What did people conclude prior to 1913 when events happened causing other events to unfold? That was the year Max Bodenstein first put together the idea of chain reaction. While his thoughts ran more toward molecules than social miscues and diplomatic tension it did give a name to something that will continue to happen year in year out in the hockey season. Trade deadline.

The AHL dressing room is a microcosm of the greater world of hockey.  There is chatter, possible combinations, quizzical looks, plenty of posturing  and there is kidding about who gets traded as Drew MacIntrye pointed out on this year’s version of Let’s Make a Deal.

“We all kid each other about it: pack your bags, hey coach wants to see you. But you can’t take it so seriously that it distracts you from your job. You can only control what you can.”

MacIntrye was only moved at the deadline once and he was hoping he would get that particular call. This one however,  came fifteen minutes after the 3pm cutoff. He was residing in the Atlanta organization when they moved him to Hamilton at the midway buzzer.

“The time came and went and I was hoping to get moved. I had just talked myself into staying. Fifteen minutes later I was with the Hamilton Bulldogs.” MacIntyre ‘s wife was put in charge of getting their life together, including their young daughter and getting it to The Hammer. “It puts a lot of pressure on all the people in your life.”


Pressure is something Jerred Smithson knows about on trade day. Prior to getting the call to go to Edmonton he, and be he, we mean his wife, was planning on having a baby.

“We were supposed to go in to induce and I got the call I was traded.” It’s no surprise that hockey player Dads miss a lot of things like birthdays but ‘the’ birthday. You can’t imagine there are too many teams that want to handle the PR nightmare of keeping a Dad out of the being born lineup. (We should also insert here that the youngest Smithson might have a “Cutest Looking Baby” award already on the trophy shelf, at least if my wife has anything to say about it.)

And as the dominoes of trade day fall, it isn’t just the NHL teams that see great change. It isn’t just the AHL players that get new scenery for an opportunity to make the big league. There are a million tiny pieces in the life of any person, if you had to pick it all up on a Wednesday afternoon in March, how ready would you be for work the next day? Better yet, that night.

Doubtful that even science could figure out the complications and changes in the lives of a trade deadline deal.

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