MAJOR EVENTS THAT WERE CLOUDED BY THE TRADE HYSTERIA:
* FATE OF THE COYOTES: The sands of time are running out on NHL hockey in Arizona.
We keep hearing reports of a sugar-daddy coming forth to save the Yotes for Glendale, but that mystery man has not surfaced yet. There's not much room left for him to emerge and, meanwhile, NHL sages say that the silence could very well mean that Quebec City interests have been quietly doing what they did in Winnipeg last year, setting the machinery in motion for a franchise move, only this time with a French accent.
The answer should be coming soon enough. I hope that sugar-daddy does come forward for the Coyotes. I love hockey in Arizona.
* THE ENDLESS CROSBY CRISIS: Over and over again, we worry about the physical fate of Sidney Crosby because we want him back as he was before twice being injured.
What's more we feel for what the good, young man has endured and how it has affected the league in general. The sum total of the ongoing situation leaves just about everyone on the outside frustrated and puzzled. And because Crosby was the best at what he did, we can only wait and hope that he eventually returns in mint condition.
Surely, the Penguins' high command is smart enough to understand that the best case scenario would be to keep Sid from returning this season and allow him a full summer to fully recover.
* WHITHER THE CANUCKS: While the tendency in the East is to believe that the NHL's Western boundaries are somewhere between Chicago and St.Louis, the fact always has been that there's terrific hockey out West and the best of all is in British Columbia.
Nonetheless, the feeling in Vancouver is that if 2012 isn't the year that the Canucks win, The Stanley Cup will never materialize.
B.C. has its best chance to win the Stanley Cup Final since Tiger Williams led the crazy-suited sextet against the Islanders in 1982 and went out in four, very, very tough games.
The issue — no hot news here! — is Roberto Luongo, who we know can tease us throughout the regular season with first-rate play but then eventually does his Humpty-Dumpty audition when the chips, or in this case, pucks, are down.
Thus, we are left with a titillating melodrama that can only be settled in the Spring. Will this be Vancouver's year?
The Maven says no, not if the Rangers meet them because Henrik Lundqvist is a lot better than Roberto at his best!
* WHAT IF THE HABS DON'T HAVE IT? It's sad to see the Habs in such a precarious state, but facts are facts and Scotty Gomez still remains the anchor keeping the Good Ship Canadiens from moving anywhere.
In the end it could mean the end of Randy Cunneyworth's brief tenure behind the bench — sad, sad, sad because the mess wasn't his creation — as well as Pierre Gauthier's run as general manager.
Patrick Roy? Interesting. Marc Bergevin? Both are worthy managerial candidates.
Meanwhile, we'll wait and see how the Habs likely finish with a thud!