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So You Want To Spread Fake Trade Rumours

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Our step-by-step guide can help you get started.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at St. Louis Blues Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Are you bored with life? Does watching the timid two-step of NHL GMs no longer get you excited? Are you worried this trade deadline will be yet another disappointment when it peaks with someone paying two seconds for Martin Hanzal?

What if I told you there was a vivid world where big trades did happen? Where your favourite team got that top-pairing defender you’ve always wanted? A wondrous fantasy land where every day is like June 29, 2016?

There can be! For a little while. And it involves you spreading fake trade rumours on Twitter.

You might object that making stuff up and misleading people is, well, lying. But some of the most beautiful things in life are lies! Season ticket drives, peace treaties, young love—they’re so wonderful as long as they last. Sure, they may end with another wasted season, a world war, or getting drunk on wine coolers and ruining your high school prom. But for a brief moment, people can believe in something. And that’s magical.

Make A Twitter Account

Twitter is to lying what coastal cities were to the Black Death. Once your Tavares-for-Josi take docks safely in the hockey Twittersphere, it’s free to spread through a method even more infectious than aerosolised plague bacteria: the retweet. In the fever of deadline speculation, people will pass anything along. It’s like an epidemic where everyone responds to the stress by making out.

The ideal fake hockey rumour account name is generic enough to sound credible. You want people to focus on your sexy hockey trade porn, not the source. @hockeytradereporter sounds like someone who might know something real. @butthockey2017 may give your readers undue pause, or may seem to be offering a very different product.

Build Credibility

A Twitter with hundreds of easily disprovable lies only works if you’re running for President. You need to get a track record of saying true things. Do this by tweeting news everyone will already have heard anyway. Follow Bob McKenzie and just say the things he says as soon as possible after he says them. Don’t RT him—this is a common rookie mistake. You are not trying to inform people and give credit, you’re laying a foundation for your fictions. Get your head in the game.

Next, muse on topics Elliotte Friedman has talked about. Friedman says the Blues are shopping Kevin Shattenkirk? Then the Stars are looking at him. Who cares if they are? They probably are. They should be. Honestly the world would be better if people just did what you said they were doing. Idiots.

Everybody’s Talkin’

Here’s a phrase. Learn it. Commit it to memory:

“The [team] are in discussions with [team] for player.”

It’s perfect. Teams are always in discussions. One Twitter account I looked at, for the first three months of the season, described 23 sets of discussions going on involving particular players and teams. None of those players have moved yet. Maybe these discussions were actually going on! I don’t know.

It does mean that for three months said account did not successfully predict a single trade, but then, he never said that was what he was doing. You hit 100% of the shots you technically didn’t take!

Bet On All The Horses

You can’t be wrong if you don’t actually say anything; conversely, you’re always right if you make sure to say everything. It’s expected lots of teams will be interested in good players. Name six. Or eight. You can cover the better part of the teams who ought to be buying in one tweet, and you have a decent chance of hitting something.

If you do hit something, coast on it forever. Continually point to that thing you were right about, and ignore that your shooting percentage is worse than Kadri’s last year. Also there were all those things you repeated from Bob McKenzie. Everything else was just discussions. You never said they’d accept it!

Some people take this to extremes, like this account that purported to show FIFA was corrupt. Side note: don’t make a Twitter to prove things that are obvious.

The Big Event

This is all foreplay, though. Eventually you want that sweet, perfect rumour, the one that catches fire for a few beautiful hours on deadline day. This is your moment.

Needless to say, the player involved has to be a big name—if every other fanbase doesn’t know who he is, it’s pointless. No one talks about the Lauri Korpikoski sweepstakes. The trade also can’t be obviously stupid for one side, like trading Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson.

The team acquiring the player also has to have people that care about it. If the Sens acquired Sidney Crosby, everyone would just feel ennui. You want big player to big team. In the end, though, this is up to the artist. Make it count.

Once your rumour is out and spreading, you’re almost done. Send a follow-up tweet asserting with absolute certainty that the deal is done and the paperwork is just being finalized. Wait an hour, then delete the Tweet and pretend it never happened.

You win! I guess.

Protect Yourself With Insane Disclaimers

It’s important to ensure that there can be no legal consequences for your behaviour, due to the long [non-existent] history of fake hockey rumour peddlers being sued. In the interests of helping, I have borrowed this disclaimer from “The Hockey Press”, a very legitimate website that is definitely not hoping you’ll mistake it for actual publication The Hockey News.

Note: @TheHockeyPress is NOT Liable for any Trade Rumors or News reported in this Blog. Do not quote The Hockey Press for misinterpreting the original articles. Some info may have been misinterpreted, and changed for purposes. This Blog falls under the Fair Use Law. Do not Quote because all information was reported by the Writers/Articles listed.

This is, and I say this with admiration, the greatest disclaimer I have ever seen. It attempts to absolve the site for basically everything and then tells you that you can’t quote it. Regrettably, I have now quoted it, and will presumably be taken to jail.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s not easy being an NHL rumour-monger. No, I’m just kidding, it’s super easy! Which is why, year after year, these accounts pop up like dandelions spreading dandy-lies. Sooner or later everyone will accept that nobody knows anything for sure until Bob McKenzie confirms it. But until then, this is your time to shine. Get out there, kid!