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NHL general managers explain why these big names didn’t get traded

All the answers you want from a slow NHL trade deadline day.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Monday featured one of the least busy afternoons in NHL trade deadline history. Well, at least it seemed like it.

In reality, there were 18 trades involving 35 players, just five less transactions than the thrilling 2015 trade deadline. If it seemed slow this year, it's because many of the biggest names rumored to be on the trade market simply stayed put.

We've compiled all of them for you and gathered those explanations you demand from the general managers themselves.

Loui Eriksson, F, Boston Bruins

The situation with Eriksson (an unrestricted free agent this summer) and the Bruins was fluid all weekend, as the two sat down for contract negotiations on Saturday. As talks stalled, the thought was the Wild, Blues and Ducks were all pressing hard for him on deadline Monday. But the Bruins ended up keeping him and trading for Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles.

For better or worse, they're going for the playoffs.

Jonathan Drouin, F, Tampa Bay Lightning

Over the weekend it seemed like the Lightning were close to dealing their disgruntled young forward. But then teams started backing away from the table on Monday. Steve Yzerman explained why:

Those two factors probably played into it more than anything. Besides, the Lightning are happy with their team. Yzerman did reiterate that Drouin is welcome to come back this season. Passive aggressive sports people are just great.

Dan Hamhuis, D, & Radim Vrbata, F, Vancouver Canucks

This was the most puzzling inaction of the day. They had suitors for Hamhuis, and even though Hamhuis' no-trade clause kept a plethora of teams out of the running, they still had the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks in a sort of Central Division bidding war as the deadline neared. And then . . . nothing. The deadline came and went. Two of Vancouver's unrestricted free agents are somehow still on the team. A colossal failure for GM Jim Benning, who reportedly had a deal in place with Dallas but overplayed his hand:

But he was sort of restricted by the player.

P.A. Parenteau, F, Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto simply couldn't get a deal done with the New York Islanders on Monday.

Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan-Nugent Hopkins, Fs, Edmonton Oilers

Ah, the "$6 million players". Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said he had a few trades in the works that nearly came down, but none of the "core" players were involved.

Steven Stamkos, F, Tampa Bay Lightning

We knew this like two weeks ago.

Scott Hartnell, F, Columbus Blue Jackets

There were some conflicting reports that the Predators had traded for (or were close to, anyway) Hartnell. Nothing came of it, and after the deadline Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said he never came close to any deal.

Kyle Okposo, F, New York Islanders

He's a pending unrestricted free agent and one of the best power forwards in the NHL. Naturally, his name kept popping up in rumors. But TSN's Bob McKenzie had reported on Feb. 10 that Okposo (and defenseman Travis Hamonic, for that matter) wasn't being moved this season. We didn't listen, so we had to wait until it was confirmed again with four hours left until the deadline that the Islanders hadn't changed their minds. In the end, there was never anything to see here.

Bryan Bickell, F, Chicago Blackhawks

The Andrew Ladd trade (and subsequent moves for Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann) over the weekend left the Blackhawks crunched for cap space. Naturally, the candidate to be moved was Bickell. Reports came down on Monday that the Blackhawks were working hard to make a trade happen, but nothing came of it.

It sounds like nobody was willing to take on his $4 million cap hit.

Patrick Wiercioch, D, Ottawa Senators

It seemed like Wiercioch was on his way out of Ottawa a few days ago, but there was no movement on that front on Monday. Senators GM Bryan Murray wouldn't comment on his future. So we don't know what happened.