As we get closer to the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, teams are starting to take gambles on players, just like the deals available with FanDuel NHL Odds.
The trade deadline can bring unwanted anxiety to players who could be on the trade block. But it can also get players to reflect on trades from the past. While it wasn't a deadline deal, Brett Howden will never forget the day he was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2021 offseason.
On July 17, 2021, the Golden Knights acquired Howden from the New York Rangers for Nick DeSimone and a 2022 fourth-round pick (Noah Laba). But it wasn't the only trade they made that day, as just a couple of hours earlier, they traded Cody Glass for Nolan Patrick one-for-one.
Since Howden and Patrick are childhood friends who hail from Winnipeg, Manitoba, the deal was shocking for the two buddies.
"We grew up together. We played hockey together right from when we were eight to ten years old. Then we played against each other when he was in Brandon, and I was in Moose Jaw. It was kind of special when we both got traded here on the same day. It was pretty special for both of us. We're pretty close," said Howden.
A phone call that the two will likely never forget followed after both of the trades were made.
"He (Patrick) got traded, and then half an hour later, I called him because I just had gotten traded. I didn't know he got traded, and he didn't know I got traded. So he thought I was congratulating him, and then we both finally realized we're like, no way we're both going to the same team. That's so fun," said Howden.
With the Golden Knights, Howden has played in 74 career games, and Patrick has played in 25. Both are 24-year-old skilled forwards who have shown glimpses of greatness but have yet to truly break free in the NHL. Howden was drafted 27th overall in 2016 by the Rangers, and Patrick infamously second overall in 2017 by the Flyers.
This year, injuries have affected both players' seasons with the Golden Knights. Howden missed 27 straight games with a lower-body injury and has played in just 27 this season. He has two goals and three assists for five points. As for Patrick, he is out for the season with an upper-body injury.
"He's doing good. He's a good buddy of mine, and we've gotten even closer since last year," added Howden.
With the trade deadline 16 days away, perhaps we will see some other old friends reunite either with the Golden Knights or elsewhere.