The NHL trade deadline has come and gone and while some teams are happy and greatly improved, others left fans upset or hoping for more moves. From a fans standpoint the deadline can be exciting, especially if your team adds a big name player such as Marian Gaborik in Columbus. The deadline may not be so fun however for other fans around the NHL, for example the Tampa Bay Lightning trading young star and potential Calder finalist Cory Conacher. Conacher is second in the NHL currently for rookie scoring and quickly had become a fan favorite in Tampa, now it looks as if he’ll continue his career in Ottawa. The general reaction around the league is that this may have been an over payment, however Tampa is getting a very talented young goaltender in return.
Fans however may not look at it that way, they’re seeing a player they’ve become attached to depart to play in another city. Imagine buying Conacher’s jersey two months ago when the season began only to find out yesterday that he was traded. I know there is frustration in being a fan and I’m not saying fans shouldn’t care about players, just maybe not so much. These players play a game, but as we were reminded during the lockout, it is also a business. If an NHL general manager finds a way to potentially improve his team he’s going to do it to fill a weakness.
We all have our favorite players, personally one of my favorites happens to be Tyson Strachan (who?) of the Florida Panthers. While he may not be “Sidney Crosby” status, he’s a hard worker who cares about the game and his team and sticks up for his teammates on the ice. I joke with him occasionally on Twitter, and if he happens to read this I swear I’m not obsessed! However, if the guy ever happens to be traded or not re-signed in the off season, will I curse my team and “protest” them, even if for a short period of time? Heck no. I’ll continue being a fan of his no matter what team he plays for, while still supporting the Florida Panthers. But that’s not going to happen anyway, because he’s going to be re-signed for 8 years, lol.
But really, just back up and look at the big picture the next time one of your favorites ends up departing for another team. Do you know him personally? Go out to lunch or beers on an off night and just hang out? There’s probably a 99% chance the answer is no, he’s just a person you see at games and occasionally at team events or possibly at a restaurant one day. Relax, take a deep breath and move past it. Imagine how Edmonton felt the day Gretzky was traded, then say to yourself, “This isn’t so bad.”