There’s no debate in the minds of everyone who follows the sport of hockey closely that this trade deadline is going to be a busy one. Every one of the Original 30 (yeah, that’s what I’m calling them from now on) understand they are in line to lose one player to the Expansion Draft in June, and they are going to want to utilize the deadline to begin their preparations.
However, the powers that be in Las Vegas aren’t so sure the deadline has quite the significance many, including myself, have made it out to have.
The deadline isn’t the deadline. After the deadline teams can still make trades. Once they are out of the playoffs they are free to move players around. So, wouldn’t it be great if on trade deadline day that’s when the rosters froze, yes boy would it ever. The trade deadline is more relevant for other teams in the league because they’re going to have to make their proper moves to get ready for the expansion draft because that’s gonna be their first step. But after the trade deadline to the middle of June, they still have the opportunity to move guys. -Murray Craven, Senior VP
**Craven interview begins at 1:19:00 of the first link, McPhee at 1:14:45 of the second**
We don’t know what’s going to happen at this trade deadline. I’d imagine some teams will reach out to us, but there will be lots of activity amongst the teams, but what it produces is anyone’s guess. I would imagine the teams that are pushing to win, some of them are going to reach out to us because they would like to put some things in place with us. If they are going to be adding players they wouldn’t mind knowing what we are up to and what we would like to do with them before they make those moves. -George McPhee, GM
McPhee confirmed Vegas can indeed speak with other teams come March 1st, but that he cannot actually strike a deal with a team until after the Stanley Cup.
Both points are valid and should cause Vegas fans a bit of pause when it comes to their deadline fever. To steal from a scenario Craven spelled out, if a team acquires a piece at the deadline, then loses in the first round, they’ve got more than a month to flip that guy and reorganize in advance of the June 17th deadline for expansion protection lists.
Moves are going to be coming in fast and furious, especially involving goalies, but the impact on Vegas will not truly be able to be examined until the end of June.
Yet another example of why even though we all want to play the game, mock drafts need to wait. Cause right now, it’s really just taking shots in the dark.