Outside of the draft, the NHL All-Star Game and perhaps July 1st, there are few other days on the NHL calendar that are more overhyped, dragged out and overanalyzed than the NHL Trade Deadline. We're all guilty of it and at some point this afternoon when TSN dedicates 30 minutes to analyzing a minor league deal between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes, we'll all collectively realize how ridiculous this entire thing is. It happens every year.
However, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the deadline. It's an entire day focused on hockey and that's a good thing. We love it despite the fact that we're pretty sure nothing will happen all day.
However, if you really want to immerse yourself in the deadline, we've got more for you. This is the Pensblog Guide to Trade Deadline 2012.
The NHL Network is showing TSN's deadline coverage in the United States, so if you want to watch about 30 people discuss every aspect of every deal until you no longer care about Ben Bishop or what junior team he played for, that's your place to do so. On TSN you'll be able to watch no less than three separate panels attempt to kill time. It looks like Pierre McGuire is back on TSN for today's deadline coverage, so we expect to see a number of obscure junior hockey references and several uncomfortable moments throughout the day.
Rogers Sportsnet has stepped up its game in recent years so you may want to direct some of your attention in their direction as well, even if you only bother to do so when you can't stand those fuckers at TSN any longer. Puck Daddy is streaming Sportsnet online for American viewers. Nick Kypreos has gotten pretty good at breaking trades in the last few years.
At this point it's important to take a moment and discuss the "having to go to work and/or school" aspect of the deadline that could make staring at various screens and discussing nothing but NHL minutiae for ten hours difficult. You may have already planned for this, but in case you haven't, here is a guide to calling in sick. Do with it as you must.
Of course, with modern technology, you may not need to call in sick at all. Smart phones and computers make following deadline day a lot easier than it was in the past, when we had to watch for smoke signals coming from NHL headquarters to tell us that Geoff Courtnall had been traded.
Just for fun, at some point during the day, take a moment to think about the incredible decrease in productivity that hits Canada on this day each year. We're pretty sure that days like this are the reason why Canada will never be a world power.
We're still not quite over the Tiffani Thiessen/Brad Thiessen thing and that pic felt like the right way to break up this post. Those jeans are serious business.
As everyone knows, the Internet is a great way to spread information. Of course, the information isn't always accurate, but that's the price you pay for convenience. Much like you shouldn't trust just any random Twitter feed or any random stranger shouting on the street, you also shouldn't trust just any website. We also think that you probably don't need to pay anyone for access to breaking trade information when so much of it is available for free, but that's just us. Regardless of how you get your information, it's important to use some common sense on this day. If some website you've never heard of before is saying that the Penguins just acquired Rick Nash and Dustin Brown in separate deals, you may want to treat that news with some skepticism. If that same website tells you that all the Penguins gave up to get those players was a third round pick and Eric Tangradi, then you may not want to visit a different website.
There are a lot of great resources on the Internet and one of the most valuable ones is CapGeek.com. We're not sure how we came up with fantasy trades and analyzed every single player in the league to death before that website existed. It's become a vital tool. According to their trade deadline tracker, the Penguins could add $10,539,158 in salary today if they wanted to. Don't count on the team doing that.
If the Penguins do make a trade and you don't know anything about the player(s) coming to Pittsburgh, HockeyDB and Hockey-Reference.com are great resources to read that will leave you seeming much smarter than you actually are. Hockey's Future and Elite Prospects are great for information on prospects.
If you want to get really drunk by 10am, take a drink every time someone says the words "Rick Nash." Actually.... don't do that. Doing so would probably kill you by about 8:30 or so, depending on your tolerance and your ability to consume 72 drinks in half an hour.
In order to entertain yourself during the slow times today (which could account for at least 85-90% of the day) you may want to pretend you're an NHL general manager for a while. For example, you could pretend that you're Ray Shero by stealing valuables from your neighbours while leaving nothing but Ryan Whitney, Noah Welch and Angelo Esposito behind. If Shero isn't your style, you may want to pretend that you're Glen Sather. Before doing so, note that running down the street throwing money at just about everyone you see could be somewhat dangerous. It's could also be dangerous to pretend to be Scott Howson. You'll likely be seriously injured while spinning in circles and making random decisions with little rhyme or reason.
Enjoy the deadline!