Thursday, July 31, 2008

The longest post you will see here about the Wild

What a fancy logo. It's both a landscape and a cat's head!

Hey gang, Ryan here, much to your collective chagrin. I'm not sure why Kevin keeps tabbing me to pinch blog over here, but I'm going to be here tomorrow as well.

Anyways, I was going to put my Nick Bakay pants on and do some tail of the tape type post between the NHL and MLB trade deadline, but frankly, the Nick Bakay pants don't fit, and the post would have been boring. The difference is that there are a lot more trades during the NHL deadline. Similarities? Minnesota doesn't make any moves in either.

Hey! Minnesota! Since Kevin is always beating us over the head with Islanders crap (seriously, if I hear about Trent Hunter one more time...) (Second side bar, check out what actually is. Hooray Polynesia!), let's rap about the Wild for a bit, eh? One question comes to mind. What the hell are they doing?

They knew going into the offseason that Pavol Demitra and Brian Rolston were likely gone, and indeed, they took off. Along with them Branko Radivojevic returned to Europe, and for good measure, they bought out Mark Parrish just yesterday. For a team that tends to struggle with things like "offense" already, it appeared that maintaining their high level next year was going to be a struggle. They had work to do.

They did some of that work. Here's a run down of the guys they acquired, either via trade or free agency:

Andrew Brunette - Old, was never much of a goal scorer. Replaces Rolston's 59 points with 59 of his own.

Owen Nolan - Just old.

Craig Weller - Punches people.

Marek Zidlicky - Plays defense, has a huge fan in the Czech Republic.

Mark-Andre Bergeron - Also plays defense. Popularity in the Czech Republic unknown.

Krys Kolanos - Sucks. Spells his name to reflect this.

Antti Miettinen - Finnish, adequately skilled offensively. Entirely unremarkable.

Not exactly an offensive breeding ground. Did Doug Risebrough want to go back to the days when the Wild would score 2 goals a week? Did he think they were more lovable then? To compound things, despite adding Zidlicky and Bergeron, the defense probably isn't that great, as Martin Skoula is out there pretty mch all the time.

Yes, the Wild are still young and those young players are likely to continue improving. The question becomes, if the Wild are this talented, why do they have to be so grueling to watch? I digress. At least we don't have to worry about whether or not we can get a good year out of Doug Weight.

(It should be noted that I'm not a Wild blogger, just a Minnesotan with a short attention span. For actual Wild bloggers, check out these lovely ladies, or perhaps this guy)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Power Ranking the Puck Daddy Bettman Photoshop Contest


So that whole Bettman Photoshop Contest over at the House Wyshynski Built is making a big hubbub. It's a hullabaloo, you might say. The internet isn't exactly on fire, but it's certainly smoldering... Hell, the whole thing is starting to turn into one big community hug for the hockey blogosphere. That's something we can get behind. But not in that way.


In an effort to inject some fun into a relatively boring month, I've officially reached a new low. July is so boring... So boring in fact that I'm doing power rankings for a photoshop contest. Wow. You might want to reconsider your bookmark of this website after reading through this. It's only fair that I warn you.

But here we go. Over the last week or so, Greg has given us a peek at many of the entries. Today, we pull out the shotgun and go on a power trip. It's pointless power rankings time!!!

9. Things You Can't Unsee
The first photoshops on our countdown are those that are painful to the eye. Like when you put Bettman's face on Marilyn Monroe. That can scar multiple generations of readers. Not only am I horrified, but it's likely that my father and grandfather would have a similar reaction. Give credit where credit is due though, it's not easy to simultaneously scar three generations... Lara "Gary" Croft also may apply to this category.

8. Borderline Offensive Entries
There's a fine line between hilarity and antisemitism. I have no idea on which side of that line Moses-Bettman leading pixelated Jews across the Red Sea falls. I think it gets a pass because it was crafted using MS Paint. It's hard to hate on anything that comes out of a program like that.

7. Those Lacking Originality
I thought my Napolean entry was pretty slick (Hey! Gary's short and power hungry too!). That is, until at least 300 other people sent in the same thing. Maybe if I had spent more than 10 minutes on it, I would not have had that problem.

6. Smoke Pot and Photoshop
A technique that, when done right, can be very effective.

5. Picture a Legend
Somehow I can't imagine that Bobby Orr or Mario Lemiuex would smile if they saw these pictures. That doesn't mean they're bad, though. They're ballsy and certainly fit the criteria of heroism. Solid entries, indeed.

4. Give the Judges Their Comeuppance
Maybe they'll pick it out of humility or maybe because it is downright hilarious. Either way there's no better way to enter a contest than by stickin' it to the man. Or just picturing an alternate universe where Bettman is editor of a Yahoo! Sports blog. Props to JP.

3. Slick Pop Culture References
There's nothing better than a slick, cheeky reference to pop culture. Gary Bettman as Chris Hansen from To Catch a Predator is the perfect example of this at work.

GB: "Eddie Belfour just... Just have a seat. Now can I ask why you took of your shirt, yelled 'I'm a bad muthafucka' and brought a six pack to practice today?"

Anyone who pictured Bettman slaying thousands of Persians also qualifies.

2. Pop Culture References That are a Bit More Obscure
While those pop culture reference can be slick, you may have been one of the daring ones. You may have gone with an obscure pop culture reference. While it can be risky, the reward can be big. You never know, this might be the perfect time to throw out a Power Rangers photoshop. But if you're too obscure, no one's going to get it so you must proceed with caution.

1. You Really Can't Go Wrong with a Safe Bet
The Matrix. Or Star Wars. Or Scarface. That's a quick way to get your butt into the finals. Gary Bettman with a rifle in his hands is too good to pass up. Now if only someone would make him into Batman or the Joker.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Matt Barnaby -- of All People -- to Replace Melrose at ESPN?

There hasn't been much serious talk regarding who will fill the shoes (and hair) of Barry Melrose at ESPN. Of course the blogosphere has been a buzz trying to guess and set odds for the whole thing, but there has yet to be much about who ESPN would be interviewing/hiring.

