Monday, July 10, 2006


Quick Hits from the Hockey Bong

Why is it that people are poo-pooing the NY Rangers signing Brendan Shanahan to a $4mil/1 year deal? I don't get it.

People are barking because this apparently marks a return to the old New York Ranger$$$. Umm, OK.... a $4mil deal for just ONE season? The old Rangers would have given Shanahan 3-4 years at $5mil per.

This is the same Shanahan that scored 81 points in 82 games last season and looked physically faster and stronger than he had in at least 6-7 years.

Really, this is a brilliant signing and one of the best of this off-season (not that it would be hard in the face of so many awful contracts). You get a guy who can still produce at a reasonable price and you only tie yourself down for one season.

So what if Brendan wanted to leave Detroit? That's his choice. He's been in Detroit so long and seen Steve Yzerman retire, so a change of scenery is not such a bad thing. Obviously, he turned down bigger offers from other teams and thinks the Rangers have a shot. I don't see why Wings fans have to be so bitter about his departure. Brendan doesn't owe the Wings anything and has every right to go elsewhere. He's given the Wings 9 seasons of great service, so thank him and let him be on his way.

We saw a new-look Rangers team last year do quite well, but also exposed to the fact that Jaromir Jagr was far too important to their offensive fortunes. With Brendan Shanahan on board, they have a good 2nd option and their offensive depth is now quite improved. Add the development of Prucha and the signing of a decent 2-way player like Matt Cullen, and the Rangers should be able to have another good run next season. They aren't my cup favourites, but they aren't to be taken lightly.

On the flip side, we see the reign of error continue on Long Island as Mad Mike Milbury continues to spin the wheels and show that he has no real plan or sense of direction with his squad.

(Edit: I've been advised that Neil Smith is the GM of the Isles now, which I forgot. Still, Mad Mike is a higher power in the org. Neil Smith is pretty much a crappy GM as we all know. Good analyst, but poor GM)

1. Tom Poti (1 year @ $2.5mil). Fortunately, this is only one year. Unfortunately, it's Tom Poti and it's $2.5mil!!!

The so-called offensive d-man had only 23 points last season and is softer than microwaved chocolate syrup. Mmmmm syrup! Adding Tom Poti to your roster at any price is a risky proposition, but when you waste a load of money to do it? Stupid.

2. Brendan Witt ($7.5mil/3 years) - Brendan Witt was a decent dman in the OLD NHL, and at one point he was actually quite a rock in the back end. The problem? He's a liability in the New NHL and he takes a LOT of bad penalties. Witt is one of the worst offenders in terms of putting his team short-handed and provides a negative offensive value. Brendan Witt's 67 minor penalties taken was second only to Sean Avery (Jarkko Ruutu was 3rd, no big surprise) and I believe he hurts a team greatly with his lack of discipline. Really, Witt is the type of defenseman that you should let other teams pay the big bucks for.

3. Mike Sillinger ($6.6mil/3 years) - He was great for the Blues and Preds last year with 63 points in 79 games last season, but look at his past history and you KNOW he won't duplicate that kind of production again. Last season was an outlier and I'd be surprised if he gets more than 40 points next year. His defence (not counting face-offs) is actually quite poor and he's 35 years old! Why would you give a 35-year old with his track record that much money for THREE seasons? Do you think a 37-year old Sillinger will be all that valuable?

The only good thing about this signing is that it pads Sillinger's record for most teams played for. I'm hoping he gets traded to Atlanta so he can pad his record some more.

So, Mad Mike and Niel Smith add 3 risky guys at rather expensive dollars, thinking that they will be key cogs in their lineup. It's not the worst stuff he's ever done, but not the work of a smart GM.


Here in Vancouver, GM Dave Nonis signed former Minnesota Mild centre Marc Chouinard to a $2mil/2 year deal. Marc is a solid defensive forward and isn't too costly. For his cost, he should be a break-even warm body kind of guy. 30 points and good defence from a 3rd liner for $1mil sounds just fine to me.

