Thursday, July 31, 2008


Where Have All the Slovaks Gone?

long time passing ...

by Jes

One of the sub-themes of this summer's Free Agent silliness has been the exodus of some well-known Czech and Slovak players back to Europe. These guys either want to play at home in Czechia/Slovakia, or try out the new Kontinental Hockey League.

Jaroslav Modry is the latest Czech to say buh-bye to the NHL, signing with HC Liberec (the White Tigers, they're grrrrrrrrreat!) for two seasons.

Of course, d00d is 37 years old and was declining quite badly, but it's still sucky to have less Czech in the NHL.

Who else has left us?

Jaroslav Hlinka: Colorado Avalanche (NHL) to Linköping (SWE)
Jaromír Jágr: New York Rangers (NHL) to Avangard Omsk (RUS)
Tomáš Pöpperle: Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) to HC Sparta Praha
Martin Straka: NY Rangers (NHL) to HC Lasselsberger Plzeň
Martin Ručinský: St. Louis (NHL) to HC Sparta Praha
Josef Vašíček: NY Islanders (NHL) to Lokomotiv Jaroslavl (RUS)
David Výborný: Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) HC Sparta Praha

Jozef Balej: Manitoba Moose (AHL) to Ocelari Trinec (CZE)
Ivan Baranka: Hartford(AHL)/NY Rangers(NHL) to Spartak Moscow (RUS)
Marcel Hossa: Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) to Dynamo Riga (KHL)
Branislav Mezei: Florida Panthers (NHL) to Barys Astana
Branko Radivojevic: Minnesota Wild (NHL) to Spartak Moscow (RUS)
Stefan Ruzicka: Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) to Spartak Moscow (RUS)
Jozef Stumpel: Florida Panthers (NHL) to Barys Astana

Obviously, Jagr's departure is the one that creature all the headlines, but we have other semi-stars, regulars, and fine prospects that are heading back to Europe and giving up on the NHL.


At least we'll always have Pavol!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Mark Parrishes From the Wild

by Jes

Back when I used to cover the Florida Panthers, Mark Parrish was one of my favourite prospects on the club. I always have a soft spot for players who play the kind of game I do when I play ball hockey, and Parrish came from the school of Dave Andreychuk offensive forwards.

Sadly, Parrish has never been quite able to match Andreychuk's numbers, or come close to them, and will probably be known more for being part of the awful Roberto Luongo deal than anything else.

It shouldn't be a huge surprise to see that the Wild, facing some cap issues, had to waive Parrish and his $2.5M+ salary.

"Do I think Mark Parrish can still play in the league, can he make some adjustments to still be effective? Yes," [GM Doug] Risebrough said.

The presence of Parrish, who was paid $2.5 million last season, would have cost the team a salary cap hit of $2.65 million this season, bringing the Wild about $2.1 million short of the cap.

"Too close," Risebrough said. "We were looking for a little relief away from the cap."

The team had few options, he added. "I looked at Mark's salary and at what I thought his contributions would be and they were not totally in line," he said. "It's not Mark's fault;

I negotiated the contract."
Well, Parrish's contract wasn't too out of line given that he was an unrestricted free agent, but putting an offensive winger onto a defensive team and expecting good numbers isn't always the best recipe for success.

When I look at the career of Mark Parrish, I see a player whose style of play led to quite a few injuries as well as a player who only ever scored 30 goals once.

One other noticeable trend, besides the fact that Parrish was good at not taking penalties, is that Parrish NEVER got 200 shots on goal in one season ... not even close! You'd figure a net hang-a-rounder like Parrish would easily cross that threshold, but the guy never seemed to be consistent enough to be a dangerous offensive machine.

Parrish has had a solid career, and done well for a 3rd round draft pick, but I still get the feeling he could have been so much better.

* Over at Wild Puck Banter, Pavol Lover Roy Malhberg suspects that Jacques Lemaire had a hand in this transaction. Is there something between Parrish and Lemaire we don't know about?

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Sports Blogging: Does Sex Really Sell?

by Jes

One reason I am proud to do blogging for AOL's FanHouse is that the content can be very humorous without (often) pandering to the lowest common denominator. If you like shallow "lad culture", Larry the Cable Guy, and The Best Damn Sports Show, FanHouse isn't quite the place for you.

Sadly, the people who run FanHouse have decided to go in the "lad culture" direction with a new endeavor called the Fantasy Sports Girls. (The link contains a video clip)

The premise is simple: Put a bunch of scantily clad women in front of the TV camera to delivery fantasy football "news".

Oh, I did laugh quite hard when the one chick claimed they were all fantasy league champions and experts. Oh, and I believe your breasts aren't enhanced either, honey.


Honestly, I just like to blog about hockey and am happy when I can do my thing. I don't follow other sports all that much with the exception of some baseball and some MMA. I don't usually react to whatever else goes on in the sports blogosphere.

Still, I did watch that Fantasy Sports Girls video clip and felt rather sick at the obvious and cheezy pandering I was subjected to. Oh, I couldn't possibly want to watch a sports show unless it has plastic women reading off of cue cards and teleprompters!!

As I see it, men love eye candy, but I figure the kind of attention FanHouse would get is rather fleeting. I can remember when I used to watch WWE how us boys loved the Divas, but once they started wrestling, it was like *yawn*.

Eye candy is good for a snack, but that's about it. Fans don't go to games to watch cheerleaders, Ice Girls, etc ... If you really want sex, wouldn't you just surf for porn or go to Maxim?

I can only think that the female FanHouse audience is going to be rather appalled (as will be their female writers), and even many of the men will roll their eyes in some disgust.

I can fully understand why FanHouse would sell out and start pandering like this, but it certainly is a missed opportunity to not be like the others in showing a few half-titty shots to score some easy hits.


** EDIT: It appears that the shitstorm caused Management to pull down and delete the original FSG post. Sorry if you missed out on some cheesy T&A.

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Friday, July 25, 2008


Slovak Scrying: Marek Svatos

by Jes

Quite honestly, I have been surprised at how well Slovak forward Marek Svatos has done in his NHL career to date. Given that he was taken in the 7th round of the 2001 draft, I'm not the only one.

Yes, Svatos tore through the WHL as a member of the Kootenay Ice, but the dude is smaller than a leprechaun (5'10", my shiny metal ass!) and had serious injury problems before he ever hit the NHL ice surface. I never felt that Svatos would become an NHL regular given his shortcomings and brittleness.

That said, one could also view Svatos as a bit of a disappointment, given the fact that his production hasn't come close to the numbers he put up in his rookie season.

A few things are obvious ...

1. Svatos is, and will always be, a big injury risk. Not only does Svatos miss at least 15-20 games per season, but he is often playing at far less than 100%, limiting his effectiveness.

