NHL trade deadline: We're one month away!

The NHL’s trade deadline is exactly one month from today. Where did the season go?

And yet, a month is still a lot of time to determine this year’s buyers and sellers.

As of today, there are many teams with legitimate playoff chances, making it a short sellers’ list. In addition, some buyers need to wait until the last possible moment so their rental pickups don’t count as much against the salary cap.

Factor in both those issues, and that’s why there still isn’t a lot going on one month out.

“There hasn’t been much real talk,” Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon told ESPN.com this week. “Teams are saying ‘We’ll talk later, we’ll talk later.’ But that’s fine.”

“Most of us have players that we would make available even right now for a trade, either because they’re underperforming and/or overpaid,” Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier told us this week. “But it’s impossible right now to get an agreement on values. We’re all hoping that we’re going to be able to just charge a cost without taking anything back, and that’s not reality. So I think, yes, we’re all sitting around to the last day or two again [before the trade deadline].”

It’s been a frustrating time over the past month for several GMs who are trying to shake things up.

“There’s been lots of talk going on, but it’s hard to jar anything loose right now,” Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson said this week.

The two clubs in Ontario have also burned up the phone lines without success. But you’d better believe the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs will try to be busy between now and Feb. 28. The playoffs are a long shot at best.

“I’m open for business, yes, you can get that word out if you want,” Sens GM Bryan Murray told us, his sense of humor still intact.

“We now know where we are,” Murray added in a serious tone, referring to the team’s 13th-place standing in the Eastern Conference at the All-Star break, 15 points out of the last playoff spot. “As disappointed as we may be, we have to do something to rectify it.”

Prefacing a question by saying I assumed the likes of All-Star youngster Erik Karlsson and top center Jason Spezza (no-movement clause) weren’t going anywhere, I asked him how many untouchables he had.

“Yes, there’s a couple of guys we wouldn’t move,” Murray said. “Certainly Alfie [captain Daniel Alfredsson] is another one we wouldn’t move. I talked to [owner] Eugene [Melnyk] about that. We’re not doing anything there. But other than that, we’re open to many things.”

The most obvious movable name is veteran blueliner Chris Phillips, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He’s a perfect rental for a contender, a smart player who would help any good team. There are so many clubs looking for help along the blue line, including San Jose, Chicago, Montreal and Boston, among others.

The Maple Leafs had been hoping to pull off some sort of trade to bring in a big center, or at least a big forward, but it hasn’t happened. So now what?

“We’ve been trying to add since well before Christmas without any success,” Leafs GM Brian Burke told ESPN.com this week. “We have cap room and budget room, but we haven’t been able to get anything done to upgrade our team. So now we’re going to look at whatever opportunities present themselves leading up to the deadline, including younger players.”

I’m reading between the lines here, but my guess is the Leafs are now finally ready to accept draft picks or prospects in trades after trying so hard to make a more traditional hockey deal. Still, it’s not a bad thing for Toronto to clear out some cap space ahead of July 1. They’ll need to outbid the New York Rangers, among other teams, for the services of Brad Richards (if he hasn’t re-signed with Dallas before then).

Toronto’s most coveted rental player would be veteran defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who is a UFA on July 1. At some point soon, the Kaberle camp will likely have to make a decision. They’ll need to inform the Leafs whether they’d be willing to waive the defenseman’s no-trade clause and, if so, provide the Leafs with a list of teams. In the end, they may choose not to waive it and just ride out the final weeks of his career in Toronto. Burke, always respectful of players with no-trade clauses, will not ask Kaberle to waive it.


140 Responses to NHL trade deadline: We're one month away!


    Youre right, I do think he sucks…. apparently so does Wilson… I was just trying to spare youre feelings..


    Yzerman has already publicy said he will not trade his 2011 or 2012 first round draft picks.. he wants to restock the cupboard…


    Thomas set an NHL record with his third All Star win….

