With Monday’s trade deadline looming large, Patrick and I debate whether it is an overrated entity or something that lives up to the hype.
Yes; big moves don’t exactly equal playoff success By Ryan Porth
This time of year is something that most of us hockey fans look forward to. We all sit around at work or at home on deadline day, keeping track of the craziness that ensues. At the time, every team seems to get better with all of the trades that go down… but do the deals actually live up to what they are made to be?
Let’s go back to last year, as the Devils took the risk of trading for Ilya Kovalchuk. Yes, they resigned him over the summer, but they gave up a lot for what was viewed as a rental. ‘Kovy’ wasn’t the best fit right away in Jacques Lemaire’s system and the team lost in five first-round games to the Flyers.
Other examples are Peter Forsberg and Olli Jokinen. In 2007 and 2009, respectively, Nashville and Calgary were noted as bonafide Cup contenders after those deals… only to lose grip on their division leads and exit quietly come playoff time.
31 trades were made on deadline day last year. How many involved the Blackhawks or Flyers? Zero.
Three of the last four Stanley Cup Champions – Anaheim, Detroit and Chicago – failed to make a big move before the deadline. They either added complementary parts or stayed silent all together.
The other Cup champ in that time frame was Pittsburgh. However, their situation was a bit different. On the fringe of the playoff picture, the acquisitions of Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin were to help the Pens get into the playoffs and possibly make some noise. As it turned out, Dan Bylsma rode a wave of momentum to Cup glory.
Teams toss around draft picks and prospects for players that they may only keep for two months. And sometimes it can be done out of impulse as a reaction to what others around them are doing.
Do I think teams can improve at the deadline? Absolutely. Just look at what Marian Hossa did with Pittsburgh in 2008. But it’s usually the conservative teams who are the ones that reap the biggest benefits from the trading season. And that’s why I say the trade deadline is overrated.
No; the trade deadline is great for hockey By Patrick Hoffman
In the NHL, there is one part of the season that can be like Christmas for general managers, coaches, teams and fans: the NHL trade deadline.
At the deadline, teams fall into two different categories: one that is looking for a final piece(s) to become a Stanley Cup contender or one that is trying to gut the current roster and look towards the future. This often makes for some interesting and exciting moves as teams either get ready to make their playoff push, look like a Cup champion or look completely different.
While it sounds like this is not too fun for fans, I beg to differ. For the fans, the Trade Deadline is an opportunity to dream of better players coming to your favorite team that could help them win a Cup or it is a chance to dream about the future and better things to come.
The trade deadline is a tremendous opportunity for the league to generate a ton of coverage on major sports networks, especially if a big deal goes down. Remember folks, if Wayne Gretzky can be traded, any player in the National Hockey League can get moved.
Secondly, it is a good way to see what your team is all about. Are they about winning the Cup now? Will they make that final move to put them in the playoffs? Is your team about building for the future? Is your team starting the process of a rebuild? These are all questions a fan can get answers to in one day.
With that said, it is okay to love the trade deadline. It does not make you a nerd or anything like that. What it makes you is someone who cares about their team and wants what is best for them.
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.