Many GMs feel trade deadline too inflationary
The NHL’s general managers convene in Toronto on Wednesday for a day of meetings. There will be discussion about goaltender’s equipment, shootouts and diving. But, there will also be trade talk. Vancouver, for example, is bringing its scouting staff to “The Centre of the Universe” in conjunction with this event.
Many GMs believe the trade deadline is inflationary and that it’s better to make your moves earlier. Several teams have tried, including the Canucks (looking for centres), Philadelphia (defencemen), Rangers (a defenceman and depth forwards) and Nashville (offence).
But it’s very hard to get things done.
Common complaints: “The prices are outrageous” or “teams we think are a match aren’t selling.”
Why? two factors:
Look at the standings
As you read this blog, the deadline is 16 days away. One year ago, at this same point, five Eastern Conference teams were at least seven points out of a playoff berth. But that was during an 82-game season, not the lockout-compressed 48. This year, there are just two that far back — Buffalo and Florida.
But who else in the East is giving up on the season? Tampa’s struggled, for sure. Rangers and Flyers? No way. Washington? Not until it’s impossible. Islanders? They’re two points out.
The West was very tight at this time in 2012, with only three teams more than two points out of the picture. Today, there is just one club that couldn’t be in eighth place with a two-game winning streak. That is Colorado, which is six out.
The Avalanche? “Who knows what they’ll do?” one GM laughed, knowing how quiet that organization tends to be.
What that does is create a scarcity of available players. There appears to be no clarity on Jarome Iginla’s situation as of yet. Some teams will wait to see if he becomes a rental possibility.