Frenzy or flop? Lombardi talks about the trade market

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Will it be a busy NHL trade deadline? Or, like the past couple of hyped-up affairs, will it fall flat?

Granted, there’s still almost a month before April 3, and a lot of stuff can happen in that time (like trades!), but Kings general manager Dean Lombardi doesn’t provide a ton of hope for fans (and blogs) who love the wheeling and dealing.

According to Lombardi, non-playoff teams have become loathe to trade away pending unrestricted free agents.

“Even mid-range players, many teams are now deciding to keep them and try to sign them versus giving them away for a second- or third-round pick,” Lombardi ESPN.com recently. “That’s something that’s changed in this business since I got in it; very different. Some teams are looking at that No. 4 or No. 5 defenseman and saying, ‘I’m not replacing him this summer, I need to keep him and sign him.'”

We saw this last year with players like Tim Gleason re-signing in Carolina and Francois Beauchemin re-upping with the Ducks.

Add to the equation the tight standings as a result of the shortened season and there may be fewer teams in full-on selling mode than is typical at the deadline.

But don’t worry, we’ll still hype it up.