  4. mojo19 says:

    Actually Detroit's cups can be attributed to Steve Yzerman (except the last one, although they say his teachings were passed on to Datsyuk and Zetterberg so his hand was still in the mix a bit there). And they won because they finished right near the bottom and drafted Yzerman 4th overall. The eventual result was 4 Stanley Cups.

    The Sharks were lucky to trade for Joe Thornton and it hasn't won them a Cup, but with two first overall picks on their team in Joe and Marleau they have been so competitive for so long now. Wouldn't you love to switch places with them? They are way closer and way better off than us. We can grab these types of guys as well.

    Like you said its not a guaranteed way to win but if you're going with odds, its a way safer way to get into contention. Yes there are your Panthers and Jackets, who are proof that finishing low doesn't always pay off but there are way more examples of teams that it has worked out for.

    And yes, I'm willing to wait 3 or 4 more years for the playoffs if it means being contenders for a long time with a great core. You're system might get us into the playoffs one year, then we'll bounce in the first round, who knows, maybe win 1 round, and then were back out of it and just going in circles.

    You're right that drafting is not a guaranteed way to win, because there is absolutely no guaranteed way to win, but drafting is the by far the best way, in fact its the only option. Anything else is just masturbation. Can't wait for Burke to get fired, or else build properly. Sather took about 12 years to come around, hopefully Burke does it now after just 2 years and save us from the next decade of failure.


    Does Gomez have a NTC or a no movement clause? If not they could just demote him to the AHL… I would like to see Montreal make a pitch for Brad Richards if hes available.. image Cammy-Richards-Kostityn…

  6. mojo19 says:

    I don't care if we do draft a player as good as Versteeg or MacArthur with the proposed 2nd round picks we received for them. The point is, we don't need them right now, we're 3 or 4 years away, we can dump them for nothing for all I care and try to bring up guys through the system or attack free agents in coming years when were getting closer to contention. Guys like Versteeg and MacArthur come and go. Don't get too caught up in the now, this group will never win a cup, don't be afraid to dump a couple, even if they're good players.

    Maybe the value was a bit low for Monster and Beauchemin, but I don't want roster players back. All I want is to have the most cap space of any team in 2-3 years and go for the big UFA's then. Were not gonna be a Cup contender between now and then anyways, and guys like MacArthur and Versteeg calibre will always be available in free agency.

  7. mojo19 says:

    I could be wrong, but if I were a betting man I would say that Arnott will sign with a perrenial contender this summer, especially after the years of Nashville's budget and now the shocking season in New Jersey. I don't see him coming to a shitty team again. Brunette, who knows. I would love Arnott but he'll go to Philly or Washington or something.

  8. mapleleafsfan says:

    Because there aren't half a dozen posts you didn't respond to on the last thread… Right..

  9. mojo19 says:

    We blew it up but then didn't stick to the game plan. Also why would you trade first round picks for Phil Kessel but not target UFA's like Gaborik and Kovalchuk???

    I don't know you guys. I used to think a lot of the media was out to get the Leafs, and I still think certain members of the media are bias against Toronto, but overall the negativity towards Toronto is warranted, the closest team we can be compared to when you look at the way we've made trades in the last 15 years is the New York Islanders. And I don't hear anyone saying nice things about them either.

    If I had the chance, I would consider punching Brian Burke in the face. That's how much he's ruined my life with the way he's conducted business since taking over this team. And i've tried like you Josh to put a positive spin on it, but he hasn't made a plan and stuck to it. How do you not go after a guy like Kovalchuk? Burke is a ***** up. We coulda had Gaborik and Cammalleri and then still traded for Kessel and never signed Beachemin and Komisarek, holy we'd be way better off.

  10. mojo19 says:

    Burke's principals are terrible. I know we can't go back but if we do have to go with this "fast track" I wish Glen Sather was in charge here. He used to have that bull headed mentality but he's over it. He understands the importance of bringing in your own guys, and he also is willing to spend on fancy players regardless of whether or not they were born in Slovakia.

