Sometimes we speculate. Sometimes we have inside information. Sometimes we write about it and report it, but that’s where the story ends right or does it?
What about the other side of the story? The personal story behind a trade. Do we ever see that side of the story?
You might call me a hypocrite for writing this, but to each their own.
I broke a trade last year, and I swore at the time that I wouldn’t do it again.
I had four very reliable sources tell me a trade was happening, so I reported it.
At the time it was pretty substantial trade, but my biggest concern was did the players know?
Did the players and their families and billet families know about it?
I was given the indication that they did, so that’s when I decided to break it.
Two pictures and a few lines in a tweet. That’s all it took.
Ironically a few weeks before I tweeted out that everyone wanted to be an insider and break trades, I said that I didn’t want to be part of that and boom, just like that I was breaking a trade.
I was completely torn, and a short time after putting it out there I felt truly awful.
Oh it’s part of the business, it’s part of the process, but what about the other side of the trade?
The personal side.
Some would say writing a speculation piece and throwing names out there is just as bad.
Isn’t the writing on the wall?
Don’t players and their agents have a feeling that they might get moved?
Do certain players want out and ask for a trade?
Where does it end? Speculation, rumour or fact? What’s the difference during this time of year?
Every team at some point during the Trade Period make trades, it’s inevitable. That’s just part of the business.
Organizations make trades that they believe will strengthen their hockey club moving forward.
They make trades to give players an opportunity to play or get more ice time, so they can flourish or have a fresh start.
They make trades based on loyalty to the player and their service with the organization, matching them up with a potential winner.
You see everyone tries to win during the Trade Period! Trading assets, it’s all win-win right?
What about the personal side of the deal?
That’s the most devastating aspect of all of this. Billet families lose their adopted son. Young fans lose their hero, while organizations lose their cornerstone player or players in hopes of building towards the future for another chance to capture a championship.
You see it’s all part of the process, all part of major junior hockey.
The business side and the personal side always collide at some point.
The traded player says goodbye to their best friends, and their second home, is that where the trade story ends or just begins?
For some it might be the final time they play in the league, for others the trade changes the course of their career for the better.
To tell you the truth, I’m still torn about all of this.
Sure I want to write the story and be the first one to get it out there.
In this business who wouldn’t want to be, the first to report it. Isn’t that what it’s all about, getting the scoop?
Should the entire process be more transparent?
GM’s make trades and the players no matter what age have to be prepared for the harsh reality of the business side of the game, but what about the personal side of all of this?
Is it really speculative or wrong to outline a team’s top prospects?
Is it really speculative or wrong to outline who other organizations might be targeting to make their teams better?
Is it really speculative or wrong to outline an organizations best possible trade assets to garner the highest return?
You see this is where it all becomes murky and extremely complex.
What if speculation turns into fact?Do you tread lightly because of the personal side or go all in?
Do you write the story or do you sit on it and let others be the first to break the trade?
I’ve sat on several stories over the past few years, for a number of different reasons.
Every story is unique, every trade has several layers, that’s why this time of year is so intriguing, but what about the other side, the personal side, who tells that story?
I guess we all have a role to play in the game.