Some Canadian sports network executives might be getting a little nervous in the days leading up to the NHL trade deadline.
In the past three weeks, we’ve seen significant trades around the league on a daily basis. It’s almost like general managers have banded together to make all of the significant trades before our big day of television.
So what happens if there are no trades to be had on the actual deadline day itself? How will we fill eight hours of coverage on Monday?
Viewers of Rogers Sportsnet shouldn’t worry about a lack of blockbuster trades on Feb. 28th. We’ve come up with a compelling Plan B, to make sure you are thoroughly entertained between the hours of 8 a.m.-3 p.m. ET.
8:02 a.m. — In an effort to spice things up, Daren Millard will introduce each member of the Hockeycentral panel by mentioning their career lowlights. “We welcome Denis Potvin, who was part of the Islanders team who lost to the Oilers in the Stanley Cup final in 1984.”
And despite the fact that he guided the Florida Panthers to their greatest season ever and brought Rick Nash to Columbus, Doug MacLean’s font will read: “Guy Who Drafted Nikolai Zherdev.” This will get the panel members in an ornery mood, which should make for good television.
8:30 a.m. — A special airing of the Alex Kovalev skills DVD. Time slot purchased by Bryan Murray.
9:41 a.m. — We welcome Brad May to our trade deadline show, by having him re-enact his famous “May Day” overtime goal in the studio. Our resident goalie John Garrett will pretend to be Andy Moog in this skit. And a fallen studio chair will play the role of Raymond Bourque.
10:02 a.m. — Time to go live to the reporters around the country. But instead of talking about the Maple Leafs, Arash Madani will throw to another one of his banked features on Milos Raonic.
10:18 a.m. — We list every member of the hockey media who ridiculed the Calgary Flames at some point this season. This should eat up at least 45 minutes.
11:05 a.m. — For old time’s sake, Bruce Garrioch will interrupt the program from the breaking news desk to announce the Senators are interested in Gary Roberts.
11:22 a.m. — We go upstairs to a darkened room, where Eklund will….oh wait…this appears to be an old deadline day script.
12:03 p.m. — For the first time on network television, a teary-eyed Nick Kypreos admits he may have possibly purposely fallen into Grant Fuhr during the Toronto-St. Louis playoff series in 1996.
12:55 p.m. — In order to plant a seed of doubt in the minds of Canucks fans, we’ll have a needless re-airing of Game 3 of the 2002 playoff series between Vancouver and Detroit. In the Lower Mainland, this is simply known as “The Dan Cloutier Game.”
1:47 p.m. — Ten years later we re-visit who won the biggest trade from Deadline Day 2001: Edmonton trading Dan LaCouture to Pittsburgh for Sven Butenschon.
2:12 p.m. — We use our live camera inside the Leafs war room to see how many opposing GMs phone Toronto in the final hour before the deadline and ask to speak with John Ferguson Jr.
2:55 p.m. — In his first five-minute video essay for Sportsnet, Stephen Brunt wonders if Canadian television networks go overboard with their coverage of NHL trade deadline day.