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Trade Alert: Western Stanley Cup favorites hook up on a goalie deal!

Wow… another shocker in the NHL today! What will be left come deadline day tomorrow?

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The Nashville Predators have acquired forward Brandon Bollig and goaltender Troy Grosenick from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the upcoming 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

While Bollig may be the biggest name in this deal, he’s effectively a contract dump by the Sharks. The 31-year-old hasn't played an NHL game since the 2015-16 season and has spent the entirety of this season with the Sharks' AHL affiliate the San Jose Barracuda. In 45 games, the gritty veteran has eight goals and 10 points. The real acquisition here is Grosenick. Bollig’s cap hit is just $650,000 but by shipping out his contract, the Sharks earn themselves a little more flexility on the trade market.

Meanwhile, Grosenick finally gets a fair shot at a full-time job in the NHL behind Preds starter Pekka Rinne. Sharks insider and Bang Sports reporter Paul Gackle reports that Grosenick’s trade represents a fulfillment of a promise made to the goaltender from Sharks general manager Doug Wilson.

The 28-year-old netminder has had a stellar season with the Barracuda, earning six wins in 20 starts and putting up a 2.98 GAA and .902 save percentage. Last season, Grosenick was a revelation for the Barracuda though and posted a 2.04 GAA and .926 save percentage.

The official release from the Predators:

Nashville, Tenn. (February 25, 2018) - Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Sunday that the club has acquired forward Brandon Bollig and goaltender Troy Grosenick from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
Bollig, 31 (1/31/87), has 10 points (8g-2a) in 45 games with the American Hockey League's San Jose Barracuda this season. A 2013 Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks, Bollig has suited up for 241 NHL games, tallying 10 goals, 13 assists and 392 penalty minutes from 2011-16. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound winger also has 251 AHL games to his credit, scoring 32 goals and adding 24 assists.
Grosenick, 28 (8/27/89), is 6-9-4 with a 2.98 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 20 games with the Barracuda in 2017-18. In the midst of his fifth professional season, the Brookfield, Wis., native has an 85-56-16 record in 168 AHL appearances to go along with a 2.59 goals-against average and 13 shutouts. Grosenick has played in two NHL games with the San Jose Sharks - stopping 55 of 58 shots faced - and pitched a shutout in his League debut on Nov. 16, 2014 at Carolina.

Trades galore with deadline looming

In other hockey news, there has been no shortage of action on the NHL’s trade market just a day before the league’s official trade deadline.

Jackets land Letestu in three-way trade

The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired center Mark Letestu in a three team trade with the Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators.

In case you missed it, Letestu was traded by the Oilers to the Predators earlier today for forward Pontus Aberg. Predators general manger David Poile then flipped Letestu to the Blue Jackets in exchange for a 4th round pick.

To summarize:

Blue Jackets acquire: Letestu Oilers acquire: Aberg and a 4th round pick Predators acquire: 4th round pick

The 33-year-old Letestu was one of the biggest names on the rental market heading into tomorrow’s trade deadline, and with him, Derick Brassard and Tomas Plekanec now all off the market, things are getting tight for teams looking to acquire a center.

In 60 games with the Oilers this season, Letestu has eight goals and 19 points. This will be the veteran’s second spin around with Letestu, as he was a member of the club from 2012-2-15. 

Habs trade Plekanec

In a shocking development, the Montreal Canadiens have traded forward Tomas Plekanec to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a package of picks and prospects.

More on this deal to come.

UPDATE:

According to a report from TSN's Pierre LeBrun, the Habs have retained 50% of Plekanec's salary in the trade:

LeBrun is also reporting this morning that there were three teams in the running for Plekanec's services, but that the Leafs ultimately stepped up to pay the price:

The 35-year-old center who has played his entire career with the Habs' organization has just six goals and 24 points this season, but was a perennial 15-25 goal scorer for years in the NHL. He's just two seasons removed from a 54 point performance and could find himself reinvigorated playing for a young, fast and uptempo Leafs squad. 

As for the return, the Habs acquire two mid-level prospects in Kerby Rychel and Rinat Valiev.

The 23-year-old Rychel was acquired by the Leafs from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Scott Harrington back in the summer of 2016. Since then, Rychel has played a season and a half for the Leafs' farm team the Toronto Marlies, but has yet to earn himself an NHL callup. The former first round pick (19th overall in 2013) has 10 goals and 30 points in 55 games with the Marlies this season. His AHL teammate, Valiev is a prototypical shut-down defender. The 22-year-old Russian has five goals and 15 points in 40 games with the Marlies this season.

Bruins land Nash

In case you missed it, the Boston Bruins made a splash on the trade market earlier today, acquiring star forward Rick Nash from the New York Rangers.

The Rangers acquire Spooner, Matt Beleskey, prospect Ryan Lindgren a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick in exchange for Nash.

The 33-year-old Nash was perhaps the biggest trade target on the NHL's open market and with him accepting a trade to the Bruins, it's expected that other trade deadline dominos will fall within the next 24 hours. How does his trade affect the market for other rental players like Vancouver Canucks forward Thomas Vanek or Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green

While he's not the 40+ goal scorer that he used to be, Nash is still a very effective player. The veteran winger has 18 goals and 28 points in 60 games so far with the Rangers this season. While it's unlikely that he sees time with the Bruins' top line of Patrice Bergernon, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, Nash seems like a perfect fit to play alongside Bruins #2 center David Krejci.

It's believed, at this point, that both teams have retained salary in the deal, as well. Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reports that the Rangers have retained 50% of Nash's salary, while the Bruins have retained 50% of Beleskey's salary.