The NHL’s roster freeze is officially on right now, but it might as well have been for the last month, considering the lack of a trade market.
And we mean that with all due respect to the Peter Holland trade.
“It’s pretty tough right now. So many teams against the cap, so many teams in it,” said one Eastern Conference general manager this week. “There’s a little bit of fear in some guys that they want to make a move, but they’re afraid to. I suspect that it would open up in January.”
There are enough underachieving teams in the league right now -- such as the Red Wings, Islanders and Avalanche -- that a similar strategy could be the spark that gets things going. Wait too much longer, and it’s time to prepare for the draft.
There are also contenders such as the Sharks, Blues, Predators, Oilers and Lightning who are among the more active on the trade hunt.
So with that in mind, here’s a look at our All-Trade-Candidates Team -- a starting lineup of players that are rumored to be available -- as January closes in: