Monday, June 30, 2008

Lightning Unveil New Logo, Fans Have Urges to Go to Truck Pulls and Get Skynard Tatoos

Kudos to WufPirate and the folks over at Carolina on Ice for breaking this story. They really made a great find. On the heels of signing Prospal, Roberts and Malone today the Lightning have also decided to unveil their new logo that will hit the ice this season. It's a tribute to their illustrious coach, Barry Melrose. The logo was unveiled at a press conference late this evening and, sadly, Barry did not dye his hair blue, white and black to go along with it. We can only hope.

Already, the influence of the logo is being felt throughout the Tampa community. The many encouraging moves made by the team this off-season have sparked interest from their fans and this one is no different. At this hour, fans are fully embracing it by going to NASCAR races, trying out for the television show 'Cops', buying Pabst Blue Ribbon, listening to the song 'Sweet Home Alabama' on repeat, letting their cars rust in their front yard, letting their cars rust in their backyard, going shirtless to work, and giving birth to twenty children prior to the age of fifteen.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Malone and Lightning Agree to Long Term Deal

When the Islanders signed Rick DiPietro to an unprecedented 15-year deal it was considered crazy. It still might be a bit, but it's starting to look more and more like teams are interested in locking up players for the long-term.

After a whole slew of lengthy contracts given out last year, Briere and Richard to name two, we might be looking at a different type of NHL. Long contracts are suddenly the latest fashion trend. Another player inked a long one as Ryan Malone signed a seven year deal with the Lightning today valued at a bit over $30 million. So while the DiPietro contract still looks pretty silly, it's looking saner every year.

Color Me Confused

Here's a quote from an article yesterday, not taken out of context mind you, from a certain hockey blogger that we know not the name of. See if it makes sense to you.

" On Mats....

A source had told me there is a 75% chance that Mats signs with Montreal by tomorrow evening. Take it for what its worth. Anything can still happen and probably will."

So, if I understand it correctly, here's what this quote is saying to us. Sundin has a 75% chance of signing in Montreal tomorrow (which is now today). OK, got it. But wait, 'anything can still happen and probably will'? So Sundin is going to sign with Montreal, unless he doesn't, because anything can happen. And since anything can happen, monkeys are going to fly right?

Updated June 30th: Mats Sundin = not a Hab.

Your Bizarre Ebay Items of the Week

Bored this summer? Yeah, me too. Have some extra money left to spend from that summer job or because you like to throw away money? Then you have come to the right place!

Ebay is a great website. You can literally find everything you could possibly need. Occasionally, that includes human babies and various internal organs. In addition to those rare and valuable items, there are those that really make you scratch your head. Like, why anyone would pay $25 for a staple remover signed by the monkey from Born to be Wild. That's where I come in. Each week throughout the summer I'll be taking a look at the strangest of the strange in hockey items on Ebay. Heck, maybe you'll even find something you like!

BLACK HOCKEY MASK! Hard To Find Killer Look In Black! (Item #: 160256060507)

Looking for a gift for the chainsaw murderer in your family? Well, look no further than this creepy goalie mask. They'll love it so that no one knows their identity or how hideous they really are from those horrific facial scars they got when they tried to eat knives at age 5 (also good to give to the ugly person in your family). Sadly, this mask does not come with a creepy guy with bad hair behind it, which is pictured. Best of all this mask is 'hard to find' so upon the recipient opening your gift, make up some story about how long it took you to find this.

Sale price: $14.95 ($3.95 shipping)

New NHL PHILADELPHIA FLYERS HOCKEY Ceiling Fan 42" (Item #: 310063071852)

If you're looking for something to spice up your kitchen or maybe put the finishing touches on that dining room you just remodeled, then this next item is for you. Why put up a generic looking ceiling fan in one of these rooms when you can have one with the Philadelphia Flyers' logo plastered all over it! This also makes a great gift for the person who needs to have their favorite team's logo on EVERYTHING. Just so everyone who comes within a ten mile radius of them or their home knows exactly who they cheer for.

"It has a convenient three speed switch for year round comfort."

Current auction price: $69.99 ($19 shipping) -- 0 bids


Lastly, we have people trying to sell you a game you probably made up on your own as a child (I know I did). It's Mini Carpet Floor Hockey Sliding Puck Sport Game! More commonly known as Carpet Hockey Noun Sport Puck Another Noun Game. That is more commonly known as Mom I Broke the Lamp Again. This is a perfect gift for the unimaginative child in your family (or not in your family). Every kid has a mini-hockey stick but only a select few have the creativity and imagination to come up with a game such as this on their own. For those that aren't so bright, there's Mini Carpet Floor Hockey Sliding Puck Sport Game. Gotta love America.

Sale price: $16.99 (free shipping)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pensbloggin' It

I've never had anyone illustrate one of my posts so well!

Turns out daddy kind of owes some money to some people. While I would love to spend time with you on a beautiful Saturday such as this, the fact is that daddy owes some favors. So, today daddy went and blogged over at the Pensblog so he didn't lose both his legs.

Don't worry. I haven't forgotten about you guys. It's just some good ol' guest postin'. And it's a Saturday in June, so I figure you all are spending quality time with real people or whatever it is you do. But yes, I did Pensblog it today. I hear it's what all the kids are doing. Coincidentally, Gary Roberts and Ryan Malone were traded by Pittsburgh today. That's a pretty bad omen. I hope they all don't take out their frustrations on me.

Your Obligatory Social Media Network Whoring

Well, it was finally time to give in and do what all the cool kids are doing. This site now has it's own Facebook page (MySpace to come soon). So, friend us and we'll, I don't know, trade bumper stickers or something. It should be fun. At least it's another way to pass time during the summer.

And for the record, Facebook wouldn't let me add an 'S' onto Rocks. So the name says Barry Melrose Rock and it looks retarded. Blame the automated name blocking system mechanism thing for that one. I tried everything I could, but apparently 'Rocks' is a banned word or something. Oh well. We'll still have fun.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Busy, Busy

I'm off from work today and as you can probably tell, that has manifested itself into lots and lots of blogging. Two posts here and two at FanHouse. If you haven't seen the ones at FanHouse, take a gander.

Jagr the Latest to Be Given Offer from Russia

A Decade Later, Screening Process for NHL Owners Still Isn't Working

And here's a fun little thing I found, a way to subscribe to the comments here at BMR!

Free Agency Primer: So There's Marian Hossa and... Let's See... Marian Hossa

July 1st is an exciting day in the hockey world. It's one of the few days in the year when your team can drastically improve overnight and a division can be turned completely on its head. Hopes and dreams, folks. That's what it's all about. Of course, it can be a curse as well. Sometimes your team gets ripped apart like a Raggedy Ann doll fighting a rabid pitbull. Believe me, I know.

Last year was a banner year for free agency. Ryan Smyth, Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Daniel Briere... The list went on and on. It was really a heck of a day. This year, well, this year... Not so much. As the title implies there's Marian Hossa and then there's, um, not a whole lot more than Marian Hossa. If last year was a "feast" year for teams hoping to improve through free agency, then you can count this year as a "famine" year. The following is a look at the upcoming free agent market and, believe you me, it's not pretty.

There's Teemu Selanne if, you know, he isn't too busy deciding whether or not he wants to play next year. Ooooh! There's Jose Theodore! He had a good year before choking it out in the playoffs. Can I interest anyone in an aging Pavol Demita or Jaromir Jagr? What about Martin Straka provided he doesn't play overseas? If you need a mediocre sniper, there's Miro Satan. There is also all of one solid goaltender around, Cristobal Huet. Mats Sundin is available, if he ever figures out whether or not he wants to leave Toronto. Markus Naslund and Sergei Fedorov can be had, assuming they don't retire.

So all that really leaves is Marian Hossa.

If you're looking for an unrestricted free agent this summer that doesn't have any strings attached, you have one solid option (assuming you don't need a goalie). It's Hossa. Not good enough? Well, I guess you could always go after Brian Campbell (ehh) or Sean Avery (aka Sideshow Bob).

Sharks Re-Sign Roenick... Twice?

Did I miss something? I must have, cause by my count the Sharks have now re-signed Jeremy Roenick twice this off-season.

Let's see... On May 21st TSN put out the following report.

"Roenick Signs One-Year Deal with Sharks"

I don't really need to quote from the article since its title explains the situation pretty well. So, I was kind of confused when over a month later, on Wednesday afternoon, they put out something similar.

"Sharks Sign Pavelski, Roenick and Boucher"

Chances are I missed something here. I guess the deal simply wasn't made official until recently, but a month? I can imagine there being that many kinks to work out. Weird.

No matter though. We've got another year of JR (again) and I think we can all celebrate that (again). Hookers and blackjack, anyone?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reliving the MSM's Greatest Hits... Err... I mean, Misses

"The Blue Jackets do want to acquire Malone. But the story got ahead of the facts.

That happens frequently in the Age of the Blogger, who has chewed down the standards of journalism the way the pine beetle has decimated B.C. forests."

- Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun

We've chewed down the standards of journalism? Since when were we trying to be journalists here? I write my own opinions and vague thoughts. You're never going to see me break a story (unless it's the latest YouTube of Alan Thicke). Do the boys at Pensblog attempt to be journalists? No. What about Melt Your Face Off? Haha. Not them either.

What we do is blog. We enjoy blogging. We make no bones about the fact that we are not journalists. We make no bones about the fact that we are not trying to live up to any "journalistic standards". It would be like asking a hockey player to live up to NFL standards. It doesn't make any sense.

But hey, while we're all baking in the hot summer sun, I've got a few random, incoherent barbs of my own to throw out. Remember those journalistic standards you were talking about, Iain? OK, good. Yeah, your buddies out there in the MSM have been screwing those up an awful lot, too. Dare I say, they've messed up more than bloggers. Did I just make you dry heave? Sorry.

(h/t on all this to Tom Benjamin)

For example, we'll pull our some of their Greatest Hits... Or should I say misses?

"Nothing short of decapitation should merit a man-advantage in overtime."

- Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press

"For Penguins to keep series, hopes alive they must win"

- Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with groundbreaking coverage as the Pens found themselves on the verge of elimination from the SCF.

"Crosby's got a bad RIGHT ankle? How will it stand up to a two-hander? The Senators have to find out."

- Don Brennan, Ottawa Sun

"This is hockey. This is minor league hockey at it's finest. These guys are wearing pads, nobody is getting hurt. Coaches order their players to be thugs all the time in this sport."

- Bill Plaschke, LA Times

"Do you ever wonder why the fights in the NBA, whenever there are fights in the NBA it's 15 game suspensions, it's craziness, it's rules that end up affecting the playoffs ... and in hockey nothing"

- Dan LeBatard, Miami Herald/Pardon the Interruption

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Try Not to Get All Choked Up

Barry Melrose worked at ESPN for a loooooooooong time. 13 years to be exact. So, naturally, they are paying tribute to him in the best way possible. A montage! ('Cause we need a montage! Montageeee!)

+2 if you got that reference. Anyway, here's the video.

Your Obligatory FanHouse Post About Mullet-Gate

Naturally, the gang at FanHouse left this whole Melrose to Tampa Bay thing for me to take care of. Your obligatory post is here, if you're bored enough to read more about this whole thing.

It's Official.

I'm way late on this but that's what happens when you work all day and aren't by a computer. My apologies for that.

Big news today, folks. Big, big news.

You probably know by now -- but if you don't -- Barry Melrose was named head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning during a press conference earlier today.

He's taking over the worst team in the league. He's also taking over a team with new owners likely to give their handpicked coach some time and they recently added a little Stamkos to their lives. He's got the tools, offensively speaking. Maybe if they had a goaltender things would be looking better. But no matter. We do not dare doubt the power of the Almighty Mullet Himself.

The surprise of the day, at least for me, was that Melrose admitted to waching nearly 90 percent of Tampa's games last season. What? Either he is lying or he's the most serious hockey analyst in the history of the world. Hopefully, it's the latter. That's really unbelievable. I don't watch 90% of the Islanders' games even if I'm in New York all winter.

You can be sure that I'll be all over this story in the coming days, much like Melrose on a fresh can of hairspray. For now, I'll leave you off with what the MSM/blogosphere is thinking about the NHL's newest coach. I'll foreshadow a little -- it isn't good. That's OK. There's at least one website on the internet that supports him in his conquest for world domination. I forget the name though... It just isn't coming to mind right now... I think it begins with "Bar" and ends in "ry Melrose Rocks".

NY Times, Slapshot Blog:

The flash of gleaming teeth and well-styled hair won’t camouflage the fact that Melrose hasn’t coached in the NHL since 1995 and spent the last 12 seasons behind a microphone (and more entertaining than insightful, at that) and not behind a bench. He was away for a good reason — because the game passed him by long ago, perhaps while he was still coaching. And it has kept advancing at a rapid pace while he’s been futzing with his pancake makeup. Seen this way, Barry Melrose is an analog coach in a digital world.

Ken Campbell, Hockey News:

The Tampa Bay Lightning has hired Barry Melrose as head coach; brace yourself, this could really get ugly.

And considering it's the Lightning we're talking about here, that's saying something.

Apparently new owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie felt it was a good idea to replace a Stanley Cup winning coach with a guy who not only hasn't coached a game in the NHL for 13 years, but was one who had a mediocre .449 winning percentage in just three seasons of NHL experience in the first place.

Yup, that's got success written aaaaall over it, doesn't it?

And Mike Chen, the voice of reason, is preaching patience:

While many people out in the hockey world (including a bunch of the Bolts fans I know) think that Barry Melrose will be huge gigantic mega-disaster behind the Tampa Bay bench, I’m not totally convinced that it’s really as bad as some people think it is. Yes, he’s been out of the game for a very long time, but he at least has been in a place where he can objectively observe the game change.

There’s no doubt that the game is very different now than it was when Melrose was last behind the bench. However, I think he’s surrounded himself with an interesting crew to help him with the transition

UPDATE (1 AM): Gotta love the folks at the NYTimes being on the ball 24/7. Stu from Slapshots responds with the following (also in the comments but I'm not sure how many of you check those)...
Kevin - Thanks for quoting from my post on the NY Times Slap Shot blog. However, it would be more fair if you didn't take the quote out of context. I also explained how I thought Melrose could be a great benefit for the Lightning despite his limitations and also explored the potential upside. You're always welcome to scalp material from us, but next time, kindly provide your readers with the full picture. -- Stu Hackel
My apologies, Stu. I'll certainly be more careful in the future.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Prophecy is Fulfilled: Melrose to Tampa

What in the world are we to make of the Tampa Bay Lightning these days? First, they trade away Brad Richards, breaking up the big three. Then, their new owners show up to the draft looking more like hollywood actors than people with more money than money can buy. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Now, they've taken it one step further.

Yes. The mulleted prophecy appears as though it has been fulfilled.

ESPN, the people who probably know best about this sort of thing, are reporting that the Lightning will name Barry Melrose coach tomorrow. However, the hollywood actors Lightning are not confirming this. My guess -- they don't want to blow the lid on it just yet. Either way, we'll see.

What we can confirm is that this will not become a Tampa Bay Lightning blog if Melrose gets the job. There may be a significant increase in Lightning fans around these parts (not likely) but there will not be a major increase in coverage of the team here (very likley). All three Lightning fans are probably offended at this point.

The big question now... If the reports are true, who will fill Barry's shoes at ESPN? Those are some awfully big shoes to fill. And the mullet. Don't forget about the mullet.

Oh. And then there's this. Are the Bolts completely off their rockers or totally off them?

Coyotes assistant Rick Tocchet has decided not to return to the team, an NHL source has confirmed.

Tocchet is expected to join the staff of new Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Barry Melrose, whose appointment is expected to be announced at a news conference on Tuesday.

Boo Death

George Carlin died last night. That is some crap. I guess the big comedy club in the sky needed a new act. But easily one of the funniest of all time, he will be missed.

"Tonight’s forecast . . . dark, continued mostly dark tonight turning to widely scattered light in the morning.”


Sunday, June 22, 2008

BMR Official Press Release (6/22)

Thank you all for coming today. I am joined today by my agent, Sparky the Dragon, and webhost, Blogger.

The reason I am here is to set the story straight and address rumors of my departure. Since the Stanley Cup Finals ended, my appearances here have been sparse. Ryan from Victoria Times has filled in, and to be honest, the site has fallen into a post-Finals hangover. But look, it's hard to get a tan when you don't have a laptop. This is a problem I am working to remedy.

Getting back on point, there is one rumor in particular that I want to address that has been floating around the interwebs for quite sometime. A few sources have quoted me as saying that I am "all about the benjamins" and looking to sign as a blogger with the upstart Russian KHL. I would like you all to know that these rumors are completely false. In fact, that would be the worst career move I could possibly make considering that I can't speak a word of Russian and don't like cold weather. Additionally, Blogger and my agent are currently working on a new contract. Details cannot be confirmed yet, but they are offering me an iTunes gift card in the $10-25 range.

