Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Seller's Market

Teams looking for playoff depth usually look at teams that are out of the playoff race. As of today however, there seems to be more teams in the playoff race at this point of the season than in previous seasons.

As much as I don't like the unbalanced schedule, it has paved the way for an interesting sprint to the end of the regular season. With every remaining game now within the conferences and worth the proverbial four points in the standings, the playoff race becomes a lot more competitive.

For example, in the East, only seven points separate the 8th place Leafs and the 13th place NY Islanders; in the West, only eight points separate the 8th place Avs and the 12th place Sharks. And it may be too soon to write off the 14th place Capitals, who are only 13 points out of a playoff spot. To take it further, the 6th place Lightning are only six points from missing the playoffs in the East; same with the 5th place Kings in the West.

Teams still have approximately 30 games left to play, and for those teams fighting for the final playoff spots, anywhere around one-third to one-half of their games are against each other. Right now, it looks like only Pittsburgh, Columbus, Chicago and St. Louis are out of the playoff race and may be willing to trade their players to a potential playoff-bound team - that means potentially 26 teams are looking to buy and only four teams looking to sell.

In simple economics, right now, demand is extremely high and supply is extremely low. It's a seller's market and maybe that explains how St. Louis was able to command three players and three draft picks for someone who will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end. It also explains why Buffalo is able to demand a top prospect and a high draft pick for one of it's goalies - a demand that may very well be met. And it's why losing Ed Jovanovski sucks - the Canucks probably needed to give up some significant parts to gear up for a lengthy playoff run. Imagine what it would take now to replace him.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 5:07 PM


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