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I Am Ready, Are You?

by Paul Kukla
My bookmarks are set, my cookies and cache are cleared, the monitor has been cleaned and the keyboard has been given a shot or pressurized air.
Healthy snacks, power drinks and bars are within reach and meals have been prepared for the microwave.
I figure I will be away from my computer for only six hours (mostly for sleep) by the time the trade deadline ends at 3 p.m. ET Wednesday.
As I write this article at 7 a.m. Tuesday, I have three radio stations streaming and the TV tuned to the NHL Network. Ten tabs are opened in Firefox, all auto-refreshing every 10 seconds.
Emails are streaming all mentioning the trade rumors. I look at most of them and shake my head, most won't work because of the salary cap, but at least people are being creative.
A radio station in Detroit calls me, asking me who I think the Detroit Red Wings will get by the time the deadline is over today. I tell them the deadline ends tomorrow, call me back.
I do have questions, but it seems the answers are harder to find. Why is it we hear or read of a certain player being traded, but we never hear the other side of the trade? For example, Player A is moving to Team B, but we get no picture of Player B heading back to Team A. Better yet, Player A is headed to Team B, C, D or E, but again, no return player mentioned. I would have much more faith in the people who mention these types of trades if the second part of the equation was mentioned.
My mind thinks ahead to around 6 p.m. tomorrow. How will I feel, will I be burned out or maybe wanting more of this trade deadline madness? The answer comes quickly, get this over with, quickly! I want the attention turned back to the game on the ice, enough of all these trade scenarios and dreams.
You see, no matter what trades are made, what GM's and coaches say about their recent acquisitions, the game still has to be played on the ice. Only one team will skate off with the Stanley Cup and all the other teams will be left questioning the moves they made or did not make.
I am also thinking about the most important part of our game - the NHL players. I can only imagine a few are contemplating their future and are hoping the deadline passes and for the most part, they stay with their current team. All the trade talk has to be draining on them and even though they say it isn't a problem, deep down they know there is the possibility they may have to pack up and move on.
So, let the trades begin now. May your trade wishes come true and most importantly, may you enjoy this crazy time of year.  After all, it is just a game, but it is our game, the game we live and die with!
Oops, almost forgot my one prediction for the trade deadline. The Boston Bruins will be looked at as the favorite to win the Stanley Cup after all the dust settles Wednesday evening.

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