As much fun as fans are having with the frenzy of trades in the NHL, this must be the toughest time to be a player or a general manager.
It’s important to remember that we aren’t dealing with robots or commodities — we are dealing with people, players with wives, children and families. The angst that some have probably gone through the last few weeks would be difficult to deal with, particularly with it all happening in the public eye.
Oh sure, they get paid a lot, and you can say we’ve all gone through traumatic events in our lives and coped. But for the moment and in the moment, remember what that felt like. Dealing with the human aspect of a trade is one thing. Combining it with the expectations of a new team and of new fans is another.
For some, it can’t be much fun.
From a GM’s perspective, this has to be the highest level of anxiety all season long. And the reality of what we’ve witnessed, since that first trade in late January, is that only 16 teams will indeed make the playoffs. Not all the GMs and their teams that have been dealing will get in, and only one team will win the Stanley Cup.
There is actually a very good chance that many, if not most, of the trades done will not have nearly the positive effect that teams and fans had expected.
And maybe, just maybe, it’s the GMs who make just a simple change or two, and who believe in the roster they’ve built since last September, who will be the biggest winners, without sacrificing the future.
Win now and build for the future are indeed difficult tasks. After all, a team can make a ton of changes at this time of year to the joy of its fan base, and yet fail in the postseason, only to feel the wrath of that same fan base, that they wasted picks and prospects.
It truly is a case of, ‘what have you done for me lately?'”
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