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Latest Puck Daddy Piece

 

Until today’s blog is up: New Puck Daddy piece – The Costs of Injury Can Be Steep

Ranking Sports, Ryder Cup Clothes, and a Nash/Malkin Fight

 

There’s no sport that I’d rather see a highlight package from than hockey.  It’s my number one. 

There’s so many different things that can happen – it’s not just different uniforms executing the diving catch, homerun, double play sequence on repeat.  The many different ways to score make it interesting, especially when you factor in huge saves, big hits, nice dishes, fights, and excitement.

That said, hockey isn’t my favourite sport to watch, when you’re talking about turning it on at the start of the event, and turning it off when it’s fully over.  (By the way, this whole thing is about TV viewing, not in-person viewing.)  Football’s my number one.  So I’m gonna go ahead and rank my six main viewing sports by fun-to-watchability, and then re-rank them for highlight packages.  Let me know where you stand.

Best Sports To Watch on TV, in Their Entirety

1.Football
2. Golf (during a major, otherwise bump it down one)
3. Hockey
4. Basketball
5. Soccer
6. Baseball

.

Best Sports To Watch, Highlight Package Edition

1. Hockey
2. Soccer
3. Football
4. Basketball
5. Baseball
6. Golf

And eff it, lets do a live-viewing rank too….

1. Hockey
2. Basketball
3. Baseball
4. Football
5. Golf
6. Soccer (Never been to a game, so it’s default last. I’m sure it’s great. Calm down, soccer weirdos)

 

And while we’re at it, favourite sports to play, in order…

(Note: I struggled with this, badly)

1. Hockey
2. Golf
3. Basketball
4. Baseball
5. Football (Never played an “organized” game in my life. Thx, Canada)
6. Soccer

For the record, that last category is impossible for me.  I’m a complete jock, and love all sports.  Racquet sports (tennis, badminton, squash, racquetball), volleyball, ultimate frisbee, whatever, I’m down for a game.  There’s very few things I’d rather do than chuck around a real baseball in a backyard with a beer (a football would suffice too).

Probem is, as you get older, everyone gets too busy to get enough people together for a game of anything.  Boo.

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Real quick here:  I had a lot of help from people who gave me and this whole writing thing a chance when I first started out, and I mean that beyond the obvious (family, Bri, friends, etc.).  Quick links-as-thank-yous to people who took a swing in the dark on my work:

Doyle Woody – Alaska Daily News
Chris Botta – Islanders Point Blank
Jason Kay – The Hockey News
Dan Friedell – Sports Journalist and Editor

*****

Here's the hat Woods found-er, wore.

The US Ryder Cup team regularly dresses like complete fucking morons.  Now, this year may be different.  But I saw Tiger Woods at a press conference yesterday wearing one of the most horrific ensembles mankind has ever dared leave the house in (minor exaggeration).

Some baggy red sweater vest (solid) over a blue and white striped shirt (thin, equal size stripes), on top of some navy trousers.  It really looked like Woods, who usually dresses to kill/sleep-with-cocktail-waitresses, hadn’t done laundry in like forever.

Rob Mixer described the shirts below (from the 1999 Ryder Cup) as “fumigated Mediterranean upholstery.”  ….FTW, I assume.

It was better than these shirts, fortunately...

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I’m not sure what it is about Sportcenter running tweets from athletes and pawning it off as news that’s so off-putting, but…. it is, isn’t it?  Like, I get that they could say something newsworthy there, and I understand why they’re covering it….

Something about it just doesn’t seem right, and I can’t place it.  What is it?

******

I CANNOT believe this didn’t get more love – I guess it’s a product of living in the US before the NHL Network resumes it’s “On The Fly” services, but….  My US friends, did you know Rick Nash and Evgeni Malkin fought the other day?  In a pre-season game?  What a bizarre sequence of humans and activities to plug into a sentence that is.  Nash.  Malkin.  Fight.  Here ya go: 

Coupla big boys that don’t know how to fight right there, I love it.  They’re like me, if I were bigger and good at hockey!

*****

Have a great Wednesday!  See you again tomorrow.

Isles Playoff Hopes “KO’ed”, Stanley Cup Betting Odds

 

We’re postponing today’s scheduled mind-dump for one fun thing and a second not-so-fun thing. 

Fun thing: checking out the NHL’s Stanley Cup Betting Odds

Not-so-fun thing: discussing the Islanders injury problems.  Yes, before the season starts.

Before we get to that though, I had a friend of the blog write me and say he feels like he’s missing a lot of my best stuff because (A) I don’t update the headers at the top of my blog, like, ever, and (B) If I link to my daily article, it’s all the way at the bottom of the blog.  So basically, my (lazy) solution is that from now on, as soon as you open a blog, the first thing you’ll see will be my column from that day.  For today, they’re right here:

The Hockey News: The Isles Need To Buy Tavares Someone On His Offensive Level To Play With

USA Today: Pre-season predictions (and the jinx goes too……)

and later…

Puck Daddy: The Evolution of Coaching

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Let’s get the Islanders tear-fest over with to start….

Fuck.  Are you kidding me?  The Islanders have lost both of their assistant captains to major shoulder surgeries before the puck has even dropped on game one.

Mark Streit is out FOR THE YEAR on this piddly, every day scrimmage bump from 30 goal scorer Matt Moulson:

(It’s at the start of the video)

…and Kyle Okposo is listed as “out indefinitely” with his own shoulder deal.  Not sure what happened to him, but this is extremely bad news - temporary reasons aside, when you start having shoulder problems that young, it can be a lonnngggg career full of recurring injuries.  My buddy (and country music star, buy his album!) Chad Brownlee pretty much hung them up because his shoulders were such a wreck.

Opo wore the stupid bubble in college

Honestly, I’m heart-broken by those two injuries for two reasons:

One, I harboured real hopes that Islanders could be sneaky good this year, like Phoenix last year.  They were looking like a team coming into their own, with some nice pieces in place.  I was even thinking they could sneak into playoffs if they could just get some breaks.  By “breaks,” I didn’t mean limbs.

And two, because the team just isn’t deep enough to lose their only all-star from last year (Streit), as well as a guy (Okposo) who was on the fast track to becoming one of the top all-around effective forwards in the league.  I mean, to be that strong and talented, that young?  He’s my fave guy on Long Island right now, so I’m super bummed about him going on IR.  I seriously thought he was going to have a stat-splosion in 2010-11.

