Friday, August 31, 2007


An Off-Season Look At ... The Vancouver Canucks

by Jes

It's about time that I whip out the EXCEL spreadsheets and have a look at how certain teams look heading into the season.

The Vancouver Canucks have had a very quiet off-season, which can be good or bad, depending on your point of view.

Other than parading out new uniforms, signing Aaron Miller, and not re-signing Jan Bulis, the Canucks and GM David Nonis have been content to sit back and let the other teams go insane in the free agent market. Sure, Nonis did spend money on Bieksa's extension, but that was money well spent.

Instead of fixing the woeful offence, Nonis focused on making the defence stronger. Looking at the Canucks, they have exceptional goaltending, and one of the best 1-6 defence corps in the league. No superstars on D, but slots 1-4 are well above average, and Krajicek/Miller are no worse than average.

The Canucks' problem is that they have a lot of forwards who can't score consistently at the NHL level (Burrows, Isbister, Kesler) and guys like Cooke and Morrison who don't justify their ice time and salaries.

The Canucks do have some room for a 2nd line scoring winger type, or Jan Bulis, but not much else. Unless Forsberg would take a massive discount, or play for just 10 games, he's not going to come north of the border.

Last season, the Canucks vastly outperformed their Pythagorean record.
With 222 goals for, and 201 goals against, the Canucks had a pythag record of .550 win percentage (222GF-201GA), yet finished with an actual win % of .64! Teams that perform so far above their pythag records can expect a regression to the mean, although the Canucks perchant for defensive hockey could easily skew such a thing.

I don't expect a Division title this time around, especially since we're in a tough division, but I do expect a playoff spot. It'll be a tight race between an improved Colorado squad, and those damn Wild. Calgary will be tough, but I expect Keenan will do more harm than good, and the revamping of 4/6 of their defence will hurt.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007


Thoughts on the New Canucks Unis

by Jes

I've always been critical of the newer Canucks sweaters and logo. Very corporate, very blah. Apart from the brief period of time where either Jan Bulis or Jiri Slegr donned a Canucks sweater, the Canucks duds have never appealed to me.

So, it was my surprise that I saw the new uniforms, and my first thought was, "Wow, they don't suck!"

Sure, we're still stuck with the corporate logo, but the colour scheme is nice, the VANCOUVER on the front is the nice touch, and the overall look is an improvement on the old design. It's a very nice combination of the old and the new looks into something that really catches the eye, yet isn't too busy and garish.

Honestly, I was just hoping that the Canucks wouldn't screw up like many other teams appear to be doing. I'm certainly not going to go out and buy one of these sweaters (unless Pavol Demitra miraculously ends up as a Canuck), nor would I put this in my Top 10.

Opinion in Vancouver and around the Canucks blogosphere seems rather mixed. Some really like it, and some really hate it.

Alanah at

I was going to add some thoughts about what I think of these, but what the hell does one say? My favorite has always been the stick-in-rink vintage. I’ve never been a big fan of the orca, simply because I saw it more closely associated with the Orca Bay company rather than with my team, but I realize a lot of other people are fans. However, wouldn’t it have benefited from some minor color changes to the logo, to adapt to the new jersey colors?

Anyway, I’ll be sticking with my own vintage Luongo jersey—I hope others are happy with their new-look jerseys.

The Canucks Genome Project is much more vicious:
I don't mind the blue jerseys but the white jersey is "SUPERLAME". A friend of mine commented to me that it looks like we gave a smurf a rectal exam. It's true, we look like we enjoy violating smurfs by becoming smurf proctologists. Here are the photos below.

"Will Dr. Willie Mitchell come to exam room 2!"

JJ at Canucks Hockey Blog really digs the new/old look.

Well, this is something I've said in the past but I do like the simplicity of it. I'm a big fan of the vintage colors and I don't have the same animosity towards the Orca logo as some fans. Save for going back to the vintage stick and rink jersey, this look is probably the next best thing.

Zanstorm, who will be Waiting for Stanley until 2098, has mixed feelings.

But I get this feeling that these new duds may grow on me after a while. Let's face it, they do look sharp. And I can respect that they are trying to tie in history with it. But honestly, I think they should have held a fan competition or even a fan vote on what it should look like. After all, we are the ones putting out our hard-earned money to buy one of these things. (I still won't get it)
In my opinion, the members at the forum with their speculative Photoshop images for the most part made better-looking duds than the actual new ones.

And, to finish us off, Yankee Canuck reveals the 'secret' to the new design.
So, as you can see, the big difference now says Vancouver. Scoff all you want, I see the genius of this: it's a gentle reminder to the opposition of who is about to kick their stupid asses from one end of the rink to the other. Sheer brilliance.

Of course, fans will grow to love the new design if the Canucks do well this season, and will learn to hate it if the Canucks start 12-37-3.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Throw Me A Frickin' Bone, Here!

by Jes

It's late August, and the news is slow...

