said Rick Nash, immediately, every
time he answered his phone.
Sundin’s infamous decision not to waive his no-trade clause in 2008 helped write a controversial final chapter on an otherwise brilliant career in Toronto. To this day, many fans feel he made a selfish choice that hurt the team, while others argue that his only sin was being too loyal to a franchise that didn’t deserve it.
With the trade deadline just two weeks away, plenty of players can expect to find themselves in Sundin’s shoes in the coming days. The no-trade clause dilemma is no easier today than it was four years ago: Do you waive your rights and accept a deal, or stand your ground?
It’s a tough call. So if you’re an NHL player who finds himself wondering what to do with your own no-trade clause, this simple quiz might help:
While it’s natural to be concerned around trade deadline time, relatively few players are actually dealt each year. What makes you think you’re about to be traded?
a.) Have been personally told by my general manager that several teams are very interested in acquiring me.
b.) Have seen my name mentioned in speculation by well-established media insiders.
c.) A big-time hockey rumor blogger started telling me that all his super-connected sources are talking about me, before his manager started yelling at him that the deep fryer wasn’t going to just work itself.
d.) Had over two dozen scouts watching me in person last night, which was odd since we didn’t have a game and I was just eating dinner in my kitchen.
Many of today’s no-trade clauses have loopholes or are otherwise limited in some way. Does this apply in your case?
a.) My no-trade clause is complete and covers me in all circumstances
b.) If my team misses the playoffs a window opens up, in the sense that the team can trade me without my consent during the offseason.
c.) If my team misses the playoffs a window opens up, in the sense that that’s what the GM and coach will be throwing my overpaid carcass out of.
d.) I can provide a list of teams I do not wanted to be traded to each year, if frantically writing “Edmonton” over and over in increasingly larger letters on a sheet of loose leaf paper can actually be considered a “list”.
What was your reasoning behind requesting a no-trade clause in the first place?
a.) Did not want to be traded under any circumstances
b.) Was open to future trades but wanted to have control over my destination.
c.) Just wanted to see the look on Paul Holmgrem’s face as he was trying to pretend he’d honor it.
d.) Didn’t actually request one; John Ferguson Jr. just yelled “OK you twisted my arm!” and added it in as soon as I sat down.
It’s important to take into consideration how a potential trade would impact the local community. If you were to be traded, how do you think the team’s most loyal fans would react?
a.) It could take years for the team to regain the goodwill of a devastated fanbase.
b.) Fans would understand that trades of popular players are an unfortunate part of the business.
c.) Could have a devastating impact on the local economy, or at least those stores that sell merchandise with my picture with the word “sucks” over top of it.
d.) Currently play for the Coyotes, so let’s just say not overly concerned on this one.
Are there any considerations that are making you lean towards accepting a trade?
a.) Would like to go to a contender and pursue a championship.
b.) Like anyone else, love the idea of working for an extra two months without getting paid.
c.) Don’t want to name any names, but our starting goaltender has been creeping me out ever since he started stockpiling bottled water and canned goods in his goal crease.
d.) Just have to accept that age-old hockey adage that if Riley Holzapfel or Maxime Macenauer can be traded, anyone can.
What would you describe as your biggest objection to waiving your no-trade?
a.) While my team is not a contender this year, I want to remain here due to my strong sense of loyalty.
b.) Moving is a huge pain, and I’d rather not have to pack up all this…. Uh, loyalty. I meant loyalty.
c.) Am a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets; think it could be a lot of fun to stick around and play with the first overall pick of every draft for the next decade.
d.) Somehow got it into my crazy head that clauses negotiated in good faith within a signed contract should actually mean something.
Scoring: Congratulations, you’ve completed the quiz. To find your final score, total up all your correct answers. Next, realize that there aren’t any correct answers. Finally, sigh heavily, crumple of the whole quiz and throw it into a trashcan, right next to where your current team is ready to toss your contract. Enjoy the next two weeks!