Thursday, March 09, 2006

Observations of the Trading floor (Segment 4 the race for the wire, 11am-1 pm)

We headed into the final hour of the trade deadline by dropping in on a press conference in Vancouver. Coach Marc Crawford is saying nothing really substantial about the day’s events, he doesn’t the mention Bertuzzi rumours and welcomes the newest Canucks to the lineup. Unfortunately no one asks him to comment on Steve Simmons’ comments regarding the love fest that doesn’t exist in the Vancouver dressing room.

The tenth deal of the day takes place around11:15 when Jamie Rivers suddenly realizes that he can get an early start on his golf game and no longer needs to worry about Stanley Cup ring sizing, Rivers is traded from Detroit to Phoenix. Rivers is the seventh defenceman of the day traded.

Dave Hodge is back with his gang, they spend this segment discussing the move of Recchi to Carolina if it happens (Geez, somebody make a decision on this thing please). They go on the assumption that it’s a go and marvel at the trading smarts of the folks in that hockey hotbed of Carolina.

My Blogger system is suffering some kind of spastic attack all of a sudden, taking forever to post these little updates, probably overwhelmed by the volume of trades!

TSN’s capologist returns for another lesson in financial trends for us neophyte GM’s. He explains that remarkably only 4% of the cap space has been used so far in the deals done today. I have no idea what that actually means, but since math was never really my subject it sure sounds real impressive!

TSN points out that Calgary is the only Canadian team not yet to make a deal.

Another defenceman is on the move, as Brian Burke sends Sandis Ozolnish (just back from rehab) to team UN in New York. Brian Burke picks up another draft pick to add to his pile of futures.

TSN keeps trying to stoke that Bertuzzi trade fire, despite stories through the day that Bertuzzi is not supposed to be on the market.

Five minutes til the deadline and another defenceman is heading out, Brendan Witt is Nashville bound, finally rescued from Witts’ personal hell in Washington. Chris Veitch moves to Washington as part of the deal plus a first round pick.

At the buzzer, thirteen deals were finished off, the slowest day of trading in the last five years. For the most part today was a day to add foot soldiers in the quest for playoff positions, beyond the Theodore and Recchi trades, there’s no real surprise moves here. Earlier in the day, Dave Hodge and his crew suggested that here was no real deal made that may have tilted the scales of balance heading into the playoff stretch. Though the move of Recchi to Carolina adds more depth to a team that is flying pretty high at the moment, certainly they didn’t hurt themselves by bringing his leadership to the team.

TSN teases the viewers with suggestions that a few deals are still in the works and then as if on cue deliver some news after the buzzer.

Edmonton picks up Sergei Samsanov from the Boston Bruins

While Ottawa finally picks up some secondary scoring by grabbing Tyler Arnason off the Black Hawks roster, sending Brandon Bochenski and a second round draft pick off to the windy city.

San Jose joins in the parade of the journeymen sending Dimotrakis to Philadelphia, while Chicago cleaned out the closet some more moving Jim Dowd over to Colorado.

Willie Mitchell leaves the Wild and heads for Big D as he joins the Stars; Dallas sends Shawn Belle and Martin Skoula north.

As the flurry of wire beating trades subsided we were taken to a press conference in Montreal where Jose Theodore spoke to the press. Theodore was rather poised in the face of the all out assault by the always excited Montreal press. He said all the right things about his days in Montreal and with the Habs and hoped to be healthy soon to help out the Avalanche as they head towards the playoffs.

More last minute deals filter out, the Canucks pick up Eric Weinrich to help out their defence, The Coyotes grab Oleg Kvasha from the Islanders and the Flames bring Jamie Lundmark to Alberta.

As the clock heads for one o’clock TSN reports that the NHL confirmation clock is backed up by an hour. Resulting in a situation that means some of the late deals may not have been consummated in time, and could be bounced back, which would leave a few players on edge for a while yet!

Appropriately the network known as the Toronto Sports Network, closes out the hour with coverage of John Ferguson Juniors Press conference from Toronto, where he tries to explain what it is he tried to accomplish as the deadline hour passed. Ferguson chose to go with the crew he had already and will hope they can prove him sage in their battle for the last playoff spot.

We’ll look at the big winners on trading day in a post later, your faithful scribe now heads for the fridge and a bit of food and then some fresh air!

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