This Canada/Russia Summit Series Jr... is anyone paying attention?
Yeah, Canada is up 2-0, and Lucic is Captain, but *yawn*


Your woman wants sex, and you want hockey...
Compromise with this special hockey-themed thong.

Great. Now I got that Sisqo THONG SONG stuck in my head, again.

"Put it in the net, will ya?"

Somehow, this doesn't really get me going ...


Some Hockey Jokes for ya ...

"What do you say we drop the gloves and go at it?"
"Look, my teeth spell out 'I love you' in block letters!"
"My other stick curves to the right"
"So this guy says he hates hockey players because they have no tact and are easily distracted, so I ... Hey! Babe! Wanna do the nasty?"
"Bagy, yrrr so beurdiffle dat I feel I can be nacheral wif yoo."
"You heard right: I only take off this mask for two things."
"I said, 'Would you like a PUCK?'"
"You know, less teeth means more tongue!"
"I may be toothless, sweaty, and all black and blue, but I make a mean quiche Lorraine."
"I only drool when I'm standing upright."
"Hi, I'm Zam. How would you like a Zamboni ride?"
"Well if I can't score, can I get an assist?"
"Tho ... What'th your thighn?"
"C'mon baby, the iceman cometh ... but never too soon."


Andy came to work one day, limping something awful. One of his co-workers, Josh, noticed and asked Andy what happened.

Andy replied, "Oh, nothing. It's just an old hockey injury that acts up once in a while."

Josh, "Gee, I never knew you played hockey."

Andy, "No I don't. I hurt it last year when I lost $100 on the Stanley Cup play-offs. I put my foot through the television."

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Monday, August 27, 2007


Monday Morning Musings

by Jes
Good looking, famous, and dumber than a sack of potatoes. This is an apt description for the couple that is one Mike Modano and one Willa Ford.

Yes, the NHL's Pretty Boy and bimbo 'actress'got married in a private ceremony.

If these two ever have kids, you can expect some good looking tykes who will have trouble tying their own shoelaces. Basically, Paris Hilton clones. I wonder if their kids will have enough IQ points to breath without mechanical assistance.

Read more gag-inducing details over at the NHL FanHouse.

Jan Bulis has a much better car than you will ever hope to have. See?

August 27th, and still nobody has signed the guy? WTF?? Poor Alanah is being driven to drink. Greg even went to London to escape the pain.

Hat tip to Vakfan, who has his own English-language blog that gives us North Amerikaners a nice look at the hockey goings-on in Czechia.


It turns out that the Flyers are joining the growing list of teams that are moving their goal judges to far-away lands. Instead of just firing the guy, they move up him to the press box.

What the hell is the point? Just scrap the position and wake up to the 21st Century.


Over at Taking One For The Team, a few of us bloggers took part in the Salary Cap Challenge.

The premise is simple: Make a team of any 20 players that you want, so long as you fit under the $42mil salary cap set.

You can go and see my team, which is very well balanced and has enough Slovak to kick some ass. I ensured to take Samuel Pahlsson "Is God" and other defensive specialists, so my team can beat you in just about every way other than fighting.

Marian Gaborik (6.5) - Sidney Crosby (0.85) - Pavol Demitra (4.5)
Cory Stillman (1.75) - Evgeni Malkin (0.984) - Justin Williams (3.5)
Jere Lehtinen (3.9) - Jordan Staal (0.85) - Corey Perry (0.494)
Jay Pandolfo (0.836) - Sami Pahlsson (1.4) - Branko Radivojevic (0.68)
Kevin Bieksa (0.55) - Francois Beauchemin (1.65)
Dion Phaneuf (0.942) - Lubomir Visnovsky (2.052)
Jaroslav Modry (1.2) - Mike Commodore (1.3)
Roberto Luongo (6.75)
Chris Mason (1.25)

Total Cap Space Spent = $41.938
Cap Space Remaining = $3.062

Most chose guys like Marc Savard for their fourth line, not realizing what a poor fit that would be in terms of playing style, chemistry, and personalities. Put a guy like Savard on the fourth line, and expect to have a pouty poopypants who is unable to stop opposing scoring stars from, uhh, scoring.


And, lastly, I'd like to thank my Sidney Crosby blogger/partner-in-crime, snoopyjode (Jodie), for creating the new sidebar that you see on the left. Thanks to her, the links are much more organized for all to use. There are many excellent hockey blogs out there, so be sure to check them out.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007


Milan Lucic, Captain Canada

by Jes

If you happen by this blog at least once a month, you ought to know that I am bullish on Vancouver Giants forward Milan Lucic, a guy who could punch a hole through a defense, or a fighter's skull.

You can be forgiven if you weren't all that excited back when the Bruins drafted 50th overall in the 2006 Entry Draft. After putting up just 19 points in 62 games, Lucic appeared to be more of a Travis Moen type, albeit with superior puglistic skills.

