The hockey world has been buzzing with all the recent trade activity involving the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, and other teams since last weekend. The buzz is expected to continue in preparation for the Olympic trade freeze and the actual NHL trade deadline in March.
We all know a number of trades will happen between now and the March 3rd deadline. What we don’t know are some of the behind the scenes things that happen when a trade is made. Here’s a few behind the scenes details you may not know about the trades that occurred over the last few days.
- It is common practice for nearly every NHL club to inform all media outlets of a trade 24-48 hours before their next game. It’s expected that the traded players announced play one final game with their existing club and try not to get injured. Doing this builds added suspense/buzz/positive PR that the NHL loves. Of course, the Calgary Flames and New York Rangers are two of the few teams who don’t do this.
- Most NHL organizations and their PR teams give players a checklist of things to do after being traded. The list includes:
- Trade cliché quotes like “If Wayne Gretzky can be traded, anyone can” and “I’m just going to keep things simple and play my game”.
- Details of the transaction and a reminder that the trade is non-reversible. That is, unless you’ve been dealt to Edmonton. In which case, the player can reject the deal at any time – even if press conferences have been set up.
- Interview talking points if traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s suggested required that you say “I’m looking forward to being a Maple Leaf” a minimum of of 31 one times per interview.
- Upon learning about the trade involving Matt Stajan, Ian White, Jamal Mayers, and Nick Hagman, Jason Blake quickly said to each of them “glad you were traded and not me”. I think there’s a lesson to be learned about speaking too quickly or something there…
- The Phoenix Coyotes have actually been trying to trade “the rights to be bought and moved by Jim Ballsillie” to Atlanta for some time now. No idea if the Thrashers are biting on this.
Stay classy, NHL trades.