    "I wish Glen Sather was in charge" was something I never thought I'd say in my life.

  11. TheLeafNation91 says:

    ??? Which, because I've like Thomas since 06-07, so don't be dumb like the other two and please be more specific

  12. reinjosh says:

    "anything else is just masturbation" good line lol. Your starting to sway me a little and I don't like it.

  13. Boston_Bruins says:

    Word. Is it really that hard to figure out? lol

  14. TheLeafNation91 says:



    Read these articles…No difference between what Gainey did with Max and what Burkes trying to do with Kadri.

    Except, Max still has been alright and not the player Montreal wants.

    Please read articles before you comment, I cannot stand your horrible logic anymore.

  15. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I kind of figured haha. He can be a bit nasty sometimes, but I got to admit, he knows his stuff a lot of times. Not to discredit you or leafy at all.

  16. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I guess Floirdas a great example on how drafting does not make you win…

  17. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I was also thinking Markov wants a one-year contract…He has some value to prove

  18. HABSSTAR says:

    I believe it's a NTC.  But as I said before, until we have or develop someone who can carry the puck then we're stuck with him.  Richards will stay in Dallas.

  19. Leafs_the_word says:

    This guy got butthurt in an argument where I didn't tell him that Rask and Thomas were the two best goaltenders in the league then refuses to acknowledge me while endlessly talking about me.

    And I'm the troll???

    I'm always open for debate.


    Pacioretty plays on the first line, plays on the top powerplay unit, scores big goals, hits and goes to the net.. are you sure hes not the player Montreal wants….


    Wow youre horrible at this.. the difference between Max and Kadri is Max was having an adjustment to pro hockey from college… and if you didn't already know it takes power forwards longer to develop, but Kadri is having trouble adjusting to pro hockey because hes too small (kadri is maybe 170 pounds while Max is around 210) and is too weak with the puck… you must not watch the Leafs much if you didn't know that.. Burke and Wilson both have said Kadri is too small and weak, and he must improve his strength… And the biggest difference is Montreal wasn't one of the worst teams back when Max couldn't make the team , whereas Toronto is one of the worst teams and he still can't stick with the team….is that enough logic for you?


    Actually youre wrong go back and review them.. I backed up my points with stats, facts, and expert opinions.. in fact I researched quotes from the HTR archives, nearly two years old from some Leaf fans about Kessel, and each time all you guys could say "troll.. weres the logic… Kessel will score 50 goals one day we promise", and when I clearly proved you wrong you guys wouldn't even respond…

  23. mapleleafsfan says:

    All of that was for one argument, you were in a lot.

    But no you can never be wrong so let's let it go .
  24. nordiques100 says:

    he also had the guts to admit a mistake like he did with gomez.

    he was pretty quick to get rid of him. surprisingly he got something out of it (ryan Mcdonagh)

    komisarek is the same mistake as gomez.

    but burke will never ever admit error and try to simply rid himself of komi in any fashion. and with komi holding a NMC, no way he asks the player to move. (isnt that funny too how he'd never give NMCs but he did here)

    he'd hang on to him and "do that move 1000 times over".

    and by not throwing him overboard, he'd have a good portion of leaf nation at the palm of his hands once he tells us that keeping komisarek will bring the embarassment of riches in terms of talent from other teams who will flock to Toronto and beg to be leafs because of his principles. because "he treats players right".

    if sentiment was something of meaning in the NHL, derian hatcher would still be a red wing and the wings would have never bought out their "michigan boy" who "came home" to play.

