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Gifts NHL teams would get each other at a Secret Santa party

An imaginary party devolves into chaos.

2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition - DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Christmas is only days away, and we were lucky enough to get all of the NHL teams in one room to celebrate with us!*

*Theater of the mind, people.

What better way to celebrate the holidays than a fun little Secret Santa game? We dropped every team into a Secret Santa generator (thank you, Google) and used the first results that came out. I swear this is random.

Will teams be generous in this season of giving? Or will they take the opportunity to shed roster spareness? Read on. And happy holidays, readers.

Boston Bruins BUY FOR ... New York Rangers

St. Louis Blues v Boston Bruins Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

Both teams could use the same thing right now: a little bit of depth on the blue line to help fill out their bottom pairings. So Boston happily jettisons Adam McQuaid, giving the Rangers a little more punch on their blue line and the Bruins more room for Brandon Carlo to thrive.

Buffalo Sabres BUY FOR ... San Jose Sharks

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of the usual suspects, the scoring depth for San Jose just isn’t there this year. They rank 22nd in goals per game, and outside of Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau, nobody has more than four goals.

They need someone capable of offense, so Buffalo hands them a neatly-wrapped Evander Kane. Maybe a change of scenery (again) will spark whatever ails his offensive side.

Detroit Red Wings BUY FOR ... Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

What could the Blue Jackets possibly want? Well, ever since the Ryan Johansen trade the Blue Jackets have lacked a top-line center. They’ve survived on great years from Sam Gagner, Alexander Wennberg, and Boone Jenner, but the hole remains.

So Detroit gives them a heavily-used Henrik Zetterberg. It’s time to rebuild, Detroit.

Florida Panthers BUY FOR ... St. Louis Blues

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Florida Panthers Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Another team in need of a center, and another gifter with the tools on hand to fill the need. However, it’s not the center St. Louis wants. Florida sent their analytics people to this Secret Santa party, so they jump at the chance to give away Derek MacKenzie as a gift. St. Louis is sad.

Montreal Canadiens BUY FOR ... Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL: Preseason-Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto’s forward future is set. We know this. But defensive depth remains an issue. Luckily, Montreal has a youngish defenseman who they don’t use much who might be worth a look in Toronto. Welcome to the Maple Leafs, Mark Barberio.

Ottawa Senators BUY FOR ... Pittsburgh Penguins.

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a decent chance the Penguins are headed back to the Stanley Cup Finals this year. They’re pretty good. Again.

Ottawa sees this and decides to do one of their veterans a solid. They gently wrap Chris Kelly in a box and give him one last shot at another Stanley Cup.

Tampa Bay Lightning BUY FOR ... Dallas Stars

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

I swear this was random.

Maybe it’s just destiny. The one thing the Dallas Stars would like for Christmas is a shiny new goaltender to stop pucks from going into their net. You know, the other half of hockey.

Luckily the Lightning are ready to upgrade to the new iGoalie 8 with advanced Andrei VasilevSiri integration. They toss Ben Bishop in a gift bag and send him to Big D.

Maple Leafs BUY FOR ... Colorado Avalanche

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs

Mired in one of the worst stretches in franchise history, the Avalanche will take just about anything from the Maple Leafs at this point. Luckily, there’s a decent fit here!

Thanks to our totally real and not imaginary Secret Santa event, the #FreeFrank movement in Toronto can come to an end. The 23-year-old defenseman has appeared in two games this year after signing in the offseason, and nobody really seems to know why other than the coaching staff isn’t thrilled about him and management is. Last week, Corrado called his situation “no-man’s land.” We’ll call it what it is: purgatory. The Avs are Hell, so congra—

Immediate edit: I, a non-Catholic and non-reader of Dante, thought purgatory was the place you went to before you went to Hell. It’s apparently the place you go to before you go to heaven.

However, I googled “purgatory definition” and this came up:

Thanks to Secret Santa, Frank Corrado is now in purgatory. Happy holidays!

Hurricanes BUY FOR ... New Jersey Devils.

Carolina Hurricanes v New Jersey Devils

Trading for Taylor Hall was a terrific move by the Devils and general manager Ray Shero. It was bold. It also left a hole in their defensive corps.

Luckily, the Hurricanes have blue line depth to spare. As loathe as they may be to give that depth away to a division rival, the rules of Secret Santa are rigid and fierce. Do not test them, Carolina. Play nice and hand over Ryan Murphy in a bag.

