Detroit Red Wings acquire Nick Leddy from New York Islanders for Richard Panik, draft pick

The New York Islanders got a tidy little bit of housekeeping done in advance of Saturday's deadline for teams to submit their protection list for the upcoming expansion draft, sending defenceman Nick Leddy to the Detroit Red Wings for winger Richard Pánik and a second-round pick.

Leddy, 30, is entering the final year of a seven-year pact that pays $5.5-million annually. In 56 games last season, he averaged 21:35 a night in ice-time, and contributed 31 points to the cause.

Though his form has declined in recent years, Leddy can still be counted on to reliably handle second-pair minutes and chip in with the odd bit of offence. He's a good skater, a steady puck-mover, and a veteran presence that will prove useful on such an inexperienced team as the Red Wings next season.

There is doubtless a performance component to this trade for the Islanders, a team with legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations just one month removed from their second straight conference finals appearance. The driving factor, though, was probably equal parts salary and expansion draft considerations.

Leddy's $5.5-million ticket was far too rich for the Islanders to justify given their off-season priorities, signing or replacing Adam PelechAnthony BeauvillierIlya Sorokin, and Casey Cizikas foremost among them. Had they not dealt Leddy, they would've had to leave him exposed for next week's expansion draft, almost certainly losing him for nothing to Seattle.

Instead, they turned Leddy into a second-round pick, and took on Pánik for two seasons at a reasonable $1.375-million price point -- Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli reported that the Red Wings will retain 50 percent of Pánik's salary.

It's not the sort of move I'd expected from the Red Wings this off-season, but there could be some method to the madness. Leddy can still play. They're going to need someone to play with Moritz Seider next season, and he seems like as good a fit as any that was available to them. And if they retain 50 percent of Leddy's salary at the deadline, it's easy to imagine a scenario where they bring back a haul of picks or prospects far more valuable than the late second-round pick they parted with to acquire him.

Both parties can leave this transaction more or less satisfied with how things went down.

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NHL Detroit Red Wings Detroit Red Wings New York Islanders NHL Nick Leddy Richard Pánik
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