NHL Trade DREADline Day
Have you ever been waiting in a bus stop in the freezing cold for a bus that's long overdue? You check your phone every minute and every two minutes you step outside that shelter and stare down the road hoping for that bus to peak over the horizon. But still nothing. That's usually what the NHL Trade Deadline feels like. An an unofficial national holiday in Canada, built on rumor mongering and speculation, but nonetheless tradition.
Similar to every other Trade Deadline, this year's biggest name to potentially be moved was not. Erik Karlsson remains an Ottawa Senator despite all the gossip that surfaced prior to Monday's 3:00 p.m deadline. Sources say this was the work of a special Sens fan, who traveled all the way to India to pray for this miracle.
But most hockey fans know this wasn't the work of our PM JT. This was the hockey gods responding to the prayer of irate Sens fan, Brian.
Not only has this epic rant gone viral but it even earned Brian a follow from EK65, which is arguably the highlight of this year's Trade Deadline.
Sweaters used to be exchanged at a much greater rate in the 90's. The 1991 -1992 campaign saw the most action. The Buds landed Dougie Gilmour, Mark Messier was traded to New York and became the Hart winner that season, Pat Lafontane was moved to Sabres and started his legacy there, and Adam Oates became a Bruin. The Penguins coordinated a blockbuster with in-state rivals Philly, picking up significant pieces to help secure their second straight Stanley Cup that included Rick Tocchet, Kjell Samuelsson and Ken Wregget from the Flyers in exchange for a young 24 year old, Mark Recchi. Lastly, one of the greatest offensive defencemen in history, Paul Coffey, was shipped to Hollywood that season beginning his tenure with the Kings.
That kind of action is comparable to the NBA Trade Deadline, however salary cap stipulations have hindered the gambling spirit of general managers and it's more logical to make the big moves in the summer.
We cant even rely on entertainment from reckless fans who live tweet the panel their thoughts on trades, ever since this one flew under the radar and created an uproar in the Maple Leafs locker room.
Yet, both Sportsnet and TSN, Canada's major sportscasting stations, will air this tedious day for 10 hours straight on all their channels.
Although, this day wasn't a complete bust. The best team in the show, Tampa Bay, got stronger adding former Ranger's captain, Ryan McDonagh. But it was Las Vegas who was appropriately the biggest gamblers this deadline. They rolled the dice giving up a 2018 first rounder, a second round pick in 2019, and a 2021 third rounder for Detroit's Tomas Tatar. A player who's full of offensive potential but currently has 28 points in 62 games. My personal favourite trade was Buffalo shipping off the bad boy of the NHL, Evander Kane.
It's only a matter of time before Jumbo Joe gives Kane the Dustin Byfuglien treatment.
The final update:
18 Draft Picks Swapped
30.8 M in salaries exchanged.
Honourable mention goes to the Maple Leafs who acquired Tomas Plekanec from the Canadiens. The former Hab is now forced to shave his goatee he has sported his entire career, since he will be playing under Lou Lamoriello's policy of no facial hair. But at least he's happy he still gets to wear the same blue turtleneck he's always had.
Former Stanley Cup Champion and current Calgary Flames Analyst, Mike Commodore, was satisfied with today's action and had a more positive outlook on the day.
Realistically, next year GMs will be equally as gun shy, despite all the flak the NHL gets for this lackluster day. However, this spectacle oriented around mediocrity is slowly becoming entertaining and I will continue to celebrate this unofficial national holiday.