Wait, that sounded way less threatening in my head. Please wrap up your unwanted player an— forget it. Murphy to the Devils. Let’s move on.

Blue Jackets BUY FOR Blackhawks

Columbus Blue Jackets v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I see you looking at Brandon Saad, Chicago. Stop it. This isn’t White Elephant. Though that’s a good idea for next year. Nobody reading this from competitor websites steal that idea for the next 365 days, please. Thanks. Click on our ads on your way to your drafts.

Whoever the Jackets gift has to fit under the Chicago’s $306,747 in cap space. That’s impossible, so we’re going to ignore cap space to make this idea work. The rules of Secret Santa are flexible and empathetic.

So Chicago will get the $1 million salary of William Karlsson. Neither team is happy about this.

Devils BUY FOR ... Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Devils Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay could use a defenseman. Or a forward. Injuries and slow starts to their young defensemen have left the Lightning needy.

But the Devils saw Tampa Bay give Ben Bishop away to the Stars. They hit the punch before anyone else so they’re feeling a bit cheeky. So they gift backup goalie Keith Kinkaid to the Lightning and can’t stop giggling.

New York Islanders BUY FOR ... Anaheim Ducks.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at New York Islanders Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim’s once-vaunted penalty kill now ranks 19th in the league. A lot of things have gone right for the Ducks this year; that half of their special teams has not.

So the Islanders will give them Andrew Ladd, the guy they signed up to give $5.5 million a year to for the next seven years. They are thrilled about this.

Reasons why Anaheim will hate this gift:

  • He has four goals and seven points this year in 32 games.
  • He hasn’t really played much on the penalty kill (just 20 minutes total).
  • When he has, he’s been bad (the worst scoring chances against among Isles’ PK forwards).

Reasons why Anaheim might like this gift:

  • He seems like a player who would be good on the penalty kill. Hockey people are really into feelings.

Anaheim accepts this very expensive special teams gift gratefully.

Rangers BUY FOR ... Minnesota Wild

NHL: Minnesota Wild at New York Rangers Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota needs goals. Only Eric Staal and Charlie Coyle seem capable of that right now.

The good news is the Rangers are brimming with offensive talent. They toss Brandon Pirri into a stocking and promise the Wild that Brandon Pirri Goals are so back in this year. Totally.

Philadelphia Flyers BUY FOR ... Nashville Predators

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine that: the Predators are still in need of a forward! This might seem like a good time to get rid of backup goalie Michal Neuvirth, but Pekka Rinne is rounding back into form for the Predators so the net isn’t as big as a concern as it was a year ago. Depth scoring forward still is, though.

There’s a nice fit here: Matt Read could benefit from a change in scenery to get his scoring touch back. He’s scored 20-plus goals before, and Nashville would appreciate such a gift from Philly.

Pittsburgh Penguins BUY FOR ... the Flyers.

Whoops. I’m sorry, Flyers.

The Penguins bring in a gift that is wrapped in the shiniest, most fancy wrapping paper you can possibly imagine. Just tremendous paper. The best paper.

Inside ... is Tom Sestito.

Colorado Avalanche v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Pittsburgh gives Philly the double birds from across the room. Let’s move on quickly.

Washington Capitals BUY FOR ... Buffalo Sabres.

With injuries striking all over the lineup, the Sabres could still use some help on the blue line.

Buffalo Sabres v Washington Capitals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

It sounds like Karl Alzner wants a big contract extension. Washington shoves him in a gift box, shuts the lid and hands Alzner off to the Sabres to deal with it.

Ducks BUY FOR ... Edmonton Oilers.

Rumor has it the Oilers are focused on finding a right-handed, shooting winger with “some term left on his contract.”

Anaheim has just the guy. He’s a right-handed shot. Sometimes he shoots the puck. He’s a winger. And he’s locked up for another year.

His name is Jared Boll, and he is sitting under the tree for the Oilers.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim also flips the double birds at their division rivals.

Arizona Coyotes BUY FOR ... the Vancouver Canucks

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

This is easy. Sure, they’re division rivals. But not heated ones. Funny how being bad at the same time will do that to a rivalry.

