Friday, March 8, 2024

How can the NHL make the trade deadline more exciting? 10 ideas that could fix it

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the NHL’s trade deadline day was a bit of a bust.

After weeks — OK, make that months — of round-the-clock hype, the day came and went with only one true blockbuster, the buzzer-beating Tomas Hertl to Vegas shocker. We ended up with 21 trades in all, but it was mostly quantity over quality, as many of the biggest names on the board either stayed put or had already been moved.

The day had its other moments, including interesting moves involving Tyler Toffoli and Evgeni Kuznetsov. We’d already seen names like Jake Guentzel and Noah Hanifin move in the days prior, plus a fun Casey Mittelstadt/Bowen Byram deal. It certainly wasn’t a bad deadline. It just left you wanting more, just like pretty much every year recently. No Jacob Markström, no Linus Ullmark, no Jakob Chychrun or Jusse Saros or Trevor Zegras or even Elias Lindholm, the sequel. Where have you gone, Butch Goring, Ron Francis, Ray Bourque and Roberto Luongo?

At this point, it’s tempting to just shrug and say that’s life in the modern NHL, where the cap makes trading too complicated and parity means there aren’t enough clear sellers to feed all the buyers. As fans, we should accept reality, take what we can get, and move on. But that’s not the only option. So today, let’s mark the passing of the deadline by coming up with some steps we could take to help this day live up to the hype.

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