When it comes to rumors surrounding trades and free agency, we often forget the other side of things. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what sort of moves the Leafs want to accomplish. Sometimes, if the player doesn’t want to come here, deals become dead in the water. And appanrently, the Leafs are among the least-desirable landing spots for NHL players.
ESPN’s Craig Custance recently polled a number of agents on which teams are most frequently listed on an NHL’s player No-Trade list. Edmonton was listed as most frequent, Winnipeg second-most frequent, with the Leafs coming in fourth.
Frankly, this should come as little surprise. The Leafs have been a bad team for a decade now, and it doesn’t help that the market has such an intensive distribution of media. When you throw in factors like the cold weather and higher income tax rates, this makes Toronto a not-so-appealing destination. Indeed, the players seem to agree:
From losing, to climate, to media, and in many cases a combination of
all three and more, these places become completely undesirable to an
Check, check, and check. Well done Toronto!
The best and most (very) recent example comes courtesy of Olli Jokinen. The veteran forward was none too pleased to be traded from beautiful, warm, and competitive Nashville to the struggling Leafs in the middle of winter’s peak.
Luckily, this shouldn’t be as big of a problem for the Leafs in the immediate future. With a rebuild comes less player buying and more player selling. And the Leafs will look to bring more players in through the draft and less in through free agency. Sorry Brian Burke, but July 1st will no longer be draft day for the Maple Leafs.
This is the best approach to building a good team regardless, but it’s good that Toronto has some more fuel to support their scorched earth fire.