I just don’t see any way the team can maintain playoff hopes if Kyle is out for an extended period of time, unless Snow gets aggressive and tries to patch the holes.

One more thing, before we move on – in quick defense of my Hockey News piece today, about which I got some heat from a couple Islanders fans:  If you read my piece, you’ll see that I asked for an addition (help for Tavares), and made no mention of subtractions (THE REBUILD! THA REEEBBUIILLLLDDDD!).  Nowhere in there do I suggest we trade any of the core guys from The Rebuild (there’s some fat to trim at the bottom of the roster still, I promise).

Pending: face-off play or make-out session?

The Penguins were horrible and “rebuilt,” but if you remember it took some acquisitions to put them over the top.  They didn’t exactly draft Sergei Gonchar.  If Isles fans recall, Matt Moulson wasn’t a draft pick either – they signed him because they thought he could contribute offensively (and boy did he ever).  You need these additions to make your rebuild complete.

Stamkos had studs to work with on his line, and that inflated his stats – Martin St. Louis drew coverage and made plays that created opportunity for Stamkos.  My point is, right now Tavares is making plays and creating opportunities for Moulson and other linemates.  The Isles need someone to do that for him if he hopes to develop into the offensive juggarnaut we all know he can be.

And as for the “but who’s available?” question: There were plenty of players they Isles missed out on this summer by being cheap, which inspired the column.  The help doesn’t have to come immediately (though after the KO thing, it feels more pressing), but whether that means cashing in at the deadline by trading picks (we have enough “potential” already) , or signing players next summer, John Tavares can’t be a one-man show in circus tent of hopefuls for much longer.

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The following are the odds in Vegas (courtesy Vegas Insider.com, hat-tip to reader Andrew) on teams to win the 2011 Stanley Cup.  Lets discuss.

ODDS TO WIN THE 2011 NHL STANLEY CUP FINALS
Team Open Current
Pittsburgh 6/1  6/1 
Washington 6/1  6/1 
Chicago 5/1  7/1 
Detroit 8/1  10/1 
Vancouver 12/1  12/1 
San Jose 8/1  12/1 
Philadelphia 12/1  14/1 
New Jersey 15/1  15/1 
Los Angeles 15/1  18/1 
Boston 20/1  18/1 
Montreal 30/1  25/1 
Buffalo 25/1  30/1 
Calgary 30/1  35/1 
Anaheim 30/1  35/1 
Ottawa 40/1  35/1 
Tampa Bay 45/1  35/1 
Phoenix 35/1  40/1 
Colorado 45/1  40/1 
Nashville 40/1  40/1 
St. Louis 40/1  45/1 
Carolina 35/1  50/1 
N.Y. Rangers 45/1  55/1 
Toronto 60/1  60/1 
Dallas 60/1  60/1 
Florida 75/1  80/1 
Minnesota 75/1  80/1 
Columbus 75/1  80/1 
Atlanta 75/1  80/1 
N.Y. Islanders 60/1  80/1 
Edmonton 100/1  100/1 

 

From his email:

“Aren’t the Caps and Pens at 6:1 just a horrible bet? If the Pens didn’t improve greatly over the summer, I’m not sure I like them at 20:1. (Bourne: Yup, anyone at 6:1 just isn’t worth your gamble)
Isn’t any team at 6:1 (save for the Oilers in the 80s and your dad’s teams in the 70s) a horrible bet? (Oops, you were going to say that, I see)
 
I like Boston at 18:1 and Philly at 14:1 and Buffalo in a long-shot at 30:1 .”
(I like Boston more than Philly – better goaltending, better odds.  No reason to believe Buffalo will be better than last year, is there?)

Great email, thanks.

Off the top, I gotta say, I don’t like any of these bets, since I feel like the rewards are too low.  You kiddin’ me?  I NAIL a  $20 pre-season prediction on the Roberto Luongo and the Canucks overcoming the Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals and 24 other teams, and you give me $240 bucks back, a $220 profit?  Eat me.  You should get 50-1 odds on something like that, minimum.

But for the fun of discussing it, here are my thoughts: The three best and worst bets, as a balance of chance-to-win versus getting-a-worthwhile-payout.

Best Bets: 

New Jersey at 15-1
Tampa Bay at 35-1
St. Louis at 45-1 (but LA is 18-1?)

Worst Bets:

San Jose at 12-1 (fourth best team in their conference)
Montreal at 25-1 (possibly the worst bet you could make)
Florida at 80-1 (dead money)

What do you think?

Polarized Opinions & Intent To Blow

 

It’s too bad that talk radio/talk TV/talking-about-sports-in-general makes the person speaking take such a polarized stance.  Is there anyone who’s extremely famous on the air who’s reasonable?  Okay, Jon Stewart, sure.  But think of a sports guy….

Thats your boy Tony, and your boy Wilbon.

Everyone I could think of were columnists – guys like Bruce Arthur and Joe Posnanski, but it seems like the second guys get on TV they have to be polar enough to make the conversation interesting (thinking of Dan Lebatard, who I like all around, but a lot more in print).  Mike Milbury, Don Cherry, Pierre McGuire and so on (ooo, and recently Jeremy Roenick) - these guys make a living by hating or loving every single shift. 

I’d like to be on TV someday, because – as I think Lebatard put it, and Bill Simmons wrote it - TV is fundamentally social, while writing is fundamentally me and my cat who sleeps all day.  And I’m a social cat.  But still….

I never want to have to hate or love everything, because I don’t.  In fact, if I didn’t take up writing, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even know my own opinion on hundreds of subjects (which is a fun self-discovery by-product of writing, I’ve learned).

"Lebatard" sounds like a derogatory French word.

My favourite sports program is Pardon The Interruption, but I can’t imagine I’d be a very valuable host with my plethora of center-heavy opinions.  “I guess I’m not really sure, Tony, it is what it is.” #hockeybackground

I know I take some hard stances here on this blog, but I usually only write about the stuff I have a stance on (Matt Cooke is a donkey, kittehs are cute).  But, whatever, I’ll perfect the art of fake-caring about things long enough to yell about them and move the show along if that’s what I have to do.  JOE TORRE SHOULD HAVE NEVER IMPLIED HE WAS CURIOUS ABOUT THAT METS JOB.

See?  I’ll get the hang of it.

*****

Have you checked out the website “Intent to Blow?”  It would EASILY be the web’s best-named sports blog if it wasn’t for the great challenge from “Sportress of Blogitude.”  (For the unenlightened, there’s a rule in the NHL that if a guy scores before the ref blows his whistle, but the ref had “intent to blow” said whistle before the goal, it doesn’t count.  NOW how great is that blog name?)