2. 2006-07 was the aberration, simply because his shot percentage was woefully low. Svatos is an excellent shooter and has a nose for the net.

3. Svatos' playmaking abilities still suck.

4. For a guy who can score 25-30 goals, Svatos gets very little ice time. Most goal scorers get at least 15 minutes a game.

Now that the Avs have signed the stunted Slovak to a 2-year contract, what can we expect from the guy?

For one thing, I don't see Svatos getting a whole lot more ice time than he's been getting. Yes, Hejduk is declining and aging, but the Avs have quite a few talented forwards and Svatos will have to fight Ryan Smyth, Darcy Tucker, Wojtek Wolski, and Milan Hejduk for ice time.

Svatos has improved his defensive game, but will likely still be pigeonholed as a 'tweener shuffling in between the 2nd and 3rd units.

So, I'd pretty much expect the same: He'll miss 15-20 games, put up 20-25 goals, and play about 13-14 minutes a game. Don't expect a massive spike in production any day soon.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I'm Looking at You, Dennis Wideman

by Jes

I remember Dennis Wideman as a rookie with the St. Louis Blues. He wasn't considered much of a prospect at all after being drafted in the 8th round, but the Blues were extremely thin on talent, and Wideman's offensive acumen and ability to run a Power Play earned him a regular spot with the Bluenotes after the lockout. Boy, was that a long season ...

The next season, the Blues dealt Wideman to Boston for sniper Brad Boyes, and I figured the Bruins were smoking something good. As much of an offensive game as Wideman might show at times, his defense was atrocious, and he isn't particularly fast or big. Don't forget Wideman's worst penalty shot attempt of all time. *facepalm*

Never did I imagine that Wideman would develop the defensive ability that he displayed with the Bruins last season, as the young blueliner emerged as a leader on the spunky Boston club. Sure, defensemen take longer to develop, and Wideman is only 25, but most 8th round draft picks with such glaring holes in their game don't usually morph into reliable 2-way players.

The Bruins obviously know what they've got, because they just signed Wideman to a new four year $15.75M contract, avoid arbitration.

Now that the Bruins have locked up Dennis the Menace, what can we expect from him in the next four seasons?

Looking at Wideman's career to date, one sees a rather sharp improvement in the defensive end, as well as a steady increase in offensive production. The advanced metrics show Wideman to be average-ish in his defensive play, a marked increase from being a total sieve early in his career.

The most glaring stat is the large spike in ice time he received last season as his role was drastically increased. Wideman's play quickly thrust him into the role of "#2 guy" behind big Zdeno Chara.

For fantasy leaguers, it would be safe to suggest that Wideman will continue to have a big role with the Bruins last season, as the team looks to make more waves and did not bring in any high priced vets to shove Wideman's ice time down.

Prediction: Wideman doesn’t shoot the puck on net as much as he should (just 2 shots on goal per game), but his passing and smarts are evident when he has the puck.

With Chara as the stalwart, Wideman is not going to put up monster point totals, but 35-40 points out of a guy few people notice could be a huge bargain in your league. Expect 10 goals and 30 assists next season.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008


HNIC Gets Stupid, Hires Milbury

By Jes

It's amazing that HNIC is as good as it is given some of the poor decisions the overpaid government employees have made over the years.

I mean, who actually thinks Greg Millen is a good colour commentator?

The latest headscratching move by HNIC was the hiring of Mike "Shoe Beater" Milbury as an analyst.

Yes, the worst GM in NHL history is supposed to offer an expert opinion.


Anyone who saw Milbury on TSN last year has to be baffled as to why CBC would waste their time and money on this doofus.

I guess they figure people like Zanstorm like the guy, especially after he called out Tiger Woods (the one and only time I've agreed with Milbury) ...

Milbury is a great addition to Satellite Hotstove. He doesn't mince words. Maybe he can beat some sense into those politically correct doofs like Ron MacLean in Mad Mike-fashion. They needed a bit of an controversial edge on the segment, and now they have it.

While people like me, who worship the Great Pavol, know better.

1. For a guy who has worked in hockey as long as Milbury has, it's amazing how little about the game he appears to know. Most HFBoards posters seem to understand the game better than Milbury (and most of them know little), and the guy is way out to lunch on most issues of the day.

2. Milbury is very "American" in his bombast and delivery, and prefers to shout, make insults, and display bravado over actual insight. Why does CBC want to imitate American broadcasts, given that people like HNIC because IT IS NOT AMERICAN!

3. Milbury is ugly, and not pleasant to look at. I don't expect great looking hockey analysts, but Milbury makes me want to throw up my popcorn, or punch his stupid, fat nose!

In the end, HNIC lowers itself and its product by hiring somebody who is neither smart nor insightful. HNIC does not need Milbury's brand of "entertainment", thank you very much.

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Monday, July 21, 2008


Darcy Hordichuk's MMA Cross-Training

by Jes

Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell is one of the better MMA fighters in recent history. If he could skate, he’d make one hell of an enforcer.

WTF does this have to do with the NHL?, you be askin.

Well, it appears that Darcy Hordichuk, one of the NHL’s bigger beasts, has been training with Liddell to become an even more effective fighter.

“John, I think, is one of the best trainers in the world and [has] produced some of the best fighters in the world,” Hordichuk said about his reason for contacting Hackelman. “In hockey, there is a lot of fighting, and that’s sort of my role. The guys nowadays are getting a lot bigger and stronger, and I’m always going to stay my same size, so I thought, why not get the edge and come train here at The Pit with John?”

Added Hackelman about his newest client’s progress, “His punching power has probably increased five times. Just by the turn of the hip and whipping the shoulder around.”
Five times, my ass ...

Hockey enforcers have long attended fighting schools or boxing classes to improve their skills, but it’s still interesting that they’d go to an MMA guy to get better.

Are we going to see Hordichuk go into the guard and put Riley Cote (who also has MMA training) into an armlock? Perhaps a rear naked choke?

One could only dream ...

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Please STFU About Mats Sundin

by Jes

I know that news is slow in the hockey world these days, but the whole hubbub over Mats Sundin is just a tad ridiculous, don't you think?

Alanah over at Canucks and Beyond is bouncing off the walls after a KHL contact, and we know how trustworthy those Russians are, told a newspaper about why Sundin turned down a KHL offer.

Umicevic's contact in Russia told him that an unspecified KHL club was very interested in signing Sundin (which is certainly believable) and that Sundin's agent turned them down (also believable, sure) because he had already signed with Vancouver. (Ummm... say what?!?).

Per a REAL source, Mats Sundin himself, the big troll won't make a decision until the first week of August.

