How I found out I was traded

On trade deadline day, fans are glued to their televisions and refreshing Twitter to see what their team does. But when a move is made, how do the players find out?

Chris Chelios

June 29, 1990: Traded from the Montreal Canadiens to his hometown Chicago Blackhawks for Denis Savard. The Blackhawks also got a second-round pick in the 1991 draft (Michael Pomichter).

"Montreal was in the summer. It was a lot easier to take in the summer. Especially the fact I was going home to Chicago."

March 23, 1999: Traded from Chicago to Detroit Red Wings at the trade deadline for Anders Eriksson, a first-round pick in the 1999 draft (Steve McCarthy) and a first-round pick in the 2001 draft (Adam Munro).

"I still never got over it until the next season. Hard to believe that I was playing for Detroit, a rival. Said I'd never play there. But, walking into that room was probably the strangest and most uncomfortable feeling I've ever had in my career. I think we were getting ready for a game in Pittsburgh and I found out in the afternoon. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to my teammates. Had to go to the rink, grab my stuff and go right to the airport." -- Scott Burnside

Igor Larionov

Oct. 24, 1995: Traded by the San Jose Sharks to the Detroit Red Wings for Ray Sheppard after playing just four games in the 1995-96 season.

"Of course I remember. Actually, I requested the trade. So I was in San Jose and I knew the team wasn't going the right direction, in my view, and I asked for the trade. And I was sitting at home for like two weeks until I got a phone call from Scotty Bowman and he told me I just trade for you to Detroit. Ray Sheppard was going to San Jose.

"You know what, obviously it's kind of like, not anxious, but I guess a new challenge. You're going to the different team and a different ambitions and to me going to Detroit was giving me a chance to play with great players, great team, great franchise. Also to have a chance to be in the Stanley Cup."

Dec. 28, 2000: In the 2000-01 season, after playing 26 games for the Florida Panthers, Larionov was traded back to Detroit for Yan Golubovsky.

"The second time I got traded from Florida back to Detroit. I just spent like three months in Florida. Things didn't work out in Florida and I was actually also asking to find me a different team. When [someone is] going on at a certain age, when you want to win some trophies, so you want to have a chance before it's too late. I knew that situation in Florida wasn't going the right direction and I asked for the trade as well. So it took a little longer, but I was glad to be back in Detroit by Christmastime. Bryan Murray [told me about the trade], Bryan Murray was the GM in Florida. Obviously going back ... I was going back home. Back to Detroit and I won another Stanley Cup: No. 3." -- Scott Burnside

Johnny Boychuk

Oct. 4, 2014: Traded by the Boston Bruins to the New York Islanders for a second- (previously acquired from the Flyers) and third-round pick (Brandon Carlo) in 2015 and a second-round pick in 2016.

"I was sleeping for my nap because I was supposed to be playing against Detroit in preseason and then I see a Boston area code phoning me and I'm like, 'This is really weird.' Usually I don't look at my phone and for some reason I heard my phone because it's usually on silent when I'm sleeping. Then I thought, 'Oh, I think I'm getting traded.' I answered the phone and it was Peter [Chiarelli, Bruins GM]. He goes, 'Hey, Johnny. It's Peter Chiarelli calling.' I'm like, 'Oh, hi.' The only time a GM phones you is if you've been traded, so he just said, 'We've traded you to the Islanders. We didn't want to but with the [cap] situation that we're in ...' And I kind of knew somebody would be going out of our defense corps and it just happened to be me. I was obviously upset. It was hard because I was just getting up from a nap and you have to wake up right away for that. Especially with the team that we had, it was upsetting to be traded. I can't remember what I said but I was understanding because everybody knew something had to happen. He was nice about it. I think everybody in Boston knew somebody was going to get traded, right? ... I was upset because I liked the city and the team, but I knew it's a business and that's what it comes down to. I knew my teammates were upset because I talked to everybody that day and everybody was upset, including myself. I went to bed a Bruin and woke up an Islander." --Joe McDonald

Max Talbot

Oct. 31, 2013: Traded by the Philadelphia Flyers with Paul Carey to the Colorado Avalanche for Steve Downie.

"Well, first time, I had just left practice. It was Halloween when I went from Philly to Denver. It was 10 or 11 games into the season and I was driving when I just got a phone call. I was only four streets from home when [Flyers GM Paul] Holmgren told me I was going to Colorado. I was like, 'Wow.' You don't expect 10 games into the season to get traded. My wife was seven months pregnant and we had brought a house 10 months prior. I had to meet the team that night in Dallas, so I get home, tell my wife and she's like, 'Sorry, what?' So she had to pack the whole house. I packed my stuff to leave for Dallas and she's stuck with a brand new house that we just finished painting, a house full of stuff, baby stuff, cribs and all the stuff we just put up. She's French-Canadian and she had to find out how to sell a house. She met me in Colorado a few weeks after."

March 2, 2015: Traded by the Colorado Avalanche to the Boston Bruins for Jordan Caron and a sixth-round pick in 2016.

"It was 2 p.m. [local] and I was at the doctor's just checking up on something, and I texted my wife 'We're safe' jokingly because there were no rumors, nothing, but everybody talks about it on trading deadline. I thought we were safe and I remember it was 2:11 I got a text from Renaud Lavoie from TVA, asking, 'Have you been traded?' I was like, 'I don't think so.' He said, 'Elliotte Friedman just tweeted you might be going somewhere.' I hadn't heard anything and it's [past the deadline] and five minutes later I'm coming out of the hospital and I got a phone call from [Avs GM] Joe Sakic and I learned I was traded. I called back my wife and she's like, 'No, way.' Our baby was 1 and we had Nathan MacKinnon [living with us], so we had to figure out how we were going to do this. At least I had one extra day on that trade, so I had time to pick up my things and wife and kid flew with me. [The Bruins] put us in a condo here and it worked out great. We went back to get our stuff at the end of the season." --Joe McDonald

Cam Neely

June 6, 1986: Traded on his birthday by the Vancouver Canucks with a first-round pick in the 1987 draft (Glen Wesley) to the Boston Bruins for Barry Pederson.

"I was actually working out with some buddies back in Maple Ridge [British Columbia] and it was pre-cell phones and you name it. The GM was trying to track me down. He called my parents' house and my younger sister knew where I was, so she got a hold of me at the gym and she was the one who told me I was traded. She said I needed to get a hold of the GM, so that's how I found out. I was surprised. I didn't hear any rumblings. My third year was more of a challenging year than my rookie year. There were times when I was playing fourth-line center, but I didn't think that I was going to be traded. [After the trade] I was like,'Man, if I'm struggling playing in Vancouver, what's it going to be like in Boston?' That's really what went through my head. I'm like, 'Geez, where is this going?' As soon as I got [to Boston] for my first camp, they put me with some better players to see if I could play, I guess. Right through camp and the start of the year things just really clicked for me here. I always say [being traded] was one of the best birthday gifts I got. I look back on it like it was a great gift." --Joe McDonald

Thomas Vanek

Oct. 27, 2013: Traded by the Buffalo Sabres to the New York Islanders for Matt Moulson and a first-round pick in 2014 and a second-round pick in 2015.

"In Buffalo, it was early in the year, I think, only about 10 games in and I got a phone call about 9 o'clock at night from Darcy Regier, who was our GM at the time. He just said, 'Hey, Thomas, I just traded you to the Islanders.' And that was it. Five minutes later, I got a phone call from [Islanders GM] Garth Snow welcoming me to the organization and he was telling me someone else was going to be calling me with my flight information, and pretty soon I got another phone call and I had a 6 a.m. flight, so it was a quick turnaround."

March 5, 2014: Traded by the New York Islanders with a conditional fifth-round pick in 2014 to the Montreal Canadiens for Sebastian Collberg and a conditional second-round pick in 2014.

"Actually, that one was a little different because it was on the deadline, so I was actually on the road in Edmonton watching TV and I heard I was traded, but I found out about half an hour later on TV that I'm going to Montreal, but I didn't get a phone call from anyone. But later on I got a phone call from Garth saying, 'Sorry it took so long but they had to wait for the papers to go through' or whatever. So it was a strange thing. I heard I was going to Montreal but no one called me or confirmed it. So I'm like, 'OK, I'm not sure if I'm still an Islander or not.'" -- Scott Burnside

Artem Anisimov

June 30, 2015: Traded by the Columbus Blue Jackets with Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp, Marko Dano and a fourth-round pick in 2016 to the Chicago Blackhawks for Brandon Saad, Michael Paliotta and Alex Broadhurst.

"I was back in Russia that time. And because [of the] time difference, it was in the middle of the night. I got the call, they tell me, you traded to Chicago. And that's it. Ruined my sleep. The first call my agent tell me like it's probably going to be trade. When the trade completed, Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen] called me and say, 'Thank you.' Couple minutes later, [Blackhawks GM] Stan Bowman called me and say, 'Welcome to the team and we look forward to working with you.' This is it.

"Yeah, offseason is much easier. You have time to think about things. You can plan around and move your stuff from Columbus to Chicago. You have time to find the right place to live. I think if you're traded during the season, it's much harder. Your family going to be staying in your old town and you just be in hotel and play games without your family." -- Scott Burnside

Jiri Sekac

Feb. 24, 2015: Traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Anaheim Ducks for Devante Smith-Pelly.

Jan. 21, 2016: Traded by the Anaheim Ducks to the Chicago Blackhawks for Ryan Garbutt.

"The day I got traded, we were supposed to leave for the long road trip in New York for like seven days. After that there was the All-Star break as well. I woke up around 7 o'clock in the morning, saw a text to call the GM in Anaheim. Because I was in a trade last year, I kind of knew or I didn't know, but I was 90 percent sure that I'm going somewhere else.

"Last year I had a girlfriend. This year I'm single, so it was kind of harder for me. I had to take care of everything, all my stuff. Like I had to go back to Anaheim, pack the rest of my clothes and everything, things that I needed. So I went there over the All-Star break and just packed it. It's a little bit more work when you're single, but I think it's way harder to get traded when you have kids and stuff like that because they have to change school and it's definitely not easy. For me, it's just ... that I have to do all kinds of work, so that's kind of hard.

"Guys come and go. They know we're professionals, we can take it and we're not going to fight or cry about it. It's just the way it is. Nothing you can do about it. You just have to take it." -- Scott Burnside

Jamie McLennan

March 6, 2004: Traded by the Calgary Flames with Blair Betts and Greg Moore to the New York Rangers for Chris Simon and a seventh-round draft pick (Matt Schneider) in 2004.

"We were in Dallas, we lost that night. We stayed the night because we were going to Colorado to play them two days later. I went out really late after the game, got home at 5 a.m., pretty well oiled, and saw Darryl [Sutter, Flames GM and coach] in the lobby, pacing. We locked eyes but I pretended to not see him. We had a noon bus, so I got up at 11 a.m. and went down early to get myself sorted. I saw Darryl again in the lobby. He called me over and basically said, 'I just traded you to New York.' I was in shock. I remember saying, 'Is it because you caught me out late?' He laughed and said no. It broke the tension and sadness a bit." -- Pierre LeBrun

Andrew Ference

Feb. 10, 2007: Traded by the Calgary Flames along with Chuck Kobasew to the Boston Bruins for Brad Stuart, Wayne Primeau and a fourth-round pick (from Capitals; Flames selected T.J. Brodie) in 2008.

"We had a pretty good team and we were on a road trip and playing the Sabres in Buffalo. After the game, everyone loads onto the bus and we're going off to our next destination -- I think it was Detroit -- and the bus was just sitting there forever. We were like, 'What the hell?' Everyone starts [complaining] about it, saying, 'Let's get going.' We were just sitting there for a while and everyone was griping.

"Eventually, one of our assistant coaches got on the bus and came to the back and just told me. He said, '[GM] Darryl [Sutter] wanted me to come back and tell you that we traded you.' It was like, holy crap, sitting there with all your teammates. Trades are always so weird for everybody. You really don't know what to say to a guy, especially when you have a tight team. There's a little bit of awkwardness and everybody's kind of sad. It makes everybody feel vulnerable when you see someone get traded like that. Yeah, the [assistant] coach literally came to the back of the bus and said, 'We traded you to Boston.' It's like, 'Yeah, thanks.' So, I got off the bus and had to dig out my luggage from underneath the bus. I got that out and then a teammate I had played with in Calgary, he was playing for Buffalo at the time -- Toni Lydman -- and luckily he was walking out when I was there, so I told him I just got traded. He said, 'Well, you need a lift?' He actually drove me to the hotel where I finally got a chance to call my wife. I stayed the night in Buffalo and flew to Boston the next day.

"It was a weird one getting pulled off the bus and digging for your stuff. Yeah, it sucked. You've got a million things going through your head at that time, let alone the fact that you've got one suit and a couple of pairs of underwear. It's the day-to-day stuff that you don't think about. It's always wild. The weird ones are the ones that happen on the road. When you're at home, and it's a practice day, you can go home and at least tell your family, but when you're mid-road trip, those are pretty wild for guys. ... And at least I didn't find out on the ticker. You hear about guys finding out on the [TSN] ticker and that's probably the worst one. I've heard of guys sitting in the locker room, they're watching "SportsCentre" and it comes on the ticker and guys will look over and say, 'Did you just read what I just read?' Yeah, it's weird." -- Joe McDonald

Patrick Lalime

March 24, 1998: Traded by the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Anaheim Ducks for Sean Pronger.

"I was in the minors in Grand Rapids. The last day of the deadline, you're expecting something. After my rookie year with Pittsburgh, I signed on my own in the IHL to finish the year and was without an NHL contract, so Pittsburgh traded my rights. I remember I'm in my pregame nap in Milwaukee in the IHL and my wife is calling me and she's like, 'You've just been traded to Anaheim.' I was like, 'No way. My agent would have called me. Someone would have gotten in touch with me.' She says, 'My aunt told me she heard it on the radio that you just got traded.' I couldn't believe it, so I called my agent and he says, 'Yeah, let me check that out, but I think it just happened.' I remembering telling my wife, 'No way, because your aunt doesn't even know hockey.' To me, my jaw dropped. My first time getting traded and I expect to get a call from my agent or a GM, but nope, none of that. My wife's aunt, and honestly she doesn't even know hockey, but she heard it on the radio back home. I told my agent, 'Yeah, thanks for the call.' People just think that it's all by the book, but agents sometimes have so much to do and they're talking to everybody all over the place. I had a good year but I guess I wasn't on the top of the list." -- Joe McDonald

Andrew Raycroft

June 24, 2006: Traded by the Boston Bruins to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Tuukka Rask.

"I was on vacation and we were in Italy. We were in Rome and had just gotten engaged the week before, so there was a lot going on. But it was nice being over there. I got a call in the middle of the night from my agent. It was nice to be able to get a bunch of messages but not really talk to anyone. I was able to decompress and take it all in for a few days before I had to come home and face the onslaught. We were right at the end of the trip, maybe three or four more days left, then we came home. We were also with some friends from Sweden, so we just enjoyed our time there before we came home." -- Joe McDonald

Ray Ferraro

Nov. 13, 1990: Traded by the Hartford Whalers to the New York Islanders for Doug Crossman.

"I get home from practice, no cellphones then, and there is a message on my answering machine to call Eddie Johnston, our GM. I call, he's out eating lunch. So I wait for him to call back. Phone rings. This is it. I pick up and hear, 'Hi, Ray, Bill Torrey from the Islanders.' I say, 'I guess I'm coming to your team.' He says, 'For Christ's sake, you don't know yet?' My answer was, 'I do now.'"

March 14, 1996: Traded by the New York Rangers with Ian Laperriere, Mattias Norstrom, Nathan LaFayette and a fourth-round pick (Sean Blanchard) in 1997 to the Los Angeles Kings for Marty McSorley, Jari Kurri and Shane Churla.

"At home with family, phone rings. Landon [who was 4] answers and says, 'Dad, it's Colin [Campbell, my coach].' He tells me, 'I'm so angry.' Never really forgave Neil Smith for making Colin call."

March 18, 2002: Traded by Atlanta Thrashers to the St. Louis Blues for a fourth-round pick (previously acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes; Atlanta selected Lane Manson) in 2002.

