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A few points to remember on this, Trade Deadline Eve

Mar 2, 2010, 11:50 PM EDT

Tonight is a lot like Christmas Eve for many hockey fans. Sleep does not come easily, you cannot help but dream about all the gifts your franchise will buy just for you and there are visions of silver chalices dancing in your head.

With this wonderful hockey holiday nearly upon us, here are a few things to remember for the armchair GMs out there.

All contracts are not created equal

If a team is going to take a risk by trading a quality player, chances are it’s going to have to be someone whose contract will expire after this season. If not, that player will often be wildly overpaid. Even if you get past those possibilities, the guy might have a no trade clause. Tomas Kaberle has been the subject of trade rumors for years and don’t forget how much of a headache Dany Heatley’s NTC turned out to be. After all that, the player has to fit under a team’s salary cap.
The standings matter

This is obvious to most, but if you’re hoping for your cellar dwelling team to land a superstar you’re probably wasting your time. Also, with increased parity comes a decrease in the number of sellers. Simply put, if a team thinks it has a shot at making a playoff run it will be less likely to trade pros for prospects.
Context matters

Let’s not forget the human factor, either. Before Jean-Sebastien Giguere was traded to Toronto, I cooked up a half-serious “Giguere for Marty Turco” trade idea. Stars fans and Ducks fans alike were quick to voice their disapproval. You don’t want to upset your fans, even if it helps your team. I’m also willing to say that the Leafs and Oilers probably won’t be calling each other tomorrow, even if Kevin Lowe is no longer the Oilers’ GM.
Feel free to dream up all kinds of wacky trade ideas tonight and tomorrow. Imagining what you would do if you were in charge is a one of the best things about being a fan. Just keep in mind that it’s a little more complicated than it might seem.
  1. Matt Reitz - Mar 3, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    And the Pro Hockey Talk writing team is starting to come into focus… 😉
    Just a quick comment about your half-serious trade idea. If you piss off BOTH fanbases, then you’re probably onto something. Everyone ALWAYS overvalues their own players… and undervalues their opponents.

  2. James O'Brien - Mar 3, 2010 at 1:28 AM

    “Everyone ALWAYS overvalues their own players… and undervalues their opponents.”
    Agreed, but teams overprice tickets, so they have to care about those opinions. Not enough to derail the team, mind you.
    (Glad to hear from you Mark.)

  3. Cory Pfohl - Mar 3, 2010 at 2:17 AM

    Kaberle isn’t moving. Burke isn’t going to break his word and I don’t see Kaberle asking to leave. I hope they don’t deal him in the summer, but I think they’ll do it anyway.

  4. Brad - Mar 3, 2010 at 4:23 AM

    The Sabres are a team desperate for a trade right now. With Miller proving again he can take a team deep, it’s time for Darcy Regier to go get a real SCORER. Trade away some depth in Portland like a Gerbe, Ennis, Mancari, and even a Derek Roy, Drew Stafford, or a Pominville and get us a damn SCORER.

  5. Bryan - Mar 3, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    You have to remember that sometimes a trade is viewed as completely one sided (Remember Hartford to Pittsburgh in 91 every one thought that Hartford got a way better deal) but in the end the trade might be th bst thing for your team in the long run

  6. Hagi Gun - Mar 3, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    “The standings matter.”
    I completely agree with that notion. However, what you have to realize as well as a GM, is that being the 9th-12th team in your conference is the worst spot to be. It’s not just a matter of making the playoffs or not making them.
    If you look at some of todays top teams (Wash, Pitt, Chi) these were absolutely awful squads 2-4 years ago. You either need to make the playoffs with a legitimate chance, or you may as well be sucking hind-tit. Last place is almost the runner up as far as standings go. You don’t get the cup, but you get 1st crack at the top talent next year.
    Do these names ring a bell: Crosby, Fluery, Ovechkin, Malkin, Toews, Kane…It pays to stink.
    You get a team like my squad, the Wild, who are in that 9-12 slotting. They are most likely gonna miss the playoffs, but yet it’s too early to “sell” on your fan base. It’s a tough position to be in, because being competetive and finishing 10th is the absolute worst you can do. Now your draft slot stinks, and you are most likely in the same spot next year unless talent steps up.
    That being said, I’m extremely happy with the Wilds new Staff. The GM and coach have done a tremendous job. Latendresse is a beast and will score 30+ goals next season with the same effort. All our moves have been great and there have been quite a few.
    I would look for a mini-sell like maybe Nolan being dealt. We love Nolan, and he could possibly come back next year as a URFA.
    Best of luck on the new blog. I was an innovator of sorts, well 2004 anyway to the PFT blog. Hope this goes well.
    Thanks Team USA! We are proud of your effort!

  7. Gifts for Dad - Mar 5, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    Great Post! I personally really appreciate your article. This is a great website. I will make sure that I stop back again!.

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