Draft began with plenty of rumors but saw only one minor trade, here’s why

Bettman (USATSI)

Hype, hype, hype.

For a week every insider from Dreger, to Friedman, to McKenzie talked about trades. Even hours before the draft, rumors around Mitch Marner, Sebastian Aho, P.K. Subban, and Chris Kreider were abundant. Yet when the first round ended all we got was the Flyers trading the #11 pick to the Coyotes for their #14 and 45th selections.

Matter of fact, the only big trade thrill came out of a mistake during the broadcast that a few people noticed. I even missed it and thought it was a joke but went back to grab a screen cap.

Yes, it appears in what was probably a test prepared before the broadcast somehow made its way on the screen. Henrik Lundqvist a Devil? Laughable and obviously not believable.

So why were there no moves of consequence made last night?

The reason is simple and I posted it on Twitter.

Heading into the draft the reports coming in were that the cap ceiling was going to fall well short of the expected $83M. The numbers floating around was possibly 81 or maybe 82M. We aren’t talking a discrepancy of about $500K here, that’s an entire salary of a bottom pair defenseman or a 4th line forward. GM’s need to know this before entering the waters of a trade that could have major cap implications and impact what they sign their own RFA’s for or offer UFA’s come July 1st.

So what happens today? Last night Bob McKenzie ended the broadcast saying the Predators are willing to eat $3M of Subban’s salary to facilitate a deal and Toronto is interested. Great…what’s the cap ceiling Mr. Bettman?

Unless that number is made official today, I expect the only trades you will see are exchanges of picks and prospects. A smart GM is less likely to make a move involving big cap hits without knowing that key bit of info.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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