  25. nordiques100 says:

    i've always admired your positivity towards the team.

    and i know you've found me to be the most negative here.

    but sadly its because i have been beaten up too many times with this team.

    its not a preference for me to be negative about the team, its just years of frustration.

    i grew up with the ballard leafs. i dont need to say too much about taht disaster.

    after a bit of success, we got Sundin to reinvent ourselves. but then, we sat on teh fence the rest of the way, giving up youth at every turn, but being too cheap to sign gretzky when he wanted to come here.

    then the quinn/dryden years began with cujo. it was a young, upstart team that this mgmt group turned into an older group. rick ley saying Jason Smith wasn't NHL calibre only for him to go on and be a captain. Sully for khristich, giving up on Modin for the pylon cory cross. we got old pretty fast.

    then, with so many 35+ guys, we needed a new lease. we got JFJ who built his name, not just on his famous father, but on his track record running the behind the scenes stuff in St Louis and doing it well.

    but he too fell in the trap of we've gotta win now at all the wrong costs.

    the one goalie trade was fine with me. the 2nd one did not sit well at all. i never wanted to be right about how toskala was worse than raycroft but i was. i think i feel even more sick losing out on logan couture than i do tukka rask.

    but then the puppet had his strings cut. great. and we got a credible GM who is solely and surely in charge.

    he came in with a rebuild plan. he immediately changed to a fast track plan. he got sucked into the vortex of losing the moment he took over.

    all that stuff that happened before he arrived has beaten and broken many leaf fans. for a guy who has an excessive amount of principles, for a guy who is branded a tough irishman, he certainly caved pretty quickly and threw his beliefs out the window to cater to this supposed desperate need for a cup in 2009.

    the feeling of leaf nation really left him with one choice. he wanted that statue to be built in nathan phillips square.

    very few GMs get a clean slate, especially with an established team.

    but burke did, but turned to the quick fix.

    the fact these players are 24-26 instead of 34-36 makes little difference for me.

    while others do believe in draft schmaft here in leaf nation, i felt it was the right time to try something never done here with the leafs.

    but its too late for that now.

    i admire any optimism here, but really, when you've been beaten down this long, its hard. some people just don't understand that. they dont understand my frustration and disappointment.

    BB has a ton to prove. he is living on the fact he drafted pronger and the sedins and how he won in Anaheim.

    but didnt bob hartley win a cup? even if it was a decade ago, why isnt he still working? he won a cup once, that should be good as gold no?

    or how about craig patrick? he built a winner in Pittsburgh, back to back even.

    so what if it was 18 years ago. a cup = greatness, well at least to burke and his massive ego. i've won before so that makes me a god and an untouchable lord of GMs. the greatest to ever grace the job apparently.

    the next few months are just massive for him to prove something to people like me. the koolaid drinkers will forever consider me a massive flamer here for spouting such negativity, but honestly i have only spouted the cold hard truth.

    as they say, the truth hurts.

  26. dumbassdoorman says:


  27. dumbassdoorman says:

    I can't believe we are actually talking/looking at the 2013 UFA at this point. I am always a glass half full guy, too many years cheering for this team. I have been thru times worse than these, but not by much. Anyway, point is this team isn't that far away. They need a few things, more scoring, a true energy type forward and to learn to win. Not knowing how to win is the biggest problem we have right now. Once this team learns to do that good things will happen, you watch. I am not saying we don't need player help, but I see no need to rip it all apart, just to start again. we have some good pieces in place, so with some good scouting both amt & pro, we should be okay.

  28. mojo19 says:

    We don't have many good pieces in place at all actually. Just as a fun excercise let's say we had… I don't know – Pavel Datsyuk instead of Grabovski

    MacArthur – Datsyuk – Kessel
    Versteeg – Bozak – Kulemin
    Crabb – Boyce – Armstrong
    Brown – Brent – Orr/ Mitchell, Sjostrom

    Even by inserting a legit top 5 center in the league this is still not a playoff roster. We're a lot further away than you think.

  29. mojo19 says:

    Sorry to sway you, and i wish there was a quick fix but I don't believe there is. I wish we could just sign Handzus and Arnott and Gagne (or whatever, you can insert any names of the UFA's you want) this offseason and get great surprise goaltending all year from Reimer and finish in 6th or something and go on a great run in the playoffs, but I mean come on, this is such a long shot. Since that seems to be Burke's kind of plan I guess we have to just hope it works out.

