Jaroslav Halak, Ron Artest, and Easton GearShareThis
As my friend Neil put it…. Snookie punch.
Bri read yesterday’s post, and instead of giving me shit for implying I was holding out for Marisa Miller (yes, I will continue linking to Google Image pages of her, thanks), she gave me shit for implying she was holding out for Brad Pitt. Apparently, I’ve learned, she’s much more of a Matthew Mcconaughey (there you go ladies) fan. So now you know, too.
Okay, BIG STUFF goin’ on in the sports world. Today’s a pretty long blog, so grab your coffee, tea, whiskey, or whatever it is you drink when you read my blog, and let’s dive in.
The Montreal Canadiens traded Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues for Lars Eller and Ian Shultz.
To clarify who the two guys you’ve never heard of before are, Eller is a 21 year old quality prospect that played in the AHL last year (seven NHL games) and Shultz is a 20 year old WHL tough guy. Woo hoo.
I’m not completely opposed to trading Halak instead of Price.
Halak definitely would’ve cost the Habs more, and they already have cap problems thanks to giving Scott Gomez eight billion dollars a shift. Price is 22, and already has 150 NHL games played under his belt. And, in a league where Niemi and Leighton were your Finals goalies, it suddenly seems possible to succeed with a guy who’s only “good”, not “great” (again, he could get to “great”, he’s young).
But after the Halak playoff run, where your city of goalie-lovers found their new Roy, Montreal owed their fans some effort in keeping him (they never even contacted Halak’s agent to hear what he wanted, saying “they knew what his value was”). That’s ludicrous, considering there was as many Halak jerseys as any other player in the stands by the conference finals.
So if you were going to trade your fans newest deity, didn’t you at least owe them a player in return that they could be pumped about getting, not just talked into, the way we’re all being talked into Eller?
What was the rush on this move?
I understand, as James Mirtle and Pierre Lebrun wrote, that there’s a sackful of available goalies (something like 10 quality guys…. and Jose Theodore), and only so many starting positions (like, four). But since Halak is better than pretty much every goalie on that list at only age 25, it shouldn’t matter. There could be 1000 available goalies, and if you’re the best, teams want you first.
For Montreal, with the draft coming up and the whole summer of free agency ahead, taking a quality roster piece out of your lineup and replacing it with a “maybe” isn’t good enough.
For St. Louis, applause all around. They took their “maybe” in Eller, and parlayed it into quality in the crease. They’ve got what they were going to pay Mason free to help cover the cost of Halak, and as Greg Wyshynski put it, they’re now a “ team that’s making the turn from building to contend to contending this season.”
The LA Lakers beat the Boston Celtics in game seven of the NBA Finals last night, but there’s only one thing I want to talk about. Ron Artest.
I met my uncle Ken, a St. John’s alum (as is Artest – Ken’s love of the school is how I came to acknowledge them as my preferred college basketball team) in New York City this past summer to take in a show, have some dinner, and just poke around because it’s fun. We spent the afternoon walking around with our better halves, and talking sports. And while we’re usually on the same page, when I suggested RonRon would find a way to mess things up for the Lakers (and that they should’ve kept Ariza), I didn’t realize the can of worms I opened.
I get weekly emails about the wonderment that is Ron Artest, a stance I didn’t think any sane human could take. But I’ve slowly been persuaded….
Artest is – and this is fair to say, even he would – unstable. But, he recognizes that, and works with a psychologist to tone the crazy down. He’s also loyal, a hard worker, and… god, he’s just so freaking unstable.
In his post-game interview, he promoted his new single “champion”. When asked how he wanted to be remembered, he said “ghetto”. When asked about flopping to draw a charge, he said “if you flop and call a charge in my neighborhood, somebody might get stabbed”. There’s just too many Artest moments to explain the guy.
Whether he’s renting porn on a rookie’s bill one moment, then taking a little girl who just lost her Dad to a parents event the next, or going missing before the Lakers first game of the year, but only because winning a title meant so much to him, or disobeying Houston Rockets staff, but to play with little kids, there’s just nobody like him in sports.
Because who else could combine literally being on the verge of mental insanity, with having a heart of gold? He’s simply one of the most interesting, polarizing, controversial people in sports. RonRon. Gotta love him…. I guess?
UPDATE: Yup, he wore his jersey to the club last night, and eff does that club look fun.
I’m fortunate enough to be in Easton’s loop of people who receive their promotional materials and demo stuff, so in turn, let me sell you some Easton gear:
Here’s the deal – I get the odd package from other companies trying blow up their new products too, and when the stuff isn’t good, I just don’t write about it. This stuff is.
The hoodies are badass. Simple, one of them is that stretchier, thinner material, and the other is warm as hell (thanks, by the way Easton – tooootally need that in AZ in June). They understand something that other companies don’t – hockey fans don’t want NASCAR clothes. The hat is understated and flexfit, with Easton on the brim, and “hockey” on the back. Most of the stuff is good material, minimal logos (well, the red one has minimal logos). Well played. Even the toque is money, but again… hot.
And, I’ll definitely be rocking the dry-fit golf shirt. Because y’know, I sweat eating cereal here these days.
Anyway, if you want some of that gear, here’s the link to their clothes stuffs. And hey, you can trust me… I have sick taste.
…..Okay, don’t judge me on that.
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Update: Artest press conference video: