The HD Corner – Trade Deadline Preview
With the Super Bowl coming to a dramatic finish, it can only mean that the NHL Trade Deadline is around the corner (February 26th, 3pm ET). With Illegal Curve’s Richard Pollock already getting ready with bags of Doritos and his favourite sweatpants (complete with an elastic waist), I thought I would break down what to expect from each of the big three sports networks’ upcoming broadcasts.
Host: Darren Millard
Insiders: Bill Watters, Nick Kypreos, Gord Stellick
Other Analyst: Eklund
Sportsnet Connected’s laid-back approach will be quite evident during their trade deadline show. This informal broadcast often makes the viewer feel as if they are watching the show with their buddies and joking around; which is how Sportsnet wanted to differentiate itself from TSN when they reformatted Sportsnetnews to Sportsnet Connected last year. Darren Millard’s faux hawk is enough evidence of this casual mentality. Here’s hoping that Bill Watters shows up with a keg, while wearing flip-flops and a Hawaiian shirt.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I always find it kind of awkward when Kypreos’ cell rings on air with breaking trade news, and he then briefly leaves the set to go talk to his inside source. Similar to how Dan Marino’s phone was going off two weeks ago during the NFL playoffs, I’m sure viewers are hoping Kypreos has a custom ring tone this year. (Notable ESPN columnist Bill Simmons thinks the funniest scenario for Marino’s ring tone would be either Gangsta’s Paradise or the Titanic theme). Either the Hockey Night in Canada theme or The Thong Song are my bets for Kypreos’ ring tone this year.
When there is no trade activity, the show is incredibly boring. I guess this is the case with all trade deadline shows, but I recall Bill Watters giving an extensive analysis of a meaningless trade for at least five hours at last season’s deadline to kill time. Watching “Gone With the Wind” for that length of time would have been more entertaining.
Sportsnet could also do without expert insider/FBI agent “Eklund”. First off, enough with the secret identity, Eklund. We all know that you probably live in your parents’ basement and play XBOX 360 online against other nerds. Second of all, come back when you can actually break a story. I don’t need to have to have a secret identity to tell you that teams will be after Mats Sundin this deadline.
Pierre LeBrun has been a welcome addition to the Sportsnet crew this year, and will no doubt show up with a mustard stain on his blazer.
The Token Sports Chick:
Martine Gaillard will hopefully be present for the broadcast as her on-air charisma is second to none. That, and she may be having an ongoing fling with Roger Millions.
Host: James Duthie
Insiders: Darren Dreger, Pierre McGuire, Gord Miller, Bob McKenzie
Other Analysts: Darren Dutchyshen, Jay Onrait
TSN and Sportsnet usually go toe to toe in terms of breaking trades each year, with TSN more often than not prevailing by the end of day. Luckily, TSN will also broadcast its deadline show on TSN broadband throughout the day. This feature will sure make work go by that much quicker on February 26 (and by work I do mean playing Minesweeper for 4+ hours).
TSN just has too many personalities. The cast listed above did not include other possible personalities that could make appearances, such as: Gino Reda, Tie Domi, Keith Jones, James Cybulski, Glenn Healy, Dave Hodge, Holly Horton, Dan O Toole, Rod Smith, and Cory Woron. Maybe Jock Climie will even stop by! While many of these individuals normally do quality work, there isn’t a studio large enough to contain this many people, or Glenn Healy’s ego.
Bob McKenzie in high definition.
Maggie the Monkey is likely to make a guest appearance. Her guess is as good as mine in terms of who will win the Peter Forsberg sweepstakes. I think the San Diego Zoo may be the leading candidate at this point.
The Token Sports Chick:
J-Hedge is sure to ruffle a few feathers with a SportsCentre update periodically. I on the other hand will be looking out for any elements of trade deadline collusion between Hedger and her husband (Sportsnet broadcaster Sean McCormick).
Host: Steve Kouleas
Insiders: Mark Osborne, Steve Ludzik, Dennis Beyak
Other Analyst: Al Strachan
How can you not love The Score’s 24 hour ticker? Unlike TSN and Sportsnet, The Score’s ticker never sleeps and goes strong during commercials. Watching that brainless Bowflex commercial suddenly became slightly more entertaining.
Unfortunately, The Score is usually the last of the three big sports networks to break stories. Steve Kouleas’ big time information source (ie: Cabbie), will have to step it up a notch this year.
Having a panel member that can’t speak English and that has previously sworn on-air isn’t the best choice to have on a live panel, adlibbing for five consecutive hours. Sorry Steve Ludzik, you’re cut.
Sid Seixeiro and Tim Micallef are the two wildcards here. The Score Tonight is arguably The Score’s bread and butter, so what better than a little cross promotion when there is time to kill after the only trade is Jon Klemm for a fourth round pick?
The Token Sports Chick:
With Vancouver correspondent Sarah Orlesky flying the coup to TSN, Caroline Frolic is probably everyone’s favourite female analyst these days on The Score. Now if she will only add me on Facebook.
Enjoy the deadline everyone, and make sure to check out Illegal Curve’s live blog throughout the day on February 26.