ANALYSIS: Beware of NHL trade deadline inflation

Paul Edmonds Jets Report

Unless you’ve been off the grid and living in a cabin in the woods outside of Arborg for the last two years, you’ve probably heard a lot about inflation in our economy.

You know, gas, groceries — everything has gone up. Well, you can now include the cost of doing business in the National Hockey League to that list as well.

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As we approach the NHL’s trade deadline on Friday, the price of acquiring proven hockey commodities or roster upgrades has increased dramatically, especially this year.

The five draft picks Tampa Bay surrendered to get third-line forward Tanner Jeannot from Nashville was steep, while the multi-layer deal between New Jersey and San Jose that involved prized piece Timo Meier moving from one coast to the other essentially cost the Devils a first- and second-round draft pick, plus two high-end prospects.

And what’s gone on in Toronto has been a gaudy display of pushing every chip you own into the middle — price be damned — as GM Kyle Dubas has spared nothing to make his club more formidable via deals with six other teams — transactions that have cost Toronto copious picks and prospects.

Heck, if he could, Dubas might have thrown in the CN Tower too, if that indeed ensured a first-round playoff series victory.

Considering the cost of acquiring players leading up to this year’s deadline has increased, when you look at the Winnipeg Jets swinging a deal with Nashville for Nino Niederreiter with a term on his contract for a second-round pick, it seems like a bargain at today’s prices.

But beyond that, you wonder if there’s a willingness by some other contending teams — Winnipeg included — in the coming days to continue to involve themselves in the pricey shopping spree that has accompanied this year’s NHL trade deadline.

And if you think the prices might drop between now and 2 p.m. Friday, it’s not likely — because, like our economy, inflation only knows one direction, and that’s up.

Unless, of course, you live in the woods.


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