It's that time of year again when young, promising backups best not read the internet. Well, at least not hockey sites.
Wouldn't Jonathan Bernier really help one of the multitude of mediocre, borderline teams in the East, it's suggested?
Wouldn't Cory Schneider net some additional depth for Vancouver's Cup push, while solving Tampa Bay's long-term goalie situation?
Maybe this year will be an exception.
But historically, these type of deals for young goalies have just about never happened around trade deadline time over the past decade.
Carey Price is still with Montreal. Josh Harding is back with Minnesota. Craig Anderson didn't move when he was a backup to Tomas Vokoun in Florida.
Heck, this isn't the first time Bernier himself has been speculated about by pundits.
There are many reasons these trades rarely happen this time of year. Like with any other deal, the three point system has contrived to make over 80 per cent of teams nominal contenders right now.
Then there's the fact that NHL GMs are a conservative lot, preferring known quantities.
Most of the deals involving goalies near or at the deadline in recent years have involved proven quantities, the likes of Dwayne Roloson, Mathieu Garon, Sean Burke etc.
If you peruse the goalie who lead their team in games played, about 60 per cent are with their first clubs.
Of the others, you'd have to think St. Louis, New Jersey and others are satisfied with their crease lot. Others like Philadelphia less so, but they're pot committed.
As well, it's best to have insurance in the playoffs.
Unlike the one-horse era of 1995-2004, many Stanley Cup aspirants realize they best have that insurance policy in net. Cam Ward took over from Martin Gerber in 2004, Chris Osgood usurped Dominik Hasek in 2008, and Ilya Bryzgalov did some key spotting of Jean-Sebastien Giguere in 2007.
At the 2010 trade deadline, Chicago's Cristobal Huet had played just over 40 games while Antti Niemi had appeared in 23. YOu probably don't need to be reminded of who carried the freight en route to the Cup.
It's just not a time to mess with your goaltending too much if you're a contender.
About the only deal in recent memory to involve a budding starting goalie saw Mike Smith head from Dallas to Tampa Bay. But there were two caveats. That wasn't The Mike Smith Trade, it was The Brad Richards Trade, and the Lightning were a last place team.
So sure, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi could send Bernier to the basement dwelling Columbus Blue Jackets without any fear of playoff reprisal (at least this year).
But why would any sensible general manager not wait to open the field of potential buyers up wider after the season?
There are some current Eastern contenders who don't have a rock solid plan in net down the road. Say, New Jersey with their toothsome tandem (How about them Zach Parise negotiating rights?) or Toronto.
Although, given their wacky goaltending rollecoaster this season, if any team's going to buck this trend, the Leafs wouldn't be a bad bet!
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