The NHL trade deadline looms large as Wednesday prepares to dawn across North America, the major sports networks in Canada are set to launch their open to close coverage, offering up some speculation, some fact and a whole lot of filler when there's not much happening.
A number of NHL teams disappointed by the progress this season (hello there Ottawa) will be sellers on this Trade day, seeking to retool their squads for next year, hoping that there are some quality offerings out there to make a deal worthwhile. The Senators who surely must by now realize that the playoffs are but a dream now, have a number of assets to put forward on Wednesday, it will be with interest that Sens fans watch GM Bryan Murray navigate the trade deadline obstacle course in his quest to return the Senators to a legitimate threat for the Stanley Cup.
For Brian Burke, this trade deadline will no doubt be more familiar thistime around, ensconced as he is in the bunkers of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, every name mentioned that wears a Maple Leaf will find more than a bit of coverage, not since his days in Vancouver will Burke have felt the all encompassing blanket that the trade deadline brings to Toronto, where the locals hope against hope that this time around they'll win the trade, they'll attract the name players and they'll be a different team when all is said and done.
In Montreal Bob Gainey has to decide whether the Habs of the last few weeks are going to be the team to go down the stretch with, or still suffering the nightmares of January and early February, whether he shouldn't start seeking out some vital parts for his teams Stanley Cup run.
Edmonton always seems to offer up some of the best intrigue on deadline day, it will be quite interesting to see what Kevin Lowe has up his sleeve this Wednesday deadline day. The Oilers still deep in young and promising players have to decide if a move will take them further along the playoff trail this year.
Calgary most likley won't be too heavily involved in Wednesday's proceedings, with the exception of the occassional hic cup on the ice, the Flames seem to have all the parts they'll need for a long run in the playoffs.
Likewise Vancouver, suddenly back on the winning track will have to thnk carefully about chaning up the chemistry of the team, over the last two weeks the Canucks have managed to put together some impressive wins and seem ready to make their move into the playoffs.
For the early risers this deadline day (5 am on the west coast for the truly dedicated deadline follower) we provide some background items to help get you in the mood for the NHL's version of March Madness..
Globe and Mail-- Deal, or no deal?
Globe and Mail-- A warning to deadline-crazed NHL
Globe and Mail-- Staying put?
Globe and Mail-- NHLers rarely enjoy deadline buzz
National Post-- Deadline day causes anxiety for players
National Post-- Trade plans for Canadian teams remain fuzzy
National Post-- Economy drives the trends at NHL trade deadline
National Post-- Trade deadline is Burke's time to shine
Toronto Star-- Going, Going. . .
Toronto Star-- Trade winds are swirling
Toronto Star-- Leafs' Moore a lock to be traded
Montreal Gazette-- Clubs wary of making bad deals
Ottawa Citizen-- Anxious days for Kuba & Co.
Calgary Herald-- Dowbiggin: Impossible to move these millionaires
Edmonton Journal-- Oilers not interested in Miroslav Satan: sources
Vancouver Province-- Hot GM Place rumour has Canucks trading for Jay Bouwmeester
Vancouer Sun-- Let's (not) make a deal
TSN Tradecentre Tracker
Sportsnet Trade Deadline centre
Globe and Mail trade tracker
Canada.com trade tracker
The Score trade tracker
NHL.com trade deadline blog