Will There Be A Player Scramble At This Year’s NHL Trade Deadline?
The trade deadline for this shortened season in the NHL is Wednesday April 3, 2013. The sports betting experts are not expecting a lot of movement simply because teams are not going to pick up rental players for a season that is going to have the shortest off-season in NHL history. A short off-season means a short free agency period and that could leave teams saddled with huge contracts that they do not want to pay for.
On the other hand, the teams that are sinking fast may be willing sellers as they try to retool for next season. The sportsbook websites are thinking that this whirlwind season could be the ideal vehicle for teams to use to pick up players at a discount that may not have been available under other circumstances. Some of the activity we will see at the trade deadline could be very interesting, if the rumors we have been hearing come true.
The biggest question on the minds of the fans and betting sites experts is whether or not the Pittsburgh Penguins are done fortifying an already powerful lineup. This season alone has seen the Penguins pick up Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray and Jarome Iginla. The Pittsburgh front office says it is done this season, but we shall see.
Another burning question is how much the lowering of salary cap will affect player moves. The NHL owners lowered the cap by almost $6 million for next season and that affects a lot of teams at this point. Many teams who are going to be over the cap may need to make trades that will get them closer to the magic number and teams who will be short on cap space for next season may not be able to pull the trigger on a trade that they really want to make.
The Vancouver Canucks have watched as goaltender Roberto Luongo has consistently failed to perform in the playoffs. This season, the team tried to give the starting job to Corey Schneider, but he has been inconsistent. Luongo has been playing well this regular season, but he could be used as trade bait for a team needing a goaltender as Vancouver has no faith that Luongo will be able to lead the team to a Stanley Cup championship.
One of the biggest mysteries in the NHL this season is what the Buffalo Sabres plan on doing to improve their team. The Sabres have been struggling for years and finally fired long-time head coach Lindy Ruff. A fire sale of the team’s talent would seem appropriate as the Sabres rebuild with a new head coach, but that has not always been Buffalo’s way. Trade rumors surrounding goaltender Ryan Miller continue to swirl and the team has already traded away defensive prospect T.J. Brennan and veteran defender Jordan Leopold. Will the Sabres be buyers or sellers when the deadline rolls around? Only time will tell.
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