The NHL Trade Deadline is quickly approaching and it always brings a level of uncertainty amongst the players in the locker room.
“Those are human beings in there, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in first or 30th,” said Head Coach Todd McLellan. “There’s not many jobs in the world where you can just be traded and sent off and you’ve got to pack your family up, get somebody out of school and get on a plane and go to another country, so it plays on their minds. They can say they don’t listen to or read what you guys write, but they do. They know what’s going on in the hockey world. They have agents that inform them, they have players on the other team that are hearing rumours, so it affects everybody.”
With all the trade speculation and the panels discussing buyers and sellers and rumours of who is and who isn’t on the move, there is bound to be some uneasiness. It is maybe more uneasy for a team like the Oilers who sit at the bottom of the standings.
“We’re in a different mode right now than what Washington is,” said McLellan. “What I’ve found is when you’re where Washington is, there’s a little more excitement and everybody is anticipating a new body or two to walk in just to put you over the top. That can be dangerous because if it doesn’t happen then you’re a little disappointed. Here, we’re looking at the future a little more and what changes we need to make over the next seven days and we’ll make decisions that way. I don’t know if I’m right, I just have the sense that our whole group is a little bit nervous. Where in the past, the upper-end, for-sure guys, if you want to call them that, their names haven’t often come up in the media. Poor Nuge isn’t even playing and his name is still coming up. They’re feeling that, and maybe in the past they haven’t. Our whole group is uneasy and they should be. We’re in 30th place.”
At the end of the day, the players know it’s all part of the business.
“I’ve been around long enough now, it’s my ninth year, and I’ve been traded at the deadline before and I know it’s a business,” said Teddy Purcell. “Just have to come to the rink, work hard and keep doing what you’re doing and let Peter (Chiarelli) make those decisions.”