Remember the AHL?
You know, the American Hockey League? The minor league of hockey? The 29-team league where some of your favorite NHL veterans and most promising rookies cross-paths?
Remember it now?
Remember how the NHL and AHL teams need a full compliment of players to be able to play the game?
How soon we forget.
Two days ago the Montreal Canadiens signed Curtis Sanford to a contract, the world imploded.
Suddenly Sanford was assumed as the new backup to Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak was on his way out: maybe to Vancouver, maybe to Tampa Bay. Hell, maybe the Habs were in talks with the KHL about swapping him for Jaromir Jagr.
Maybe Jagr is a stretch, but you see the point.
Before the ink had even dried on the contract, people were punching tickets for various players in and out of Montreal with their heads in the clouds. At a point in the offseason where the most exciting information deals with arbitration hearings, those who rely on rumors for their "journalistic" livelihood (as well as those that rely on it for their sporting livelihood as well) saw a pin-hole of light at the bleakest point.
Perhaps someone should've just taken a step back and taken a long whiff of reality instead of being taken aback by something far less blinding.
The contract Sanford signed is a one-year, two-way deal which means two things: In no way, if a trade were to happen, is he being pegged as a long-term solution to anything in Montreal; and he's free to go between the NHL and AHL throughout the duration of his contract.
Rather than screaming "impending trade" at the top of their lungs, the rumor mongers and "newsies" should have simply been muttering "injury insurance", because that's all it really is.
Essentially he's the 2009-10 installment of Marc Denis.
Perspective is a wonderful thing isn't it?
Recognizing that Sanford, a player who's only had one season not split between the NHL and AHL, is what he is—the backup to the backup—could've saved the world a whole lot of headaches.
But let's create another one shall we? Halak could be traded couldn't he?
Yes he certainly could.
But who amongst us knows? Are any of us so firmly entrenched in Montreal Canadiens' management (or San Jose's, Tampa's, or whoever else is involved in this hockey erotica) that we can make those statements?
No. That'd be like me saying that the Toronto Maple Leafs are set to trade Tomas Kaberle if they re-signed Josef Boumedienne.
Before jumping to conclusions like that, a rational explanation can usually be found. That explanation would be that because of the two-way deal, Sanford is simply providing the Habs with insurance in Hamilton in the event that Halak, Price or both are injured.
Could there be a trade? Yes there could. Then again, watch the previews for that 2012 movie and a lot of things could happen.
In doing that however, you have to decide: do you want to live your life or follow your team assuming that the end is just around the corner, only to have wasted your time when you find out it didn't really happen? Or should you just live your life as you always do, shrugging your shoulders if that trade actually happens to roll across the ticker.
It's not acting indifferently if you act intelligently.
Bryan Thiel is a Senior Writer and an NHL Community Leader for Bleacher Report. If you want to get in contact with Bryan you can do so through his profile or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out all of his previous work in his archives.