Again, there is no truth to the rumor that I am looking to transfer to Russia. I would now like to open the floor to any questions that you may have.

Fin the Orca: eeeoooooooo ssasapppp iiiiioooooooo

Sorry, I can't understand whale speak. Next.

Jeremy Roenick: I would like to make it known that I will not be leaving for Russia, either. What I am doing is leaving for Cancun on Wednesday and all the ladies should be prepared!

Um, good to know.

James Mirtle: I'd like to address something that hasn't yet been brought up. Is there any truth to the rumor that you have been trying to acquire Paul Stastny?

There is some truth to that rumor. I have been trying to sign Stastny, but so far he has not returned my phone calls. Driving by his house when I know he's home has also proved unsuccessful thus far.

Pensblog: Where's the bar?

Around the corner to the right.

(everyone leaves)

OK, well... Um... I guess I'd like to thank everyone for coming and have a great summer!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why Don't We Just Move Everything to Canada While We're At It?

Maybe I'm still a little peeved about the first round -- passing on Filatov is going to be a huge mistake -- but I'm sick of all the Canadian rhetoric. I'm not sick of it, I can't freaking stand it. Yes, I've been to Canada. Yes, the experience in a hockey setting is different. Yes, it's better. BUT -- and this is a big one -- there are venues in America that may be as good, if not better than some venues in Canada.

Buffalo comes to mind. Pittsburgh, Philly and Detroit are right up there.

Of course, you could just pick on the sunbelt teams or the ones with crappy attendance and tell them their fans are subpar. It's easy. But that's about as useful and intuitive as yelling at second graders for not understanding chemical engineering. We know, we've heard it a million times and it's not likely to change anytime soon. Nonetheless, some writers feel to drive this point home another 1,000 times.

"Draft belongs in Canada ... always"

Written by Damian Cristodero of Tampa

Forget all that (though the Internet problems were so bad, league reps came by at the end of the night and apologized), Friday night's draft reminds that this event should always be held in Canada. No offense to Raleigh or Columbus or Nashville, all cities that recently had the draft, there's no comparison. Where in Raleigh there were mostly crickets in the seats, In Ottawa, the building was full of fans who just came to watch and cheer and boo.

When the Senators were introduced during the pre-draft role call, the place went wild and chanted Go Sens Go. On the other hand, when the hated Maple Leafs were introduced, the reaction was like someone turned on a switched as boos and catcalls deafened. Wayne Gretzky, the Coyotes coach and governor, got a two-minute standing ovation. Steve Yzerman, representing the Red Wings, was cheered as well. Commissioner Gary Bettman was booed, except when he was announcing trades, just the thought of which sent the fans again into cheers of anticipation. Bettman even seemed to get into it.
Holy crap?! So you're saying that fans in Canada boo Bettman? WHAT A REVELATION!!!

Well, funny story. Americans can do the same thing. About 3,000 fans at the Islanders draft party did exactly. The same. Thing.

They cheered the Islanders draft table (until they messed up Filatov). They booed Bettman and John Davidson. Wayne Gretzky drew cheers. The one guy in the crowd who had the guts to wear a Rangers jersey was booed and was a catalyst for the starting of anti-Ranger chants.

Small sample size, maybe. But I think it's a good indicator of what would happen if the draft were held in the right American city. American fans know their stuff. The building might not be full. It may be way less than full, but it doesn't make any of us dumber.

And please, try having the draft in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Philadelphia or New York City and tell me how that works out. I bet it would be a horrible experience. Absolutely terrible. At least there would be internet, right?

Friday, June 20, 2008

FanHouse Draft Chat

I won't be there, but the Good Doctor Mirtle will be. Feel free to check it out at 1PM EST.

A Handy Guide for Beginners: Draft Tips

buckyhermit on flickr

It's been a long hiatus but the Handy Guides are finally back and just in time for today's NHL Draft in Ottawa! Everything you need to know about the draft is wrapped up into one neat little package.

If you're going to a draft party tonight or simply watching from the comfort of your couch, feel free to bring this along in case you have any questions. It should come in handy if you're not at a draft party because chances are you'll be watching it alone. Let's face it, even many hardcore hockey fans don't give a crap about the draft. But that doesn't mean you can't! If you're not sue what's going on, this guide will help you get your bearings. Enjoy!

Boo Gary Bettman everytime you see him. Every. Time. Heck, even when his name is mentioned make sure everyone knows how you feel. He's the least popular commissioner in sports (although Bud Selig is giving him a good run) and no large-scale NHL event is complete without some good ol' Bettman bashing. This is especially important for those of you who are actually at the draft. You're not just booing for yourselves, you're booing for all of us out there watching on television.

Ignore the anti-European bias. Folks, let's face facts. There's been an anti-euro bias in the NHL for years. People said they couldn't lead a team (Nicklas Lidstrom, anyone?). People said they fold in the clutch (Pavel Datsyuk? Henrik Zetterberg?). Maybe it's North America's way of propping itself up by putting down others or maybe it's good ol' fashioned bigotry. Who knows. Either way, many experts will make up crap about European players to make it seem as if they're not ready for the NHL. Sometimes even the teams buy into this fallacy, case in point Alexei Cherepanov's stunning drop at last year's draft. But you, my friend, are smarter than this. You understand that a hockey player is a hockey player no matter race, color, creed or favorite Power Ranger. You will see through the lies and not be upset when your team drafts a European in the first round.

If your team isn't picking in the Top 10, take a nap. It's going to be a while. You'll have enough time to catch some Z's or what have you before your team picks. Maybe you could even, I don't know, spend some time with your kids! BAHAHAHAH!! Kidding... I'm only kidding. Let's not go crazy here.

If your team is picking in the Top 10, don't sweat it (not valid for teams with Kevin Lowe as GM). Let's face it, this is really a crapshoot. Sure, Stamkos will probably be really good. Sure, there's going to be some gems out there. But the draft is the NHL's version of procrastination. By the time these guys are any good you're never going to remember how pissed you were that your team didn't select Joe Blow. Save yourself the ulcer now and don't sweat it. You're probably not going to remember this draft unless your team does something really boneheaded. And even then, you might be too drunk to remember. That brings me to my next point.

Don't drink while watching the draft. These kids are younger than you. They get to play a game for a living. They're going to make more money in their first NHL contract than you will in a decade. They probably get a lot of girls. Thinking about all of these things can be depressing. Unless you're well off yourself, you probably don't want to be ingesting any depressants during the draft. It's just, well, depressing.

Don't buy your playoff tickets Saturday morning. Just because your team drafted a stud in the five spot doesn't mean you're going to make a Boston Celtics-esque turn around next year. Get your head of the clouds and snap out of it. There's still a lot of work to be done before your crap team turns itself around. This draft is such a small part to the overall picture and has very few short term fixes. Get over the 18-year old wonder kid you just drafted and start thinking about free agency. No one in this draft is going to take you to the promised land next year. No one.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sweet Dreams are Made of Stuff Like This

Mark Messier's reaction to this? Typical.

This would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever happen... BUT it would be HILARIOUS!

Per Sporting News (not AP cause they are big dumb stupid heads):

The NHL has proposed disciplinary proceedings against Madison Square Garden that could result in the suspension or termination of the company's ownership of the New York Rangers, according to a draft letter written by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that was filed in New York district court late yesterday.

The letter, part of the league's ongoing legal fight against MSG, alleges that MSG -- by suing the NHL -- has violated the league constitution. The letter was part of a counterclaim the NHL filed asking the court to issue a judicial declaration allowing the NHL to discipline the Rangers and MSG internally. If the court fulfills that request, the league will immediately begin disciplinary proceedings against MSG.

Can you imagine the NHL kicking out Dolan and MSG? Ouch. The Rangers would be in trouble then. Hamilton Rangers, anyone? OK, seriously this isn't going to happen. But it's fun to think about.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

FanHouse Update

Somedays I write a ton here and very little for FanHouse. Somedays it is the opposite. This is one of those days.

If you're interested...

A Quick Guide to NHL Draft Parties

'The Rock' to Star in Hockey Movie?

The Associated Press is Dead to Me

Earlier in the week -- you might have heard about it -- some joke newspaper in Iowa threatened to sue a blog for using their video on said blog. Funny story. You see, the newspaper provided an embed code for the video on their website.

That would be like me inviting you over to my house, asking you if you would like a drink, giving it to you, and then slapping it out of your hand and saying you stole it.