So, what do we know for sure.

1. No decision for two weeks
2. Toronto and Vancouver are the most likely decisions
3. Sundin likes fishing
4. Sundin goes to the bathroom more than 3 times a day.

So, please no more Sundin no-news until he actually makes an actual frickin' decision. Thanks.

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Friday, July 18, 2008


Random Ramblings On The Mess in Nashville

by Jes

Over at FanHouse, Kevin Schultz pointed out the fact that the NHL's screen process for potential new owners leaves a lot to be desired. Instead of a slum-dunk owner like Jim Balsillie (a guy who actually knows hockey), we get corporate crooks like Henry Samueli, the train wreck that is the new ownership of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and now this whole "Boots" Del Biaggio fiasco.

As an accountant, I know that any multi-million dollar purchase requires a whole lot of due diligence. If you are handing over the keys to the castle, you have to make sure the buyer actually has the money, and won't burn the place down after a couple of weeks.

Reasons for due diligence:
1. To ensure the dude has enough $ to pay for the purchase of the team.
2. To ensure the dude has enough $ to sustain the team and keep it going.
3. To ensure the dude won't ruin the team and/or bring harm to the team(run it into the ground, give it a bad name, etc)
4. To ensure dude's reputation/criminal record/dealings won't hurt your own name/brand/business.

As we well know, the NHL did not do its due diligence on "Boots" Del Biaggio, and the guy didn't have all of the money he claimed to have.

To rub salt in the wounds? Doug Bergeron, one of the potential investors for the Preds, recalls "Boots" bragging about how easy the NHL was on doing their homework. (Assist to Mirtle)

"Boots bragged to me that he was able to convince Bettman's office to overlook the need for his audited financial statements because it was too much work."

So, why isn't Bettman feeling more heat for this?

In almost any other industry, failing to do your research on such a buyer would land you on the firing line. Instead of looking like a professional business, the NHL appears to be an old boys country club where friendships matter more than actual business acumen.

Honestly, I haven't been following this story all too closely. If you want to know more, head on over to "On The Forecheck" blog where our favourite Preds blogger has the full analysis of this sick situation.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008


Canucks Get Another Brutal Schedule

by Jes

I usually don't get too excited when the NHL releases its schedule for the upcoming season, but news is slow and my curiosity is piqued.

Looking at the Canucks schedule, the big news is that they'll begin the season at home versus Todd Bertuzzi and the Calgary Flames. A nice way to start the season. Practice those boos and hisses.

Unfortunately, the Canucks are then scheduled to play SIX straight away games versus Calgary, Washington, Detroit, Buffalo, Chicago, and Columbus.

Yes, the Canucks get fux0red over by the schedule makers once again. Instead of making one nice Eastern seaboard sweep, the Canucks have to travel across the continent again in November to play the two New York teams. As if the Western teams don't have enough travel to do!

While this might seem like sour grapes, the long and grueling travel schedule does take its toll on the West Coast teams over the course of a season. How many Stanley Cup winners have we had here? Exactly, one.

While the Eastern teams can almost ride a bike to half of their games, teams like the Canucks are forced to make two or three cross-country roads trips every season, and it certainly has a negative effect on their play. The least the NHL can do is try to ensure that all West Coast/Alberta teams make one cross-continent trip each year and play their games in one swoop.


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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


An Off-Season Look at ... The Minnesota Wild

by Jes

Much to the joy of Canucks fans, the off-season has not been terribly kind to the Minnesota Wild.
Besides losing His Worship Pavol Demitra to free agency, the Wild also lost 2-way rock star Brian Rolston, as well as Branko Radivojevic.

Replacing them? An overpaid over-the-hill Owen Nolan.


Let's check out the roster and salary commitments for the Wild as of right now.

Goaltending - Harding and Backstrom give the Wild a fairly strong pair for reasonable salary.

Defence - The strength of the Wild, with a noticeably pricey salary structure. Not a lot of good deals down here, but a group that possesses good mobility and puck moving. The Wild will obviously utilize their speed and passing to keep up a good transition game.

Forwards - The big weakness of the Wild, especially after the departures of Rolston and Demitra. The Wild have a few decent weapons, and little else. Nolan is a decent role player, and Parrish's offence has declined in his later career. Overall, this forward group won't put up many goals.

Never underestimate what Jacques Lemaire can do with a club, and we know the Wild will certainly be tough to play against. For sure, the Wild will be even more boring to watch on TV as Lemaire will have to tighten his system even further.

Right now, the Wild don't appear to be a playoff-bound club, despite what magic Lemaire can make. The Wild will certainly be a great team at preventing goals, but the lack of quality talent and lack of offence will ultimately kill this club.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Emery Comes Clean - Sorta

by czechmate

Okay, consider this the closing chapter on my tyrade against Ray "Rayzor" Emery. Or is it "Sugar" Ray Emery? Who cares, he's off to Siberia...

So, I was watching Off The Record last night on TSN, simply to hear what Emery would have to say about his tumultuous season with the Senators last year. It was the first time he publicly spoke about being bought out, and what went wrong in a season that started out holding a lot of promise...

Now, I won't bore you with a repetition of all the nonsense Emery was linked to last year, but rather I'll address some of the things he said on OTR last night, most of which seemed insincere and rather arrogant... The quotes below are from's transcript of some of the more salient points made...

"It started off tough and I just didn't uphold my end of the deal," said the former Senators' goalie. "I thought I deserved certain chances and instead of working for them, I pouted a bit."
Pouted a bit? If that's what you want to call it, then fine. I'd call it acting like a big baby and throwing temper tantrums at every opportunity, but I guess that's semantics... At least he got the first part right - he definitely didn't uphold his end of the $3.5M contract he was awarded with in the summer prior to the season...

Asked about being late for practices, Emery chuckled and responded:
"I seriously have a tough time showing up on time," he said. "I smacked a water bottle around one day and they said that was me pouting because I wasn't playing, but really I was just pissed off because I didn't do well that practice."
I could swear that for $3.5M, he could invest in a better alarm clock, or subscribe to a wakeup call service of some sort... Hell, the way he puts it, it sounds more like "I didn't really feel like going, but knew I had to, so I went in late..." Possible as well is that he's being genuine, but how could he know how well he had done in practice after spending only 11 minutes on the ice (

Asked if he was trying to protest against the club somehow when he showed up late in Long Island (where he claimed to go to the wrong arena), Emery said:
"I wasn't trying to make a statement, (January 28th) was after the All-Star break and I went to the game rink and they were at the practice rink," explained Emery. "I apologized for it then, it was my fault but like I said, I'm not the guy who's really nervous about being late."
Are you serious Ray? How sincere could that apology have been, when he's pretty much defending his actions by holding up his (weak) character. Realistically, this is like saying "they should have known it was just me being me..."

