for all those involved.
Friedge breaks it all down in his latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet, check it out:
The Panthers, who believed their defensive play needed big-time improvement, lost faith in McCoshen’s ability to provide that. The first pick of the second round in 2013 was at AHL Springfield after playing just 19 games in Florida last year. He wanted a new start and gets it, at AHL Rockford to begin. Saarela is a fascinating case study. A third-round selection by the Rangers in 2015, he went to the Hurricanes in the Eric Staal trade, to the Blackhawks with Calvin de Haan and now to the Panthers just four months later.
There is no doubting his talent — one former teammate said he has an absolute bomb of a shot, but “there’s a reason he’s been traded so many times.” He blasted Carolina on his way out, with the organization responding that he didn’t do the work expected of him and didn’t care to change that. He was not playing much at Rockford and didn’t like it. This is probably his final North American stop. Two guys with something to prove, two teams willing to gamble.
Interesting. Saarela’s AHL stats certain seem to indicate that the kid has NHL level talent, but just by virtue of being on his fourth NHL team in four years, it’s clear that there’s an issue there.
As for McCoshen, the 24 year old has played 60 games for the Panthers over the course of three seasons and the Blackhawks obviously see enough upside in him to pull the trigger on this deal.
Here’s hoping it works out for both sides.