Sunday, February 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning players share crazy trade stories

Veteran wing Ryan Callahan knew there was a chance he would get traded by the Rangers in the days leading up to the 2014 deadline.

Though Callahan, the New York captain, hoped to stay with the only NHL team he had known, he noticed that negotiations on a contract extension had gone "south."

But Callahan didn't expect to find out while watching a television ticker in the trainer's room at Madison Square Garden that he was heading to Tampa Bay in the Marty St. Louis deal.

"Simultaneously, someone said, 'The GM wants to see you,' " Callahan recalled. "You knew right away that it was probably going down."

Every player has a story about how he found out he was traded. There will be plenty more by Monday's 3 p.m. trade deadline.

Center Brian Boyle got the call while at the beach in Cape Cod. Defenseman Matt Carle had to check his computer after getting a heads-up text message from a buddy. Defenseman Braydon Coburn's wife woke him up early in the morning after noticing his phone blowing up with messages. Assistant coach Steve Thomas turned his phone on after his Blackhawks landed in Anaheim and learned he had been traded to the Ducks; he scored twice against his former team the next night.

"The initial shock is there," Callahan said. "You try to come to grips. You worry about your family, what you're going to do with them, what situation you're going into. So many things go through your head right away. It's hard to describe that emotion."

General manager Steve Yzerman said he ideally likes to notify a traded player first but has noticed that with social media and 24-hour news networks, it's difficult to do.

"I don't know how it gets out," he said. "We've made trades where we haven't even contacted the league … and it's out. It's just a different world we live in."

Goalie Ben Bishop said that means that during the 48 hours before the deadline, "everyone is kind of on edge."

"Once it's 3 o'clock," Boyle said, "it's nice.

•••

Boyle had just arrived in Cape Cod around 11:30 a.m. on June 27, 2009, when his phone rang.

He had been traded from the Kings, the team that had picked him in the draft's first round in 2003, to the Rangers in a draft-day deal.

"We literally just got (to the beach), unpacking stuff, so I didn't have to unpack," Boyle said. "When I got the call, I was on the phone for another hour."

Boyle was surprised. Though he had bounced back and forth between the Kings and AHL Manchester the previous two seasons, he was "all in." Boyle knew that his father, Artie, had met with Kings GM Dean Lombardi a few months earlier at a Boston airport Marriott and made a request: If the GM wasn't going to use his son, please trade him to the East Coast, near his Boston-area family of 13.

"It was a huge change," Boyle said of the trade. "I'm like, 'I'm going to New York City.' I didn't know what to expect. It really hit me driving down to training camp. I'd only been there for one or two days my entire life, so this is unbelievable.

"The initial shock wore off, and I was settled in. I looked at it as a team was taking a chance on me and also looked at it as (the Kings) did me a favor, moved me so I could succeed."

•••

Bishop was with the Senators in Boston on an off day when he was traded to the Lightning on April 3, 2013.

He had the team meal at 9 a.m., then tried to nap, but sleep didn't come easily on trade-deadline day.

"I kind of tossed and turned, didn't know if I was traded anywhere, where I'd end up," Bishop said. "I laid there for an hour and then got a phone call from our PR guy that said '(GM) Brian Murray wants to speak with you.' So I knew something was up."

Bishop knew six or seven teams were interested in him.

"(Murray) said, 'I found you a place to play' and then kind of paused," Bishop said. "I was sitting there wondering where it was going to be. He said, 'Tampa Bay,' and I was super excited."

Bishop was told not to say anything until getting a call from Yzerman; the call didn't come for two hours.

"I was getting phone calls from (Canadian sports TV networks) TSN and Sportsnet," Bishop said. "Literally, 60 seconds later, my phone was ringing."

•••

Coburn was fast asleep when his trade from the Flyers to Tampa Bay was finalized in the middle of the night March 1, 2015.

It wasn't until Coburn's wife woke up at 6:30 a.m. to check on their 17-month-old son that she noticed his phone was "blowing up" with messages.

"She said, 'Time to wake up,' " Coburn said.

"From that point on it was a whirlwind of interviews and phone calls and emotions. You're kind of sad to leave Philly but excited to be going to Tampa because we were going to the playoffs. There's so much going on, you don't know what to think. A million thoughts run through your head. You're always kind of ready but never really ready when it does happen."

•••

Carle was asleep at his San Jose, Calif., home in the early morning of July 4, 2008, a holiday barbecue scheduled for that afternoon.

He had just signed a four-year extension with the Sharks and bought a house, so he had no reason to think he was heading elsewhere.

"Thinking I'd be a big part of their future," he said.

At 7 a.m. he got a text from a buddy, then-Avalanche forward Paul Stastny, that said, "How sweet to live in Florida."

"So I shot out of bed really quick, went downstairs and checked my computer, and sure enough, on the front page of (the website of) TSN, I was coming to Tampa and Dan Boyle was coming to San Jose."

Carle called his agent. The deal wasn't finalized until the afternoon, a four-player swap with Carle and prospect Ty Wishart coming to Tampa.

Four months later, on Nov. 8, Carle was dealt again, this time to the Flyers, with a third-round draft pick in the Steve Downie deal. And it happened while Carle was in Philadelphia on an off day.

"I had just woken up from a nap. We were on a three-, four-game road trip through the East Coast," Carle said. "I got a call from the GM at the time, Brian Lawton, telling me I was traded to the Flyers and would be playing against the Lightning the next night.

"Both of my trade experiences have been crazy, and I'm sure everyone's are. It's part of the business, and you deal with it. You certainly don't wish it upon anybody, though."

Contact Joe Smith at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

 
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