With six days to go till the trade deadline strikes 12...err 11:59....someone has taken the training wheels off the bike and the rumor mills have started to go cuckoo with all sorts of rumors from every possible angle imaginable. This will only intensity as the deadline draws closer. I think in the last 24 hours, I have seen more off the wall stuff than I have in the last 2 or 3 trade deadlines combined. Somewhere in a bunker Eklund is probably having an orgasm as we speak with the way rumors are flying.
What I have learned as a hockey fan to expect the expected and unexpected. As bloggers and journalists, we try to be the first to break the story but the most important thing is to get it right the first time. One of the greatest lessons learned was from last year's trade deadline...I saw so many web sites that were breaking news that simply wasn't true or completely true...it bothered me. Realistically I know I won't get everything right....that is just how it is.
So I took a quick look at last year's trade deadline....now it will not be a barometer for this year's but it is a decent starting point of sorts. Remember how many Souray to whatever rumors there were, yes I bet you do. But no one saw the last minute deal that Garth Snow pulled off....getting Ryan Smyth from Edmonton. Now we will never really know if the Oil and Smyth were 100,000 dollars a year apart...but one thing is for sure...Snow pulled off a brilliant move that I never thought would happen....not at least in Long Island.
Thank you to TSN Archives....I found a handy dandy little chart. It simply just tracks the amounts of trades and how many players have moved since the 1979-1980 season. It is a pretty nice thing if you ask me. In the last two years, 25 trades were made in both seasons...the highest since the trade deadline started. A record 44 players and/or prospects changed teams. There are so many little trades that often get overlooked and last year was no exception. There were really only 3 or 4 big deals last year including the Smyth one. A good number of prospects moved as well as teams were building toward the future. The sellers always do.
This year may be a tad different. With less potential sellers, you may see a new label...the tweeners. These are teams that feel they might still be able to make the playoffs but not with some of the older parts they have. They will buy and sell and tinker unlike a conventional buyer or seller. This is what parity has done...the playing field is so even that it is downright scary. That is the aspect of this year's deadline that makes it so much different than the last two years. I don't know how the volume will pan out but there is so much speculation and yet only a few teams are really out of it.
So cue up all the pundits and basically come Monday and Tuesday, I will be strapped into my own "media center" of sorts anxiously awaiting all the trades that happen and the ones that don't. We will try to get all these trades right and who knows maybe some of our rumors will pan out after all. Wouldn't that be something?
Expect much analysis from our group at The NHL Arena including a roundtable of sorts...have fun everyone and enjoy this. This is the best time of the year if your team is in buying mode.