Well, we know that last season was a coming-out party for the big Serb. With 68 points in 70 Regular season games, and then a Memorial Cup MVP, few players improved as much as Big Looch. I wish the Canucks had drafted him rather than Sergei Berezin II.

The good times continue to roll for Lucic as he's been named Captain Canada for the upcoming Summer Series.

Not long after putting on a Team Canada jersey for the first time in his life — one that just happened to have a C emblazoned on the upper chest — Milan Lucic looked down and, with his familiar watermelon-size smile, said: “It’s a long way from a chicken suit.”

It was a sly, self-referential nod to just how far this immigrants’ son, who was born and raised in Vancouver, has come in the three years since he donned a beak.

Lucic has been winning a lot lately.

The Memorial Cup, that tournament’s MVP, the hearts of anybody who has ever heard his story.

And he’s about to try to win over one more thing — Canada.

The Super Series officially became From Russia with Luch when head coach Brent Sutter gave Team Canada an instant identity Saturday with a bold move: He announced that Lucic was going to be his captain, his dressing-room leader, his on-ice bull, his Phil Esposito.

Lucic, so magnetic and good-natured off the ice and so fierce on it, doesn’t take his new position lightly. He understands this job brings more expectations from an entire country of hockey fans.

“There’s a lot of pressure with being the captain,” Lucic said. “Now, all the guys are looking up to me, all of Canada is looking for me to lead this team to victory. I have to accept that and I have to enjoy it.

Lucic has overcome a lot to get where he is, including a birth defect (That makes him appear a bit hunchbacked, being undrafted after playing in bantams, and growing up in a family that struggled financially. More and more, Lucic is a guy that gets me excited in that manly-sports-kinda-way.

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Friday, August 24, 2007


Sunken Treasure: Leafs Cup Ring

by Jes

A Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup ring is a rare piece of jewelry, indeed.

Imagine, then, finding one while doing a little deep-sea diving?

Yes, today's strange-but-true story:
A treasure hunter searching in Florida waters came across a true Canadian find - a Stanley Cup ring marking the last time Toronto's Maple Leafs were able to clinch the hockey championship.

The ring has been missing for some thirty years. It belonged to former Maple Leaf right-winger Jim Pappin, the player who led his team during the 1967-68 season playoffs with seven goals and 15 points.

Pappin was so disillusioned with the Leafs after they traded him to the Chicago Blackhawks, he gave his ring to his father-in-law.

"I didn't want anything to do with the Toronto Maple Leafs," he told CTV's Naomi Parness.
I can't imagine being so pissed that I'd give away my cup ring.

Anyway, there is quite a story involved with this ring, and now it appears to have a happy ending.

Yep, the Leafs can't win a ring, they have to find it in the ocean *yuk yuk*

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Thursday, August 23, 2007


Must All New Uniforms Suck Eggs?

by Jes

OK, here are the new eyesores from the Ottawa Senabores.

Dreck. It reminds me of the old 'practice' uniforms the Canucks wore as a 3rd uni for a season.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Trevor Linden Re-Signs With the Canucks


It's about frickin' time!!

Call off the investigations and put away your detective hats. After almost four months of questions and predictions, Trevor Linden re-signs and will return in a Canucks uniform for the 2007-08 season.

Linden's excited to re-join his team of 15 years (going into his 16th) and is positive about the changes made over the summer.

Like all of the fans, he's hoping for more in the coming season and is confident of the team that will enter GM Place in October.

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Monday, August 20, 2007


Patrik Stefan: Worst 1st Overall Pick, Ever!

by Jes

For the longest time, I've proclaimed and bleated that Alexandre Daigle is the worst 1st overall pick in NHL history.

That title, I'm afraid, must be passed on to a new man: Patrik Stefan.

Yes, we all know Daigle is the undisputed champion when it comes to unfulfilled expectations, not living up to the hype, and disappointing the fans.

Despite what Daigle couldn't accomplish, he was still a far more useful NHL player than Patrick Stefan could ever hoped to have been.

As bad as Daigle was defensively, and as much as he couldn't bring the Senators any level of success, he was still a useful and talented goal scorer in his early career. After his "I want to be an actor" phase, he came back and did well as a 2-way drone for Jacques Lemaire and the Minnesota Mild.

Stefan? He was the FRANCHISE pick for the Atlanta Thrashers, expected to be the next Bobby Holik, after being drafted 1st overall in 1999. After putting up a point-a-game in the IHL (R.I.P.), Stefan looked like a good prospect, despite the history of concussions.

Well, after 455 NHL games, all Stefan had to show for his efforts was 188 points and 0 playoff games played. Stefan never had more than 40 points in a single season, and wasn't particularly good at anything. Being a stiff skater with a lack of grit, Stefan couldn't be counted on to be a shut down type, nor could he really get his team's offence going.

