Brandon Hagel’s squad is headed to the Stanley Cup FinalVincent Pariseon June 12, 2022 at 4:02 pm

The Chicago Blackhawks, in a very poor season for them, had one thing go right. They got the most out of Brandon Hagel who looked like a career AHL player before the year. They developed him into an NHL player that can play multiple roles.

In his time with Chicago this year, he was a pretty good goal scorer. That made him great trade bait at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline. The Tampa Bay Lightning gave up two first-round picks and two NHL-ready prospects to get Hagel on their team.

The Lightning has won the last two Stanley Cups. We know about their top players (future Hall of Famers) like Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. However, their depth is what really helps them win.

They got over the hump in 2020 because they built an outstanding third line. They acquired Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman via trade to play with Yanni Gourde on that third line and they were magnificent together.

Brandon Hagel of the Tampa Bay Lightning is having himself a dream season.

Well, after winning that second Cup in 2021, all three of them departed. One was traded, one left in free agency, and one was selected in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft. Tampa was left without one of its biggest weapons.

They knew they had to address that at some point in 2021-22 and they did. Bringing in Hagel along with Nick Paul from the Ottawa Senators was the answer to the question. They inserted Ross Colton into the mix and use Corey Perry sometimes to form what is now a great third line.

Now, Tampa Bay is in the Stanley Cup Final for the third straight year. They might not be where they are right now if they didn’t make these moves. Hagel gets to play in the Stanley Cup Final after what was just a tremendous year with the Blackhawks and Lightning combined.

It was certainly a great trade for both teams. The Lightning is back in the Final and the Blackhawks have taken a step in their rebuild. The two players they acquired could end up being pretty good and they have two additional first-round picks which would help any team in the league.

The Colorado Avalanche clinched their series earlier in the week over Duncan Keith’s Edmonton Oilers squad. This Final between Tampa Bay and Colorado is a hockey fan’s dream. Both teams are well-coached, have high-end offensive talent, and do a great job defending. We will see if Hagel’s squad is able to get it done for the third straight year.

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