NHL: Trade Deadline-Seller’s Market?
The week leading up to the NHL trade deadline and deadline day is like Christmas time for hockey fans. Whether your team is in contention for a playoff spot, a Stanley Cup contender looking to get that extra piece or a club on the outside looking to re-tool or rebuild, fans are always excited and in-patient to see what moves may lie ahead.
With all the parity in the NHL, normally trade deadline time is a seller’s market as so few teams are typically out of playoff contention come deadline time. This year appeared to be different as more teams appear to be on the outs, especially in the Eastern Conference. That being said, thus far we’ve seen some seller’s get great value for their players.
A prime example of this is Wednesday’s trade between the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings. The move saw the Kings obtain highly sought after defenseman Andrej Sekera in exchange for a conditional 1st-round draft pick and defensive prospect Roland McKeown. This trade should be a win-win as the Kings get a top-4 defenseman who will greatly help their playoff drive and chances to repeat as Cup Champions, while the Hurricanes get much needed pieces to assist in their rebuild.
For the Canes, this move was great asset management and shows that the market is very much a seller’s market. While the Kings gave up a lot in the move for a rental player, they are going all in as they should and it would seem likely that as long as Sekera fits in that the Kings will re-sign him long term before he hits free agency July 1st, similar to what they did with Marian Gaborik. Also the condition of the 1st-round pick was savvy on King’s General Manger Dean Lombardi’s part as the pick is for 2015 unless the Kings miss the playoffs, then the pick will be for 2016. This means of course the Kings won’t be parting with a high lottery pick, although it is extremely unlikely that they miss the playoffs.
Another example of solid asset management from a seller is the Toronto Maple Leafs recent trades of Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli to the Nashville Predators and Daniel Winnik to the Pittsburgh Penguins. In the deal with the Predators, the Leafs obtained a 1st-round pick, a solid prospect and while veteran Olli Jokinen provides no value to them, taking on the remainder of his contract was the least they can do knowing they got the other valuable assets in the deal, plus they can move Jokinen for a potential mid-round pick before the deadline. The move with the Penguins saw the Leafs acquire a 2016 2nd- round draft pick as the center piece, which is a very valuable asset and would have been a great coup on it’s own, but they also received a prospect and a 2015 4th-round pick.
Now will the TSN fellas be sitting around during their long Trade Deadline day broadcast now that many of the bigger names on the market have been traded already? It’s very possible, although we still have yet to see the Arizona Coyotes make moves and it’s basically a certainty that they will move center Antoine Vermette and defenseman Zbynek Michalek, among some others. Also it’s just a matter of time before the Edmonton Oilers move defenseman Jeff Petry.
In my own opinion I do believe we’ll see a few surprise moves. Perhaps players in play that haven’t been talked about in the media and even a few “hockey” trades where teams trade current NHL players for each other, rather then an NHL player for picks/prospects.
Tune in this Saturday to Real Hockey Talk at noon AZ time on 1480 AM KPHX and streaming right here on sportsbreakthrough.com. We will of course discuss the trades that have happened this week and preview what other moves may be on the horizon.