Canada’s two national sports networks have hired enough analysts, insiders and hosts for this one day to make NFL pregame panels look like Tom Hanks’s residence in Cast Away.
No matter what the 15,000 people on TSN or Sportsnet or your favorite drinking establishment will say next Monday will say, the pseudo-event that is the NHL trade deadline is a facade.
Some teams are buyers and some are sellers. Some teams need to add a third-line center, others want toughness and grit, or playoff experience. How about teams stop trading 1st-round draft picks for has-beens and never-wases.
The Stanley Cup has been awarded six times in the post-lockout NHL. Of the accusitions the eventual champions has made on deadline day, those players combined for 49 points in 112 playoff games in their respective Cup runs.
That’s less than half a point a game. The 2010 Chicago Blackhawks, while loaded from top to bottom, made no moves at the deadline, because they were too busy drafting and developing star players and signing free agents.
And for every Mark Recchi in Carolina and Bill Guerin in Pittsburgh, there’s an Anton Khudobin and Andy Wozniewski. Hell, the first time Guerin was traded as a rental, the Sharks gave up a first rounder to St. Louis and watched another team go all the way and the Blues draft David Perron.
He could have been playing on Joe Thornton’s line, instead he was concussed by Jumbo Joe and was out for more than a year. Last year the Bruins won Lord Stanley, but didn’t make a move at the deadline.
They gave up a ransom ten days earlier for Tomas Kaberle, who brought nothing but boos and medicority to the Garden and has now dedicated his life to hopscotching around the league like Dominic Moore — who’s been traded again — and Mike Sillinger.
Even if Rick Nash — the only player rumored to be moved who’s actually worth a damn — does get traded to one of the middling teams like LA or Toronto who need him desperately, the best it will do is turn a first-round loss into a second-round loss.
Here’s a safe bet: no matter what happens next Monday, either the Wings, Canucks, Sharks, Bruins, Flyers, Rangers or Penguins will get fitted for rings.
So expect the Capitals, Predators, Leafs, Kings, Senators and other phoney baloney teams to be sniffing around the garbage bins for more trash to “help” their season.
So why waste 14 hours of your life watching broadcasters in suits talking about Third Line Plug X going from pretender to contender for a third-round pick?
Has this country become that obsessed with hockey that we allow a made-for-TV event in the 24/7 age to obstruct our lives? Or watch the day come and go with breathless anticipation and ask yourself what you missed when the Cup is raised in June. Nothing.
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