This Vancouver Canucks team is going to be hella more defensive minded fo'shizzle. It may be less exciting to watch, but I'll trade a bit less excitement and offence for defence and more wins! The old style didn't bring us much postseason glory, so it's time for something new.

Jez the reign of Mad Mike is finished on the Island.

Now the reins have been handed over to the incomparible Neil Smith, ex of the Rangers.

Basically the Islanders replaced Mad Mike Milbury with that bloodly idiot Neil Smith, not a great upgrade. But Smith likes to spend the money on useless parts.

Poor Ted Nolan, he finally gets to come back to the NHL as a head coach and look what he has to work with.
That is true, Neil Smith is now the GM and I forgot.

Mad Mike is still a bigwig in their org and no doubt has a big hand in some of these signings.
I gasped when I heard about all three of these deals. Poti to run the power play is a dead end, as he couldn't pile up the points even with Jagr working on the unit (and Jagr even saw time at the point because they didn't have any other solutions).

As for Witt, seeing the Caps get a 1st round pick in return for a couple of weeks with the Predators was fine by me. I've always been amazed that Witt seems to have such a great rep outside of Washington, as he never lived up to his promise as a first round pick.

Besides taking too many minors, he was constantly out of position last season, and left way too many wingers open for easy scoring chances.

Taken together, this group of free agents may prove to be more of an albatross for the team than the 2005 signings.
Why is it that people are poo-pooing the NY Rangers signing Brendan Shanahan to a $4mil/1 year deal?

Because he's an ass and a half?

Just sayin'.
As for Witt, seeing the Caps get a 1st round pick in return for a couple of weeks with the Predators was fine by me.

Even a low 1st rounder is a pretty good return on a few weeks of a guy that wasn't helping you do much anyway.

Because he's an ass and a half?

Just sayin'.

This coming from the lady who cheers for the ITALIAN SOCCER DIVING SQUAD?! 0_o
Why is it that people are poo-pooing the NY Rangers signing Brendan Shanahan to a $4mil/1 year deal?

Because he's an ass and a half?

Just sayin'.

I think our/your common enemy should be Fernando Pisanis $10 million contract. He scored what, one goal last year?
Doods: Did any of you actually watched Poti for the Rangers last year? He played around 20 minutes a game for a defensively competent team. He actually looked pretty good (this coming from a Poti detractor)....blocking shots (led the team, or was very close to) and sometimes even played nasty (!!). It's also a 1-year deal, so it allows the trio of kid defensemen (Gervais/Campoli/Grebeshkov) time to develop. Not a terrible deal. If it was multi-year, I'd think it was a bad deal.

Sillinger... not so thrilled with, but it'll allow them to move York to the wing, where he played much better last year. Witt... not sure. With all the softies on the Islander D, I guess they went for one of the more affordable/competitive/tough guys available. Some balance needed on that backline. Kinda meh, but I don't think these are enarly as you non-Isles followers are making them out to be.
This coming from the lady who cheers for the ITALIAN SOCCER DIVING SQUAD?! 0_o

d00d, I'm Italian. Who else was I going to cheer for, the Mexicans?
some scuttlebut I have come across is that another reason Shanahan left Motown over differences with Chelios over the lockout and Brendan's role in working with ownership and others in creating the new rules.
I don't think the Shanahan signing is bad for the Rangers, I'm just sayin- the Rangers have had problems in the past, and when Glen Sather drops 4 million on a guy who was an all star in 1993, I raise my eyebrows.

That's all.

I mean- if someone told me Betty Ford was planning on having a champagne cocktail to toast her daughter's wedding, I'd say hey-just one drink, on paper, that sounds fine.

But I'm still keeping my goddamn eye on the liquor cabinet all night.
What kind of idiot commits to paying a 40-year old Mike Sillinger $2.2M in 2008-09??? I guarantee that's going to be a buy-out.

No one wants to share a dressing room with Poti. You can't eat anything within a 50' radius of the guy. He's deathly allergic to nuts, soy, berries, dairy, meat, his own mucous, and opposing forwards in the slot.
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