The NHL trade deadline on April 12 is the first of the COVID-19 era. Dealers, rebuilders, reloaders and those with legit Stanley Cup aspirations will all come to the virtual bargaining table to talk trades. But the subtext to these conversations is inherently different in 2021 than in previous editions.
There are unique challenges, like quarantines and immigration issues. There's the seismic shift in the league's economic landscape. There are the struggles teams have had in evaluating players outside of their organizations. There are the struggles teams have had in figuring out why their own players are underperforming.
Oh, and beyond the pandemic effects, there's also this sea monster lurking in Seattle that's casting a shadow over every transaction ...
Here are five reasons the 2020-21 NHL trade deadline is the most extraordinary one in league history: