Season 8 profile: Copenhagen Tridents

Owner: Tommy Ahlers, founder & CEO of ZYB, a popular social media & networking site in Denmark.

Farm club: Malmo (Sweden) Redhawks Malmo Redhawks

GM: Martin Sayle (2nd GM in team’s history)

Coach: Paul Maurice (replaced Dave Cameron after Season 7; Cameron replaced Paul Maurice after Season 4; Maurice replaced Brent Sutter after Season 3)

Last season: 12th overall; (In playoffs, defeated Gothenburg; lost to Belfast)

Ins and Outs (Season 7 to Season 8)

Out: Jaccob Slavin (trade), Kyle Brodziak (trade), Mathieu Perreault (free agent), Kevin Bieksa (free agent), Paul Byron  (free agent), Dan Hamhuis (free agent), Roberto Luongo (free agent),

In: Victor Hedman (trade), Jeff Carter (trade), Ryan Wilson (waivers), Andrew Ladd (waivers), Olexander Pobyedonostev (free agent), Henrik Lundquist (free agent), Gabe Vilardi (draft), Zach Hyman (draft), Jonathan Dahlen (draft)

In Place (Key players signed past Season 8)

Auston Matthews, C; Johnny Gaudreau, LW; Dougie Hamilton, D; Andres De La Garma, G; Slava Voynov, D 3qs   

 
Three Questions

1. The Tridents shot up the standings. Why? The Copenhagen Tridents made an amazing jump up the standings in Season 7 – from 23rd to 12th and the second round of the playoffs – and it was indeed a stealthy climb they accomplished. The team didn’t have anyone in the top 25 in scoring and the goalies didn’t dominate the headlines. Still, they improved more than any team. General Manager Martin Sayle should get the lion’s share of the credit for the improvement. He brought calm to a mixed-up situation by carefully assessing the team’s strengths and weaknesses and he didn’t panic. Young players were allowed to remain with the Malmo Redhawks farm club to work on their game. Experience, leadership and toughness came in the form of Brandon Dubinsky and Dalton Prout, both acquired in trades, and Coach Dave Cameron used his lineup well. This season, the “slow and steady wins the race” policy continues, with young guns such as Jaccob Slavin, Noah Hanifin, Jonathan Drouin and others remaining in nearby Malmo to start the season and with Sayle making a couple more subtle, clever roster moves. A trade brings in 33-year-old Jeff Carter, who is coming off a 33-goal, 204-shot season at just 16 minutes of ice time per game. In Denmark, Carter will center the second line, get a good amount of powerplay time and he will be invaluable as a mature assistant captain. Sayle also claimed Ryan Wilson on waivers. Wilson, 31, has the ability to start right away on the team and he’s another one of those smart veterans who can steady the ship and he’ll win points in the dressing room by standing up for his teammates. Copenhagen is Wilson’s fourth EURO team, having played for all 3 German teams – Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich.

2. How good will this Matthews kid be? One young player that Sayle isn’t holding back is Auston Matthews, a big, young American center who oozes natural ability and has had success wherever he’s played. He and Johnny Gaudreau are ready to start what should be an extended engagement in EURO arenas for the next decade. Opponents will have more than they can handle with Matthews protecting the puck while Johnny Hockey darts around looking for open spaces.  In his second season in the league, Gaudreau tallied 34 goals and 67 points. Look for the point total to go way up once he and Matthews get a routine going; and Matthews could be a regular 50-goal scorer with Gaudreau on his wing. Last year in this column, we put Devin Setoguchi on the hot seat and he responded with a 63-point season. Copenhagen will need him to continue the good work and this year, all eyes will be on Marko Dano, who could be the long-term solution on  the right wing on the Matthews-Gaudreau line. Dano is very fast and he’s very smart with the puck; and those are qualities of the type of guy Matthews and Gaudreau can use. But Dano isn’t physical at all, and with the slight Gaudreau already on the line, some worry the line could get neutralized by a physical checking line. The center position in Copenhagen is solid right now, with Matthews, Carter, Dubinsky and fan favorite Stephen Weiss taking faceoffs on lines 1 through 4, respectively.

