Deadline madness

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

Call this an Idiot's Guide to the NHL Trade Deadline. Or maybe, Deadline for Dummies.

- 6 a.m.: Get up, have a shower and an extra-large breakfast (two bowls of cereal instead of one) because you never know when you'll get another chance to eat.

- 6:30 a.m.: Turn on the computer, make sure you're signed up for TSN and Sun Media text alerts for breaking news all day. Also, submit your own trade ideas to Sportsnet's "You Be the GM" promotion.

- 6:50 a.m.: Carry your upstairs TV down to the rec room; turn them both on to make sure they're working.

- 7 a.m.: The first of 10-hours of tube coverage begins, live on both TSN and Rogers Sportsnet. No need for the mute button -- by now you've mastered the art of listening to both at the same time (reminder: need to come up with a way to explain that to your wife).

- 7:30 a.m.: No trades in the first 30 minutes. The big question: what if Sportsnet reads your proposal on the air -- do you wake up your wife with the news? Wisely decide against it.

- 7:40 a.m.: Still no deals. Hear your wife get up and mutter something about the TV set, direct her to the note reminding her that 1.7 million Canadians (a.k.a. LOSERS!) are doing the same thing you are.

- 8 a.m.: Do your best to avoid nodding off at all the speculation. Stay awake by seeing if you can match faces to names on TSN's Trade Breaker Desk, its Deadline Panel and its Reporters Panel. Then do the same with all the Sportsnet panels. When all else fails, count the panels on the rec room wall.

- 8:30 a.m.: Leave the boss a voice mail, complete with appropriate coughing sounds, saying you don't feel up to going to the office. (This year, you remember to turn down the TVs.)

- 8:45 a.m.: Yell "Good-bye, honey!" whether or not you hear your wife leaving for work.

- 8:56 a.m.: You are jolted from a nap by the vibrator on your BlackBerry. An e-mail alert! Ottawa has picked up a backup goalie. Good heavens! Confirm the news with the six different TV panels, plus onsite reporters. Then get more analysis than the Wayne Gretzky trade got 20 years ago.

- 9 a.m.: Over to the computer to check an array of websites, all of which are reporting and analyzing the same blockbuster deal.

- 9:05--10:30 a.m.: Nothing to talk about, but plenty of talking heads doing just that.

- 11 a.m.: Set satellite radio to Hockey Night in Canada's radio trade deadline show. Because you just can't have too much coverage of nothing.

- 11:40 a.m.: Things finally start to get hot and heavy, challenging your one-task-at-a-time male brain like never before. Keep score on which TV network and which websites are winning. Check to see how trades will affect your fantasy team, and make appropriate moves of your own on the BlackBerry. Remember to tell your wife later that you now understand what it was like for her to plan your wedding day.

- 5 p.m.: A special, hour-long edition of TSN's Sportscentre recaps the moves, presumably for those viewers who missed a trade during a bathroom break. You didn't, thanks to that ingenious hose-and-bottle setup your buddy told you about last year.

- 6 p.m.: Settle in for TSN's pre-game show, for another recap of the day's activity.

- 6:05 p.m.: Shout, "Welcome home, honey!" whether or not you hear your wife return from work.

- 7 p.m.: Take a break from watching the Habs and Sabres to go upstairs. Do NOT ask your wife what's for dinner. Settle for a bag of Doritos.

- 9 p.m.: Another edition of Sportscentre. Just in case.

-10:30-11 p.m.: For perspective No. 300 on the day, take in TSN's special trade deadline edition of Off the Record.

-11:01 p.m.: Just when you think it's over, your Blackberry buzzes one more time. It's a text message from your wife. She's traded you for her massage therapist.


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