Saturday, June 30, 2007


Hockey in the '70s

by Greg

For a variety of reasons, I recently came into possession of a bunch of hockey programs from the '70s and '80s. In addition to research material, one of them -- a Colorado Rockies-Spartak Moscow program from 1978 -- provides a glimpse back at a forgotten era.

In addition to the typical "Goal Magazine" articles ("Is Dennis Kearns the NHL's Next Big Star?" or "Guy Lombardo: Hockey Fan!"), it's got some great (kitschy-great, not great-great) ads. Many of them are for local Denver bars which went out of business well before I reached drinking age, such as this one:

Translation: "After another soul-destroying loss, I drink the pain away at the Good Life." Maybe it's my imagination, but isn't there some law (going back decades) saying that active professional athletes can't endorse booze? I suppose Paul Gardner is technically endorsing "The Good Life Eating Emporium" (and when was the last time you went to an Eating Emporium?), and just mentioning that he happens to like to have some drinks (and rest his ankles) there. In any case, this canny campaign didn't help the Good Life -- it's long gone, and judging by Google Maps' satellite view, it's now a vacant lot.

Chillingly, it was once considered not only acceptable, but even fashionable to go out wearing a red sweater, gray shirt, brown jacket, dark pants, and blue-yellow sneakers. Thankfully, we live in more enlightened times now, and you'll rarely see this sartorial combination outside of Detroit. Note the (sensibly-dressed) woman in the background -- she appears to be horrified that the Flower's going out in public like that. This ad -- along with Ron Duguay's Sassoon jeans campaign -- is largely responsible for hockey's inability to make more headway in the U.S.

There's plenty more of this stuff, but I'll put the scanning off 'til some other day. I'm just trying to kill time before free agency begins, and we move closer to resolving a burning question: where will Tomas Kloucek end up?

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Friday, June 29, 2007


Predators to KC: The Fix Is In?

by Jes

Some very interesting gossip has come out of this whole Leopold/Balsillie/Del Biaggio love triangle to purchase and move the Nashville Predators.

1. We all thought Balsillie had it in the bag with a huge offer.
2. Leopold says 'Hold on!', and claims he just wants a deal 'finalized'
3. Now, we've got all sorts of stuff coming out about the NHL fixing the whole thing so that KC would get a name, no matter what would happen.

From the National Post (Required reading):
The National Hockey League was prepared to deliver a team to William (Boots) Del Biaggio and Kansas City's Sprint Center as part of a plan to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh, sources told the National Post yesterday.

Del Biaggio, now the frontrunner to purchase and relocate the Nashville Predators, and Tim Leiweke, president of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the company that operates the Sprint Center, aggressively pursued the Penguins late last year, offering the team a rent-free lease in the new arena.

But sources said the league, which didn't want to lose a value market in Pittsburgh, asked the Kansas City investors to back off their chase of the Penguins while indicating to the group it would be next in line for an NHL franchise.

It is believed the commissioner and Leiweke, who was in England yesterday, had an informal arrangement that would have delivered the Predators to Del Biaggio and Kansas City had Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie not stepped in with a richer offer and plans to move the team to Hamilton. Del Biaggio has an agreement with AEG to own and operate an NHL team in the Sprint Center.


As speculated yesterday, the NHL was willing to make up the monetary difference in the offers to ensure the team didn't get sold to Balsillie.

I bet that Leopold was visited by some men in dark suits. Why would he suddenly give up on a huge offer he was so willing to accept?

Certainly not out of concern for the Predators fans...because he knows the team is gonna move eventually.

This is certainly very interesting stuff, and perhaps a look at just how nasty the NHL operates to get what it wants.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007


For No Mere Mortal Can Resist ... The Evil of THE THRILLER!

by Jes

A bunch of randomness on a sunny June day (rare in Vancouver)

  • No surprise: Canada won't get another team!
    It seems the NHL has found a way to screw Canada, again, and give a team to KC.

    How? Go over to the NHL Fanhouse and read Greg Wyshynski's take on the fiasco.

    Too bad, Hamilton :(

  • Another reason why ESPN sucks more than Nikki Benz: Sidney Crosby was NOT considered for Male Athlete of the Year!

    Yeah...the kid is the youngest captain in NHL history, sweeps the big awards, and doesn't get a nomination? Typical ESPN bullshit.

  • Notice how ESPN doesn't actually stand for anything? The S is not for Sports, that is for sure.

  • The NHLPA enlisted the help of MLBPA boss Don Fehr. You know the NHL must be collecting its collective pants about this.

    Let's face it, even with the turmoil the PA has been in, they are getting the better end of this new CBA. When you have idiot GMs like Kevin Lowe proclaiming their intentions to overpay the likes of Scott Gomez, it's pretty much the same as it ever was with the NHL. As long as NHL teams continue to hire former players over real business managers, the PA will always win.

  • The CHL held its Import Draft yesterday.

    Name of the day? Michal Jordan. A Czech guy with a very precarious name.

    The Giants picked Josef Tichy, who is 6'6" 230lbs of Czech beefcake.

    My pal, Michal, wrote me an email on the guy

    Vancouver Giants make a great choice to select Josef Tichy in CHL import draft - he is one of the best dmen in Czech junior extraleague. I hope they won't bring him over there, as he is a cornerstone of our defence :] Too many Czechs were selected in import draft, 33 players is hurting our U18 team, which already relegated from A group. Blame Ruzicka and his Slavia boys (9 kids from Slavia in relegated team.)

    Josef is big guy with good offensive skills, kind of Pavel Kubina... He will probably play on U20 WJC, if things will go well.

  • One jealous Oilers blogger asked me about Milan Kytnar, the Slovak they drafted.
    Suffice it to say, I don't know a whole lot about him, and my expert in Slovakia isn't exactly getting A's in Kytnar Social Studies.

    Yes, I don't know everything about all Slovaks *Gasp*
    Here is his Hockey's Future profile

  • Photo of the Day: Jordin Tootoo in the TubTub
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    Wednesday, June 27, 2007


    Wayne Gretzky's New Vintage Venture

    by Jes

    Wayne Gretzky, aka "The Great Whiner", apparently got bored and wanted a new revenue stream for his spoiled family to bet on NFL games.

    The product? A fine vintage wine ... fitting, given that Gretzky was/is the biggest whiner in the game.

    The Canadian icon is lending his name to a line of Niagara wines, which he unveiled Tuesday at his downtown Toronto restaurant, Wayne Gretzky's. The classy label bears the No. 99, a number the National Hockey League retired when Gretzky ended his career in April, 1999.

    A Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery is planned for Niagara by 2009.

    But the man considered by many to be the greatest hockey player of all time, admits his knowledge of wine isn't great. He's not a collector of wines, but enjoys a glass or two with wife, Janet, over dinner.

    Gretzky is leaving the job of winemaking to the experts, his partner and Niagara winery owners Peter Jensen and Laura McCain-Jensen and their winemaking team, Rob Power and Craig McDonald, at Creekside Estate Winery in Jordan Station.

    Gretzky, the NHL's all-time leading scorer who won four Stanley Cups in his career, knows a winner, and he senses one with his wine.

    "I don't know a whole lot about wine. I can tell you if I like the taste of something or if I don't like the taste of something," Gretzky, 46, told Osprey News Network.

    "When Peter (Jensen) gave me the first couple of bottles to let me sample it, I felt strongly that it's very good tasting wine, and people are going to enjoy it."
    How many off-ice ventures of Gretzky's have failed? Hmm?

    Here at Hockey Rants, we called up our favourite Molvanian psychic and got a glimpse into the three main product lines that Gretzky's vinery will produce.

    1. A young Riesling wine that is fairly cheap, sweet, has exceptional taste and clarity, and achieves the highest rating on the market. This will be the best wine on the market, by far, and is best sipped with a big side of Alberta beef.
    The newly-founded Chateau de Lemieux presents a challenge, but the bottles are known for breaking easily.

    2. An medium-aged Chardonnay that has a flashy black-and-silver label, is very expensive, and not quite as sweet as the Riesling. It's very popular in the USA, especially in California. It's a good wine, but not worth the massive price tag. Good with sushi.

    3. A very well-aged and bitter Merlot, with grapes that were picked well past their ripened state. Experts are afraid to give this wine a bad score, despite the fact that it's a terrible wine and not effective with your dinner. Highly overrated, especially by the Canadian media. Despite the bitterness, experts continue to drink just to fit in with the mainstream crowd.

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    California Hockey is Bizarro

    by Jes
    Hockey got a bit of mainstream attention as Californian Hockey was the theme of June 24th Bizarro comic ...

    It's funny because it's true!

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    Tuesday, June 26, 2007


    2-Man Advantage: Episode 3

    by Jes

    The boys from 2-Man Advantage are back with their third episode and a special guest: ex-Rangers GM Neil Smith!

    In a super episode, Smith reveals lost of juicy little tidbits about the Rangers' Stanley Cup team and the start of 'fantasy' hockey.

    1. Who knew Neil Smith was in such good shape? Though, I could do without the shirtless shots.
    2. Smith had more than one day with the Cup. Cheater!
    3. Glenn Anderson? Guys, he's been busy cheating his ex-wives out of alimony.
    4. The one guy in the army hat... d00d, get a shirt!

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    Monday, June 25, 2007


    Chris Benoit: Dead at 40

    by Jes

    Some shocking non-hockey news came out tonight when it was announced that "The Crippler" Chris Benoit, 40, and his family were found dead.

    World Wrestling Entertainment was informed today by authorities in Fayette County, Ga., that WWE Superstar Chris Benoit, his wife, Nancy, and his son were found dead in their home. Authorities are investigating, but no other details are available at this time.

    Chris was beloved among his fellow Superstars, and was a favorite among WWE fans for his unbelievable athleticism and wrestling ability. He always took great pride in his performance, and always showed respect for the business he loved, for his peers and towards his fans. This is a terrible tragedy and an unbearable loss.

    Back when I used to watch wrestling, Benoit was one of my favourites. Besides the fact that he was Canadian, he had a hockey player's mentality in and out of the ring.

    It's sad to see another wrestling die way too young :(

    (Edit: It seems that Benoit may have done this all himself ...

    "Investigators believe Benoit, (pronounced ben-WAH) killed his wife and son over the weekend and then himself sometime Monday. The bodies were found Monday afternoon in three different rooms of the house on Green Meadow Lane, in a subdivision off a gravel road about two miles from the Whitewater Country Club.")

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    Checking In

    by Greg

    I pretty much missed the draft entirely, between preparing for and departing to paradise on earth, so I'm still catching up. A couple notes from this end of things:

    * Who knows if he'll ever be a contributor at the pro level, but Avalanche top pick Kevin Shattenkirk has a great hockey name. It just sounds ... tough. Bruising. "He shattenkirked that guy right through the glass!" Unfortunately, it appears he models his style of play after Brian Leetch, not the first guy you think of when you think "hard-nosed" (or "throwing a check"), but ... still. Great name. It'd look good on a hockey jersey, if my closet didn't already make it look as if I have a mental disorder.

    * Kind of hard to get too excited about the Thrashers' draft -- which resembled those of the 1990s St. Louis Blues, when they'd given all their top picks away to get Scott Stevens or Brendan Shanahan or Mike Keenan. Jes says good things about Spencer Machacek, so I'll take his word for it. Hockey's Future, in addition to referring to him as "lanky" (one of my favorite words), also notes that Machacek "already has 40 WHL playoff games under his belt," which should do the Thrashers good if they ever make it to the WHL playoffs.

    * I've been playing my old pal Eastside Hockey Manager recently, and in a nice bit of synchronicity, my fake 2007 draft came at about the same time as the real one. In fake draft '07, fake Zach Hamill went first overall (to the fake Columbus Blue Jackets). In real draft '07, real Zach Hamill went eighth overall (to the semi-real Boston Bruins). When I saw that, my instinct was seriously "the Bruins got a steal!" before my conscious reminded me that the Zach Hamill made up of ones and zeroes that I'm drunkenly manipulating at 1 a.m. is not the same as the real-life one. And as is frequent in these cases, I took a moment to think about what I'm doing with my life.

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    Mark Messier: Hall of Fame Player

    by Jes
    Mark Messier
    Mark Messier was known as quite a player during his days here in Vancouver, and I'm not talking about what little he did on the ice. Messier was definitely a home here in Hollywood North, where he could spend precious exercise time chatting up actresses and filming chip commercials.

    It's nice to know that the penis-headed fraud is getting the recognition he deserves by making it into the Hall of Fame.

    From the Sports Hernia:

    The former Oilers, Canucks and Rangers pussy-splitting forward has led an almost mythical journey through the bone zone, banging the likes of Madonna, a young Tyra Banks and supermodel Frederique, all while maintaining his mind-boggling run of 6,037 straight days in the zone as well. Visibly humbled by the overwhelming induction ceremony into the BZHOF, which recognizes the greatest ass antennas on Earth, Messier could barely get the words out.

    "You know, growing up a small town boy in Alberta, Canada, never in a million years did I imagine I would be drowning in exotic supermodel ass" said the tractor-beam pants wearing Messier, "But now, years later, standing behind this bronzed penis microphone, I truly feel at peace with myself, with everything. Man, I've plowed some Grade A poon," he said, shaking his head and pausing for a moment. "Man."

    Mark Messier: Truly a leader of men.

    (Thanks to Wayne for the assist)

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    Photo of the Day: Ilya, the Scotsman

    by Jes

    OK, I understand that Russians have a strange sense in fashion, but what the hell is up with Ilya Kovalchuk?

    Ilya Kovalchuk

    Is that a curtain he's wearing? *scratches head*

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    Sunday, June 24, 2007


    Canucks Acquire "Depth"

    by Jes

    In the real hockey encyclopedia, "Depth" would have a picture of Vernon Fiddler, and indicate a player that can barely make the NHL, but will pump up your NHL like Ah-nold.

    So, colour me unexcited with the Canucks, after an uninspiring draft effort, picked up some of that low-frequency 'depth' that some people jism over.

    The Canucks acquired centre Ryan Shannon from Anaheim and defenceman Jim Sharrow from Atlanta, sending forward Jesse Schultz to the Thrashers and the rights to left-winger Jason King and a conditional draft pick to Anaheim.

    Better start planning the parade route through Yaletown, right?

    OK, maybe I should try and see the good side of this.

    1. Jason King, who is a bigger idiot than the average voter, was of no use to the Canucks as he was too busy frolicking around in Europe. King has a decent spurt to start his NHL career, but then got a big head (aka Anson Carteritis) and thought he was the shit. Well, he is 'shit' and good on the Canucks for getting more than a used "Chyna" Playboy. *Shudder*

    2. Players named Jesse always suck, so the Canucks did themselves a favour by getting rid of Schultz.

    Now, maybe Greg can fill me in on this Sharrow guy before I fall asleep.

    Rysn Shannon? He's 5'9" and lighter than air. Given the Canucks bad luck with smurfs (Brandon Reid, Steve Kariya, Herbert Vasiljevs, Lubo Vaic), the odds that this guy is an effective NHL producer are as slim as Angelie Jolie suddenly is. (and WTF is up with that?)

    Yes, Shannon's AHL totals have been impressive of late (97 points in 85 games), but just 11 points in 53 games? Yoikes.

    Unlike Reid, Shannon's defense doesn't blow...but the Canucks don't need another defensive winger who can't score.

    At least Moose fans ought to be thrilled. I'm sure not.

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    Saturday, June 23, 2007


    Draft Dealings and Musings

    by Jes

    So, the fire-sale in Nashville continues and the Preds deal away Tomas Vokoun away for a few lottery tickets. Fun.

    Yes, it's true that Czechs and Slovaks love to come and play hockey in North America.
    Czech and Slovak youngsters are far more likely than their counterparts from any other European hockey countries to head across the Atlantic as soon as possible. According to the International Ice Hockey Federation, of the 575 young players to leave Europe for the CHL since 1997, nearly 500 have been Czechs or Slovaks. Most of the remainder has been comprised of players from the former Soviet Union, with a small group of Swedes, Finns, Danes and other Europeans mixed in.

    That's a very LARGE majority, and speaks more to cultural differences than differences in the hockey training.

    The Canucks? They passed on Michal Repik (who went to Florida) TWICE to pick Patrick White and Taylor Ellington. Why can't the Canucks EVER pick somebody I want?

    Patrick White? Today's local newspaper describes him as a 'work-in-progress'. That means he is 'raw' and that means he will be a bust. How many works-in-progress end up as great players? Bah!

    Guys named Taylor? They wear makeup and are softer than silk. SOFT NAMES MAKE SOFT PEOPLE!

    Giants d-man Jonathan Blum went 23rd to the Predators. Congrats to him, and good luck in Hamilton.

    Edmonton made a lot of moves to get 3 picks in the 1st round. Knowing the Oilers 'ability' to draft, all 3 of them will turn out crappy.

    What's with all the suits and ties? That's so overdone and it's so stiff. You are hockey players, not corporate asshole businessmen. You guys are gonna put on a team sweater, anyway, so why bother with the fancy clothes.

    Me? I'd go with bright orange hair and a gothic outfit, just to freak people out and show them I'm a total bad-ass.

    Spencer Machacek of the Giants just went to 67th to Atlanta. Lucky Greg....

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    Friday, June 22, 2007


    NHL Draft: Previewing the Slovaks

    by Jes

    Many things have kept me busy this spring and early summer, so I’ve been way behind in keeping track of draftable prospects. Don’t ask me much about anyone about to be picked tonight, because I won’t be able to tell you too much unless they play for or against the Vancouver Giants.

    While all of the others bloggers party it up in Columbus, I’m stuck here in rainy Vancouver with the Yaletown Yuppies and Whalley Winos.

    On this little nook of the web, you can always count on a Slovakian slant to things. We cut through the Swedish BS to give you the goods, babe.

    Thanks to my Slovak pal Daniel, who provides his thoughts on draftable Slovaks and other issues.

    Predicted Slovak picks:
    Round 1 - none
    Round 2 - none
    Round 3 – David Skokan (MTL)
    Round 4 – Milan Kytnar (BUF)
    Round 5 – Juraj Valach (ATL)
    Round 6 - none
    Round 7 – Adam Bezak (NYR), Juraj Mikus (xxx), Zdenko Kotvan (xxx)

    I expect only 5 Slovaks to be picked. Though there are another adepts e.g. M.Daloga (25%), O.Rusnak (15%), M.Baca (10%), T.Hiadlovsky (20%) or P.Lusnak (30%), B.Rehus (10%). Of course dark horses e.g. O.Mikula (10%), M.Hascak (5%) or B.Konrad (5%) Don’t forget Krazy Karol Krizan (20%).

    A trend to draft less Europeans will be kept. It's not a case of a weaker generation or worse prospects, but it's a result of new collective agreement. New prospects have to be signed within 2 years after drafting.

    As you know most kids are long-shot prospects and drafting of 18-year old means to wait another 2-5 years to develop into NHL-caliber players. History shows that, too often, teams pick raw prospects who weren't able to develop into regular player of (European) senior leagues.
    I'd recommend to draft only top 20-30 prospects, especially the players who proved themselves at different levels i.e. senior leagues, WJC U18 or U20 to be real prospects. I’d much rather pick 19 or 20-year old kids who found regular spots in senior leagues (SWE, CZE, FIN, SVK, SUI, GER or RUS).

    Of course it's very difficult to draft Russians in the late rounds. As we know, solid 3-4 liners of the Russian Super league can earn 200-300,000$. Such players have no motivation to spend 1-2 seasons in AHL to fight for an NHL spot.

    Juraj Valach is a very interesting prospect, and could easily go much higher than his crappy CSS ranking.

    Valach is a 6’6” 210lbs defender who played this season with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL. Unlike his other Slovak redwoods, Valach is not a mean, tough dude. Nope, Valach is very much an offensive-minded defenseman who will beat you with a point shot long before he beats you over the head with his stick. He has good reach, which he uses well to poke-check the puck away from attackers. Think of a tall Richard Lintner.

    Given the total lack of great talent out of Slovakia this year, Valach will be the guy to watch for Slovakian hopefuls. He has a lot of upside, but also a lot of work to do on his skating. Teams have been burnt by ‘raw’ prospects all too often (Michael Rupp, Kristian Kudroc), but that doesn’t stop them from drafting them early in the draft.

    More on Juraj Valach over at NHL DraftBuzz

    More on the Top 10 Slovakians over at

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    Thursday, June 21, 2007


    Jeremy Jacobs = NHL BoG Chairman

    by Jes

    A one line item from the Globe and Mail spells doom for the NHL:

    "The NHL's board of governors has elected Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs as its new chairman."

    OMG!! WHY!?!?!

    This is typical of the NHL, which favours the Old Boys Club over people who actually might want to help the game succeed.

    Jeremy Jacobs has done nothing but ruin a great market with his tight-fistedness and stubborness. Part of the reason why those dickheads at ESPN always clamour "Nobody cares about hockey" is because of what Jacobs has done there in the New England area.

    Now, he's being given the keys to the car??

    We shouldn't be shocked, given how the league has let Bill Wirtz ruin the Chi-Town market while having the ear of the commish. It's just sad that somebody who has no interest and ability to grow the game is now sitting in the big chair.


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    Wednesday, June 20, 2007


    NHL Goes A-Tweakin'

    by Jes

    While not discussing the fate of the Nashville Predators, the NHL head honchos dined on the blood of virgins and made a few minor rule tweaks.

    A player may now be awarded a free shot if he is fouled on a clear breakaway anywhere in the neutral or attacking zones. Previously, a penalty shot was awarded only when a player on a clear breakaway was fouled on the attacking side of the centre line.

    This doesn't look as good as you might think. Most players can't skate with the puck faster than a charging defender, and most anyone who has a clear-cut breakaway from their own blueline will be caught up to.

    All faceoffs must now be conducted at one of the nine dots painted on the rink. Some faceoffs, such as when a puck left the playing surface, were previously held on unmarked ice parallel to the dot nearest the place where the puck left the playing surface.

    Makes sense. I always found it weird that the linesmen held faceoffs in arbitrary locations.

    The interference rule was altered so referees can at their discretion assess a major penalty and a game misconduct when an injury results from an act of interference. Previously, only a minor penalty could be assessed for interference.

    Refresh my memory like F5: Has there ever been a major penalty for interference?? If a player commits a major foul, it'll be high-sticking or boarding or kneeing or checking-from-behind. I can't recall ever seeing a plain major penalty for interference.

    The term "gross misconduct" was eliminated from the rule book. A game misconduct will now be assessed, and accumulated game misconduct penalties can lead to fines or suspensions.

    Ahh, let's soften the language, shall we?

    "Gross" sounds almost violent and criminal. Hockey doesn't want anything that might make the sport seem like a barbaric game, so they go to the more tame "Game" misconduct.

    Same thing, just worded differently to hide the real impact of such an infraction.

    Overall, some decent tweaks, but nothing that will rock your world.

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    Transatlantic Tenkrat

    by Greg

    In news that completely mucks up the balance of power in the NHL, Petr Tenkrat signed a "provisional" contract with Sweden's Timra IK this past week. It's safe to say that Claude Julien didn't know about this beforehand, or he would never have taken the Bruins job. Without Tenk's 14 points in 2006-07, it's not certain the Bruins could have managed their sterling 13th-place finish.

    The contract does have an out clause if he signs with a NHL team by September (and really -- you're telling me he couldn't crack the Chicago or St. Louis lineups?), so there's still an off chance North American audiences will get another season to thrill to Tenkrat.

    In all seriousness, this continues a string of bad luck for anyone that your Hockey Rants bloggers choose to support. Jaroslav Balastik didn't do so hot in Sweden after the Blue Jackets cut him adrift, and he'll be back in the Czech Republic next season. Tomas Kloucek is showing Career AHLer tendencies. Gilbert Brule fell a little short of Jes's Calder Trophy predictions. So if we endorse a player -- drop 'em from your fantasy team.

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    Big Trouble in Little Slovakia

    by Jes

    Branko Radivojevic and Marcel Hossa fighting Nazis. No this isn't a low-budget Slovakian action flick. It's a true story!

    Normally, I'd scoop this kind of story for ya, but I'm bogged down with so much stuff that I haven't been faithfully visiting my usual Czech/Slovak news sites.

    Here is one account, from the Star Tribune:
    Wild winger Branko Radivojevic and another NHL player reportedly helped break up a fight in the Trencin, Slovakia, city square over the weekend that left one man stabbed.

    According to today's edition of the Slovakia-based Pravda Daily, a man was being attacked by more than 10 neo-Nazi supporters when Radivojevic, New York Rangers forward Marcel Hossa and another friend jumped to his defense. The attackers ran off, but the man was stabbed. Radivojevic and Hossa brought the man to a hospital, where he is recovering after surgery. It is unclear whether Radivojevic knew the victim.
    You can pretty much guess how the GMs of the Rangers and Wild feel about their boys going into a brawl, but kudos for the two for stepping up and helping out the poor lad. Whether they knew him or not, Hossa and Radivojevic performed a great deed and should be commended for it.

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    Tuesday, June 19, 2007


    Photo of the Day: Ducks Damage the Cup

    by Jes

    I know the Stanley Cup has been beat up more than a GW Bush piñata at Osama Bin Laden’s 50th birthday bash, but can’t these teams show a little more respect and care for the holy chalice?

    What damaged the cup so badly?

    1. Chris Pronger’s elbow
    2. Brad May’s right fist
    3. A Chris Kunitz cross-check
    4. Sweden

    In other Ducks news, how about the rumours that Scott Niedermayer is thinking of retirement? That ought to give Ducks fans cardiac arrest, or at least mild indigestion.

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    Monday, June 18, 2007


    WTF: Boston Ruins Want Mike Milbury?

    by Jes
    My future Hallowe'en costume

    After canning Dave "Adolf" Lewis like chicken soup, the Bruins have narrowed down the list of candidates to take over the hopeless job of coaching the Bruins back into the playoffs ...

    From the Boston Globe (via Mirtle):
    Ex-Bruin Mike Milbury and former New Jersey Devils coach Claude Julien, considered the leading candidates on Chiarelli's short list, were most recently employed by playoff clubs. In contrast, the 2006-07 Bruins stumbled to a 13th-place finish in the Eastern Conference and will require a significant overhaul to make a postseason push.

    Yesterday, Chiarelli confirmed that he has interviewed Milbury, whose last position was vice president of sports properties for the Islanders. New York made a late-season push to qualify for a first-round showdown with the Buffalo Sabres.

    Yeah, I did a double-take when I saw the name of MIKE MILBURY leap out of the screen and try to swipe my afternoon tea.

    Mad Mike? The same guy that destroyed the Isles franchise and ensured their continual suckiness for over a decade?

    Well, looking back on his coaching record, it's a real mixed bag:

    1989-90 Boston 80 46 25 9 .631 Lost in Finals

    1990-91 Boston 80 44 24 12 .625 Lost in round 3

    1995-96 NYI 82 22 50 10 .329 Out of Playoffs

    1996-97 NYI 45 13 23 9 .389 --

    1997-98 NYI 19 8 9 2 .474 Out of Playoffs


    When Milbury first started coaching, he was behind the bench of a very talented Boston Bruins squad that had Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, Craig Janney, and Bob Carpenter. The Bruins were good, but Milbury lead them to a Finals appearance and a semi-finals appearance in the face of stronger competition.

    Fast forward to his Isles days, when he put himself as a coach out of desperation. Each time, Milbury clearly did little but lose, thanks to the fact he helped build such an awful squad.

    (As a note, how can a team with Tommy Salo, Tommy Soderstrom, Eric Fichaud, and Jamie McLennan as goaltenders expect to win anything?)

    Boston obviously hopes that bringing back a familiar name will somehow fill the stands.


    Bruins fans want 2 things
    1. Jeremy Jacobs' head on a lance
    2. Wins

    How many Bruins fans will remember Milbury with utter fondness? When you hear or see that name, all you can think about is failure, and how much the guy fux0red things up on the Island.

    Julien? He did a great job with the Devils and had a good track record that is RECENT! Milbury? He hasn't coached much in the "New NHL", and his best success came at a time when a GAA of under 3 was god-like.

    Let's hope, for Bruins fans' sake, that Boston doesn't make the wrong decision.

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    Sunday, June 17, 2007


    Predictions I Regret

    by Greg

    Sort of missed the awards show the other night, but I'm pretty confident at least one of my pre-season predictions didn't come true:

    Dave Lewis winning the Jack Adams.

    Other than that, I presume I was dead-on down the line, right? Vokoun got both the Vezina and Conn Smythe? Joe Thornton the Hart? Ilya Kovalchuk the Art Ross?

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    Link of the Day: Offside Sports Cartoons

    by Jes

    While CBC's The Instigator is well known for his cartoon genius, there is a new kid on the block that has had me in stitches with his artwork: Ken Henderson.

    Over at his website, called Offside Sports, Ken has been posting some brilliant cartoons that combine good satire with quality artwork.

    Here is one of his most recent works ...

    Be sure to go on over to his site and bookmark it. I hope he continues his work for us to enjoy.

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    Saturday, June 16, 2007


    Canadiens Say "So Long, Sammy"

    by Jes

    Habs GM Bob Gainey managed to find another sucker to take away one of the Habs' bloated contracts when he pawned off malcontent Sergei Samsonov to the Chicago Blackhawks.

    The bounty? Jassen Cullimore, Tony Salmelainen. and one less headache.

    "Considering we didn't have plans for Sergei Samsonov in our organization for next season, our options were either to buy out his contact or to trade him in order to allow us to save valuable cap room over the next two seasons," Gainey said in a release.

    How bad was Sergei Samsonov? How about just 9 goals and 26 points in 63 games last season? These were, by a country mile, the worst numbers of his career. I'm still amazed that he performed so poorly.

    While Sergei never fit into the Habs passive, defense-first style of play, Sammy is squarely to blame for his putrid performance. Instead of being a team player and working his butt off, Sergei whined about how he was 'hard done by', and how signing with the Canadiens was a big mistake.

    What a team player, eh?

    For all of his mad skills, Samsonov has never shown that he can be a star player without the aid of one Joe Thornton. Combine that with his albatross of a contract ($3.525mil against the cap next season), and you get a player that most any sane person wouldn't want on their team.

    The Hawks, however, have never been all that sane.

    Still, this is a solid move for both clubs.

    If there is any team that needs an offensive boost, it's the hapless Blackhawks.
    If there is an offensive-style coach that Samsonov might enjoy playing for, it's Denis Savard.

    The Hawks have some cap space to burn, and no prospects that Samsonov would be blocking from developing. Putting Sammy on the Power Play with Havlat and Handzus/Ruutu would probably produce a fair bit of offense.

    As for the Habs, they clear precious cap space and get rid of a player who was a poison to the team. Is it any wonder why Alexei Kovalev was getting so whiny?

    * James Mirtle adds his take on the issue. Apparently, the Habs save just $1mil in cap space. Aw, well, that's still decent and worth the price to get rid of Samsonov.

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    Friday, June 15, 2007


    Picture of the Day: What's That Smell?

    by Jes

    My girlfriend sent me this pic, and it definitely says about 1,417 words ...

    "Is it just me or does Crosby look like he smells something disagreeable?"

    Us Canadians are all too familiar with the stench that eminates from Ottawa, and it's not just Daniel Alfredsson's underpants.

    If I were Crosby, I'd wash that award in some heavy soap before putting in his trophy room.

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    NHL Awards Aftermath

    by Jes

    Now that the NHL's hardware has been disbursed, it's time to assess the damage the NHL Sportswriters have done.

  • While the Selke (Best Defensive Forward) has always been the hardest to quantify, progress has been made and some people actually went to the work to try and make a scientific reasoning for selecting a winner.

    The numbers clearly show that Pahlsson has the best case, by far, for winning the Selke.

    Instead, the MSM goes with the 'default' choice and Rod "the Bod" Brind'Amour wins.

    After watching the playoffs, I'm sure a few mediots wish they could redo their choice.

    Well, next season, Pahlsson can be the default choice and will win, barring a serious injury or collapse.

  • Poor Roberto Luongo went 0-for-2, as well as winning the Worst Hair Award. Lighten up on the grease, bud! Oh, and get used to failure. It comes with being a Vancouver Canuck.

  • Crosby needs to let loose just a little, don't ya think? D00d is as stiff as the Queen's upper lip, and was as comfortable in front of the throngs of suits as I am on any commercial aircraft.

    Sidney, of course, was the biggest winner with both the Pearson and Hart trophies to add to his collection.

  • How many awards did Ovechkin win last night?

  • Phil Kessel gave up his left nut to win the Masterton. Does he get the Hart if he gives up the whole package?

  • If you don't show up for the Awards show, they should do the same thing they do with Door Prizes: Give it to the next winner in the room.

    How could Evgeni Malkin not show up to accept his prize? Surely, he knew he'd win it. It's disgraceful that he couldn't take a few days out of his schedule to fly over and accept the award. He'll never get another chance at the Calder.

    It would have been nice for Ron MacLean to say "Has anyone seen Malkin? 3 .. 2.. 1 .. OK, Malkin's not here to claim the prize. So, we'll give it to the next guy on the list: PAUL STASTNY"

    C'mon, you would have cracked up! It would certainly give incentive for these lazy ass Russians (remember Mogilny?) to show up and claim their prizes.

  • The music sucked. The music always sucks.

  • Stephen Harper and Gary Bettman sitting next to each other. Where is a crazy man with a bomb strapped to his chest when you need one?
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    Video of the Day: Honey Nut Cheerios Does Hockey

    ... and does it badly

    What's with the JASON mask/helmet combo, kid? Trying for a weird Darth Vader look?

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    Thursday, June 14, 2007


    Calgary Flames to Hire Hot-Headed Keenan?

    by Jes

    While I figured Jim Playfair was on the outs as the Calgary Flames head coach (a job at which he sucked with great proficiency), I never thought his replacement would be ... MIKE KEENAN (!WTF?!)

    It looks like "Iron Mike" could be back in business behind the bench of an NHL team.

    Sources tell TSN that Mike Keenan is on the verge of becoming the new head coach of the Calgary Flames.

    While the Flames declined to comment when contacted by TSN today, sources confirm Keenan is currently in Calgary and if all goes as expected, the well-travelled NHL executive and coach could be announced as the head coach of the Flames as early as Thursday.

    Well, Sutter is a bad-ass, whip-cracker type, so who better than Adolf Hitler look-a-like Mike Keenan to fill the coaching role?

    Greg over at The NHL Fanhouse notes a couple of interesting facts ...

    Although he's fifth on the all-time coaches' victories list, Keenan last took a team to the postseason in 1995-96 -- the same postseason in which Calgary's leading scorer last season, Jarome Iginla, made his NHL debut.

