Monday, July 30, 2007

Off Season Midterm Grades: The Winners

Read: "Winner"+ Boston accent.

Last week, Batman and Robin helped tell you about the losers of the off season thus far. This week... Well, this week the only person I could book was this kid. No problem, though. It's ok because he's a winner. And everyone likes a winner. The following hockey teams are, in their own right, also winners thus far this summer.

Honorable Mention: Washington Capitals
It's hard to leave this team out. Adding Nicklas Backstrom to the lineup, and making some key free agent signings has sent the team in the right direction. The Caps added Victor Kozlov (dynamite offensively when he wants to be), Tom Poti (might as well be a forward) and Michael Nylander. Personally, I'm not going to be holding my breath. I can't see these additions putting this 14th place team over the top. Karl Alzner is a great pick up in the draft, but his impact likely won't be felt right away.

5. Chicago Blackhawks - I know this pick might surprise some, but if you look at the off season as a whole (not just free agency) the Hawks jump over the Captials thanks to Patrick Kane. That's not to say that the Caps had a bad draft -- far from it. The fact is though, it's tough to top #1. The Hawks lost Aucoin and Handzus, which may look bad on paper, but neither of them had a large impact on the team during their stay in the Windy City (thanks to injuries). Samsonov isn't much of an addition. Obviously. That being said, snagging Robert Lang is a big plus, throw in Yanic Perrault, and rumors that Kane will be ready to join the team this season, the Hawks are looking very solid down the middle. Hopefully, Andrei Zyuzin can help fill some holes on defense, and things are looking up for Chicago. Like I said, it's tough to say that this team improved more than the Caps. The difference is all signs point to Kane having an immediate impact to put them over the top.

4. Colorado Avalanche - This one is a no brainer. The Avs have a ton of young stars on the team, and all they did this off season was bring in a few current stars to put them over the top. I'm calling it already, the Avs will be in the top six out West this season. Many people say they overpaid for Scott Hannan, and that may be true, but let's be realistic; the guy can still play. We're not talking about Janne Niinimaa here. Add Smyth to the mix, and off a sudden these guys are looking scary. Imagine a Smyth - Sakic - Hedjuk top line. Pretty sweet, huh? Yes, Sakic is getting old, but at age 37 the guy had 100 points last season. 100! That's his biggest output since 2000-01.

3. New York Rangers - This one isn't hard to explain. The Rangers made a huge splash in the free agent market and had the biggest draft day steal since the Islanders sent Luongo and Jokinen to Florida for Parrish and Kvasha in 2000. Let's be realistic here, transfer agreement or not, if Alexei Cherepanov wants to play in the NHL, Alexei Cherepanov will play in the NHL. We're talking almost 20 years since Fedorov and Bure (among others) snuck out of the USSR, and nothing has changed. If a Russian wants to play in the NHL, they are going to play in the NHL (see: Evgeni Malkin). Adding Chris Drury and Scott Gomez to a team that had a stellar 2006-07 campaign may have just put the Rangers over the top to go deep into the playoffs... That is, if they can sure up their defense.

2. St. Louis Blues - It's hard to top the Rangers, but I believe the Blues did just that. Let's start with the draft. Not one, not two, but three first round draft picks. Adding Paul Kariya and Keith Tkachuk is about on par with adding Gomez and Drury. Although the Rangers additions were much younger, the Blues' pair has more offensive upside. Pick your poison. The best part though, is that the Blues got Tkachuk and then some. If you remember, he was traded to Atlanta at the deadline and then traded back to St. Louis on June 26. Through these two trades, the Blues essentially received Glen Metropolit and three draft picks from the Thrashers for parting with Tkachuk for a couple of months. The Blues also added Hannu Toivonen, and this may be a long shot, but if he turns into the goalie he's supposed to be, the Blues are going to be a much improved team.

1. Philadelphia Flyers - Ladies and gentlemen, at the midpoint the Flyers are your leader. They threw the house at Daniel Briere, but we're not here to debate whether or not the contract is a good one. We're here to debate how much Briere and their other additions will help the team this coming season. Briere is a dynamite offensive talent is instantly the #1 scoring threat on the team, although I'm sure Simon Gagne is going to have something to say about that. The team traded away a first round pick, but got Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell in return. Both are very solid players and Timonen is a hell of a defender. He had 50 points in Nashville last season, and still had a +20 rating. They are not stars like Briere, but they are going to make significant contributions this season. The team also added Jason Smith, the captain of the Edmonton Oilers and Joffrey Lupul, a talented youngster who is coming off a down year. This might just be a case of taking quantity over quality, but the Flyers seriously bulked up their roster this off season. And, oh yeah, they also had the #2 pick.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bryan Burke and Kevin Lowe Are Like So Totally Not Talking Right Now

"Oh my gawd, Kevin Lowe is soooo dreamy."

On Friday, Anaheim GM Brian Burke spouted off in a media conference call regarding the offer sheet made by the Edmonton Oilers to Dustin Penner. Anyone who read the release is sure to have realized that Burke pulled no punches, and is a little contradictory (I mean, Burke claims to have no problem with offer sheets, then cries foul about the offer to Penner). Today, I'll try and translate General Manager-ese, to provide you with further insight and help read between the lines of Burke's statements.

First, a little foreplay.

Offer sheets are a part of the CBA, a part of the NHL, and in the short term, they are here to stay. Do GMs like them? If you ask Buffalo's Darcy Regier and Anaheim's Burke, no. Not at all. In fact, apparently it's a backhanded move to make one. That's too bad, because these guys just come off looking like a bunch of babies. They really need to grow up a little. Whether or not you agree with Lowe's actions, you have to admire the guy for doing whatever is necessary to improve his team (whether Penner for a load of draft picks is actually improvement is another story). It's like parking tickets. Yeah, everyone hates them, but as long as they're part of the law, you're going to have to live with them, like it or not. Don't like em? Try and get the law changed. I don't remember hearing a lot of bellyaching from owners about offer sheets after the new CBA came into effect. Do you?

"I will not be announcing whether or not we will match the offer sheet to Dustin Penner. I’m coming back to Anaheim on Sunday and conferring with ownership."

Translated: Remember when I said I would match any offer for Penner? Yeah... About that.

"I have no problem with offer sheets, they are part of the CBA... I think it's a tool certainly a team is entitled to use. My issue here is this is the second time this year in my opinion Edmonton have offered a grossly inflated salary for a player, and it impacts on all 30 teams and I think it's an act of desperation by a general manager who is fighting to keep his job."

Translated: I don't wanna look like a mook for complaining about offer sheets. After all, we let them be a part of the CBA. But I'm friggin' pissed. I mean why the Ducks? Why us? Couldn't you have made an offer sheet to, and I'm just being imaginative here, Zach Parise? Kevin Lowe's an ass. We're not friends anymore! Oh, and you know what Kevin? You're a shitty GM! There. I said it. Jeez, I've been holding that in for SO LONG.

"I was not notified of this until an agent faxed it into us. I thought Kevin would have called me and told me it was coming. I thought that was gutless."

Translated: How dare you not call! You're such a jerk! OHMYGAWD, I am like so totally never talking to you again. I am like soooooooo pissed!

"Kevin Lowe has been in Penticton this week. Tonight is the induction ceremony for the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame and I certainly think this could have waited until Monday. I don't think it shows a lot of respect for the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame."

Translated: They're pissed too and I'm gonna start shit! You are never allowed in the B.C. Hall of Fame again Kevin Lowe! You hear me?? NEVER!!

"It should be pretty clear why I'm irate."

Translated: The B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame!! The Mothafuckin B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame!! Why doesn't anyone ever think about the B.C. HHoF and their feelings?! HUH?! Just because it's not the NHL HHoF doesn't mean they don't have feelings!!

"He's not obligated to [notify me of the offer beforehand]. I would have done this differently, but then again I wouldn't have done this. I think some guys would have done it that way, yes."

Translated: I mean, we all jerk off. But to admit to it publicly in front of the whole school? Who does that? Seriously. Not cool... Do I think some guys let it go in the shower? Yes. Yes I do. But that can get messy. I wouldn't have done it that way, if, you know, I did it.

"I can't read his mind, especially when he hasn't called me. Call Kevin and ask him."

Translated: He said he loved me and he'd call me again! It's been three months and he still hasn't called me! I don't know what to do anymore. I'm a complete mess. Where is my Ben and Jerry's?? *runs off sobbing*

Sources: TSN, Anaheim Ducks

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Taking Internet Abuse to a Whole New Level

Why write about hockey, when you can write about someone who writes about hockey?

I stumbled upon an interesting blog today, and let me tell you, it's blowing my mind. I don't mean the posts are the most brilliant things I've ever read -- not quite. What I'm talking about is that the idea behind the darned thing is that crazy.

