With the countdown underway for the ECHL Trade Deadline on Thursday, March 9 at 3 p.m. ET, we offer a primer guide to help follow events.
Recall/Assignment Deadline: This deadline comes before the ECHL deadline for a very important reason. According to Dan Petrino, Manager of Hockey Operations for the ECHL, since NHL/AHL contracted players are not property of an ECHL club, those players cannot be traded. However, If an NHL/AHL team wants to move one of their contracted players from one ECHL Member to another, they must do so by March 8th at 11:59 pm local time.
Future Considerations: That phrase is something you see used with most trades in the ECHL, but what does it exactly mean? Petrino says future considerations refer to either a player or cash to be agreed upon at a later date. Those future considerations trades must be settled by June 13 at 3 pm Eastern Time.
Waivers: The waiver wire in the ECHL works similarly to the waiver wire in other major professional sports. The waiver order is set weekly in the ECHL and the team with the worst percentage has the highest waiver priority, while the team with the best percentage has the last waiver priority. If a team makes a successful waiver claim during the week, they move to the bottom of the waiver priority until it resets again.
What’s Happened So Far?
- Our official trade tracking period started with Colin Mulvey being shipped to three different teams in a week, before finally ending up in Fort Wayne as part of a deal that sent Brady Vail to Idaho.
- The Quad City Mallards were the winners in the Mike Monfredo for Josh MacDonald trade. In 10 games with the Four-City Ducks, MacDonald has 10 points. Meanwhile, Monfredo is a -2 and has seven points (1G, 6A), three of which came against Wichita in a 7-5 win on February 15.
- After playing 18 games for Cincy earlier in the season, bailing, and having his rights traded to several ECHL teams, Kenny Ryan finally returned to the league and skated for the team who occupies the basement in the Western Conference, the Indy Fuel. A head scratching moment.
- The Missouri Mavericks were forced to give up a significant piece of their defense, shipping Tyler Elbrecht to Manchester as the “future considerations” for Zach Tolkinen.
A Look Back at Last Year’s Deadline and Ahead to This Year’s. Will it be Busy or Meh?
Looking back at last year, the day started off pretty busy, with the South Carolina Stingrays acquiring defenseman Spencer Humphries from the Evansville IceMen for cash considerations.
Rapid City shipped Taylor Doherty to Orlando for Max Nicastro. Also, the Quad City Mallards traded the rights to forward Kellan Lain to Idaho for cash considerations. Lain would sign there in the off-season as a free agent.
The Brampton Beast were the biggest sellers at the deadline. They sent Chris Auger to Allen as to fulfill the trade earlier in the season for Reggie Traccito, Allen then sent Auger to Atlanta for defenseman Matt Register in a last-minute deal. Earlier in the day, the Beast sent Scott Howes to the Missouri Mavericks for the rights to Chris Owens.
With Allen, Register collected 10 points in 13 regular season games. In the playoffs, the mobile defenseman had eight points in 23 games, en route to winning his first championship as a player. Howes played in nine regular season games for Missouri, collecting five assists. He also played in three playoff games, but was held off the scoresheet.
Looking ahead to this year’s deadline, it has been oddly quiet, with the league not recording a trade since February 25.
There are quite a few intriguing storylines out there. With teams like Wichita, Rapid City, Indy, Atlanta, Elmira, and Norfolk likely out of contention for the Kelly Cup playoffs this season, do they become sellers and look make a move or two to acquire players they can protect and try to sign during the summer?
In the West, the situation with Alaska is incredibly intriguing. Do they try and acquire a piece or two to make a push for the playoffs in their final season, or do they stand pat? What in the world will Tulsa do at the deadline? After starting the season 6-0-0, the Tulsa Oilers now sit on the outside-looking-in on the playoff race, while fielding a mediocre Central Hockey League lineup.
Out east, the Brampton Beast are at their highest position in the standings ever, leading the North division by one scant point over the Manchester Monarchs. Does head coach Colin Chaulk make a move to shore up the defense or add some depth to his forward corps. What will the defending conference champs do in their first full trade deadline with Jeff Christian at the helm? The Wheel sits seven points out of the final playoff spot in the North Division.
If history is to be our guide, next Thursday is likely to be a busy-ish trade deadline day, with most teams looking to add depth, rather than make any major moves. Here is a look at how many trades have gone down on deadline days in the ECHL since 2011:
2011: 6 deadline day deals
2012: 7 deadline day deals
2013: 14 deadline day deals
2014: 6 deadline day deals
2015: 9 deadline day deals
2016: 5 deadline day deals
What will happen this trade deadline and how will it shape the playoff races going forward? Stay tuned. We have quite a story to tell you…