Check it out.

Anyway, it’s basically Sports Pickle (*note on that site at the bottom of this section) for hockey, and I enjoy it regularly.  Today they ran an absolute gem: Canadians contact Blues, swear they meant to trade Price not Halak

Check it out if for no other reason that a wonderfully placed LOLcat reference, and a killer closing line.

{*Okay, Sports Pickle – I check that site daily for a laugh or two.  People who put time and money into their site as DJ Gallo does his and I do mine deserve to make a couple bucks (him WAY more than me), but that site has become an annoying ad-heavy money grab.  Video ads run when it opens, anywhere you click takes you to an ad…. it’s an awesome site, but man.  I’m adding ads to mine soon to make a few bucks, but please, let me know if it becomes a raging turnoff.  There has to be a happy medium.}

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My To-Blog-About File is getting a little too long to keep up with, so you know what that means: mind-dump, probably tomorrow. 

Today’s column can be found at The Hockey News (up by 3:00ish PST), and is on why the Islanders need to get John Tavares some offensive help soon, or risk wasting him.  Basically “soon” means in the next year or so, and “wasting him” means not maximizing his potential.

The Wild Lost Money? And ECHL Conference Differences

 

Wait, hold on, did I hear that right?

Goooo Wild or whatever!

The Minnesota Wild, who have never NOT sold out a game (mmm double negatives), LOST money last year? 

From TwinCities.com (found via Puck Daddy Headlines): “Leipold, who admits the Wild lost money last season when they failed to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season, shrugs off the possible end to the streak.”

Now, I’m no accountant – but is it just me, or is that just horrific business management?  Basically, you did as good as you could possibly do (minus making playoffs, which should be gravy anyway – pretty sure you’re not supposed to build a business strategy that counts on non-guarantees) and still ended up in the red.

Every single seat sold every night.  And that’s not enough to make money.  Why own the team then?  How’s about charging more and finding the tipping point?  Not exactly pushing the supply demand thing very far there…. (says Fat Cat Capitalist Bourne).

Enlighten me, anyone.  How is it possible to sell every conceivable printed ticket and not end up making bank?

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You know what’s pretty crazy?  The difference between playing in the Eastern / Western conferences in the ECHL.  Basically, it breaks down like this:

Nearly every AHL team is on the east coast – there are some minor exceptions, but the bulk of them are out that way.  Often, call-ups are a last minute thing.  So it’s easy for an AHL team to call-up a nearby ECHL team and have some lucky kid hop in his car and drive the hour or two.  So if you want to get a lot of AHL opportunity as a young guy with no two-way deal, it makes a lot of sense to be out there.  More pro scouts out East too.

The cities in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference are, um, (tactfully put) “suspect”:  Wheeling (of the song written performed by ECHL/AHLers “Death is Better Than Wheeling“), Johnstown, Trenton, Elmira…. the list goes on and on.  And most of the arenas are fairly average, as far generalizations go.

The Western Conference, on the other hand, generally has sparkly, nice new buildings.  And the cities?

They’ve lost a few of these teams in the last year or two, but when I played there it was:

Las Vegas, Phoenix, Victoria, Long Beach, Salt Lake City, Boise etc. etc.  Great places to spend your winter.

Since it was harder to get called up from there, those teams generally have committed affiliates with lots of two-way contracts, and lots of older players on one-way ECHL deals who were comfortable staying where they’re at.

They had the guys who want to still play hockey and live somewhere nice (some may be on the downside of their careers), so you get players like the brothers Ferraro (Peter and Chris), Marty Flichel, Kimbi Daniels and so on.

It makes the hockey totally different – the Eastern Conference is younger, faster and more reckless, while the Western Conference is older, smarter, and more NHL style, because it attracts guys who just want to settle down in a nice city for the winter and play puck.  Just thought I’d pass along that strangle little nugget for everyone.

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 If you’re in the mood for little tidbits like that, check out Puck Daddy today – I did a Top Ten of “Things I Woudn’t Know If I Didn’t Play Hockey.”  Fun.

I’m finally getting into a routine of creating columns and blogging – if you haven’t noticed, most posts will probably be shorter, but they’ll link to my daily post wherever it is around the ‘net.  Thanks for your continued support of Deadspin Bourne’s Blog!  Somehow we’re setting personal traffic records in pre-season, weee… welcome our new friends!

A Link: Nystrom Interview

 

Just a link today folks, sorry.  Tomorrow is on the business of hockey, and managing to LOSE MONEY after selling out every game of the NHL season, Minnesota….

Here’s me failing at being a decent interviewer with Eric Nystrom.  I’ll get better.

.

Kirilly Being an Idiot, Turnovers From Gretzky’s Office

 

Didja hear?  Kirill Kabanov is on punishment number two with the Isles.

This picture annoys me for no particular reason, it just does.

He was late for a second time in the young not-yet-started season, and received the mandatory “extra conditioning” after practice.  And by mandatory, I mean they were like “well shit, now what do we do with the kid?,” and weren’t creative enough to think of anything other than the ‘ol fail-safe bag skate.

You know who has a GREAT idea?  Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank, who did something awesome today, and pretty much called out the team.  I agreed with his general tone, which was:  Send the kid home.  He’s 18.  He’s not ready for the NHL yet anyway.  So you deny him a few precious days of “experience” that he clearly doesn’t give a fuck about anyway.  He’s denying himself the privelege of gaining that experience.

It’s not a “giving up on a kid” move, it’s a reality check.  It says character matters to your team.  The biggest part of This Guy’s (his name, henceforth?) development is going to be getting through the message that he’s not above the rules.  He’s not above anything.

Kid sleeps in and misses his alarm on the first day of NHL camp, I don’t even know what to say about that.  I have no idea how it happens, but let’s just say it was an innocent mistake (fuck’s sake, I would’ve slept in full gear had they let me take it home).

But a second time in ten days?  Do you have any idea what kind of Rube Goldberg device I’d have hooked up in my room to make sure it didn’t happen again?

As was (I think) subtly implied in Botta’s article, there’s more going on there than a couple innocent sleep-ins.  The kid is going out at night (and that’s the me-saying-”SPADE” portion of today’s entry).  Again, if I’m picking up any cues from Botta, and from my own I’ve-been-there-ness, the longer he’s there, the more he drags out other young players with him at night, the bigger problems he causes.

