I Just Don't Get The NHL Trade Deadline Hype

Tim ParentSenior Writer IMarch 5, 2009

I woke up Wednesday morning with a stiff back and the lingering effects of few stiff drinks the night prior. 

Bleary-eyed, I stumbled to the bathroom to rid the system of the aforementioned alcohol and then in to the kitchen for a bowl of Bran Flakes because if it's good enough for Will Shatner, then it's damn well good enough for me!  My bowels seem to appreciate it, too. 

With rivulets of milk streaming down my chin from the first spoonful of cereal, I made my way downstairs where I fumbled with three remotes in a pathetic attempt to get the TV turned on.  After a few difficult minutes, a mass of muttered profanity and some spilled flakes of bran, I managed to press the power button and was immediately greeted by police tape and a gruesome murder scene.  I love A&E!

Still, at 8:03 in the morning, the dulcet tones of Bill Curtis is not what I want to hear. 

I manouvre through the channels and land on TSN where James Duthie, Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, and Pierre McGuire are eagerly gabbing away, anxious for the day to get going, eyes glancing at silent Blackberries waiting for them to start buzzing like bumblebees.

My Blackberry is quiet, too, but that's because I haven't charged it and it's resting in peace in my jacket pocket.  Even if there was some battery life left, I'm almost positive I wouldn't be getting any calls from hockey "insiders", brokering in speculation and rumor.  

As it is, if I wasn't on vacation, I wouldn't have even bothered with Canada's unofficial holiday because I just don't get it. The waiting, the anticipation, the hype; the day just fails to live up to it, like the time when I was six years old and I asked a mall Santa for a Star Wars AT-AT Walker only to discover, Christmas morn, he left me a couple of packs of socks and underwear.

Perhaps that makes me a bad hockey fan, but so be it.  I'm comfortable with the moniker because, in the grand scheme of things, what happens in March may or may not have an impact in the playoffs.

Take last year's event, when Marian Hossa was the big prize in the rental player sweepstakes.  The GM's from several teams were drooling over the Slovakian like a starving dog teased with a juicy steak.  In the end he joined the Pittsburgh Penguins, who gave up far too much for him and failed in their bid to win another Stanley Cup.

There are some who say it was a worthwhile deal because the Pens did made it to the final.  I say, so what?  If they had hoisted the Cup and sipped from its silver beauty, if the fans had been treated to a half-day off work for a festive black, white, and yellow confetti-filled parade extravaganza, then I'd perhaps agree with you. 

What you've got the ask yourself is, where is Hossa now? Out with a bruised knee and a stiff neck, yes, but he's playing for the team that beat the Penguins in the Finals last year. 

And therein lies the rub.  All the hype of last year's trade deadline, all that anticipation and hand wringing, and the prize catch slips away like that small mouth bass I almost reeled in.  Big as a house that fish was, but I digress...

Instead, the Detroit Red Wings are laughing all the way to the finals, perhaps again this season, and if you'll notice, the Wings made no moves this trade deadline day.  They didn't really need to.

At about 8:47, I peeled myself off the couch.  I'd had my fill of the TSN gang and the deadline day.  I headed off to the washroom, secure in the knowledge I wasn't really missing anything, anxiously awaiting only the playoffs and fully aware the bran flakes were doing what they needed to do.