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THN.com Blog: Countdown to Deadline '09 is on!

Another NHL trade deadline has come and gone, and now we’ll have to wait until next year to sit around all day watching a bunch of grown men in suits tilt their heads downward and click furiously away at their Blackberries like a collection of kids at a video game tournament.

Some may see the deadline coverage as overload, but not me. In fact, I think we should expand trade deadline-related TV even further. We could have a Trade Deadline’s Eve, wherein all the GMs submit their wish lists to Santa Bettman (now there’s an image) and detail the ways their teams have been good or bad.

Or, we could start up a trade deadline Groundhog Day just after the New Year begins, and let the presence or absence of Bob McKenzie’s shadow tell us whether or not we’ll have six more weeks of unfounded rumors. Just to be safe, I’m calling copyright dibs right now.

By many accounts, John Paddock’s stint coaching the Ottawa Senators appears to be on rocky ground. I don’t think his performance warrants a dismissal, but Paddock has a few things working against him.

Firstly, he’s working under a GM in Bryan Murray who is less than a year removed from steering the Sens’ ship. As well, there is a recent history of late-season coaching changes (see Julien v. Lamoriello) in the league for owners and GMs to look at and perhaps attempt to copy.

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But worst of all, Paddock has got a goaltender in Ray Emery whose commitment to the team (or lack thereof) appears to have divided Ottawa’s dressing room in a significant way.

Because Murray couldn’t unload Emery at the deadline, the most valuable member of the Sens’ organization this year just may be the team psychologist charged with the task of straightening Emery out.

Adam Proteau is The Hockey News' online columnist and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his Ask Adam feature appears Tuesdays and Fridays, and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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