GWMHL

5 Earth-Shaking Deals of the Off-Season

In Uncategorized on October 3, 2016 at 9:48 am

It was an active trade season for Gump GMs, with many minor deals (see them all here) and several huge ones.

What the always-active Boston Banshees had in sheer volume, the West Virginia River Rats made up for with impact. Unloading core players was a risky gamble, but one the Rats needed to make. And, as you’ll see, several of those moves could have a lasting effect on the GWMHL.

5) Charleston trades Jaromir Jagr, Rick Nash, and a ’16 4th rounder (which Charleston would eventually reacquire) for Jason Zucker, Luke Schenn, and a ’16 3rd (Nick Paul)

Mere moments after Baltimore capped off its championship run, the Boston Banshees stepped back into the limelight. Jagr and Nash don’t exactly make Boston younger, but they solidify the Banshees’ top six in a big way — and, of course, the move paved the way for an epic series of Boston deals to come.

4) Boston trades Max Pacioretty and a ’17 2nd rounder to El Dorado for a ’16 1st (Matt Murray) and ’16 2nd (Radek Faksa)

In one of the more surprising moves of the offseason, the Banshees shipped out their best left winger, who moves to a team where he’ll be competing for ice time with Alex Ovechkin and James Van Riemsdyk. A head-scratcher? Maybe, especially when you consider that Boston used the first rounder to pick up Matt Murray while already boasting a workhorse in Braden Holtby. But the move solidifies the Lynx’s forward corps and presents the Banshees with some intriguing options. And by options, we mean trade chips.

3) West Virginia trades Brent Burns to Baltimore for a ’16 1st (Nick Ritchie), ’16 3rd (Chris Bigras), and Matt Dumba

The Crab may be due for a setback after its glorious ’15-’16 campaign, but acquiring an elite offensive defenseman could do something about that. Burns becomes a key member of one of the league’s best bluelines and probably vaults the Crab back into contention.

2) West Virginia trades Henrik Lundqvist to Ice Harbor for a ’16 2nd (Nikolay Goldobin) and 3rd (Juuse Saros) and 1st round free agent pick (Oskar Sundqvist)

The fact that the Storm got Lundqvist without forking over a first was a major coup. This deal may send the biggest ripples through the league, as Ice Harbor addressed its only real weakness while looking to build on a year in which their young roster took a big step forward and the team made the playoffs for the first time in forever. The Storm are poised to challenge Nashville in the Sawchuk Conference.

1) West Virginia trades Sidney Crosby to Great Lakes for a ’16 1st (Pavel Zacha), ’17 1st, and ’17 3rd

Talk about coming out of left field. Did anyone think the Pilots would be the team to make the biggest splash in the West Virginia clearance sale? Crosby instantly becomes Great Lakes’ best player, shifting Ryan Getzlaf to the second line and Tyler Bozak to the third. The Pilots still have weak spots, especially on the wings, but with that kind of one-two punch up the middle, they may be the season’s biggest wild card. The Rats, meanwhile, made out with a king’s ransom, as Zacha is poised to be an impact player and next year’s Great Lakes first will likely be top-15. Without question the biggest move of the year.

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