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Don’t Expect Many 2020-21 NHL In-Season Trades Says Busy GM

One GM says not to expect too many trades during the 2020-21 NHL season considering all the pandemic restrictions.

Rob Rossi of The Athletic spoke with one of the busiest general managers of this NHL offseason to see what else he might have planned and when he anticipates being done with his offseason moves. That GM was Jim Rutherford of the Pittsburgh Penguins and he responded that he’s doing all he can now, trying to avoid having to make deals closer to the start of the season or during it.

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Part of the problem, hints Rutherford, is that if training camps do actually open up in a few weeks, teams are going to need to have their new players in town and quarantined. That takes time considering the travel restrictions and need for players to isolate.

As far as trades and moves that might happen after the season begins (whenever that is), Rutherford doesn’t expect you’ll see much action. When asked if he’ll be active during the season, he responded, “If there are trades this season,” he said. “I don’t know.”

Teams Won’t Want Players Who Are Unable to Play

It’s one thing in a normal season if a newly acquired player takes a day or two to get to the team and misses one game. It’s a totally different situation if you trade for someone, they have to travel to a different country state, or province and the restrictions require they quarantine. That means losing an asset and not getting one back for weeks. In a shortened season, that could be devastating.

Jim Rutherford Penguins GM
photo via Bleacher Report

Rutherford noted, “It’s probably more like football than ever.” He added, “It’s probably going to be more where you set your team and that’s going to be your team.”

While the uniqueness of this season means teams may make more moves within their division than ever before because of the restrictions, it’s more likely that fewer trades happen.

Next: 7 NHL Teams Exploring Outdoor Games for 2020-21 Season

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