Consider the hat of Matthew Barnaby, former Sabre, Penguin, Lightning, Ranger, Avalanche, Star and Blackhawk (gotta love free agency), now in the ring.

At Going Five Hole, Sean reports that earlier this week on LCS hockey Barnaby confirmed that he is in talks with ESPN to fill the vacancy left by Melrose.

Barnaby, who makes the occasional appearance on TSN, noted he was going to meet with ESPN executives about the open position as lead NHL analyst with the WorldWide Leader. I did a poll over at Puck Daddy about who should replace Barry Melrose as the puck-talking head over at ESPN. While Barnaby wasn't included as one of the choices, he is an interesting option. He's definitely an out-spoken character with plenty of NHL experience, but I just don't see ESPN selecting him. It does baffle me why the need for a big NHL analyst on a network that barely covers the sport anyway.

So there you have it. The bloodthirsty villagers finally have a suspect. Discuss!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We Have Been .Com'ed


Is that anywhere close to being correct? Maybe it's ".comed"? I have no idea.

Whatever the hell it is, we've got it now. From now until the end of time you will be able to find this here blog at (unless we forget to pay the rent). Actually that's probably a generous estimate, but if this blog ever changes servers or whatever, you'll be able to find it at that address.
It's not really a change for those of you who use a feed reader. For those of you who visit the blogspot website to read my rants, please update your bookmarks.

There you have it -- we're slowly but surely conquering the world. First it was FanHouse, now a .com and soon the Eastern United States. Maybe by 3288 Mullet Nation will be a world power. Maybe. I wouldn't bet on it.

And the Award for Persistence in Anonymous Internet Mockery Goes to...

The internet can be a hateful, vile and cruel place. It can also be educational, fun and a land where chipmunks rule all who dare enter. It's every shred of humanity chronicled and indexed for all to see and explore. But I know you know this.

It's just that sometimes we need to stand up and applaud when someone makes a significant contribution to our tangled web. This is one of those times.

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote about a new hockey blog on the scene that was anything but normal. Blogs can be filled with vitriol and anger, but this one soared above the rest. Yes, I'm talking about Peklund the Phoney Hockey Blogger. 12 months later, they're still going strong mocking Eklund from hockey buzz. Most people are content to just yell random obscenities in a chat room or mess with someone on instant messenger. But no, not these folks. They have taken anonymous internet bashing to a whole new level. And for that, they should be recognized.

So, if I had an awards show with a big red carpet gala, these folks would be invited. Even though there isn't anything like that with free hors d'oeuvres, we can pretend. Today, I am proud to give the Award for Persistence in Anonymous Internet Mockery to whomever it is that runs the blog Peklund the Phoney Hockey Blogger. The countless hours you have spent anonymously mocking someone who is, also, anonymous have not gone unnoticed. For this, we thank you.


Pensblog pointed this one out this morning.

Somewhere Fedor Fedorov is pretty pissed off.

Jack Johnson is Trying to Start Shit With Us

Hmmm... So Dave McB forwarded this along to me earlier tonight. Not exactly what I want to see before bed. I'm going to end up dreaming about punching Jack Johnson in the face repeatedly.

Johnson, not to be confused with the famous man with the same name who plays crappy music that makes girls and girly men alike get all gushy, was interviewed at Inside the Kings. He had some not so kind words for Long Island. You can imagine that I'm probably going to have a little beef with Jackie.

Question: I know it is still early, but what's your call on the worst NHL hockey city?

Johnson: (Laughs). Oh, I'd have to say the Islanders' rink and the area just around there was the worst (laughs).

Dick. At least our fans show up before the second intermission.

Look. I know the Coliseum is crap. I know it's really ugly on the outside. But hey, I've still gotta be reppin' the 516 homie.

Oh and Jack, in case this hockey thing doesn't pan out -- you did bust your ankle last season -- you might want to get an actual degree.

Question: What are you studying?

Johnson: I'm just a general studies major. I don't care what my degree is as long as I get one (laughs).

That's called a jock degree, not a real degree. I don't think you want to be working at Arby's when you're done playing hockey now do you?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Learn About Your Neighbors: Canadian Comedy -- Not Too Bad, Eh?

When you see the words "Learn About Your Neighbors" in the post title, it probably means we'll be focusing on something completely Canadian. For you Canadians out there (You know who you are!), this will probably be like remedial math. You could do it in your sleep. While you're sleeping, try and understand that we're doing this as a public service for Americans. Even though the may live in a powerful country (for the time being), most of them probably couldn't find Wyoming on a map -- let alone Canada.

When it comes to providing America with celebrities, Canada isn't doing so well. In fact, they still are trying to atone for the whole Bryan Adams mess. At least if you ask Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park fame.

When it comes to providing us with comedy, Canada is doing quite a bit better than Bryan Adams despite Mike Myers' best efforts to embarrass the country. Of course there still great comedians coming from the North, such as Bob and Doug MacKenzie, Jim Carrey, Lorne Michaels (of Saturday Night Live) and Rick Mercer's awesome Talking to Americans videos to name a few.

Adding to all that is a show I just stumbled upon, This Hour Has 22 Minutes. I haven't seen enough of it to make any sweeping generalizations, but hey, it seems funny enough for me. The video clip accompanying these typed words is of Raj Binder (real name Shaun Majumder), who does sketches for the show. Apparently some time last season he visited Scotiabank Place at a time when the Senators were good, hence his reference to them being the best team in the league. In the end, things didn't work out so well for the Sens -- probably a finish to the year their fans are still trying to forget -- but luckily for us the rest of the video was quite a bit better than their season. It certainly would have won the division if it was an actual hockey team. Enjoy!

Getcha Artistic Talents Ready

Over at Yahoo, Greg has a neat contest up. It's goal? Try and make Gary Bettman look heroic, respectable and whatever other positive descriptors you would like to add to the end of this sentence.

Puck Daddy is proud to present our first reader-submitted art contest -- Gary Bettman: Portraits in Heroism.