One valid comment he made, albeit I believe it to be inaccurate, was concerning the team's rapid descent in the second half of the season:
"I think it was a panic thing. The team started off so strong and when there was a bit of insecurity there, maybe (the Senators) started to panic and collapse even more."
I like how he didn't say "we" started to panic, but rather "they"... Real team guy there... Anyway, I believe this statement to be inaccurate because of the likelihood that what really sank the team was the complete and total reliance on one line to produce offence. Seriously, during the playoffs, the Spezza/Heatley/Alfie line looked completely gassed. There may have been some element of panic when they dismissed John Paddock from his coaching position, or at the trade deadline, but really, I believe my assessment makes more sense.

Landsberg finally got to the main issue everyone wanted to hear directly from Emery, namely the ideas that Emery had a drug problem. Emery again laughed, and replied:

"No, I don't have a drug problem."

The netminder explained that he thought the rumour was just a result of being seen out at clubs and admitted that the Senators had asked about it.

Being out at clubs, and being a drug addict are two different things. However, his quick dismissal may be interpreted in three ways. 1 - He's telling the truth, and doesn't do drugs. 2 - He does drugs, but doesn't think it is problematic. 3 - He is lying, since admitting to having a drug problem would likely spell the end of his career, especially if he doesn't feel compelled to seek treatment. My theory is "I don't have a problem, because I can afford the drugs, and still usually perform at a high level, despite being on them the night before..." sounds about right. He apparently hangs out with guys who also aren't drug addicts, as shown in the image below (taken from

The clincher for me, at least in terms of him showing he's a dumbass who realizes he has some problems, was his quote about what was to come in the future:
"Like I said, I want to change things about myself, wipe the slate clean and move to a new place."
In other words - most of what they said about me is true, so I want to get the hell out of dodge and hope people forget all this crap by next summer, so I can go back to being a slacker who makes a pile of money.

At any rate, at least he showed up on time for the taping of the show. Apparently he was early, according to Landsberg!! Way to go Ray! Now don't forget to adjust your alarm clock when you get to Russia. It's a helluva time shift. Also - and this is just friendly advice - try to get there at least a couple of weeks early, to get over the jet-lag you'll surely use as an excuse once you show up late for the first practice of training camp...

Until next time,
Na Zdravi!

Monday, July 14, 2008


The Penguins Turn to Satan

by Jes

For much of his early career, I referred to Miro Satan as "Zero" Satan, as that is about how much effort and emotion he displayed on a nightly basis. Satan just oozes talent and has puck-handling skills rivaled by few NHLers, but he's had a habit of not putting up as many points as I think he ought to be able to.

After settling in with the Buffalo Sabres, Miro finally seemed to 'get it' and turned into a dangerous player. His leadership qualities mutated almost out of nowhere, and he was a regular captain for the Slovak team at various events. It was a surprising, but welcome, development.

Unfortunately, during his last season with the Sabres, Satan was spurned for the Sabres' captaincy and started whining and playing his way out of Buffalo. Miro was clearly stung and couldn't handle not being the top dog in the pound. His play deteriorated and he was soon headed for Long Island.

Satan is clearly no longer one of the top threats in the NHL, and his production, and attention to defence, has really declined over the past few seasons.

Year Team GP G A Pts +/-
1995-96 EDM 62 18 17 35 0
1996-97 EDM 64 17 11 28 -4
1996-97 BUF 12 8 2 10 1
1997-98 BUF 79 22 24 46 2
1998-99 BUF 81 40 26 66 24
1999-00 BUF 81 33 34 67 16
2000-01 BUF 82 29 33 62 5
2001-02 BUF 82 37 36 73 14
2002-03 BUF 79 26 49 75 -3
2003-04 BUF 82 29 28 57 -15
2005-06 NYI 82 35 31 66 -8
2006-07 NYI 81 27 32 59 -12
2007-08 NYI 80 16 25 41 -11

I was rather surprised that the Penguins would sign Satan to a 1-year $3.5M deal, even if they need the depth at forward.

Given that Satan is going to be 34 years-old next season, and was never the fastest cat to boot, I guess a decline can be expected.

It's just that, well, Satan has reverted back to his ZERO ways and doesn't look like he's worth that much money or a roster spot on a good team.

Watching Satan play last season, the guy looked SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. Oh, the slick puckhandling skills were evident, but the guy looked like he was skating on quicksand. A lack of effort, age-related slowdown, or both?

I just wonder which Satan will show up for the Pens. While he clearly isn't first line material, he ought to be good for 20 goals and 50 points with a talented Pens team. Clearly, this is likely his last shot to prove that he hasn't fallen off a cliff like Jozef Stumpel did last season. If Satan's puts up the same crappy numbers, he'll likely be playing in that KHL before too long.


Movie Rant:

Will Smith, the king of the summer blockbuster, has loads of talent ... and I know I'll sound like a douche for questioning the decision making of a guy who has made millions and will make millions more ... but it seems like he wastes himself playing in less-than-stellar films. This summer's Hancock, which I haven't seen, looks to be another dud.

Amazingly, choosing Wild Wild West over The Matrix didn't kill Smith's career, which speaks to his talent and power. It does show, however, that Smith often chooses the quick buck over making a quality movie.

Look at this list ...

1999 Wild Wild West - One of the worst movies ever made, and not in a 'good-bad' way, either.
2001 Ali - An Oscar nomination and a career saver.
2002 Men in Black II - AN unnecessary sequel and not very good
2003 Bad Boys II - Another unnecessary sequel
2004 I, Robot - Another terrible movie that may lead to another bad sequel
2005 Hitch - Zzzzzz
2006 The Pursuit of Happyness - A boring movie (I thought so), but one that was well received and actually known for its quality.
2007 I Am Legend - Very disappointing movie that was expected to be better
2008 Hancock - Doesn't look good

When Will Smith retires, is he simply going to be known for summer blockbusters and nothing else? Looking at that list, most of his movies are not memorable in the least, and even Independence Day, which was one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, has aged very poorly.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008


Video of the Day: Street Soccer

by Jes

My pal Joeri passed along this cool video of French prankster Remi Gaillard.

Yes, these gags are real. The first one has to be the most hilarious and most ballsy.
Who knew soccer could actually be enjoyable to watch? :)

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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Friday, July 11, 2008


It's Pavol Time!

by Jes

Now that the shock of the news of Crown Prince Pavol Demitra (Our lord, Jedi Master, and archbishop of the Church of the Shiny Head) signing a 2-year deal with the Canucks has abated somewhat, I am composed enough to make a coherent post without going too OMGfanboy on your asses.