Sure, Stefan could be a decent 3rd line center, but who wants a dime-a-dozen 3rd line center with their 1st overall pick?


Alex Daigle 616 129 198 327

D. Wickenheiser 556 111 165 276

Brian Lawton 483 112 154 266

Patrick Stefan 455 64 124 188

Of course, Stefan is only 26 (27 next month), and may be able to improve on his
career numbers, but it's highly doubtful he will. I can't see many teams all that eager to give Stefan the type of money he can earn overseas.

For all of his NHL crapiness, Stefan did do well during his lockout
stint in Finland (41 points in 37 games), and seems a lot more suited for the International style of play over the NHL style. In that regard, Stefan reminds me of Pavel Patera, who did very little during his NHL stint.

It's a close call, but I'm going to have to give the title to Patrik Stefan. Congrats, doofus!

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Friday, August 17, 2007


See Ya, Patty

By Greg

Lost in the excitement of absolutely nothing happening this week, Patrik Stefan has signed on with SC Bern of Switzerland this week. There's one of those out-clauses in case some NHL team decides to take a flyer on him in the next few weeks, but really, considering that this was probably the most memorable moment of his NHL career, I wouldn't count on that happening.

I was always fond of the guy (enough to shell out way too much money for one of his game-worn jerseys), despite his lack of impact and the slowly diminishing expectations. Each year, I'd convince myself that he was going to click with such-and-such linemate on the Thrashers, but by the end of his Atlanta career, I was just hoping he'd be a decent third-line center.

He'd often get mentioned as a candidate for worst-ever #1 pick, and while I'd bristle at that ... I've got to admit he's in the exclusive company of Brian Lawton and Alexandre Daigle. Of course, maybe it was a no-win situation -- looking up a few things for this post, I'm reminded of just how brutally bad the 1999 (first-round) draft class has turned out to be. Aside from the Sedins, Barret Jackman, and Martin Havlat, there really weren't any players that have made a bigger impact than Stefan in the first round, and only a handful of others are still in the league. (The later rounds, with Zetterberg, Frantisek Kaberle, Ryan Malone, Niclas Havelid, Ryan Miller, Fedor Fedorov, and Vaclav Pletka, may be far superior to the first.)

As a send-off, I tried in vain to find a NHL YouTube clip that didn't end with Ales Hemsky scoring a goal. Instead, here's a nice bit from Stefan's lockout stint with Ilves of Finland.

Viel Glück in Switzerland, Patrik!

And on this note, I'll be in London most of the next two weeks. Since I usually post here about once every two weeks anyway, you won't notice a difference, but at least now I have an excuse.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007


New York Islanders Commit Crimes Against Fashion

by Jes

I'm not much of an Isles fan, but I always appreciated the classic, clean uniform style, colouring, and font of their recent uniforms. Most people wouldn't put the Isles fashion at the top of their NHL list, but I think that their design was underrated and underappreciated.

Now? They've joined the 'more crap is better' category with these ...

Over at The FanHouse, Greg W's got the scoop on how the Project Runway crew thinks these new designs suck more than Eddie Murphy's latest movie.

Let's not mince words, here. These things look like shit, and are almost as awful at the Captain Highliner sweaters the Isles once wore. If I were American, I'd sue the Islanders for eye trauma and mental anguish.

Unfortunately, this is just the pinnacle of a disturbing trend towards busier and gaudy looking NHL uniform designs. From the Buffaslug, to this... designers seem to think that 'more is better'.

The real reason why Briere and Drury left Buffalo


The best uniforms are always clean, classy, and uncluttered. The Habs, Wings, Blackhawks, Bruins, and Blues always got top marks (apart from some variant exceptions) for their designs.

Remember the horrid 3rd uniform designs a decade or so ago? The Canucks red pylon sweaters, the Duck flying out of the ice? The king head? Yeah, those were scrapped quite early. Once the Powers That Be caught on to the fact that people want their uniforms to look GOOD, and not edgy, we saw a nice retro-renaissance.

Now, as long as people keep buying this new crap (like the Buffaslug), we'll continue to be inundated with more crap like this. All they need to do is put ads on the things, and we'll have European style uniforms.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Reliving the One-on-One Hockey Challenge Card Game

by Jes

Over a decade ago, 1995 to be exact, Magic: The Gathering, was an uber-popular CCG (Collectable Card Game) among my teenage schoolmates and I. Just like nowadays with Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, kids spent most of their pocket money on these addicting games. Other companies tried to cash in this bonanza, only to end up deep in the red.

One such company was PLAYOFF, which produced the One On One Hockey Challenge card game. This game involved cards (like Arturs Irbe, pictured) that had statistics and actions, and rolling special dice (With pucks, logos, and whistles). Using a 50-card deck, and 3-6 dice, you and one opponent could have a nice little game of card shinny on any flat surface. It's a very simple game that takes about 40-45 minutes to play.

