Over the last few days I have done some work for the Dobber Midseason Guide – which is available for pre-order now in the Dobber Shop – and one thing I thought a lot about was the trade deadline and how that will work for Canadian teams. We saw a direct example of this with the Laine/Dubois trade when Dubois was sidelined for a couple weeks but Laine only had a few days quarantine before joining Columbus. At face value, it would seem there is a big impediment to the trade deadline and it's Canada's two-week quarantine order.
I would say that is probably a bit overblown. With the way Toronto is running away with the North Division, and with the way Vancouver and Ottawa are falling out of the playoff race, nearly half the division probably won't have a lot to play for over the final 3-4 weeks of the season. There is also Winnipeg, currently seven points up on fifth-place Calgary with a game in hand, that could run away with a playoff spot real soon. They have a three-game set with Calgary at the end of this month that could bury the Flames for good.
That is basically why I think the quarantine issue won't be as big a problem as we might have thought initially. Will it move up some deadline acquisitions? Probably. But I also think we're about four weeks away from having the top-2 spots virtually locked up and the bottom-2 spots also virtually locked up. Is the NHL's trade deadline going to be held up because three teams will have quarantine issues to consider? I suspect not.
Maybe it's wishful thinking – I do enjoy trade deadline day quite a bit – but I don't think we have a lot to worry about for deadline deals. Like I mentioned, does the timeline get moved up a bit? Maybe for some teams. I am not overly concerned with deadline day itself, though.
Gustav Nyquist update: