NHL Trade Deadline Passes Quietly As Cap, Shorter Season Tighten Market
The NHL trade deadline passed yesterday, and there “might never have been a deadline as challenging as this one” for GMs, "at least not in the last 15 years or so,” according to Chris Johnston of SPORTSNET. There are “more than a few of them who wanted to be more active than they were.” But with the salary cap “set to drop to” US$64.3M next season and “only a dozen or so games for each team to play in a shortened schedule, the market was narrowed considerably.” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said, “Today was the end of the most difficult trade period I’ve been through in hockey.” Johnston noted there really “weren’t very many sellers” -- the Flames, Stars and Sabres “notwithstanding -- and that was driven by the tight standings and shortened season.” Those that “chose to peddle assets were handsomely rewarded.” The guess “here is that this was more of an anomaly than a trend” (SPORTSNET.ca, 4/3).
STARTING OVER: In Buffalo, Bucky Gleason writes Sabres GM Darcy Regier “didn’t want to use the R-word while announcing that” RW Jason Pominville had been traded to the Wild for two prospects and two draft picks. Gleason: “Reloading, retooling, reworking, reconstructing, take your pick.” Now that the Sabres “can’t get much worse, it’s only a matter of time before the slightest improvement is sold as monumental progress. It’s ridiculous.” They have been “grossly mismanaged for years.” Regier is "in his 16th season and is still learning lessons the hard way, but his mistakes come without repercussion.” Managing a hockey team "isn’t about spending the most. It’s about spending the wisest.” With the Sabres “not getting a bang commensurate with the buck,” Regier “has been exposed.” It “doesn’t take much for a general manager to lose leverage, as Regier found out this season” (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/4). Regier said, “It’s difficult standing here right now to say it’s going to be a year or two years. We’re going to work as hard as we can at this and get it done as quickly as possible” (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/4).