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Afternoon Analysis

Afternoon Analysis: Trade Winds

A look at why there has been a lack of trading in the New NHL.

Yesterday’s deal between Montreal and Minnesota spurred my interest in trades, specifically the lack thereof.  By my very quick count, this was the first deal in the league since November 1st, and one of the few deals of any substance or scope.

The new CBA and salary cap has obviously created a world where the salary implications of any deal are so great that it has had a chilling effect (this is what I learned in 3 years of law school) on deals.  This, in my opinion, has a detrimental effect on the league and its fans.

General Managers are now, more than ever, reluctant to pull the triggers on deals that could help their teams because they are seemingly petrified of the cap implications. Despite the fact that most teams now employ capologists and a host of underlings to the GM, most of the transactions happen with the waiver wire.

Pardon me for saying so, but I feel this reeks of laziness and shows nothing more than a CYA attitude amongst the GM’s. Even at this relatively early juncture in the season, teams are (hello Oilers) are getting left in the dust. Most of us, having been hockey fans for some time, are well aware that a trade can have an immediate positive effect on a club. It serves notice to the remaining players to not get too complacent, and the infusion of new blood often supplies a spark. Drawing on my own fan experience, look what Petr Nedved did for the Oilers post-deadline a few years back. You can’t tell me a run like that wouldn’t be welcome right now.

It takes more than one GM with confidence to tango, but you can’t tell me there isn’t more than one guy in the league right now that is not happy with his team’s play. I suspect that even one more deal this week or next would serve to open the floodgates, as this crop of GM’s seems to be a group of followers rather than leaders.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of several deals that are mutually beneficial to both teams and I would guess you readers can do the same. So why not do it? It engages the fans, it engages the local media and it gets the players’ attention. I know you can’t run a team like its NHL 2K10, but there are deals out there if the GM’s would just have the courage to pick up the Blackberry.

Illegal Curve takes this opportunity to call for action. Who will answer?