Apparently parts of Iowa are only now getting the internet. If any regular readers are from Iowa, clearly, these are not the parts that you are from.

In another installment in a long line of greed/MSM delusion/whatever you want to call it, we've got another situation we can all roll our eyes at. The AP is going to start charging you for quoting them on your blog.

Nice try, guys.

So now, instead of writing something like... "the AP is reporting that they are all a bunch of morons," and then quoting them verbatem

"By using a blockquote thingy such as this."
It's going to be a little different. Now, I'm going to say the same thing, only excluding the actual quote.

Like so:

The AP is reporting that they are all a bunch of morons.

See what I did there? I just saved myself $50.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This is EXACTLY What I Want to See When I Get Home

It's all like a series of tubes I tell you!

Just got home after a long day at the airports (thank you storm that tried to murder the entire east coast). I think that if someone tried to create an actual, physical version of the internet, it would be our nation's airports. They're really just a series of tubes.

But anyway. I get home, open up the email. First thing in there is how the college I attend decided to give a hacker all of the business school's personal information. Thanks for that one. You sealed the deal when it comes to begging me for alumni donations in a couple years. All my money is now going towards buying that arena. See what you did??? You ruined it!!

Moving on -- second email. That one put me over the edge (Thanks, Scotty).

My course of action:

  1. Read it.
  2. Tried to contain homicidal rage.
  3. Replied politely.
  4. Wrote a post about my experience (naturally).
  5. Slept off said rage.

You all probably saw this already. But in case you didn't here it is:

Report: Yashin Interested in Returning to the Islanders.

So what, right? Who cares what Yashin is interested in doing. He set this team back five years (we've got another youth movement now! who's excited?!) and we're done with him. If he wants to crawl up on the doorstep and cry about it, so be it.

Hahaha! How naive I am! I almost forgot to read the fine print.

According to Newsday, the Islanders have discussed the possibility of bringing their former captain back for one year after buying out the final four years of his $10 million contract.

Yashin's agent, Marc Gandler told Newday he spoke with Islanders' general manager Garth Snow on Thursday but no agreement was reached.

Oh, fun times in Islander land.

"We've had discussions," Gandler told Newsday. "But it's been very slow because I told them in the beginning how much I wanted. They're obviously not happy about that. But clearly, they missed him. They didn't have a first line last season."

You can always count on the agent to be so nice about things. The team was pretty good until the last month of the season, if you hadn't noticed. Which, I guess, you didn't because you were too busy in RUSSIA (there, hockey plays you!).

Currently, the Islanders are paying Yashin $2.2 million per year over eight years for a total of more than $17 million. At the time of the buy-out, there were four years remaining on the deal worth $26 million.

Yashin, who is close with Islanders' owner Charles Wang, skated with Yaroslavl of the Russian League last season, scoring 16 goals and 27 assists for 43 points. In the playoffs, he added eight goals and six assists in 16 games and was named the best player of the postseason.

To be fair, Yashin did have a good year in Russia. To be fair, we're paying the guy $2 million plus to NOT play for us right now. As long as we have an empty roster spot, which we kind of do, then what the hell. It's honestly not that bad. It just sucks, though. That sound you heard was of everyone in the PR and Marketing Departments having simultaneous strokes. This guy could score 100 goals next year and it's still going to get a lot of bad publicity.

So now you all think I'm crazy. Great.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Calling it a day

Jesus is just all right with me

Well, that's going to do it for me today. Kevin rightfully gave me the reins for but one day, which is probably for the best, lest I start talking about goaltenders and their penchant for groin injuries. Nobody wants to read a post about Kari Lehtonen's groin. For being so good to me today, and to thank Kevin for letting me take care of his baby, I have provided the adjacent picture of everyone's favorite mustachioed Duck, George Parros all dolled up. Either that or it's a Doobie Brother.
But I'm out. Stop in and see me at the Victoria Times some time.

Pittsburgh is extremely popular with Europeans

Hey! I know someone from there!

Filling in at a hockey blog in the middle of June. Brilliant! Last time I filled in here it was February, when there was, you know, hockey. Right now on the top headline is that Ryan Suter just signed a four year deal with the Predators. Somehow, I still find the NHL offseason more entertaining than the NBA Finals.

