The trades that didn't happen at the NHL Draft

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Draft weekend didn't have the flurry of trade activity we're used to seeing. The bigger story in many cases was the trades that did not get made.

One of the most exciting aspects of the NHL Draft isn't necessarily the prospects and where they go, but the trade talk that comes with all 30 general managers being in the same location. With the all of the rumors and player movement that tends to happen it's pretty much everything that the trade deadline is supposed to be, but isn't.

While the rumor mill was churning throughout the entire draft weekend, it was actually pretty light when it came to deals. We had one blockbuster trade with Pittsburgh sending James Neal to Nashville (and solving none of its problems) and several smaller moves.

If anything, the weekend was highlighted by the trades that didn't happen.

And in some cases, that was probably the best move a team could make.

Jason Spezza

This is one that very nearly happened. Senators general manager Bryan Murray said on Saturday that he had a deal worked out with the Nashville Predators only to have it fall through because Spezza would not waive his no-trade clause to go there.

That actually creates quite a few more questions about Nashville than anything else.

Did they try to make that deal after completing the Neal trade in an effort to rebuild their top line with a duo of Spezza or Neal? Or was Neal their fallback option after missing out on Spezza? Either way, Spezza still has one more year remaining on his deal and it's entirely possible that he plays out that final year as a member of the Senators.

Keith Yandle

Yandle's name seems to get mentioned every single year at the draft, and this year was no different. And just as it is every year, Yandle is still a member of the Coyotes when it was over. When the Coyotes initiated the buyout on the remaining three years of Mike Ribeiro's contract it wouldn't have been crazy to speculate that they could perhaps use Yandle as trade bait to land a center to fill that hole down the middle. In the end, though, you can't blame the Coyotes for keeping a guy that's been one of the most productive defensemen in the NHL over the past few years and is already signed to a long-term contract.

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau

The Sharks seem determined to make significant changes to their roster this season and the "R" word has been thrown around quite a bit. At the top of the trade rumor list have been Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, still the two best and most important players on the roster. At this point, though, neither player seems interested in waiving their no-trade clause. And quite honestly, that's probably saving the Sharks from doing something regrettable. Their Stanley Cup window is still open at this point and they're going to need Thornton and Marleau to be a part of that. While no blockbuster trade has happened, coach Todd McLellan had an interesting back-and-forth on what might happen if the Sharks went into the season with no players wearing a letter on their jersey.

Vincent Lecavalier

Just one year after signing him to a five-year, $22 million contract in free agency, the Flyers gave Lecavalier's agent permission to seek a trade prior to the draft. The problem is that it's hard to imagine there being a significant market for a player signed in his mid-30s whose production, particularly at even-strength, has been trending in the wrong direction.

Evander Kane

Even though Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said he would be listening to offers for every player on his roster, he came out of the draft weekend without moving any of them. Which is what usually happens with the Jets. And in most cases, that's probably a good thing because one of the most prominent names mentioned in trade rumors was Evander Kane. The Jets would have been -- and still would be -- out of their minds to consider moving him. Players that young and that good don't come along often, and you don't trade them when they do.

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