Dangers of the Dreaded "No Trade Clause"

Carolina Hurricanes forward Ray Whitney is a hot commodity right now, but will his "no trade clause" hinder the team's bid for the best possible return when they attempt to trade him? (photo by LTD)

There has been a lot of talk around the league about what a great addition Ray Whitney would be to any team looking to help themselves down the playoff stretch.  The winger's name has been mentioned almost every day in a variety of possible scenarios.   

Yesterday, Bob McKenzie from TSN reported that Whitney was almost traded to the Los Angeles Kings, but when he was approached for approval because of the "no trade clause" built into his contract, he demanded a three year contract extension. 

"The Wizard" is known for his practical jokes, but no one was amused with his request.  Many thought the 37 year old would be reasonable when it came to doing what was best for the team, but if what McKenzie is reporting is true, then that obviously is not the case.   And really, why should it be?

Whitney is in the twilight of his career and is most likely looking to exploit the situation.  One probably should not blame a player for doing that because they only have so many years in which to make the millions that they make. 

But one might ask the question, why does he have the "No Trade Clause" to begin with?

It would seem that these types of clauses, which give players so much control and literally tie the hands of general managers, would be few and far between.  But not so with the Hurricanes.

For instance Niclas Wallin also has one, and has used it in the past when the Hurricanes tried to trade him previously.  It's been reported that the franchise would like to try to trade him again right now, and there has been interest by other teams.  But why would he approve the deal?

Players who request "no trade clauses", probably want them because they do not want to move.  So it would also seem logical that once they have acquired that right, they would usually be unwilling to waive it, unless the perfect scenario presented itself.

That is probably the case with Whitney, as he might be looking for the perfect scenario, one that would guarantee him a multimillion dollar salary until he's 40 years old. 

In the meantime, Jim Rutherford's kindness,  (or short-sightedness), could end up costing the Hurricanes the best possible prospects because Whitney is not going to make his decision based upon what is best for the Carolina Hurricanes, he's going to make a decision which best benefits Ray Whitney.

While rumored acquisition target Colten Teubert would be exactly what the doctor ordered to bolster the organization's defensive depth, the Hurricanes might end up with a lower rated prospect because a player has the final say on a trade, and not the general manager. 

Hence the danger of the dreaded "no trade clause".

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