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Deadline Day

by Jesse D. Eisenberg / New York Islanders

While journalists and fans have come to treat the NHL trade deadline like a national holiday, the whirlwind of media speculation and the onslaught of roster moves throughout the league engenders a strange atmosphere in the locker room.

 
The biggest rumors surrounding the Islanders involved impending UFA’s Zenon Konopka and Radek Martinek, but even players with multi-year deals in place jokingly asked me if they were on the move.
 
With TSN and Sportsnet playing on adjacent TVs in the lounge, the players cut some of the tension by starting their own rumors about where various Isles staffers might be heading.
 
According to Konopka, I was being dealt to the East Coast Hockey League in exchange for a bag of pucks, but PA Parenteau reminded him that they hadn’t yet locked in the deal and may have to settle for half a bag. Both players seemed confident that I would clear waivers before my return to the minor leagues.
 
Always-stylish video coordinator Ryan Ward (shameless plug: follow him on twitter @Wardo_Ryan) was actively being shopped to an unknown suitor; the Islanders were rumored to be seeking a week’s supply of hair gel in return. Finally, in what would have been the day’s biggest blockbuster, Strength and Conditioning Coach Jesse Demers was rumored to be involved in a multi-league deal that would send him to the NY Jets, who were in need of a new strength coach for obvious reasons.
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