preparing to remove his Blue Jackets jersey
Of course, this isn’t news to diehard hockey fans, most of whom have had the date circled on their calendars ever since roughly five minutes after last year’s deadline passed. In fact, the trade deadline has arguably become the most anticipated day on the entire NHL calendar. And now, finally, it’s almost here.
You have 48 hours left to prepare. If you’re a hockey fan planning on joining in on the fun, here’s a refresher course on how to conduct yourself on the big day.
Do: Try to sound convincing when calling in sick to work, while making sure to act as if your absence has nothing to do with hockey.
Do not: Blow it by insisting on describing your illness only as an “upper body injury”.
Do: Immediately assume control of any nearby TVs, mobile phones and computers to ensure that every available screen in the room is tuned in to some form of deadline coverage.
Do not: Allow yourself to become distracted just because your spouse keeps saying things like “Um, can you please change the channel back? That ultrasound screen was showing the first images of our baby’s heartbeat.”
Do: Tell the guy sitting next to you at the bar about your theory that the Blue Jackets are all talk, and won’t really be trading Rick Nash at the deadline after all.
Do not: Hesitate to offer a tissue and a sympathetic hug if that guy turns out to actually be Rick Nash.
Do: Quickly rush to pass along any confirmed trade you see on Twitter from a trusted media personality, even if seems kind of strange that it’s not being reported anywhere else.
Do not: Pause to notice that this particular trusted media personality has thirteen followers and does not seem to know how to spell their own name.
Do: Prepare for a full day of watching your team make shrewd blockbuster trades by heading for the local donut shop and purchasing an extra-large coffee.
Do not: Automatically assume it’s some kind of bad omen that your Roll Up The Rim tab says you’ve won an overpaid fourth liner and a first round exit.
Do: Make sure you understand the financial ramifications of any breaking trades by consulting a source that understands the intricate details of how the salary cap works, such as Capgeek.com.
Do not: Consult a source that does not understand how the salary cap works, such as any employee of the Buffalo Sabres.
Do: Keep in mind that trades can still be announced after the 3:00 p.m. EST deadline passes, since it can take time for trade calls to go through.
Do not: Worry if you forget this fact, since you’ll be reminded of it several thousand times between 2:55 and 3:05.
Do: Be sure to dream up complicated trade proposals in which your favorite team acquires a star player in exchange for a package of overpaid benchwarmers, and then share them with your favorite internet forum or radio call-in show.
Do not: Forget to always include a second round pick going the other way, as per internationally accepted horrible trade proposal bylaws.
Do: Seek out people with experience in junior hockey for information about any top prospects who are traded.
Do not: Preface your question to Dale Hunter with “Hey, since you used to be the coach of the London Knights and will be again in about two months…”
Do: Make a note that, as much fun as deadline day can be for fans, many of these players are husbands and fathers who are now being forced to move thousands of miles away from their families on short notice
Do not: Actually read that note. Just keep it nearby to help you feel better.