    Speaking of Iginla, check out this 2000 article from Larry Wigge in The Sporting News in which Iggy claims that in order for him to be an elite star, he doesn't need a coach that bullies his players. Guess that theory might be put to the test pretty soon...

    Keenan has long worn out his welcome in the NHL, yet teams continue giving him chances. The ultra-disciplinary asshole types just don't connect with today's spoiled superstars, so I can't see how Calgary is going to benefit greatly from this.

    In the short term? Yeah, things might be peachey. Once any trouble starts? Keenan shows his true colours, startings treating his players like dogs, and things will go downhill for the Flamers.

    As a Canucks fan, this pleases me greatly.

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    Video of the Day: 2-Man Advantage #2

    by Jes

    The first episode of 2-Man Advantage video that was posted was apparently so popular that they decided to make a sequel during the Sabres/Isles series.

    Mr. Muscles decides to switch to an unbuttoned shirt (is it working for ya, buddy?), and some Isles fan joins in on the fray.

    I love the raggin' on Zednik. His vocab is basically "you know" and very accented English. I can easily understand what he's saying, but I can understand that most folks wouldn't.

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    Tuesday, June 12, 2007


    Analysis: The UFA Goaltending Market

    by Jes

    With the news that Nicklas Backstrom has re-signed with the Minnesota Wild, the market for good goaltending went from bad to worse.

    So, What's left in the open market?

    Using SV%, which is the best measure of a goaltenders' ability that we have easily available, we see that it's not much of a selection. Keep in mind that the average SV% for the league was 90.5% for ALL goaltenders.

    PLAYER Save Percentage%
    J-S Giguere 91.8%
    D. Hasek 91.2%
    J. Thibault 90.9%
    Mathieu Garon 90.7%
    D. Sabourin 90.6%
    Ed Belfour 90.2%
    D. Aebischer 90.0%
    J. McLennan 89.5%
    Curtis Joseph 89.3%
    J. Markkanen 88.6%
    B. Boucher 88.2%
    Kevin Weekes 87.9%
    Robert Esche 87.2%

    Who needs goaltending? According to James Mirtle (where I got the idea for this post):

    In terms of starters, Boston, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Toronto could all potentially be in the market. (Not surprisingly, only one of those teams made the postseason last year.)

    There are a great deal more teams searching for backups, including some teams like Vancouver where the second netminder will have to pick up janitorial duties on the side to earn his minimum salary.

    Looking at my list, there are only two above-average starting goaltenders available.

    Thibault, Garon, and Aebischer could make average-at-best starters on a poor team. Sabourin may do well if he got a real shot. Otherwise? It's all backups, and some very poor ones at that. Oh, batty Belfour and his bad back are there, if anyone really wants him.

    I'm very glad that the Canucks have Luongo locked up nicely. They simply need to bring in a backup that can play half decent in a handful of games. I'd like to see Sabourin back for another season, but I'd understand if he wants to go somewhere that would give him a true chance to shine.

    Giguere? This is his big chance to cash in, seeing as how he is, by far, the biggest fish in the UFA goalie pond. Toronto would be wise to open up the pocket book, if possible, and realize that the Andrew Raycroft experiment was a gigantic failure.

    While Hasek can still kick it old school, you know he's too flakey for some teams and very picky about where he wants to go.

    Is it any wonder why Manny Fernandez might now be a really great trading chip for the Minnesota Wild?

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    Video of the Day: Canucks Go in Another(?) Direction

    Somebody was extremely bored one day and decided to create this ...


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    Monday, June 11, 2007


    Sartorial Slam: Atlanta Thrashers

    by Greg

    In their short history, the Thrashers have already established a borderline schizophrenic sense of design -- three different jersey styles, none having much to do with the others.

    They removed one from the mix this past season -- the dark jersey with the much-maligned stylized "T" on the front. The replacement was, in my eyes, a step back -- the only improvement was using the primary bird logo, which I like. It's got a bunch of things that could be cool -- asymmetry, "ATLANTA" down the sleeve -- but that somehow don't work. And the powder blue is bad, bad, bad -- and then exacerbated by more (dark) blue on the shoulders and arms.

    (That said, the powder blue is easily the most popular jersey at home games, so it's not like anyone's taking my fashion advice.)

    For my money, the best design is the white home road jersey -- clean, good logo. I could do without the silly zig-zags on the sleeves, and I don't like the design (bird tracks?) running around the waist. But it's the best of the lot.

    I convened a panel of experts to discuss these jerseys -- Brushback of Sidearm Delivery, who actually has a doctorate in bad jerseys, and Jes, who runs this here blog, and came up with this idea in the first place. Brushback first:

    Atlanta's jerseys have never really made a strong impression on me, one way or another. I like the "Atlanta" down the sleeve, though I don't like that it's only on one side. I'm not into any of the colors the Thrashers have used, especially powder-blue, but they haven't been awful, either. I even kinda like the logos the team has used, even though they're generic and stupid (a bird holding a stick, some kind of "T" thing) and the jerseys themselves are a bit too "busy"-looking.

    The opposition to that shade of blue was universal -- I give you Jes:

    The Thrashers uniforms are a lot like the team on the ice: Flashy, busy, but not quite good enough.

    They have a pretty good main logo and nice colours (although the baby blue is inexcusable and does not work on a hockey sweater), but way too much frilly stuff going on. If they stuck to a more basic design, they could have some killer unis. If their hockey team also stuck to the basics more often (hard work and defense), they'd likely win more games.

    Jes also came out against the Thrashers bird -- The Star Trek geek in me loves the Romulan Bird of Prey they have going on, but I'm not sure what they were trying to do -- but I have to come out in opposition here. It's a little angular and silly, but overall, considering some of the damage other teams have done to animals...

    ...all things considered, I think they just did fine.

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    Sunday, June 10, 2007


    Odds and Ends

    by Greg

    First off, a belated note of congratulations to the Anaheim Ducks and their fans. While I was rooting for the Sens, I didn't feel much of a sense of loss when Anaheim won, and the sight of Selanne and, yes, Pronger carrying the Cup was pretty sweet. Let's hear it for non-traditional markets -- keep the Cup south of Chicago 'til 2050!

    * * *

    Sort of got lost in my e-mail, but for those who haven't heard about it yet -- Blue Jackets bloggers Drew (End of the Bench) and Michael (Army of the Ohio) are organizing a draft gathering on June 22nd in Columbus. More details here. I lacked the foresight to think about going anywhere for the draft, so I'll be somewhere in the mountains of Colorado, trying to get a cell phone signal to find out who the Thrashers got in the fifth round.

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    Saturday, June 09, 2007


    Baseball Managers are Bitches

    by Jes

    Imagine if Bryan Murray was really unhappy with Kerry Fraser's tripping call on Daniel Alfredsson, and was tossed for swearing at the ref.

    Instead of going back to the dressing room, he storms onto the ice, starts kicking ice shavings on Fraser, rolls around on the ice and draws happy faces, and then runs down the ice and throws the net down around.

    You can imagine the hammer would come down on him quite harshly.

    In baseball? It's pretty much standard behaviour for your boss (the Manager) to act nutso.

