NHL Rumors: Teams May Not Be Able To Acquire LTIR Players At Trade Deadline

The NHL appears to be tightening up on teams looking to acquire players currently on LTIR who are expected back in the playoffs. This strategy has been utilized by some teams the past number of years and it gives an unfair advantage.

Chris Johnston reported that the NHL released a memo to teams this morning saying that it will closely scrutinize trades where injured players are acquired with the intent of keeping them on the LTIR until the playoffs. Johnston also states that this doesn't mean that the NHL has banned these transactions but will analyze each potential trade and see if they constitute circumvention of the CBA.

An example used is the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Riley Nash in 2021 while he was injured and didn't activate him until the playoffs. This could impact the trade market and players like Gustav Nyquist, Sean Monahan, and Adam Henrique may not be able to be moved.

The Columbus Blues Jackets seemingly lost one of their valuable trade pieces when Nyquist suffered an injury that would keep him out for the remainder of the season. But since he is a free agent at the end of the season and is a solid middle-six winger that is expected back for playoffs, playoff-bound teams that are strapped for cap may have been able to acquire him and have a good forward that never counted against the salary cap.

Though Monahan and Henrique may be impacted, there isn't as likely of a chance that a trade to move them is stopped considering Henrique has another year left on his deal and may be back before the playoffs and Monahan may also be back before the playoffs. This appears to be a way of the NHL making sure no team has an unfair advantage by jumping through any loopholes to win.

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