On the hockey side, this deal is a good one for the Canucks. A 2 year investment at $4mil is both reasonable for the cost and not going to put the Canucks in any sort of bind.

Compared Demitra to Naslund and you can see that the Canucks will get similar production, at the very least, for $2M/season cheaper AND not have a guy who sulks all the frickin time.

Demitra can play both center and on the wing (where he is better), can play well in all situations, which gives Alain Vigneault a lot of flexibility in his constant line juggling. At least now we have a secondary offensive threat, although the Canucks still need at least one more talented and proven forward to really get serious about a playoff run.

Unlike James Mirtle, I don’t see Demitra as potential captain material to replace Naslund. While Demo was one of the rotating flavour-of-the-month Kapitans for the Wild, his personality isn't really suited for the position.

On the non-hockey side, this deal, obviously, has me more content than Richard Simmons in a room full of obese housewives. Never did I ever think Pavol Demitra would END UP IN VANCOUVER!!!!!1111111oneoneone


Then, suddenly, we get Mike Gillis as an agent, the pieces fall together ... it's all so sudden.

For years, I've struggled to have much of a real emotional attachment to my hometown club as there have been so few players that I've actually liked all that much: Trevor Linden, Jiri Slegr, and Jan Bulis v2.0 is pretty much all there was.

It didn't help that the Canucks had many players I really disliked, such as Bertuzzi, Ruutu, Cooke, and Tarantula Head. I cheered more for the laundry than the players, and my fandom was never quite as deep as it was during the days of Lumme, Smyl, Linden v1.0, Captain Kirk, and Pavel Bure.

Wouldn't you find it a bit hard if your absolute favourite player was off somewhere else?

Having Pavol on the Canucks will permit me to invest more of myself into the team, and have my heart stomped on even more so than it usually is by this frickin club. It's hard to be a Pavol fan when he's playing for a hated division rival, or for the bland LA Kings.

For my entire Canucks fandom, I have rare seriously considered buying a sweater of any sort. It wasn't just because some of the designs sucked (the first Killer Whale sweater, ftl), but because by the time I actually had $$ to purchase such a luxury good, I, instead, bought a DEMITRA Blues sweater, for obvious reasons.

Now? I'm going to be hunting hard for a good place to get my #38 Canucks sweater to wear. I expect few around here will have the same, and I can laugh at them as their BERTUZZI, NASLUND, and COOKE sweaters are merely retro crap.

To all of you haters, such as Zanstorm over at Waiting for Stanley, you are not invited to my Pavol Demitra-themed Christmas bash this December.

You know who else will be happy to have Pavol? Roberto Luongo.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008


Sugar Ray Russia's Problem Now...

by Czechmate

Living in Ottawa, but not being a Senators' fan, it was rather amusing to read about the real-life soap opera that was taking place in our Nation's Capital last hockey season. The heir apparent to the starting goaltender's position, Ray Emery, made headlines on a frequent and regular basis, but it had little to do with hockey...

There was the tardiness for practice. There was the lack of work ethic. There were altercations with teammates. But people had to see this coming, right?

Let's go back even further...

Ray Emery was drafted by the Senators 99th overall in 2001, and went to Binghamton to play for three seasons, making occasional appearances with the big team during that time. While with the B-Sens, he put up solid, if unspectacular numbers. But, organizationally, he was deemed to be the eventual replacement to Patrick Lalime (or later, Dominik Hasek). The kid had it made!

Now, after an unceremonious farewell was bid to Hasek, who ceded his spot in goal to Emery after being injured at the 2006 Olympic games, Emery was on the fast-track to stardom. He became the team's starter, and helped lead the team to their first ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, where the Sens ran into a behemoth from Anaheim...

During the summer months, he was given his first big money contract, a three-year pact that would see him rake in a total of $9.5-million.

Then, the trouble started...

During training camp, Emery apparently cut off a senior citizen in his big white Hummer, and then proceeded to threaten the old man once he managed to pull up alongside him. The man, who was 65 years old, opted not to press charges on Emery for the incident.

Then, "Sugar" Ray injured his wrist, and it became clear he wouldn't be available to start the season, which gave the green light to Martin Gerber. Emery, unhappy with having to work his way back into the lineup after Gerber showed he was competent, began to be a distraction and nuissance.

He was late for practice on several occasions, including once on Long Island where he claimed to have gone to the wrong arena. John Paddock, who was coach at the time, sent him home.

Then, there were questions of his work ethic, as he would routinely mail it in at practices.

His act wore so thin that he even ended up fighting the team's tough guy, Brian McGrattan (now with Phoenix).

He reportedly also had scraps with Chris Neil and Wade Redden on other occasions.

Through all of this, the Senators finally began to unravel, and found themselves taking a nose-dive from the top of the Eastern Conferece to nearly missing the playoffs. Simply, Ray Emery had created a major rift in the locker-room. Heck, he even could be considered responsible for John Paddock's dismissal!

And what does all this piss and vinegar get you? A paid trip to Siberia.

I'm sure Emery will fit right in over there. Either that, or he'll continue his antics and find himself in some Gulag (I'm sure there's still a few operating secretly over there). I'm hoping for the latter.

Now, I started the article by suggesting we should all have seen this coming from Rayzor. Why?

Well, Emery, after getting the nod as the team's official number one goaltender, had a custom helmet made, as most goalies will do these days... Instead of something representing the team, or some heavy metal graphic, or even Patrick Lalime's "Marvin the Martian" design, Emery went with....

Mike freakin' Tyson!!! Now, I'm not saying Tyson wasn't a good boxer at the peak of his career, but really, what was Emery thinking? Oh, yeah - he was thinking "I'm Ray Emery, a bigshot".

Anyway, the minute I saw that helmet, I knew this kid would be trouble. Sure enough, only a couple years later and he's been bought out, received only 3 offers - which included two-way contract provisions, and is heading for the KHL!

His agent, JP Barry summed it up best:

"Unfortunately, it's only been a short time since the buyout and there isn't anybody willing to give (Emery) a second chance at this time," said Emery's agent J.P. Barry to the Sun Media. "I think if people knew the things that he's done over the last little while to turn the corner, there might be more interest out there."

According to Barry, Emery had hoped to play in the NHL next season, but received just three calls.

"Given his offer from Atlant, in Ray's circumstances, we feel the best thing for him to do is play as the No. 1 goalie with this club. Ray is excited about the opportunity and just wants to go back to focusing on being the best goalie that he can be. He knows there will be a lot of pressure, but he's ready for that and he's looking forward to moving on," Barry added.

