NHL’s Trading Places

Billy Peterson
Staff Writer




During the next two weeks, several cities and franchises in the NHL will be given an added jolt, a further reason to believe that this may be the year they finish on top; while others holding out slim hope will finally realize that it is another lost year for their team.

In the NFL, you seldom hear of any blockbuster trades at the trade deadline. In fact, you rarely see any trades at all. That is a stark contrast from the NHL, which may have the busiest deadline day in all of sports. This is the time where general managers across the league earn their paychecks, riddled with difficult decisions that could change the current state of the franchise they work for.

There is always the question of, should a team give up valued prospects for a top tier talent that could push the team to the top?

Increasingly, in the MLB in particular, general managers have put said prospects on a pedestal, not willing to part ways with them for even the best players in the league. In theory, this is good practice, but prospects are exactly what they are.

If a general manager has his team in playoff position, he should always seek after that player that will give him a chance at the Stanley Cup, because to be honest, you don’t know when you’ll get there again. Between, injuries, free agency, etc., there’s a number of things that can go wrong and you cannot assume you will be in the same position the following year.

There’s no need to sell away your entire future for a piece that could lead to something better, but there’s also no reason to sit idle because you want to hold onto that second round pick for a guy who may be a total bust.

On the other end of the spectrum, teams without much of a chance for the playoffs should be looking to sell off some players who are not looked at as part of the future.

If you are not going to resign them at the end of the year anyway, then why not try to get a pick or young player for them?

Pavel Datsyuk was taken in the sixth round, so even late round picks are something as opposed to just letting a player walk.

For a team like the Florida Panthers, they are in an extra tricky position. On one hand, they could be looking to add a guy to get them into the playoffs, as they sit just a few points back. In this circumstance, I would refrain from be buyers at the deadline
if I was in control of Florida. They are a really young team, who realistically, if they got into the playoffs, is likely not going too far. It seems like their rebuild is working, and I’m not messing with that for a chance to get Montreal in the first round.

Adding the difficult situation that general managers are put in during this time of year is the demanding salary cap in the NHL. Several teams will be desperate to shed dollars from their roster, but others are careful not to add a player owed big figures for a long time.

If possible, you always want to buy low and sell high. Of course, if all general managers took this approach, there would never be any trades. However, like every year, there will be plenty of names changing places. This is because teams panic looking for that one player, or trying to pry that one prospect from another team.

The increase in coveted prospects and draft players, and the realization of the salary cap has made the trading process much more difficult in the NHL, but do not expect a quiet next two weeks.

Maybe your team will be given a further sense of enthusiasm for what’s to come this spring after the deadline passes, or perhaps you will be scratching your head wondering what to do with your jersey of a player who was just traded.

Either way, there is never a lack of suspense as the trade deadline nears, and this year will be no different.


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