You know when you hear about a new invention and are so amazed by the sheer idea of it? Not necessarily that it's so awesome, but that you can't conceive how someone even though it up. This is one of those times. It seems like the next logical step in the evolution of blogging, and it might just be a whole lot of fun, too.

First, you had the internet. Then, we were given blogs and more specifically, sports blogs. As if that wasn't enough, we were handed Deadspin and the plethora of spin off blogs it created. After a few years of all this, you thought people were just flat out of ideas for blog themes. Unbelievably, (although I guess it's pretty believable) people are coming up with new, ridiculously amusing blogs everyday. There's Cakes and Babies, which gives you exactly what the name states. Nothing more, nothing less. Recently, LOL Jocks was birthed, taking lolcats to the sports world. Today, I present to you Peklund the Phoney Hockey Blogger.

The name doesn't quite describe what you can find inside, so let me explain. Essentially, it's a blog whose sole purpose is to do a complete hack job on Eklund, the guy who posts all those rumors over on Hockey Buzz. I kid you not. The sole purpose of the blog is to ridicule this guy. And just when you thought mankind had done all there is to do, and the evolution of blogging could not go any further, we find a way to reinvent ourselves.

Granted, blogs do hack jobs on people all day, BMR included. It's really quite the norm and is one of the easiest ways to spark interest in your blog. To actually dedicate your entire blog to ridiculing a specific person, one who isn't even famous within pop culture, and update daily, is impressive beyond description.

Kudos to PPHB. Although we might not all agree with their views or desire to do such a deed, you still have to admire them for having the watermelon-sized cajones to do it. That's why I salute you, PPHB.

Now who is going to be the one to start a blog bashing these guys? It's only fair.

Reason to Live Until Next Season #2

The summer months can be long, hot and boring. In hockey terms -- the summer sucks. Beach season is great and all, but it's also a reminder that hockey is still far, far away. Hockey fans, this summer, please try and keep your sanity. To help you survive the long summer months, I'll be taking the time to remind you of the reasons why it's a good idea to make sure you live to see next season. Please, don't do anything rash this summer.

Reason to Live #2: The "He Did What?!" Goals

These goals cross all cultural and lingual boundaries. It doesn't matter if you're rooting for these players or if you've never seen them play before. It doesn't matter if you understand what the announcers saying, or if you don't. Whether you're from Sweden, Vancouver or anywhere in between, as long as you speak the language of hockey, these are the kind of goals that will make your jaw drop.

These goals are what highlight reels are made of and they're the reason Sportscentre exists (the Canadian one). Every year, we're treated to tons of unbelievable goals. But these goals? These are special goals. They are the ones that show your friggin' grandpa something he's never seen before. When Bobby Orr flies towards the ice face first after scoring, or Alex Ovechkin scores on his back from zero angle, these moments are created and etched in our memories for years to come. They are the reason why you watch highlight reels in the first place.

The following, are some of the best from the 2006-07 season.

December 7, 2006 - Sidney Crosby > the New York Rangers

January 7, 2007 - Martin St. Louis does not like skating forwards.

Feburary 14, 2007 - This isn't a no look pass. This is Henrik Zetterberg's sixth sense.

Friday, July 27, 2007

JR Wants to Remind You Who is in Charge

Sorry for mailing it in like this, but it is Friday. I'll see you all tomorrow afternoon with (gasp) actual analysis.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Kevin Lowe, Trying to Piss Off More People

Lowe seems hell bent on making a big signing.
Darryl Dyck/Edmonton Sun

Oilers GM Kevin Lowe is at it again. After failing to sign RFA Thomas Vanek a few weeks ago, he's made another offer to a RFA. This time, it's Anaheim's Dustin Penner. Chances are, that's bound to piss off a few people around the NHL, just like it did last time.

In case anyone needs a reminder, what Lowe is doing is perfectly within the rules of the CBA. It may be against some moronic unwritten rule in a few front offices, but there's nothing in the books against it. It's running up the score late in a game. There's no rule against it, but you're probably going to get someone's panties in a wad along the way.

TSN is reporting that the deal being offered to Penner is for 5 years at $21.25 million. The Ducks have a week to match the offer, and if they do, it'll be interesting to see who Lowe's next target is. By making a run at Penner, it's clear that Lowe has every intention of making a serious play in the RFA market.

Today's News Told in Pictures Cause Words Suck

Eric Staal was arrested...

and Patrick Kane signed with the Hawks...

And lest we not forget LOL Jocks for the inspiration...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In Case You Forgot, Hockey Players Can Get Arrested, Too

Eric Staal needs a nickname. How about Whitey? Yes. Whitey will do.

