NHL 2023 Offseason Shake-Up: Unpacking the High-Profile Trades and Signings

Alex DeBrincat on ice during a game.

With less than 60 days left until the 2023-24 NHL season kicks off, this offseason has been nothing short of seismic. You’d be forgiven for losing track of all the shifts, trades, and signings. Before the action resumes on ice, let’s take a deep dive into the landscape-altering moves of the offseason.

Star-Studded Transactions

This summer has been especially newsworthy, thanks to a couple of blockbusters involving elite talents like Alex DeBrincat and Erik Karlsson. Alongside them, other teams have been making calculated moves in a quest for the Stanley Cup.

Alex DeBrincat Joins Detroit Red Wings

Old Team: Ottawa Senators | New Team: Detroit Red Wings

The Deal:

  • Sent to Ottawa: Dominik Kubalik and draft picks
  • Received in Detroit: Alex DeBrincat

Detroit’s struggle with goal-scoring was glaring, finishing 24th last season in that department. General Manager Steve Yzerman took action, securing a deal with Ottawa to bring in right winger Alex DeBrincat. DeBrincat, who once recorded 41 goals during the 2021-22 season, joined the Red Wings in a deal that shipped Dominik Kubalik and some draft picks to Ottawa.

Stats to Watch:

  • Goals last season: 27
  • Points last season: 66
  • Scoring Chances: 177 (as per Natural Stat Trick)

DeBrincat is expected to spice up the Red Wings’ offense, especially when teaming up with the quick-footed Dylan Larkin on the first line.

Erik Karlsson Flies to Pittsburgh Penguins

Old Team: San Jose Sharks | New Team: Pittsburgh Penguins

The Deal:

  • Details undisclosed

The Penguins were clearly unwilling to let their championship window close. Enter Erik Karlsson, the current Norris Trophy holder, courtesy of a deal sealed by new GM Kyle Dubas. Pittsburgh, whose playoff appearances had been lackluster lately, made a bet on Karlsson being the missing championship piece.

Stats to Watch:

  • Points last season: 101
  • Age: 33

Karlsson, who managed an incredible 101 points last year despite the Sharks’ woes, will be surrounded by more talent in Pittsburgh. His addition sends a clear message: The Penguins are still in it to win it.

“The Penguins haven’t reached the second round of the playoffs since 2018, and their 16-year playoff streak came to an end last season.” — Analyst

The Under-the-Radar Moves

While the spotlight often falls on blockbuster trades and star signings, it’s the under-the-radar moves that often make a significant impact during the NHL season. These seemingly minor transactions might not make headlines, but they can fill crucial gaps in a team’s lineup or provide unexpected boosts in performance. Let’s delve into some of these overlooked trades and signings to understand how they might shape the competition in the 2023-24 NHL season.

Pierre-Luc Dubois celebrating after scoring.

Pierre-Luc Dubois to Los Angeles Kings

Old Team: Winnipeg Jets | New Team: Los Angeles Kings

The Kings were seeking the missing link after two successive first-round playoff exits, mostly at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers. Pierre-Luc Dubois might just be that piece. His acquisition could tip the scales in favor of the Kings in future face-offs against formidable opponents like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Tyler Toffoli Makes His Way to New Jersey Devils

Old Team: Calgary Flames | New Team: New Jersey Devils

New Jersey’s acquisition of Tyler Toffoli from Calgary marks a significant push for a championship. Toffoli, who had a 34-goal season and a total of 73 points this past season, joins an already lethal lineup including Jack Hughes, Timo Meier, Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier, and Dawson Mercer.

Defensive Deals to Watch

As the NHL season approaches, several key defensive trades and signings have quietly taken place, setting the stage for potential shifts in team dynamics. While they may not have garnered as much attention as the high-profile offensive moves, these defensive transactions could be game-changers in the long run. Keep an eye on these deals; they may very well influence which teams emerge as true contenders for the Stanley Cup.

Dmitry Orlov Joins the Carolina Hurricanes

Old Team: Boston Bruins | New Team: Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina continues to invest in its defensive capabilities with the signing of Dmitry Orlov. Last season, Orlov’s stats reached new highs with 29 assists and 36 points. His acquisition gives Carolina an edge, especially in puck possession.

Tyler Bertuzzi Adds Grit to Toronto Maple Leafs

Old Team: Boston Bruins | New Team: Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto, still in pursuit of playoff success, inked a deal with Tyler Bertuzzi. Though plagued by injuries, Bertuzzi’s skillset adds a different flavor to Toronto’s forward group. He’s a balance of grit and skill, something the Leafs have been missing in their previous playoff runs.

“In 21 games with the Bruins, Bertuzzi notched four goals and 16 points.” — Analyst

Other Notable Additions

  • Vladimir Tarasenko to Ottawa Senators
  • Matt Duchene to Dallas Stars

Final Thoughts

The shake-up this offseason was massive, setting up an exciting new dynamic for the 2023-24 NHL season. Teams are clearly gunning for glory, signaled by the high-profile trades and strategic signings. Now, all that’s left is to drop the puck and let the on-ice action determine who made the best moves.

Hockey Expert
reviewed by: Jeremy Karamen (Hockey Expert)

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