Some trades happened to better a team for the long term, however, others are short term fixes that needed to take place then to save a team from falling out of the playoff race. The latter is the approach the Anaheim Ducks took for the 2017-18 season, when they made a major trade earlier on when they realized they couldn't survive the overload of injuries that was hitting the team hard.
Back at the end of November, the Ducks traded defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional draft pick to the New Jersey Devils. In return, the Ducks acquired veteran centre Adam Henrique, 23-year-old centre Joseph Blandisi, and a 2018 third-round pick.
It made sense: Anaheim was ravaged by injury last season, particularly down the middle, and found a way to improve their depth. However, now, the Ducks are healthy, they have quite a few centers on the roster. According to Chris Nichols and the Broad Street Hockey webpage, more young centre players are coming to Anaheim with "Troy Terry looking for a larger role and star prospect Sam Steel playing his final junior season this past year."
This could mean that Henrique will be on the move again...
The 28-year-old forward will be entering the final year of his deal at a $4M cap hit and could draw interest on the trade market before the end of the summer. Again, Chris Nichols and the Broad Street Hockey webpage suggest that the Philadelphia Flyers should look at Henrique as an option down the middle for next season.
"If the Flyers are looking for a solid stopgap to play behind Couturier and Patrick – and also kill penalties – Henrique is a player they know well from his days in New Jersey. I wouldn’t expect him to light the world on fire, but he’s another player going into a contract year that could provide some solid depth down the middle. The Flyers could certainly do worse than Couturier, Patrick and Henrique at center."
Back in the 2015-16 season, Henrique managed to record 30 goals with the Devils at the time. This past campaign with the Ducks, he tallied 20 goals, along with 16 assists in 57 games. During the 24 contests at the start of the season with the Devils, he scored four goals and 14 points. A player bringing more than 20 goals to the Flyers - or any other team that is looking for a boost down the middle like the Montreal Canadiens - Henrique could be a good asset to add to their roster.
And let's not forget, he is just two years removed from a career-high 30 goals.