I love that the Isles drafted him.  It’s a home run swing from an often too-cautious organization.  I hope the kid becomes a STUD.  But it’s probably time to show who’s in charge.

(Grrr, that’s my tough-guy strict-parent face.)

*****

Now that'd be a cool pic to have. Iconic.

You know what coaches LOATHE that most announcers and fans love?  When a player on offense chucks the puck out from behind the net to the front, hoping somebody is there.

It’s the most celebrated turnover in hockey. 

*GASP (says the crowd)

The blind, no look, “maybe if I push the puck into that rugby scrum it’ll find my guys blade and I’ll look like I’ve got Gretzky vision.”

I’m not exempt from this scorn - I was a big advocate of the prayer (ECHL All-Star Game 2008, I looked like I would be a great linemate to have after one worked out), but it’s really just not that great a play, as a number of my benchings go to show.

If you aren’t looking, and don’t have a clean blade to find out front, just hang on to it.  See that picture of Wayne-o?  He didn’t exactly rush that pass (then again, back then they just let you hang out back there, but still…. he waited for an open blade) so much so that they named it his office.

Let’s not celebrate that prayer pass so much, if only for the fact that coaches (who tend to know stuff about things, as a general rule) hate it.

*****

Go to Deadspin today and read all the new FJM’s for the one-day reunion of Ken Tremendous, dak and Junior.  It’s AWESOME.

*****

And as always, go to Hockey Primetime for my Midweek Musings, on fitness testing.  It should be up soon.  Happy Humpday!  10:30 PM rec league game for me.  Not cool.

Islanders Hard Knocks, Bubbles Are Ugly

 

So, this morning Deb Placey of MSG Network tweeted “Just met the IMG camera crew shooting the Islanders for an NHL version of Hard Knocks. Players and team seem all in.”

I love this man.

Yeah they are.  That’s awesome.

Here’s why, aside from the obvious fun-to-watch factor: Not sure where I heard this the other day, but someone was talking about Rex Ryan’s hiring by the Jets, and how it had something to do with raising the profile of the team, a team that battles for attention with it’s stadium-mate, the New York Giants.  Not coincidentally, his hiring came shortly after the Giants won the Superbowl.

And look at ‘em now: Hard Knocks and Sexy Rexy have the J-E-T-eSses in the spotlight all day erry day.  Are the Giants still in the league any more?  I know which team I’d rather go to if I were a free agent now, don’t you?

NYI

Well the Islanders need that too, man.  We don’t need to get rid of Scott Gordon to do it – I like his professional style – but this Hard Knocks thing?  Effin’ right.   Maybe Zenon Konopka is the next BizNasty, who knows.  Lets just get these guys some air time, maybe it’ll help make the franchise recognizeable again.

Some players would actually like a little public notoriety, which is what makes destinations like Carolina so unappealing.  Well, the Isles aren’t too far behind the Canes in media-black-holeness, and that’s just not a good a thing.

I figure not only does it have the opportunity to be pretty entertaining, I think it has the chance to make the Islanders seem like less of a dying product.  …Although, it will show people the awful dressing room situation…

It’s just too bad it didn’t happen a few years back when I was there.  We could have had the privilege of a camera in Garth Snow’s face while he watched me practice so we could hear him mutter “Kid is fukn awful.”

*****

Our boy Wysh over at Puck Daddy covered a study that recommends full face shields for all hockey players.

Ahhh, the bubble.  What a horrible, horrible look.

I probably just scored and got Char a plus.

But fine, I wrote an article last year suggesting the NHL should make visors mandatory, because, well, they should. 

Mike Ridley one-timer, 3 on 3 summer shinny.

My only argument against anything that’s long enough to involve a chin cup is that it shreds said chin (I guess it probably saves unsaid teeth though).  The same human in the above picture has more Matt Greene-related scars on his chin than than he has all other hockey injuries combined, cause when you get dinged those things carve you up (and Greene owned Char, right buddy?).  It’s just too much pressure to put on a single spot.

I’ve had my chin sewn together a couple times thanks to those too.  Just go visors, they rule.

(In reference to the caption, I went behind the net, found my teammate Ridley out front, who one-timed the pass right back into my stupid face.  I unscrewed my visor with a dime before that ice time, cause it was new and I thought it looked stupid.)

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Today’s piece over at Puck Daddy is on stepping into a higher level and struggling for awhile (even if it doesn’t look like you are) before suddenly “getting it.”  If you haven’t noticed yet, the majority of Puck Daddy readers not only refrain from suggesting I ride the short bus, but are also being pretty damn nice.  Huzzah!

*****

Happy Tuesday – I got confirmation from Kelly Hrudey that I’ll be doing a weekly spot on his radio show, so I’ll keep you guys posted when I’ll be sounding off on there.  He’s a great guy, but seems a little more serious than me, so I’ll play it safe before I start asking scarf questions.

GUEST BLOG: The Meaning Of The “C”

 

G’mornin’!

It’s 7AM here and 88 degrees. In September.  Insanity.

So, I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile:

I managed to make my share of friends throughout my years in hockey, and believe it or not, some are actually pretty smart.  I figured it’d be fun to hear a few player-voices outside my own for everyone, so let’s have at ‘er – our very first guest post.

Our first in the installment is by one of my best friends, Dave Cunning (Dave runs “Serenity Now” over at www.davecunning.wordpress.com, a hockey-infused observational blog, which is exactly what this one originally set out to be).  He weighed in on the Luongo “C” wearing thing with his own personal tale of “C” experience.

Dave and I played minor hockey together (winning a provincial championship in our last year!), then he went on to play in the KIJHL (Junior B), the ACAC (Canadian College Hockey), and play some pro in France.  If you like this bit, go check out his blog, or just say something nice.  Dave, be active in the comments if you want!

Follow Dave on Twitter

Follow Justin on Twitter

****************************

Guest Post:

The Captain’s C: The Heaviest Letter to Wear in Sports.

-Dave Cunning

 

So the “C” has officially been removed from Roberto Luongo’s che… err, chin. 

“Lu” cited that carrying the title of team captain was a “precarious position to be in”, and perhaps “a little bit of distraction”; which are not exactly traits a person with the job description of stopping 100mph slap-shots needs to be worrying about while trying to catch a glimpse of the next slap-bomb coming from the point off of a wound-up one-timer through the 8 pairs of legs in front of him.  That plus an entire hockey culture scrutinizing his selection as captain, and nit-picking all the pros and cons of it every night, maybe he’s better off without it. 

Here’s the thing about being the captain of a team.  Though the only literal privilege that comes with wearing it is being able to converse with the referees, it is a constant mental distraction. 

In my minor hockey days, I had the “C” voted on my jersey for three consecutive seasons, and an “A” in my senior year at college.  Every team has their own similar-but-different criteria for a captain to meet – skill, dedication, respect, inspiration, and plenty of other admirable traits.  Sometimes it’s done by a team vote, sometimes it’s appointed by the coaching staff, and sometimes it’s a mix of both.  Our college team had a neat tradition of having the current team’s captain choose a successor for the following season at the conclusion of the current one. 

Personally, I prefer the team vote – I think in the end, those are the guys that the captain is really leading, and I think that the players should be able to select who does that the best, in their opinion.  I don’t like having the coaches pick the captain – I think that can create an unnecessary divide between team and coaches.  Obviously there is a natural divide there already as coaches don’t compete on the ice (they just yell and tell players what to do), but when the captain is selected by them, and the assistants by the team, a we-chose-them-but-not-you mentality can develop, which can threaten the integrity of the captain, who may then be viewed as being a bit of a coaches puppet and remove some of the team’s respect that he desperately needs.  But then again, none of that can happen as well, and everyone can get along just fine.  That selection process is a bit precarious, is all I’m saying.

Gretter

There’s something very empowering about that letter “C” when it’s stitched on your jersey; it just makes you feel a cut-above – not in a pompous way, but in a humble way, as you know you’ve been entrusted with a very deep responsibility.  You now have the task of not only being (and being expected to be) the best player you can be individually, but also getting the best out of your teammates every night in hopes of success.  And you also have the duty of carrying yourself with class and respect off the ice. 

While you do your best to emulate the leadership characteristics of great captains like Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman, Messier (while you know you’re not as good as them, it’s cool to consider that you do share one thing in common with them), and perhaps former captain teammates as well, everyone else is busy scrutinizing your leadership style, and how effective (or not) it is.  People who know me (or knew me during those days) know that I’m a pretty mild-mannered guy; so especially when I was younger, I constantly heard things like I was “too quiet” as a captain, and I took my share of heat.  In the end I didn’t care what they said too much.  I just did my best to do my job, which was mainly to produce on the ice and hope my teammates would follow by example, which I believe I did well.

Proud of that "A"

After my third consecutive run as team captain, I didn’t receive another letter until my 4th year in college.  To be honest, it hurt not having it, and my jersey always felt just a little naked without something sewn on the front left shoulder; it made me a little jealous of the guys who did get it instead.  I spent a lot of time over the following years wondering what changed, what I had done wrong, and what I would have to do to get it back someday, some year.  I heard a lot of the same “you don’t need a letter to be a leader” rhetoric over the years, which is true.  I was always hopeful that my teammates would see me as a leader when it came to team voting time again though. 

At some point, I did just say “the hell with it” and tried to focus on my game, though it never really left the back of my mind.  I think not having a letter and not caring about it did afford me the opportunity to focus on simple, individual tasks as a player, instead of a broad spectrum of responsibility that comes with worrying about leading everyone else as well.  By my third year at college, and 8th year without a letter, I was my team’s leading scorer, and probably playing the best hockey I ever had.  By my fourth, I had an “A” voted onto my jersey, which meant a lot more to me than surely any of my teammates realized.  To me, their scribbles of my name on a torn-off piece of paper pulled out of a hat, was them saying, “yeah, we do want you to lead us, we do think you’re worthy of it,” which, although it wasn’t the “C”, it was the recognition I know I  had been looking for for such a long time.  Our captain that year did a great job, but when I looked back on it, I much prefer being voted a leader by the boys than having it as an appointment.  I always had the romantic idea of wearing that “C” just one more time in my career, and perhaps having that team be the last I would play for; but alas that opportunity hasn’t come yet.

Tough to justify their replacement, in my opinion.

So whether you’re 15 years old, or an Olympic gold medalist; if you don’t have thick enough skin to separate the mental battle from the actual game, then being a captain may not be for you.  It’s something that can really mess with your head, if you allow it to.  It’s not a responsibility that just any player can handle either.  Franchise players like Mike Modano and Brett Hull were given the “C” for only a few seasons until they were replaced by other players in the role, as their coaches felt their leadership style didn’t “jive”, let’s say, which the coaches expectations (click the links to read the rabbit hole stories about them).  I played with one player (who is probably the most skilled player I ever played with) who outright requested not to be given a letter at all.  As much as I hate the Vancouver Canucks, I do respect and empathize with Luongo for enduring as long as he did, and all the other great captains who take their share of abuse for not leading their team to the Stanley Cup every year.  Roberto did what was best for the team, which may be the best move he made as captain. 

Like most scenarios, critics seem to know exactly what a captain is doing wrong and all the things he should be doing in order to be a better captain; without a doubt, putting those same people in that same role would yield further incompetence in the eyes of other critics.  Everyone seems to know how to do something better than the person they’re criticizing, and that’s just a fact of life.  The best leaders find a way to lead despite all the negativity.  Unless you’ve had a “C” on your jersey, there’s a lot more to it than you likely realize, so keep that in mind next time you think it’s such an easy job!

Does Luongo Losing The “C” Matter?

 

So, the Vancouver Canucks are going to take the captaincy away from Roberto Luongo (er, he “stepped down”), which means approximately nothing (you could sum up today’s entire post with that sentence, by the way).

The fact that management – hockey people, mind you – thought that someone who has the “C” but can’t perform the “C” duties (basically the privelege of conferring with the ref) is any different from someone who just doesn’t have a “C” is mind-exploding.  Was symbolism worth taking away a guy on the ice who could represent your team near the ref’s half-circle?

The only people, from what I can tell, who think that being the possessor of said imaginary letter matters, is whoever gave it to him in the first place.

For the record, I had/have no problem with him (or any goalie) having it, it’s just a bad decision.  But whatever, if a team wants their goalie to be captain for some symbolic purpose, have at it.

THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING! THE PUCK WENT THAT WAY!

But what was it supposed to do in tangible terms to begin with?  Make it so that when he spoke in the room, people listened?  That’s the type of power awarded to a high school teacher – people listen at first out of obligation – but if you can’t command respect, it doesn’t take long before people stop paying attention.

People will react to other people based on how much they like them, respect them, etc, and having an imaginary “C” wasn’t making any difference.

