Friday, May 20, 2005


Memorial Cup Musings

The Memorial Cup Tournament is starting tomorrow, so this will be the last major hockey action I'll be able to watch this year (I haven't followed the AHL at all).

The Memorial Cup is an exciting time of the year and one I've always looked forward to. While the Stanley Cup playoffs provide their own thrill, there are some major differences, especially from a player's point of view.

1. The time frame for a CHL player to win a Memorial Cup is 1-4 seasons, while an NHL player will usually have many more seasons in which to have a shot at the Memorial Cup.
2. It is actually harder to win the Memorial Cup than the Stanley Cup! In the NHL, you have 4 playoff rounds and 30 total teams. In the CHL, teams go through the 4 playoff rounds PLUS the Memorial Cup tournament itself. Add to that the fact that there are currently 56 teams, and you can see that winning a Memorial Cup is quite a feat.
3. This is the last kick at the can for many players. A handful of players, like Sidney Crosby and Corey Perry, will go on to NHL and AHL stardom. A few players will be able to get minor-pro contracts or maybe a deal in the Swiss or German leagues. Most players, however, will see their hockey careers come to a real end after the CHL. Either some will move on to the working world, or on to university (where they can play University hockey, and then that's about it). The 'role players' will certainly not want to squander their last chance for hockey glory.

The 4 teams competing for the Memorial Cup include the WHL's Kelowna Rockets, the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic, and the OHLs Ottawa 67s and London Knights.

The Knights actually beat the 67s for the OHL Championship, but since the Knights are hosting the tournament, the 67s are the default OHL representative.

This and that...

The WHL's website has a good preview article of the Kelowna Rockets. The interesting aspect of their club is the fact that their #1 goaltender, Derek Yeomans, was injured in their finals series against the Wheat Kings. They will have to use a replacement goalie as a backup on loan from the Silvertips.

Mike Wall a member of the Everett Silvertips, will be added to the WHL Champion Kelowna roster as an emergency replacement goaltender and will serve strictly in a back-up capacity to the Rockets current starter Kristofer Westblom. Wall will not be permitted to play unless an injury occurs to Westblom. The Memorial Cup Games Committee reserves the right, should Westblom suffer an injury, to have an
independent medical examination performed before Wall is permitted to play.
The Rockets still managed to win against the Wheaties thanks to their absolutely incredible attention to defence and detail. It will be key for the other teams to jump on Westblom early, and to get under Shea Weber's thin skin.

The London Knights - I wrote an entry on the record-breaking Knights earlier in the year in which I had a look at their team. (Read it here!)

Corey Perry and Robbie Schremp finished 1-2 in the OHL Playoff scoring race, with Perry continuing his unbelievable junior career with an extremely impressive playoff showing.

Corey Perry 18GP 11-27-38 +7
Rob Schremp 18GP 13-16-29 +13
David Bolland 18 11-14-25 +13

I'll delve more into the 67s and Oceanic in a later entry.

You may have heard about the NHL's Board of Governors decision regarding the Sidney Crosby sweepstakes. There is some good discussion going on over at Tom Benjamin's blog, so check out the news and views regarding this contentious issue.

Suffice it to say, it looks like the NHL is trying any way it possibly can to get Crosby to the New York Rangers... why don't they just completely fix the whole process like the NBA did with Patrick Ewing and the Knicks?

I so hope a Southern team winds up landing him (as long as it's not those smegheads in Columbus). I would laugh and laugh and laugh as the Rangers fans and half of Canada light themselves on fire and throw themselves off of tall buildings.

(note that I never claimed to not be evil)
If Crosby landed in Carolina, I'd laugh.

If Brule landed in Carolina, I'd cry.
I'd laugh even harder if Brule wound up here--but it'd be our luck that we'd land that first pick...and then blow it on Yet Another Goalie Prospect.
Crosby is going to Pittsburgh. Just cope with it, people!
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