Monday, August 14, 2006


How can I miss you if you won't go away?

Thanks, Jes, and hello, world.

As Jes mentioned, I'm Greg, from the Post-Pessimist Association, which manages to occasionally talk about hockey ... more specifically, the Thrashers of Atlanta (where I live now) and the Avalanche of Colorado (my home state). I'm not sure when Avalanche fandom became the Scarlet Letter of hockey -- why does a team that exists only to create joy cause such hatred? -- but I've learned to block it out by putting Patrick Roy's Stanley Cup rings in my ears at night. And by drinking vodka.

Quite an honor to be here. Hockey Rants was one of the first blogs I started reading regularly after I discovered that people could magically use their computers to talk to each other about my favorite sport, and I look forward to contributing. Particularly after the Avs ring up five goals in a game against Luongo later this year.

* * *

This summer's player movement had all the sanity and calm of a black-market bazaar in Marrakesh -- Pronger fleeing south, the free agent madness, Hasek's return to Detroit, and now Evgeni Malkin apparently recreating "Stalag 17" -- so a few deals sort of slipped under the radar, already forgotten moments after they were completed. My personal favorite? Petr Tenkrat is coming back to the NHL, after four years out in the cold.

It's not hard to see why Boston's trade-and-sign of Tenkrat didn't attract the attention of, say, the Zdeno Chara deal. Tenk managed 13 goals and 38 points in chunks of two seasons with the (Mighty) Ducks and Predators, along with some spot AHL duty, before fleeing to the friendly confines of Finland. He's been a star with Kärpät Oulu for a few years now, winning a couple championships, but apparently that no longer was enough; before the Bruins deal came along, he'd already defected to Switzerland's SC Bern.

Maybe Finnish cooking just agrees with him -- his best seasons have come with Kärpät, Ilves Tampere and Hameenlinna, and a brief excursion with Russia's Khimik made his NHL time look productive by comparison. It's probably too much to hope that he'll just go wild in the NHL -- we all hope for second time lucky, but his speed and scoring ability didn't translate into much before. Still, the Bruins aren't quite sporting Kovalchuk and Hossa on the wings, so maybe he'll get ample opportunity to make a dent.

Regardless of what happens, though, I've always been fond of Tenkrat and his ill-advised haircut, and I'm glad to see him back. I'm hoping this, along with the Blackhawks' (rather inexplicable) trade for the rights to Vaclav Pletka, heralds the beginning of a new trend -- teams bringing my obscure favorites back. Where's Lubomir Vaic? Rene Corbet? Isn't it about time for someone to give Tomas Divisek another shot?

Great post. But Lubomir Vaic isn't "obscure", he's a future superstar. Mark my words.
A future superstar? He IS a superstar last time I cjecked.
I'm not sure when Avalanche fandom became the Scarlet Letter of hockey -- why does a team that exists only to create joy cause such hatred? --

Let's see

1. Team moves from Quebec City, a real hockey town, to Denver, a yuppie town in the USoA
2. Patrick Roy
3. Claude Lemieux
4. Peter Forsberg

and that's just the easy pickins!
5. Pierre Lacroix
6. Milan Hejduk*

*sorry, Jes, but you can't leave out Hejduk, as much as you want to
Denver's not a real hockey town? As I speak, they're recarving the Front Range to depict the 2000-01 Avalanche. I didn't think the Rocky Mountains could get any more majestic, but I was wrong.
Where are they carving the 2007-2007 Avalanche?
(2006-2007 Avalanche...need more medication!)

They can't use up all the good spots for the past...need to save some room for the future!
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