It is April 1st, by custom referred to as “April Fools’ Day.” One story of its origin has it beginning in ancient Rome, a part of “Hilaria” festivals celebrated at the start of spring to honor their “Great Mother.” Today, it is an excuse to play practical jokes and perpetrate hoaxes on the gullible and unsuspecting among us. All in the interest of good fun and, well, hilarity.
But given that April Fools’ Day comes so close to the trading deadline in the National Hockey League, chances are there will be a fair number of April Fool’s Day jokes made with this deadline in mind and with the intent of inspiring wailing and teeth gnashing among hockey fans who are on tenterhooks concerning their favorite teams’ intentions concerning possible trades.
So, as a public service from your Uncle Peerless, we bring you those things that are NOT going to happen over the next few days as the NHL approaches zero hour on trade deadline day…
- Evgeni Kuznetsov will NOT receive permission from the Kontinental Hockey League to forgo the remaining term of his contract to join the Washington Capitals for their playoff stretch run.
- Jeff Schultz and Marcus Johansson are NOT going to be traded for Martin St. Louis (except on hockey message boards).
- Ted Leonsis is NOT going to sell his hockey holdings to a consortium of bloggers calling themselves “Blogumental Sports.”
- Alex Ovechkin did NOT elope with Maria Kirilenko to points unknown after the game in Philadelphia on Sunday evening.
- Michal Neuvirth is NOT going to be traded to Phoenix for Shane Doan and the Coyotes’ number one draft pick in June.
- Mike Ribeiro is NOT going to be traded to the New York Rangers for Chris Krieder and the Rangers’ number one draft pick in June.
- The Caps are NOT trading Filip Forsberg to Florida for the Panthers first round draft picks in 2013 and 2014.
- George McPhee is NOT stepping down as general manager in favor of Jay Feaster so he can pursue his dream of a career in stand-up comedy.
- Monumental Sports is NOT announcing that they have a preliminary agreement with the NHL to host a Winter Classic outdoor game against the Ottawa Senators on the refurbished Reflecting Pool on the National Mall.
- Joe Beninati is NOT announcing that he is leaving CSN Washington to replace Drew Carey as host of “The Price is Right.”
- George McPhee is NOT going to announce that if the Capitals are eliminated from playoff contention, head coach Adam Oates will return to Hershey to team-coach with Mark French for the Bears’ playoff run.
- George McPhee is NOT going to announce that if Hershey is eliminated from playoff contention, Bears head coach Mark French will come to Washington to team-coach with Adam Oates for the Capitals’ playoff run.
- Alex Ovechkin will NOT auction off the stitches in his chin on eBay for charity (although he’d probably get quite haul).
- The Caps are not trading their entire 2013 draft pick package for Bobby Ryan.
- Craig Laughlin is NOT stepping down as a television analyst to be the voice of “Davy Jones’ ‘Locker’” on SpongeBob SquarePants.
- Mike Milbury is NOT giving Alex Ovechkin a set of brass balls as a wedding present.
- The Capitals are NOT secretly petitioning the league to be aligned into whatever division the Florida Panthers are in.
And there you have it, a short list of examples of the sort of April Fools’ Day jokes that need to be debunked now, before Caps fans go all “Caps fan” and indulge their well-developed sense of paranoia. Consider yourselves warned.