How The NHL Trade Deadline Goes Down

The NHL Trade Deadline is March 1st. For those who don’t understand the rules of the MLB trade deadline, are always disappointed by the NBA trade deadline, and don’t even know why the NFL trade deadline exists; GREAT NEWS! The NHL trade deadline is almost always fantastic and filled with dozens of trades.

This year should be no different, thanks in large part to my Colorado Avalanche, who are on pace to be the worst team in the shootout era. That means they suck. A lot. And teams that suck always panic and want to trade everyone on their roster. So if you’re the worst team in the last decade, you can imagine the panic in Colorado right now.

There will be a ton of minor moves, because nobody does minor moves like the NHL. They’ll trade minor league guys for draft picks, money, future prospects (don’t ask what that means, no one knows) and other minor league guys. Players you’ve never heard of, and will never hear of again, will be dealt. That’s why the NHL is the best. Because they’re definitely going to make trades. The NHL is like the Philadelphia 76ers. No one really knows what they’re doing, but they’re always doing shit. You just need to find enough Joel Embiid’s to blindly trust the process.

What is this column about again?

Oh yeah, NHL trade deadline. Here’s how March 1st will go down:

February 27-28

There’s always one major move that goes down a day or two before the deadline. So here’s what will happen:

Every goalie gets traded. Every team decides that their goaltending simply isn’t good enough and they all just swap out goalies in a large 30 team trade that is way too complicated for me to put together right now.

Or, more realistically but still not very realistic, every team trying to move their goalie, is able to move their goalie. Ryan Miller heads back to Buffalo because that’s where he belongs. Ben Bishop goes to Los Angles (I cheated, this already happened). Marc-Andre Fleury heads to St. Louis. And the Avs somehow find a taker for Semyon Varlamov in the form of a random KHL team.

With the goaltender market dried up, teams can now focus on the important players.

March 1 – 11AM

Nothing happens except for a minor move or two because this is how every single deadline plays out. We all wake up at 9AM waiting for trades, and then not a damn thing happens for at least three hours. The rumors are out there, but nothing gets done. Why don’t they move the deadline up three hours so shit is happening when everyone wakes up?

12PM

So many rumors surrounding the Colorado Avalanche. Will they trade Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog? Can Joe Sakic mind trick a team into taking Francois Beauchemin? Is Jarome Iginla worth a third round pick? It’s just nothing but rumors as we all yell at twitter for something to happen.

12:30PM

Bob McKenzie tweets, “WE HAVE A TRADE!” and then proceeds to explain that he traded his snack pack to James Duthie for a banana and future lunch considerations. Everyone is really pissed off.

1PM

WE HAVE A TRADE! Radim Vrbata heads to Chicago because even though Stan Bowman said he wasn’t going to make any moves, the Blackhawks always find a way to get an extra guy. People universally praise this deal, even though Vrbata will be held without a point throughout the entire playoffs, because it’s the Blackhawks. They’ve reached Patriots status where, it doesn’t really matter what they do, everyone believes it’s a good thing.

1:15PM

San Jose acquires Jarome Iginla from the Avalanche. The Sharks felt they needed to make one move to put them over the top in their quest to return to the Stanley Cup finals. And when they couldn’t make that move, they settled on Iginla.

1:16PM

The Sharks immediately acquire Shane Doan after getting Iginla. Their theory is that they should just acquire a bunch of old guys who have never won a Stanley Cup and pair them with the old guys that have never won a Stanley Cup that they already have. This way, if they do win the Stanley Cup, their whole franchise can retire on top.

1:45PM 

Joe Sakic refuses to come down on the asking price for Duchene and Landeskog. He not only wants Filip Forsberg from the Nashville Predators, he wants them to erase all records of Peter Forsberg in Nashville.

2PM

One hour until the deadline. This is when shit really goes down. Everyone is checking twitter and waiting for that big news to break. They’re following Sidney Crosby to see if he tweets out some random emoji, but NHL players aren’t as fun as NBA players, so Crosby just tweets about his latest sponsor or something.

2:11PM

The minor league names are flying off the board. Andrew Campbell, Brian Gibbons, Jake Dowell, and Sam Latta are all dealt. You’re not even sure these names are real, you just trust that they are.

2:15PM 

Maple Leafs fans are growing impatient as they wait for Toronto to make a big splash that will ensure the team makes the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. “LEAFS ACQUIRE BOYLE” appears as a headline and Toronto fans go crazy, thinking they’ve traded for Lightning forward Brian Boyle. Turns out, they just got Tim Boyle from the Senators.

2:25PM

Colorado Avalanche fans are outside Pepsi Center protesting the potential trades of Duchene and Landeskog. They want Sakic to keep them and surrounded them with young talent, not old guys who can barely move anymore. Unfortunately, when I say “fans” I mean one or two people in Blackhawks jerseys who are just doing it because Chicago people in Colorado are the worst.

2:30PM

The Kevin Shattenkirk sweepstakes is coming down to the wire. It’s between the New York Rangers, and no one else because Shattenkirk is going to sign with the Rangers in the offseason so no team is dumb enough to trade for him, knowing he’s only going to be around for a couple of months. The Rangers decide, “why should we give up anything for him when he’s going to sign here anyway?” The Blues are not panicking because they want something in return. The Rangers finally give in. They trade the rights to Wayne Gretzky Rangers highlights to the Blues for Shattenkirk.

2:35PM

In a blockbuster, the Detroit Red Wings send Riley Sheahan to the Avalanche in exchange for Blake Comeau. The Wings are happy to have a veteran as they try really hard to keep their playoff streak alive. The Avs are excited to add more scoring to the worst offense in the league.

2:40PM

Detroit moves Thomas Vanek to Pittsburgh. Vanek somehow scores 50 goals this season.

2:45PM

Colorado announces that they will not move Duchene or Landeskog after failing to find the right deal. Avs fans celebrate. Then remember that the team still sucks.

2:50PM

With Duchene and Landeskog off the market, teams turn their attention to Patrick Sharp. Sharp has a no-movement clause and decides that he really likes Dallas. Upon hearing this, every team decides that they no longer want Patrick Sharp anyway.

3:01PM

The trade deadline officially passes. Fans are once again pissed that all the big deals went down the days before the deadline and not on deadline day. More trades trickle through because trades always came through after the deadline, but none of them matter.

The Penguins trade Crosby for McDavid.

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