Unfortunately, this game never caught on anywhere, despite an expansion set the following year, and fell into the graveyard where unplayed card games go to die. Most people who play CCG's aren't into sports, and vice versa. Not even Wikipedia has an entry for this card game, which shows you that nobody cares enough to even make an entry.

My friend recently found some very cheap packs of cards ($.20 each or less!) on Ebay and we recently resurrected this little game. To think I spent like $3 a pack back in my kiddie years on this game, and now I can buy a crate of these cards for the same price as a Starbucks venti latte *hmph*.

Ahh, the memories. The most powerful cards? Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Paul Coffey, Dominik Hasek, Kevin Stevens, Jari Kurri, Alex Mogilny, Bernie Nicholls, and Brett Hull. Oh, the pain when I turn up a Bob Corkum rare or have to make a line change with Ken Baumgartner as my LW (2 card line changes are mandatory at each 'whistle').

Now that the cards are so cheap, it's very easy to build an uber-powerful deck (Phil Housley auto-goal, ftw). If you are ever looking for a cheap hockey-related diversion, go hunt on EBay and you could score some sweet deals.

If anyone in the Vancouver area wants to challenge the champ, you know where to go ;)

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Hail Senator Forsberg?

by Jes

It seems the Peter Forsberg rumor train, that has toured through Colorado and Detroit, has no landed in Ottawa.

Yes, Bryan Murray and the Ottawa Senators apparently have interest in Forsberg, and would love him to play for their squad once he's healthy (as healthy as Forsberg can be, I suppose)

"There should be a number of reasons why we'd be one of the teams he may be interested in joining. I hope he thinks we have a good team, that we got to the final and we have a chance to do it again, and I think Daniel Alfredsson is his friend. I think there are things in our favour."

Murray thinks they are friends? Hmm, all of the scuttlebutt I've heard suggests that they are anything but. While Naslund and Forsberg are quite cozy, Alfredsson has, allegedly, been unhappy with the way Forsberg gets star treatment from the Swedish national squad.

However, these are grown men and could put aside such squabble for the common goal of winning a Stanley Cup. The Senators are at $46.4 million in committed cap space, so Forsberg would have to come at a discount, or have part of his salary not count due to injury.

Just imagine the havoc that the follow forward unit could pull off in a playoff situation ...





Over at The FanHouse, Greg W. is far from impressed ...
Despite being a Cup contender, Ottawa just doesn't seem to fit the profile for what Forsberg and his agent desire. But hey, you can't blame Murray for trying: When your biggest off-season addition is a 38-year-old defenseman playing for his fourth team in three years, dropping Forsberg's name months before he's ready to play is a nice distraction.

I would figure Forsberg's ideal team WOULD be Ottawa, despite its cold winters. The Senators are a definite favourite to take the Eastern Conference, and give Forsberg a shot at one more cup ring.

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Monday, August 13, 2007


Photo of the Day: Dustin Penner's Day With the Cup

Some guys do strange things with the Stanley Cup ...

Dustin Penner? He decided to take it for an MRI.

After a good hour's drive from Winnipeg, Uncle Dale pulled up in front of the Boundary Trails Health Centre, where Dustin's Mom, Linda, is a nurse. His grandfather was there to meet him, too. They took the Stanley Cup through the hallways, saying hi to so many of the patients, then stopped in an area with which Dustin is all too familiar. In fact, he has spent so much time in this particular room that his photo is taped to the MRI machine there. "Hey, they're responsible for putting me back together," he smirked with a shrug.

Penner better have made the most of his time with the mug, since he'll never get close to it again as a member of the Oilers.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007


Kyle Beach: Bad, or Just Misunderstood?

by Jes

The name KYLE BEACH is one you'll hear quite a bit heading into the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. After a very successful rookie season with the Everett Silvertips (61 points in 65 games), the 6'3" forward has all the tools to succeed in the NHL.

He's also a bit of a bitch, and is scaring some scouts with his attitude issues. I've seen him play against the Giants, and he is very much a Sean Avery-type. He whines, he dives, he yaps, and he generally makes an ass of himself sometimes. He's also one of the players who was alleged to have called Milan Lucic a hunchback (due to Lucic's condition where his spinal cord is a bit crooked).

So, is this just enthusiasm gone wild or the symptom of something bigger?

His mom? You know what she'll say.

Although he's seemingly destined to be a lottery pick in next year's NHL draft, Kelowna's Kyle Beach has, for years, been shadowed by the adjective bad.

Bad reputation. Bad attitude. Bad boy of junior hockey.

Those who are closest to Beach would like to add another: Bad rap.

"He is totally misunderstood and, as his mother, I have a hard time accepting it," said Rhonda Beach, from the family's Kelowna home.

"A lot of people think he's a dirty player or he's a bum who deserves to be kicked out but they're not watching closely. So much of what he does on the ice is because he's out there for his team, trying to defend them and trying to protect them and trying to win.

