<
>
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
Get ESPN+

Western Conference trade season primer

It looks like this may be the Stars' year to make a big push for the Stanley Cup. Who should they target at the trade deadline? Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL roster freeze is in full effect right now, and doesn’t thaw until 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 28. One NHL executive joked that it’s been going on much longer than that.

“It’s been a roster freeze all year,” he said Monday. “There’s been nothing.”

The reasons are many. The salary cap and internal budgets make it hard to make trades. The fact that every team still thinks it’s in a playoff race doesn’t help either.