Buzz Trades, a Big Game, a Big-Buzz Atmosphere Stream of Consciousness

Was in the then MCI Center the night of March 13, 2001 — also deadline day — when earlier in the day GMGM dealt Zednik and Bulis and a pick to Montreal for Zubrus and Linden, and the mood in last night’s rink felt larger and more significant . . . that dealmaking carried a component of risk; this was pure aggression with minimal assets heading out . . . the better comparison may be with March 1997, carried out not in a single day but over the course of a couple of weeks, when McPhee, in his first season on the job, added Brian Belllows and Esa Tikkanen . . . Enjoyed most of all throughout the late Tuesday afternoon and evening messages from friends and strangers who were busy with business throughout the day and wholly unaware of the deadline day madness that enveloped the Caps, who arrived at the news late and lavished it (in my email inbox) with happy obscenities and exclamation points . . . Mike Vogel, looking terrifically telegenic, rinkside on Comcast in the 5:00 hour to help analyze the breaking big news, me comparing his polished appearance before TV DC with his pre-sunrise, blogging-through-the-Moscow-night, comrade shagginess with me during last year’s Worlds . . . big bonus: dinner with Ron Weber in the press room on such a big day . . . look at all the media big wigs who show up when hockey creates the day’s sports buzz: George Solomon of the Post, three Times’ reporters, the one-time Queen of OFB even, I think I may have even seen Arch Campbell in Bruce Boudreau’s post-game presser . . . Ted’s box is filled as I hadn’t seen it since perhaps opening night . . . Commissioner Bettman, in his pre-game presser: “This is a team that has been built on prospects and for the future” . . . He’s in town for some chit-chat on the Hill about drugs and athletes, and he mentions “players as role models” and a clear concern that his sport not be painted with a broad brush of they-all-do-it cynicism: “What goes on in one sport doesn’t [necessarily] go on in others” . . . “We’ve had one player in two-and-a-half years caught [for performance enhancing drugs],” and he references the tough remedies that face the offenders — a quarter-of-a-season suspension, three-quarter-of-a-season, three strikes and you’re out . . . and I think, Bud Selig he ain’t, but it’s also true that this sport has a much different relationship with its players union than all the rest . . . He is also asked about the prevalence of players exercising the “No” in their no-trade clauses: “Nobody makes a club give a player a no-trade clause” . . . I ask the commissioner about Ted’s expressed wish to take the team on a goodwill tour of Russia, “sooner rather than later,” and he expresses cautious support. When he references what a “big deal” it’s going to be for Jagr to return to Prague next season, I think I have my answer about the likelihood of Ovechkin’s returning to Moscow . . . He also acknowledges that the league today doesn’t have the relationship with the Russian Hockey Federation it once did . . . Even the arena’s game night personnel working in catering and as ushers seem buoyed by the day’s big news — they are all chipper and wide smiling in every encounter. . . On a day like today I appreciate the professionalism and the quasi-renaissance of renewed hockey coverage by our town’s two print beat reporters, both of whom blogged and filed on Tuesday until their fingers were sore, giving Washington hockey fans timely and superb breaking news; following Corey’s blog a bit during the game, I chuckled at his reflection “at some point I’ll eat” . . . Midway through the game I have a minimial amount of notes and reactions recorded, as friendly folks keep bending my ear for reaction and basic “Can you believe all this?” empathy, vanquishing my between-periods composition, and I relish it . . . Peter Bondra is back in the press box tonight, and on the ice sheet below the young prospect he was traded for, Brooks Laich, is having a career night, and I just sorta like the symmetry of that . . . in the second row of the press box, where the Caps’ communications staff works each game, I see each and every one of them, no one missing, and I think there’s so much work for them to do on a day like this they all have to be here, but it’s probably also the case that such a day makes a Caps’ staffer proud to have the careers they do, and they want to be in the rink, well dressed, helpful, and full of good cheer . . . very loud rock music typically greets bloggers and press in the post-game locker room after victories, but tonight it’s quiet, and I infer that the day’s drama has drained the entire team, that they want as efficient an encounter with media as possible, hot showers, and a race home to crash in bed . . . the circle of cameras and microphones and scribes around Kolzig is unlike anything I have seen in two years — it’s five-deep at turns, and Tarik has to make like a gymnast to get his recorder squeezed into some open space around Kolzig’s locker . . . no one much asks Olie the Goalie about the game, instead, The Trade . . . question after question on the trade: was he shocked? was he upset? how can it possibly work with three netminders? did the team approach him about a trade? . . . he says, among other things, “The thing that surprises me is that there’s three goalies here” . . . Coach Boudreau acknowledges the challenge of managing three netminders, but he dismisses a contention that the day’s developments insult the greatest goalie in Caps’ history; he maintains that the consumate professional will rise to meet the new challenge . . . Here’s hoping Fedorov this spring is Bellows of ’98, Matt Cooke that year’s Esa Tikkanen, Olie Kolzig . . . Olie Kolzig.

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This entry was posted in Brooks Laich, Corey Masisak, Dainius Zubrus, Gary Bettman, Lindsay Czarniak, Mike Vogel, Morning cup-a-joe, NHL Trades, Olaf Kolzig, Peter Bondra, Print, Tarik El-Bashir, Washington Post, Washington Times. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Buzz Trades, a Big Game, a Big-Buzz Atmosphere Stream of Consciousness

  1. Bob says:

    Great day yesterday!
    Brooks Laich – awesome, Olie – awesome, trades – awesome, Bradley and Steckel kicking butt – awesome, fans sticking it to Backstrom as he got lit up – awesome!

  2. Matt says:

    You might try hitting the “return” key once or twice. =)

  3. You might try enrolling in a lit class at OSU.

  4. hockeygrl76 says:

    He got so excited that he just couldn’t manage it!! 🙂

  5. That had better be “one-time Queen of OFB,” since I should be the current one 😛

  6. As if you even had to ask . . .

  7. pepper says:

    Except Matt Cooke will bury any attempts at a wide open net!

  8. Matt says:

    whatever man. its a huge mass of text.
    And I graduated last year but thanks for the tip.

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