Chatter … non existent.
Rumors … rampant speculation, but nothing really.
Movement … absolutely dismal amount of transactions (if you don’t count waiver placement)
Just, eerily quiet …
And I have a theory as to why. But first, some good news.
From the Marlies Media Relations Department
March 3, 2009
MARLIES FORWARD JIRI TLUSTY NAMED AHL PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Tlusty Set Marlies Franchise Record with Five-Goal Night on February 18
The American Hockey League announced today that Toronto Marlies forward Jiri Tlusty has been named the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for February. In 11 games last month, Tlusty notched 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points while recording a plus-11 rating.
Tlusty, 20, began the month by scoring Torontoâ€™s only goal in a 4-1 loss to Syracuse on February 7, and then matched a franchise record with four assists in a 10-5 win over Grand Rapids on February 8. Tlusty had his biggest game of his young career on February 18, scoring five goals on five shots and posting a plus-six rating in the Marlies 8-5 victory over
Syracuse. The Slany, CZE native had his nine-game point streak (11 goals, nine assists) snapped on February 21 against Rochester, but added two, three-point efforts to finish out the month.
In recognition of his achievement, Tlusty will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Marlies home game.
Tlusty leads the Marlies in goals (21) and ranks second on the club in assists (29) and points (50) in 49 games played this season. Tlusty has collected four assists in 14 NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2008-09.
The Marlies are back in action tomorrow night when they host the Providence Bruins â€“ AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins â€“ at 7:00 p.m. at Ricoh Coliseum. Fans can listen to all Toronto Marlies regular season games on THE FAN 590 or fan590.com. For ticket information, including season ticket packages and group seats, visit www.torontomarlies.com or call the teamâ€™s ticket line at 416-597-PUCK
The lack of movement due to cap constraints has taken its toll on the NHL – especially GM’s that struggle with the cap world. The ability to make a hockey deal is hindered by cap considerations and other issues as we lead into the trade deadline.
Unrestricted free agency dropped to a lower age (26) as per the last CBA, and the ‘second contract’ that makes young stars very difficult to move (ask Burke if he likes what’s happening there, preferably with Edmonton President Kevin Lowe in the room).
Normally, a part of the deal going back the other way, players on their second contracts are necessary to their clubs and more difficult to manage under a cap with their big(ger) contracts.
Cory Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Shea Weber, Dustin Penner, Brent Burns, Anze Kopitar among others have been signed long term for big(ger) bucks making them expensive acquisitions on their own. Given, they are all NHL caliber players, but these types of players were almost always discussed and dealt prior to the lockout involving stars. Draft picks are more precious in this environment, considering the economic situation (to be discussed) and will transpose the look and feel of the job of the GM for years to come.
Another element is the cap calculation. Calculated daily, it may not make sense for teams to take on salary at an earlier interval than the deadline to manage the day-to-day cap allotment. Players are placed on waivers and claimed (Ilya Bryzgalov, Sean Avery, Wade Dubliewicz) rather than being dealt.
It’s become a difficult time to be an NHL GM.
The one element not figured through the CBA was the economic concerns moving forward and the effect it will have on most clubs. GM’s that spent lavishly until now are now afraid to hold on to contracts of any length. This disturbs the availability of players and shortens the list of desirable players potentially available for willing GM’s to make a deal.
The trade deadline isn’t about a remaking of clubs. GM’s have seen too many bad deals seal the fates of their contemporaries that it doesn’t make sense to pay exorbitant amounts for players that could be acquired over the off season. Names like Pavel Kubina and Tomas Kaberle are not just ‘rentals’ and they aren’t designed to be with the club for this season only. Teams see this and would likely alter their strategy to go after players like the Leafs Super K’s at the draft, or after the high priced free agents have been snapped up after July 1.
Happy Deadline Day.