Normally, when a high-school student claims to be breaking a trade or sharing a trade rumour, you can safely file his “insider info” in the bunk drawer and carry on peacefully. But last week, when Samir Javer (@samjam99 on Twitter) espoused that “Roberto Luongo to the Maple Leafs” was a done deal, it raised an eyebrow.
Javer has been suspiciously ahead of the outlets on Canucks’ trade details a few times, most recently, when he tweeted the exact players changing addresses in the Cody Hodgson trade — right down to the swap of Sulzer and Gragnani — a full ten minutes before TSN did. Take a look:
Note the 12:28 p.m timestamp, which hasn’t been altered in any way. Now note the following timestamps:
Seven minutes later, Bob McKenzie is the first one on part of the deal, announcing that Cody Hodgson has been traded.
The next few minutes seem to drag on forever as we wonder who he’s been traded for, but the exact details of the trade come out just three minutes later, when the Buffalo Sabres tweet it from their official account, garnering a retweet from McKenzie.
You’ll recall that the Sabres upset the Canucks by sharing the news before they could break it to Hodgson in person.
Anyway, the fact that Javer beat TSN to this information at all, let alone by 10 minutes, is highly suspicious. After all, Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger have sources all over the league, including at the league office. On deadline day, they’re at their Blackberries with a direct line to the office where the trades are being processed. They really do break trades as they happen. Javer coming out ahead is evidence that he truly has a source.
Since Javer attends school in Vancouver and since February 27 was a school day, it’s a safe bet that he wasn’t at the league offices on trade deadline day. Thus, his source is either inside the Canucks or the Sabres organizations, and since his other big scoop was Canucks-related — if I recall, he beat the outlets on October’s David Booth deal — it’s also a safe bet that this source is local.
(He was also involved in the Canucks’ decision to file tampering charges against Toronto back in 2009, but not in the way you think.)
As strange as it may sound, a young man that just graduated high school this week has a source inside the Canucks’ organization. Thus, when he claimed Roberto Luongo was Toronto-bound last week, both on Twitter and on NHL Beat, a website he writes for, it simply couldn’t be dismissed outright. Here’s his report:
BREAKING NEWS: A well-placed source told NHL Beat that a deal that would send Roberto Luongo to the Toronto Maple Leafs is “90% done”, and will be completed by the draft, if not free agency.
We repudiated Javer as more than just a rumour-monger on Twitter, which is partly true but was still regrettable, since some people took his words as gospel as a result. His tweet on the alleged Luongo deal even made the evening news. Very regrettable. I’d have let it go, but since then, he’s continued to speak as an authority on the matter, and he’s beginning to mislead.
So here’s the thing: having a source and being a source are two very different things. For whatever reason, Javer is occasionally told things by someone who knows things, so he has a source. But to be a source, you have to be reliable, and Javer is not.
While he occasionally gets things too right to be espousing fabrications and guesses, he also gets quite a bit wrong. He was one of the voices behind the Corey Perry to Vancouver rumours that turned out to be false, and he recently claimed that Roberto Luongo was in Toronto this past Sunday, getting checked out by the Maple Leafs’ head physician at a hotel.
James Duthie, who is super-friends with Roberto Luongo, has a direct line to the man himself and is a real source, refuted this report on TSN, claiming Luongo was on vacation with his family. Meanwhile, @strombone1, the suspected secret Twitter account of Roberto Luongo, claimed otherwise as well.
—Strombone (@strombone1) June 5, 2012
Comedy break! While we’re on the subject, @strombone1 also mocked the rumours that a deal was done, especially when he has yet to approve any deal. This I can confirm with a source of my own. As of this writing, he has not waived his no-trade clause for any deal and he has not yet been requested to.
Wow bud @NotBobbyLu I thought for sur I’d be the first to know if you got traded. How do no trade clauses work btw? Cuz I’m confused?
—Strombone (@strombone1) June 1, 2012
Later, our old pal @strombone1 played coy with the idea that he was on his way to Toronto when someone tweeted him a topical photoshop from the Legion of Blog:
The follow-up tweet was even better.
Vety duffycylt to twert wuth glovr anf blobker on —Strombone (@strombone1) June 2, 2012
(Note: My usual disclaimer that there’s still a .001% chance that @strombone1 is not Roberto Luongo still stands, but unless Duthie’s been body-snatched, his identity is confirmed, so consider the Roberto Luongo sighting in Toronto busted.)
Anyway, back to business.
Let’s wrap this up. What can be said about Samir Javer? Well, his Twitter activity indicates that he’s attempting to make himself into a full-on NHL insider, with claims that he cannot confirm this and that, and additional tidbits of information expanding on his own stories. And since his source is limited to one team and only shares information with him occasionally, one wonders how he’s going to produce enough insider info to establish himself. Simple: you make the stuff up, as I would wager he did when he expanded on a tweet from complete non-source @BlogTrot (based out of Vancouver) that Luongo had been spotted at a downtown hotel in Toronto.
— Blog Trot (@BlogTrot) June 4, 2012
And this is the issue when you fail to take Javer’s information with a heaping spoonful of salt . Since we have no way of knowing when he’s going from his source (I would wager that’s rare) and when he’s trying to make himself appear to be more connected than he is, he himself is not a source. He’s just a guy that knows somebody.
Finally, please consider the following when you hear Luongo-to-Toronto rumours, or any Luongo trade rumours, for that matter. The Canucks want them being spread around.
There’s also been an uncharacteristic amount of smoke surrounding Luongo recently, and not just about the Leafs being pegged as frontrunners — it would appear there are also a bevy of interested teams behind them. Keeping in mind that, going into the summer, there were questions and concerns about Gillis being able to rouse enough interest to get a good return on a Luongo deal, I’d wager that a great deal of this smoke has been fabricated by the Canucks to make Luongo seem like a highly-valued commodity and drive up the price. We’ve seen plenty of posturing from Steve Yzerman and Brian Burke trying to throw water on their interest (something that would bring the price down), and suddenly, when they do, Florida’s interested. How convenient is that?
With Thomas taking a year off, Vokoun signing in Pittsburgh, and the continued posturing of these GMs, Mike Gillis would be foolish to already be locked into a deal. He’s playing poker, and even if Javer’s information is truly from his source, it may not be true.
In short, not only is it not wise to believe Samir Javer without qualification, but it’s not wise to believe anything you hear until a deal goes through.
We’ll let @Strombone1 have the final word here:
—Strombone (@strombone1) June 6, 2012
But wait, it gets better.
Hold on a sec… The doc at hotel in TO is asking me to cough twice. BRB “@samjam99: did luongo just tweet me…? ”
—Strombone (@strombone1) June 6, 2012
I know I say this a lot, but Roberto Luongo just won the Internet.Tags: Funny Bob, i have sources okay, Luongo, Luongo is winning Twitter, strombone1, trade rumours