Deadline sets stage for summer intrigue

Updated: February 27, 2012, 7:11 PM ET
By Craig Custance

Craig Custance and ESPN's experts sort out the big moves in ESPN.com's NHL Trade Deadline Special.

The trade deadline picked up steam as 3 p.m. ET closed in but some of the biggest names in the rumor mill stayed put. It makes for a slower deadline day but sets up an interesting summer.

Parity had a lot to do with it and Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi points out that part of the issue is teams who would have been sellers in the past believe a real turnaround isn't far away. The conventional thought this year was the lack of sellers meant the prices were too high. He suggests that the prices weren't high enough to interest teams like the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Islanders to pass on re-signing their potential unrestricted free agents and spin them off.

"The prices weren't high enough and teams were saying, 'Let's sign him because he's a good player. He fits in with what we have to do next year,'" Lombardi said. "That was something that was predictable that was going to evolve. Here you are six years into the cap, there's parity. That's why you don't see a lot of juice here."

Here's a look at five moves that didn't happen and their impact down the road:

1. Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets -- After the deadline passed, Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson revealed the news that it was Nash who asked Howson to consider trading him. To his his credit, Howson never came off his high asking price for Nash, nor should he have.

"This is too important to our franchise and our fans to do a deal that's not in the best interests of our franchise," Howson said. "The price was high. I don't apologize for that, it had to be high." When you're trading your franchise player and captain, it's not something you want to rush and you can't settle for an average deal. That's why Columbus wouldn't budge from the asking price of Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks and a late offer from the New York Rangers wasn't deemed a rich enough return. But will they get a bigger package this summer?