If you're a fan of the NHL, even if a team is a conference rival you have to respect when a GM is a good judge of talent and makes great trades under the radar to improve his team. Look at Colorado and how they robbed Washington...was Scott Hannan really the best they could get for Thomas Fleischmann....really?
Fleischmann had 51 points last year and is a versatile young forward who is continuing to improve. Hannan has a ton of upside but he's not the answer in Washington.
Who wins this trade?
Since being acquired by Colorado Fleischmann has 7 points in 6 games and the Avalanche are on a three game winning streak. Hannan is -7 in 6 games with the Caps with no points; the Caps have lost six straight games. There's an issue in Washington, it's not like this is Hannan's fault, infact I'm shocked he hasn't been able to make some sort of positive impact, but Av's GM Greg Sherman picked up a 26 year old UFA making 2.6 mil this season for a 31 year old UFA making 4.5 mil this season. Sherman lowers his cap hit and brings in a top level offensive talent to add to his Western Conference goals for leading team . Of course he's able to do this because he can rely on his patchwork group of D headlined by a resurgent JM Liles and the Avs great drafting record which has produced stud D-man Kevin Shattenkirk.
This remind you of the Petr Mueller deal? He put up 20 points in 15 games after joining the Avs last season after only 17 points in 50+ games for Phoenix. The Avs gave up a great talent in Wojtek Wolski who signed a 7.6 mil deal with the Desert Dogs. Mueller is out with a serious head injury, but barring that unforseen injury what a steal! Wolski has only produced 14 points this season and the Avs are, as I mentioned, the highest scoring team in the west this year without him or Mueller. Even if Fleischmann is gone next year the impact he will have being acquired this early in the year is massive, and gives the team an extra 2 mil to use at the deadline should they need it. They are locked atop with North West standings with the Canucks and if you don't think the Avs can best this year's consensus cup win pick in Vancouver you should learn not to doubt a smart GM with a high scoring team.