Thursday, December 02, 2004


Rants and Ramblings

Some news and thoughts on a very foggy Vancouver Thursday.

1. Detroit's uber-prospect, Jiri Hudler, has left the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) to return home to Vsetin to be with his ailing father, who is having a liver transplant.
Hudler, 20, is returning to the Czech Republic for the second time in two weeks to be with his father, also named Jiri and believed to be 43.
In the meantime, Hudler will be training and joining his old stomping grounds in Vsetin, which is great news for this struggling club. The Wings just have to hope that Hudler doesn’t let some old habits creep back into his game (the total disdain for any defensive work...trying to stickhandle through entire teams, just because he can)

2. Following up a thought from yesterday, I found an old George Gross (aka Juraj Gross, a Slovak-born writer) story and it appears that Scott Stevens is eligible for the Slovak Hockey Hall of Fame

If things work out as planned by the management of the Slovak Hockey Hall of Fame in Bratislava, Stevens will join Stan Mikita and Peter Stastny in the same Hall of Fame they were inducted into...
Hmm...Dzurilla, Satan, Demitra, Stastny, Mikita...Stevens??? This is kind of like having a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Britney Spears.

3. Miro Satan was talking contract details with Kloten of the Swiss League, but it appears that his asking price of 6,000 Francs per game was too rich for the club’s tastes. Looks like Miro will have to look east to Russia if he wants some big $$$. (Thanks to Joeri for this tip).

Now to respond to some comments from yesterday’s post.

Vsetin do not need Hudler to play defensively. They already have 22 defensive players :)) But why the hell he wears such a Star-Wars-like visor ?:0
Hello Jes. It's Big Dan.

Peter Puck seems so far back in Oiler fans' minds now (I think he lost them in 96?). Once local ownership took over and vowed to keep the team in Edmonton, the fans came back and the negative headlines and threats ended. Ahhh!

Salo used to be an OK top 20 goalie in the NHL. Probably in the same class as a Dan Cloutier or Chris Osgood. I think you're being a little hard on him. He had problems with inconsistency and definitely wasn't a franchise player but he was OK.

When his wife left him and moved to Sweden, he let his play slip so badly the last couple of years he was probably one of the bottom 20 goalies.

Worse GM's than Kevin Lowe?
- Don Waddell
- Mike O'Connell
- Darcy Regier
- Jim Rutherford
- Bob Pulford
- Doug MacLean
- Mike Milbury
- Mike Keenan
- Bobby Clarke
- Mike Barnett
- the Washington GM
Also, D.Wilson and D.Nonis have no history so I can't compare.

Yes, the Oilers' main downfall was their poor scouting. Passing up on a guy like Zach Parise, Shane Doan, and Marek Schwarz seems to happen every year.

When they had to cut loose their stars, there was nobody in the system to replace them.

Also, Craig MacTavish and Ron Low's track record for developing young players is shoddy. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. MacT did a good job easing Torres and Stoll in last season... so maybe he is getting better.

So, while the Oilers' problem is poor drafting and player development, I don't think they should be classified them as one of the "profitable" teams. Being a small market is the #3 reason they are mediocre.

I feel they would be better with a salary cap because:
a) they wouldn't constantly be giving away their older players every summer and having to regroup
b) they'd be able to fill holes in the roster (because salaries would be more reasonable) instead of banking on rookies or sophomores
c) they'd be able to keep their younger players longer= less turnover leads to better chemistry
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