One of the cleverer conceits from The Simpsons, back when it was still a relevant cultural marker, was the sign above the Royal King trailer park.
It read, you’ll recall: Days Without A Tornado, and the answer on a removable panel was ‘14’.
So with apologies to Matt Groening, or whoever the Simpsons overlord is these days, a riff on the NHL trade deadline.
Days Since Last Move Anyone Cared About: 12.
That would be the big Casey Wellman for Erik Christensen deal between Minnesota and the Rangers, which saw Christensen, who is pretty handy in the shootout head to the land of 10,000 lakes on Feb. 3.
Let’s see, how about the Brendan Morrison for Brian Connelly (who he?) transaction between the Flames and Hawks on Jan. 27 that appears to have done exactly nothing to help or hinder either club, Morrison is not the reason for the Hawks’ current slide.
Will some GM please pull trigger on a deal of even trifling consequence, if only to spare us the spectacle of forlorn insiders going on TV every night to speculate about deals that, in all likelihood, aren’t going to happen.
The most glaring example?
This bit of never-in-a-million-billion-years fantasy.
Patrick Kane is not getting traded for a goalie or anyone else, unless that goalie’s name is Pekka Rinne (or an affordable number one like Jonathan Quick, Tuukka Rask or Carey Price, either way, not going to happen).
Yeah, he’s from Buffalo and all that, but would you do Kane for Ryan Miller? For real? Or for Cory Schneider? Really?
And it pains us to say, but this Rick Nash thing is already getting tiresome - sorry, but the suspicion here is it’s not a deadline game-changer, as someone intoned gravely on television the other night.
Speculation is fun, and it’s a worthwhile exercise to look at possible scenarios and dance partners.
But does anyone seriously think, as the rumour mill has it, that Scott Howson is going to trade his shiniest asset for a package of Brandon Dubinsky (6 goals), a former 2009 first-rounder who has yet to play an NHL game (Chris Kreider), and a pick near the very end of next summer’s first round?
That’s only one roster player more than Dustin Penner fetched at last year’s deadline! Pancake Man!
Trading Nash for Jonathan Bernier, Dustin Brown and sundry picks sounds a little closer to plausibility, but again - wouldn’t you ask for a Kopitar or at least a Johnson if you were Howson?
The talk coming out of Columbus evokes nothing more than it does a homeowner in a very desirable part of town throwing a For Sale sign on the lawn to see if some sucker is willing to pay an extortionate way-above-market price.
It’s eminently possible that players like Nash or Kane will move on to new cities, but hard-headed analysis suggests they will fetch a higher price in summer time, when more pieces are on the chessboard.
None of this is to hack on anyone at TSN, or ESPN or Sportsnet.
These people, pros all, have nothing to work with, and several daily slots to fill So please, pretty please, somebody do something involving an actual NHL player.
We’d even settle for Chris Campoli for a conditional seventh-rounder, which is about all this depressed market can bear these days.