If Luongo was a guy who talked in the room, he’ll still be a guy who talks in the room.  You don’t lose priveleges in there, as long as your words serve a purpose.  Everybody in every dressing room is allowed to speak up.  If he was a leader by example (or if he wasn’t) that’s not going to change

The captaincy may allow for some extra inside-info from coach, or on him using your opinion more than he normally would, but if Luongo has earned that relationship with Vigneault, that’s not going to suddenly go away.

The only reason I could think the “C” might make a difference, is if it was making him feel like he was forced to speak to the team when things weren’t going well.  That means you’re speaking when you don’t mean it, which makes it worthless and insincere.  Sometimes the best speeches come from a rookie who hasn’t spoken up all year, cause you know he means it when he finally does.  The “*sigh* I’m the captain and we’re getting shelled, I better stand-up and assemble a few sentences.” thing sucks.  But as a “leader”, he’s still going to feel like he has to do that to some extent.

Bottom line is, the changing of the Canuck captaincy isn’t even really a “thing.”  Whether you’re Team Kesler or Team Henrik or Team Burrows or Team Hamhuis, none of those guys are going to change.  The team dynamic won’t change.  The only thing that will change, is how the medias portray two players - Luongo for being de-captainfied, and Whoever, for being the new one.

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Hey, TGIF, right on.  Like I said guys, I went light and fluffy with today’s piece for Puck Daddy – it’s on why the NHL should do it’s own version of the NFL’s Hard Knocks.  (Check it out over at Puck Daddy, since I probably won’t be around to chuck up the link when it posts.)

Also, if you care to check me out on TV, I’ll be on Off The Record with Michael Landsberg at 5:00 PM EST on TSN and 6:00 on TSN.  I gotta be honest – after getting up at 6:00a.m. to get to the studio, and having some nice, light-hearted banter with  Landsberg, I was fully unprepared to be put on the defensive about my column.  But whatever, I think it went alright, so thanks to those guys for the invite.

For you newbies who are flocking to the site now that I’m Controversial Connie, here’s what you need to know:  You can find my work….

Mondays (Alternating): The Hockey News/USA Today

Tuesdays: Puck Daddy

Wednesdays: Hockey Primetime

Thursdays: Puck Daddy

Fridays: Puck Goddamn Daddy.

So go check me out there, and FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER (I’m currently ranked 106th in hockey-people follower count.  We can do better).   Have a great weekend!

“Getting Out Ahead Of It”

 

Hey folks, just wanted to get in a quick explanation of the steroids piece I wrote for Puck Daddy today

First (speaking of “getting out ahead of things”) I’m aware I’m going to take some shots for something, and that’s fine.  The hockey community is a tight-knit bunch, and a few people may be offended by the accusation that any part of our game is anything less that pure.

Don’t be offended – I’m right there with you, on the defensive side of Hockey (unless you mean the playing part of hockey, in which case you can guarantee I won’t be on the defensive side).  The point is, our game is one to be protected, as opposed to what baseball did with the whole “it’s not happening, it’s not happening” thing.  It’s like when a friend is killing themselves with drugs and alcohol – a good friend sits them down and intervenes, where the fakes ones just get out of the way of the pending train-wreck.  This is me sitting hockey down for a talk.

I thought I had a unique viewpoint on something not a ton of people know about.  I always knew I would write this column at some point, and since the start of the season (and the returning-player- flex-a-thon) is underway, it seemed more relevant now than at any other time.  I almost just banged it out as a blog 15 months ago for my few hundred readers, but I had enough sense to save it for a better forum.  Plus, I wanted to write it soon so that when (maybe that “when” should be an “if”) something does come up, I’m not just adding to the tsk-tsking din.

If anything, I hope it spurs somewhat of an epiphany for people – it’s not a crisis in our sport, but to beat a cliche, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  So prevent, damnit, prevent!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to following up on this piece over the next week or so.  Thanks for reading, and I’ll be following up in the Bourne’s Blog comment section…. I’m guessing not so much over at PD.  And, I’ll have a fresh baked (extra-fluffy) Puck Daddy piece to direct you to tomorrow.  Yum.

And hey – ACTUAL hockey is almost here.  I think we’re all looking forward to that.

If I had any computer skills, I'd photoshop me under one of those desks. Or y'know, something actually secure.

*******

JB TRACKER, all times in EST:

*I’ll be on TEAM1260 in Edmonton at 5:25

*AM640 in Toronto at 8:20

*FAN590 on Friday the 17th at 10:00 a.m.

*Off The Record with Michael Landsberg sometime tomorrow.

Updates as they happen!

Hockey’s Arranged Marriages – Hotel Living

 

Hey, hopefully this will tide you over, I’m working on tomorrow’s Puck Daddy column.  It should be a doozy!  Anywho, this one is on Hockey’s Arranged Marriages, Hotel Living.

jb

Why Trash Talk Affects Hockey More Than Any Other Sport

 

The New York Jets ran their mouths like there was no tomorrow in the lead up to this years NFL season, and the HBO show Hard Knocks did nothing but add fuel to the fire.

When they finally lost 10-9 in a penalty-filled, defense-first fuckupathon, possible criminal/outspoken disciple of god Ray Lewis (of the Baltimore Ravens) made it very clear that they beat the Jets because of all the trash talk leading up to the game.  Or something like that.

Nope, he's not fired up without the trash talk.

Here’s some thoughts on trash talk:

Basically, it means the very least in baseball, then football, then basketball, and means the absolute most in hockey of all the four major sports.

In baseball, there’s next to zero physical confrontation.  Sure, you can throw at a guy or make the odd rough slide, but unless you get that once-a-month (once a season?) chance to bodycheck the catcher, its just not a game where playing angry or with a vendetta helps.

And football’s next in line.  It sounds weird, but hear me out:

This is the most intense of the four main sports.  You only play 16 games a year, and if you’re insanely lucky, up to three or four more.  So players play a MAX of 20 times in 365 days.  So understandably, these guys are going buck-wild balls-to-the-wall every game.  Especially when you consider most guys only play on one side of the ball, so they’re looking at 30-40 minutes of playing time, and half of that time runs off between plays…. maybe they play for 15 minutes (stats show it’s considerably less, by the way.  I’m going high there), 20 times a year at most.

So when there’s a personal vendetta, are you telling me they have another gear that they’re choosing not to use in those normal games?  That they have a “oh, well now I’m really gonna try” option?  They live in that mode.  They’re try to blow up everyone.