"And off the ice he's very different. He's a very mature, considerate young man who I think when you meet him is very impressive.

Well, mommy, I admire Beach's fearlessness and enthusiasm, but he will have to reign it in eventually and pick his spots. Either Beach will become squashed like a fly on a windshield, or teams will get tired of his crap.

At least Beach is still young enough where he was lots of room to mature and grow. (and get a better haircut)

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Saturday, August 11, 2007


Separated at Birth: Orszagh and Prince Charming

by Jes

I can't be the only one who has ever seen the eerie similarities ... both are handsome individuals who are underappeciated and always defeated by ogres (or injuries)

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Friday, August 10, 2007


Input Sought: The Top 36 Hockey Players of All Time?

by Jes

Joe Pelletier, the Legends of Hockey Blogger, is asking for input on the Top 36 Hockey Players of all time.

Now, I can barely rank my favourite Spice Girls, let along hockey players, but I can provide SOME input. Perhaps some of you can as well, so leave comments here or over at Joe's site.

Here is a sample list he provides ...

1. The Pantheon - Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr. One could make a good case for any one of these gentlemen to be in the #1 spot, but nobody comes close to these three players.

2. Gordie Howe - Mr. Hockey is a definite #4. Longevity, dominance, and forever changing the way the game was played by introducing the Power Forward concept.

3. Tretiak and Kharlamov are out. The only evidence we have is the games they played on a loaded 'amateur' Russian team against the rest of the world. I realize that this list doesn't have to be exclusively NHL players, but I don't believe there is sufficient evidence to show that these two belong. If we are to add Russians, I'd be more comfortable with the likes of Fetisov and Larionov (Though he is far from the Top 36 of all-time).

4. The list will be skewed towards the current generation. Not only do we have more familiarity with the players of the past 20 years, but the NHL, and hockey world-wide, has expanded over the past 2-3 decades. There are simply a lot more skilled players to choose from.

5. Rank the positions first, and then combine them. If you think Patrick Roy is a better goalie than John Vanbiesbrouck, than Roy shouldn't be behind the Beezer in your master list.

6. I can scratch off a few players easily from the list above: Chris Chelios (good, but not nearly one of the elite), Ted Lindsay (great support player, but not one of the very best), and Bob Clarke, who is notorious and nefarious, but not at all elite.

7. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. If you make a Top 10 or top list of anything, you better not have any doubts about something belonging there. If you feel that Brett Hull shouldn't be there, automatically scratch him off.

8. Ranking the goalies first, I'd go with Hasek, Plante, Roy, Dryden, Hall, Brodeur, and Bill Durnan.

9. Defenseman? Orr, Bourque, Lidstrom, Harvey, Potvin, Coffey, MacInnis, Stevens, and Red Kelly.

10. Forwards? That's a bit too busy for me, but I would consider Bryan Trottier and Pavol Demitra ;)

Once that is done, start combining and formulating your lists. Everyone has their own opinion, so hardly anyone will agree on the same list of players.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Thrashers Bring Back Karel Pilar ... W0T??

by Jes

Karel Pilar, the guy with the serious heart condition, has found a road back into the NHL via the Atlanta Thrashers. Greg must be creaming in his pants right about now.

I seriously hope this doesn't end badly. Remember, Pilar has battled a serious heart condition for the past few years, and has played just 16 games in the past 2 seasons.

Here's a little reminder of what Pilar can do for a club. Check out the clip of him and Robert Reichel back in their Litvinov days.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Bloggers Poll #1: The Worst Free Agent Signing This Off-Season

by Jes

On a lark, I decided to poll a few of my fellow hockey bloggers with a selected question. This could become a regular feature, since it offers the chance to get a spectrum of views in a nice capsulated format.

The first question: What was the worst free agent signing of the NHL off-season?

The one with the most answers with mighty-mite Daniel Briere, for which the Flyers were panned heavily for giving out such a long-term deal to a shrimp.

Mike Chen:

I'm going with Daniel Briere. Who the hell gets an EIGHT-YEAR term not named Crosby or Ovechkin? (Jes: Rick DiPietro) Couple it with the fact that the Flyers don't play Buffalo's go-go-go system, nor do they have the same offensive depth as the Sabres, and you're looking at a marked point drop and a bad cap hit for years to come. I could be wrong, but I see Briere's skills tapering off around year four of his deal.

Snoopyjode, from The Sidney Crosby Show:

BY FAR, my choice is the Daniel Briere signing. The Flyers basically bet the entire ranch on him. He's a somewhat decent and reliable player, but he's only had one really notable "standout" season in the NHL, so he's not even close to being worth what he got in that deal.

AND, Earl Sleek from the Battle of California:

In my opinion, the worst free agent signing this offseason was Philly's signing of Daniel Briere. I don't watch a ton of eastern conference hockey, but looking at the dollars and years committed, I think he's a guy who's very likely to underperform over the life of the contract.