"It is best for him to get away and to work hard on just being a goalie. He knows that the Russian teams practise very hard, and that is what he needs right now. It is a very competitive league with many talented offensive players. It will be the test that he needs right now to show everyone that he is still an elite goaltender."
Good riddance!

On another note, I wanted to point out an article from AOL Fanhouse, written by Jes, about the new Anaheim farm team. No, they're not the Mini-Ducks or anything waterfowl related at all in fact. Presenting: THE IOWA CHOPS! Check it out. It's pretty funny...

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OMFG!! Pavol Demitra is a Canuck!

by Jes



So, it's official.

My favourite player landing with my hometown team ... hell must be reeeeeeeeeeaallly cold today

I'll post more tomorrow after I recover from my heart attack.

If anyone knows where to get the best deals on customized jerseys/sweaters in Vancouver, please let me know. Yes, I finally have incentive to get a Canucks sweater after 29 years.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008


John Davidson's Revenge

by Jes

When the Blues' John Davidson signed Canucks winger Steve Bernier to an offer sheet, we knew that it was based on one thing: SPITE!

While the move makes sense from a hockey standpoint, it is obvious that the offer was made only because the Canucks made a similar RFA offer sheet to the Blues' David Backes.

“Steve is a good young player who would play a big part in our youth movement,” said Davidson. “Our coaches and scouting staff are extremely positive about him.”

Did JD say that with a straight face?

Despite negotiating the RFA offer sheets into the CBA (and it's not a NEW thing), GM's get so childish when one of their players is signed to an offer sheet. Just witness Brian Burke going ballistic (over and over again) after Kevin Lowe signed Dustin Penner to such a deal.

So, why do GM's get so petty when an offer sheet is made?

1. Inflation - Let's face it, Steve Bernier would not have been given $2.5M by the Canucks, nor Backes by the Blues. GM's don't like seeing younger players get more money than they would have been offered by their 'owning' club.

2. Meddling - GM's, being middle-age executives, have large egos that can't handle somebody being in their business.

GM's often get pwned by the agents/PA, so when a fellow GM's makes an offer sheet, it's basically looked like cutting the legs from out under that particular executive. When you make an offer sheet, you are certainly getting your nose involved in another team's business.

Well, it's time for GM's to grow up and realize that the RFA Offer Sheets are simply part of the business. All 30 teams must compete with each other, so why shouldn't they be looking to acquire talent by any means necessary.

Certainly, a smart GM won't go making dozens of offer sheets and pissing off GMs, but a smart offer sheet is simply another tool to acquire talent, or at least TRY to acquire talent.

Really, if GM's are so worried about salary inflation, they'd stop offering insane UFA deals like $3.5M a season for the likes of Jeff Finger. I don't see GM's going after each other in the press for signing such moronic contracts. Do you? (Except for Brian Burke, who loves to hear his own voice)

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008


So, When Does My Heart Get Broken?

by Jes

I was perusing the usual sites at lunchtime and came across this brief posting at

In an interview with Vancouver radio station CKNW, free agent forward Pavol Demitra confirmed that the Canucks are his preferred destination and expects to sign with the team.

"I think there is a good chance," Demitra said.

"[Current Canucks GM Mike Gillis] used to be my agent for a long time. We are very good friends. I am very interested in playing for [the Canucks]."

Demitra was recently in town to visit with former teammate Geoff Courtnall, the two played together in St. Louis, and confirmed
that the Canucks fit what he is looking for in a team.

"I want to play for a team that is going to win, [one] who is going to compete for the playoffs and the Stanley Cup."

Demitra was not sure when he would sign with the Canucks, only that it could happen in the next few days or the next few weeks.

"[Signing with the Canucks] would be great," Demitra finished.

This time next week: Pavol Demitra signs with the LA Kings :(

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Vancouver's Expensive New Olympic Toy

by Jes

I've made it known that I'm not a big fan of the Olympics these days, especially since British Columbia (Well, the Lower Mainland) was cursed with holding this expensive two-week corporate wankfest.

Once again, John Furlong, the guy in charge of making sure big corporations and building developers rape the taxpayers violently (that's his unofficial title), took the chance to through his powder-puffed nose.

"We've done here what many people said we couldn't do -- we came home from Prague and we made a commitment in front of the world that we would get this project on time and on budget, and we would give the athletes the chance to use these venues two seasons before the Games," crowed VANOC boss John Furlong.

It's a promise kept. It's a mission accomplished."

Want a good idea of how much Right-Wing/Corporate ass our major media kiss here in Vancouver?

The Vancouver Sun, a dishrag that I wouldn't even allow my dog to poop on, declared the building to be ahead of schedule and below budget.

Built at a cost of $48.7 million, most of it from Vanoc, the facility was completed four months ahead of schedule.


Most of the money from VANOC? Umm, no, the money is coming from the pockets of BC Taxpayers. Remember, folks, VANOC, nor its members, were ever ELECTED to spend our money like a drunk Hollywood widow.

The next time the Mainstream Mediots blast us blogs for lacking fact-checking, they ought to look in the mirror. This outright lying simply degrades the already pathetic product put out by the CanWest rags, and continually excuses the government for their poor asset management.

In addition to this, I see a lot of other MSM outlets picking up the same misinformation. They simply copy-and-paste from CanWest, failing to actually check the facts, and going to VANOC's website and looking at the original budgets.

24 Hours, a free daily known for having better journalistic integrity than the pay papers, chopped up those lies like fresh green onions.
Based on the five-year-old Vancouver 2010 bid book, however, the University of B.C. complex is $6.7 million over budget and nine months beyond its original October 2007 completion target.

This new arena is going to seat a whopping 7,500 people for what amounts to a month's worth of good hockey games. The rest of the time? It'll seat the 200 people who actually want to watch Canadian University hockey.

Money well spent ... riiiiight.

Face it, you shallow Yaletown Yuppies, the only people who benefit from the Olympics are those few corporations that are getting lucrative government contracts. Instead of solving real issues, like homelessness, housing the mentally ill, and environmental technology, we get money spend on expensive sporting facilities that will never provide their worth to the people.

With expensive ticket prices, excessive "security", and millions of taxpayers money wasted, this is one event I wish that Vancouver had never won.

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Monday, July 07, 2008


Mediot of the Day: Jim Kelley

by Jes

Jim Kelley, as Dominik Hasek will tell you, is one of those pasty, overweight sports writers that likes to think himself as above the NHL players that provide him with the means to make a living. You know, the 'nerd' who likes to chop down the 'jock' any chance he gets.

Kelley's latest verbal diarrhea sees him chastise Mats Sundin for *gasp* actually telling NHL GM's that he's unsure about if he wants to play hockey next season, instead of signing the first big offer that came his way.

