NHL Trade Deadline Recap: Pray for Poni

So, the lamest NHL Trade Deadline in recent memory has come and gone, and I already forget what happened. Oh, that’s right — absolutely nothing of consequence.

With the biggest name to change jerseys today being perennial underachiever Olli Jokinen, this year’s Deadline certainly lacked the flair and emotion of previous years, when players such as Marian Hossa and Ryan Smyth suddenly found themselves apartment hunting in new cities.

The talking heads like to declare “winners” and “losers” when the dealing is done. While its clear that the Calgary Flames made some real big strides toward competing with likes of Detroit and San Jose come playoff time, and the Phoenix Coyotes did an excellent job of getting the most out of their assets, there is only one true loser of NHL Trade Deadline 2009:

Alexei Ponikarovsky.

Keep you chin up, bucko, it ain't so bad. Oh, wait ...

Keep you chin up, bucko, it ain't so bad. Oh, wait ...

Reminiscent of that classic Valentine’s Day episode of The Simpsons, at approximately 2:47 p.m., Darren Dreger and the crew at TSN announced that Poni’s eternal soulmate, Nik Antropov, had been traded to the New York Rangers … and at that very instant, Poni’s heart broke in two, his entire world coming crashing down around him.

First Sundin leaves him, and now Antropov. His two best homies he ever had … gone. Dust in the wind.

Ponikarovsky is like a lost puppy now, scared and confused in a terrible new reality that he is not yet prepared to face. How can he possibly go on? How can he continue to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs without his BFF, his rock?

You know, I was almost relieved — for Poni’s sake — when TSN brought up a potential trade to the Nashville Predators. He’d get a fresh start in a new city, meet some new teammates, adapt to a new system — all of which would help him forget about the loss of “Big” Nik Antropov.

But no, it was merely a rumour, and when the Buds play their next home game this Saturday against the Oilers, Ponikarovsky will gaze longingly at the empty stall where Antropov used to sit … and he’ll cry. The emotion will overwhelm him and it’ll all come pouring out, and he’ll sit there sobbing and drooling into his gloves until Ron Wilson taps him on the shoulder and tells him it’s time to go. Once on the ice he’ll be unable to focus, simply floating around, taking poor penalties, and half-heartedly shooting the puck towards the netminder.

Indeed, I’m afraid that Alexei Ponikarovsky will never be the same player again. Why must you be so cruel, Brian Burke? WHHHYYYYY???


The other big news is the fact that the Maple Leafs claimed some terrible goalie by the name of Martin Gerber off the waiver wire. Seriously, he’s not good enough to play for the Sens, but he can suddenly take over the #1 job in Toronto? I suppose the price was right (the Leafs didn’t have to give up anything for him), and if Brian Burke intends to lose a whole shitload of the Leafs’ remaining games to get a better draft position, well, this is certainly one way to do it.

Martin Gerber, a Leafs uniform, and a goal against. I see nothing will be changing.

Martin Gerber, a Leafs uniform, and a goal against. I see nothing will actually be changing.

Simply due to the fact that he is once again gainfully employed in the NHL, I’m gonna go out on a limb and declare that Marty Gerber — and not the Calgary Flames — the real big winner of the NHL Trade Deadline 2009.

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