"I kinda knew this was coming, but didn't know where. I got sat out in a game, and in the third period I get called to [Thrashers GM] Don Waddell's office. I quickly talk to [Blues GM] Larry Pleau, and am told I have a 10 a.m. flight to St. Louis the next day for a game that night. Very little time to say goodbyes, but so excited to play for a playoff team in what I knew was my last year." -- Pierre LeBrun

Landon Ferraro

Ray's son and current Boston Bruin on having a dad who was frequently traded:

"I had no idea and I'm like, 'Oh, here you go [as he handed the phone over].' It was nuts. No one had cell phones. It's just, leave a message and call me back and if someone else is there, which I think I was 4, so I picked it up. I was just helping out. I've never lived in one spot more than four years my entire life, so you kind of miss out on those real good childhood friends. I keep in touch with some buddies around the U.S., but you kind of miss out on that. At the same time, it teaches you to adapt, especially in this life now, you've got to be ready to move. It makes you ready for it when you're a kid without even noticing. You learn to make friends quick, fit it and find a way to make it work. At the same time, I got to live in New York, L.A., Atlanta and now Vancouver; it's not like we got stuck in bad places, so going to the beach on Christmas in L.A. definitely helped things out."

Martin Biron

Feb. 27, 2007: Traded by the Buffalo Sabres to the Philadelphia Flyers for a second-round draft pick (T.J. Brennan) in 2007:

"We were playing in Toronto on deadline day. I remember arriving in the visitors dressing room on the morning of the game and turning on all the TVs in the dressing room on TSN to watch the deadline coverage. One of the trainers says, '[Coach] Lindy [Ruff] wants to see you.' I thought Lindy was mad [because] I turned on all the TVs to the trade deadline coverage, I thought he was mad I wasn't maybe focused on the game. Lindy comes in and turns off all the TVs and sits me down. He starts asking me questions. He says, 'Marty, if you had your choice, would you want to be traded today?' I said, 'I don't know, it's out of my control now, I'm just going to go with the flow.' But he says, 'You want to be a No. 1 goalie, don't you?' I said, 'Yeah, but I can look around this summer around the league to see if there's a fit. I'm good with whatever happens right now.' So he says again, 'Yeah, but you want to be a No. 1 goalie now, don't you?' I said, 'Well, yeah.' He says, 'Great, we traded you.' I said, 'OK, where?' He says, 'We don't know yet, it's not sure yet, we're trying to finalize it. But you're basically traded.' So I said, 'What do I do now?'

"So I didn't go out for the morning skate, I showered up and changed and went back to the hotel. I called my family and told them I was traded and they said, 'Where?' I still didn't know where. I'm watching TV to find out where I've been traded. I remember there was a reporter on TSN being asked if all [the] Sabres were accounted for on the ice for morning skate and he said yes. So I remember laughing and thinking I guess I wasn't that significant a player. Ha. But then it was noticed there was only one goalie on the ice.

"Probably a good 45 minutes to an hour later after Lindy had given me the news, I got a call from [then-Sabres GM] Darcy Regier and he said, 'We've got it all figured out, you're taking a car service back to Buffalo and then get on a flight to Boston tonight.' So I'm saying, 'I was traded to Boston? That doesn't make sense.' He says, 'Oh no, you've been traded to Philadelphia, but they're in Boston tomorrow, so you're going there tonight.'

"It was as intense and emotional as it had been in a long time for me. I had been with the same team my whole career. What a night." -- Pierre LeBrun

Brad Maxwell

Feb. 21, 1987: Traded by the New York Rangers to the North Stars for future considerations.

"I was playing in New York. I'd only been there about a month and a half. Minnesota had a couple of injuries, so Phil Esposito's the general manager in New York and Louie's [Minnesota hockey icon Lou Nanne] the general manager in Minnesota. They're friends. They grew up together. They've got condos side by side in Florida. So they just had played golf, so they're sitting on their decks or something like that and playing cards. And all of a sudden they start betting guy's names. And Louie will deny this, but I take Phil's word over Louie's any day. ... Phil called me in the morning. I was in New York and ready for a game and he goes, 'Maxie, we really like having you in New York but I lost you in a card game. You've got to go back to Minnesota.'

"Poker? I don't know what it was, but I just heard I got lost in a card game. And I don't think Phil would have just blurted that out for no reason, so I believe they really were betting. Louie denies it."

Did Esposito at least lose to a good hand?

