Is it Time for the NHL to Have an Earlier Trade Deadline?

Probably right??

Washington Capitals v Detroit Red Wings
Washington Capitals v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

A year ago, Kyle Davidson and the Blackhawks were quite busy. Not only was it apparent that the old Blackhawks dynasty was nearing it's true end (Kane), but other deals were made as well (Domi, McCabe, Lafferty). Upwards of 9 deals (big or small) were made during a frantic 10 day stretch.

This season, with extensions to 3 key members of this years roster (Foligno, Mrazek, and Dickinson), it seems like the transactions page at will be quietier from a Blackhawks perspective than in most years. With just 22 games left to play from today and 19 games left after March 8th it does seem to reason though that this sport's trade deadline is quite late in the season compared to most professional sports.

If the Blackhawks trade a player on May 8th for instance, Chicago will have already played 76.8% of their games for the season. That means that not only does a team trading for an asset get a player for a shorter period of time, but it could also lessen the return for the team.

The arguement against changing the deadline timeframe is simple: it gives teams more time to define if they are contenders or not. Well to that effect... Shouldn't you know if you are good before 3/4 of the season has gone by? As in everything, there is typically a beginning, middle, and end. The NHL standings are no different.

As it stands right now there are 12 teams with a point % at .600 or above. Then there are 13 teams between .500 and .600 leaving a clear cut bottom 7 teams. In reality that would mean there are 7 sellers, 13 teams needing to make a hard decision (buyer or seller) and 12 teams looking to strengthen their rosters before the playoffs.

The arguement to move up the deadline is this: These number and standing fluctuations may ebb and flow over the course of a season, but eventually sometime before the final 25% of the season these teams' odds of making the playoffs are fairly obvious.

While you can make a trade well before the deadline (Lindholm deal this year, Horvat deal last season as example) most teams wait out the time to try to either decrease or increase their side of the deal. Wouldn't it be more fair to move up the trade deadline by at least a few weeks in order to maximize not only a selling team's return, but also the value received in terms of games played to the buying team?

Bo Horvat
New York Islanders v Dallas Stars / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

This in theory would present a better brand of hockey for the playoffs as these "new" players would have more time to coalesce with their team, coaches, and new city. In the end, the main goal should always be better hockey after all...