I do have a problem that he waited until after pretty much all the offers were on the table before he announced that decision.

Given the number of hints he gave out between the end of the regular season and the day before the start of the silly season, Sundin's proclamation wasn't totally unexpected, but do you really he didn't come to this conclusion until late in Day Two of the bidding for his services?

I don't think so. (snip)

Had Sundin opted out before the start of free agency, don't you think that it's at least possible that the Vancouver Canucks might have targeted another centre or a player who could play centre; a Marion Hossa might not have been a perfect fit, but a Brian Rolston might have gotten a good deal, maybe even a better one (and one he wanted to accept) that he settled for in New Jersey.

Kelley is his very finite wisdom declares that Mats should personally call each and every GM who bid on his services to tell them to go on as if he's not going to be part of their plans. Somehow, it's Mats' fault if a particular GM didn't have a Plan B.

... uhh ... OK

So, Mats should tell the GM's what they already know?

You'd have to be a complete moron, or Mike Gillis, to put all of your eggs in one basket with one potential free agent signing. If you are a smart GM, you budget $X for free agent signings, and make signings up to $X, dishing out offers to various free agents until that budget room is used up.

ANY GM worth their salt would be making offers to other free agents, and then, if Mats should come back a week later and say "OK", the GM can say, "Sorry, but you were too slow. The offer is off the table." A smart GM does not make an offer to just ONE free agent, and then sit on their hands waiting for an answer.

Mats has every right to take as damn long as he wants to sign any deal (and he'll be back, we all know that), and doesn't need to tell the GM's anything. It's not as if Mats is spouting BS out there and making false promises. He's a FREE agent, and can do as do well as he pleases.

Why should every potential free agent sign a new deal at midnight on July 1st? Why shouldn't Mats let the offers roll in? Why shouldn't Mats take time to consider the decision that will impact his entire life for the next 12-24 months?

Look, Mats Sundin knows that by taking his sweet time, he'll lose some potential offers, as well as gain new ones. It's called risk/reward. Mats has enough leverage and money in the bank not to need to make a hasty decision.

Mats owes neither the league nor any GM anything other than what he's paid to do: play hockey.

(Read the comments at the bottom of the article. It's funny to see readers take Kelley to task for his stupidity)

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Sunday, July 06, 2008


Moving On Without Magic Mullet

by Czechmate

Believe it or not, the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t the only team who likely will be without the services of their future Hall-Of-Famer captain, regardless how many headlines the Mats Sundin saga generates. In fact, I’d put forth the notion that Sundin isn’t the biggest name out there who may retire from the NHL or switch teams. No, I’m not talking about Joe Sakic, who appears to be deciding between another year in Colorado or packing it in. I’m talking of The Magic Mullet. I’m talking about Jaromir Jagr.

There has been a bit of coverage of Jagr’s decision to take his show to Russia for what will apparently be a contract that would again make him the highest paid hockey player in the world. Much of the commentary has been derisive, and has painted Jaromir as a guy who is in it for himself and a paycheque, or that he’s over the hill and wouldn’t get the same money in the NHL. I am not of that belief, other than the dollars he would command in the NHL.

JJ has been public about his intention to return to his hometown of Kladno in the Czech Republic, likely in three years. His father is building a new arena for the local Extraliga team there, and wants his son to be on the team for that occasion. Hardly anything wrong with that, in my books.

"I don't think I would sign longer than two years, just because of my dad," Jagr said in May. "He asked me to come home in two years. He's helping to build a new arena there and he wants me to be there."

However, as a Rangers’ fan, I am disappointed. Sure, Jagr’s 71 points last season represented a big drop-off in production, but then he came out and tallied 15 points in 10 playoff games. He even admitted to coasting from time to time during the regular season to leave something in the tank for the post-season. The Rangers looked like a contender, and to me, that’s a smart strategy for a 36-year old player. He knows his body better than anyone, so if he felt he needed to take it easier than usual, who are we to criticize? He still led his team in scoring...

Now, it’s time to turn the page on the Jagr era. El Capitan is gone. A new era begins.

First question: Can Markus Naslund replace Jagr’s offence?

In short, I don’t think so. Jagr is a different kind of player, and fit well with his linemates in New York. Despite what his detractors might say about him, Jagr was a powerful winger who could use his body to shield the puck from defenders better than anyone in the game. At times, he looked like an older brother playing keep-away with his younger siblings. Naslund doesn’t have that ability... Naslund, from what I’ve seen (and I’m sure Jes will confirm or correct this), is a faster skater than JJ, and has a quicker release on his shot, but he doesn’t fare well in high traffic. He does have offensive talent, but his production has been in steady decline for 5 seasons now (104pts, 84, 79, 60, 55). I’m thinking instead of calling Nazzy a replacement for the Magic Mullet, we should call him a replacement for Brendan Shanahan – an aging sniper who might be best suited to the second line and powerplay.

Second Question: If not Naslund, who will step up to fill Jagr’s role?

Well, the Rangers made a trade that almost passed under the radar. They sent stalwart defenceman Fedor Tyutin and trade deadline pickup Christian Backman, a puck-mover who hasn’t had much success at the NHL level, to the Columbus Blue Jackets. In return, they picked up Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche. Fritsche seems to have peaked as a third line player with some offensive upside, but one never knows how he’ll react under a different system than the boring defensive style played under Ken Hitchcock in Columbus. I’ve got him pencilled in on a line with Nigel Dawes and Ryan Callahan to start the season, but who knows at this point...

As for Zherdev, it’s an all or nothing scenario. Widely viewed as “enigmatic”, Zherdev really impressed me at the 2003-04 Young Stars game, where he put on a dipsy-doodling clinic. I view him as one of the absolute best one-on-one players in the game, but he has motivational problems. Amidst widely reported unhappiness due to his inability to really let it all out under Hitchcock’s reign, Zherdev had his best season to date last year with 26 goals (27 is his best) and 64 points in 82 games.

The 2006-07 NHL season was a low point for Zherdev, as he struggled to score consistently and frequently clashed with the Jackets coaching staff, leading to repeated rumors that he might be traded before the 2007-08 NHL season began. In response, new Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and coach Ken Hitchcock met Zherdev in a "clean-the-slate" meeting. Zherdev has since rediscovered success on the ice.

But it was clear that he’d bolt as soon as he reached UFA status, so they dealt him to the Rangers. I truly believe he replaces Marty Straka’s speed, although he is sometimes a defensive liability, which you couldn’t say about Straka. I see his offensive ceiling as somewhere around 85 points for next season, with 35 goals. Lots to ask for a guy who will first need to adjust to a new system, but I think he’s eager to play with Scotty Gomez as his set-up man. Also to consider are the Rangers’ top prospects – Anisimov, Cherepanov, Grachev. All Russian. Maybe we’re moving from Czech to Russian in the near future?

