SBD/March 1, 2011/Media

NHL Trade Deadline Coverage Over The Top Given Lack Of Major Deals

Rogers Sportsnet criticized for overkill coverage of NHL trade deadline
Coverage of the NHL trade deadline has become filled with "live feeds of guys doing nothing and networks claiming scoops for the most inconsequential of trades," according to Steve Buffery of the TORONTO SUN. The "live feed of the Maple Leafs 'situation room' on Rogers Sportsnet takes the cake" as the "most boring spectacle ever to appear on TV." Every "crappy deal on NHL Trade Deadline Day has become 'Dewey Defeats Truman' big," and for the Canadian sports networks, it is "like Christmas, except with Santa showing up with a bag of coal." There were "precious few interesting trades this year, but the networks had hours of programming to fill and legions of bored hockey insiders waiting to say or do something." The coverage "wouldn't be quite so ridiculous if both networks -- Rogers Sportsnet and TSN -- didn't have so many of these guys." Buffery: "It was incredible. While Pierre McGuire and one panel of hockey insiders yammered on, you could actually see one or two groups of other hockey insiders in the background waiting to get on the air" (TORONTO SUN, 3/1). In Canada, Bob Duff writes under the header, "NHL Trade Deadline Becoming A Dud." Duff: "Even though there were more talking heads than a 1980s new-wave band, there wasn't much accomplished once the dealing was done." Fans can expect deadline day to "continue to be more about bluster than blockbusters" (WINDSOR STAR, 3/1).

DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ: THE HOCKEY NEWS' Ken Campbell noted several "bogus Twitter accounts" reported fake trades ahead of yesterday's trade deadline. Someone posing as Rogers Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos "tweeted that the Montreal Canadiens had acquired Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers for Jarred Tinordi and a first round pick." Maple Leafs RW Joffrey Lupul was "part of a hoax of a deal that had him going to the New York Islanders and someone posing as ESPN.com columnist Pierre LeBrun said Brad Richards was coming to Toronto" (THEHOCKEYNEWS.com, 2/28). In Vancouver, Cam Cole writes the tweets "provided at least a few moments of excitement, even if based on falsehood, during the seven interminable hours of TV panellists kicking around ideas that never came to pass, and a very few that did." They "embarrassed those who were fooled, enraged those whose identities they stole, amused the casual onlookers and got the Twitterverse buzzing with re-tweeted -- or outright stolen -- material that was spread without checking its veracity" (VANCOUVER SUN, 3/1).

NUMBERS GAME: SI.com's Adrian Dater notes the NHL salary cap instituted in '05 "had the intended consequence of cutting down drastically on the number of going-out-business-for-the-year fire sales by teams out of playoff contention." The bad team "with the high-salaried player can't just unload him anymore to the rich, Cup-driving team because the Cup-driving team is already capped out." Red Wings Senior VP & GM Ken Holland: "That's it, in a nutshell. Most of the top teams probably have a pretty good payroll as it is, near the top. It's tough to do much by the deadline." Dater writes the "uncertainty of the NHL's labor situation after next season continues to play a minor role in the lack of major salary additions of players with contracts beyond then, though most influential hockey people believe there won't be any work stoppage this time around" (SI.com, 3/1).
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