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The Easy Survival Guide to Trade Deadline Season

Trade Deadline season has a lot of pitfalls for people looking to take advantage of fans hungry for change. We’ll help you avoid them!

Ah yes. It’s a mere 17 days before the Trade Deadline, and already buzz is flying all over the place, rumors abound about players moving or staying, teams deciding what their futures will be, and the hockey internet suddenly becomes the most dangerous and potentially misinforming place to be.

We’ve all been suckered by rumors and have been watching other teams like a hawk, and it can be kind of stressful to come into this knowing you have to basically do a lot of your own research and double-check pretty much everything, so I came up with a few very simple but very important tips to get you through this tough period without being afraid of losing Jake DeBrusk for Kris Russell or something stupid like that for about five minutes only to realize you’ve been pranked.

#1: Always look for the Big Four and double-check for correct spelling of names, and always look for the Blue Checkmark.

The Big Four are four of the most obviously well-known hockey reporters in the game and are usually the first to know if someone’s been moved and will report on it almost immediately after the trade has finalized. In short, these are the guys you want to be watching out for. They are as follows, with their twitter handles.

Bob McKenzie - @TSNBobMcKenzie

Elliott Friedman - @FriedgeHNIC

Darren Dreger - @DarrenDreger

Pierre LeBrun - @PierreVLeBrun

The reason I included name and handle is simple: many trolls around this time of year will change the names of their twitter handles and just barely switch up certain names to try and get a bunch of Retweets and the “ha ha I gotchu” punkassery that almost certainly follows. Always, always double check the spelling of the name. Make sure that if you have the ability to, turn on notifications the day before trade deadline day for these four guys, or have a list of reputable sources of info for this stuff (with these guys at the tip-top) ready to go.

#2: Check the Date. ALWAYS.

Another very fun and cool thing to do if you’re an enemy of freedom is to use some of the more vague tweets that guys like Friedman and McKenzie tend to use to get people thinking a move is happening while they attempt to confirm things. Always, always, always check the date so you aren’t suckered in by x player leaving a place he’s already been traded to or from.

#3: Assume screenshots of tweets or articles are just nonsense.

The “Inspect” feature on Google Chrome allows people, if they so desire, to edit the text inside articles of anything and everything. It reverts once you refresh the page, but thanks to the print-screen button on most computers, it can do a lot of damage as you can take otherwise perfectly intelligent and well written articles and make them up to be anything whatsoever.

Like so, using an excerpt from Elliott Friedman’s 31 Thoughts:

So yeah. Always get it from the source. Not from a screenshot.

#4: Know what a NMC actually is and why it matters

A “No Movement Clause” is a clause in a person’s contract that prohibits a team from moving a player by trade, waivers, or assigning that player to the minors without the player’s consent. It puts a lot of power in the player’s hands, and the player can waive those powers if he so desires, but the vast majority of the players who do? Tend not to unless the situation is just that toxic and dire. What this means is that players with these kinds of clauses, even modified ones, are really hard to move and probably will stay with their team if they don’t get a good enough offer or like the team offering for them for any reason.

And if you’re saying “But I already knew that”, I’m sure you did, because you are very smart and very handsome. But some people, just not you, are very insistent that teams can just convince players waive those at the drop of a hat and that’s...just not really true.

Here are the Bruins with NMCs:

  • David Krejci (He submits a half-league list of acceptable-to-trade-to teams next year)
  • Patrice Bergeron
  • Brad Marchand
  • David Backes (Submits an 8 team list next year, 15 team list after that)
  • Zdeno Chara
  • Torey Krug (Submitted 8 team list)
  • Tuukka Rask

CapFriendly is your best bet to finding out who has NMCs and the conditions applied to them.

#5: Injury Reports are your friend...or your enemy.

Many players who might be attractive targets might also end up on IR for any reason over the next two or so weeks. It’s the reality of a contact sport, and it will be so until rules/equipment/the game itself changes. An example of this being Mikko Koivu, who was at least an attractive trade chip for the profoundly mediocre Wild if they decided they weren’t going anywhere, got his season ended not too long ago.

This is important because an injury report can suddenly radically shift the needs of your team’s ability to stay competitive from game to game, and can potentially take great additions off the table until free agency, where we get to play the fun game of “but injuries tho” as if it only happens to that player and not just supremely unlucky individuals.

So! The best place to look for updates is of course, team social media feeds and also places like DailyFaceoff, who while usually pretty slow on actually updating lines, keep a good visual indicator of whose out and in.

#6: This year, Matt Duchene and Mark Stone are your floodgates...For some reason.

One of the things that is making this particular deadline so odd is that the prevailing wisdom of what bad teams are supposed to do (sell, get draft picks, suck forever until Jack Hughes) is being completely and bafflingly reversed as teams like Anaheim are actually trying to hang onto the guys who might actually fetch a decent price, and the same is for two of the most tantalizing targets on the market: Matt Duchene and Mark Stone.

Yes, that is what apparently is keeping everybody from actually doing substantial trades. Pierre Dorion and Eugene Melnyk are just ruining all the fun.

Basically, keep a real lid on what the Sens are doing, because if they take those two pieces off the table, it’ll be chaos. Or if they decide to get rid of them...it’ll be chaos either way. Keep your eyes peeled on these two guys.

Also Ryan Dzingel, since he’s also due for a pay day that probably won’t come if one of these guys gets re-upped.


And with that, you’re all ready to go and brave the hockey internet, ready for whatever dumb thing comes your way. Let the rumors fly!