With Monday afternoon’s trade deadline looming, hockey fans are expecting a whirlwind of deals over the next few days. The moves will range from minor to major, and if we’re lucky we’ll even get a few old-fashioned blockbusters thrown into the mix. And we’ll devour them all, because NHL trades are always fun.
That’s especially true when the trade involves your favourite team. So now, during what’s left of the calm before the storm, it’s a good time to prepare yourself for your team’s pending moves. Every trade is different, but all fans go through a specific set of stages when they find out their team has struck a deal. You’ve been there before, and the chances are good that very soon, you’ll be there again.
Here are the 20 stages of finding out that your favourite team has made a trade. If and when they get involved in the action, feel free to check them off as you go.
Stage 1: Hearing that your team may have made a deal
The first stage usually starts with a tweet or an on-air comment from an insider that they're "hearing something might be up.”
Once you see your favourite team mentioned, it's time to go into shutdown mode. All work at the office grinds to a halt. Commuters pull over to the side of the road. It's perfectly acceptable to stand up in the middle of class and yell "SILENCE" at your teacher or professor. All the normal rules of etiquette and social order are suspended until the deal is announced.
Stage 2: Rampant speculation about what the trade might be
This is the fun part. In the brief period between hearing about a deal and knowing the full details, your imagination can run wild. Maybe it's a mega-blockbuster. Maybe it's the kind of move that puts the franchise on the road to a championship. Maybe all the guys you can't stand are being shipped out, and all your favourite players are on the way in. For a precious few moments, the possibilities are endless.
The point is, this is a time for wild conjecture and baseless speculation. Enjoy it. Revel in it. There's no need to pump the brakes.
Stage 3: Wondering if Connor McDavid will wear a different number on his new team
OK, maybe pump the brakes a little bit.
Stage 4: Finding out the details of the actual trade
It's never quite as big a deal as you hoped it would be. But still, a trade is a trade. Time to get to started on working through all the ramifications.
Stage 5: Immediately talking yourself into the biggest name your team just acquired
Instinct kicks in, and as a fan, your instinct is to believe. So yes, this is exactly the sort of player your team has needed. You only get so many opportunities to improve in this league, and you have to grab them when they come along. Besides, the change of scenery will probably give the new player a boost. Not like he needed one.
This is a great trade. You like this guy. You've always liked this guy.
Stage 6: Casually deleting years of tweets, blog comments and forum posts where you made fun of the new guy
No, really, when you said he was "an overpaid boat anchor who'll inevitably drag down any team dumb enough to employ him," you meant that in the good way.