Ritch Duncan, the American Hockey Fan (yes, the only one), had a very unique choice: Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics.

OK, how is a basketball trade the worst move of the hockey off-season? I'll tell ya. If there was one consolation for Bruins fans living in a town dominated by the Sox and Patriots, we could argue that with the Celtics around, the B's weren't the most pathetic team in town. It wouldn't have been a strong argument, but one could make it. Now, thanks to Mr. Garnett ( who has 2 inches on Zdeno Chara, by the way), the Boston Bruins are the least interesting sports draw in New England.

My fellow FanHouse cohort, Greg Wyshynski, wasn't too excited about the Habs paying heavily for a 2nd line defenseman.

Roman Hamrlik, four-year, $22-million deal with Montreal. He nearly had Mark Streit's stats, and now he has Sheldon Souray's money.

Michael the Hockey Fanatic chastised Kevin Lowe for his crazy RFA bids. I have to disagree about the 'playing nice' part, however. Hockey is war, on and off the ice ...

"I think the Vanek/Penner signing was the worst this off season because it exposed a loop hole in the FA rules when everybody is supposed to play nice and focus on the big picture of winning back fans."

JP Swenson, my San Francisco tour guide, and webmeister of the long-running agrees with me that the Ducks signing Todd Bertuzzi was dumber than Eddie Murphy thinking we want to see him making bad jokes in a fat suit for the third time.

Instead of hanging on to a young, dominant physical power forward and matching Edmonton's offer to Dustin Penner, Burke signs an aging Bertuzzi to a contract that hamstrings the Ducks financially. Bertuzzi has yet to regain his previous form after returning from injury, and there are too many off ice issues that might cause distractions down the line. Burke did not want his players to develop in a "fear free" environment, but now they may have to fear how the loss of a Niedermayer and Selanne will effect the team down the stretch run and in the playoffs.

The Acid Queen loves to hate (the Red Wings) and is predicting woe to those who sign Peter Forsberg and his "glass ankles".

It's going to be whoever signs Peter Forsberg--hopefully that'll be Detroit, so I can laugh at them. The guy has glass ankles, and he's breaking down rapidly. Peter The Great is no longer so. He should just retire from the NHL and head back to Sweden so he can try to win an SEL title with MoDo.

As for myself, I almost agree with my girlfriend, who suggest that "Anyone who doesn't sign Jan Bulis" is the answer to the worst FA signing question, but I'll have to go with Dustin Penner.

As much as I like the big lug, he is nowhere near worth $4mil per season AND all of the draft picks the Oilers gave up to get him. The Flyers will give up just cap space, while the Oilers give up that and some future assets for a 2nd line winger.


One more year and he can legally drink in the US of A.

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Monday, August 06, 2007


2-Man Advantage: Episode 4

Our favourite goofs from 2-Man Advantage have now posted episode 4 of their unique show.

For this episode, the boys visit the "NHL GOT SKILLS" at The Aviator in Brooklyn.
They managed to score interviews with Adam Graves and Ryan Getzlaf (who lost his roommate, awwww).

Amazingly, the one d00d actually has a shirt on the whole episode (Though a Mike Modano sweater is barely acceptable).

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Are You Drinkin' With Me, Tik?

by Greg

Alanah at Canucks and Beyond has a great little concept here -- which hockey players would make the best drinking partners? In the comments, she urged me to do the same (um, a while back -- we don't move too quickly down here in the South), knowing full well that I'll drink beer with anyone as long as they aren't too irritating. Realistically, my list of players I'd drink beer with is "all of 'em except Kirk Maltby" (he seems more like the fruity drink with an umbrella type), but that doesn't give me much of a post. Narrowing it down a bit, here's the select few:

Gilles Gratton -- Entertainingly crazy people make entertaining drinking buddies.

Ian Laperriere -- Something about Lappy always suggests that he'd be a blast. He's the lunchbucket type, but one that wouldn't give lots of boring lectures about working hard and giving it 110 percent and blah blah blah... instead, I imagine he'd be a great storyteller.

Jiri Bubla -- Also on Alanah's list, and for the same reasons. He's had a hell of a life, with more twists and turns than most people can imagine, and that would make for some interesting tales. Plus, his nickname's "Boobs."

Petr Klima -- I suspect Petr knows how to party.

Kevin Lowe -- I have a good feeling that it would be really, really easy to convince K-Lo to pick up the tab.

Willi Plett -- One of the few hockey players I've actually met in real life, and a hell of a funny guy. Plus, he ran a (really good!) bar for a long time, so his heart's in the right place.

Brendan Shanahan -- Despite nine years in Detroit, he's always struck me as a pretty witty and well-read guy. I've got fond memories of his joking entries in old St. Louis Blues media guides -- little asides saying that he was an accomplished saxophone player, or that he was on Ireland's soccer World Cup team, or that he appeared in "Forrest Gump."

