Updating the Chicago-Atlanta blockbuster proposed trade

We want to keep you up to date on what’s going on with the proposed trade between Chicago and Atlanta that we told you about earlier this evening that would send Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu to Atlanta for Marty Reasoner, prospect Jeremy Morin and the 24th and 54th overall picks in this year’s NHL Draft. It turns out TSN’s Bob McKenzie shared the info he got on what the potential hold up on the deal is through Twitter. As it turns out, it could just be some bookkeeping that needs to be done on Atlanta’s side of things.

It is my understanding Chi-Atl trade hold up is indeed because Atl would have 51 contracts with trade. Atl has to move a contract first.

Yes, there’s a limit to how many contracts a team can have on its books at one time and with the Thrashers potentially adding four players while sending away two that +2 to their books would be enough to put them over the top. As for whether or not this deal will be worked out, McKenzie again feeds us the information we’re looking for.

If I am reading Chi-Atl as yet unofficial “trade” correctly, it may not be consummated til Thur or Fri in L.A. Atl needs to move contract.

So while nothing has been completed officially and a trade call between the league and the teams has not happened, it’s pretty clear this deal is as close as possible to being done. As for the parties involved, their reactions to finding out they’re potentially on their way out of town have been interesting the say the least. Defenseman Brent Sopel enlightened everyone via Twitter that the trade hasn’t been confirmed but hints that things could be changing with him soon.

Thank You Everyone for the Amazing Well Wishes, but this is all just Rumor and has not been Confirmed yet. But regardless I LOVE U CHICAGO!

Ahh the beauty of Twitter, making everyone write in Internet shorthand because they have to keep their thoughts limited to 140 characters. One thing Chicago should be hoping is that Atlanta GM Rick Dudley isn’t on Twitter as well because the fans are teeing off on this deal calling an almost definitive victory in favor of Chicago for freeing up cap space and getting a first round pick and a top prospect for players who you’re not exactly sure what they’ll be able to do in Atlanta.

Anyhow, we’ll keep you informed on this as things shake out with the
deal.

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    Mumps hit Wild as Parise, Pominville will not play vs. Kings

    ST PAUL, MN - MAY 5: Johnny Oduya #27 of the Chicago Blackhawks falls onto the puck as Jason Pominville #29 and Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild attempt to get the puck during the first period in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 5, 2015 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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    Add the Minnesota Wild to the unsettling pattern of teams affected by mumps this season.

    In their case, two significant players will at least miss Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings (on NBCSN, by the way): Zach Parise and Jason Pominville have been sidelined with that condition.

    It’s not clear how much time they might miss nor is it clear if anyone else on the team is dealing with symptoms. Here’s a release via the Wild:

    Members of the organization that have symptoms are being tested immediately and placed in isolation for a five-day period. Team doctors recently provided players and staff an MMR vaccination and the organization will continue to work closely with the NHL, NHLPA and the Minnesota Department of Health to help prevent further infection. 

    Uh oh.

    Martin Hanzal and Ryan White are set to make their debuts tonight. Their presence could be especially welcome if this becomes a more widespread issue for Minnesota. (You may remember the Wild dealing with an outbreak in 2014, too.)

    Tyler Graovac and Jordan Schroeder are expected to be in Minnesota’s lineup tonight, according to the Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo. Russo indicates that assistant coach Scott Stevens may also be dealing with mumps.

    WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at Minnesota Wild (featuring Hanzal)

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    The beauty of the Los Angeles Kings’ goalie situation is that they can now roll with two experienced, respected goalies. It makes it tougher to tell if Ben Bishop will make his Kings debut tonight or at a later date, however.

    (Update: Quick starts on Monday.)

    While that fun bonus nugget is in doubt for Los Angeles, it sure looks like Martin Hanzal and Ryan White will play for the Minnesota Wild for the first time. That’s especially welcome, as it sounds like Jason Pominville and Zach Parise might miss tonight’s game.

    … Hopefully not with the mumps (update: Yes, sadly that’s the case … ):

    Uh oh. If Bishop plays, he might look a little out of place, even from a purely aesthetic standpoint.

    Hey, sometimes it’s a work in progress to get used to trades.

    Whether it’s Bishop or Quick vs. Hanzal and a possibly under-the-weather Wild team, Monday’s game should be interesting. Check it out on NBCSN, online or via the NBC Sports App.

    Click here for the livestream.

    Canucks GM says he isn’t done after trading ‘heart and soul’ guy Burrows

    BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24: Jim Benning of the Vancouver Canucks attends round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    As well-received as the move has been in many quarters, it’s clear that the Vancouver Canucks didn’t take trading Alex Burrows lightly. Even so, it sounds like the Canucks are prepared to make more moves if other opportunities arise.

