Hextall on Hockey: Players have the power in trades

Patrik Laine and Pierre Luc-Dubois are premier players in the NHL, with unlimited potential and, as illustrated over the past weeks, power.

At 22 years of age, both Laine and Dubois played top-line minutes in the blockbuster trade, which saw the duo swapped on Saturday.

The young stars played their roles to perfection, preaching in public, “I’m here, I’m part of this team and will be the best player and teammate I can be.”

All while their representatives made it public knowledge that their clients wanted a trade or a change of scenery, through social media or by dropping a note to their favourite NHL insider.

Make no mistake, an agent works for the player, not the other way around, and when a trade request is made public, the player is aware it’s part of the strategy.

Read more:
ANALYSIS — Laine leaves lasting legacy in Winnipeg

Players understand that once a trade request is made or rumours start that a player isn’t happy, there is no going back.

The media pounces on the information like a dog with a bone, fanning the flame on the trade narrative, which will become a persistent question to players, coaches and management until there’s a solution — which ultimately is a player’s name being stitched on a different sweater.

Star players know this and they will utilize this.

Do not fall for the “deer caught in the headlights” act that the player hasn’t bought into the strategy or isn’t aware of comments made by their representation.

In today’s NHL star players have the power.

It’s up to them how they choose to use it.

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