Tuesday, February 26, 2008

From the trading floor observatory- - Let’s give them something to talk about

The lunch hour back east and the breakfast hours of the west proved to be busy times for the NHL’s General Managers.

The early portions of this block from 11 am-1 pm ET and 8-10 am in the West didn’t’ get off to a great start, we were treated with details of Marian Hossa’s hotel room view, apparently a stunning vision of the landscape keeping him occupied as he awaits his fate.

TSN delivers the news at 8:20 that the Leafs nation can rejoice with news that the great dismantling has begun, with Wade Belak trading snow shovels for sunscreen and a move to Florida.

Over at Sportsnet this sets off a wide ranging discussion on where the Leafs may go next with trades, seeking to discover who might be next to take flight from the Air Canada centre.

While the fixation with the Leafs reaches a boil at Sportsnet, TSN is busy interviewing Red Wing GM Ken Holland who doesn’t give much away, except that he would like to make a small deal in order to shore up a few concerns with his line up.

The Sharks and Sabres cut a deal which sends Brian Campbell to San Jose, a move that will cause more hand wringing in Buffalo as yet another talented young player moves on to greener pastures, a recurring theme in Sabreland over the last few years.

The flood of trades picks up with Tampa Bay finally making the splash of the day so far with Brad Richards off to Dallas, as the Stars add some potent scoring potential for the showdowns to come in the Western Conference.

Montreal shocks the trading panels with their move of Christobal Huet to the Washington Capitals, leaving Carey Price as the starting goaltender of the Habs who look to be serious contenders in the East this year. Making for a lot of pressure on the young goaltender, whether Huet stays in Washington remains to be seen, some suggest he may be flipped shortly.

The different networks take a breath to digest all the action of the hour, TSN seems quicker to the interview window, with a string of interviews with many of the major participants in the trades of the first couple of hours of Deadline day.

By 915 in the west, Colorado and Florida have swung a deal with Ruslan Salei heading to Florida while the Panthers pick up Karlis Skrastins and a third round pick.

A few minutes later Chicago begins what will be a couple of snap trades that catch the attention of the chattering crews, they send Tuomo Ruutu to Carolina receiving Andrew Ladd for their troubles. Then they make a deal with the Ottawa Senators, who pick up Martin Lapointe from Chicago for a sixth round pick in the 2008 draft.

Sportsnet is still stuck on the Leafs expressing frustration at the limitations of the no trade clause and other impediments to more bodies being shuffled along out of Toronto.

TSN moves along considering more moves for Ottawa, with Chris Neil coming up for discussion as a possible piece of the puzzle in Ottawa, though they suggest that by picking up Lapointe Ottawa may be out of the Marian Hossa derby.

Hossa apparently still gazing out the window at the view of Mount Royal, perhaps nibbling on some room service as the suitors line up to barter for his services.

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