    Now, if you are one of this guy's players, how could you ever take your boss seriously? Why is it that baseball managers have cart blanche to act like 3-year olds? Do they not realize how utterly dumb they look?

    Really? What is the point? These guys look like idiots, and this NEVER actually gets an umpire to reverse a call.

    Of course, this does provide us fans with a whole lot of entertainment. Who doesn't enjoy otherwise passive men act like freaks once in awhile?

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    Friday, June 08, 2007


    No Stanley Cup Parade for Anaheim

    by Jes

    If you thought the New Jersey Devils holding a Stanley Cup 'parade party' in a parking lot was bad, check out what the Ducks are doing.

    There won't be a Stanley Cup parade in Anaheim, although it won't be because of traffic issues. Instead, there will be a rally at the Honda Center tomorrow night, if the locals haven't already forgotten about this Stanley Cup victory.

    So, how are the Ducks spinning this?

    "We want to make sure the fans have a way to celebrate and acknowledge the players who brought this championship to Orange County," said city spokesman John Nicoletti.

    "We always take our cue from the team, and the team wanted to make sure the celebration and grand arrival of the players is concurrent," he said. "This gives everybody the opportunity to be in one place."

    Oh, won't be hard to gather 145 fans in one place, will it? *snark*

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    Stupid Butt-man Tricks

    by Jes

    Let's have a show of hands here. How many of you think that the NHL ought to expand to 32 teams?

    Wow, nobody...except the idiots at the NHL's Front Offices ...

    Even when the NHL swore that expansion was off the table, no one was buying it.

    So it comes as no surprise that the league now appears to be in talks to expand to 32 teams. It's a safe bet those two new teams will be in Las Vegas and Kansas City.

    NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed that the league has been in discussions with powerful film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer about owning a franchise in Las Vegas, Sports Business Daily reported yesterday.

    Bruckheimer, an avid hockey fan and producer of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, has put together an investment group to locate a team in Las Vegas, meaning the NHL would be the first pro league to settle in the gambling centre.

    Daly said "no decisions have been made" and no official agreements are in place.

    Las Vegas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States and Bruckheimer has Hollywood cachet that the NHL craves.

    Having an NHL team in Vegas with some big stars is actually a good idea.

    Expanding to 32 teams is not.

    Want a team in Las Vegas? Want to bring one back to Canada? Get rid of a struggling team like the Nashville Predators or Florida Panthers.

    Of course, this would be lost on the ears of the NHL, who crave even more expansion money from would-be suckers like Bruckheimer.

    The league can ill-afford to expand and further dilute the product. One problem that NHL has had selling the game is that the star talent is so thinly spread over the league. Yes, there are many capable of filling in NHL spots, but who wants to pay big ticket prices to watch the likes of Alex Burrows and Andy Hilbert?

    Leagues with as many problems as the NHL should be not be expanding. Fix the leaks before adding a wing to the mansion.

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    Wednesday, June 06, 2007


    Anaheim Ducks, 2007 Stanley Cup Champions

    by Jes

    (c) Getty Images

    Congratulations to the Anaheim Ducks for winning the 2007 Stanley Cup over the Ottawa Senators in 5 games.

    It wasn't a terribly memorable and pretty Stanley Cup for most hockey fans, and it certainly wasn't the best, but it was a lesson in how to play tough, defensive hockey the Canadian way.

    Once again, a Southern-based US team beats a Canadian team and crushes the hopes and dreams of fans from cities that actually about the sport. Welcome to Gary's NHL.

  • Good on the NHL for not letting the family and friends onto the ice until the players skated around with the cup. Do we need the ice cluttered with a bunch of blonde bimbos and their spoiled kids? Let the players have their on-ice party.

  • Scott Niedermayer is not a bad Conn Smythe choice. Chris Pronger had it in the bag until his stupid second suspension. JS Giguere was good, but would have been the cop-out choice, in my awesome opinion.

  • Ducks fans suck. What the hell was this with cheering Gary Bettman? WTF??!?! If a Canadian team won the cup in a Canadian city, Gary would have to come out surrounded by police officers, Vince MacMahon style.

  • Yes, that was one f'ugly goal by Chris Phillips into his own net. No, he is not Steve Smith and he didn't cost his team the series. I still feel sorry for the guy, though. He'll always have that on his resume.

  • Speaking of Gary, did you notice that he was trying to hold on to the cup for a cheesy photo-op while Scott Niedermayer was trying to yank the mug away from him. GIVE HIM THE DAMN THING!!!

  • To sum it all up, here's a comment that one fan left in one of my NHL Fanhouse posts just after the game ended.

    Hello Teemu Selanne, My name is Brad Skinner and i am from
    Winnipeg,Manitoba, the place where you started your amazing career, the rookie season was unbelieveable with 76 goals in 82 games and 132 points, that will never be broken by an rookie. congradualtions on winning the stanley cup after 15 amazing years you truly do deserve it. i am a big fan of you!!

    when you came to winnipeg for the last game at the old Winnipeg Arena you shook my hand and signed my Winnipeg jets jersey of you, i was so happy i almost cried when this amazing moment happened.

    i can not explaine in words how much i look up to you. I hope that you return to Winnipeg sometime soon and if you brought the Cup that would be amazing but even for you to just come back to winnipeg would be unbelievebale. congrats on an amazing
    15 years and on winning lord Standley\'s Cup, many great years ahead, and who knows if nashville moves to winnipeg, maybe you could end your career there. take care and celerbrate because you deserve it!! hope to see you in the City where you started your amazing carreer, Winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada.
    take care,

    Brad Skinner, age 16, a teenager who looks up to you.

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    We're Not Gonna Take It, Anymore!

    by Jes

    We're used to non-hockey mediots taking potshots at the great sport of hockey. (Remember THIS ESPN Cartoon?)

    It's like a bee sting, really. We can handle one or two of these jabs, but after about 1,000, it really gets annoying.

    So, I decided to go on a rant over at The NHL Fanhouse and rail against the idiots in the media who seems to do nothing but talk smack about our great sport.

    It's pretty much a taste of their own medicine.

    Really, I just don't get why many feel the need to talk down about the NHL and its fans. So what if the NHL doesn't get NFL-like TV ratings? Popularity doesn't equal quality. How else can you explain the success of dreck like American Idol and Survivor?

    Anyway, head on over there and be sure to go join in the fray. I need backup against the NASCAR fans.


    The New York Islanders bit the big bullet and bought out the remainder of Alexei Yashin's bloated contract.

    The damage?
    Under the terms of the NHL collective-bargaining agreement, the Islanders can pay two-thirds of that amount - approximately $17.63-million - over the next eight years to buy him out. The team will still count $2.2-million of Yashin's salary under their cap over that same time period.

    This is definitely the right move for the Islanders, but also one I never expected them to make quite this early.

    Do you think the Isles are thrilled at paying Yashin huge bucks to NOT play for them? Imagine paying a contractor $125,000 not to build your house.

    Then again, given how Yashin plays, haven't the Islanders been paying him bucks to not play for them all this time?

    Of course, Yashin is now guaranteed a whole whack of money, and now he can go sign with another club and make even more.

