Red Wings Trade Former Capital Richard Panik To Islanders, Along With 2021 Second-Round Pick, For Nick Leddy

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Friday night that they have traded former Washington Capitals right wing Richard Panik and the Edmonton Oilers’ 2021 second-round pick (52nd overall) to the New York Islanders for left-handed defenseman Nick Leddy almost 19 hours before the roster freeze for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. The Red Wings retained 50% of Panik’s $2.75 million cap hit.

Panik, 30, recorded one goal and four points in 12 games with the Red Wings after the Capitals traded him, left wing Jakub Vrana, a 2021 first-round pick (23rd overall), and a 2022 second-round pick for left wing Anthony Mantha on April 12. He tallied three goals, nine points, and a -9 rating in 36 games with the Capitals this season but was scratched for five of the team’s seven final games before the trade.

After the deal, GM Brian MacLellan said that Panik was frustrated with his role in Washington and wanted more ice time. He thought that it never appeared to be a fit after Panik signed a four-year contract with the Capitals on July 1, 2019.

Panik recorded nine goals, 22 points, and a +16 rating in 59 games with the Capitals in 2019-20.

In 517 career NHL games with the Red Wings, Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, and Arizona Coyotes, Panik has posted 88 goals, 194 points, and a +10 rating. The best season of his NHL career came in 2016-17 with the Blackhawks where he set career-highs in goals (22), assists (22), and points (44).

With the acquisition, the Islanders improve their forward group after finishing the regular season 21st in the NHL with a 2.71 goals-per-game average and falling in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the eventual champion Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of just 1-0. However, it gives them just $9,920,812 in salary cap space with right wing Kyle Palmieri (unrestricted free agent), center Casey Cizikas (unrestricted free agent), left wing Michael Dal Colle (restricted free agent), left wing Anthony Beauvillier (restricted free agent), defenseman Adam Pelech (restricted free agent), and goaltender Ilya Sorokin (restricted free agent) in need of new contracts this offseason.

The Islanders avoid the risk of losing Leddy, 30, for nothing in the expansion draft. In 56 games last season, Leddy posted two goals, 31 points, a -3 rating, a 45.82% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, a 47.9% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and a 47.26% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 56 games last season. In 776 career games with the Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks, Leddy has recorded 65 goals, 336 points, and a -30 rating. He won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013.

The addition helps improve the Red Wings defense after the team allowed an average of 3.00 goals-per-game last season, the 12th-worst in the NHL. Leddy’s average of 21:35 per game ranked second among Islanders defensemen and his average of 2:10 of power-play ice-time ranked fourth on the team. He earned a 45.7% shot attempts-for percentage, 58 hits, 54 blocked shots, six takeaways, and 32 giveaways last season.

Teams must submit their protected lists for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft by 5 PM ET on Saturday.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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1 Response to Red Wings Trade Former Capital Richard Panik To Islanders, Along With 2021 Second-Round Pick, For Nick Leddy

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Panik — It seemed like at the time of his signing that McLellan offered a good soldier contract to a guy who was an outsider.

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