Do 'trade-related' scratches impact players' market value?

Jakob Chychrun hasn't played for the Arizona since February 10, as the Coyotes prepare to trade their 24-year-old defenceman before the NHL deadline on March 3. It follows a trend of teams scratching healthy players to protect them amidst trade talks but does sitting out impact a star player's value the longer they don't play?

Video Transcript

JULIAN MCKENZIE: We haven't really talked about the fact that guys are getting scratched for trade-related reasons. Do we think that's stupid? Do we think it's cool? Do we think it means anything?

I mean, this is the era that we're in right now, where we're just-- Jakob Chychrun at the time of this recording is still scratched because of such reasons. How do we feel about the NHL being known for trade-related reasons?

OMAR: I mean, in a sport like hockey, where like, anything could happen, like, hasn't Cale Makar been hit in the face like twice in like the last month or something? You know, Mathew Barzal is out indefinitely. So you know, like if you're a team that like really wants a player like Jakob Chychrun or like one of these targets, you want to make sure that when they get there, they're actually healthy and nothing goes wrong. Because if you give up a first and some prospects for a player and you think that they're healthy, and they're not, you go into the playoffs and then you lose. And you lose pretty badly. How do I know? Because Nick Foligno. Was it his fault? No. But you know, it would have been cool if he was healthy.

Anyway. So, I understand it. I get it.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Thank you for making it about the Leafs.

OMAR: Yes. 100%.


OMAR: So yeah. I get it. And in a sport like hockey, I understand teams holding off. Now, they kind of made it seem as if like a deal was like imminent.


OMAR: And it has been a while now. But I don't know. I guess like, if you're giving up like this much like capita as we're assuming it's going to be for a player like Chychrun. I guess it kind of makes sense.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah. I don't know. Go ahead.

AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: See, my issue is that I don't like the idea of scratching a player if the deal isn't going to be done for another week or two. You have a player now sitting for five, six, seven games. I think it should be a rule in place in the CBA saying, a trade-related scratch can't go longer than, say, two games, or 48 hours. You can't scratch a player for that long. 0 for 2. For example, what are the player bonus? Because of player bonuses, contracts.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: That's a good point.

AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: Now due a trade, he's scratched for seven games and missed out on the bonus? I don't like that at all.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Sam, your thoughts.

SAM CHANG: Yeah. Avry raises a good point about the bonuses. Otherwise, I would say, the team kind of takes on a little bit of risk there too, right? Like, the longer you scratch a player, arguably, you're lowering their trade value as well. There's only so long you can play that game for.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah. That's it. Like, my counterpoint to Avry's point about you can only have so many games to scratch a guy, what if I was just an NHL team, I just lied about it. Or just said, OK. I mean, you know, we're just scratching him. Like an illness. Non-COVID illness. Lower body injury. Or I just tell everybody, you know what it was when you signed up. Let everyone know, like, oh, it may be a trade-related reason. It might not be a trade-related reason. I don't know.

But yeah. I definitely just think it's just annoying to go like a week where you're scratched. And then like, still nothing has happened. Like, it could have been like the Tyler Motte thing where like Bruce Garrioch couldn't even get the tweet out before like the trade went through. Now he goes back to the New York Rangers. If you're going to scratch a guy for trade-related reasons, give me the trade within like, 48 hours.

OMAR: Yeah.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Like, give me that.