Welcome to my fourth annual TRADECENTRE BLOG!
8:00 - "A cold, crisp Canadian morning..." says James Duthie as the analysts get off the bus and in to the studio! Seriously! There's a giant bus delivering the analysts into the studio! I'm just praying it's not the "Rock of Love" bus! Wow does Bob McKenzie ever have some great hair in his past. Speaking of great hair, Bret Michaels is retiring from Rock of Love. Next Up: "Rock of Love Bus with Bob McKenzie"!
8:01 - Duthie: "Welcome to TradeCentre 2K9... We expect plenty of activity... but even if it's quiet.. it will take us until 2:30 to introduce all the commentators!" We only wish he was joking...
8:02 - Darren Dreger: "The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to be busy over the course of this morning..." Let's hope so. "... not an offer even in the ballpark" for Jay Bouwmeester.
Bob McKenzie: "...Chris Pronger effectively off the trade market."
Gord Miller: "I'm going to watch the Philadelphia Flyers..."
8:04 - Duthie has Darren Pang, Matthew Barnaby and Pierre McGuire.
McGuire: "...Probably 20 to 24 trades" today.
McGuire: "I talked to an NHL player this morning who thinks he's going to be moved."
Pang: "... Olli Jokinen's name has certainly come up"...
It's certainly worth pointing out right now that Pang is looking very pale this morning... he's BACK BABY! PALE RIDER is BACK!
8:05 - Matthew Barnaby on Tim Connolly: "... they've agreed on term in Buffalo... I wouldn't give Tim Connolly 4 million dollars a year" (because of injuries).
8:08 - Duthie introduces Darren Dutchyshen who is standing with ... Pierre McGuire! Once again our TSN Producers have Pierre wandering around the studio which has all sorts of comedy potential. Remember those sketches on Saturday Night Live this year where Fred Armisen plays visually impaired New York Governor David Patterson and has him wandering aimlessly around the studio? Prepare for a repeat of that throughout the day with Pierre.
8:10 - Players in play according to TSN: Morris... Guerin... Antropov... Moore... Recchi... Jokinen... meanwhile Pierre is punching Darren Dutchyshen in the shoulder... Dutchy is pleading for Pierre to give him a little space.... Pierre is already wide awake this morning... I'm not convinced Pierre ever actually sleeps.
8:11 - Now Duthie has wandered over to The Reporters desk along with Barnaby and both gentlemen are joined by Jay Feaster and Peter Laviolette! We are certainly not afraid to bring in extra bodies. James shows a board comparing Laviolette to the late, great TSN analyst John Tortorella. The title of the board: "Yankee Doodle Dandies" Wow.
8:17 - Reader/Viewer Justin Vandenberg sends me this e-mail:
"Before we get into any trade talk ... the big question remains: Will James Cybulski go back to his regular "correspondant" hairstyle or has the 'behind the desk' move resulted in more hair gel?"
Wow. That is a tough one. I think ... to borrow a phrase used by reporters all over the world: "It's a wait and see situation."
8:20 - James checks in with Cory Woron who is in Toronto. Cory: "...Brian Burke says he's not going to mortgage the future... the Leafs don't have a 2nd rounder... they don't have a 4th rounder... last night Nik Antropov and Dominic Moore were held out of their game with the New Jersey Devils... there are multiple offers on both those players... "
8:22 - Sara Orlesky joins James Duthie via sattelite from Buffalo where the Montreal Canadiens are playing the Sabres tonight (on TSN!) ... meanwhile Brent Wallace checks in from Ottawa where the Sens are sellers.
Brent: "Bryan Murray arrived here at 20 minutes to 8" Brent mentions that Murray is looking for picks and prospects for players like Chris Neil, Antoine Vermette, and Filip Kuba and doesn't want to "bring any money back."
Brent has apparently been locked out of Scotiabank Place and asks Duthie is he knows anyone who might be able to let him in: "Sadly I don't" says Duthie.
8:25 - We get our first look at The Reporters and Dave Hodge. The Reporters are Michael Farber, Steve Simmons and Damien Cox. "Make no mistake James, it is morning" Dave Hodge's razor-sharp wit gets up a lot earlier than you do.
8:28 - Michael Farber is comparing TradeCentre to a wedding-dress sale.
8:33 - Duthie: ".... Bill Guerin is still sitting at home waiting to find out where he's going to be... 6 hours and 26 minutes until the deadline..." Really? Is that all?
8:35 - McKenzie: "... Dominic Moore feels he's taking a home-town discount... Moore is likely to be traded... same thing in Ottawa with Chris Neil and Filip Kuba" Dreger and McKenzie are staring straight at their Blackberries like Lions staring at their prey.
Dreger: "The negotiation for Tim Connolly (and the Sabres) is expected to pick up at 9:00 a.m this morning..."