It's about time. That's the only way I can sum this up.

Here's a big thank you to both Eric and Jordan Staal, who have proven that hockey players are indeed, athletes.

I bet you were like me, and were beginning to think that it was not even possible. Hockey players getting arrested? No way! Before today, I think we were all pretty certain that there would be at least 10 more Pacman Jones arrests and a handful more exposés on corrupt referees before an NHL player got into trouble.

As we all know, you can't really call yourself a sport until some one gets arrested (or in the case of baseball, everyone does drugs and looks the other way), and now we can safely say that hockey is a sport. We've known for a while that the NBA, NFL and MLB were true sports. Their millionaires have dog fights, beat the crap out of their own fans, and shoot themselves in the butt. Hockey players? Until now, everyone thought they were the sporting world's version of those really straight edge kids you knew in high school. Serious hockey fans did not have any doubt as to their sport's inclusion in this illustrious group. Starting today, the general public can feel the same way.

Thank you, Staal brothers. You did what we though no other Caucasian, Canadian, hockey loving males could do. Granted, disorderly conduct on the side of a highway isn't the effort we were hoping for, but it's a start. From here, you can work your way up to beating up people while you're drunk and some kick ass night club scuffles. Maybe someday, you can reach the higher levels of athlete trouble makers, like those who get in gun fights at night clubs or, dare I say, start your own underground dog fighting league. Although, maybe your idea of fun would be to simply have the dogs beat each other with hockey sticks. That really does sound entertaining, and who knows, it would probably get better ratings than the NHL.

If you need the full scoop on what happened, the News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) can fill you in. I thought the following paragraphs were especially amusing;

"After leaving the property, the group gathered on Highway 61 and began harassing passing motorists," the Sheriff's office said, at which point 14 members of the group were arrested at approximately 4 a.m.

"I have no doubt there were probably a couple kids lipping off or something like that," Curran [Eric Staal's agent] said. "Frankly, that goes with the territory. You get that many a group of kids together, somebody is going to say something stupid."

God damn. There were kids lipping off?! Shit. Get those assholes in jail right this minute. We can't have any of that around these parts now can we?

Like I said guys, this could be a stepping stone for the entire sport. After all, the value of a league is determined by how many arrests it's athletes can amass in a given year.

UPDATE: The FanHouse has their hands on the press release from the sheriff's department. The highlight? The cops threatened the gang with deportation. Sweet!

It's About Time They Got Theirs

Islander fans have been too cocky for too long. All their success has gone to their heads, and it's high time someone put them in their place. Wait... Shit. My bad.

I hope all the Ranger fans out there are happy now after that elbow to the face they took on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Off Season Midterm Grades: The Losers

"Is the guy...?" "Is the bear...?"

Robin: Jumpin' Jehovah's Witnesses Batman! Kevin is doing actual analysis!

Batman: Yes, Robin. Even mindless trolls can debate the merits of NHL teams. Why, just look at Larry Brooks!

Believe it or not, we are just about halfway through the off-season already. It was about six weeks ago that the Ducks captured their first Stanley Cup, and in six more, the NHL's 32 teams will be heading to camp. To keep some sanity, here's a look at the teams that have had the worst off-seasons so far. (Bonus points to anyone who can name the movie that the picture caption is from.)

5. Dallas Stars - Sometimes no news is good news. This is not one of those times. The team finished 6th out west last year, but there are some serious questions that still need to be answered. Time is running out on the current incarnation of the Stars to make a serious post season run, as their average age is pushing 30. Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen aren't getting any younger, and although the team has some nice young players, they can't wait years for them to develop. In my opinion, the team needs to win now and build through free agency, or face rebuilding. The draft didn't help their situation, as the Stars' first selection was the 50th pick. This summer, there was the hope that the team would make a big splash in the free agent market, but that has yet to happen. Adding Todd Fedoruk, is not a franchise altering move. Granted, the Stars aren't far removed from where they were in May. The problem for them is that they haven't made any serious improvements. You got me, though. The Stars are much better off than the four teams that are coming up.