    Note to NHL teams: Don't bite! If your offer is over $3.5mil a year, then smack yourself with a bronze ruler.

    Big Mac has more opinion on the matter at Ze Fanhouse..

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    Tuesday, June 05, 2007


    More Great NHL Marketing

    by Jes

    Alabama Wayne pointed out the fact that you could still get your hands on a very exclusive Keith Tkachuk Thrashers T-Shirt from

    Root for your favorite by wearing this Atlanta Thrashers Keith Tkachuk Name and Number tee shirt from Reebok®. This 5.5 oz short sleeve cotton tee shirt is taped shoulder to shoulder, has a double needle sleeve and bottom hem and a comfortable crew neck collar. The officially licensed tee shirt is designed with the 3-D team logo and NHL® shield printed on the front, and the player's name and number printed in 3-D on the back.

    Nevermind the fact that the Thrashers have told Tkachuk to take a hike, the shirt is still being sold for US$20 a pop.

    Umm... is there anyone dumb enough to buy these at full price? Does the NHL not have a clearance bin option, or are they still selling Joe Juneau Capitals jerseys for $300?

    How about a little common sense from

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    Monday, June 04, 2007


    Wak Wak Wak Wak Wak Wak

    by Jes

    Oooh, yer such a gangster!

    OK, so Chris Pronger did get the star treatment and was suspended for a whopping ONE GAME for his shot to Dean McAmmond's noggin.

    What better way to send a clear and decisive message to the rest of the league than a one game suspension for a repeat offender. *eyeroll*

    The Ducks are crying poor. Anyone surprised?

    In the 'WTF' files, Eric over at The Fanhouse uncovers the fact that Al-Jazeera, the mouthpiece of terrorism disguised as a legitimate news network, actually applied for NHL press credentials.

    ORLY? 0.o

    Many US newspapers don't bother sending some schlep to cover the Finals, but Al-Jazeera wants to?

    This is most likely the network attempting to gain a 'legitimate' status by covering different events in North America.

    Thankfully, the NHL realized it was more trouble than it was worth and said 'NO'

    Really, does the NHL really benefit from having 3 Iranian guys and their 21 wives watching Daniel Alfredsson give away the puck for the third time in one game?



    Our favourite hockey fan from Alabama shares his thoughts on Game Three:

    Did anyone see Don Cherry's wardrobe on Saturday night??? (NBC aired a still picture of it.) I can't any sane man (hetero or gay) would ever be caught wearing that...The ultimate definition of a "wardrobe malfunction"...Worst. Jacket. Ever. Grapes should change his nickname to "Drapes"...

    I'd think Kris Draper has that copyright.

    It's funny to see how American fans are reacting to Donald S. Cherry.

    Up here? We're so used to his loud suits and personality that it's more shocking when he wears something that doesn't scream "I NEED ATTENTION"

    At least Don has some personality. In a sea of boring and generic suits, Don shows that he doesn't give a rat's ass about high fashion.

    According to an article in the Toronto Star, NBC got a 1.5 in the overnights for Saturday's game 3...But, hey, they're not paying rights fees, are they?

    Well, if the Yanks don't appreciate our game, then it is their own damn fault.

    If you guys really want to watch NASCAR, NFL and poker, then knock yourself out.

    Finally, the Ducks just can't get no love...The Quacks make the final, and what is the leading sports story in L.A.? Kobe just can't make up his damn mind where he wants to play next season...

    Well, from my previous trips to the US of A, I can pretty much shrug and say "Isn't it always like that?"

    The Rangers could win the Stanley Cup, and the NY Times would have a front page story on what colour Alex Rodriguez is now using for his lipstick.

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    Sunday, June 03, 2007


    Game Three Thoughts: Go Role Players!

    by Jes

    The Dark Lord is pleased!

    See? The Sens DO need their support players to step up and can win without The Top Line (tm) doing all of the scoring.

    Last night?
    The Top Line(tm): 1 goal, 0 assists, +1
    All other players: 4 goals, 8 assists, +9

    Guys like Dean McAmmond, Chris Neil, and Mike Fisher have skill and need to use it. While the Ducks do all they can to shut down The Top Line, and do it well, it leaves opportunities for the superior forward depth of the Sens to make a difference.

    Oh, Chris Pronger was at it again. Care to guess the suspension?

    I am hoping that the NHL sends a message with a suspension and gives Pronger at least two games. This is his second offense in two series and it was clearly a purposeful intent to injure.

    Look, if the NHL continues to go soft on the stars of the game, what kind of message does it send to the rest of the league? Is this the NBA?

    Francois Beauchemin? -3! Ouch!

    It's kind of strange to see that the line of Marchant-Pahlsson-R.Niedermayer looks so dangerous offensively while they are doing their defensive duties.

    Overall, it's nice to see we've got a real series developing.

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    Friday, June 01, 2007


    Hlinka Dinka Doo

    By Greg

    I'm always a big fan of unexpected signings, of guys making late debuts. And of course I'm a sucker for the Czechs. But even so, I was more than a little surprised to emerge from my summer hibernation and see that the Avalanche had signed Sparta Praha's Jaroslav Hlinka.

    The Avalanche release rather oddly refers to Hlinka as a "prospect" -- it would seem that at 30, he's a little past that designation. He led Czech champion Sparta in scoring last year, he's been a star for some years in both the Czech and Swiss leagues.

    Small and speedy according to this old Hockey's Future article, it's hard to figure where exactly he slots into an Avalanche squad that would seem to have its top six forwards pretty set. I'd guess fourth line/power play if he makes the team. (And if not, I imagine there's a clause involving a return to Europe -- I can't imagine he'd give up Czech stardom to play for the Lake Erie Monsters. Though who knows? I hear Shaker Heights is a fun place.)

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    Gőlbez's 2007 NHL Dream Team

    by Gőlbez

    Since I'm somewhat bored and there isn't a lot of hockey news to talk about, it's time to update my NHL Dream Team.

    The premise is simple: Select your dream team roster based on players CURRENTLY in the NHL. This isn't just about having the most powerful team as having a team of 22-23 guys that you'd want to coach.

    That means that poor Jiri "Hockey Adonis" Slegr, Oleg Kvasha, and Jaroslav Balastik get the boot from my team and retired guys like Scott Mellanby cannot qualify.


    Roberto Luongo (Your Vezina winnah!)
    Peter Budaj (aka Nedorost Flanders)
    Dany Sabourin (he's great at doing nothing)


    Zdeno Chara - Lubomir Visnovsky (the odd couple on skates)

    Nick Lidstrom - Mattias Ohlund (Yes, I hate Lidstrom, but I also enjoy watching him control the game like he does)

    Karlis Skrastins - Andrej Meszaros (The Iron Man and The Butcher)

    Gaborik-Crosby-Demitra (You just try stopping this line)

    Havlat-Handzus-Elias (The two bratty playboys sandwiching the big friendly giant)

    Bulis-Pahlsson(is god)-Linden (the ultimate PK line of death)

    Prucha-Plekanec-Brule (The spunky kid line)

    Reserves: George Parros (We can film movies in the press box when he's not kicking Maddox-like ass), Vladimir Orszagh (on the IR)

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