Trade talk: With trade deadline approaching, here’s what NHL players are saying

There is nothing else quite like it in professional sports.

The NHL’s trade deadline can see as many as 20 deals completed in a matter of hours during a frantic day that generates excitement for fans and butterflies for players and their families.

With this season’s trade deadline set to pass at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, here is what people are saying around the league:

San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan: “I think it can be a distraction, I really do. We’re talking about a lot of young men that have young families, have had roots in communities and have called places home for a long time and they potentially could be moved.”

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Cody Franson: “Everybody’s hearing certain things here and there. My name’s popped up in a couple (rumours), there’s other guys that are in the same boat. It’s the trade deadline and guys are coming to the rink prepared for anything right now.”

Montreal Canadiens defenceman Chris Campoli: “I think the most unique thing for me in my experience with the trade deadline was last year, turning on the television and seeing that I had been traded (from Ottawa) to Chicago. There’s a lot made of it and it’s good exposure for the game and it’s exciting for the fans, and I get that. But at the end of the day you’re talking about people’s lives and the way we make our livings. It’s a business and sometimes that part can be tough because it’s not really considered, you know, and you have all that excitement behind players changing teams. It’s a good day to be a fan, for sure.”

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis: “I’ve got traded three times. One time I was expecting it, the other two not so much. But it’s always for the better when something happens. … I was supposed to be the throw-in in Marian Hossa’s deal (to Pittsburgh at the 2008 deadline), that was funny for me. I’m still here, playing my game.”

Calgary Flames forward Tim Jackman: “I got traded on the deadline when I was in San Antonio in the American Hockey League to Manchester (in 2005). I guess my golf clubs were at a guy on the team’s house. I just remember waking him up. We had a game that night. I said, ‘Hey man, you’ve got to get up. I’ve got to get my clubs. I got dealt.”‘

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Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, a former NHL player: “(The deadline) has changed for the players who are on Twitter, follow rumours, get that type of information from the social media network.”

Edmonton Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff: “I think Twitter is the way to go (to follow the deadline). Every article you get in the paper is immediately on Twitter and you have it at your fingertips. It’s the quickest and most up-to-date. If you follow the right people, you’re one click away from everything. I think everybody is that way in the world today.”

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll: “I don’t like to go looking for (trade talk) but you can’t really help it when it’s on every sports channel in Canada. All the rumours you hear, every newspaper you pick up in Columbus right now is about how they’re getting rid of everyone.”

Calgary Flames forward Matt Stajan: “I think everybody has one ear open and has their eye on it for sure. This is our livelihood and you’re obviously interested in what’s going on. … When there’s a trade maybe guys have a comment or two about it. It’s not like we sit here and have a round table like they do on TV. We’re all in this league—we’re all sports fans and hockey fans.”

Vancouver Canucks rookie Cody Hodgson: “Some guys talk about it. But it’s my first one. I’m going to sit back and not say too much.”

McLellan: “I think the players that are affected the most are the ones that aren’t playing very well because they are genuinely concerned. If it’s really in your head you have to look yourself in the mirror: ‘Am I playing well? Should people be talking about me?’ You’ve got to ask yourself if you’re doing enough to stay here.”

With files from Chris Johnston in Toronto, Laurence Heinen in Calgary, Robin Brownlee in Edmonton, Alan Robinson in Pittsburgh, Sean Farrell in Montreal, David DiCenzo in Columbus and Monte Stewart in Vancouver.