Thursday, August 05, 2004


Thursday's Crazy Roundup

What can I get for ten dollars?

Any'ting you want!



1. Speaking again about Slavic ex-Oilers, Jaroslav Pouzar is now battling leukemia. Ex-Duck and Ex-Trinec defender Milos Holan also faced the same battle, and he lived through it and is now coach of Znojmo�s junior squad.

2. confirms that Trencin defensemenAndrej Meszaros and Andrej Sekera are both coming to the CHL next season (Vancouver and Owen Sound, respectively). Just confirmation for those who weren�t 100% absolutely convinced.

3. August 9th will mark the anniversary of Zoltan Batovsky�s tragic death. Many NHL and Extraliga stars from the area of Banska Bystrica will be taking part in an exhibition game in his memory. Players there will include hometown NHL heroes Richard Zednik, Michal Handzus, and Vladimir Orszagh. Many other non-Bystrica stars such as Pavol Demitra will also be taking part.

4. Speaking of Zednik, who is probably my 4th favourite NHL player (Demitra, Slegr, Orszagh, Zednik�yeah that sounds right) just signed a new 3-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens. He�ll earn $2.3mil, $2.4mil, and $2.6mil the next 3 seasons. For a consistent 30g/50point producer in today�s NHL, that�s a fair value for both sides.

5. In an earlier write-up about the Czech World Cup team, I had written that Robert Lang was not going to play in the World Cup, because he�d rather spend time with his family
Still, the Czechs put him on the roster anyway, hoping that he would attend.

Today, we get confirmation that Bobbie Lang won�t be playing in the World Cup (told ya!), and his spot will be taken by not-so-Mighty Duck, Petr Sykora.

6. Here�s a picture of Martin Havlat in a Trinec jersey. He�s training with the team, and may even consider playing with them in case of a lockout (instead of evil Sparta, hooray!).

Trinec beat Demitra�s hometown of Dubnica 5-1 in a Crystal Cup exhibition game. Preseason hockey in August just doesn�t feel right�

7. Bryan McCabe and the Leafs avoided arbitration and reports the two sides have agreed to a deal.

With Gonchar�s arbitration award of $5.5mil, I wonder if this spurred one side to want to get the deal done before the catfight.

As for McCabe himself, I remember his tenure with the Canucks�and he�s come a long way since his days in Vancouver.

When he arrived here in the shocking Linden trade in 1998, McCabe was a mess with his confidence in the toilet. He was given captaincy of the retched Islanders, a task he was obviously not ready to handle.

McCabe was obviously thrilled to be here, as his play in the later part of the 97-98 was forceful and a shot in the arm to the lifeless Canucks.

Of course, the adrenaline wore off in 98-99, and he reverted back to making constant defensive mistakes. Igor Kravchuk would have been proud. It didn�t look like he would ever develop into the star defender he was touted to be on his draft day.

When he was dealt to the Blackhawks in the blockbuster that got us the Sedinbots�, I was thrilled to see him gone. We wouldn�t have to see him choke 3-4 times a game. His play with the Blackhawks certainly didn�t make anyone in Vancouver regret the deal, especially when the rookie Sedin�s were doing quite well at the time. All the Hawks got for McCabe was Alexander Karpovtsev, which, at the time, seemed like a fair deal for a shaky young defender.

If you can get past the Leafs overdrive hype machine, you can see that McCabe has steadily increased his offensive production ever season, and has become one of the better 2-way defenders in the NHL. He�s still a bit shaky in the defensive end, but he�s a LOT better than he was with the Canucks, Islanders, and Chickenhawks.

It only took him 4 teams and 2,387 giveaways to do it.

I may just quote you on McCabe next time Leafer wax poetic on the skills of thre #1 defenceman and who he should be on the World Cup team.
Oh man, don't get carried away now :)

It might seem a bit strange how he was overlooked for the World Cup squad, but I think he still has too many shortcomings in his own end that are masked by his +/- and the Toronto fanboys.

In the playoffs, he was really quite awful under pressure and I think that performance scared off the World Cup Powers That Be.

McCabe is pretty skilled, but like Jovanovski, I think he's a few cans short of a 12-pack.
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