Thursday, July 14, 2005

 

Yesterday

So how did you sleep last night?

Yesterday was truly an amazing day.Before we start what will truly be an incredible free agency period, where rumors are coming faster than I can put them into my free agency spreadsheets, I though it would be fun to relive my last 36 hours....

I first got news that it was looking to be over on Tuesday night, around 8:00pm. I was oddly enough out bowling with my family. Something that my 3 year old girl absolutely loves...(she bowled a 75 believe it or not...maybe I'll live off of her soon) We haven't been bowling for years, but have found it a great family thing to do lately.

Suddenly, the call came....

"They're going through the night, " the voice said as I was putting on my size 10's.
"Really, I guess they really want to announce tomorrow."
"That is how it appears. No guarantees."

So, I bowled a solid 167..and headed home to the chat room. I love the chat room. Great people in there...Can't wait to actually talk hockey in there...I told everyone they were going through the night, but not to expect anything until the morning, and unlike other times I was NOT going to wait them out on this night. I wanted to be sharp on the day they announced it.

When I woke up I listened to the hilarious comparison between Kevin Greenstein and my voice on HF Boards, and started my calls around 7:30am. It was obvious that they were very close. I sent an email to someone on the inside of the meetings and said, "If you are still meeting and your thumbs work, type, "Yes." (on blackberries you type with your thumbs) In less than three minutes I got a response. "Yes." I offered to bring breakfast to the gang, but didn't get a response to that..phew.

Now I was in a really bad spot. I had an enormous meeting scheduled with lawyers, advisors, and investors regarding the new website. The meeting had people coming in from all over and was scheduled in Cherry Hill, NJ (an hour away) at 10:45 am. I was basically screwed. I couldn't blow it off. But I also couldn't be in the car, after all this time, and miss the ending!!! So I took my sidekick, and cell phone, and started to drive. Continually checking my emails on my sidekick, and driving in heavy rush hour traffic towards Philly, I made my calls. There are some people that I talk to that keep me updated when I am out.

"Nothing on TSN, nothing on Sportsnet." my source said.

An email. Elliott Price from Montreal radio. "We need you on in twenty minutes..."
"ok" I typed dodging an ice cream truck.

Another call...a player, "I am hearing it is done...you?"
"not yet. very close," I said, "I need to call you back"
"Should I tee off, "he laughed.
"I would, must be nice...see ya!"

Another five emails.

"Is it done?" a player
An email from an agent, "Something is definitely up."
A reporter, "I heard it could still fall apart. Goodenow isn't happy."

Ugh..what the *******!

Then the call came...right around the Manyunk Exit.
"It is over. announcement coming."
"You certain?"
"Yes."

Oh wow, now what?..remembering February...need confirmation...
Type a quick email while driving, "hearing good things..tell me it is over."
waiting...waiting....waiting...another call...

"There's a four year out for the players."
"interesting...wait I'm getting an email...," I said reaching down to check the sidekick...

"it is done."

"No ******** way."
"WHAT???"
"It is done. Gotta call you back!"

Now the fun begins...

I pull over the the side of the highway...cars and trucks whipping by...and I type in (with my thumbs),"Deal Done."

I start calling around...going right down my cell phone list...

"It is done!"

I called 20 people in a span of about 7 minutes. Reporters, players, agents, broadcasters...some still working, but to others I was telling them they just got their job back...It was an amazing thing....

"Gotta go, Montreal calling."

I do the interview with Team 990 once a week in Montreal...which is, by the way, my favorite city on the planet. After the interview, still driving towards Cherry Hill, NJ for my meeting...more emails...

"Players holding a noon conference."

This is moving fast, but I have to do my meeting,...ugh, I should be in the chatroom...I should be online! I'm doing the meeting and hearing how the future looks very bright for Eklundshockey.com...I get a call from one of my favorite hockey people who agrees to join my dream list of close to 20 of the best people in hockey who are going to write blogs on my new website (coming in September..Join now!:)) This is great news! Then a call on my cell phone, which starts vibrating on the conference room table. "I have to take this one," I say. It is a broadcaster, one of the casualties of the lockout, out of work for a year...

"Is this true?" he says
"Absolutely, "I say, "Sorry, but I have to call you back."

Phone rings agains, Dale Arnold form Boston (he also will have a blog on the new site) "We need to have you on EK."
"How's 30 minutes sound? " I ask.
"Great, we'll call you at 11:30."

I finish up the meeting, now completely fired up by the lockout ending and the prospects of the new website (coming in September, join now for only $10!)

I quick drive over to one of my best friend's house. He is only a block from the meeting, I need to see his 3 day old baby boy. I go inside and I am sitting with the child's grandmother...the two of them are getting some sleep...email comes in.."Gary is briefing the NHL on the deal as we speak." another email..."press release coming soon..."

"Tell them the baby is beautiful Judy, I need to go..."
"So what are you doing with yourself these days? With your time off?" she asks...
"Long Story, " I chuckle, "I'm keeping busy"

Back in the car..almost noon..Have you ever forgotten to eat? I'm starving! I have zero cash on me...Driving past a Chick Filet...across from the Cherry Hill Mall "now taking credit cards!" the sign says...Perfect..."#1 Super Sized, Large Iced Tea Sweetened (the best iced tea in my opinion)...

Instant Message on my sidekick.."Press Release Out!"

"Wooohoooo!"

Call back the broadcaster..."Press Release Out...got to NHLPA.com..."

"Yes!" He and the team's off ice official are screaming on the other side of the phone...just awesome...call waiting..another player...

"GAME F'IN ON!" ..click

What a day!


****************************************

Today I am going to be organizing the free agent frenzy...I made a deal with some of the agents and GMs that I wouldn't talk free agent rumors until the signing period starts...but I renegotiated that a little bit last night...let's start tomorrow with some of them, and then really kick it in later...

I need to throw a celebration of sorts here, so i am going to have a special today on my memberships...For $10 I will not only give you a lifetime email update/private chat membership, plus bonuses in the new website, but I will allow you to email me a friend's email as well...and they will become and email member as well...in the spirit of the new NHL partnership! To join click the visa box in the upper left...

GOOD DAY AND GOOD HOCKEY!



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