The NHL trade deadline is one of my favorite times of the year. At the start of the season it’s the most important date to locate during the season. It’s where all the rumors and speculation either comes true or proves to be fake. To me, as a Sabres fan, it was also saying goodbye to players and hello to draft picks. But this year was supposed to be different…or so I thought.
There were so many rumors and sagas going on, I felt any team could make a hockey deal and add players. With names out there like Jonathan Drouin, Cam Fowler and Brandon Pirri, people thought that they could move. I was excited knowing that these young players could join Buffalo and make them a better team.
But it wasn’t just me who was excited, as Boston fans sat around waiting to see what was going to happen with Loui Eriksson. Loui was one of the biggest unrestricted free agents who could’ve gotten moved at the deadline. Bruins fans were following ‘will Loui sign an extension,’ ‘will they flip him for a big move and bring in defensive help’ or ‘will they treat him like a rental’.
Finally, we had Vancouver and Dan Hamhuis, arguably the biggest defenseman who could’ve been on the move. Everyone kept wondering if Vancouver would sell or do they still think they have a chance for playoffs.
Well, with all of these stories leading into the deadline, I expected a lot big moves. I don’t know if I got my hopes up too much or I read too much into the rumors, but this trade deadline was a complete bust. This trade deadline coverage was ridiculous; I felt bad for TSN and Sportsnet, they had to tell stories just to fill air time. The Deadline Day saw 19 deals and 34 players moved, highlighted by the move of Kris Russell to the Dallas Stars.
After all the rumors about Eriksson and Drouin, nothing changed for either of them. Loui is still looking for a contract extension and Drouin is still not playing hockey, sitting out because he refuses to play in the AHL.
The general manager of Buffalo, Tim Murray, described the deadline as ridiculous. He went on to complain how everyone waited until the final hour before they started trying to make moves. He compared it to a bunch of high schoolers waiting till right before the deadline to try and get their work done.
This deadline had huge potential for a lot of hockey trades that could benefit both teams, and the trigger was never pulled. This was a deadline highlighted by rental players and small ones at that. Andrew Ladd was traded to Chicago before deadline day, so excluding him for not being on deadline day. The big names moved on deadline day were Kris Russell to Dallas, Mikhail Boedker to Colorado, and Jamie McGinn to Anaheim.
If you think of past years names like Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash and Marian Hossa were all added to teams and improved them dramatically, and in most cases lead them to the Stanley Cup Finals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Russell, McGinn and Boedker aren’t going to help their new teams. I just think when playoffs come around these players aren’t impact players; they aren’t going to put huge points up and score the important goals for the teams.
With all this being said, I think when draft comes around, we could see more moves. But if you ask me, I am not buying these rumors and I will sit back until the deals are actually made.