Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Random Thoughts

Now that I am back in Canada, all of the hockey knowledge that was being sucked out of my brain by the US media is slowly returning to me.

1. It seems Mad Mike may be a bit lucky than his own madness didn't come back to haunt him.

The New York Islanders re-signed starting goalie Rick DiPietro to a one-year, $2.5-million US deal Wednesday.

The contract falls 14 years short of a shocking deal GM Mike Milbury and DiPietro's camp were contemplating but the 15-year, $60-million blockbuster fell through mainly because of insurance issues, sources confirmed Tuesday
I was hoping DiPietro would take the 15-year offer, just for the hilarity that would ensue. You would think Milbury would have learned his lesson after giving Alexei "Ka$hin" Yashin a 10-year deal that is already the biggest albatross contract in NHL history.

2. Good things can happen when the NHL and NHLPA can put aside petty differences. In this instance, both sides are coming together to make a sizable donation to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today they are joining forces to donate $1 million to the American Red Cross efforts to assist those affected by the Hurricane Katrina disaster. In addition to the financial contribution, the League and the Players’ Association will participate in a unique auction of game-worn Opening Night jerseys to further support the fund-raising endeavor.

For the first period of each team’s home opener, players will wear a jersey bearing a special patch confirming the Clubs' and players' commitment to the people and communities impacted. The jerseys will be collected and then auctioned by League auction partner Truition Inc., on, all NHL member Club websites, and Further details will be released as they are finalized.

3. Skating Billboards? From an item posted on Sportsnet's "Hockey Hearsay"

If you thought there was too much advertising already at NHL arenas, there may be a little more.

Sources have told Sportsnet that the NHL is considering placing advertising on goalies' jerseys. They would wear a different coloured jersey than the rest of the team to further stand out on the ice.

As a fan of Czech/Slovak hockey, advertising all over the ice, socks, sweaters, gloves, blockers, and helmets is nothing new to me. I think it sucks, but I also figured it was just a matter of time. Really, every piece of equipment is already adorned with the maker's logo... like any advertising, you learn to tune it out over time. The more noise there is means the less effective your advertising will be.

The future of NHL hockey?

4. Scott Stevens has retired after 22 years as a kick-ass defenseman. I was always mixed about Stevens... I loved the way he played, the fact that he was part-Slovak (and aware and proud of it), and the fact he was so great for my fantasy team. Knocking Eric Lindros' ego into another dimension almost made me want to give birth to his children.

On the other hand, he did play for the New Jersey Devils...which cancels out almost everything good he might have done.

Newer fans will never remember the old Scott Stevens that was an offensive force and a great 2-way defender that the Blues had to give up to get Brendan Shanahan (thanks to tampering charges). The older Stevens turned himself into a defensive-minded force that delivered the most vicious and clean bodychecks since Mark Tinordi steamrolled around the NHL. Some fans will always disagree that Stevens delivered clean bodychecks, but Scott's intention was always to hurt, never to intentionally injure.

...and that sound you are hearing? That's Martin Brodeur crying himself to sleep...the two defenders most responsible for his success are now gone, and he'll be exposed for the fraud he is.

5. Stat of the Day

Lyle Odelein, a veteran of 1029 NHL games, is now with his 8th team after signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In the 1993-94 season, Odelein scored 6 Power Play goals (and 11 in total). Lyle only ever reached the lofty total of 6 goals in a single season ONE other time in his entire 15 year career, which would be 2002-03.

In 2002-03, Odelein had no Power Play goals, go figure.

And just what are you saying, hmm?
I don't like the idea of the goalies wearing different colored jerseys (which they already did in the All-Star game at least once). Goaltenders in soccer/football wear different colored jerseys, but there seems to be a need to make them stand apart in that manner. Hockey goaltenders already wear a helmet and pads that no other skaters on the ice have, so what's the purpose?

Honestly, I think it's just to have another type of jersey to sell.
I dunno Jes...I watched SportsCentre's "Top Ten Scott Stevens Hits" this morning, and of the ten I'd say maybe two were clean hits. His hit on Lindros was abominable, and I'd say the same for the Kariya hit. Half the time the players weren't anywhere near the puck. I used to like Stevens but after seeing that highlight reel I've changed my tune. He's dirty. One of the dirtiest.
There's no doubt that Brodeur will miss Scotts Niedermayer and Stevens, but he didn't have Stevens for most of last year and still managed to win the Vezina and Jennings trophies while posting his best save percentage in years. With Rafalski and Colin White, the additions that Lamoriello has made (McGillis, Malakhov, Matvichuk) and the emergence of Martin and Hale, the Devils won't miss Niedermayer and Stevens as much as most think.
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