NHL Still Waiting For Blockbuster

Cory Stillman

There is ten more days until the NHL trading deadline.

And the biggest deal so far is an Ottawa-Senators-Carolina-Hurricane swap that wasn’t all too thrilling. 

The lack of trades so far this year is astonishing, and disappointing, for fans who follow the game. When the biggest deal made, before the previously mentioned one, was a Doug Weight for Andy McDonald trade-off, then a light should go on within the NHL’s head.

Why are there so little trades?

The answer is simple. When you have 26 buyers in the entire league, there are very little opportunities out there for the general managers to complete any transactions.  

Every team is basically in the playoff run, excluding several bottom feeders, which means that they are looking to improve their team for this year, and not for the years after. In other words, they are looking for rentals, for lasting players, for star power, and for the final ingredient to complete their team. All we’ve seen so far are prospects, no-namers, and draft picks. Definitely nothing to text message all your hockey friends for, that’s for sure.

There is a shortage of squads in the NHL right now who are willing to give up a vital aspect of their team for prospects and picks because they are hanging onto the fact that they can still compete to win it all this year.


Take L.A. for example, they know that they have no chance of winning,, that’s why names like Rob Blake, Ladislav Nagy, Mike Cammalleri, etc., are mentioned in trade rumours.

A large factor into this lack of sellers is the salary cap. Since the league is now on an “even playing field“, they are all competitive, which I’m not complaining about, but they also have to watch their spending limit. Some deals can not be made simply because the team cannot afford the player financially.

Last season saw some major deals sprung at the deadline, but the difference was that the standings were more divided, as opposed to the tightness of this year’s rankings. Even though names like Olli Jokinen are involved in hearsays, the Florida Panthers have a great chance at claiming a playoff spot, and they are more reluctant to give up the heart and soul of their team. Same can be said about a player like Marian Hossa, minus the contract negotiations and all.

There is no negative aspect in making the NHL more competitive in the standings, but it does deprive fans of being blown away by mind-boggling, team altering trades. In a way, it takes away from a fan’s experience.

The opportunity for diehard and arm-chair GMs to dissect and analyze a deal is now a rarity, unless of course a J.D Forrest for future considerations swap really entices you.

Rumours are only fun when some become reality. And so far, it hasn’t happened.

There is ten more days, and hopefully NHL fans can start getting excited about a new star on their team.


One Response

  1. that was a great week for partying, terrible week for posting.

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