We're asking you to send in your drawings, paintings, Photoshops and any other electronically-submitted visual media that depicts Gary Bettman in a moment of true valor and heroism. Fighting to the death in "300." Body-slamming Andre the Giant in Wrestlemania III. Here's an example I created in roughly 180 seconds: Gary Bettman fighting a fire-breathing dragon.

I encourage everyone to enter, partially because there are prizes involved and partially because the outcome of this is sure to be hilarious. As you well know, this website fully endorses hilarity (not to be confused with Hillary) as well as Mr. Wyshynski.

It is with these ideas in mind that I present to you my own entry, which could hopefully offer up some inspiration or the aforementioned hilarity. Good luck and happy photoshopping!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Getty Images Perfects "Crotch Cam" Technology

Every day it seems we see new innovations in the way the media brings you sports. In arena football, the quarterbacks and coaches are mic'ed up. It's given new life to being the person that bleeps out profanities during sports broadcasts. In baseball, ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball has that wacky pitch tracker that shows you the exact line of flight on every pitch.

Naturally, it was only a matter of time until someone decided to ignore the epic failure of the glow puck and take another shot at hockey technology. In what can be described as a unique (erotic?) attempt at bringing us closer to the game we love, photographer Bruce Bennett and Getty Images have brought us the 'crotch cam'. Or at least that's what it looks like from the above picture. The caption doesn't identify what lucky guinea pig got to try this out, but I can assure you it was someone in the Islanders farm system that you've never heard of.

Will this new technology succeed? Only time will tell. But just image the potential in-game uses. We could see one of Alex Ovechkin's beautiful dekes from crotch level. The speed of Sidney Crosby, now seen through his legs. Sean Avery and... Well... I don't think it would be a good idea to try this thing with Sean. We might see some things that we can't unsee. But nonetheless, the crotch cam is here and it's sure to make fans uncomfortable and give players some nasty chafing.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mike Milbury and His Uncanny Ability to Stay Gainfully Employed

Seriously, how the fuck does Mike Milbury continue to find GREAT jobs?

He ran the Islanders into the ground, even when given solid ownership. He argued like a child on more than one occasion with his cohosts at the NHL on NBC this past winter. So how is it that Mike Milbury continues to get hired... And by the CBC of all places?!?


The CBC must be more desperate for television analysts than Jay Mohr is for a hit show. I seriously think my head is going to explode here. Clearly, he was not hired by the CBC because he was, how do I say, good on the NHL on NBC. That couldn't possibly be it. So who did he sleep with? Or maybe he's just that damn good when it comes to interviews.

Man, I'm just going to go and take some deep breaths here. I'm actually offended by his hiring. That's kind of ridiculous. All I know is that if this guy can continually get gigs, I'll be CEO at Microsoft in no time.

The Newest Innovation in Hockey Cards

Sean Leahy broke this story today and has what can be described as an epic post on the subject. Check it.

If you pay any attention to trading cards, you know they have gotten ridiculous in recent years. Pieces of game used jerseys and sticks, even strands of Babe Ruth's hair (I'm not kidding).

In the next phase of getting consumers the best products in the fastest amount of time, companies are introducing the pre-rookie rookie card. It is what is says -- a rookie card of the player before they had ever played in the NHL.

'This is not news,' you say. 'Companies have been putting out cards of kids in juniors for years'.

While that is indeed true, the trading card companies have decided to take things one step further than juniors. Actually, it's a Carl Lewis-sized leap further. They're going to back to when the kids were just that -- kids. For example, in Patrick Kane's pre-rookie card that you see pictured above, printed by Pinnacle, he was only about 6 (see: little kid in the upper right hand corner).

Upper deck is planning a ground breaking response to Pinnacle's pre-rookie rookie cards. Nothing is final yet, but pre-birth rookie cards are supposedly in the works. Rumors are circulating whether these cards are going to picture sonograms of the players while they were still in their mother's womb or be more closely related to their conception. For the sake of humanity, I hope it's the former. The fewer references out there to that one fateful night in the back of Mr. and Mrs. Briere's '76 Chevy Nova, the better.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Your Bizarre Ebay Items of the Week

The last time I checked it was still summer. As hockey fans, all that means is that we are still bored. That's why this little feature has returned yet again. Buying stuff is something to do. Talking about stuff we can buy -- also something to do. Talking about the weird stuff people are trying to sell us? That takes boredom by the throat and cuts the jugular. (Sorry if that was a little graphic -- I saw the new Batman last night. Great movie but I can't yet call it 'life changing'. Maybe after the second viewing.)

So, without any further interruption, I present to you your bizarre Ebay items of the week.

VINTAGE New York Rangers HOCKEY JERSEY Large NHL CCM @@ (Item #: 170235794395)

This one isn't bizarre but it may be the perfect gag gift. Have an Islander fan in your family that you really want to piss off? Making a Mark Messier voodoo doll? Want to call someone a douchebag but can't find the words to say it? Then why not do it metaphorically with this retro Rangers jersey! Whatever your reasoning, this jersey can do it all... Except play defense.

Sale Price: $12.50 + shipping.


If you're looking to buy a piece of crap that someone found in their garage then this next item is for you. It's a really old button from a crappy state and a hockey team that may never have even existed! For only $12.51 you could be the proud owner of something that should have been thrown in the trash years ago! Best of all -- shipping is free. Hey, even if you got raped from behind on the sale price, at least you got a great deal on the shipping, right? I like those odds.

Sale Price: $12.51, free shipping.

Hockey USA Live The Game Coaster/Beer Mat (Item #: 250271230748)

Maybe you're the kind of person that likes to go out to a bar on Friday night. Maybe you're also the kind of person that goes to Canadian dive bars and wants to bring those warm and fuzzy feelings home. If so, then 99 cents is all you need to bring those great feelings home!

Why not relive the vague memories of your drunk escapades with a nice, cardboard coaster? You'll probably have to put it away when important company comes over so you don't look too trashy (Don't want the Donaldsons thinking we shop at the dollar store!) but that's OK. You can still get great use out of it while you're drinking alone by yourself in front of the TV.

