The Carolina Hurricanes have announced they have traded defenseman Calvin de Haan and forward Aleksi Saarela to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for goaltender Anton Forsberg and defenseman Gustav Forlsing.
The move signals added uncertainty in net with recent reports surfacing that the Hurricanes are far apart in deals with unrestricted free agents Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney. Forsberg is a player with just 45 starts under his belt at the NHL level. He’s posted an 11-24-4 record with a 3.21 goals against average and a .901 save percentage. Forsberg is a restricted free agent on July 1st.
The Hurricanes downgrade their defense with the acquisition of Forsling. The 23-year-old defenseman had nine points in 43 games with the Blackhawks last season. Forsling is also a restricted free agent on July 1st.
Forsling (if they even sign him) is just a worse version of de Haan. He was injured at the start of the year but he didn't do anything to separate himself from the rest of CHI's mediocre defense. pic.twitter.com/2E9LK2SjD4— Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) June 24, 2019
Saarela finished a strong season with the Checkers as a Calder Cup champion. He finished with 54 points in 69 games and had the tendency to be a streaky scorer. Saarela was acquired in the trade with the New York Rangers for Eric Staal.
De Haan is coming off a strong season with the Hurricanes after signing a four-year deal with the team last free agent period. He provided stable defensive play and was a solid addition to an already impressive defensive core. The veteran defenseman had shoulder surgery in late May and will miss 4-6 months. The move frees up additional cap space for the Hurricanes come July 1st.
After trading De Haan, the Carolina #Hurricanes now have $24,698,334— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) June 24, 2019
in projected cap space, with a roster of 15 (9F/5D/1G).
Notable Unsigned RFA's:
F Sebastian Aho https://t.co/UOwu0C674D pic.twitter.com/8Q7kgHUabk
Below is the press release from the Hurricanes:
Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the Hurricanes have acquired goaltender Anton Forsberg and defenseman Gustav Forsling from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Calvin de Haanand forward Aleksi Saarela.
”We are thrilled to add two young, talented players to our organization,” said Waddell. ”Anton is a big, skilled goaltender and we look forward to him competing for our goaltending job this fall. Gustav has shown a great deal of skill in his young career and we believe he will continue to develop.”
Forsberg, 26, has posted an 11-24-4 record with a 3.21 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage in 45 career NHL games with Chicago and Columbus. The Harnosand, Sweden, native appeared in a career-high 35 games with the Blackhawks during the 2017-18 season, posting a 10-16-4 record with a 2.97 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. Forsberg tallied a 15-15-2 record in 32 games with the Rockford IceHogs (AHL) last season, posting a 2.64 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. The 6’3”, 192-pound goaltender has earned an 88-50-21 record in 158 career AHL games with Rockford, Cleveland, Lake Erie and Springfield. He was selected by Columbus in the seventh round, 188th overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft.
Forsling, 23, recorded nine points (3g, 6a) in 43 games with the Blackhawks last season. The 6’0”, 186-pound defenseman was selected by Vancouver in the fifth round, 126th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft and has earned 27 points (8g, 19a) in 122 career NHL games with Chicago. Forsling tallied two assists in five games with Rockford (AHL) last season and has recorded 15 points (3g, 12a) in 53 career AHL games with the IceHogs.
De Haan, 28, earned 14 points (1g, 13a) in 74 games with the Hurricanes in 2018-19 in his first season with the team. Saarela, 22, appeared in one game with the Hurricanes, making his NHL debut in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Washington on April 20.