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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.


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!?!



20 Responses to “FJM’ing Lambert’s Links: What We Learned”
  1. Dave K says:

    10 to 1 odds that Rod Brind’Amour’s job is to sit in the team gym, smell towels to ensure underpaid labor has done a proper job, and occasionally yell at a forward working out, “Get the lead out you chunky monkey!!!”

    Rhetorical questions: Would Atlanta be more tolerable to watch if their team colors were better? How soon before every team has either Red or Black as a preferred color? Didn’t the Caps used to be blue or something? And the Canes green and blue? Introducing the 2011 Atlanta RedhawksBlackwings!

  2. James says:

    If the Sabres ceiling with Miller is 6th in the conference, how did they win their division last year?

  3. jtbourne says:

    It’s a new year man… just looking at the other teams in the East in 2010-2011, I’d be shocked if they finished higher than sixth.

    But, in your defense, I TOTALLY forgot they finished that high last year…. first round playoff exits will do that!

  4. Derek says:

    I would give Columbus a chance this year to make it off your list of teams not to watch. Hitchcock is gone, they are putting in a high tempo system and they have a ton of young guys with offensive talent.

    Gotta disagree with you on Tallon as a top five GM. He is great at drafting and made good trades. But he is clearly terrible with free agency, and has no idea how to manage the salary. I think he is someone better suited to a director of player personnel role, where he runs the draft and can consult on trades, but someone else gets to pull the trigger on free agent deals and run the finances.

  5. jtbourne says:

    Fair ’nuff brotha… I guess I just see him as a guy who’s making strides towards winning as a priority, where I feel like other GM’s are happy managing the budget and helping their owner make money.

  6. Nadeau says:

    The Cane’s where green and blue as the Hartford whalers so thats why the switch happened however I do agree that so many teams mesh together these days they should have a strict one colour scheme per team rule Imagine the crazyness in Jerseys we could see then!?!??!?

  7. Sherry says:

    Entertaining stuff today.

    I assume the Pens comment was about the hit on Alex Grant? It was really sad to watch his locker room interview (before they left on the bus) while knowing he’d probably be lost for the season. I was very glad to hear that it’s “only” a broken wrist and whiplash after hearing both his head and extremities were immobilized, but good lord, brutal way to start the season.

    And speaking of brutal – some of the injuries from yesterday’s slate of football games were fairly gruesome. Sometimes it is really hard to watch… I can’t believe that the powers that be want to add two games to the season.

    That said – was great to watch football that counted yesterday. If the Chargers win tonight we will have Week 1 perfection for all the fans (Chargers, Packers, Bears, Steelers) in this house (although that call in the Bears game was crazy. I know, I know, that’s the rule – but dang, I think the Lions got robbed). Go Chargers (and Jets)!!

  8. Sherry says:

    Really nice work on the THN piece today Justin (as always). Geez, you need to write something sucky sometime, so I don’t have to feel like such a sycophant… :)

  9. Alix in SJ says:

    Columbus Blue Jackets:

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

    And this is why the Sharks playing in Europe is such a love/hate thing for me this season. Really? Columbus? At least with Nashville, you’d get the playoff rivalry vibe…

  10. Derek says:

    I can see that angle on Tallon. He’s clearly got a good eye for talent, and in the pre-lockout NHL he would have been an awesome GM. It would be interesting to see the opinion on Tallon had Chicago not won the Cup, as they would have had to purge the team no matter what. I do think that he’s far from the worst GM in the league.

    Meant to comment on your Hockey News article earlier, but it slipped my mind. I don’t know if I agree with your blanket assessment, at least from my experience in Junior (I’m sure the pro game is much different based on contracts, draft picks, etc). My first year I was an afterthought training camp invitee who pushed a veteran out of a spot and made the team. I was under the assumption that I wasn’t going to make it all camp, and was only angling for call ups. Although I think that can be more attributed to a new coaching staff trying to shake things up by cutting an older, lazy vet for a young, hustler. The next year, I had thought I was safe but during the first round of cuts I got called in to see the GM and coach. At this point, I figure I’m cut, only to get told to stop fighting everybody, as I had already proved myself. I was sweating bullets walking in there though. Thought that I was gonna be that years sacrificial lamb to put a scare into the other vets.

