Charting Atlantic Division Team Tendencies at the NHL Trade Deadline

Charting Atlantic Division Team Tendencies at the NHL Trade Deadline
Chris Wassel

This is the fun time of year for a writer. If it is too hectic for you, then you are probably in the wrong business. Just in the last few days, I have personally seen more trade rumors than I can keep count of and that doesn’t even include message boards and forums.

People have to realize just how crazy this gets. Taking a whole day off of work to wait for essentially a two to maybe three hour flurry of crazed madness is just what makes hockey fans hockey fans. We are a unique sort to say the least. With several “Original Six” teams in the Atlantic, I remember back to the old days of the Atlantic.


Spanning The Trade Deadline

Today we are going to look back at some trade deadlines from years past. It is a lot of fun to take a dozen years then look back. One of the most active deadlines was 2009-10 where 31 deals took place. Now that was one crazy day, and to think Twitter was in its infancy then. That day saw 55 players change places, which is over 7% of the league changing addresses. Talk about a lot!

Our numbers come from Sporting Charts and this incredible article. People often then wonder well who were the most active teams and draft picks, etc. Slow down….slow down…we will get to that!

First, teams that are now in the Atlantic, we listed from most trades to the least.

  • Boston — 20
  • Florida — 20
  • Buffalo — 19
  • Tampa Bay — 18
  • Toronto — 17
  • Ottawa — 11
  • Detroit — 10
  • Montreal — 10

There is a cutoff it would seem here. Boston and Florida were the most active in the division and that is not a surprise. Now that was mostly for different reasons. Boston was a clear buyer while Florida was a seller almost all of those years.

Toronto is right around the league average and almost amusingly enough, the Atlantic average. Buffalo will likely be a good bit active this year but again, that does not count yet. There are an average of 16.9 trades over the 12 years league wide. Let’s just say 17 for argument’s sake. The Atlantic teams really have not been super active except a little here and there. Ottawa, Detroit, and Montreal really have not done too much and they also have been stifled by some near misses.


A Few Trends

The biggest trend that seems to have become more prevalent in the last couple years is the dreaded trade involving a conditional pick. The 2012-13 deadline produced three conditional picks out of trades and then last year, there were a total of seven which is by far higher than any other recent season.

A couple moves have happened already, so do not be surprised with lots of cap crunches (especially the Boston Bruins) will make at least one of these deals involving the dreaded “conditional” pick.

Also the last three years have seen more deals prior to the deadline. The percentage has inched up to anywhere from around 40 to 50%. At this rate, this year’s deadline may come close. However, please keep in mind that not all of the numbers are in just yet. Either way, it shapes up to be a deadline with likely 15-20 trades on deadline day if everything holds as it is expected to.

Atlantic fans should note that Boston, Tampa Bay, Detroit and Montreal definitely will ponder moves along with Florida. After that it gets a little murky to a point. Buffalo and Toronto are selling, but what does Ottawa do? No one really knows the answer to that yet.

It is hard to believe but we are just mere hours until Trade Deadline Monday. The Atlantic Division figures to see a good bit of action. However, who will go where and for how much will be the inevitable questions. There is going to be a ton of scuttlebutt, innuendo, and rumors galore. In the end, it is usually the ones you do not see coming. Also, remember the deadline ends at 3 but trades come in always a little after. Nothing like a little red tape err the league office to slow the process err make sure everything gets in fair and square.

  • Steve Ives

    Great concept for a column! Wassel rocks!

Chris Wassel

Never stop learning! That has always been my philosophy in life. It applies to hockey writing so well as new challenges are something to strive for. I have been a fantasy hockey writer way back when it wasn't quite so cool, covered the Devils for a variety of places and still do, have a small hockey site of my own, and even write about all things NHL, AHL, ECHL, KHL, etc. Usually I am first asked who I don't write for. For Today's Slapshot, I will be covering the Atlantic Division.

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