every time I mention Brayden Schenn
I get discon... hello?"
Fans may have noticed that these reports often allude to a deal being complete "pending a trade call with the league". The phrase brings to mind an intense conference call in which league officials grill the participants before grudgingly approving a deal.
But as it turns out, a trade call is simply a formality. And just like every other phone call you try to make these days, the entire thing is handled through an automated system.
Thanks to league sources, I got my hands on the top secret number and gave it a call. Here's a transcript of what I heard.
Thank you for calling the National Hockey League. For service in English, press 1. For service in French, press 2. For service in whatever language it is that Don Cherry is speaking, press 3.
You have selected English. Please listen carefully, as our menu options have recently changed.
If you are a GM calling to complain about a penalty, press 1.
If you are a GM calling to complain about a suspension, press 2.
If you are a GM calling to complain about a goal review, press 3.
If you are a GM calling to complain about having nothing to complain about, press 4.
If you are on owner calling to report that you have recently gone bankrupt, press 5.
If you are calling about a trade, press 6.
You have pressed 6. You will now be connected to the NHL trade hotline. At any time, you may press 0 to speak to Darren Dreger.
If you are calling to complain about a trade your son's team just made, press 1.
If you just realized you've accidentally traded for a good starting goaltender when you're trying to tank for the first overall pick and would like a mulligan, press 2.
If you are calling to report a completely fictional "rumour" in a desperate attempt to trick stupid people into visiting your terrible web site, press e5.
If you are calling to report a completed trade, press 9.
You have chosen to report a completed trade. Please note that we are currently experiencing higher than normal call volumes. If you are trading away a draft pick, please enter the round number now.
You have chosen to trade a first round draft pick. Is this pick lottery-protected in case you finish last? Press 1 for yes or 2 for no.
You have pressed 2 for no. Um, do you think that maybe you should rethink that? Press 1 for yes or 2 for no.
You have pressed 2 for no. Look, Brian, we've talked about this, wouldn't it make sense to at least ask if…
You have angrily mashed 2 for no.
Does your trade involve a player? Press 1 for yes, or 2 for no.
You have pressed 1 for yes. Please note that due to high demand, we have set up a dedicated hotline for teams trading away Ian White. Please call 1-800-IAN-B-GON for assistance. Operators are standing by 24 hours a day.
Please enter the line that the player plays on, and then his salary followed by the pound key.
You have indicated that you are trading for a third-liner who makes $5 million. Are you drunk? Press 1 for yes, or 2 for no.
You have pressed 2 for no. Please indicate why you are making this clearly terrible trade.
If you are trying to satisfy your idiot owner, press 1.
If you are trying to satisfy your idiot fans, press 2.
If you are trying to satisfy your idiot media, press 3.
If you stopped caring once it became apparent that you're being fired at the end of the season and figure all of this will be the new guy's problem, press 4.
For all of the above, press 5.
You have pressed 5. Your trade is ready for processing. In a few moments it will be finalized, and you may inform the players and announce the deal publicly.
One last thing: Did you remember to check and see if the player has a no-trade clause? Press 1 for yes, or 2 for no.
You have drop-kicked your phone out an open window. Thank you for calling the NHL trading hotline. Good bye.