Best of all, it's in mint condition and the seller claims it's "never been used before."

Wait. Why is Labatt Blue sponsoring American hockey?

Sale Price: .99 + 2.00 shipping.

LOT OF 9 COLGATE HOCKEY HEADS 1971/72 (Item #: 330252896604)

I have no idea what's going on here and the seller doesn't provide much insight. I can only assume that these were sold attached to Colgate toothpaste. There are tiny white heads of all your favorites -- Lafluer, Dionne, Mahovilich. Collect 'em all!

Sale price: $76.00

Housin' It

Over at the House that Mottram Built, I breifly discuss the continued charade of Mats Sundin.

Mats Sundin to Sign with Canucks -- Unless He Doesn't

Friday, July 18, 2008

Behind the Mascot -- Sparky the Dragon

It's time once again to take look behind the stuffing, through the fur and find out who mascots are on the inside. What are their hobbies? What do they do in their spare time and, most importantly, why do they like to eat children? This time, New York's Sparky the Dragon is in the spotlight.

(C) New York Islanders

Name: Sparky


Enslaved by: the New York Islanders and New York Dragons (AFL)

Height: 7-3 3/4

Weight: Big enough to eat you

Hatchdate: March 18th, 1814

Hatched: At Nassau Coliseum Hospital, which didn't exist in 1814 and still doesn't exist today.


Welcome to BMR, Sparky. It's a pleasure to have you with us.

'Ey it's great ta be heah. Fuggedaboutit.

So tell me, what's with the Jekyll and Hyde thing that you've got going on. You're orange and blue at Islander games and turn red and black when you go to Arena football games.

It's simple ya know. Super powers. I can change my coat whenever I like. And hey, when ya are a seven-foot tall dragon it never hurts to blend in a little, ya know?

Tell me a little bit about the things you do outside of the arena. They do let you leave the Coliseum, right?

Oh yeah. Tons of stuff. Every Sunday afternoon I try and disguise myself as a teenage human and play street hockey with a bunch of kids. I think they caught on pretty quickly but decided to let me stay anyway because I had yet to eat any of them.

So you don't eat people?

Only if they piss me off like the jagoff who was doing 45 on the LIE on the way here.

Remind me never to drive in front of you. I hear you're also down with the Jews.

Oh yeah. I do bah and bat mitzvahs all the time. They really know how to party out here on Lawnguyland.

OK, so I have to ask, what's going on in this photo?

Ha! That's a great story. One day I was a guest instructor at a learn to skate class. I showed the kids how to fend off dragon attacks -- fail their arms up in the air and sing ABBA. Total bull, you know but they bought every second of it. Priceless!

Alright, that's all we have time for today. I'd like to thank Sparky for taking the time to talk to us today and special thanks for not eating me.


All pictures (C) New York Islanders and

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Video That Will Change Your Life

Every once in a while a music video comes along that shocks the world. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" comes to mind. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana is also an option, if you are a lumberjack or grew up in the early 1990s.

There are those videos that change the face of music and pop culture as we know it, sometimes turning them completely on their head. I'm talking about the once in a lifetime masterpieces that reverberate with many future generations.

Today, we have another name to put along side the greats of grunge and sleeping with little kids on your ranch pop music. In creating a piece for CBC's competition to replace the Hockey Night in Canada theme song, Logan Aube created an unbelievable work of... well... something. I'm not quite sure what. But if you're a fan of Don Hertzfeld (and I know about three of you are), you'll be with me on this one. It's one of those videos that you watch, go "wtf did I just watch 'cause my eyes are bleeding?" and then fall in love with.

Without further ado, ladies and gentleman, I present to you the current leader in the clubhouse to replace the HNIC theme song. From north of the border, this is "Hockey Scores".

Top Six Must Miss NHL Games of 2008-09

The NHL schedule was released today and that means many bloggers and media outlets will be chronicling the "best games" and all the "can't miss matchups."

Screw that.

We've heard all that crap before and, if you're the savvy hockey fan that I know you are, you already know which games are going to be good. The real test when it comes to organizing your winter work schedule around hockey games (I know you're already doing this.) is knowing which ones to miss. Having a solid understanding of how to do this successfully is a true art form. To try and aid you in the process, I've complied six "must miss" games this season. You know, the ones that we all know we shouldn't bother watching even though it's only July. Sometimes it's really that easy to spot a stinker from six months away.

October 21st. Thrashers @ Lightning, 7:30 PM EST. Cue the Southleast division jokes. Not only are we talking about the two worst teams from the division everyone likes to pick on (It's just so easy!) they were also the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference last season. Add to it that neither was above the league average in goals scored and, well, this will be anything but a barn burner. It will probably be a barn builder, I guess.

(Side note: Why is 'barn burner' such a popular expression? Was it really that exciting to watch a barn catch on fire back in the day? I guess that's probably all there was to do in 1820.)

November 1st. Oilers @ Hurricanes, 3 PM EST. It's a rematch of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. It's also one of the oddest matchups in the history of hockey. You've got a team with a storied history from western Canada up against a team from NASCAR country with some skeletons in the closet. Two hockey outposts on opposite sides of the continent. Even worse, the color combinations resemble the bruise I got after falling down the brick steps in the front of my house. Orange, blue, bright red and black? Yeesh. Spare me. Even the time is a bit odd. 3PM? Really?

November 1st. Panthers @ Predators, 8 PM EST. Two bad matchups in one day? November 1st is really going to be a day to avoid hockey. This matchup is what will likely be re-named and promoted as the 2008 NHL Questionable Futures Game. The situation surrounding the Preds and their ownership has been cloudy for a few years now. If there's one team in the NHL in danger of upheaval/contraction, it's these guys. The Panthers aren't in as dire straights, but there certainly are no shortage of people willing to bring them up in the conversation when it comes to relocation. So why not add a little spark to a game that could use a little life? Let's play once and for all, winner take all. The winners get to stay where they are and the losers get one way tickets to the uninhabited destination of their choice. Winnipeg? Hamilton? Vegas? It's up to them.

