Friday, February 10, 2006


Friday's Frank Rantings

This whole OPERATION SLAPSHOT fiasco, as I noted before, doesn't interest me a whole lot. Hockey is not going to die or be hurt all that much, in the end. Did the Black Sox fiasco hurt the MLB? Pete Rose? How about the NBA and its numerous scandals?

As long as the intregity of the sport remains intact (no betting or fixing actual hockey games), then it'll just be 'another' scandal, to most people. Those idiots (such as Skip Bayless, who hasn't wrote anything above toilet-paper worthy in his entire career) who don't even watch hockey on a regular basis are the only ones who seek to paint hockey in an ill light. It's easy to step up on that proverbial soapbox and make yourself out to be some bastion of integrity by taking swipes at professional hockey. These guys don't stick around to fight out the good fight, retreating back to their little world of American football and baseball.

Leave it to the Canadian sports media to make this whole scandal bigger than it really is, in order to make themselves more relevant. I guess they can feel better about themselves when they report on 'serious non-sports' news once a year.

TSN was the worst of them all, with the OPERATION SLAPSHOT graphics, and Gino Reta doing his best Geraldo Rivera impression as he reported live from Newark (Can anyone take Gino Reta seriously?).
It was like CNN or FauxNews. Take one story, create graphics, beat it to death, forget it about it a month later.

After 2 minutes, I had enough and switched to something else. It's one thing to cover the story, it's another to sensationalize it.


I went to the Giants/Ice game on Tuesday (5-1 win for us, yay!), and it was just like a graveyard inside the Pacific Coliseum. Weekday games are usually quiet, but compared to the WJC games, it was night and day. There was little atmosphere, but at least I could walk inside the concourse with some level of comfort.

Gilbert Brule - In the 10 games since his return, he has 8 goals (nice) and 3 assists (meh) and a -1 (yukky). He had 1G and 1A on the night and clearly looked more 2x more talented than everyone else on the ice. Still, he needs to be less of a puck hog and try using his linemates better. He has talented linemates this year, so he should distribute the pick more.

The only player that can't be happy with his return is Michal Repik. Brule takes Repik's PP time and Michal hasn't scored a whole lot in the last 10 games.

Uniforms - The Kootenay Ice had some new all-black uniforms, and I swear they were the new 'trimmer' kind of uniforms. I know black is a slimming colour, but you could tell their tops were much tighter and shorter than the usual fare. The Giants, in contrast, looked like football players in their bulky white sweaters.

I give a big thumbs up to the sleeker design. Hockey players shouldn't look like football players, especially since most of them are pretty skinny up top. The Ice players looked like the tall, skinny teenagers that they really are.

The Giants are kicking some serious ass this year (3rd overall in the WHL), mainly to the experienced and effective defence corps. Having Stars 1st rounder Marc Fistric back is obviously huge, but Nashville 6'5" draft pick Cody Franson has just exploded this year and may turn out to be an even better NHLer. He's got 13 goals and 30 assists in 55 games with a +13. He only had 13 points all of last season! If you want to talk about later-developing draft steals, he's one of them. He didn't look at all special last season, but his game has improved in every respect. The Predators are certainly good at plucking out underrated and late-blooming defensemen from the WHL (like Shea Weber).


So, Jose Theodore got busted for using Propecia, a drug for hair restoration.

I'm sure Dick Pound must feel vindicated. Now he can go back to making porn movies.

Does Jose Theodore look like the type of guy who would need a hair restoration product? I know he's a flaming metrosexual, but he's not in Alex "Bald at 20" Auld territory.

Jose Theodore

All that "Operation Slapshot" crapola is nothing but typical supermarket tabloid fodder OR a big fat hairy media circus, take your pick.

As for the slimmer "uniforms" The bigger look is to support all the equipment underneath AND keep the players from getting too hot. Hell, they get hot enough as it is under the traditional look. The last thing they need is something tighter.

AND not to mention how if the Canadian team already does not like the U.S.S. Enterprise unis Nike is trying to pimp upon them, then I don't see how Reebok's damned ideas will fly in the NHL. Afterall, as I read someone say somewhere: "The NHL and/or its players should have the last say in what uniforms they wear, NOT the freakin' supplier!!".

I think you have the right attitude about the gambling scandal. The sun will come up tomorrow and again after all of it plays out.

However, there is something worth investigating when the integrity of competition is questioned along with the legacy of one the the best players in the game. To ignore this would only send a message to the elite celebrities that this behavior is acceptable and they are above the law.
I feel bad for the makers of Propecia. After all, now they have to include "severe swelling of goals against average" to the list of known side effects.

As for the gambling thing, when people that are actually charged actually end up in court under oath, I might be interested. Until then, meh.
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