OK, I made that up. It's nice and warm here in the terminal.
The trade deadline is a huge deal in hockey circles, with people talking about this day for more than a month. I've been getting calls from Canadian newspapers and radio stations since January. Today is like a holiday for hockey fans. Of course, some enjoy it more than others.
Big day for Jacques Martin and the Panthers today. JM is definitely in a tough spot. He's working on some deals right now, trying to get as many pieces as he can for All-Star defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. But how much is enough? JM has said he wants a good forward and a top four d-man at the very least. If he doesn't get it, Jay stays -- at least for a few more months/weeks.
If Jay isn't moved, look for the Panthers to make some minor moves, taking into consideration how close they are to the cap. Florida also has to look at next year; the Panthers like their nucleus and have some expiring contracts, but David Booth is going to get a nice raise next year.
The cap probably isn't going down next season, but the Panthers' financial commitments might. Now, I've heard people say the Panthers are planning to pare their payroll down to the cap basement, but I've been told that is absolutely not the case. Next year's payroll will probably be close to what it is now.
What's going to happen? I don't have any clue. I could see Jay stay. I could see him leaving. I'm just glad I'm not in JM's position today. This is a tough spot.
Anyway, check back in throughout the day. I should be back in the 954 around 9 a.m. so that means I'll be down for a few hours while in flight. David J. Neal is on the case, however, so if something goes down while I'm up, he'll be all over it.
-- Plan on going TradeDay LIVE! around noon today, with a break around 1:30 so I can make the drive across Sunrise Boulevard to the Billboard. Again, check in throughout the day.
If anything happens while I'm in transit, I will be filing via cellphone (you can tell those posts because they come without pics).
-- Got an email last night asking if the Panthers had any interest in Gary Roberts. Sure they do. A lot of teams do. But the problem is Gary's big contract with the Lightning. The Panthers can't bring in that number, especially since they don't know how healthy (hockey wise) Roberts is.
Plus, if he were to come back to South Florida, Pete DeBoer might have to pack up the kids and find a new place to live.