Trading season set to heat up

Teams still in the hunt for making the playoffs won't be standing pat before the March 9 deadline.

Updated: February 9, 2004, 4:27 PM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
Although it seems trade activity has been quiet this season, the number of deals involving contributing players on NHL teams is equal to last season through the All-Star break.

Since the start of the season, and not counting deals involving only minor-leaguers, 18 trades have been made compared with 18 last season. Using history as our guide, the trading season is about to heat up. Between the All-Star Game and the day before the trading deadline last year, 25 deals were made. And don't forget that an NHL-record 24 deals were made on the deadline day last year, involving a record 46 players and every team except three.

The size of player contracts will play an even bigger role this year as clubs try to improve their financial picture before a possible lockout in September. But teams still in the hunt for making the playoffs -- and especially those with a shot at the Stanley Cup -- won't be standing pat before the March 9 deadline.

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