    “I’m not done for the day,” GM Jim Benning said. “I have some calls to make and if deals make sense for us, we’re going to do them.”

    Well, isn’t that interesting.

    Benning didn’t provide any hints on who might be dangled in possible trade situations, possibly because there’s a considerable array of possibilities. Do you try to move a bigger, longer deal like Alexander Edler‘s or (gasp) one/both of the Sedins? Maybe something lower impact like a pending free agent?

    Could Jannik Hansen be the next to go?

    It’s tough to imagine Vancouver finding a taker for Ryan Miller‘s significant cap hit, but then again …

    Either way, it’s clear that the Canucks understand the gravity of moving a fixture of better days like Burrows; Benning describes Monday as a “tough day” in which they moved a player who was the “heart and soul of this franchise.”

    Perhaps more tough (but necessary) decisions will come?

    Conditional trades ‘in vogue’ in the NHL

    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 17: Patrick Eaves #18 of the Dallas Stars skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 17, 2017 in New York City. The Stars defeated the Rangers 7-6.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The NHL trade deadline can make for some conflicting interests come playoff time.

    No one outside Minnesota is cheering harder for the Wild than the Arizona Coyotes because they get a second-round pick if Martin Hanzal helps Minnesota reach the third round. The Tampa Bay Lightning would love nothing more than Ben Bishop leading the Los Angeles Kings to the Stanley Cup Final.

    Conditional trades based on a team’s playoff success, and a player’s part in it, are all the rage right now in the NHL.

    Already, four pre-deadline deals include draft picks contingent on how far a team goes in the playoffs. There were 13 such trades combined at the past four deadlines.

    “It’s in vogue,” Florida Panthers president of hockey operations Dale Tallon said. “It’s a creative way of doing things. If you have success, you don’t mind paying more. If you’re successful and go deeper, you don’t mind giving up an extra asset or more of an asset.”

    Trades conditional on playoff success sometimes happen in the NFL, like when the Minnesota Vikings acquired quarterback Sam Bradford from the Philadelphia Eagles last year, but they’re virtually nonexistent in other North American professional sports leagues outside of protected picks in the NBA. They’ve become commonplace in the NHL, in part because they’ve worked out swimmingly a few times.

    When the Chicago Blackhawks won it all in 2015, they didn’t mind sending an extra second-round pick to the Flyers for Kimmo Timonen for reaching the Cup Final and the defenseman playing in at least half their games. A year earlier, the Kings gave the Columbus Blue Jackets an extra third-round pick to complete a trade for Marian Gaborik after the winger helped them win their second title in three seasons.

    The Kings could give up as high as a second-round pick if Bishop wins them the Cup this season but wouldn’t surrender much of anything if they miss the playoffs. GM Dean Lombardi, who also made the 2014 Gaborik trade, called it a “common sense” way of getting a deal done.

    “If I was making a deal here or something and (someone) says, `I’m giving five first-rounders and you’ll win the Cup,’ you’ll do it,” Lombardi said. “You don’t mind paying if your team has success.”

    The same is true of the Anaheim Ducks, who would give the Dallas Stars a first-round pick instead of a second for Patrick Eaves if they reach the Western Conference final and the winger plays 50 percent or more of their games. After some haggling, Dallas GM Jim Nill said that was the final piece of getting the trade done.

    The idea of contenders gambling on themselves makes all the sense in the world. But trade deadline sellers also like the concept.

    The Coyotes were looking to get the best deal for Hanzal , so they bet on him contributing to the Wild’s success.

    “We believe strongly that with Martin, Minnesota has a chance to do some things that could be pretty special, and we want to share in some of that upside,” Arizona GM John Chayka said. “We share in the risk, we share in the upside. It’s just a creative way to try and bridge the gap and get a deal done.”

    Lombardi would love to make salaries and salary-cap hits contingent on playoff success because if a team goes further it’s also making more money along the way. But the league doesn’t allow that.

    Maybe that’s for the best because these kinds of trades make things complicated. Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee, who sent a conditional pick to Florida in 1998 for Esa Tikkanen the year his Washington Capitals made the Cup Final, pointed out that those trades freeze a lot of potential draft picks that could be pieces of other trades.

    “The difficulty in doing that is it ties up a lot of picks,” McPhee said. “If they’re encumbered you can’t use them.”

    That hasn’t stopped the trend, though, with teams hedging their bets and playing it safe.

    “You give yourself a little bit of a protection, too, if you don’t quite go as far as you think you will,” Tallon said.