Admirals Amidst A Changing Currentby Wendal Spark | March 16, 2015, 8:57 PM ET
The Amsterdam Admirals have made a bold move, trading starting goaltender Jimmy Howard, while sitting in a playoff spot. It's a very risky move, but the netminder was likely to be leaving in the off season. Howard, who holds many Admiral records, was moved out for prospect and former 1st round pick Nicklas Jensen, backup goalie, Niklas Svedberg, and a couple of draft picks.
After fielding offers and negotiation for all impending UFA's, Olli Jokinen was moved to the Express for a 3rd round pick. Word was a certain prospect was mentioned, but ultimately a draft pick was enough. Versatile winger, Daniel Winnik was also moved for a draft pick and temporary starter, Ilya Bryzgalov. Multiple rumors circulated about Patrice Bergeron and Brent Burns. Also moved, was Danton Heinen for a 2nd round pick in 2018. With some of the young players the Admirals have in the pipeline, they were comfortable moving Heinen for a valuable pick later on.
GMKL responds, "We are still in a playoff position. Jimmy knew his time was up, and his numbers have been ok, but we expected more out of him the last few seasons. It was a difficult decision, but finalizing the Bryzgalov deal, sealed Howard's fate. We're hoping that the Swedish duo of Svedberg and Jhonas Enroth will be a healthy rivalry moving forward. Bryzgalov seems on board for the push, and is trying to prove himself in the league again. His numbers are impressive all things considered. As for Bergeron and Burns? We'd love to retain both of them if we can. Anything can happen come free agency. We explored getting the right return, but ultimately decided that going into the playoffs, we're going to need both guys vs. the return we could have had. We may unfortunately end up losing both of them, but our organization needs the playoff experience, and we know Patrice and Brent will give us their best efforts as long as they don the Admiral jersey. We have several picks in the upcoming draft, perhaps we'll move them, perhaps we won't. We are building the team for now and the future. "