Last week on with our friends at The Vegas Hockey Hotline, George McPhee discussed his thoughts on the trade deadline. At the time the payment wasn’t official so McPhee couldn’t get into specifics but Brian asked him a question about motivation to make a trade. McPhee seemed to be a strong advocate of making deadline moves even if the general manager didn’t necessarily think a deal was needed.
Sometimes you may not feel like you need anything else for your club but your players are expecting something to happen. So psychologically, you’re trying to help them. So you might add something just so they feel like you have even more ammunition. George McPhee, Vegas Hockey Hotline
It makes complete sense with the length, body stress, and travel of a 82 game season, players seemingly assume extra help to push them towards the finish line. Other teams need to break up the trending slide of a disappointing season. Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher joined TSN Montreal this week to explain the emotions players go through during the deadline period. Gally told TSN the trade deadline can be fun to pay attention to.
Probably follow it, just kinda see what goes on around the league and our team. It’s kinda exciting to watch from a different perspective. It’s definitely something that’s on our minds. -Brendan Gallagher, TSN 690
The pesty Canadian sounded like a fan sitting around on the couch all day watching NHL Network. He was excited his team made deals to bring Steve Ott and Brendan Davidson to Montreal.
The good side of that is we don’t lose a roster player we’re just adding guys to our group. You know, that’s always exciting when you get ready for a playoff push. – Brendan Gallagher, TSN 690
Clearly, McPhee and Gallagher are on the same page. The GM is aware players are expecting something to get done. It sounds like a good way to motivate a team late in the season. Which is why we should expect deadline deals annually in Las Vegas. In Washington, McPhee engineered 15 deadline trades, and two midseason deals. That’s 17 straight years McPhee added players to his roster during the season via trade. I can only assume he’ll use that same strategy with the Golden Knights roster. We can expect McPhee to make deals regardless of Vegas’ standings in the Western Conference playoff race. Next year especially, when they likely aren’t headed to the Cup Finals, building for the future will include assets McPhee accrues making trades with contenders.
So, don’t get too attached to the players on the opening night roster. McPhee will find value in each player he acquires to build the Golden Knights roster long term. That means, any of them could be trade bait next season. Maybe, tell your kid to wait a year or two before putting a players name on the back of that new VGK jersey. Or better yet, let’s just fill the stadium with #17 Foley jerseys. (Sorry Ken, The Creator is just too long to put on a sweater)