THE BILLY BYE-BYE BLOG, DAY 210:00 pm: PB on News 12…and a hunch

10:00 pm - Looks like I’ll be doing a brief phone interview on News 12 Long Island at around 10:20 pm tonight about Billygate. Since we’ve been at this together for more than 26 hours, I want to make sure I type here whatever I might say on the tellyvision.

 

In the last two hours, I’ve had a series of conversations with people in and around The Premature Transaction. For what it’s worth, everyone to a man has displayed a casual “What, me worry”? approach to my investigation. Just passing it along.

 

There continues to be a feeling of confidence. Belief that a Guerin deal will be done as early as tomorrow. (I know what you’re thinking: Are you frickin’ kidding me with that “as early as” crap?). Belief that the Islanders will get True Value for their departing-any-day-now captain. Belief that Billy is excited about his next opportunity and that in the end everyone is going to hug it out.

 

I’ve also decided that it’s ludicrous for me to not take a stand, put my money down and tell you my hunch. Who am I kidding? This is a friggin’ blog. I don’t have to have any standards. You’ve all been so amazing these last two days, least I can do is put it on the line. If I’m wrong, really, B. F. D.

 

As of 10:00 tonight, I believe the team the Islanders have an arrangement with is Washington. A simple, two-team, pick-and-prospect trade. Simple, except for closing the darn thing.

 

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7:38 pm – The Islanders just sent out a series of texts to the media saying:

 

1. There will be no news tonight

 

2. There is no timeline for any announcements

 

Which, when you cut right through it, means only one thing:

 

There is no trade.

 

*

 

7:05 pm - Some reliable media types with solid connections to Bill Guerin and others say Philadelphia.

 

I say…Washington.

 

And to address something I keep seeing in Comments: do you really think my life has come to actually knowing the deal, but writing this crap for the last 24 hours? LOL.

 

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6:00 pm – A little more than 23 hours ago, Islanders captain Bill Guerin left the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum ice after the warmup before his team’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. He took off his Islanders uniform – presumably for the last time – and put on his suit.

 

The Islanders reported that Guerin was healthy, and not much else. A little more than 23 hours, more than 1,000,000 Point Blank hits and more than 1,000 Comments later, no news.

 

Besides some outragous rumors and rib-tickling trade proposals, some passionate Islanders fans wrote in this space that the Islanders do not owe them any explanation – not any communication at all. One said it’s strictly between Bill and the Islanders. One theory was that Garth Snow was merely playing everybody and driving up the price. Perhaps the Islanders were happy to read that.

 

All we know, 23 hours later, is you don’t have a major or minor trade, you don’t have a draft pick, you don’t have a prospect. You, and I, have got nothing.

 

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3:30 pm – Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New Jersey all playing this afternoon. General vibe of confidence continues that trade will still be announced today or tonight. Hmmm…

 

Washington really looking like they could use a veteran guiding force.

 

Darren Dreger reports that now Bill Guerin knows where his trade is to, but isn’t saying publicly because potential new team has not confirmed deal as done.

 

One more time: just because the deal may take 24 hours, doesn’t mean it’s a difference-maker for the Islanders. Highly doubtful. You have been warned.

 

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3:22 pm – Greg Logan’s story from practice today. Thanks for the plug on the Devils telecast, Steve Cangialosi.

 

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1:45 pm – My friend Tarik El-Bashir, who used to cover the Islanders when they used to be covered by the New York Times, reports that the Capitals are not the trade partner. Tarik covers the Caps for the Washington Post. Woodward and Bernstein used to work there. Tarik cannot be wrong. Can he?

 

Islanders practice has ended. Garth Snow was not there. Scott Gordon could not speak on the subject of a Guerin trade. As predicted earlier this morning, despite the lack of any news, it was one of the best-attended practices of a last place team in the final weeks of a season in the history of professional sports.

 

Since last night and into today, I was told by Islanders personnel to get to Iceworks. I’m glad I didn’t. The reporters were rewarded with nothing. Maybe the team sold some stuff. Wow-wee.

 

Here’s the problem. I’m sure the holdup is for good reasons. Don’t question that for a second. But if this situation – can’t call it a “drama” anymore – gets to the 24-hour mark at 7:00 pm without any communication from the Islanders franchise to its fan base, this over-riding sentiment…

 

Hey, this is kinda neat! Everyone’s watching the Islanders! Bill Guerin is the biggest name in hockey for one day! The Islanders have done a great job keeping this professional and under wraps! I’m sure it’s a great deal and they just want to do the right thing for Billy and the franchise! Man, this is killing me! I can’t wait to find out what the deal is! I love this game! I love this team!

 

Turns to this…

 

This blows. I’m done. We’re trading a 38-year old with 16 goals for maybe a pick and a prospect. Used to care, now don’t care anymore. Let me know when it’s done.

 

And if, heaven forbid, Sunday turns to Monday, it could turn to this…

 

Uh oh. Here we go again.

 

The Islanders do not have to name teams, do not have to name names. But if this gets to 24 hours, some words from the franchise to its die-hards would be appropriate. All it has to be is: “We have a deal for Billy in place. It’s good for us and it’s a good spot for Billy. We can’t get into specifics, but some work has to get done for the trade to be finalized. In the mean time, he’ll stay off the ice. As soon as it is completed and approved by the league, we’ll talk about it extensively.”

 

(BTW, one of the most respected veterans in the game is in limbo, unable to talk about it to even some of his closest friends).

 

I would hope, at the very least, some level of communication from Islanders management is coming soon.

 

 

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