Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/30/05 at 08:32 PM ET
What ever happened to the old days when the NHL entry draft hadn't even begun yet and Mike Milbury had already traded half his roster? "This is the deadest it's ever been in the history of this," observed Anaheim Mighty Ducks GM Brian Burke. The eerie silence of an NHL draft without spectators essentially mirrored the action on the trade front Saturday as GMs focused their efforts on the upcoming free-agent market instead of trying to deal. That's because there are very few assets to trade. There are more players hitting free agency Monday at noon EDT than there are players under contract. "Nobody has extra players to move," said Philadelphia Flyers GM Bob Clarke, himself a veteran draft-day dealer. "In the past, there was always extra players in each organization. But now, at least this year, the extra players you had you tried to buy out or didn't qualify to get the payroll down.
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