January 12th. Lightning @ Kings, 10:30 PM EST. OK, so the Bolts looked to be much improve this year on the ice and I'm not saying that because I'm pro-Melrose. They did add a lot of good pieces. Nonetheless, the horrifying appearance of this matchup cannot be understated. Irregardless of off-season improvements, these were still the two worst teams in the NHL last year. And it's still the Lightning against the Kings. I'm sure all of 10 people will be excited about this one. That's if the Lakers aren't playing that night.

February 10th. Kings @ Islanders, 7 PM EST. Not only is this a crappy matchup to begin with, but neither team is likely to be in the playoff hunt come February. To add to that, have you ever been to Long Island in February? On a Tuesday night? At Nassau "the Ageless Wonder" Coliseum? I rest my case.

April 10th. Blue Jackets @ Blues, 8:30 PM EST. Oh, yeah. This one is going to have all sorts of playoff implications.

FanHouse Update

Just a quick note for you guys. FanHouse is getting a much needed update on all its URLs and RSS feeds... So now you can reach the site at and the NHL section at

If you've been subscribing to my posts, the new feed URL for that is:

The new NHL feed can now be found at:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Responding to Reader Email

I get lots of emails everyday. Some from my boss, some from my Mom and others from people who are fans of the site. Most of the time they're from Mom. Anyway, I figured that it might be pretty neat and a good way to pass time if I gave you a look at some of the fine folks who take time out of their day to converse with me. The following are real, unedited emails from readers like you. The names have not been changed because there's really no reason to protect these people. Again, completely and totally unedited. And not in any way the stuff from my spam folder. Not at all.

from Kowalski (
date Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 8:27 AM
subject Stray javelin kills 6-year-old girl

Microsoft announced today the successful negotation to merge Yahoo with parent company [link redacted].

Dear Kowalski,

I'm certainly saddened to hear that a stray javelin killed your daughter. The dangers that random flying javelins pose to our nation's youth have never been given the attention they deserve. The only real course of action for us Americans is without a doubt to go to war. We're at war in the Gulf. We've gone to war on drugs. We even started a war on poverty. Now, I think it's time to start a war with stray javelins.



from Pet Sinclair (
date Wed, Jul 9, 2008 at 1:07 AM
subject More than 300,000 People die every year in USA of Obesity . Are you Next ?

300,000 People die every year in USA of Obesity ..... Are you Next ??? [link redacted]

Dear Pet,

First off, I would like to officially welcome you to the new millennium. Judging by your Lycos email address, you somehow managed to email me from 1996 thus violating the time space continuum. You may be the first human being to accomplish such a feat. Congratulations!

As for your question, no I don't think that I will be next. Star Jones was next and then she had that surgery. Now, I think the next person is Randolph Johnson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I'm not sure though.

Take care,


date Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 6:29 AM
subject Job Offer!!

Mr. Pao Yasin
No.2, Lane 70,
Ming Chu Road, Sec.1,Tung Pao,


An international representative to collect payments on our behalf from our foreign customers is needed in your region. If you are intrested please contact our Foreign Service Manager, Dr. Song Wang with below email for details:
E-mail: [email redacted]
Dr Song Wang
Foreign Service Manager.


Dear Management!

I are intrested in contact Song Wang. He in your base killing your doodz.


Barry Melrose Rocks Bullshit Detection Department

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We Get Called Out -- And Deservedly So

So just a quick question for you tonight. Do you know the significance of today? Does it strike you as a day that is not like the other 364 on the calendar? Me neither. It's July 15. All that's on my mind is going to the beach. If only I didn't have to work all day. Wait... What's that? There's something important about today?

From Here Come the Hawks:

I am appalled that Barry Melrose Rocks has done absolutely NOTHING to wish our favorite former ESPN announcer a happy birthday. Maybe now that he's off coaching whoever Pittsburgh failed to re-sign they don't care about him as much, but don't get down Barry, some of us still love you. BMR - the real Barry Melrose is awaiting your apology.

Happy Birthday Barry

Yeah. Today was Barry's birthday and I, nor any of the commenters here (Yes, I'm lumping you in with me to deflect some blame), realized it! And we got called out by an upstart Chicago Blackhawks blog for it! Oh, the shame. I'll never be able to go out in public hockey chat rooms ever again. But come on... The Blackhawks of all teams. You remember them, they have been a farm team for the last fifteen years or so. That's the real slap in the face here. I mean, if it were a Red Wings blog, that would be different. We're used to them being all uppity and smart ass.

But hey, so yeah, happy birthday Barry!

(Please don't be mad we forgot.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Divorce is Now Final


If all mommy and daddy do is fight, they probably should find other people. That's about the best way to describe the relationship between Garth Snow and Ted Nolan in the past few months. It was really, really obvious that they weren't seeing eye to eye and today they finally made the divorce final.

Ted Nolan has been let go and the Islanders will be searching for their eighth coach in the new millennium (including interims). Regardless of whether you think Nolan is mommy or daddy in this example, that's a lot of coaches. Nolan also leaves as another mildly successful coach on Long Island. He marks the fourth straight Islanders coach to vacate his position with a .500 or better winning percentage. There's also no doubt he did got much more out of his teams than anyone expected. In the end, he couldn't get along with GM Garth Snow, who didn't get to select his own coach upon taking his post.

Who is to blame for the rift in the relationship is unknown but neither party is going to look good because of it. Nolan, again, will likely be labeled as a coach who can't get along with the front office. That stigma kept him out of the NHL for nearly a decade. For Snow and the Islanders, it may only be considered another front office meltdown in an office that has been filled with them. First it was Neil Smith and then Pat LaFontaine. Now it's Snow and Nolan. What coach is going to want to sign up for this revolving door?

Milbury's not in charge anymore. The ownership is good and most importantly, stable. Nonetheless, the Islanders are again missing a solid leader at the helm. They're still looking for the next Al Arbour. Some things never change.

