You’ve got your computer all ready.  All of the best news sites are bookmarked and ready to go.  You’ve got Tweetdeck open and you’re following anyone and everyone who could possibly break any news.  You’re streaming video and audio and anything else you can think of.  Your smart phone is receiving updates by the second.  You pulled out your old radio and you bought an extra TV, just to make sure you don’t miss anything.  You may have even taken the day off work.

And now what?

Tomas Kaberle was traded last week.  James Neal was dealt over the weekend.  With so many teams still in playoff contention, ther may not be many blockbusters left.

Sure, there will probably be some trades on Monday, but you didn’t buy a bedpan and stay on the couch for seven hours straight just to hear that a conditional sixth round pick has been sent to Nashville in exchange for future considerations.  If there aren’t a lot of deals on Monday, you’ll probably end up looking for some ways to pass the time and alleviate boredom.  Thankfully, we here at HOTH are excellent at passing time with meaningless activities, so we’re going to help you out!

  • Use the day off work to spend time with your friends/significant other/children/pets.  Obviously, leave the TV on the background so that you can hear if any important news actually does break.  Note: under no circumstances should you consider working.  Most businesses in Canada (and some hockey mad cities in the United States) assume zero levels of productivity on trade deadline day.  Completing any work will just serve to confuse your boss and disturb him or her from watching deadline coverage.
  • If you have no friends or relatives nearby, that’s even better.  You’ll be able to spend the day in your pajamas, watching TV, eating Fruity Pebbles and surfing the Internet without having to worry about anyone walking in and judging you.
  • Wait quietly until the newspaper is delivered the next morning and find out all about what happened yesterday.
  • Set up a panel of your own around your kitchen table using stuffed animals and/or your cats.  If any trades do actually go through, make sure to ask every member of the furry panel how they feel about the deal and whether or not it will shake up the Western Conference.  Do not feel offended if your cat leaves the group to check its Blackberry.  He’s just breaking another deal.
  • Spend the free time rolling up another rim in a hopeless attempt to win.

  • Round up some rusty tools, damaged electronics and scratched DVDs from around your house.  Trade these items to your neighbour for a chair with only three legs, some rotten fruit and tattered clothing.  Now you’ll know just how Greg Sherman and Bryan Murray felt when they traded Craig Anderson for Brian Elliott.
  • Call Brian Burke and offer him two first-round draft picks for Phil Kessel.  Laugh at how excited he gets.
  • Play “Be A GM Mode” on NHL 11 and entertain yourself for hours laughing every time it says “This proposal in front of me is almost insulting” when you attempt a deal that actually went through earlier in the week.
  • Try not to cry as the realization that your team’s playoff hopes are dead suddenly hits you.
  • Convince one of your children that it’s in the best interest of the family that he be traded to a family in Detroit. If he starts to cry, remind him that he does not have a no trade clause. Note: This works best with your oldest child. He or she will grow up first and likely want to go to an expensive college after graduating from high school. Shipping this kid off for a younger child will give you more time to pay off your mortgage before the whole college thing happens.
  • We’re pretty sure that days like this are meant for watching videos of monkeys on the toilet, dogs wearing clothes and rabbits sneezing on YouTube.
  • Call, text and email all of your friends and co-workers pretending that a huge trade just went through. When they ask “REALLY!?” say “No, but wouldn’t that be awesome?” Repeat throughout the day.
  • Spend time researching minor league and college teams across North America so that you can sound like an expert when an obscure and seemingly minor deal goes through. If this information isn’t useful at the trade deadline don’t worry, the draft will be here before you know it.
  • Frequently fax the NHL offices to tie up their lines, frustrating general managers across the country.