When the calendar flips to April, the biological clocks of most hockey fans are set for playoffs to begin.
Not this season, though. The NHL is currently targeting mid-May for the the first round of the 2020-21 postseason. The next important date on the calendar is Monday, April 12 — this year’s trade deadline.
In recent years, the biggest NHL trades have been happening during the offseason, when there’s more salary-cap and budget flexibility to work with. The days when a general manager could swing a deal to shake up a moribund roster are all but gone. Now, it’s more likely that a player will be put on waivers to send a message, and it often doesn’t take much to trigger a coaching change.
Nevertheless, important deals that impact the playoffs do go down at the deadline. Just last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning added some gritty skill to