Deadlines, cellphones and a 'Suitcase'

CRASH CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

Do you need any further proof that this whole NHL Trade Deadline thing has gotten waaa-aaay out of control? Some broadcasts have been on the air since SIX A.M.!?!

Do these people not have anything better to do? Like sleep.

I'm sidling up to a tube, energy drink in hand, way earlier than my day normally begins just to soak it all in. And you thought this was an easy job?

Four hours of airtime in, the nation and I can continue the day knowing everything we've never needed to know about Antoine Vermette.

Wait ... TSN's Bob McKenzie is the first to report that Oli Jokinen MIGHT be going to Calgary.

Jokinen is interesting:

- "He's scored points no matter where he's gone."

- "And he still continues to get traded."

- "He's never made it to the playoffs."

- "He's kind of a goofy guy." (Apparently he gets along well with Mike Keenan, so that statement is self-evident.)

- "He's a chicken Finn."

Oh, wait ... Jokinen has been traded. It's been confirmed. Unquestionably. I read it on the ticker running underneath Regis and Kelly. Or was it The View?

MOCKERY OF A SHAM

Then again ... I'm making all this mockery of a sham of an enigma, but, despite the overkill, it doesn't kill the Canadian appetite for things hockey, things NHL.

As I tap and watch and listen here at the office, there has been a steady stream of co-workers drifting under the elevated TV asking, "Any news about the Oilers?" Or, "Have the Flames picked up anybody else?" (Those, of course, come after the first question: "What are YOU doing here this early?")

That said ... can I go back to mockery now?

McKenzie just reached for his cellphone.

Survey says he is talking to:

A/ An NHL agent

B/ His wife

C/ Nick Kypreos

D/ The "barrister" in London, England, who is speaking on behalf of his royal Nigerian client who needs someone to caretake a massive bank account.

As of noon-thirty MT, T-minus forever until deadline, the most common answer of the day from all correspondents is: "Nothing so far."

How about a little history? Gary Smith was an NHL goalie in the early '70s. He became infamously known as "Suitcase" Smith. He played for SIX teams.

"Suitcase" would barely qualify as Gary "Fanny Pack" Smith today!

As soon as Bill Guerin suited up with the New York Islanders, he'd already passed Smith. Will he be called Billy "Great Eight" Guerin with the Penguins?

Even including Mark Recchi's THREE stints as a Penguin as one, and his TWO as a Flyer as one, he's left "Suitcase" gasping Amazing Race-style on the tarmac as he boards for Boston.

Oh, wait ... Kypreos is reporting that the Bruins may have traded Recchi to Pittsburgh for Guerin. Awaiting confirmation. After he gets off the phone. To Bob McKenzie.

In Edmonton, a buzz is created when coach Craig MacTavish is pulled from the ice during a practice. Either he's been traded to the New York Rangers for the rights to Tom Renney and a Perry Pearn to be named later - or he had to go to the little boy's room.

IRISH ALES

Breaking alert: Oilers may have acquired Patrick O'Sullivan. Official announcement sure to be made at a certain Irish pub on Whyte.

Speaking of Irish pubs, now that the Kotalik-O'Sullie-Erik "Merry Ol' " Cole four-team deal has been completed, the Oilers have cornered the market on players named Ales.

Wait ... TSN's Bob McKenzie is reporting ... his phone has run out of minutes.

Can't wait for next year.

DAVID.CAMERON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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