One thing's for sure, NHL teams are not afraid of making moves this summer; GMs are probably weary of their own shelf life, and each one wants to save his ass by having his team make the playoffs, although only half of them will.
Today, Derick Brassard went from the New York Rangers to the Ottawa Senators for promising young gun Mika Zibanejad, in a move that has many puzzled. Don't be.
Statistically, they both had similar 2015-16 campaigns, with Brassard posting 58 points (27 of them goals) and Zibanejad 51 (21 goals), but Brassard is a better, more complete player right now, although Zibanejad is five years younger and probably has more upside, including at least one 30-goal, 70-point season ahead of himself.
Brassard also has just $10M left to be paid over the next three years with a $15M cap hit now that the Rangers just paid him his bonus for next year, while Zibanejad is a RFA-to-be who is making just under $3M next year... but will probably be in line for a raise that nets him over $5M on his next deal, which is something the (notoriously cheap) Sens wanted to avoid. They now have bought themselves three years to draft and bring up his replacement.
This move was about math, but economics math. And the Sens know that if they can reach the playoffs and face the Montréal Canadiens in the first round, Craig Anderson can probably outplay Carey Price for the third time in five years, which would entirely justify making the trade in the first place.
Here is Brassard in his Juniors days, playing for the Drummondville Voltigeurs, who were coached by none other than Guy Boucher, the Sens' new bench boss, on card #135 from In The Game's 2005-06 Heroes And Prospects set, which he signed in blue sharpie: