Deadline shouldn't be dull

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:50 PM ET

There's going to be a lot of light and heat Monday around the NHL trade deadline.

Well, certainly my colleagues who have to do the talking-head thing Monday for better than seven hours hope there's going to be blinding light and searing heat.

With all the deals that have already gone down, you are forgiven for wondering how us media folk will manage if all the big deals have already been sucked out of the marketplace. That seems to be the talk every year, but there still wind up being about 30 trades.

Don't worry: there will still be plenty of deals Monday.

Big, stop-what-you're-doing deals?

Maybe, if the Dallas Stars can find a way to trade Brad Richards.

The fact of the matter is the odds are less than 50-50 a deal will go down that will have a significant impact on determining this spring's Stanley Cup champion, as much as we romanticize the idea of the deadline deal putting a team over the top.

You could call it the "Nick Boynton Factor."

At last year's trade deadline, the Chicago Blackhawks ... well, let's have general manager Stan Bowman explain it:

"Last year we ended up doing nothing at the trade deadline," said Bowman. "Well, we picked up Nick Boynton."

The 'Hawks picked up Boynton from the Anaheim Ducks for future considerations the day before the deadline last year and went on to win the Stanley Cup.

In the five trade deadlines since the lockout season and the resulting salary cap considerations changed the dynamic when it came to adding players relatively late in the season, I can think of only two deals that you could consider were key to really helping determine the Stanley Cup champion.

"˘In 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes acquired veteran Mark Recchi from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Krys Kolanos, Niklas Nordgren and Carolina's second-round draft pick in 2007 (that pick wound up being traded four times; the Philadelphia Flyers ultimately used it to take D Kevin Marshall.) Recchi went on to have six points in the final against the Edmonton Oilers, including the game-winning goal in Game 4.

"˘In 2009, perhaps seeing what the acquistion of a good veteran could do after parting with Recchi and seeing him win the Cup with the 'Canes, the Penguins added Bill Guerin from the New York Islanders for a conditional pick in the 2009 draft. Guerin had his best playoffs ever with seven goals (two game-winners) and a total of 15 points.

So, if you want to look for a theme here, the team that adds a wiley veteran who has won the Cup before probably has the best chance of making a great deal.

Richards would seem to fit that bill, no?

In the meantime, there will be hundreds of NHLers sweating it out up to the 3 p.m. deadline.

"In this league, it depends on where you are with your team and you usually have a pulse for what might take place. We're obviously not a seller," said Montreal Canadiens winger Mike Cammalleri. "A lot of the guys feel they probably will be here after Monday. At the same time, there's almost always a couple of moving pieces this time of year. Our general manager has been active all year trying to adjust our team. You do your best not to think about it and just to play and you know in the back of your mind anything could happen. Any one of us could be traded at any time."

By the way, getting back to the "Nick Boynton Factor," or the NBF as we like to call it, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren is hoping he can say the same thing as Bowman come this time next March.

Holmgren picked up Boynton on waivers.

Maybe THAT will be the big deal.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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