3. How about on the defensive side of the puck? Coach Dave Cameron had the team’s goals for and goals against averages going in the right directions last season, but Cameron was relieved of his duties and replaced by Paul Maurice, who coached in Copenhagen in Season 4, guiding them to their most disappointing season – a drop from second overall to 12th. He will be seeking to redeem himself for the home fans this year. Improving the defense will help in that regard. He will have a very strong pair of Dmen out there for top duty when Slava Voynov and Dougie Hamilton are out there. They can both play well at both ends of the rink and they are only 25 and 28, so they should improve solely because they haven’t hit 30 yet. Veterans Ryan Wilson and Ian White seem locks for jobs, assuming they can be worked in under the salary cap, which leaves the last two spots as an interesting puzzle for Maurice. Dalton Prout was a regular last year who provided toughness and results with a plus 25 rating. Erik Gustafsson, 29, showed improvement from previous years, but was a minus 9. His grasp on the starting job seems the weakest and that’s not good for him because the team is busting with talented youngsters (Ryan Murphy, Jaccob Slavin, Jake McCabe and Noah Hanifin) itching to get into a Tridents sweater full-time.  Goalie Andres De La Garma had a winning record and a goals against average under 3 in his first year as the main starter, and at age 25, he certainly won’t be wearing out any time soon.

History

Season                 Place        PTS        PP %      PK %      SPG        SAPG     GPG     GAPG    PIM

Season 7            12             89            18.1       83.2    30.84     28.57     3.15     3.30     9.18

Season 6            23             55            16.9       77.6    28.29     31.46     2.60      3.95    8.02

Season 5            20             63            12.7       80.5    29.33      29.51    2.80      3.76   9.88

Season 4            12              90           21.0       85.2     33.11       27.41   3.30      3.00     10.23

Season 3              2              111           22.4      83.3    32.24       28.66   3.95    2.99    9.90

Season 2              1              114           18.2      86.3      33.13       27.65    3.72    2.59   8.89

Season 1              4              108         19.9      86.3    32.10       29.05    3.66    2.76    9.57

Top Draft picks

Season 1: Roberto Luongo, G, current age 39. Games played: 380; Save Pct. 90.0

Season 2: Kevin Dallman, D, age 31. GP 480, Pts 232, -4

Season 3: Nikita Zadorov, D, age 22. GP 188, Pts 72, -34

Season 4: Nick Holden, D, age 30. GP 321, Points 104, -11

Season 5: Simon Hjalmarsson, C, age 25. GP 140, Pts 44, -6

Season 6: Johnny Gaudreau, LW, age 23. GP 164, Points 128, -81

Season 7: Auston Matthews, C, age 20. GP 3, Points 1, -2

Season 8: Gabe Vilardi, C, age 17.

Trade History

Season 1 (picks without years listed are from initial draft)

Traded Round 3 pick (used to draft Jimmy Howard) to Oslo for Round 5 pick (used to draft Andrew Ladd) and Round 7 pick (Alex Goligoski)

Traded Round 5 pick (Paul Stastny) and Round 12 pick (Marc Staal) to Helsinki for Round 4 pick (Stephen Weiss)

Traded Alexandre Burrows to Oslo for Round 8 pick (Andrej Meszaros) and Round 12 pick (Boyd Gordon)

Season 2

Traded Jonas Hiller and Darrell Powe to Stockholm for Mark Giordano and Matthieu Garon

Traded Andrew Ladd, Brandon Sutter and Kevin Dallman to Moscow for Alexander Ovechkin and Dave Bolland

Traded 2014 Round 1 pick (Jake Allen) to Dublin for Tomas Fleischmann

Season 3

Traded Dave Bolland and Dany Heatley to Munich for Brooks Laich and Tomas Zaborsky

Traded 2015 Round 2 pick (Julius Honka) to Minsk for Andres De La Garma

Traded Kevin Shattenkirk, Teddy Purcell and Carl Gunnarsson to London for Shea Weber

Season 4

Traded Roberto Luongo to Zurich for Brian Elliott

Traded Colin Greening to Stockholm for T.J. Brodie

Traded Mark Giodano, Nikita Zadorov, Charlie Coyle and 2016 Round 1 pick to Munich for Dion Phaneuf

Season 5

Traded 2016 Round 2 pick (Reto Suri) to Madrid for Andrew Cogliano

Traded 2016 Round 3 pick (Michael Keranen) to Zurich for Martin Thornberg

Traded Shea Weber to Lisbon for Dougie Hamilton, Gareth Roberts and 2016 Round 1 pick (Morten Madsen)

Traded Andrej Meszaros to Madrid for Marko Dano and 2017 Round 2 pick (Ilya Samsonov)

Traded Dion Phaneuf to Berlin for Slava Voynov, Martin Erat and 2017 Round 3 pick (Linden Vey)

Traded Alexander Ovechkin to Belfast for Joe Pavelski, Jonathan Drouin and 2016 Round 1 pick (Ville Vahalahti)

Traded Martin Thornberg to Edinburgh for 2018 Round 2 pick (later traded to Paris- Radek Faksa)

Traded Matt Frattin and 2016 Round 1 pick (Morten Madsen) to Bratislava for 2017 Round 1 pick (Simon Hjalmarsson)

Traded Alex Goligoski to Athens for Brooks Orpik, Bryan Bickel and 2017 Round 1 pick (Ivan Provorov)

Traded Brian Elliott to Dublin for Tim Thomas and 2017 Round 1 pick  (Noah Hanifin)

Traded Troy Brouwer to Bratislava for a 2017 Round 2 pick (Daniel Sprong)


After the start of Season 5       

Traded Brooks Laich, Andrew Cogliano and Nick Holden to Madrid for Brian Campbell and 2017 Round 1 pick (Jean-Gabriel Pageau)

Traded Thomas Greiss to Bern for 2018 Round 3 pick (later traded to Lisbon – Max Jones)

Lost Bryan Bickell (waivers)

Traded Brian Campbell and 2018 Round 3 pick (Phil Di Giuseppe) to Milan for Jonathan Blum

Claimed Benoit Pouliot (waivers)

Claimed Clarke MacArthur (waivers)

Traded Angelo Nigro (formerly Chris Legge) to Gothenburg for 2019 Round 3 pick

Claimed Chris Kunitz (waivers)

Claimed Steve Ott (waivers)

Traded Nathan Gerbe and 2017 Round 2 pick (Ilya Samsonov) to Paris for Andre Burakovsky

Traded T.J. Brodie and Gareth Roberts to Munich for David Bolland and 2017 Round 2 pick (Petr Mrazek)

Traded Clarke MacArthur to Lisbon for Jacob De La Rose

Season 6

Traded 2017 Round 1 pick (Ivan Provorov) to Paris for Jared McCann

Traded Joe Pavelski and 2018 Round 3 pick (Bern’s originally – Max Jones) to Lisbon for Kyle Brodziak and 2018 Round 1 pick (Jaccob Slavin)

Traded Steve Chalmers, 2017 Round 2 pick (Daniel Sprong) and 2017 Round 3 pick (Linden Vey) to Stockholm for Jeff Carter

Traded Dave Bolland, Martin Erat, Benoit Pouliot and 2018 Round 2 pick (originally Edinburgh’s – Radek Faksa) to Paris for 2018 Round 1 pick (Jake McCabe), Craig Paquette, Jordan Caron and Colton Gillies.

Traded Dennis Rasmussen to Belfast for Mathieu Perreault

After Season 6 started: Traded Nathan Gerbe and Colin Greening to Madrid for Jonas Hiller, Lee Stempniak, Daniel Winnik and 2018 Madrid Round 1 pick (Michael McLeod).

Bought out Chris Kunitz and Daniel Winnik.

Lost Ben Smith (waivers)

Signed Damien Brunner (free agent)

Season 7

Traded Josh Holden and 2018 Round 2 pick (Brett Pesce) to Edinburgh for Brandon Dubinsky

After season started: traded Ilya Nikulin and Lars Eller to Stockholm for Dalton Prout and Tomas Jurco

lost Damien Brunner (waivers)

Season 8

Traded Kyle Brodziak and 2020 Round 3 pick to Berlin for Jeff Carter

Traded Jaccob Slavin to Belfast for Victor Hedman

Claimed Ryan Wilson (waivers)

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