Guest Lecturer Series: Carolina on Ice

The summer is a boring time in Hockeyville. You know this. To try and keep our sanity, various folks from around the internet will stop by to share their thoughts on hockey, their favorite team and of course, whatever random crap we can come up with. Our next contestant is Dave McB from the Carolina Hurricanes blog Carolina on Ice. Our conversation starts in 3... 2... 1...

How do you feel about the Hurricanes' chances next season?

Right now, I'd say the feeling is "meh". If the re-vamped D can play in front of Cam Ward / Michael Leighton then they should be alright. They've been a real streaky team the past 3 seasons, and if they can actually keep a winning streak going - look for them to finally burst the playoff bubble again.

Imagine that you're GM Jim Rutherford. You also have the power to reverse/fast forward time. You just acquired Joni Pitkanen for Erik Cole. Do you use your powers to undo the trade completely, renegotiate or keep it the way it is? Why?

The first thing I'd do is go back to 1977 - party my ass off and make sweet love to a 21 year old Bo Derek. THEN, I'd come back to 2008 with a big smile on my face. Right, right... About the trade. It's obviously a little too early to make judgments on this trade. It would have been nice to just send a couple of draft picks to Kevin Lowe in Edmonton instead of a stud power forward who's a in-the-system player. Ask me this question in March 2009.

2008-09 marks the third season since the Canes won the Cup. In exactly six words describe why you are a Canes fan.

2002. Ron Francis. Rod Brind'amour. Tailgating.

If either Barack Obama or John McCain came out and declared that they were a die-hard Canes fan, would that affect how you vote in November?

Barack has already become butt-buddies with Roy Williams and has played pick-up with the UNC Basketball team. If he would have come out to "Skate With The Canes", it wouldn't affect my voting decisions, but it would make for a few good chuckles.

When politicians debate whether or not we need to "pull out" of Iraq, does that make you laugh too or am I immature?

You're immature, but apparently so am I because that's just plain funny.

You still have the power to reverse/fast forward time. Would you undo this interview?

Nope. But if you wanna go back to '75 - Bo had a couple of girlfriends that were asking about you...

Oh boy. Looks like I'll have to get working on that time traveling thing real soon! Thanks to Dave for joining us. If you would like to read more from him, head on over to Carolina on Ice.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

We're Still Alive

Well it was a long week. I mean a really long week. After working 60+ hours between Monday and Saturday, I was about sick of work and had little time to do much else. After a nice day full of rest I'm back and ready to go. I promise I won't leave you guys alone for that long ever again. But yes, we're back to normal now. We'll start showing up to FanHouse again too (It's got a shiny new url!). They were probably starting to get worried about my health.

And please send as much 5 Hour Energy as you can. We're gonna need it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

And Then There Were 51

This post is going to be like an old set of hockey cards. You know, like back in 1990 when Score or Upper Deck would put out a Series II at the end of the season to put out cards of all the rookies/traded players. That's sort of like what this is.

You see, when I was up late the other night writing that mega post about NHL 94 I was also half asleep. Given that I don't drink (Paul) coffee or energy drinks, I wasn't thinking at full speed. You're smart though, and probably figured this out due to the critical mass of grammatical errors involved in the post.

But anyway, let's get to the point here. The point is that you readers are the best I could ask for. You picked up all my mistakes and handed them to me in a nice little basket, also called the comments. There were a ton of players that I left out including Nicklas Lidstrom. How I missed him the world will never know. So, this post is going to serve as an update to the NHL 94 post from a couple days ago. It's a "Series II" if you will. Thank you to everyone who sent in updates and/or responded positively.

Those that were forgotten but are now remembered:

Martin Straka

NHL 94 team: Pittsburgh Penguins

Current team: UFA/New York Rangers

Had a down year after two big 70+ point seasons with the Rangers. Still should get a nice payday through free agency. Or might just go back to Europe.

Nicklas Lidstrom

NHL 94 team: Detroit Red Wings

Current team: Take a wild guess

How this man escaped my mind the other night is beyond me. Arguably the biggest error in the history of the blog. If I was somebody of importance in the world, Wolf Blitzer would be berating me on CNN right now.

Geoff Sanderson

NHL 94 team: Hartford Whalers

Current team: Edmonton Oilers

Another one of those few remaining Whalers. Every time someone mentions how few are left it makes me feel old. Then I wonder how Connecticut ever got a pro sports team in the first place. Not that they didn't deserve it -- they did. But who did they have to sleep with to get it?

Brad May

NHL 94 team: Buffalo Sabres

Current team: Colorado Avalanche

After all these years, still making a living out of punching people in the face.

Rod Brind'Amour

NHL 94 team: Philadelphia Flyers

Current team: Carolina Hurricanes

Somehow I thought he retired, which is why he wasn't included earlier. Not the case, apparently.

Dmitri Yushkevich

NHL 94 team: Philadelphia Flyers

Current team: Somewhere in Russia

Josef Beranek

NHL 94 team: Philadelphia Flyers

Current team: Slava Praha HC (Czech.)

Never heard of him until ten minutes ago when I Googled him. He's spent the last five years or so with Slava Praha. That's probably why.

Martin Rucinsky

NHL 94 team: Quebec Nordiques

Current team: UFA/St. Louis Blues

Since I'm going by's rosters (as close to official as we might get), the following changes will not be approved. But, feel free to ignore me.

Martin Brodeur - Not on the Devils roster in NHL 94 (I had to do a double take, too).

Bryan Smolinski - Did play in the NHL in 1994. Did not get included in NHL 94. Serves him right for being a prick.

Jim Dowd - Snubbed by EA.

I'm sure there are more omissions, maybe even a few mistakes in this post. Keep 'em coming folks. You power the world.

