The 10 most surprising NHL transactions this summer

Welcome to the slow, boring days of summer. If you're a hockey fan, you're hoping for the summer to speed by as quickly as possible and for October to magically show up on your calendar. There's very little to talk about in the world of hockey. Most major free agents have signed and most teams are content to sit on their roster until training camp. 

With that, we're going to take a look back at what already took place this summer. We're going to take you back to a time where NHL news actually broke and we all had material to analyze. Here are the 10 most surprising transactions (so far) to take place this summer. 

Keep in mind that these aren't in any particular order. We just went through and picked 10 transactions which caught us (more or less) with our collective pants down. 

Did we miss a move which took you by surprise? Let us know in the comments. 

Cory Schneider traded to New Jersey

If you followed the 2013 NHL Draft, the moment that left you speechless was when the Vancouver Canucks traded Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for New Jersey's 9th overall pick.

There were some trade rumors surrounding Schneider prior to the actual trade, but all signs – for almost a full year – were pointing to a Roberto Luongo trade. Odds are most NHL writers (including yours truly) had a template for a Luongo trade and were just waiting to fill in the details. In the end, Schneider was the one moved and the Canucks pledged their allegiance to Luongo after butchering the situations for months. 

Then there's the actual return for Schneider. After months of rumors and speculation, the Canucks ruined any perceived value for either goaltender. The entire NHL knew the Canucks needed to pull off a trade and this killed any return the Canucks might receive. 

Jarome Iginla signs with Boston

Wait, didn't we do this before? Last season Iginla was reportedly traded to the Boston Bruins near the trade deadline. Hours later, we all found out that Iginla was actually traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

This time Iginla is actually joining the Bruins (we think) in a move which might be more ironic than it is surprising.

Ilya Kovalchuk heads to the KHL

I was walking through a store when I heard a notification on my phone. Much to my surprise, the notification was from the NHL app regarding Kovalchuk's immediate retirement from the NHL. Come again? I nearly dropped my phone. 

Kovalchuk's departure from the NHL was one that some people discussed before the actual event took place, but for the most part his move to the KHL came as a complete surprise. A move by Kovalchuk to the KHL always seemed possible, but fans and analysts believed that if he was going to switch leagues he would have done so earlier in the summer. 

Daniel Alfredsson signs with Detroit

Alfredsson has been with Ottawa since he joined the Senators back in 1995-96. He has spent his entire 17-year career with the Senators. Alfredsson appeared to be one of the few guys you come across in sports who spends his entire career with one team.

Alfredsson shocked Ottawa fans by announcing he would not be returning and his desire to win was forcing him to leave for a new team. He then signed with the Detroit Red Wings. Losing a major part of your organization is stunning. Losing an experienced veteran and your captain is shocking. 

Nathan Horton signs a huge deal with Columbus

Did you envision Horton signing a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets? Probably not. Did you expect Horton to receive a seven-year, $37.1 million contract? Definitely not. 

Horton may be an extremely strong addition for the Blue Jackets, but it's pretty surprising that the team would commit so many years and so much money to a guy with serious shoulder injuries and a colorful history with concussions. 

Tyler Seguin traded to Dallas

Seguin was at the center of several trade rumors in June. However, a stern speech from Boston GM Peter Chiarelli appeared to close the door on Seguin speculation and made it seem as if the team was prepared to weather Seguin's growing pains. 

As it turns out, Boston was saving the fireworks for the Fourth of July, sending Seguin to Dallas in a blockbuster of a trade. The Seguin trade was one that a lot of people talked about, but it always seemed like one that would never actually pan out. Boston would be taking a big risk by dealing away such a talented youngster to a new team. 

Bobby Ryan traded to Ottawa

Remember Daniel Alfredsson's belief that the Ottawa Senators weren't doing what it takes to win? Shortly after Alredsson announced his intentions to leave, the Senators went out and acquired Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks. 

Ottawa paid dearly for Ryan (Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesenand and a first-round pick in 2014), but they shocked the hockey community while most believed they were still reeling from the idea of losing Alfredsson.

Daniel Carcillo traded to Los Angeles

Hold up – a transaction involving Carcillo is one of the most surprising moves of the summer? Believe it or not, it was. Carcillo, one of the most penalized players in the league, was actually sought out by a team (LA) and they traded for him. 

Carcillo is cheap, but the move essentially signaled the end of Kyle Clifford's time with the Kings. Which player would you rather have? Exactly. 

Vincent Lecavalier leaves Tampa Bay, signs with Philadelphia

We all knew a buyout of Lecavalier's contract was going to happen. Still, when it actually happened it was tough to not be taken back by the fact Lecavalier's time with the Lighting was over. The attention then shifted to endless debate over which team would splash out the big bucks to acquire a prized forward. 

Cue Philadelphia. Despite a strained budget and very few resources dedicated to goaltending, the Flyers went out and signed Lecavalier to a five-year, $22.5 million contract. Who needs goaltending? 

David Perron traded to Edmonton

As a writer who covers the St. Louis Blues on a regular basis, I can attest that fans were clamoring for a trade of Perron for quite some time. The team's core had been intact for several seasons and it continually failed to produce a result. A change needed to be made. However, any trade of a key forward would have to bring a return which could help the Blues immediately. This seemed extremely unlikely considering the Blues were pressed against the cap and still had to address Alex Pietrangelo's new contract. 

Low and behold, the Blues pulled off a trade which shook up their core and brought in a talented asset. It was assumed that if the Blues made a trade it'd have to be for draft picks given the team's financial obligations, but here they brought in an asset – an exciting one at that – and kept their budget mostly in order. 


About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.