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Don't believe everything you hear

Tuesday, 03.02.2010 / 9:51 AM / Columns

By Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

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Don't believe everything you hear
Paul Kukla has tips for fans addicted to all the action surrounding the impending NHL trade deadline.
This time of year, my e-mail inbox gets jammed by hockey fans wanting to know if I heard anything about a trade of (insert player name here) to (insert your favorite team here). Most inquiries then will go on about how they heard about this so-called trade and the e-mail usually ends with, "What do you think?"

My usual response is, I don't believe it and I am proud to say I have been 99.9 percent correct when responding to such e-mails. Most of the trade rumors sent to me just don't make any sense. Either they are too one-sided and/or the salary cap situation for the teams involved weren't considered.

But these types of trade rumors tug at the heart and soul of a hockey fan. The trade looks so good it forces your mind to start creating what-if scenarios, and all of a sudden, you start believing it could work and really improve your team. These types of trades rarely pan out, and then you begin to question your team's management, wondering why that trade did not happen. Well, that trade did not happen because it was never proposed; it was simply concocted by someone who happens to know the weaknesses of a hockey fan.

With the trade deadline fast approaching (3 p.m. ET, Wednesday) we are bound to hear about many of these types of trades, so just be warned -- they most likely are not happening and you are better off in the long run if you don't believe them.

Following Trades -- Are you the type of person who wants to know when a trade has been made? When I say "wants to know," I mean the second it happens. There is no faster way to be informed about a trade than by following key hockey people on Twitter. These people normally will post a brief (140-character limit) tweet, either stating a trade is about to happen, will happen or has crashed to the ground and won't happen, even before it hits a Web site, blog, or in some instances, even before it is mentioned on the trade deadline shows that are popping up across North America.

On NHL.com, you can go to the Recent Twitter Content From NHL Insiders page (you don't even have to have a Twitter account), which basically follows tweets from key people within the hockey world. 

To further expand your Twitter experience while following all the trade action, go to PuckCentral, and review the over 100 people who are considered "key" when breaking NHL news.  Search for those names in Twitter, follow them and you are now connected to the latest hockey news.

Now you may be thinking, I don't know anything about Twitter, or you just don't see how it can help you follow all the trade deadline action. Believe me, I had the same feelings as you at one time, but now wonder why I didn't start using Twitter earlier. If you are a hockey news junkie, you must start using Twitter right now. I can almost guarantee you will be hooked.

It is a very simple process to get on Twitter.  Go to their home page, click Sign up and in about thirty seconds, you are on Twitter. Then start following your choice of hockey people that were mentioned above.

To further enhance your Twitter experience, use a computer-based program like TweetDeck, which will allow you to customize how you want to be notified when a person you are following submits a tweet. It will take some effort on your part to tweak the settings, but once you do, you will be in hockey heaven when it comes to hearing about breaking hockey news.

Now Sit Back and Relax -- Enjoy all the fun which the trade deadline can bring. We can hope, break down, wish and dream about the trades that will or will not be made. 

Whatever the outcome, we still have hockey to play, and with so many teams still in the playoff race, we are in for an exciting finish to the regular season.  It soon will be nail-biting time and I can't wait.

Questions, comments or just want to talk hockey, feel free to e-mail me at pk@kuklaskorner.com, follow me on Twitter, or for the latest news in the hockey world, visit Kukla's Korner.


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