4. Boston Bruins - Things have never looked worse in Boston. It's been eight years since the team has won a playoff series, and 15 since they made it past the second round. While they won the Northeast division in 2004, that still feels like a very distant memory. Kudos to the team for hiring Claude Julien and not alumnus Mike Milbury. The team instantly has some credit, but that is probably due more to the fact that they fired Dave Lewis. Anyone is an upgrade over Lewis. The problem with the Bruins off-season so far, is that they haven't done enough to upgrade the on ice product. Getting Zach Hamill at the eighth spot in the draft was nice, and they've also added Manny Fernandez and Shawn Thornton. The point is; all of that is a far cry compared to how the rest of the Eastern Conference cellar did. Philadelphia and Washington, who finished 15th and 14th in the East respectively, made major upgrades and are now playoff caliber teams. Even perennial loser Florida made some nice additions, but the Bruins have failed to follow suit... For those of you who were not watching close enough, the Bruins made a change to their logo. No really, it's different. Swear.

3. New York Islanders - No team has had their roster blown apart quite like the Islanders. First, they bought out Alexei Yashin. Then, they managed to lose three more of their top six scorers (that doesn't include Ryan Smyth) on the first day of free agency. Luckily, the other guys were still under contract (Miro Satan, Mike Sillinger). The team did make a nice comeback in the free agent market by signing Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie and Ruslan Fedotenko. The point is, it's hard to imagine those guys filling the shoes of Yashin, Blake, Smyth, Kozlov and Poti. Guerin is old, and not the player he once was. Comrie and Fedotenko are not first line players, and the team is seriously lacking a threatening first line. Satan-Sillinger-Guerin? That's not terrible, but that's not going to get you very far. The team hasn't won a playoff series since 1993, and somehow, you know in the back of your mind that they're going to fuck it up this season, no matter what.

2. Buffalo Sabres - There's nothing worse than losing the heart and soul of your team (actually, there is, but I'll get to that next). That's what Chris Drury and Daniel "Dollar Bill" Briere were for the Sabres, and as soon as the free agent market opened on July 1st, both bolted for Eastern Conference rivals. Briere signed a monster deal in Philadelphia, while Drury will be playing on Manhattan Island this winter. To add to that, owner Tom Golisano has balked at increasing the payroll, and is actually crying poor. The good news to come out of Buffalo in the wake of this mess is that Thomas Vanek will be a Sabre for the next seven years. The team matched an offer sheet to the RFA after Edmonton made a monster contract offer. Keep your head up, Buffalo. It could be worse. You could live in Nashville.

1. Nashville Predators - What's worse than losing your two best players? Losing your team altogether. That's what Predator fans are facing in Nashville, and thus, they are undoubtedly having the worst off-season of any NHL team. The team has been stripped of it's star players (see: Paul Kariya, Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, Tomas Vokoun, Vitaly Vishnevski), and have received draft picks or, as in the case of their UFAs, nothing in return. Peter Forsberg has yet to sign elsewhere, but it is almost certain that he will not re-sign in the Music City. The team has added Jed Ortmeyer, Radek Bonk and Greg de Vries, but that's little consolation. The only consolation for all of this will be a high lottery pick next June. But that means nothing if the team packs up and moves to another city.

The Sharks Are Hip and With It

(C) San Jose Sharks

What you see before you is the new logo of the San Jose Sharks. It's hip, and exactly what all the kids are doing. If, you know, the kids were doing NHL logos. That didn't even make sense. Sorry.

Anyway, in an attempt to modernize their logo and sell lots of merchandise (which I'm sure they will) the Sharks have redesigned the logo they have had since the franchise's inception. Just in case you forgot, pictured below is the old one. Personally, I might have opted for making the shark fin shoulder patch a main logo, but it is a little plain. All in all, the Sharks did a good job. I'm proud of them for not opting to use either words or a cuddly looking shark in their new logo. It's pretty badass. And honestly, who needs words? Words blow.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday Wrap Up: Chris Simon is Your Top Story Today. Sad.

The man. The mullet. The legend.