Anyway, it’s no secret that the Coyotes are open to moving on from Anthony Duclair for the right price. Well, it’s Secret Santa, and the price is pleasure in watching someone open a nice gift from you.

Calgary Flames BUY FOR ... Boston Bruins

NHL: Calgary Flames at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Dougie Hamilton. Consider this a re-gifting.

Oilers BUY FOR ... Capitals.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Washington’s made a habit of acquiring veteran players on expiring contracts before the trade deadline recently. With a strong team again this year, I don’t see why this would change. Surely the Oilers know this.

So the Oilers prepare a gift of Matt Hendricks. But before they can make the exchange, Darryl Katz’ son runs into the room and dives into the Capitals’ lap with a new gift: Kris Russell. The Oilers are mad. The Capitals’ eggnog is all over their pajamas. But the gifting is over.

And the Oilers are saved. A Christmas miracle.

Los Angeles Kings BUYS FOR ... Coyotes

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona gets the bloated contract of the not-great hockey player Dustin Brown.

I’m sensing a trend here with division rivals. Maybe this was a bad idea.

San Jose Sharks BUY FOR ... Winnipeg Jets

NHL: New York Islanders at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Connor Hellebuyck isn’t quite ready to carry the load as the No. 1 goalie in Winnipeg yet. Michael Hutchison is a replaceable backup, so they could use some stability.

San Jose agrees to place 27-year-old rookie Aaron Dell in Winnipeg’s stocking in exchange for trading Hutchinson to them after dinner. Dell has played well in limited time with San Jose, so it’s worth the gamble.

Canucks BUY FOR ... Detroit Red Wings

Vancouver Canucks v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Detroit also tried to come to a deal before this Secret Santa event. I don’t know how some of these teams knew who their Secret Santa was. I blame Dreger.

Anyhow, the Red Wings talked Vancouver into giving them a Sedin. Vancouver agreed. Detroit opens up their present and finds a Sedin. Not Daniel. Not Henrik. But 86-year-old James Sedin, a silver medalist with Team USA at the 1952 Winter Olympics. A fight breaks out.

James wins.

Blackhawks BUY FOR ... Hurricanes

Chicago Blackhawks Victory Parade And Rally Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Blackhawks thought they would need to move a ton of cap space to fit whatever gift they got today. So they gave Artemi Panarin to the Hurricanes, hoping they’d get somebody they once traded away back again. Brandon Saad. Patrick Sharp.

Mostly Saad, though. They really missed him. Kneel before Saad! Ha, ha. Good times. They got desperate.

They got William Karlsson. So.

Avalanche BUY FOR ... Kings

Los Angeles Kings v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

If the Avalanche captain really is on the trade market, and the Kings really are the Secret Santa recipient ... then Gabriel Landeskog is the Kings’ gift and arguably the best gift given out today. And a good fit, too.

Stars BUY FOR ... Senators

Calgary Flames v Ottawa Senators Photo by Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images

As soon as the Senators found out Dallas was buying for them, they begged for either better prospects than they got in the Jason Spezza trade or, simply, their former player. Dallas obliges and presents them with former Ottawa Senator Ales Hemsky.

Minnesota Wild BUY FOR ... Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames v Minnesota Wild Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Minnesota is probably going to lose Jonas Brodin at the expansion draft anyway. He’d be a nice fit on a Flames team in need of better defensive bodies. The Flames and Wild are now best friends.

St. Louis Blues BUY FOR ... Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens v St Louis Blues Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/ Getty Images

Injuries to Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnias have left the Canadiens thin up front. The Blues are ready to move on from Jori Lehtera as his offensive numbers keep sliding. so they had this gift wrapped and ready before they even knew who to buy for. Luckily, this is a good fit.

Nashville Predators BUY FOR ... New York Islanders

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

In Kyle Okposo’s absence and Andrew Ladd’s disappointing year, the Islanders are in desperate need of a scoring winger. Nashville has none to be had. So the Islanders find Adam Pardy in their stocking and leave the party early.

Winnipeg Jets BUY FOR ... Florida Panthers

Winnipeg Jets v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

Winnipeg is blessed with young forward talent, and Florida could use some with Nick Bjugstad and Jonathan Huberdeau on the shelf. The Jets are in the giving mood thanks to a fun season, so they give Marko Dano to the Panthers. The Florida front office men immediately huddle in a corner to discuss his relCorsi %.