Last Question: Who will be the captain?

Jagr was a good captain. His coach and teammates will tell you that over the mindless humdrum of the media, who painted him as selfish and unmotivated to lead. Complete nonsense. Replacing his presence will not be easy, but the Rangers started on that last season by picking up Chris Drury. Some will say Gomez should be captain, but I’m sticking with Drury because of what I saw from him in Buffalo. Assuming Shanahan doesn’t return, Drury will be the new leader for the Blueshirts, or perhaps a rotating captaincy, although that doesn’t seem like Tom Renney’s style...

That’s it for now! Until next time:

Na Zdravi!

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Greetings Hockey Rants!

by Czechmate

Hello to all you readers out there on the interwebs! This is my first post here at Hockey Rants, and I just wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself, and to thank Jes for the chance to contribute to one of my favourite blogs! Thanks Jes!

Anyway, before I get down to the business of blogging (still seems like a weird verb to me), here's a little bit about myself and what you can expect in the days, weeks, months, years to come.

I'm a 35-year old hockey fan who lives in Ottawa, Ontario. Now, that may lead some of you to believe that I'd naturally be a fan of the Senators, but alas, they divested themselves of most of their European players, and are slowly becoming the Leafs Jr. of the NHL. I'm not into that brand of hockey... I jumped ship a few years ago to hop on the Rangers bandwagon. Oddly, I used to despise the Rangers, largely for their seeming inability NOT to spend big bucks on players who had star power, but no heart - read: Bobby Holik.

However, when I was looking for a new team to cheer for, I needed a good core group of players to attract my attention.

Being that I'm of Czech descent, I looked no further than the Rangers, who at the time were like a shinny version of our National Team. Jagr, Straka, Rozsival, Malik, Prucha, Rachunek... Now THESE are names I can pronounce! And pronounce them proudly I did (much to the chagrin of anyone within earshot)!

But, I'm not a one trick pony. I also cheer for teams like Washington and Nashville, who are up-and-comers. Not going to get into Pittsburgh just yet. I'm still recovering from carpal tunnel syndrome from the last discussion I had with one of the bloggers at my own site...

Anyway, with all the moves the Rangers have made (farewell o ye of the great Mullet), it's gearing up to be an interesting season. Many of my posts will center on them, although I plan on chiming in on other teams as well...

Thanks again for having me, and until next time:

Na Zdravi!


Post-Vacation Viewings

by Jes

While on vacation, I was able to access some brief internet forays and day-old newspapers for a bit of NHL news. What I saw was the usual blend of GM madness, Canucks inaction, and Leafs stupidity.


  • The Canucks have put all of their eggs in a cheap Ikea basket with their 2-year offer for Mats Sundin ... $20mil!! If it doesn't work, what is Plan B? I'm a bit nervous about any plan that relies on a guy to make up his mind and ultimately not choose the Canucks.

    To those Canucks fans comparing Sundin to Messier: Shut the hell up!

    Mats has nary the ego nor lack of drive that Messier had. Messier already had 6 cups, a history of big egoness, and no incentive to win. Sundin? He's still waiting to get his name on the cup.

    That is why I think Sundin won't choose the Canucks. Yes, our GM is offering the most cash, but why would Sundin want to play for a mediocre team? If he wanted to do that, he could stay in Toronto.

  • Meanwhile, the Canucks signed 4th-line/PK specialist Ryan Johnson, because we never have enough of those ... but made up for that by trading 2 draft picks for Steve Bernier.

    Remember how Bernier was a big up-and-comer for the San Jose Sharks? At one point, he appeared to be a solid 30-goal Power Forward in the making.

    He didn't do much in San Jose, and I blame Ron Wilson's choking system for that. Just ask Patrick Marleau how hard it is to produce offense for that coach.

    Bernier clearly needed a change of scenery, and we saw how he could produce during his short Sabres' tenure.

  • The Lightning are mighty busy, signing and trading with the intent of becoming instant contenders.

    The problem? Their defense really sucks, and their goaltending duo isn't exactly solid like a rock.

    The Lightning D thus far: Matt Carle, Filip Kuba, Shane O'Brien, Paul Ranger, Alex Picard, and Matt Smaby

    Yeah ...

  • Speaking of the Lightning ... Olaf Kolzig?

    This move surprised me for 2 reasons

    1. Anyone who saw Kolzig play last season should clearly see that Godzilla is finished
    2. Kolzig seemed intent of being a Cap-or-nothing.

    I guess $ talks. In this case, it's saying stupid things.

  • Maid Marian Hossa signed a 1-year deal with the Wings for just over $7mil.

    To Wings fans, you have to understand why the rest of us are very angry at this.

    Simply put: The rich get richer.

    When 29 other teams are trying to win the Cup, it pains us to see a star player take less money to play with the Wings. Imagine if a lot of players started doing this, and the top 4-6 teams were constantly able to lure star talent for 1-2 years for cup runs?

    That said, I'm not gonna be like Skeletor Gallagher (I'm too lazy to link his crappy article) and rip on Hossa for what he did.

    1. Who cares if Hossa's salary isn't $9-10 mil! Is the NHLPA really going to suffer? Mmm, try looking at some of the signings. Exactly.

    2. Hossa has every frickin right to sign with whatever team he wants at whatever price he can get. So, he wants to forego some security and a couple of mil to play for the Wings ... he earned that right.

    If I were Hossa, I might very well do the same thing. With the younger UFA age, players can afford to wait 1-2 years to capitalize on that one BIG contract.

  • Jagr to Russia ... well, this does surprise me.

    1. Jagr's goofy sense of humour doesn't mesh well with serious Russians.
    2. Russian hockey is extremely defensive and passive in nature. Why does Jagr want to play in a system that is opposite to his own style?

    It must be the women.
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    Wednesday, July 02, 2008


    Leafs Give Their Fans The Finger

    by Jes

    So, I'm on vacation here, checking out the Internets for a few mins whilst sipping a bitter Americano ... mmmm ...

    This one signing really caught my eye

    The Toronto Maple Leafs jumped into the free agent market on Tuesday, signing defenceman Jeff Finger to a four-year deal worth $3.5 million a season

    Jeff Finger for $3.5mil a season??!?!

    A guy with less than 100 games NHL experience and one who hasn't proven himself to ever be above-average gets $3.5mil a season?

    Wow ...


    Apparently, one of the links in my linkroll led to a very nasty site. I've taken the link down, and apologize to all those who were redirected to something their eyes weren't meant to see.

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