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Loose Change: The dynamic duo

Loose Change (LC): With the trade deadline fast approaching you two are going to have quite the busy stretch ahead of you.

No-Trade Clause (NTC): Oh yeah. That’s for sure.

Salary Cap (SC): To be honest, my entire year is busy.

NTC: Oh yeah, you’re irreplaceable aren’t you?

SC: All I’m saying is that my importance to the game isn’t just for a few short weeks in February.

NTC: Oh, and I’m not important?

SC: You’re like that jack in your car: useful in certain circumstances, but mainly just along for the ride.

NTC: Well I could smack you silly…

SC: As long as you get a written OK from Mommy to do it first, right?

LC: Gentlemen, some decorum here. Can we all at least agree that you’re both equally important and vital to the consummation of a trade?

SC: Some, more than others.

NTC: What is with you? Sorry to burst your bubble Larry, but you’re common – like soap. Sure, you’re there and you need to be consulted, but even if a trade is proposed and all the pieces are in place, I still have final veto power.

SC: I beg to differ. Your thumbs-up means squat if the contract numbers don’t jive.

NTC: Well, moron, you affect everyone, like the common cold. I only affect a select few, like – I don’t know – hemorrhoids?

SC: Precisely. Like I said you’re a royal pain in the…

LC: But Salary Cap, you must admit No-Trade Clause holds a special power in the game never seen before?

SC: Oh he’s special all right.

NTC: I’m warning you.

LC: So Salary Cap, what are you worth right now? What is the present salary cap?

SC: What, $47 Million? $52 Million? Frankly I’m not sure.

LC: Can you at least explain that pro-rating contractual stuff that goes on this time of year?

SC: I have a brochure you can read. It might explain it in there…

NTC: See? Any moron can do that job. Look at me. I’m so special. I don’t even know where my office is or what desk I sit at. I just look pretty when people mention my name in a story.

SC: Well I am consulted a helluva lot more than you are, Santa…

NTC: First off, he and I are not related. Secondly, only a select few players in the league have access to me, my friend. That must mean something.

SC: Uh, two words: Bryan McCabe. If that’s select, then I’m a hedge fund.

LC: No-Trade Clause, there is a lot of anger towards you from fans and teams alike. A lot of times you literally handcuff a team from improving itself.

NTC: It’s long-term security for the player that has me. For a team to improve they must first consult that player to see if he’s willing and able to help the team. It’s really a question of loyalty, both ways.

SC: So let me get this straight. If a player waives you and allows himself to be traded, he’s proving his loyalty to the team. But, if he decides to not waive you and wants to remain with the team, he’s proving his loyalty because he wants to stay?

NTC: Exactly.

SC: Is there a history of drug abuse in your family?

LC: He does have a point.

NTC: Look, if a player – save Bryan McCabe – is good enough to warrant me, then it’s his decision when to utilize the clause. If the team has made a boner move by giving me to a player who doesn’t deserve it, it’s not my fault.

SC: So, guns don’t kill people, people kill people?

What the heck are you talking about?

LC: I think he’s implying that you’re cleansing yourself of all blame in this case.

NTC: I don’t even own a gun.

SC: Or, apparently, a brain…

NTC: This is your last warning...

LC: Again, can we just culminate this discussion by saying we agree to disagree? You’re both equally important, with neither having more or less importance than the other? Kind of like that old chicken and the egg thing…

SC: I suppose, but technically the egg came first and we all know the chicken is nothing without it.

NTC: Unless the chicken has a no-trade clause...

The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Thursday only on Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.

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