The fluidity of this list has been quite interesting. In 2015, we polled NHL agents for the first time to get a sense as to which teams are most consistently listed on the no-trade lists of their clients.
It was a fascinating exercise that revealed the insights of players and what they thought of cities. It also angered everyone in Winnipeg and Edmonton.
So we did it again in 2016. And the lists evolved slightly. A team like Toronto was mentioned often in 2015 as a destination players consistently wanted to avoid.
“Toronto is a difficult place to play. … Way too many people trying to cover the same thing and trying to find a different edge,” said one agent two years ago.
Then he added the caveat: If the Maple Leafs ever got good, they would be like the New York Yankees. Toronto would become a destination city for players.
You can already see it happening. The Maple Leafs were only mentioned on one ballot this year, and chances are that after the season they’ve turned in, they’ll be off completely the list for next year's edition.
We also have a new No. 1 overall! For the first time since this poll began, the Oilers are not the most cited team on no-trade lists.
How it works: We asked nine agents to list the top three teams most often listed on no-trade clauses. It’s an inexact science, since players often have no-trade lists much longer and other players have a list of teams to which they can be traded. So in some cases, it’s an estimate of teams listed most frequently or mentioned most frequently in no-trade conversations.
We awarded teams listed first three points, second two points and third one point to get the point total.
Here are the results: