Murray is finally getting the summer ball rolling having made two additions to the NHL club over the past two days. Yesterday, he signed Dan Sexton to a two year deal. Today, he traded a second round draft pick to Edmonton for Andrew Cogliano, who is expected to be the Ducks third line center. You can find analysis after the jump.
I'll start with the Sexton signing, because I like it and everyone says I say too many bad things about Murray. This is a good contract. It's for $550,000 both years, at the NHL level, and the first year is a two-way deal. Murray is demonstrating that he can think a little bit past the upcoming season. We all know that IF Selanne comes back, he probably doesn't have more than a year left in him. Sexton has a two-way deal the first year, and a one-way deal in the second season, when Selanne will be more than likely be gone. If nothing else, it shows the Ducks are willing to hold onto Sexton and give him a shot to crack the top 6.
I know I'm one of the few people who seems to have sampled the Dan Sexton Kool-Aid, but I still believe this kid has a ceiling of a top 6 winger and the basement of a quality third line winger. He definitely needs PP time to let his skills shine a little. He hasn't learned how to create his own shot and he needs the space of PP to help him get the points and confidence going. He's still tenacious in the corners. He goes down a little easy, but he gets up quick. There's no denying that his speed backs defenders off. If he can just learn to pick his spots a little better and to work his way towards a better shot, he could be a fine addition.
When it comes to Cogliano, I'm not sure how I feel. Murray paid a 2013 second round pick for a restricted free agent. He has to pay Cogliano more than 1.5 a season to make the second round pick look like a good deal, because the compensation for paying him less would have been a third rounder. Essentially, Murray had to give up the second, because he didn't have the third rounder he would have needed to offer sheet Cogliano. He had already traded it to St. Louis. I guess you could say that Murray overpaid out of necessity, but he has to take responsibility for the Winchester trade. Let this be a lesson on why managing your picks properly is always important.
I lament the cost. The way Madden finds gems in the draft and McNab plucks kids out of college is probably enough security for Murray to think he can always trade down and acquire the extra second rounder. But, there comes a time when trading away from that talent bites you. Still, Murray wanted to improve his third line depth and he's done that with this trade, you know since his other options have maybe a year and a half of NHL experience between them. Although as Wysh pointed out, who needs a third line center who can't win a faceoff?