The NHL rumor mill is churning and tough. General managers check which players can help their teams now and in the future, determine the value and press the trigger for what they think is theft of the season.
It's a nerve-wracking time for the actual players involved in these NHL trade whispers.
"I remember feeling like a player when your name is mentioned in a potential trading scenario," ex-NHLer Patrick Sharp told The Post. "Not cool, you don't like it."
"Maybe some people will, depending on the current situation they are in."
Sharp, a 15-year-old veteran who won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks, has seen many players come and go and was part of two NHL trades. The first was when a 24-year-old was shipped from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Blackhawks and then a decade later in 2015 from Chicago to the Dallas Stars.
The NBC studio analyst is preparing to go back on the road as part of Kraft Hockeyville next season. This competition improves the ice rink of a hockey community and brings an NHL pre-season game into town. Sharp and his NBC colleagues will also be there.
Right now, Sharp and other hockey analysts will be watching the trading block closely, which the four-time 30-goal scorer knows a lot.
"I loved playing in Philadelphia, was drawn in by the Flyers, and won a championship among the minors who played with them," he said. “At this point in my career, I only needed playing time. I was sold to the Chicago Blackhawks, who probably didn't know who the Chicago Blackhawks were in 2005. We got 8 or 9,000 people at our games. We had a lot of young players in the same situation as me. From this point of view, it was good to start my career individually. "
A decade and three championship rings later, Sharp found himself one of the many victims of the salary cap that went with all the profits. Only this time was he a veteran with deeper ties to the church and family. It was much easier to be a veteran who welcomed new players to Chicago than to go to a new city and locker room.
"At 35, it's a little more difficult to go to a new city, state, and start a business with a wife and kids," said Sharp, "but I still enjoyed my time in Dallas. Fortunately, my two daughters were young enough that they weren't impressed so much. But at the age of 35, careers begin to end. It is common for players to jump around, and this can be a challenge for a young family. "
Sharp said that luckily, the players who are about to be treated often know what is going on behind the scenes. Contracts have immobile or restricted movement clauses, and agents and GMs have "an overview of what's coming". Fans who are constantly updating their news feeds are also not alone.
"The player, I would like to think, would know it in front of everyone in the media, but who knows?" Sharp said. “With Twitter and the speed at which information is being disseminated these days, players definitely pay attention to the latest information and gossip. It is this time of year when I think everyone is paying a little more attention. "