The only reason trash talk matters at all is if they’re looking to pick on a guy (the way Tom Brady isolated that smack-talking safety a year or so ago), but for the guys in the trenches?  There is no other gear.  They simply can’t try harder.

So for the perfect formula for smack-talking to matter, you need a schedule that’s long enough that guys don’t bring their A-game every night, with enough physical contact to track down someone and settle the score.

It helps if you're strong enough to call people out and back it up, I guess.

Basketball and hockey both have 82 game seasons that get twice as good in playoffs (showing guys are capable of stepping it up on occasion), because the games suddenly matter more.  And there’s no one in the world that would claim basketball, with all it’s bumping, is more physical than hockey.

Which means, ding ding ding, your winner by technical decision, hockey is the sport that trash-talk affects the most (especially when you consider how often basketball employs set plays, and hockey allows for guys to go out of their system to take a run at a guy).

Which, in turn, might be why hockey players give the most boring interviews – they know there can be physical repercussions for their words. 

Don’t get me wrong, football players have to answer the bell too, but they answer it regardless.  My hit total in a hockey game on any given night can fluctuate between zero and what, 10, 15, and that’s my call.  So if I’m angry…. heads up.  And by “me” I mean “someone who’s tough enough to hit with force.”

*****

What do youuu think, oh-wise contributor to Bourne’s Blog?  Agree?  Am I way off on this one?

Anywho, for more of my recent typings, here’s my latest piece for Puck Daddy, on New Gear Day, the time right after making a team where they give you all the good stuff.

Goooo Tuesday!

FJM’ing Lambert’s Links: What We Learned

 

It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten around to FJMing (or, as it’s been pointed out to me numerous times, MST3King) Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy’s “What We Learned“.  But, it’s almost hockey season, so it only seemed fitting to get back to it.  Enjoy. 

{For those of you who haven’t seen this feature on Bourne’s Blog before, know this: We like grumpy ’ol Ryan Lambert here at BB.  This is just a nice way to share his links, promote his work, and be generally sarcastic… which differs from most somewhat-malicious FJMing.}

Also, if you want to go read today’s column, it’s up on The Hockey News, about Cut Day and bubble players.

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What We Learned

 

Anaheim Ducks: Even Teemu Selanne(notes) is getting sick of Teemu Selanne retirement talk. Said the greatest goal-scorer of his generation, “That (mental) approach works well for me, because I want to leave it all on the ice. But nobody’s going to believe me anymore, are they?”

I dunno, has he done this before?  You’re not exactly Brett Favre, Teemu.  Plus, I understand your indecision – it’d be tough to talk yourself into returning to a team that’s probably going to miss playoffs, again.

Atlanta Thrashers: The past two summers, Angelo Esposito(notes) has had surgery on the ACL in his right knee. That’s a lot of knee surgery for a 21-year-old kid, and not a good sign for his development. The Marian Hossa(notes) trade looks worse all the time.

Where’s Atlanta on your “teams you don’t want to watch play” list?  Gotta be in my top five.  Carolina, you still OWN top spot.

Big "if he stays healthy" clause on his worth...

Boston Bruins: Peter Chiarelli says Marc Savard is in “a good frame of mind.” This could be because his concussion problem shave made him forget how the entire organization scrambled to throw him under the bus in July.

I never really understood the whole “we’re gonna trade Mark Savard” thing…. I mean…. the team struggled to score last year.  And he creates offense.  So… if you’re gonna move someone for salary purposes, don’t you just frame Tim Thomas for murder, or have him murdered, or get him a new job as a murder investigator or SOMETHING?  Just put Thomas and Michael Ryder in a car and push it into the Boston Harbor.

Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres marketing team is top-notch. Everyone likes their new jerseys so much they almost forget the team is total garbage.

Isn’t Ryan Miller destined to fritter away his best years by making a bad team come across as average in Buffalo?  I wanna see him somewhere with a chance to play on a team who’s ceiling isn’t sixth in the conference.

Calgary Flames: Darryl Sutter says “somebody isn’t going to be happy” when camp wraps at the end of September. That somebody, I assume, Flames fans.

Sutter’s incompetence is breath-taking.  I almost feel bad for him. 

Carolina Hurricanes: Rod Brind’Amour’s(notes) new job with the Hurricanes is officially “Director of Forwards Development.” First step: develop a way to get Chad LaRose(notes) off the second line.

How bout that vague excuse for a job title as a way to get a guy a paycheck and claim he works for you?  Does any other team in the league have a “Director of Forwards?”  I mean, Director of Player Personnel is a thing, but strictly forwards?  I demand someone give me his job description.  Seriously, go.  So he…. trades for other forwards?  No, that’s the GM.  Coaches them?  Hmm, his title sounds like more of a front office thing.  He…. what the eff could he possibly do day-in, day-out?  Arrange the depth chart magnets in the coaches office?

Chicago Blackhawks:The Blackhawks will broadcast five of their seven preseason games on local TV this month. In related news, today will be three one-hundredths of a second shorter because of a shift in the Earth’s rotation generated by the force with which Bill Wirtz is currently spinning in his grave.

After watching the Bears in week one, that’s probably a good thing.  Show those people as much hockey as humanly possible to distract them from football.

Colorado Avalanche: Peter Mueller’s(notes) signing still didn’t get the Avs above the cap floor. They’re short about $112,000. Dan Ellis(notes) problems?

I follow the Fake Dan Ellis on twitter, and I gotta stay, I’m still somehow not remotely sick of the jokes.  I mean, whatever you thought of the whole situation, that feed is good for a laugh.

Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets’ unofficial phrase that pays this season: “Hardcore Hockey.” Because when all else fails, Rick Nash(notes) might smash Jimmy Howard(notes) over the head with a kendo stick.

Also cracking Justin’s Top Five Teams I’d Rather Not Watch….

Dallas Stars:”New-look Dallas Stars base hopes on youngsters, projects,” says the headline. Or if you prefer, “New-look Dallas Stars to miss playoffs again.”

Dallas was so good for so long, it’s sad that their ownership won’t give them the opportunity to compete anymore.  I can relate.  /Charles Wang’d

Mike Babcock makes me feel dumb with facial expressions

Detroit Red Wings: Justin Abdelkader(notes) took up boxing training in the offseason. He probably didn’t expect he’d have to fight Mike Modano(notes) for ice time.

This has to be that kids “make it or break it” year.  I feel like he’s been “almost” for so long, so just go ahead and “make it”, will ya JA?

