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As the 2013-14 season approaches, we take stock of five big offseason trades waiting to bear fruit, or turn to rot.
Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, Ryan Button from Boston to Dallas, for Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser
This deal was the biggest in an offseason in which a handful of potentially impactful trades were made. At the core of this transaction is former No. 2 overall pick Seguin moving to Dallas (where he will play center) for Loui Eriksson, whose work as a skilled, two-way winger went largely unnoticed in Big D.
Peverley won a Cup in Boston, although he missed much of training camp with a heart irregularity, while Joe Morrow went to Dallas in the Brenden Morrow deal with Pittsburgh at the trade deadline and has some upside.
The potential of this deal from the Stars' perspective lies in Seguin maturing on and off the ice and becoming the franchise center the Bruins believed he would be when they drafted him. There are plenty of red flags, though, given how quickly the Bruins gave up on Seguin. It's a risk-reward proposition for the Stars, for sure.
In Boston, Eriksson will be exactly the kind of player head coach Claude Julien loves and should fit seamlessly with a team that's been to two Stanley Cup finals in the past three seasons.
Nino Niederreiter, 2013 third-round pick from the New York Islanders to Minnesota, for Cal Clutterbuck
This was a curious trade to begin with, one that smacked of a team (the Islanders) deciding to wash its hands of a player who did not meet high expectations. But already this deal is turning into a downer for the Islanders because Clutterbuck, a rugged third-line-type player, suffered a serious cut to his leg during training camp and could miss the first month of the regular season or more.
In Minnesota, the jury is still out on exactly where Niederreiter fits in for the youthful Wild. Suffice it to say the former No. 5 overall pick (2010) is getting a chance to show he belongs, and it would be a shock if he doesn't lock down a spot on one of the team's top three lines. There were obviously issues between Niederreiter (or at least Niederreiter's people) and the Islanders concerning his development, but his 28 goals in the AHL last season show his potential.
If the Swiss-born Niederreiter manages to score 15 to 20 goals for the Wild -- not out of the question given the opportunities for young players on the team -- this will turn out to be a pretty lopsided exchange.
Cory Schneider from Vancouver to New Jersey, for No. 9 overall pick in 2013 (Canucks selected Bo Horvat)
This was easily the most contentious offseason deal, with Vancouver GM Mike Gillis doing an about-face and deciding to keep veteran netminder Roberto Luongo and instead dealing the younger, cheaper Schneider to the Devils. This deal will reverberate across both conferences.
Schneider looks to establish himself as the heir to Martin Brodeur's throne in New Jersey, even if Brodeur isn't ready to abdicate just yet, and both goaltenders will have to be at their best if the Devils are going to get back in the postseason. Meanwhile, every time Luongo has a poor outing in Vancouver fans will be questioning the deal.
For his part, Horvat is trying to earn a roster spot with the Canucks out of junior hockey. Regardless of how things shake out in the short term, the impact of this deal is destined to be felt for years to come.
Jonathan Bernier from Los Angeles to Toronto, for Ben Scrivens, Matt Frattin, future second-round draft pick
Kings GM Dean Lombardi made good on his promise to find a new home for Bernier, the 11th overall pick in 2006, after it became clear Bernier would see little ice time playing behind Jonathan Quick. That the Leafs would ante up speaks volumes about their lack of faith in James Reimer, who last spring helped guide the Leafs to their first playoff berth since 2004.
Reimer was in goal for the Leafs' epic collapse against Boston in Game 7 of the first round, although you can't really pin all the blame on him. Still, Bernier will get a chance to prove he's capable of shouldering the load as a starter -- he has 62 NHL games under his belt, compared to 104 for Reimer -- in a hockey hotbed.
Frattin, meanwhile, will get a chance to play for a Cup contender most likely as a depth player, while Scrivens is expected assume Bernier's role as Quick's understudy.
Bobby Ryan from Anaheim to Ottawa, for Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen, 2014 first-round pick
This is a deal between two playoff teams filled with interesting pieces, and one that in theory should work out for both.
The Senators are on the cusp of being a Cup contender after two straight surprise playoff appearances, and needed to fill the void created when captain Daniel Alfredsson bolted to Detroit as a free agent. Ryan, who has scored 30 or more goals four times, instantly makes the Senators more dangerous and will likely start the season playing with new captain Jason Spezza on the team's top line.
The Ducks get three prime assets for Ryan, who has two years left on a deal that pays him an average of $5.1 million annually. Head coach Bruce Boudreau raved about Silfverberg's overall game in a training camp interview with ESPN.com. "He's friggin' good," Boudreau said.
Noesen, the 21st overall pick in 2011, will likely begin the season in the AHL, but Boudreau describes him as a "powerful" player.