  30. mojo19 says:

    re: the Quinn era

    Ya Sully, Modin, Jason Smith, Alyn McCauley and Brad Boyes for Nolan hurt in the long run… lots of bad moves in the long run. The only one that was actually a good trade was Mike Johnson for Darcy Tucker.

    And about your overall point about Burkie's rep – Think about Mike Keenan, no way he gets a last chance in Calgary last year if he hadn't been a former cup winner, even though it was nearly 20 years ago. There is definitely some prestige that comes with that ring, and you get the benefit of the doubt again and again.

  31. mojo19 says:

    One thing I will give Quinn credit for though is bringing in great UFA's like Steve Thomas, Cujo, Eddie, Roberts, Mogilny, Corson, and when he dealt for deadline guys with picks he grabbed good players like Glen Wesley, Phil Housely, Ron Franics (actually this was a JFJ), Doug Gilmour, and good depth pick ups like Calle Johansson, Yanick Perrault. And an underrated Quinn trade was Danny Markov for Reichel and Green. He was critcized so much for that Markov never played more than a year for the same team after that and bounced to Russia in his early 30's, and we needed centres at the time, so this was a great trade that made us very competitive for a couple years.

    So I do like Pat Quinn, although like every other Leafs GM he could have stood to be more patient with the young guys we had.

  32. dumbassdoorman says:

    Only partially true, IMO though. You are entitled to your opinion, but that does not necessarily make me wrong. I mean should the Oilers have played Carolina for the cup? Insert a true number one like that, especially a guy who knows how to win and things change. You are also assuming no other players change, if they do the whole dynamic of the team change. Point and case the trade that brought Gilmour to the Leafs. One forward changed the group played as a whole. I understand we also upgraded our D at the sametime, but you get the point. Maybe just maybe the cup is half full, not empty and we are closer than you think?

  33. Leafs_the_word says:

    You're bragging that you can repeat what you saw on television? Wow you're smart.

  34. canucks4thecup says:

    Stupid trade offer, Leafs give up too much in the Parise deal and with the combination of Rolston….12 million is far too much for those two guys….I cant believe this was even suggested…Toronto is trying to get better not worse

  35. canucks4thecup says:

    Absolutely ridiculous to suggest that Columbus would trade Johanssen for Kadri and beauchemin….

  36. canucks4thecup says:

    not bad proposals allthough I do feel beauchemin is worth a bit more then a 4th round pick and Gustavson is much better then a 5th rounder

    Versteeg at a 2nd rounder isn't bad, besides being an average third liner all he has his stanley cup experience
  37. reinjosh says:

    Hes a little more than an average 3rd liner. He can get you 25 goals and 25 assists and do almost anything that a forward needs to besides maybe fight.

  38. LeafsFTW17 says:

    Since when is logic a big word?

  39. Leafs_the_word says:

    I'm one hundred percent behind criticizing the Leafs, my track record of alienating myself from other Leaf fans on this site should speak to that. It's the bashing of younger players like Bozak, Gustavsson ect… and the shift to shift bashing of Kessel that is tiresome.  The forecast is perpetually calling for another fallen sky.

    I don't really see myself as positive, I went into this season with zero expectation and we're about where we were slotted to be.  My frustration with Burke was expressed over the summer, I don't hate the guy for the simple fact that he'll actually be proactive towards fixing his mistakes whereas any other GM would likely ride it out.  I hope by now it should be crystal clear to stop throwing money at the blueline.

  40. HABSSTAR says:

    Was it a poll of all players or just of those at the all star game?  If it was just a random sampling of all players in the NHL then I agree with you.  If it was of just the players at the all star game then there might be a bit more to worry about.  Given the small amount of high level talent in the league even losing 5% of that group could put you a step behind. 

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