Esa Tikkanen -- six or seven drinks and he'd probably start making sense.

Mike Keenan -- I'm always curious to see tightly-wound public figures away from the job; I wouldn't mind a beer with Vladimir Putin, either. Plus, Keenan's got some good taste (he really likes F. Scott Fitzgerald, doesn't he?), so we could at least discuss literature or something.

Tomas Kloucek -- Natch.

So I'll throw it out there -- who else would make a good boozing partner? Line 'em up.


Friday, August 03, 2007


Photos of the Day: I <3 SPAM!

by Jes

Time for a little photo spam...

Selanne and his friends with the Cup... how very Finnish of them. After this photo was taken, they beat each other with birch leaves and played the HNIC theme song with their armpits.

A photo that'll make any Oilers fan throw up their Subway sandwich. Pronger, his bimbo jezebel wife, and spoiled little blonde brats celebrate with the Stanely Cup.

Just your average confused Avs fan ...

Palffy has sure let himself go after retirement. How fast can he lose the extra pounds?

Hell, just talking seems to make him sweat. How out of shape is he?

Well, at least he's not as out of shape as Robert Svehla. Somebody's been busy at the buffet table!

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Thursday, August 02, 2007


Canucks Bring Back Balej

by Jes

WTF??? The Canucks signed yet another Slovak? This is bizarre.

Forget the news about Dustin Penner heading to the Oilers, the Canucks signing of Jozef Balej is 10x bigger than that!

OK, maybe not, but it's nice to see the Canucks continue to relax their Anti-Slovak policy.

Apparently, coach Vigneault is a big fan of Balej's from their days with the Manitoba Moose?

Me? I'm not expecting too much. Even though Balej has some mad skillz, he's basically got Robert Petrovicky's work ethic and consistency.

His numbers in Switzerland last year were not impressive. 30 points in 37 games? meh... even Josh Holden (Remember him?) was better.

Well, I hope he proves me wrong. It's basically a good move for the Manitoba Moose, if nothing else.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Unmasking Eklund, "The Fraud"

by Jes

I don't really like to spend much of my internet time on The Fraud (aka Eklund) since I have far better things to do, and far better sites to visit. I don't read his crap, I don't visit his website, nor do I want to look at another ugly picture of him.

That said, it is important for all bloggers AND consumers of information (the readers) to understand just what a fraud and detriment that Dwayne Klessel has been to the online hockey community. As long as Eklund is seen as 'The Hockey Blogger' by a majority of the mainstream, the whole community will be looked down upon and bloggers will continue to be stereotyped as the 'geek in his momma's basement.'

With that, I suggest that you go and check out Greg Wyshynski's in-depth post on Eklund and how his shenanigans affect bloggers, readers and journalists. Everything that needs to be said is there, and it's got the whole history for you.

If you want to continue to be deceived and lied to, that is your choice. You also have the choice of knowing the truth, and spending your precious internet hours away from internet fraud.

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"Just Another Job"

By Greg

Does anyone who was alive and reasonably cognizant in 1970s Canada remember a series of TV spots called "Adieu, Alouette"? I obviously don't -- not Canadian and was just a toddler. It was a National Film Board production, described this way:

"Adieu Alouette was a series of 13 half-hour films produced by the National Film Board, intended to revise stereotypes of Quebec for English Canada. In the wake of the October Crisis of 1970 and during a period of rising Quebec nationalism, the series offered a survey of Quebec culture instead of politics."

So there you go. One of these episodes was called "Just Another Job," and was about the birth and early days of the WHA Quebec Nordiques. I came across a NFB videotape sometime in the 1990s, and recently (inspired by a viewing of "Death By Popcorn") dug it out again.

I truly wish I had the technological ability to transfer a videotape to YouTube -- the opening sequence (which I'm guessing/hoping was a constant of "Adieu, Alouette") is classic early '70s, full of all the shame and horror that time period inspires. It's an animated cartoon of a fellow, drenched in psychedelic colors, singing about (basically) "we're all Canadians, why are we afraid of Quebec?" as he morphs through various incarnations. Then there's a picture of Guy Lafleur, then various Canadian landmarks, then (mercifully) the song ends and the episode begins.

After that intro, it's pretty sedate. It's not terribly linear, just a collection of snapshots from the months leading up to the opening game -- but it's of interest to hockey history buffs. The longest storyline, if you can call it that, centers around Jacques Blain -- a fringe defenseman struggling to make the team (for what would be his only season in the WHA). The guy who designed the logo and uniforms shows his original designs (much less red, much more blue). There's Maurice Richard, miserable in his brief and ill-fated coaching career. There's a few other guys whose names I recognized (Jean-Guy Gendron, Serge Aubry). There's lots of plaid pants.

Against all odds, the tape is actually still available here. An interesting little diversion, in the miserably hot days of August.

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