2) The 'biggest', and really only "deadline deal" that occurred was a swap of marginal players between the Black hawks and Flyers. The Flyers dealt winger Ben Eager to the Chicago Black Hawks in exchange for defenseman Jim Vandermeer. Hardly an Earth shattering deal that will change the balance of power in either conference.
3) What was once one of the more active times of year (behind only the spring trade deadline, and entry draft) the holiday trade freeze has become just another arbitrary deadline that comes and goes with little notice by anyone but team' GM's and some hard core fans/bloggers.
4) The inevitable question would be why? Why is it/has it been so quiet the last few years. The answer(s) are simple:
- The salary cap: This is the obvious reason for ALL trade inhibition. Teams can no longer simply make a trade without first thinking of the short AND long term salary cap implications. Although the cap has increased substantially(39 to 50 mil) the past 2 seasons, teams are learning the system and reluctant to get too close to the max, if possible, to retain flexibility for a deal later in the season. As we have seen, even then the cap (as well as the earlier trade deadline) helps to retard the number and scope of a trade.
- League-wide parity: With so many(almost all right now) teams still technically in it for longer periods, almost all GM's are still thinking of this year and not ready to throw in the towel, per se, after 30 or so games and think re-build. So there are very few 'sellers' of quality.
5) Here are some deals that were rumoured to be left on the table that may be revisited again in the New Year.
- For starters we can tell you the silly Alex Ovechkin trade rumors were just that, silly. They were simply the fabrications(desires-?) of a thehockeynews.com writer. Our DC sources tell us that while negotiations have stalled, there has been NO attempt by Capital management to trade their resident superstar. Our source went on to say IF that should happen, look for the team to be sold the next day! LOL
- Bob Gainey, probably in a attempt to see what his worth may be for a later deal, dangled underachieving forward Michael Ryder. One source tells us it was obvious it was a trial balloon as BG 'asked for the moon' for a guy who will be a UFA at years end.
- We are told that Chicago attempted to deal perennial underachieving LW, Sergei Samsonov, we're told there were no takers but quite a few giggles on the other end of the phone line.
- Edmonton thought they had a deal in place to send Raffi Torres to an "Eastern Conference Club" before his latest set back. A knee sprain. We're told that team may revisit the deal once Raffi is back and playing healthy.
- Toronto attempted to see if there were any cheap defensemen available as Bryan McCabe appears to be out 2 months. With their cap issues it seems that anyone they traded for would be only marginally better than what they could promote from the Marlies
- Our west coast source tells us that we've probably seen the last trade by the Ducks for a while. Perhaps at the deadline, but Burke wants to stop any further roster shuffling to see if what they have is enough to get back to the level of last season. We read that as its likely we''ll see a return of Teemu Selanne. probbaly by late January!
- That ever persistent rumor that the Penguins are in contact with the agent of former Panther, Star, Blackhawk goalie Ed Belfour persist. Especially with the recent injury to M-A Fleury. The pens don't want to fall out of contention during his recovery and don't feel Sabourin can handle the starting role just yet.
- The Flyers though not offering any big names this time around are going to be active before the February deadline we're told. Either Jeff Carter or R.J. Umberger our source tells us may be playing in a new uniform once the deadline passes. Who the Broadstreet bullies want in return will depend on the need at the time of the deal. There will be quite a few potential buyers as those 2 are young with plenty of upside
6) These were a few of the stories we were following the last week or so. If any seem to be getting close to fruition we of course will let all our loyal readers in on the rumor as we hear them. As always, keep it here for all the latest!