But if we're going to sit around and talk hockey, let's talk hockey. This is a question that crops up for me pretty much all the time. We're mostly aware of the East Coast Bias in most sports, what with most media outlets being headquartered out there. Additionally, talent seems to be attracted to certain cities across the Eastern Seaboard, and to a lesser extent, southern California because that's where the money (and attention) mostly is.

Why isn't this the case in hockey? I would expect the bias to be more pervasive, given that so much talent comes from overseas. Really, why would someone come from Slovakia to play in Raleigh voluntarily? Is that some sort of Slovakian dream I'm unaware of? I would expect many Europeans to try to get to New York or Los Angeles or Boston or, you know, a city their family had heard of. I'm not saying that Europeans are ignorant, but I doubt anything more than 25% of the European population has heard of Buffalo.

One of the prime examples of the confusion, for me anyways, is Niklas Lidstrom, who has spent his entire career in Detroit. How did that happen? Didn't he do any research on the subject before coming to America and set his sites on New York or LA? Again, I'm not saying that Detroit is necessarily a bad city, but it has a bad reputation. If anyone in the Lidstrom clan back in Vasteras had heard of Detroit, they probably feared for his life. I have to imagine that early in his career, he was receiving a lot of pressure from his Swedish friends to try for a more glamorous city (Being Swedish myself, I can assure you that the pressure was really passive-aggressive). Credit Lidstrom for realizing his title chances were best in Detroit, or, just as likely, finding Detroit a wonderful place to live. Believe it or not, Motown has suburbs too.

I think, too, many Europeans would like to see the melting pot of America. You know, the varying culture that one expects when throwing people from all different backgrounds into a large city. You've got your Chinatowns like in San Francisco, and your Little Italys like in New York, which only provide to the intrigue of these American cities, especially, I'm sure, to tourists and people from out of town. How did Marian Gaborik feel upon arriving in the Twin Cities the first time, only to find out that there was more diversity in Bratislava?

I'm mostly just thinking out loud here. I'm not trying to badmouth any smaller market cities. Quite the contrary; I think the NHL, if anything is doing more to establish a positive reputation for a lot of smaller cities in European minds. Hopefully, Lidstrom's willingness to stick around in Detroit leads to a booming Swede based tourist industry in Detroit. Maybe Austrians now keep tabs on news from Buffalo because of Thomas Vanek. Maybe Gaborik has realized that there is diversity in Minneapolis (both Swedes AND Norwegians!). Maybe a huge Marek Zidlicky fan just checked the NHL site from Prague and got really excited that Ryan Suter is staying in Nashville.

Happy Monday!

The Winnipeg Jets: still not in existence.

Hey gang, how's it going? Kevin sort of slipped out unnoticed. If you check the bottom of this post, you'll see a new name, "Ryan". Go ahead, check it out. I can wait.
So yeah, I'm Ryan. I've written here in the past. Most days, you can find me toiling away over at the Victoria Times. Let me tell you, the commute from Victoria to Barry Melrose headquarters in Newark is brutal.
So, why am I here? Well, I've been asked to entertain you while Kevin is flying somewhere. I'm not certain as to where, but I hear he's going to Canada to see about buying out Mirtle. My sources aren't the best.
Anyways, this isn't my real post for the day, I'm just sticking my toe in the water. Before I get to it, I encourage you to talk amongst yourselves. An idea for a topic to get things started, (in the spirit of flying): What should the Winnipeg Jets do this offseason?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bidding Adieu to the Year That Was (Part Two)

To finish up our season recap, here's a look at the top stories from the 2nd half of the season. Again, these links are completely and totally unbiased. All of them. Totally. For sure.

If you're looking for Part One, it's right here.



MARCH 2008

APRIL 2008

MAY 2008

JUNE 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Your Weekly Allotment of Jabs at the TML

I was browsing through the epic website that is (think Wikipedia except everything is false, not just most of it) and, naturally, headed on over to the hockey section.

Let me just say that it's freaking hilarious.

Here's a sample from the Toronto Maple Leafs page. I think even Loser Domi would find this stuff funny.

Yeah, probably the only thing I would undo.

~ God on the Toronto Maple Leafs

Why do we suck so much?.

~ The Toronto Maple Leafs on the Toronto Maple Leafs

In Russia, Stanley Cup has gone over 40 years without advancing to YOU!

~ Russian Reversal on Toronto Maple Leafs