Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I tried!

I'm sorry, TSN. I tried. I really did. And I know there has been a precedent set for your endless trade-deadline-day coverage. I am fully aware that one of the most popular websites on the internet was that one where you could log on and see the webcam that showed cheese aging. Which was great - it was like paint drying, only slower.

And now, I am pleased to announce that I have found something that happens in real time, even slower than watching cheese age. TSN's Trade Deadline Spectacular. Thirteen hours. Thirteen, full, hours. And yes, there was lots of movement on Trade Deadline Day. Teams want to beef up for that playoff run and mortgage their future on a rental player. Other teams try to dump players that will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. So what do we get? We get Hal Gill traded from the Leafs for two draft picks. And I'm thinking gee, I wonder what Darren Pang has to say about this? Boy, I sure hope that Bob McKenzie who I don't dislike at all weighs in. Of course, things don't start happening until later in the day. Which means for the first three out of eight hours we're still talking about Vinnie Prospal and his trade, which happened the previous night.

I'm sorry, Sportsnet, I tried. Lord, how I did try! I made every effort to enjoy your equally pain-inducing Trade Deadline Day Festival. And the fact is, the last few years have seen a massive amount of player movement at deadline day, but that doesn't stop the TV from being staggeringly boring. Because that player movement sucks. And what sucks even more is watching the Nick Kypreos-type analysis. Sure, it's kind of fun to watch him struggle through his limited vocabulary to come up with some sort of insight that is beyond the range of the average seven-year-old, but come on! Who out there is a big enough hockey fan that they're sitting on the edge of their seats watching intently as they wait to see if their team is mentioned? Oh - he said the Leafs again! Oh...Wade Belak. Hey - Leafs! Oh...Chad Kilger. Meh.

There were 25 trades yesterday, and 45 players switched teams. Of those 45 players, four were interesting. Cristobal Huet leaving Montreal in exchange for a draft pick. I don't think many people saw that coming. Also, Brad Richards traded to Dallas, and Brian Campbell going from the Sabres to the Sharks. Not huge moves, any of them. But kinda interesting. And at least it gave those hockey pundits something to jaw about. Who won these trades? Who lost? Who has improved the most? How does the Matt Cooke trade affect the Canucks? I am not a pundit, but I know the answer to that one. Not at ALL. Here's the thing, and I'll take that particular trade as an example - the key guy in that trade was Pettinger. And we won't know how good a move it was until three years from now. Hey Sportsnet! How about running a three-year, non-stop Trade Deadline Day Festivity, so we can actually see the real results of these trades? Couldn't be any more boring. And the one name that was biggest, the one trade with the most significance - Marian Hossa going to the Penguins. And that happened at (I saw on the TSN Countdown Clock) 2:59. Trade deadline was 3:00.

So here's a thought, and I know they don't read my blog and they won't listen to me - but NHL GMs, if you want anyone to care about Trade Deadline Coverage on television, make the big moves early! If you're going to trade a Hossa, do it at 8 a.m. so the pundits have something to talk about for the next eight hours! Do us all a favour. This left a precious one hour, the after-the-deadline wrap-up-hour, to discuss the various ramifications of the Hossa trade. One hour, to talk about one trade, and that was the most exciting hour of all. As a Senators fan, I was waiting with bated breath all day, hoping to hear that we had made a deal to land Mario Lemieux and resurrect Terry Sawchuck...and we got Martin Lapointe. Which is nice, but doesn't fix any of our problems. (Despite what that delightful Matthew Barnaby had to say. Matthew Barnaby?) Clearly, the Ottawa problems go pretty deep. We have now played the two most boring teams in hockey in back-to-back games, and we have been outscored 9-0. It may well be time to panic. But it's too late to panic now. You had eight long, boring hours to do it yesterday!

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