Guest Lecturer Series: We Bleed Teal

The summer is a boring time in Hockeyville. You know this. To try and keep our sanity, various folks from around the internet will stop by to share their thoughts on hockey, their favorite team and of course, whatever random crap we can come up with. Our next contestant is Jason Plank from the San Jose Sharks blog We Bleed Teal. To set the record straight, the folks over there do not cut themselves. Our conversation starts in 3... 2... 1...

What is it like to watch JR play on a nightly basis? Is it everything
I've dreamed?

Considering the fact that most of your dream-time consists of you wetting the bed, I would have to say yes. JR brings out the inner child in us all.

The Sharks have finished with 98+ points in five of the last six seasons. In four of those seasons, they have exited the playoffs in the second round. Not to touch a nerve here but can you share with us any coping mechanisms that you may have developed? As an Islander fan, they would really come in handy the next time my dreams are shattered.

Random bouts of inebriation really seem to help. And listening to a lot of Kenny G- keeps you low key and helps you realize no one really takes themselves seriously so why should you.

Pretend you are GM Doug Wilson. What do you do to take the Sharks to the next level?

Sign Rob Blake for an exorbitant amount of money! I'm thinking 5 million sounds about right (/pull my hair out).

Honestly though, shoring up our defense was the way to do it -- we looked overmatched in that department in the Calgary and Dallas series'. Other than that, I fully believe we have a lot of weapons internally that are going to really hit their stride next season. Look for Patty Marleau to have a big year with Ron Wilson gone, and his no trade clause in effect (Patty had problems Ron last year, and the trade rumors affected his play tremendously).

In one sentence, what does this team need to do to get you to buy season tickets? (If you don't already have them)

Ax Sharky (he's my least favorite part of the experience at HP Pavilion).
What South Park character most resembles the Sharks organization?

I don't really watch South Park. Is there a character(s) who constantly come up short?

Kenny always seems to die a premature death and is easily one of the more popular characters on the show. Given the fact that people routinely jump on the Sharks' bandwagon in the spring prior to their 'imminent doom' kicking in, I'll go with him.

Thanks again to Jason for stopping by today. You can catch him over at We Bleed Teal in addition to being a frequent commenter around these parts.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Honoring the NHL 94 Survivors

(Warning: Really, really, really, really long post)

14 years have passed since EA Sports released what is arguably the greatest hockey video game in history, NHL 94. The pixelated "graphics." The organ music. That damn thing had it all. And it had us all addicted to it.

Today I decided it was time to make us all feel really old. There are still players in the league who were privileged enough to be a part of this hockey video game classic, but their numbers are dwindling. They're not exactly WW2 vets, but they are becoming increasingly rare nonetheless. Even the teams are vastly different. Three teams are now in different places and four were yet to be brought into existence (ah, the joys of a 26 team league).

So who are the last survivors? Who has managed to forge an additional 14 years onto their NHL career following the monumental success of pixelated hockey? The following is a list of 43 players who are still active in the NHL and a couple that are playing in Europe.

To qualify for this list, players needed to have played at least one game this past season in the NHL or another major league and did not announced their retirement (that means you, Glen Wesley). Mad props must go out to the folks at, whom I borrowed the above graphic from and used their rosters to make this list. It's a bustling community of NHL 94 action, so be sure to check it out.

Anaheim Mighty Ducks

(Once upon a time they were Mighty.)

Sean Hill

Long believed to be a robot, Sean Hill is the only remaining member of the NHL 94 Anaheim Mighty Ducks. His robotic qualities did not necessarily equate to video game brilliance. EA graced him with the honor of a 44 for his overall attribute. And yes, that is out of 100. Long lost teammates such as: Lonnie Loach, Guy Hebert, Dennis Vial and Troy Long, who started on the wing in the game with a whopping rank of 49.

Boston Bruins

No known survivors.

Teammates included, but were not limited to: Adam Oates, Andy Moog and Boston's Favorite Son, Cam Neely.

Buffalo Sabres

No known survivors.

With the retirement of Dominik Hasek last month, the last remaining member of the NHL 94 Sabres hung up his real life skates. Teammates included: Alexander "the Great" Mogilny, Pat LaFontaine (pre-concussion Pat), Grant Fuhr and Rob Ray.

Calgary Flames

Gary Roberts

What can I possibly hope to say about Gary Roberts that you do not already know? The man needs no introduction. He continues to fight on, despite being the only remaining member of the NHL 94 Calgary Flames. WWVGGRD? = What Would Video Game Gary Roberts Do? He would destroy your SEGA Genesis with his slapshot. Teammates included: Theo "Crackhead" Fleury, Mike Vernon, the Immortal Al MacInnis and Robert Reichel.

Chicago Blackhawks

Chris Chelios

Eddie "the Eagle" Belfour

Jeremy Roenick

These three were all video game legends. The '94 Hawks may have been the most legit video game hockey team of the century. They even played in the old Chicago Stadium, which is absolutely ballin. Roenick up front, Chelly and Eddie in the back. What more do you need? Chelios, as I'm sure you're aware, is striving to play forever. Belfour is playing in Sweden for Leksands IF because he believes he's still 1994 Eddie and can dominate the NHL. The NHL begs to differ. JR, well, you know what his deal is. He also needs no introduction. Teammates included: Brian Noonan (Noonan!), Bryan Marchment, Jocelyn Lemieux and Joe Murphy.

Dallas Stars

Mike Modano

Is all that is man.

Derian Hatcher

Is doing whatever it is he does for Philadelphia.

Richard Matvichuk

Currently playing in the New Jersey Devils' farm system.

Teammates included: Russ Courtnall, Mark Tinordi, Ulf Dahlen and the one and only, Enrico Ciccone.

Detroit Red Wings

Sergei Fedorov

Remember Sergei in 1994? He was freaking cool. Now, he's still cool. Just a bit older. He's also a free agent. Maybe you can sign him to your beer league team.

Mike Sillinger

Currently lost somewhere on Long Island.

Dallas Drake

His career is currently on a respirator with the Red Wings. They don't have the heart to pull the plug. His name is still the most country name you could possibly have, unless you decide to name your kid "Texarkana."

