The NHL trade deadline is where logic and fantasy "meet-cute", date for a while and then have a teary-eyed breakup while an Adele song plays on the car stereo.
They can't coexist in the same relationship. What we fantasize about, and foolhardily tricky ourselves into believing is plausible, gets crushed by the weight of no-trade clauses, salary cap considerations and the personal politics of general managers. (Don't hold your breath for that next Vancouver/Boston trade, ladies and germs.)
But for the next two weeks, we can dream. About the last pieces of a championship puzzle or reunions we want to see happen before retirement. About deals that even the most liberal computer arbitrator on an EA Sports game would reject.
Here are a few NHL Trade Deadline 2012 Dream Scenarios, some of which can happen and all of which we wish would.
What are your Dream Scenarios for the NHL trade deadline?
The Anaheim Ducks are on an incredible roll. A preposterous roll. A roll that Bruce Boudreau would be intimidated to eat. Yet they only have a 3.8-percent chance at qualifying for the playoffs, and a loss here or there before the deadline could bring that even lower.
Selanne hasn't been thinking about "other options" during the Ducks' resurgence, but it's going to have to happen at some point. If he does decide to move, the Winnipeg Jets are the obvious, nostalgic, storybook choice … and yet one that has about a great a shot at winning the Stanley Cup as the Sacramento Kings.
If you want to see Teemu hoist Stanley like it's a ceramic pig, then the options are limited. Maybe the Rangers? Maybe back to the Sharks? Or, maybe, skating with best buddy Valtteri Filppula and the Detroit Red Wings at the top of the conference.
Oh yes. That last one would be fun.
Selanne, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen and Lidstrom on the same power play droooooool.
For most fans, seeing Selanne as a Red Wing will be blasphemy. But what if that leads to Selanne and Lidstrom posing with the Stanley Cup, eh?
As for the Jets …
If Shane Doan were to leave the Phoenix Coyotes, it would be a "canary in a coal mine" moment about that franchise's future. They're in the eight seed, there's no reason to move Doan now … but if they did, wouldn't Winnipeg be perfect?
He was drafted by the Jets, played one season before relocation, and would return as the sort of veteran scorer that roster needs.
Plus, an ex-Jet wearing Jets 2.0 gear might actually cause a rip in the space/time continuum.
Not to pick the bones of the Coyotes, but Whitney returning to (a) the team that drafted him and (b) that he played for from 1992-97 and (c) that needs a veteran scorer of his ilk is hockey symmetry on Doan/Jets levels.
One of the most unlikely 1,000 point scorers in NHL history, trying to help the San Jose Sharks do the improbable — winning the Stanley Cup.
Sitting six points off the eight seed and getting strong goaltending, the New York Islanders may not part with Nabby despite all the reasons to sell high. If he was portable … well, what better destination than the Windy City, where the current Blackhawks goaltenders couldn't stop a drain let alone an entire net?
Drop Emery, put Nabokov into a competition with Corey Crawford, and then gleefully wait until the Hawks and the Sharks meet in the postseason that that Carnival of Awkward Reunions.
A reunion with Glen Sather in Manhattan was looking likely a few weeks back, but not so much now, as Smyth wants a new deal with the Oilers and they won't ask him to waive his NTC.
Wait … contract talks with Ryan Smyth leading up to the trade deadline?
Welcome back to New York, Captain Canada!
Smyth would be the perfect rental for the New York Rangers: The same kind of blue-collar approach as the rest of the roster, with a dash of veteran leadership and savvy. Plus, their power play stinks and Smyth is at his best collecting garbage with the man advantage. Hey Brad Richards and John Tortorella: Remember how valuable Dave Andreychuk was to the 2004 Lightning …
Plus, watching Rental Ryan Smyth make the Stanley Cup Final with the Rangers would be oh-so-pleasant for Islanders fans, we're sure.
The U.S.S. Hal Gill is going to sail somewhere at the trade deadline from his current port 'o call in Montreal. He'll be heavily coveted as one of the top defensive defensemen available with championship experience (and who enters beast mode in the playoffs).
Why a reunion with the Penguins? Because for all the carping, moaning, critiquing and kvetching about the performance of flighty, ineffective, overpaid Paul Martin, everything Hal Gill gives you is the antithesis. It would be a soul-cleansing experience to have him back on the Penguins' blue line.
Before we get into why this would be simply wonderful, we yield the floor to Elliotte Friedman to explain why it won't happen:
Look at Vancouver. On the surface, the Canucks are a perfect match. Nash is the kind of player Vancouver would consider trading Cory Schneider for. Add Cody Hodgson, Chris Tanev, maybe another piece and voila, you've got what looks like a pretty fair trade.
Don't think it's going to happen. The Canucks are full of guys who've taken less money -- Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler. Heck, the Sedins probably left about $15 million each on the table. It is the organization's philosophy to reward their own, with newcomers like Dan Hamhuis understanding they will not break the bank.
All of this is true. Which naturally makes Nash-to-the-Canucks the greatest thing to hit Vancouver since fire-retardant storefronts.
The idea that Nash would immediately become the team's highest-paid player is delicious. The idea that it would cost them Cory Schneider (in theory), leaving Roberto Luongo to play in (GASP!) tough postseason road games is delicious. The idea that, without Schneider, using the post-CBA amnesty clause on Luongo probably goes out the window … also delicious. The fact that Nash will never, ever live up to the imaginary statistic standards of his salary … delicious catnip for the Vancouver media.
Look, it's not all strife. Nash on a power play with the Sedins could be sick. Nash being a part of a championship-caliber team rather than having to shoulder the load would be a positive thing for his career. Also, the Canucks have never had a No. 61. So that's nice.
For all of these reasons, the Vancouver Canucks getting Rick Nash would be aces for hockey fans.
Or, at the very least, if the Vancouver Canucks were the only other team in the mix when the Blue Jackets trade Nash to Boston, and then had to swallow the bitter pill of watching him dance shirtless with Marchand at another Cup celebration night.