Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Trade Freeze!

1) Well the once heralded start of the Christmas trade freeze came and went with a mere whimper. ( THE NHL XMAS TRADE FREEZE PERIOD IS DECEMBER 19-27.)

2) 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.

3) 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 56 mil) the past few 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, (Thanks to the loser point!) 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. Will that stop the rumor whores and others from telling us a block buster deal is imminent? Probably not, but from all reports we find reliable we don't expect any real big moves to occur before the Olympic break in February!

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