Today was a big day. Just for me, as a hockey fan. I love the trade deadline. I love the energy and excitement. I was at ground zero of trade happenings in Isles land. Yes, many things did not happen, but alas, we will go more into that.
Part 1: The Arrival
I got to the Coliseum at 10:30am. I sped from the diner, where I tanked up on iced coffee and some greasy deliciousness. I am not big on hot coffee. It could be the dead of winter and -40 degrees, and I'd still come waltzing into Dunkin Donuts for a iced coffee.
Jim Baumbach of Newsday and I have corresponded back when he did the Al Arbour story where he wondered if it counted. Isles fans definitely overreacted. It was simply a baseball guy asking an obvious question. Why was it different from those other sports? The argument flaw was his accepting of those sports rules, not that hockey had it wrong. And my blog pointed that out. Ever since, he wanted to join us in the box and experience it for himself. I didn't know he was going to write about us until yesterday. But it was a unique experience from a good guy, and a very good writer. So lets cut him a break. Make fun of him mercilessly so he never forgets the Arbour stuff, but with a wink and a nudge. Say no more.
While I had a horrendous time trying to talk and write while the connection and website didn't quite work for me, he just live blogged away. It is good stuff and well worth your read.
Read Jim's blog: http://weblogs.newsday.co...umnists/jimbaumbach/blog/
Soon we were called down to the media room in the lockerroom area for Mike Comrie to be available for us. Mike gave the usual, and I'm sure you can get it all from Isles TV. He was happy to remain and has no issues with one year contracts. This of course flies in the face of many others who are in different financial and family commitments. But he's single, and has good reason to want to remain in town. He also has been playing better and might top off at the high 60s or 70pts.
Ted Nolan said much of the same thing. He spoke very positively about Mike and his work.
Part 2: Back to the Box
Here is some video Jim did on us, asking us as the Penguins practiced about what we thought of the Comrie deal:
We went back to our seats to our version of "Live at the Blog Box". Where we had our usual banter and wit going back and forth as we vainly tried to get info from a myriad of technological avenues. Michael Schuerlein of http://www..Islesblogger.com
is getting the TSN show with his brand spankin' new laptop and his new slingbox. Tom Liodice of http://www.thetigertrack.com/
is checking his sites, including HFboards. I am using Hockeybuzz, which has been pretty good with the text messaging. I am having an awful time, however, catching their show with all the bandwidth being used for our wireless connection OR updating my blog with anything cohesive. So I stick with my own avenues and contacts, and forgo the show so not to use up my limited bandwidth.
Besides seeing Jordan Staal running up the stairs at the Coliseum, a few others did as well. Later on, two came over to us asking about trades. One seemed to already predict the Foote to Colorado. "See, I told you!", he said to his compatriots.
We then jumped them and beat the hell out of them.
Ok, maybe not. Instead, one of them asked if we heard anything about the Penguins. We should have caught that nervousness belying something, but we didn't at the time. It wasn't till later, after all those trades went down that we realized that they were quite nervous, and for good reason. Penguins paid a very dear price for a player who is not playoff proven.
Oh, and who was that player. Now that I am home and with time to look up the pics . . .
I believe it was none other than
Interesting, huh? Then man who was one of the few dealt to Atlanta.
Chris Botta comes to visit us. We all chit chat. Chris is a witty fellow and can banter with the boys. Anyone who thinks he's a megalomaniac or some sort of automaton has simply not met the man in person. He is blunt, candid, and as Mike coined: "the BlogFather"
We are told we can go out on the ice. I sit and still struggle with the computer. Plus, with my luck, I'd slip, fall and break both my legs, forcing a Zamboni to haul my carcass off the ice. But Ken Richard, of http://okposo.blogspot.com/
, who came in a bit later, goes out on the ice. Mike and Tom take pics.
Part 3: TRADES
Ok, lets talk trades . . .
First off all, as I mentioned a while ago when Simon was brought up, it was tremendously interesting on how he was pushed right into the ice, even when fans hadn't quite gotten an even keel over their own feelings. The response was the boos which was written about. But over the weekend, it was clear to be that Simon would be shopped. The broke up the "kid line" which Garth Snow is very excited about only for one reason. To showcase Simon and show he could still play. In my humble opinion, of course. The Isles official line is far different. And you can check out the main interview he gave to the press and us on IslesTV.
As for MAB being dealt. Well, it was in the cards for either him or Berard. Once the Isles got Davison, who is a stay-at-home 6'3' 220 lb. defensively solid guy, it was clear as day that someone was getting jettisoned off the Island. And it wasn't going to be one of Lost's Oceanic 6 (Jim Baumbach is a Lost fan, btw. There's a scoop for ya!). As some others have already said, San Jose's defensive core is a strong group, and not easy to break-through. So that Davison is not fitting into their plans does not make him crap. And at the age of 27, much better than getting some old man for the same price. I think Garth got great pickup cheap.
But a 3rd rounder for MAB, who will probably bloom with that excellent and well-crafted vet defense? Sorry. I think he could have gotten more or a good prospect. The Ducks, with MAB on the PP, with other dmen that can shoot and pass, will allow him to do what he did for us last season. He will do well, and the Ducks will benefit for it.
What is most interesting is the trade that did not happen. My strong belief and info is that it was Montreal. Once out of the Hossa sweeps, which cost the Penguins dearly, I might add, I think Gainey and Garth had something strong in the works that involved more than just their short term contracts. I think it involved one of their Long Island dmen.
What you did not see on Isles TV is that we had our own session with Garth Snow. Dee Karl, our lone female blogger of the famed http://7thwoman.bravejournal.com
, was here with us at this point. And in that interview, Garth dodged going on the record of who that trade was with or who it included. Mike Michael Schuerlein was doing his best to crack that egg. "Were you interested in any other defensemen?" Mike sets Garth up so gently, like a serve in the Tennis game in Wii Sports . . .
Then I slyly added to the question "Maybe a Long Island one?"
Garth laughs, turns red, and says:
"Lets get back to Bridgeport and Tambellini".
Bloggers 1, Garth 0.
This falls right into the talk of when Garth said he was not willing to give up on prospects like Tambs, Comeau, and certainly not Okposo. Nor was he going to give up the 1st round pick in a deep draft. In my mind, I feel strongly they were speaking of Komisarek* (EDIT: i said Higgins last night, who is a forward. I was a silly tired boy). And that would have been very costly.
But, like I've always said, I'm not a rumor guy. But in being there and catching him, it told me I'm in the right place and where I should be. The feeling of capturing a tendril of what MIGHT have happened was electric. And I look not at Garth's words, but in his demeanor, body language and blinking. The Simon talk seemed more company lines. My gut is Wang brought down the hammer and dictated the move. And, Garth really didn't want to give up whatever the heavy cost that whoever that player was. And maybe I'm completely wrong, and it was Toronto and McCabe. Could be. But my gut tells me far different. Right now, my gut is telling me it's time for dinner. So lets wrap this all up.
So, there is my experience. I left before the game so I could write out my blog properly. I hope you enjoyed my little tale about what is another leap for bloggers. Our involvement in the trade deadline. My Montreal info was pretty solid but only in a speculative sense. So, as we all know, rumors and talk/chatter is just that. Might be nothing to it, or a complete lark. But as to Garth's talk of if that was the deal in place and whom? Well, I'll leave it to your own interpretation or opinion. Mine is that at least one of Montreal's LI defensemen were involved. You all might think differently.
BUT, I'm the guy with the blog
Til the next one . . .