Flashback to March 2, 2015. The Ducks are looking to add a defenseman to help a blueline with pairings composed of Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy, Hampus Lindholm – Francois Beauchemin and Sami Vatanen – Clayton Stoner. In the final hour of the deadline Bob Murray finally pulls the trigger, trading for James Wisniewski and later Simon Despres.
Wisniewski (and a third round pick in 2015) was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Rene Bourque, prospect William Karlsson and a second round pick in 2015. Ducks fans everywhere rejoiced as a top pairing defenseman finally made his way to Anaheim.
As a Blue Jacket, Wisniewski was playing top pairing minutes with a stat line of eight goals and 21 assists for 29 points before being traded. He also had a minus-10 rating in 56 games played for Columbus. Wisniewski played 13 regular season games for the Ducks, producing no goals and five assists for a total of five points. He finished with a minus-three rating in those 13 games.
While with the Ducks Wisniewski played with Fowler and Vatanen, but didn't get nearly as much time as would be expected of a top defenseman.
For those that like fancy stats here is the impact Wisniewski had on his line mates in the short time he played in 2015:
For comparison, here is Clayton Stoner's impact chart:
Thirteen regular season games with 5 assists to show for it is hardly an impact. Wisniewski impacted the Ducks the most by not playing. He didn't make an appearance at all in the 205 playoffs. We may never know what could have been as he was traded this summer to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for backup goaltender Anton Khudobin, who could become the 2015-2016 version of Jason LaBarbera behind Frederik Andersen and John Gibson on the depth chart. Whether it was an unknown injury or Bruce Boudreau's decision not to play Wisniewski, the Ducks seem to have lost this deal considering they traded down in what was considered a quality 2015 draft and gave away a prospect while not playing Wisniewski at all in the playoffs.