  11. mikeB says:

    To be fair I’d rather have a goalie of the future than nothing at all to look forward into between the pipes. Also in that article there are some names that were never viewed as goalies of the future… Jani Hurme (he was always terrible), Martin Prusek (ditto), Lajeunesse & Chouinard (never even got a chance to be considered the future outside of being drafted, there wasn’t much ‘next level’ capability there), Gerber was signed as the goalie of today, and Ray Emery has some personality issues that don’t quite work in a gov’t town like Ottawa.

    But yeah, he’s probably going to get all Dan Blackburn’d or something like that.

  12. JDP says:

    I don’t live in Columbus, but I’ve attended several games there. They’re certainly not the most interesting team, but they have a very passionate and friendly fan base (although that will undoubtedly go out the window when they start having some sustained success), and they play in a beautiful arena in a very underrated city. I always enjoy my times there, and while I don’t “like” their team, per se, I’m looking forward to when those fans get a chance to enjoy an extended playoff run.

  13. neil says:

    Say what you want about Tallon’s ability to handle the salaries, but he put together a team that won the cup and they still have a team left over that could win it again. Maybe he’s smarter than we all realize and he knew that the money wouldn’t be there to go around, but that there would be a pretty nice 1 or 2-year window?

    St.Louis will improve but I don’t think their players will have any significant break-outs, there are too many offensively talented guys and I think they will be a score-by-committee team with a bunch of 50-60 point guys. Er. I mean…. hey everyone, draft the Blues forwards this year, you won’t be disappointed!!!

    I think Henrik for captain. Kesler is a good second in command, he’s louder, grittier, more emotional, and more intense. Henrik is calm, smart, and strategic. I want the calm, smart guy running the show and the tough, intense guy to be the A. If you can get both in the same person that’s great, but how many Jerome Iginlas are there in the league?

  14. neil says:

    btw Fake Dan Ellis is hilarious. I love that Lupul took a little shot at Ellis on his twitter, check that shiz!

  15. Ballgame says:

    You’re gonna catch some flack for the Thomas comments. Since you’re an up and comer might be good to edit that part. Would want to suggest something like that.
    I like you, just my opinion to protect you.

    Love this segment, keep em coming

  16. jtbourne says:

    Derek – It does happen, sure, but I’m not wishy-washy on that one. I bet 90% of every roster is fairly solid (barring an atrocious showing from one of those guys) before guys show up for camp. And even those other “available” spots are usually held for a battle between one or three guys. Again, it’s possible to go buckwild, score/hit/fight a ton and make them go “fuck, maybe we should keep that kid”, but for the most part, it’s not like that. Matt Moulson got cut from my junior team after scoring FOUR TIMES in a game, because the team had already used one of their “cards” (jr. contracts) on another kid.

  17. Raj77 says:

    Thomas’ contract is an albatross around the Bs’ neck. I like the guy, but he’s the most overpaid 37-y/o backup known to mankind. That is one of the least controversial thing Bourne’s said in the last year, and if it gets edited I’ll eat my left Chuck Taylor.

  18. Bart says:

    Darryl Sutter might just be my favorite GM (as a Canucks fan):

    “No. 2 is we missed him after [Jokinen] left. He’s a big centreman. What were his numbers, 15 goals and 30 assists or whatever? Well if it was 20 and 30 or 30 and 30 then everybody would have had a different opinion.”

    So, if he was better at hockey than he is, people would like him more? Hard to find players that dont fit that criteria.

  19. jtbourne says:

    “Y’know, people don’t always like the trades I make, but you gotta think: If the guys I traded for were better than they are, wouldn’t you like those trades then? Am I right? Yeahhhhhhh.”

  20. TN Hockey says:

    Predfan here. No, I cant tell you that they are great, but I can tell you that they are among the hardest working team game-in and game-out. And that is something I’ve always admired in anyone.

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