8:37 - Time for a Sportscentre update! Dutchy: "The Senators don't need Chris Neil! They've got Jason Spezza! Did ya see him get his flippers off against Dion Phaneuf last night?" Seriously, that was really something. Spezza took on Phaneuf after Phaneuf hit Dany Heatley hard. It was really something. Sure Spezza was just holding on for dear life but give Spezza credit for standing in there.
8:40 - Will Martinez sends this e-mail from Montreal:
"What are the odds O'Toole gets dealt today? The Morning Loop could use some more size up front"
I'll say. O'Toole makes Darren "The Pale Rider" Pang look like Clint Eastwood himself. By the way O'Toole is probably 6 hours and 26 minutes from getting out of bed.
8:42 - Another e-mail. This one from Jordan Williamson:
"How do the boys in the TradeCentre studio go to the bathroom without missing any breaking news? Does Pierre wear a diaper?"
I believe the term is ADULT DiAPER. Please show some respect Jordan. I also understand that TSN Bedpans are in use and will be auctioned off after the show.
8:43 - Barnaby on Bouwmeester: "I would trade him... this is a guy (teams like Philly) will overpay for... you can't let a guy like this walk away for free..."
8:44 - McGuire: "I wouldn't be surprised to see Florida trade Nick Boynton... letting Bouwmeester go for nothing would be a disaster!" Pierre is absolutely fired up!
8:47 - Dave Weatherall writes: ".... TSN HD is unavailable at the moment in Ottawa... " it's unavailable at the moment on my TV in Toronto as well... so in case you were wondering if we are on the air... we are... just switch to SD for now... I'm sure someone is working on this... if TSN execs are reading this they may want to get someone on this... hopefully we didn't spend all our money on analysts only to have none left for Broadcast Engineers. That's what happens when you're working in a salary cap system
8:49 - I now have to do a live satellite interview with Duthie from my couch... back in a sec...
8:53 - And... I'm back... wow I was really really ugly on television... and yes... I really do have an 8 X 10 picture of Gino Reda at my house. Who doesn't?
8:54 - Duthie plays "Which player would you trade for today?" with Jay Feaster and Peter Laviolette and Matthew Barnaby
Jokinen or Ryan Smyth?
Feaster: "Are you joking? Smyth"
Barnaby: "Too many years and too much money left for Smyth... Jokinen"
Guerin or Rechhi:
Barnaby: "Guerin... has a little bit more left in the tank"
Feaster: "Recchi... he's been outstanding this year"
Clemmensen or Tellqvist:
Barnaby: "Tellqvist" (ed. note: Really?)
Eric Cole or Matthew Lombardi:
Laviolette: "Cole" (duh)
Filip Kuba or Jordan Leopold:
Barnaby: "Leopold... underrated""
9:00 - Gord Miller: " just spoke to a GM... all those guys who were scratched last night are going somewhere!"
Dreger on Tkachuk: "They (the Blues) don't know what they're going to do with Keith Tkachuk..."
McKenzie on Anaheim: "... Sami Pahlsson, Travis Moen... the Ducks have an awful lot of unrestricted free agents that teams are inquiring about..."
9:03 - Duthie updates us and says that Keith Jones is on his way! We were running short of analysts so I think the nation is breathing a collective sigh of relief
9:04 - Tyler D'Alfonso e-mails and asks:
"Do you have a Jim Van Horne coffee mug?"
No I don't. TSN hasn't produced their series of "Classic Mugs" yet. Once they do I'll get a JVH mug and of course, a David Pratt mug. For now I'm just happy to have my Gino Reda mug.
9:05 - James Duthie informs us that Pierre is wandering around the studio again meaning something could be up.
9:07 - Grant Bragg e-mails (thanks for all your e-mails by the way keep them coming... I will be collecting the best e-mails for future articles throughout the week)... Grant wonders:
"Where can I get one of those Gino Reda mugs?"
I have to admit I'm amazed at how many people are e-mailing wondering where they can get a Gino Reda mug. We may have to add that item to the TSN online store. People seem to want to be able to order mugs with their favourite TSN anchor. Chris McElwain e-mails and says: "How about an O'Toole lunch box?" That may be pushing it.
9:10 - James Duthie just said: "There's a conception out there... " Did he mean perception? Or is someone actually making a baby this early in the morning?
9:11 - Brad Ackerson writes from Fredericton, NB:
"Why is Pierre McGuire staring at Dutchy like that? He looks like he is contemplating taking a bite out of him?"
Hey it's early. Pierre is hungry.
Brian Budgell asks:
"Does Pierre always stand that close to people? He reminds me of the close talker from Seinfeld!"
Leave Pierre alone people! He's keeping all the other analysts awake with his energy!
Justin Sinding asks:
"Would you ever consider growing the Gino Reda original mustache?"
The answer is HELL YES. I was thinking of doing it for the playoffs this year.
