Links, News and Notes: Trade Deadline Edition

Some things have happened in the NHL

The trade deadline isn’t until tomorrow, but GMs have been busy working the phones, with most of the big names leaving the board yesterday and the day before, including the best defenseman on the market. You may have heard of him. A quick recap of the non-Ottawa Senators, and thus less important, trades:

  • The long-awaited Patrick Kane trade finally went through, with the winger being sent to the Rangers in exchange for a conditional second round pick and a fourth round pick. Kane had a full no-move clause and reportedly told Chicago that it was New York or bust, hence the underwhelming return. Under different circumstances, this might have been a very exciting deal, but Kane’s long list of off-ice issues - from assaulting a cab driver in 2009 to rape allegations to his role in the Hawks’ locker room in 2010 during the Kyle Beach scandal - stain his legacy in Chicago and prompt questions about the Rangers’ locker room culture. He’s also kinda bad now, so there’s that.
  • The Leafs did a lot of shuffling in the bottom half of their lineup, shipping out Engvall and Sandin for Erik Gustafsson and Luke Schenn. Will this help them? Who knows!
  • Kings legend Jonathan Quick was traded to Columbus in exchange for Joonas Korpisalo and Vladislav Gavrikov. So long, and enjoy Ohio!
  • The Oilers got their long-awaited defenseman, acquiring Mattias Ekholm from the Nashville Predators.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi finally got out of Edmonton, as he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. Puljujarvi is a good possession player with no finish, which is also a good way to describe the Carolina Hurricanes as a whole, so this should be a good fit for him.
  • Lars Eller was traded to the Avalanche, prompting many to ask, “wait, Lars Eller is still in the NHL?”
  • The real head-scratcher of the deadline so far has been the Canucks trading the first round pick they acquired in the Horvat trade - as well as their own second round pick - to Detroit for Filip Hronek. Hronek is a good enough defenseman that I might have laughed at the Red Wings’ decision to trade him at all, but that is an incredibly steep price to pay for a team that can’t seem to figure out what it wants to do. My first reaction to that trade was actually that Detroit was definitely about to flip the first rounder to Arizona for Chychrun, but, well.
  • And now for other news...
  • As the deadline approaches, the NHL apparently plans to closely scrutinize trades involving players that are on LTIR, hoping to crack down on the brand of cap circumvention where teams hide players on LTIR to get the extra cap space, and then activate those players once the playoffs come around. The problem is that most teams are doing that with players already on the roster, so closely scrutinizing those trades won’t accomplish much. No word on whether the NHL plans to crack down on trades involving players whose careers are over that are clearly just for the sake of reaching the cap floor.
  • It sounds like the PWHPA might be close to forming its own league, after years of talk. It would be called the Professional Women’s Hockey League, or PWHL, and would feature six teams. We don’t yet know where those teams will be located. Also, click on that link to see The Ice Garden’s new look! They’re the first of our sister SB Nation blogs to go independent.
  • If you’ve never heard the name Nela Lopušanová before, you might want to learn it now, because you’re going to be hearing it a lot in the future. The Slovakian forward was the talk of this year’s women’s u18s, when she lit up the tournament at just fourteen years old, pulling off ridiculous moves that landed her on highlight reels after every game. She just turned fifteen, and celebrated her birthday by… *checks notes* *checks notes again* scoring 10 goals and 9 assists in a single game?
  • Finally, Rick Westhead of TSN recently published a very interesting piece about Akim Aliu and the Hockey Diversity Alliance’s attempts to create an expansion team in the Greater Toronto Hockey League. The proposed team - called the Toronto Dream - would have had mandates for women and people of colour in managerial positions, as well as assured roster spots for BIPOC players. It also would have been funded by sponsors, and players would have been able to play for free. The idea was rejected by the GTHL, mainly because other teams were worried about the Toronto Dream poaching their players. The article is a great read, if a frustrating one. The GTHL seems concerned about introducing a new expansion team when registration is down, but seems unable to make the connection that making hockey more affordable and making space for BIPOC players would help improve registration. I hope Akim Aliu and the HDA are able to make something like his happen after all - it sounds like a great idea./

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