  • You can take our images, but you'll never take our freedom! Apparently some asshole flipped the switch that gets rid of all the pictures on this blog. They are all hosted over at my account on, and as you can see, they're not loading. Thanks a lot, fuckers. I'm not going to dignify them with a hyperlink. This, from the same people who tried to close my account cause I didn't pay my bill. The reason I didn't pay? They double billed me, and I wasn't stupid enough to pay twice.
  • BMR is not affiliated with Barry Melrose or ESPN. Not in any way. Not at all. I am not Barry Melrose. I've never even met the guy... Some people have been circulating rumors that this is Barry Melrose's non-ESPN blog. That is false. I am Kevin, your blogging overlord... For the record, I do not own a mullet.
  • The Islanders can't help but make headlines: Still Suspended Chris Simon has re-signed with the Islanders. It's a one-year deal valued at $800,000. Simon is still suspended for 7 games because he thought Ryan Hollweg looked better with some wood in his face. lexei Yashin has signed a one-year contract with Lokomotiv of the Russian Super League. As you may remember, the former Islander is being paid more than $2 million to not play on Long Island this season. Said Yashin's agent Mark Gandler; "Right now the city is electric, everyone is excited, the arena will be packed and Alexei will play hard." Yashin playing hard? I'll believe it when me shit turns purple and tastes like rainbow sherbet.
  • Brooks Laich thinks that he is bigger than the team: An interesting situation is developing in Washington. No Name Brooks Laich is filing for arbitration, and as Off Wing poins out, he doesn't seem to have much of a case -- unless his goal is to get the hell out of Washington... I'm not really sure why anyone would want to do that. The Caps have made some serious strides in recent weeks, but in all fairness, they're still taking really rudimentary promotional photos.
  • Hannu Toivonen is a Blue: St. Louis acquired the Bruin net minder for Carl Soderberg.
  • This is the best you can do?! Drew Carey (yes, that Drew Carey) has been named as the replacement for Bob Barker on the Price is Right. Seriously. Drew. Fucking. Carey. Shit, it's all down hill from here. Might as well start preparing for the end.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Your Obligatory Mark Messier Diss

Once I started this feature, you knew it was only a matter of time... Don't worry Ranger fans, the Islanders will get theirs, too.

Reason to Live Until Next Season #1

The summer months can be long, hot and boring. In hockey terms -- the summer sucks. Beach season is great and all, but it's also a reminder that hockey is still far, far away. Hockey fans, this summer, please try and keep your sanity. To help you survive the long summer months, I'll be taking the time to remind you of the reasons why it's a good idea to make sure you live to see next season. Please, don't do anything rash this summer.

Reasons to Live #1: Ice Girls

I really don't think I have to explain this one. They're girls. They're on skates. They're great to look at. The end.

(C) Dallas Stars

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday Wrap Up: Alexei Yashin Dislikes American Currency

America will now have 65% less Carol Alt.

  • NHL Exile: Alexei Yashin has signed a one-year contract with Lokomotiv of the Russian Super League. As you may remember, the former Islander is being paid more than $2 million to not play on Long Island this season. Said Yashin's agent Mark Gandler; "Right now the city is electric, everyone is excited, the arena will be packed and Alexei will play hard." Yashin playing hard? I'll believe it when me shit turns purple and tastes like rainbow sherbet.
  • The Predators situation is still a mess: TSN is reporting that Jim Balsillie is accusing Gary Bettman of tampering. This looks like it's going to drag on for quite some time...
  • You knew this internet thing was doomed from the start: Watch 45 seconds of a cat sitting on a sofa. It's riveting.
  • Marketing ploy or honest tribute: The Islanders have announced that Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour will coach a regular season game with the team this season. It would give Arbour his 15,000th NHL game behind the bench, a number which is said to please Ted Nolan a lot more than the current 14,999 that Arbour has. Blatant marketing ploy or tribute to a legend? You decide.
  • Ziggy Palffy has returned -- in Slovakia.
  • Not entirely sure what was going on at that Predators rally -- but it worked.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

[Clever Title Here]

with help from

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Marty Brodeur Has Mastered the Evil Eye

From the Random Fan Photos Department; Marty Brodeur at this year's All Star Game. Not sure who the girl is, but he sure looks protective. And I don't blame him.

With some inspiration from lolcats...

Source photo from julie_h on Flickr.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Off-Season Journal, Day 39: Never Not Hockey

There really is nothing to post about anymore. If you remember, this blog used to include posts that involved serious thinking and analysis. Now? Not so much. That's just what happens to the hockey world in mid-July. It starts to look like a barren wasteland of sport... We'll see how this little number goes, but this Offseason Journal thing might stick around -- but only if it appeases you, o gracious viewers and commenters.

Have fun in Toronto, Fetus.

6:20 AM EST: Nightmares. Jason Blake is haunting me. Somewhere in Toronto, he's sitting around counting money, and doing whatever else it is that Jason Blake does. I imagine it involves coloring books and, you know, looking like a fetus... All that stuff he said about loving Long Island? A load of you know what. What an asshole.

8:15: Sum 41 is right. Waking up is really fucking hard to do. All I can think of is lying in bed, after those nightmares of Fetus kept me up.

8:20: Finally out of bed. I've got to be at work in 40 minutes (if it's relevant, I'm a lifeguard during the summer). First things first. Check TSN, I must. Something important had to have happened while I was asleep. There's been too little going on. I hope Forsberg signed, even if its not with the Islanders. Any news will do. Any news at all.

