We have trades! The first of two being Ryan Sproul to the New York Rangers for Matt Puempel.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 21, 2017
My initial reaction to this is one was it was done to free up a tiny amount of cap space for the Athanasiou signing to be made official (more on that later) but also to get more playing time for Filip Hronek and Vili Saarijarvi in the AHL, as the backlog was so tight Saarijarvi had to be sent down to the ECHL. Coming to Detroit is Matt Puempel, who is a 24-year old winger who has been a good scorer in the AHL, but has failed to keep a spot in the NHL where he has only scored 15 points in 79 games. It’s worth noting that Puempel was selected 24th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2011.
The other trade was the big one. Riley Sheahan along with a 2018 5th round pick has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Scott Wilson and a 2018 3rd round pick.
PIT sends Scott Wilson and third round pick in 2018 to DET for Riley Sheahan and 2018 fifth-round pick.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 21, 2017
When you consider that no teams were going to do Ken Holland any favors in giving him salary cap relief, this trade isn’t that bad. Wilson is a 25-year winger who produced 26 points last year, although I wouldn’t expect him to get any better. Throw in the upgrade to a 3rd round pick and it looks pretty good since Sheahan isn’t that much of an upgrade to Wilson. The obvious reason for this trade was to create cap space for the Athanasiou deal announced yesterday which was a 1-year deal worth $1.387M. Sheahan cared a cap hit of a little over $2M, while Wilson makes under $700K. Both will be RFA’s this upcoming off-season.