Ryan Pilon is the most recent prominent player to ask for a trade. (Canes Cast photo)From Ryan Pilon to Alex Forsberg, the Western Hockey League has seen its fair share of trade requests from prominent players over the past 12 months.
It is nothing new for players to ask for a change of scenery. Trade requests have been happening for quite some time in junior hockey, but it seems it is becoming quite more common nowadays than it was a decade ago.
It goes without saying that the 22 WHL general managers would unanimously be against trade requests. It, after all, makes their jobs tougher. So it wasn’t surprising at all to hear Kelowna Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton say he’s against players asking for deals. It, however, was interesting to get his perspective because he also knows what it’s like to be in the player’s shoes as he suited up for the Saskatoon Blades in the 1970s.
“I don’t agree with players asking for trades,” says Hamilton. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on with some organizations or the players, but I think when a player signs with a team he owes it to that team to stay with them. Teams put in a lot of work to scout and recruit these players. Before guys had to earn their way out of a team, but now guys are going home until they get a trade. I don’t think that’s fair to the team.”
Red Deer Rebels GM-coach Brent Sutter, who formerly played in the WHL and NHL, has practically the same views as Hamilton.
“I don’t know what’s going through these players’ minds or what’s happening with their teams when they ask for a trade, but I never like to hear of players asking for trades,” says Sutter. “It puts the team in a bad situation when a player asks for a trade who they are building around. And I think some players are quick to want out of a team."
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