In a stunning move that defies conventional thinking, the Carolina Hurricanes have
traded goalie Anton Khudobin to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman James Wisniewski.
Only an hour ago, the ‘Canes traded a couple of draft picks to the Vancouver Canucks for their goalie Eddie Lack, prompting speculation that Cam Ward – with a much larger contract and cap hit – might be out the door. Instead, Hurricanes GM Ron Francis surprised most analysts with the Khudobin trade.
The Hurricanes absolutely need a strong defenseman. Actually more than one.
(Read “Justin Faulk Needs Help” here)
Wisniewski is 31-years old and has been in the NHL for a decade. He was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, and moved to the NHL in the 2005-06 season. He has been not only with the Blackhawks, but also with the New York Islanders,Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Ducks. One might call him a journeyman defender.
Wisniewski played in 69 games last year and had eight goals and 26 assists. He was a -13.
Looking at his stats, one is not likely to jump up and down. But, it’s a start for the ‘Canes as far as addressing the needs they have on the blue line. Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports wrote of the trade,
“This was a great salary dump for the Ducks, as Wisniewski has two more years left at $5.5 million and was a healthy scratch for Bruce Boudreau during the playoffs.”
Although that seems like a lot of salary for the Hurricanes to deal with, Wyshynski went on to write,
“He’s 31 years old and a proven puck mover. He might be a bit of a redundancy in Carolina with John-Michael Liles and Ron Hainsey already there, but his salary will also ensure the Canes are well above the cap floor.”
A proven puck mover definitely won’t hurt, especially in the system that ‘Canes Coach Bill Peters employs.
Mark lives in the Raleigh, NC area and covers the Carolina Hurricanes.