Edmonton Oilers:Andrew Cogliano(notes) says he’s gotten better at faceoffs. But I don’t see how that helps him since he’s going to be a healthy scratch most of the year.

Disagree with the healthy scratch thing, but then, I also disagree that there’s a way to accurately gauge getting “better at faceoffs” in the off-season.

Florida Panthers:The Panthers have a new P.A. guy this season, who also voices ads against drunk driving in which he asks, “Have you been drinking tonight, sir?” For Panthers fans who paid to watch that team, the answer is likely, “Yes.”

I like Dale Tallon, and feel like he’s in the top five best GM’s in the league, believe it or not.  Florida is under repair, and I think with solid tools (still, I think they’re going to have a horrible year, but he’ll right that ship).  Clark Gillies was telling me Dale got a ring from Chicago, AND a slice of the bonus money.

Los Angeles Kings: And now a chat with Alexei Ponikarovsky(notes), in which he is not asked what it feels like to be a consolation prize, and rather a shabby one at that.

A lot of people are a lot of excited about LA.  I need to see LA play before I’m sold – to me, they’ve got the biggest range of any team.  3rd to 12th, maybe?

Minnesota Wild: Darby Hendrickson(notes) has joined the Wild as an assistant coach. His qualifications, apart from being in the NHL for 10 seasons, is that he was the best high-school hockey player in Minnesota in 1991. You gotta love how much the franchise bends over backwards to appeal to its fans that way.

Oh, Minnesota and your high school hockey. …you’rreeee fucking crazy.

Montreal CanadiensFans in Montreal have had it rough, since the franchise hasn’t won a Stanley Cup in almost two decades. On the Habs’ 200th anniversary, they will only hold 14 ceremonies to honor last year’s team.

I can’t see any way in which Montreal has a good season next year, can you?  They took a grossly overachieving Habs team (in playoffs, anyway) that barely snuck into playoffs, sold off the better goalie, and added… whom?

Nashville Predators: The Preds are really proud of all their excellent D prospects. Now if only they’d draft a forward.

The Predators are like soccer.  I’ve never particularly cared for them, but I don’t go out of my way to dislike ‘em.  Yet when someone who’s a follower of their team explains to me why they’re great, I feel ignorant.  So I’ve just started pretending I think Nashville is good to avoid their condescending tone.  Like that of soccer fans.

New Jersey DevilsSo many words about waiving Brain Rolston. I didn’t count but I think it was almost a million.

He’s still in the NHL, huh?

I'd love to see him stay healthy, btw...

New York Islanders: Rick DiPietro is actually going to participate in training camp this year. “He can just go out and play and not have any physical issues,” Garth Snow noted. Not for the first 20 minutes anyway. Maybe.

Eh, there’s enough goalies desperate for somewhere to play that I hope he gets injured sooner than later so we can have our pick of the crop of those guys.

New York Rangers: Rangers fans are excited about the team possibly signing free agent Garnett Exelby. I don’t even have a joke for that. They are. And that’s sad.

What, no Jagr?  I thought he was looking to make a return to the NHL?

Ottawa Senators: In case you were wondering, there is indeed a new Senators Goalie of the Future: Robin Lehner(notes). But this one’s gonna MAKE IT!

To some other team’s back-up role in three years!

Philadelphia Flyers: Matt Carle(notes) traveled all over this summer, with stops in Bora Bora and Alaska, among other places. This season he’ll get to visit tourist hot spots like Uniondale, Buffalo and Pittsburgh. What a life.

Matt’s from Alaska and his family still lives there.  Not sure that counts as “travelling”.  I’ll predict a stud season from him.

Phoenix Coyotes: Brandon Gormley: Coach-talkin’.”Just play your game, I think. You’re here for a reason, and they want to see that, and it’s obvious you have to step up your game. It’s harder competition, and everyone’s fighting for a job here, so you’ve just got to go prove yourself.” Insight.

He’s in the running to end up on the minus side of my quote board with work like that.

Pittsburgh Penguins: With some of the earliest actual hockey highlights of the young preseason, we get our first dirty hit/stretchering off at 55 seconds.

I’m dreading dirty hits during the season.  They’re a bad topic that are easier to go holier-than-thou on (so you have to watch what you say), especially when it’s all fairly subjective.

San Jose Sharks: The Sharks signed about 400 college free agents last spring and Todd McLellan is excited to see an indeterminate number of them play in this rookie camp. Which ones? Don’t worry about that.

Is this San Jose’s last kick at the Cup?

Breakout years in '10-'11? I called it last year and was wrong...

St. Louis Blues: This penny-pinching team with its terrible owner might be a penny-pinching team with a new, and only possibly-terrible owner by the end of the year.

Hey, they’re makin’ it work there in St. Louis, somehow.  I predicted them to finish 5th or 6th in the West in my USA Today rankings.

Tampa Bay Lightning: The Bolts’ rookies participated in a 16-round shootout. That’s a lot of rounds.

Speaking of 5th or 6th… I have Tampa making huge strides too (as do most people).

Toronto Maple Leafs: Leafs predictions in the comic pages. Sure, why not? Bonus points if you can figure out why this strip is popular or considered funny.

I didn’t earn any bonus points.

Vancouver Canucks: Jordan Schroeder(notes) might stick with the big club. But as the article points out, Canucks Rookies That Might Make the Team have a tendency of, y’know, not doing that.

Luongo’s no longer the captain hey?  I’m Team Kelser with Sean Leahy.  Aren’t you?

Washington Capitals: Marcus Johansson(notes) is expected to be the star at Caps rookie camp. Sucks to be you, Johann Kroll.

 Ahhh, the battle for the right to not make the NHL team.  Sucks to get drafted by a stacked team.

*****

That’s it that’s all folks.  Until tonight anyway…. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALLLL!?!

J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!

New Puck Daddy Post

 

Not much of a blog today folks, as may happen occasionally.  Fortunately, you can just go read my latest blog for Puck Daddy:  Hockey Locker Room Cliques.  It got some nice feedback on the twitter, so maybe you’ll like it too!  Weeeeee!

*****

Speaking of weeee…. it’s the weekend, and a beautiful time of year.  Mostly because….

IT’S ALMOST FOOTBALL SUNDAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

Enjoy the outdoors on Saturday, cause lord knows you’re not going anywhere Sunday.

Glug.

 When it’s NOT happy hour, the above beer is $4 at my pub.  Also, you get the wonderful service of my barfriender, Ralphie.

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