Former Capitals forward Brett Connolly will now be playing for his third team in three years after being dealt in a trade deadline deal on Thursday.
The Florida Panthers traded Connolly and a package of prospects and a draft pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for defenseman Lucas Carlsson and forward Lucas Wallmark.
The deal gives the Panthers, the second-best team in the NHL, salary cap space (Connolly had a $3.5 AAV) to potentially replace injured defenseman Aaron Ekblad and two depth players as they make their stretch run.
We have acquired defenseman Lucas Carlsson and forward Lucas Wallmark from Chicago in exchange for Brett Connolly, Riley Stillman, the RFA rights to Henrik Borgstrom, and a 2021 seventh-round draft pick.
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) April 8, 2021
Connolly was immediately assigned to Chicago’s taxi squad after the deal was approved.
Connolly’s contract has a salary cap hit of $3,500,000 and is signed through the 2022-23 season. Stillman’s contract has a salary cap hit of $773,333 and is signed through the 2020-21 season.
Connolly and Stillman will be assigned to the taxi squad. #Blackhawks
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) April 8, 2021
Connolly is in the second year of a four-year, $20 million deal he originally signed on July 1, 2019. Connolly scored 33 points (19g, 14a) in 69 games for the Panthers his first season in Sunrise, but saw his production and role greatly diminish this season under Joel Quenneville. Connolly was put on waivers by the team on February 28 and spent time on the team’s taxi squad, sitting out nearly three weeks of games. Conno jumped back into the lineup on March 23 and scored one goal in five games before being dealt.
My read on Connolly is that he's basically the dollar store version of Kyle Palmieri. Reliable and consistent goal scorer up until this season who doesn't really provide a lot of other value. https://t.co/jarimZoHm3
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) April 8, 2021
Connolly scored a career-high 22 goals with Washington during the 2018-19 season after winning the Stanley Cup in the spring prior. Connolly scored two goals in the Cup Final and six overall in that year’s postseason.
Florida Panthers Acquire Lucas Carlsson and Lucas Wallmark from Chicago
SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Lucas Carlsson and forward Lucas Wallmark from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Brett Connolly, defenseman Riley Stillman, the restricted free agent rights to forward Henrik Borgstrom and a 2021 seventh-round draft pick.
Carlsson, 23, has appeared in 12 games this season with Chicago, recording one assist. The 6-foot, 189-pound native of Gävle, Sweden, also appeared in seven American Hockey League (AHL) games with the Rockford IceHogs, producing three points (1-2-3).
Originally selected by Chicago in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2016 National Hockey League Draft, Carlsson has played 18 career NHL games, all with Chicago (2019-20 to 2020-21), registering two assists. Over 124 career AHL games, Carlsson has amassed 62 points (15-47-62).
Prior to his career in North America, Carlsson played 136 games in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), posting 38 points (14-24-38) for Brynäs (2014-15 to 2017-18). On the international stage, he represented Sweden at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, recording three points (1-2-3) over seven games and owning a tournament-best +9 rating.
Wallmark, 25, has appeared in 16 games this season with Chicago, posting three assists. The 6-foot, 178-pound native of Umea, Sweden appeared in seven games with Florida during the 2019-20 season, registering two points (1-1-2). He appeared in two postseason games with the Panthers during the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
Originally selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fourth round (97th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Wallmark has appeared in 183 career NHL games with Chicago (2020-21), Florida (2019-20) and Carolina (2016-17 to 2019-20), recording 59 points (23-36-59). He has played 17 career playoff games, posting five points (1-4-5).
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
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