McKenzie: ‘There’s lots of unhappy GMs’

Are the relatively minor NHL trades made recently foreshadowing more significant deals to come?

Bob McKenzie had a Thursday afternoon radio hit on Vancouver’s TSN 1040, and following a brief discussion on the Edmonton Oilers having acquired Chris Wideman from the Ottawa Senators, the Insider was asked if he saw more trade activity coming before the holiday roster freeze next month.

“I think there’s lots of teams trying,” indicated McKenzie. “It’s always hard to predict whether or not we’re going to get results on trade talk. I think trade talk has ramped up significantly across the league.

“But you can cut it both ways. There’s some people who would say, ‘See how tight and compressed the league is, everybody separated by about five points?’ Does that help or hinder the trade front and the trade talk because are people hesitant to pull the trigger and shake things up because even if you’re on the wrong side of the five points, below the playoff line, it’s only five points or three points or two points, and do you really need to make a trade. Maybe you should hang in longer with the group you’ve got, and just let them come together and things will work out.

“Or do you look at it and say, ‘Man, things are so tight here we need to do something - we need a point of difference. We need to shake things up and try to be that group that vaults out of this soft middle ground that just about everybody in the National Hockey League seems to be in.’

“I don’t really have an answer to that, other than I know that there’s a lot of general managers talking about a lot of different deals. And especially a GM like Jim Rutherford has been trying for a while to do some stuff, and he obviously did with Hagelin for Pearson, and he may not be finished on that front.

“But there’s lots of unhappy GMs, whether they’re in L.A. or Pittsburgh or Chicago, some of the venerable teams that have been ‘salary cap dynasty teams’ are in the mode to try and get something done.”

The holiday roster freeze runs December 19 through December 27.