AJ Marr writes:
"Looking for a Geraldo Rivera mug on ebay right now. Pretend its Gino once I get it"
Good stategy. I am absolutely floored by the amount of people who want that mug. Gino is a national icon. Let's put any debate about that to rest right now.
9:20 - James Duthie begins his "Cross Canada checkup"
Leafs trade bait: Antropov, Kaberle (injured last night likely going nowhere), Moore, Ponikarovsky, Stajan, Stempniak, White (I heard he's practically untouchable ... I have to admit I really like Ian White and not just because of his mustache)
9:21 - Cory Woron says "Brian Burke told us there are multiple offers for Moore and Antropov"
9:22 - TSN's Sara Orlesky just e-mailed me and said I'm looking "pretty good in my housecoat" Thank you Sara. Maybe it will become my trademark. Hugh Hefner has his smoking jacket. I have my Raisin Bran-stained robe.
9:24 - Barnaby on Dominic Moore: "... he wants to make 2.5 to 3 million? That's ludicrous!"
9:25 - Pierre on Nik Antropov: "... you give up a first round pick for him? No way. C'mon!"
Michel Gonzalez e-mails:
"What's the number to call to make a pledge for this telethon?"
Ryan Delorme wonders:
"Does the coffee actually taste better when drinking it out of the Gino Reda mug?"
It sure does. It tastes like the sweat of a Canadian broadcast legend. What? What?
Matthew Potts has a good suggestion:
"TSN needs to start a cross promotion with a fast food restaurant chain and offer up bobble-head dolls of all the best on-air personalities"
Dan O'Toole is already a walking, living, breathing bobble-head doll and you don't have to purchase a fish sandwich to get him. Just make sure there is beer in the fridge and don't make him pick up the cheque.
9:30 - James Duthie speaks live to Mark Recchi over the phone. Recchi is expected to be dealt today:
Recchi: " ... you hope there's an opportunity out there... I really haven't heard anything... at this point you'd think I'd have a little bit of communication (with Lightning GM Brian Lawton) ... this could be it... my last run... "
Gary Almeida writes in to say what we are all thinking:
"Obviously Gino Reda is a national icon. He's is TSN's equivalent of Hulk Hogan and Barack Obama"
9:36 - Hey! There's me blogging! They just showed a live shot of me Thank God they put this live camera in my place. I hope they take it out of here after the day is over because I don't want people to be able to see what I do here on my off days (hint: I'm a knitter)
9:37 - Dreger with actual news: "... a 2-year deal is on the table (for Tim Connolly with Buffalo) at better than 4 million per season"
9:39 - McKenzie shoots down idiotic rumours: "There's one out there that has Mason Raymond, Kevin Bieksa and a first round pick to Florida for Jay Bouwmeester.. that in fact is not the case... in fact... if the Canucks actually made that offer there's a good chance Florida would take it"
McKenzie: "... At this point when teams are calling the Canucks and asking about Mattias Ohlund (about to be an unrestricted free agent) they are being told he's not available"
9:42 - Chris Finlay writes in to ask:
"Are you going to keep blogging past 3 p.m to ensure you don't miss any trades?"
Sure. Rub in the fact that a few years ago I stopped blogging at 3 p.m due to exaustion, only to miss the Ryan Smyth trade, the biggest one of the day. I took a lot of heat for that, but at least I didn't read about the Ryan Smyth trade on New York Newsday's website and try to pass it off as my own. Or worse, report that Smyth had signed with the Oilers, only to have Edmonton trade him hours later.
I am blogging right up until 6 p.m EST today. Keep it here!
Michael Barber writes:
Line of the morning from Dave Hodge: "How dare the trades get in the way of the game"
Jennifer Thomson from Dartmouth, N.S. asks:
"What is your favourite part of Trade Deadline day?"
Isn't it obvious? Running up the bids for my Gino Reda mug. We're currently at 6 dollars (Canadian)
9:48 - James Duthie checks in with Brent Wallace who has apparently been allowed to enter Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. Brent says that Chris Neil came up to him and asked if any trades had been made yet! Brent says that Chris Neil's wife really wants to stay in Ottawa and that Chris even wants his kids to go to the same day care that Brent's kids go to. James Duthie thinks it's a mistake for the Neil kids to mix with the Wallace kids. Regardless this is an interesting development. Maybe Neil will be able to get a contract worked out with the Senators after all.
9:51 - Keith Jones has arrived in the studio!
9:52 - Bob McKenzie with real news! Filip Kuba has signed a 3-year contract extension with the Ottawa Senators at $3.7 million a year! Looks like he's sticking around.
Dreger says that Bryan Murray "has a deal in place to move Chris Neil... likely with the San Jose Sharks... Bryan Murray will make 'one more push' to keep Neil in Ottawa as Brent reported"
Check out Page 2 of Onrait's blog to continue!