And with the coffee brewing, we commence with the seven hour festival of rumour and speculation, divining the completed trades and waiting for the remaining pieces on the hockey chess board to move into place.
8 am - 9 am ( 5 - 6 am PST)
It's intro time at TSN and Sportsnet as they roll out their trade day coverage for this 2011 NHL trade deadline, a session which could be a little less dramatic than in past years owing to the high volume of trades conducted over the last few weeks of the lead up to deadline day.
James Duthie at TSN offers up perhaps the homily for all of the sports broadcasters today with his declaration that "we don't know what to expect after such a flurry of deals leading up to today"-- Amen brother Duthie and pass the collection plate.
For the first few moments of the first hour, both of the networks discuss which teams and a few of the players that they believe may be in play over the hours heading into the final siren of trading day. The consensus being that Edmonton and to a degree Ottawa are still ready to shed some players in the quest for better draft placements and rebuilding plans for 2012.
Though Sportsnet advises that it seems that Chris Phillips in Ottawa won't be part of the trading mayhem, Phillips having signed a 3 year extension with the Senators over the weekend, 3 years for 9.25 million dollars will keep him on the Sens blue line towards the middle of the decade.
TSN has trotted out their second panel of the morning, hosted by Gino Reda part of what seems will be a rotating schedule of talking heads flowing in and out of the mix to advise, interpret and speculate through the morning.
For those that went to bed right after the last Oscar was handed out, Sportsnet has an update on a late night trade between the Buffalo Sabres and the St. Louis Blues which sees the Sabres pick up Brad Boyes from the Blues, in exchange for a 2nd round draft pick. Someone might have asked the teams to hold off until Monday, just to help out the cause, if announced in this first hour today it could very well have been the most dissected minor trade of the day, if for no other reason than to warm up the vocal chords.
By 5:30 it seems we are on the "Weiss watch" with both networks weighing in on the potential movement of Florida's Stephen Weiss, who apparently has said that the only team he will consider a trade to is the Toronto Maple Leafs. An interesting declaration that would seem to limit your options and such, but then perhaps after 10 years in the league Mr. Weiss is particular as to where he wants to go, music to the ears of Brian Burke, though we're not sure that this would be the realm of blockbuster trades if it ever is navigated. As they go to commercial TSN features a montage of action shots of Weiss on the ice, leaving us amazed as to how much footage the networks must have stored up for today's offerings.
TSN comes back from commercial to tour the Eastern Canadian cities, with Toronto just four points out of a playoff spot in the east much examination as to how that will impact on today's decisions.
Ottawa clearly is building for the future and will approach the deadline in that frame of mind, while Montreal is apparently still looking for a little more offensive output but may not be willing to part with much to gain it. In fact, we learn that Montreal GM Pierre Gauthier will be on the flight to Atlanta this morning, out of reach of the media (and fellow GM's for that matter) for the two hour or so flight south, at least the players will know what he's up to we imagine. Oh wait, TSN clarifies that bit of breaking news at 8:48 (5:48 PST) Mr. Gauthier will not be on the plane, players can continue to worry as to their fate on the charter.
At 5:50 our first mention of Brad Richards for the day, Richards currently sidelined with a concussion is the subject of much speculation as the TSN gang wonder aloud if he will be in play today.
Over at Sportsnet, they are reviewing the great trades of Maple Leaf history, no pressure here Brian Burke, but it would seem that the benchmark for the Leaf Nation is the Cliff Fletcher years and the trade to acquire Doug Gilmour.
As the first hour winds down we learn of Facebook pages and twitter accounts at TSN, not to be outgunned in the social media world, Sportsnet pumps up the availability of Doug MacLean on Twitter.
First hour transaction summary -- 0 transactions announced this hour