8:22: Stumble downstairs. Turn on computer. Alexei Yashin is on the front page of TSN. What the?!?!

8:23: Worst possible thing I could have seen at this hour of the morning. TSN must have it out for me. Evaluate potential options for suicide. The high ceiling in my kitchen is looking like a noose would be nice and cozy in there.

8:24: Realize that Yashin is no longer an Islander. Sigh deeply, and remove noose from neck. The photo was only in reference to how he, among other second tier free agents, has not been signed yet. Come to think of it, a picture of Mark Messier Waterworks McGee would have been the worst TSN headline to wake up to.

8:35: Time spent on the computer in the morning always flies. Some mornings, I check only email and TSN, but it still takes more than 10 minutes to do so. That's just impossible. Later I'll investigate possible black holes surrounding my desk.

8:40: Soft food for breakfast. It's necessary after such a shock to the system. Frozen waffles will do.

9:07: Arrive at work. No blogging today, there's no computer in the general vicinity. That's what happens when you work at a pool.

*intermission. Go grab a soda or some shit.

2:02 PM: Quittin time! I love any day that's a half day.

2:20: loltrade. Eh, that's not as catchy as lolcat. I'll keep trying... Seriously, throw me a friggin bone here. The Sens trade Peter Schaefer to Boston for Sean Donovan. Nope, not interesting. Don't care.

3:15: Random trains of thought. The Hurricanes re-acquired Matt Cullen for some no name players and a third rounder in 2008. Is it just me, or does Cullen look like post-90210 Jason Priestley, if Cullen changed his hair and aged a decade. Ok. That might be a bit of a stretch.

Matt Cullen

Now part of the Carolina Hurricanes

Jason Priestley

Still living off of “90201” fame

What's with all the trades? Do we need to remind GMs that this is the middle of free agent season?

3:19: What if I just blogged in questions all day? Would you like that? Is this the most irritating thing ever or what?

4:45: Considerd adding a poll to the site. Realized that I would be the only one voting. Maybe I can teach my dog to use Firefox.

5:41: Discovered LOL Jocks as per KSK. Great blog. Crappy Name. Needs more hockey. Always more hockey. Never not hockey. There we go! Name it Never Not Hockey. Kidding.

7:33: Late dinner tonight. Had to hit the gym for a little bit to get jacked. It's obviously not working. Leftover chicken parm. Reminds me of Ray Ferraro, Mr. Chicken Parm himself. Where is John Buccigross when you need him?

7:41: If Ray Ferraro is Chicken Parm, then who is Leftover Chicken Parm? No idea. Where's Buccigross?

9:47: It's almost time for the Mets game. The game is on late here on the east coast, cause they're in San Diego. It's Spanish for 'a whale's vagina'. I think that would be a great nickname for Mats Sundin.

10:35: Despair. What a terrible day for hockey. The most amusing part was that I actually got to say whale and vagina in the same sentence without making a fat chick joke. That's pretty hard to do. That being said, I feel as though hockey doesn't exist. Good thing there are only 70 days left till opening night. I'll make it. 'No sweat' I say, as I shake like a crack addict who needs a fix.

10:41: Click. Post this sucker.

Alternative Catch Phrases: I Went to a Hockey Game and a Fight Broke Out

I went to a hockey game and Patrick Roy's face friggin' exploded.

I went to a hockey game and Tie Domi broke out.

I went to a hockey game and a live action Richard Simmons video broke out.

I went to a hockey game and Jeremy Roenick scared the beejeezus out of me.

I went to a hockey game and an afternoon nap broke out.

I went to a hockey game and... um... yeah... hello.

I went to a hockey game and gay porn broke out.

I went to a hockey game, met a girl, and the next day herpes broke out.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Homophobia and Hockey

Look. If hockey players are gay, and I'm sure some of them have to be because it's simple probability, then that's just fine by me. Whatever you do in your personal life is your personal life. (cue Stephen A. voice) Quite frankly, I don't give a damn what you do in your personal life. That is, as long as it doesn't involve stabbing me and leaving me to die in the Hudson river.

That being said, the folks over at EA Sports have an interesting bug in their newest video game creation, NHL 2008. As the folks over at Dorothy Mantooth is a Saint inform us, the bug isn't very PG rated.

Yes, that's Cam Janssen on Bryan Rafalski's lap. Rafalski's stick is lodged in... well... let's just say it's not a pretty scene and we'll leave it at that.

