The Biggest Trades of the 2020 NHL Off-Season
The sports world was put on indefinite hold back in March when the COVID-19 pandemic forced leagues all around the planet to postpone their seasons. Luckily at the time, online casinos helped fill the void. The NHL was no exception as its season was stopped less than a month before the playoffs were set to begin. However, a plan for the playoffs eventually arrived, and the NHL returned in August. Once the Stanley Cup Playoffs were concluded, the Tampa Bay Lightning were crowned Stanley Cup Champions.
Unfortunately, the return to play for the NHL did not result in extraordinary viewership. In fact, the same was true for most major North American sports leagues. The NBA and MLB both performed poorly compared to their previous numbers. The only exception is the NFL, which still saw a small viewership drop.
We do not know exactly why viewership was lower for the NHL and other sports leagues. It is possible that people are not in the mood to watch sports right now with everything going on in the world. However, despite that, the NHL has been putting out an exciting product, and that continues in the off-season.
The NHL is still one of the fastest-growing and evolving sports, and it is filled with young, dynamic players. With the NHL Entry Draft and Free Agency period having passed recently, the league saw some significant changes for major players. This year of year is always exciting, but this year’s circumstances made it even more interesting.
The Flat Cap Changes Everything
The NHL is a league with a hard salary cap, meaning that teams cannot be over the salary cap under any circumstances during the season. Teams can go over by 10 percent during the off-season, but they need to get under before the season starts. As a result, the off-season sees a lot of shuffling as teams try to create the most effective team they can with these constraints.
Typically, the salary cap increases incrementally every year by a little bit. It is not usually a lot, but it might be one or two million dollars. The increase is determined by the revenue of the previous season. Since the NHL has not been able to have fans in arenas since March, this season saw them lose a lot of money. As a result, the players and owners agreed that there would be a flat cap for the next three seasons.
It might be difficult for NHL fans to get interested in things like the salary cap, and they might turn to the best online casinos in Canada during the off-season. This way players can find hockey slots, table games and a range of promotions to stay entertained. Luckily, there are many legal online casinos for Canadians. However, the flat cap means that teams need to trade players that they would not have moved under normal circumstances. This has led to one of the most exciting off-seasons in years.
Columbus and Montreal Kick Off the Draft in Style
The draft takes place over two days, and they are always two of the most active trade days of the years for NHL general managers. Picks move around constantly as teams try to move up to pick the players they are interested in. However, the most exciting trade of day one did not have much to do with draft picks.
The Montreal Canadiens traded Max Domi, and their 2020 third-round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Josh Anderson. Through the NHL, this trade sent ripples has Domi and Anderson are both up and coming young players who have shown promise in their early careers.
Domi is one year removed from a 72 point season and was looking like one of Montreal’s best players not named Carey Price. However, his production dipped down to 44 points in 71 games last year, and there is concern about some of his antics and opinions off the ice.
Conversely, Josh Anderson is a year removed from a 27 goal and 47 point season. He is projected to be a hard-hitting power forward with a knack for goal scoring. However, an injury-plagued season last year saw him score just 4 points in 26 games.
Domi quickly signed a two-year contract extension with Columbus with an average annual value of $5.3 million. Anderson did the same with Montreal, signing a seven-year contract with an average annual value of $5.5 million.
This trade had a risk for both teams, and neither player has proved they can perform consistently. However, with Anderson signing an expensive seven-year contract, the Montreal Canadiens may live to regret this trade and signing if Anderson does not become the player they expect him to be.
The Ottawa Senators Get Their Goalie of the Future
The Ottawa Senators are a team that has struggled mightily over the past three seasons. In those three seasons, they have finished in the bottom three of the league every time. Additionally, their owner has caused a lot of problems with his comments about the team and its future. However, the Senators have built one of the most impressive prospect pools in the NHL despite that.
After three years in the NHL basement, it is time for the Ottawa Senators to start improving. It is not expected that they will make the playoffs next year, but they need to take a step forward. To do that, general manager Pierre Dorion knew that they needed to improve in goal. Fortunately, the Pittsburgh Penguins were looking to trade away Matt Murray for pennies on the dollar.
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