With injuries to Francois Beauchemin and Clayton Stoner, the Anaheim Ducks were in dire need of blueline help. They got some on Friday, trading a 2015 third-round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenseman Eric Brewer.
The deal makes sense for both sides. For Tampa Bay, Brewer was expendable. With Victor Hedman well on his way to returning, there would be little room for the veteran blueliner to make his way back into the top half of the lineup. Brewer is also a pending unrestricted free agent, so it makes sense to get rid of an expiring contract while the Lightning can still get something back in return.
What Brewer will bring to the Ducks backend is a veteran presence, something they are sorely lacking at the moment. A quick glance at Anaheim’s injured list gives you an idea of what they’re missing; each of Mark Fistric, Ben Lovejoy, and Sheldon Souray are on the injured reserve, while Stoner is listed as day-to-day. The Ducks aren’t even quite sure as to how serious Beauchemin’s injury is as of yet.
In addition to acquiring Brewer, the Ducks were able to get the Lightning to retain 26 percent of his $3.75 million salary.
For Friday’s game against the Blackhawks, the Ducks iced Jesse Blacker, Josh Manson, and Mat Clark, each of whom has less than 20 games NHL experience.
As for Tampa Bay, the draft pick will do well in increasing the Lightning’s already rich prospect cupboard or work as a throw-in to a deal they make down the line. Having expendable draft picks, as well as the cap space that moving a roster player for a draft pick allows, can serve a team well when it comes time to deal at the trade deadline.