This begs the question; is this why the Devils didn't re-sign Rafalski?
(C) Dorothy Mantooth is a Saint

There is No Better Way to Start a Week Than With Some Bettman Bashing

If you've been around the block a few times, and by "the block" I mean the internet, then you've probably come across You know, it's that site with all the funny "motivational" posters. To try and pass some time this summer, I'll be posting some of my own hockey related creations. After all, nothing is more fun than useless crap like this!

(click on the pictures for full size)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

John Ferguson: 1938-2007

"Former NHL player and general manager John Ferguson Sr. died Saturday after a lengthy fight with prostate cancer. He was 68.

"My father battled cancer with the same spirit in which he played the game of hockey," Ferguson Jr. said in a release on Saturday. "He showed courage, strength, class and tremendous character. He had deep appreciation for the support he'd received from so many people beginning with his initial diagnosis."

The New York Islanders Want Their Fans to Support Other Teams, Too

Those are some pretty big security guards.
(C) New York Islanders

Yesterday afternoon, I ventured to the Broadway Mall in Hicksville, New York, which is where my beloved Islanders had opened a completely renovated team store. Needless to say, it's a pretty sweet looking place, although I'm not sure whether or not I should be frightened of the two giant statues out front (pictured right). I estimate that they are about twelve feet tall, and they don't represent any particular players. The damn things are really pretty creepy looking, but I guess they're harmless. At least I hope so. The last thing anyone needs is these guys running wild in the food court.

The one gripe I have, and it's a rather curious move by the team, is that they are selling memorabilia from, you know, other teams. I don't have pictures of all of them, but there are signed plaques depicting, among non-Islander related persons; Daniel Briere, Boston Bruins "Legends" and Jason Spezza (pictured below, top left corner of the photo). How these things managed to find their way into the store, I have no idea. This is pretty ludicrous, on a few levels. I don't know how other teams do things, but I can't imagine that the Flames are selling any Oilers Legends memorabilia or that the Senators are selling Ducks championship t-shirts.

What really bugs me, is the Spezza piece. It's tough to see, but believe me it's in the following photo, a photo which the team had the cajones to post on their website. Let's look past the fact that Jason Spezza is not and has never been an Islander. What really grinds my gears is that Spezza just so happens to be a nice reminder of why this team hasn't won a playoff series since 1993.

If you're not familiar with the 2001 draft, let me fill you in. The Islanders had the #2 pick that year, a year which had a good crop of prospects (including two "can't miss" guys), and the team traded that pick, Zdeno Chara and Bill Muckalt to Ottawa for Alexei Yashin. Atlanta took Ilya Kovalchuk with the #1 pick, and the Sens took Spezza at #2. Both, at the time, we're can't miss prospects and as happy as fans were with getting Yashin (at the time), we would of rather had Chara and Spezza. Six years later, both Kovalchuk and Spezza are 1+ point per game players, a feat which Yashin never matched on Long Island.

My point is this; since this franchise is so dollar-bill-desperate and self-serving enough to actually disgrace itself by selling memorabilia from OTHER TEAMS, at least make sure those teams and/or players don't invoke some kind of painful memories for your fans. I know, with this team there are almost too many painful memories that no matter what you do, you're bound to piss someone off, but is it too much to ask for you to think before you act?

At least they're smart enough to not sell Rangers merchandise.
(C) New York Islanders

If you can't see the Spezza plaque, or are still skeptical, here is the zoomed in version of this photo. Right above Mike Bossy, no less.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Your Best Efforts Aren't Worth a Damn

This looks like a nice spot to mail it in from. Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Let's face it. It's a Saturday in the middle of July, and nothing is going on. Most of the big free agents have been signed already, and arbitration hearings don't start for a few weeks. Right now, the hockey world is a deep, dark abyss, and we haven't fallen far enough yet to see the light on the other side.

To pass the time, let's take a look at the people who, much like myself, mailed it in this week.

Me - I'll start with the obvious. This is the fifth post of the week, and that just ain't cuttin it.

The Carolina Hurricanes - Their biggest addition so far this off-season? Michael Leighton. Thanks for the effort, team.

SI Fan Nation - Next time, make sure the "news" you're posting isn't, you know, five weeks old.

Bambi - As the good folks at Kissing Suzy Kolber show us, this deer mailed it in when it came to the game of life. I think the eagle even power bombed the deer! SWEET!

NASA - Two words; spell check.

Paratroopers - Next time, don't land in the prison. I hear some of the guys in D block have a think for army boys.

Australia - How do you stop a tank rampage? Is it even possible? Next time, lock up your tank.