Teammates included: Bob Probert, Tim Chevelade, Paul Ysebaert and Steve Yzerman.

Edmonton Oilers

Doug Weight

Signed with the Islanders last week, will hopefully help bring the kids along. The Islanders will likely not have him pose like this anytime soon.

Martin Gelinas

Currently a free agent. Spent last season with Nashville.

Luke Richardson

Is also a free agent, may do birthday parties. Spent last year in Ottawa for 76 games and is still living in relative NHL anonymity.

Teammates Included: Zdeno Ciger, Kevin Todd, Bill Ranford, Ron Tugnutt.

Florida Panthers

No known survivors.

Scott Mellanby managed to play for both the Oilers and Panthers in this game. Now that is some serious commitment to the game of hockey. The Panthers only had nine forwards on the roster in the game, Mellanby was likely double shifted. Team included: John Vanbiesbrouck (never thought he would actually retire), some other guys.

Hartford Whalers

Mikael Nylander

Probably the most productive NHL 94 hockey player remaining (so far). Had 37 points in 40 games last year in Washington and is averaging just about a point per game since the lockout.

Robert Petrovicky

Currently playing in Sweden with Eddie Belfour.

Teammates included: Pat Verbeek, Zarley Zalapski, Sean Burke, Doug Houda.

Los Angeles Kings

Rob Blake

Teams up with JR as he signed a one-year deal with the Sharks last week.

Alexei Zhitnik

Released by the Thrashers last month. That's about as low as you can get. His career might be kaput.

Darryl Sydor

Just finished up a trip to the Finals with the Penguins. TSN lists his current status as "off season."

Teammates included: The Great One, Kelly Hrudey, Jari Kurri and Cammi Granato's brother.

Montreal Canadiens

Patrice Brisebois

Is back in Montreal where he is shown much love.

Mathieu Schneider

Played the last two seasons in Anaheim and is currently searching for a job.

Teammates included: Rob Ramage, Patrick Roy, Guy Carbonneau, Denis Savard.

New Jersey Devils

Scott Niedermayer

Won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks and brother Rob last year. Kept no one up at night except himself by taking half the season to contemplate retirement.

Bobby Holik

How he is still getting paid to play NHL hockey is beyond me.

Bill Guerin

The third Islander in our countdown for those of you keeping score. If this was 1994, the Islanders would have a solid trio on their top line.

Teammates included: Ken Daneyko, Scott Stevens, Your Mom.

New York Islanders

Darius Kasparitis

Best known for having a last name that sounds like a disease and having no regard for human life while on the ice. Played last season back home in Russia. Was a part of one of my worst childhood memories when the Islanders traded him away for Bryan Smolinski. BRYAN FREAKING SMOLINSKI!!!

New York Rangers

Alexei Kovalev

Sergei Zubov

Remember this team? This team was freaking stacked. No wonder they won the cup. Kovalev, Zubov, Leetch and some other schmucks.

Ottawa Senators

No known survivors.

This was one crappy expansion team in the video game and real life. Their highest rated player? Norm MacIver who was a 61. Daniel Berthiaume was a solid 43 in net. Team included: Sylvain Turgeon, Brad Shaw and a bunch of scrubs.

Philadelphia Flyers

Mark Recchi

Released two days after his bobblehead night in Pittsburgh last December. Played out the season in Atlanta.

This team had Tommy Soderstrom. Remember that guy?

Pittsburgh Penguins

Jaromir Jagr

I don't think I need to remind you about his summer saga. His NHL 94 hair can only be described as Mulletlicious. Teammates Included: Remnants of the Championship teams.

Quebec Nordiques

Joe Sakic

Moved with the team to Colorado and spent his whole career there.

Mats Sundin

Acts like a slut when it comes to picking a team for next year. He's flirting with all interested parties and putting out all over the place.

Owen Nolan

Signed with the Minnesota Wild a few days ago. A solid contributor in Calgary the last few years.

Chris Simon

Recently moved into Suspension City. Owns a 4BR condo on the west side and was unanimously elected mayor by the townsfolk.

Adam Foote

See: Joe Sakic (plus a few years in Columbus).

By the way, how do you break up the trio of Nolan, Sakic and Sundin? That is an epic trio, looking back on it.

San Jose Sharks

Sandis Ozolinsh

Played 38 games in San Jose last year, currently looking for work. Teammates included: Pat Faloon (now that's a blast from the past), Arturs Irbe, more expansion scrubs.

St. Louis Blues

Brendan Shanahan

Still going strong. Put up 23-23-46 in 73 games on Broadway last year.

Curtis Joseph

Came out of hiding to sign a one-year deal with the Maple Leafs last week. Is way, way, way past his prime. Wore a really cool mask in St. Louis.

Bret Hedican

Married Kristi Yamaguchi. Not sure if that's how you spell her name, but a solid acquistion nonetheless. I'm talking about marrying her, of course.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Roman Hamrlik

First ever draft pick in Lightning history. Didn't work out all that well. Still playing well, though. Teammates included: More expansion weak sauce.

Toronto Maple Leafs

No known survivors.

Speaking of weak sauce, how about the goaltending bust of one Felix "the Cat" Potvin? This was a pretty weak team, despite having a couple big names on the roster (see: Andreychuk, Gilmour, Clark, Ellett). Team included: Just named a whole bunch. You can look the rest up yourself.

Vancouver Canucks

Petr Nedved

Now playing in the Czech Republic. Scored nine goals in the post-lockout NHL.

Washington Captials

No known survivors.

Dale Hunter is a dick. Next.

Winnipeg Jets

Teemu Selanne

Absolutely sick in the post-lockout NHL. 96 points in 06-07 were the most he had put up in nearly a decade but that still doesn't hold a candle to his rookie season of 1992-93. He scored 76 goals and 132 points, both rookie records that still stand today. He is still the last player to net 70 in a single season. Being rated a 90 in this game seems way too low.

Keith Tkachuk


Teppo Numminen

Had heart surgery in September and was able to return for the Sabres final game of the season. What a trooper.