Sunday, February 25, 2007

Trade deadline offers up more than just the movement of players

The Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek provides kind of a primer for those trying to understand the dynamics of the new NHL financial structure and how teams approach the trade deadline this Tuesday. In what amounts to a course outline called Deadline 101, he examines the various factors involved in this years run up to the trade deadline.

With a 44 million dollar payroll to work with, many NHL teams are looking for young and cheap rising players this deadline day, those that will have an immediate impact on the ice while keeping the budgetary path of the team on track.

He uses an example of the Ducks of Anaheim as a team that has tied up half of their salary space with just four players. The Ducks have a roster of youngsters playing a pretty solid game at bargain basement prices thirteen of whom make less than 1 million dollars. They are the currency of this draft, the young guns with low price tags. The Ducks today made some preparatory moves today with a minor deal, that is expected to pave the way for a larger deal before the deadline.

The article makes a nice companion piece to the Satellite Hot Stove broadcast on Saturday night, where Ron McLean’s panel investigated which teams might be buyers and sellers on Tuesday. All eyes apparently are on St. Louis as the Blues determine where they want to be by the time the smoke clears on Tuesday afternoon. All other deals currently in the incubation phase seem to rest on how the dominoes tumble out of Missouri.

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