For some general managers, it's the 20-game mark. For others, the time allotted to evaluate exactly what they have comes around Thanksgiving. Either way, we're closing in on the point of the season when GMs have a pretty good idea of where their teams are and what they need this season. It's what helps make the November general managers meeting interesting. The rule changes typically come in March, but the November meeting can become a place where the seeds of future trades are planted. Or in some cases, more than that.
"You do find a quiet time ... teams feel comfortable about what they have," said Blues GM Doug Armstrong, who has aggressively used trades to build a St. Louis team back on track for playoff contention. "A lot of groundwork has been laid, and [Tuesday] was more putting fertilizer on some of those seeds you planted to see what happens. You get more work done when you're in the room with 30 people than trying to pick up the phone 30 different times."
To read more from Craig on how the GMs meeting can lead to trades later on in the season, plus a look at the teams that could be buyers and sellers, sign up for ESPN Insider.