The trade deadline is one of the most overhyped days on the NHL calendar, but, since I’m a sucker for manufactured drama, I’ll be up bright and early in the morning to watch all of the non-action live. Or perhaps I just enjoy watching the TSN crew desperately clawing for something to report for hours upon hours until finally James Duthie snaps, steals Darren Dreger’s phone and starts frantically dialling numbers to ensure the outside world hasn’t ceased to exist.
My favourite part of watching the trade deadline is seeing three different desks full of analysts breathlessly breaking down a trade involving a depth defenceman, a career AHL-er, and a draft pick because it’s the only trade that has happened in the last four hours.
This time around, the trade deadline looks like it’s going to be even more dull than normal. Here are 5 reasons why:
Columbus Blue Jackets’ GM Scott Howson has been taking a reputation-beating of his own doing over the past year or so. He moved a great two-way player in Antoine Vermette. He got rid of Jeff Carter in exchange for Jack Johnson. He apparently turned down a deal for Rick Nash at the deadline, a guy he’s been trying to move, that would’ve sent basically all of the Rangers’ good young players to his team (all rumours on that, of course).
And now…he’s fixed his goalie problem with Sergei Bobrovsky.
Fixing the problem with Bobrovsky as a stand-alone decision is not the world’s worst thing. Had they signed him as a free agent or something. But take the following tweets into consideration:
Johnson: "It's so nice to know that Scott Howson wants me in Columbus." Nash: "...I hate you so much right now." Jamie Sabau, Getty Images
The NHL trade deadline is one of the most over-hyped events in the NHL and this deadline was no exception. It took 2 hours from the start of the day for the first legitimate trade rumour to hit Twitter, as Bob McKenzie caught wind of Andrei Kostitsyn heading to Nashville, and in the end, only 16 trades were made.
It was a simple case of too many buyers and not enough sellers, as even a team like the Carolina Hurricanes, currently in 14th in the Eastern Conference, didn’t make a single trade. With Rick Nash staying put, everything was mostly quiet on the Western front; the biggest noise came after the deadline passed, as news came down that the Vancouver Canucks had sent Cody Hodgson to the Sabres for Zack Kassian.
That doesn’t mean that there weren’t other moves and other teams made some significant deals to improve their fortunes heading into the playoffs, while other teams repositioned themselves for next season.
With so few big names moved, it might have been tricky to keep track of who went where and why. As an intelligent hockey fan, you will likely be expected to provide an opinion on the trade deadline to your co-workers, friends, and family. Don’t get stuck for an answer. Allow me to help. Here’s your opinion:
Obviously the two big ones to sneak in here are Cody Hodgson and Zack Kassian. Neither player was expected to move during the deadline, but they ended up being exchanged for one another after all. At 3:35 pm when their trades broke they became the most talked about traded players on the day. Kassian led all traded players in number of mentions despite, realistically, still being a prospect.
Rick Nash was obviously the big name to be thrown out there and has been for some time now. As people played the will he or won’t he game, he was mentioned over 17,000 times and reached a potential of 16 million impressions. These numbers will be interesting to revisit once the Blue Jackets are able to explore trades for him again.
Kostitsyn was the first player to be dealt on the deadline and was the closest player to Nash territory, impression wise. His 11,014 mentions garnered him the potential to reach 15 million impressions. Not too bad for a guy who nobody knew would be getting dealt on Monday.
All in all, trade deadline day is a fascinating way to see how we talk hockey online and all the ways it can possibly break down. Even if it was a bit of a dud by history’s standards, thanks for taking part folks. It was a ton of fun for me.
During every trade deadline some teams stand out among the rest, and this year’s edition was no different as the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins all figured to be big players along with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks.
All of those teams put up big numbers in the social media circles today after their trade deadline antics. The Red Wings, who figured to play a larger role than they did, were only mentioned 5,742 times. Sure it seems like a lot, but when you compare that to the Predators who were active, picking up Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad, and mentioned 8,888 times, it’s not that much activity. The Red Wings have a much bigger fanbase though, as they had 9 million impressions to the Predators 12 million, despite the big disparity in tweets. Simply put, the Preds fanbase just doesn’t have the social media presence other teams do. Detroit on the other hand was expected to be active on deadline day but simply didn’t pull the trigger on anything. Kyle Quincey was their big acquisition this past week.
The Stanley Cup combatants in Vancouver and Boston were also very active and close in terms of mentions. The Canucks were mentioned 12, 326 times to the Bruins 11,151, while the Canucks reached a much bigger audience with their 28 million impressions to the Bruins 15 million. Boston made several moves today, but they ultimately couldn’t keep up with the presence of the Canadian teams online who really dominated twitter.
The Canucks had the highest number of tweets at a given time because of the Hodgson-Kassian swap which broke at 3:35 pm.
As many of you know, we’ve been tracking social media chatter for the deadline and unveiled our first infographic earlier today with some names rumored to be moving. This one concerns everyone’s favorite media hub, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
How’s this for the center of the universe? The Toronto Maple Leafs who, realistically, did nothing on trade deadline day were a social media behemoth as their fans clamored to figure out what deals, if any, Brian Burke would be making. Here is a brief rundown of the Leafs social media action.
The Leafs were mentioned over 30,000 times on Twitter from 8 pm on Sunday night until the 3 pm NHL Trade Deadline. That many mentions resulted in over 40 million impressions.
Ironically, the most talked about player in all of the Leafs banter was Rick Nash who isn’t actually a Leaf at all. Rather, it was Leafs fans begging and pleading with Burke and Co. to bring Nash to his hometown team. It didn’t happen.
Of course, the Leafs did make one trade today as Keith Aulie was swapped for Carter Ashton. Note the spike in Ashton mentions (over 1,900) once he was brought into the fold in Toronto. Ashton’s numbers doubled those of Mikhail Grabovski who had Brian Burke come out and openly state that he wouldn’t be trading #84 an hour and a half before he picked up Ashton.