"I don't know. I never got that far. I know I've spoken to Louie about it a few times and he goes, 'No, that's just not right.' He's just downplaying it. And it was probably true."

Aug. 21, 1985: Traded by the Quebec Nordiques to the Toronto Maple Leafs for John Anderson.

"We didn't have Internet and cable and stuff like that. It was always by a GM. You get called into the office and they would say they made that trade. When I got traded from Quebec to Toronto, that was in the summertime, so I got a call from my agent and he said I got traded to Toronto.

"It was tough with the move and stuff. I had a couple of young kids back then. ... Quebec I loved. Great hockey. Montreal, the games that we played against them were just phenomenal. The problem back in those days, you couldn't make any money in Quebec. Sixty-five percent taxes, no deductions and you're still living in the States; you've got to transfer money back and forth. It just didn't work." -- Scott Burnside

Wes Walz

Jan. 2, 1992: Traded by the Bruins with Garry Galley and a third-round pick (Milos Holan) in 1993 to the Philadelphia Flyers for Gord Murphy, Brian Dobbin, a third-round pick (Sergei Zholtok) in 1992 and a fourth-round pick (Charles Paquette) in 1993.

"[GM] Mike Milbury called me in. I'll never forget it. We had played the night before. I never played a whole lot at that time. I was playing with Chris Nilan and Lyndon Byers on the fourth line. I believe I was minus-2 or something that night and, at that time, I only probably played eight or 10 minutes [a game] halfway through the season. I thought he was calling me in to talk about my game, because I really did have a bad game. So I thought it was going to be being reprimanded about my game and I've got to be better and different things like that, and it was 'Have a seat, listen, we've traded you.'

"After he says the words, 'You got traded,' he might as well [have] just sent me out of the room because I'm not even listening anymore. He talked to me for probably for another two minutes. I don't remember one other word that he said to me. And it didn't really matter at that point. I probably deserved to be traded.

"My wife actually was pregnant with our first child and we had our first child in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which was probably 45 minutes from Hershey. So, that's where our first child was born.

"I think most wives understand that [they've] married into that. That's part of the deal. But until you've officially gone through it, it still can be overwhelming. We were at the time 22-year-old kids. You look back at the pictures even. When you have your first child and you look at your wife, we are like boys and girls. You're not grown men, and so we were moving furniture and getting everything out and trying to handle all that without your mom and dad, so we grew up real fast and it was good experience." -- Scott Burnside

Colby Armstrong

2008: Traded by the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Atlanta Thrashers

"I was in Long Island in that old hotel out in the middle of nowhere. ... I was there, I was in my room. I'm actually roommates with Sid [Sidney Crosby]. Sid was out with a high ankle sprain at the time and I got my own room. I'm like, 'This is weird. They should have put me with another guy.' I had a conspiracy theory that they knew about this trade all along.

"My mom calls me on the phone [and] told me I got traded because she saw it on TV. I was pregame sleeping like a baby, was getting ready to play the Islanders. Had no clue. It really caught me off guard. Stupid me. My phone is blowing up.

"My mom is calling me and it goes like this:


"'What are you doing?'

"'I'm sleeping. I have a game tonight.'

"'Oh, you don't know?'

"'Did I get traded?'


"'Where? Atlanta?'

"She goes, 'yup.'

"I said the F-word in front of my mom. We had a good team, Sid was hurt, [but] we were still winning games like crazy. You knew something special was going to happen. I was like, oh God." -- Craig Custance

Patrick Eaves

Eaves has been traded three times in his career: twice during the season (2008, 2014) and once in the offseason (2009).

March 5, 2014: Traded with Calle Jarnkrok and a conditional draft pick in 2014 by the Detroit Red Wings to the Nashville Predators for David Legwand:

"I found out a little after 3 o'clock [p.m.], right after the deadline. [When you get traded], you get a call from each GM, usually the GM that traded you first and then from the second GM. And you've just got to focus on being wanted by another team, not so much that you were traded by one team. Mentally, you've got to wrap your head around that. Everything happens for a reason.

"I missed one call and I got a message from the GM. ... I also found out from my agent once when I was on my honeymoon. But it's usually from the GM."

Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones

2016: Johansen to Nashville Predators, Jones to Columbus Blue Jackets