Subscribe to Bourne's Blog Grab My Feed!Subscribe to Bourne's Blog Subscribe to Comments

Jaroslav Halak, Ron Artest, and Easton Gear


 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.

Headed to STL

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.

So, thoughts:

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.

Still haunting Washington and Pittsburgh fans.

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….

Aaactually, should be a pic of him play D....

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:

The hoodies and hat

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.

Go Seawolves.

…..Okay, don’t judge me on that.

Follow me on Twitter

Follow Easton Hockey on Twitter.


Update: Artest press conference video:


21 Responses to “Jaroslav Halak, Ron Artest, and Easton Gear”
  1. Deirdre says:

    I have much more respect for Bri’s taste now that I know she’s a Mcconaughey girl…Pitt is just too easy :-)

    I don’t understand the Halak trade…Montreal is famous for it’s emotional fans and yet you do this? They’re just asking for a riot.

    I hope he kicks butt for the Blues and sweeps Montreal under the rug.

  2. ms.conduct says:

    Yeah, I woulda gotten on you for the Pitt thing, too. At least Matt’s a good Texas boy. Well, he’s a Texas boy anyway. Not sure he’s husband material, but then most fantasy men aren’t. :)

    Intrigued by this Ron Ron person. I like crazy. But not enough to follow basketball, I’m afraid.

  3. Alanna says:

    I dunno about Artest. I remember living in Sacramento when he was traded to the Kings (they traded Stojakovic for the guy who was just suspended for jumping in to the crowd during a game to beat up a fan?!) and the memories I have of his time there were of his dog being seized for neglect, and then him being arrested for beating up his wife. I hope he has done a better job of “relaxing” since then. LA can keep him.

  4. Neil says:

    Artest is a hell of a player, he’s been outstanding as a Laker. I don’t follow basketball that closely, but he is a big, strong guy who can grab rebounds and play D as well as having a suprisingly good long-range shot. Tough not to love that.
    As a person, he strikes me as more of a douchebag than a conundrum for pretty much the reasons Alanna mentions.
    I don’t blame Habs fans for being upset about the trade but I can also see why they did it. I think it was a combination of wanting to save a good chunk of cash by signing Price and a veteran back-up, and also the realization that giving Halak his contract meant letting go of Price, which they obviously really don’t want to do. Another point worth making though is that this was an excellent opportunity to sell high and buy low. Price doesn’t have much leverage at all on his deal (no arbitration rights, unstable performance, a mediocre season… he isn’t going to cost Montreal much and they still believe in Price). Halak’s value might be higher now than it will ever be, so you either open up your wallet and buy that stock at top dollar while a little voice in your head tells you you’re a sucker, or you sell it, take your profit, and never look back. What hurts more, trading away Halak’s rights for two good prospects when he’s playing great, or trading away Price’s rights for far less than what you think he’s worth because he’s playing poorly? There are points to be made for either choice in this case, I think. Eller could be a nice surprise too, a few people online are saying he’ll probably be ready to go next year.

  5. jtbourne says:

    Neil – I was thinking of the “sell high” as a good point too, but the point is they didn’t get NEAR Halaks value while he was high. Isn’t he worth more than a guy who “should be able to make the team next year” and a random WHLer? So (as I’m sure you’d agree), the fans have every right to be be bummed when they sell high …for low.

  6. rouven from germany says:

    hmm, don’t think the habs could’ve gotten much more for halak since they “only” traded the rights for negotiation with him. it’s a bit like the bouwmeester to calgary-thingy, florida didn’t get anything near the value for their franchise d-man.

    what perplexes me most about the deal is that the canadiens didn’t even START to negotiate with halak. i think he deserved at last that after this playoff performance, and if i was a habs fan, i’d be seriously pissed with team management. that’s just no way to treat someone who contributed so much to your team. i sure can understand why the habs want to keep price, but the way it all went down really stinks.

    artest is one of the few bballers that caught my attention. he’s just so … unclassifiable. yea, he’s got a lot of flaws and did a lot of stupid things in his career. but the reason i find myself actually rooting for him is his “heart of gold” underneath all that ghetto-kid image. truly believe that ronron wants to be a good person more than anything else in his life. that press conference with him thanking his psychatrist tells a lot about him. liked that. besides that, i’ve been hoping for a boston victory, it’s getting quite boring to see bryant raise the trophy again and again. he’s a helluva player, but i was hoping that maybe this year nowitzki or especially james could get sth dome. maybe on the same team? ;)

    btw, justin: if you’re running out of ideas of what to write about, i’d just LOVE to read some thoughts about the islanders. maybe it’s because i don’t really have any ties to nhl teams with living in europe and such, but i can’t help liking the isles really much. maybe because of my love for underdogs and perennial underachievers, who knows. but now i’m waiting for one effin good season and more than one round the playoffs for what feels like an eternity. but i won’t give up on this team. blue collar play > individual skills, at least in my book.
    just a thought, since i reckon you’re not gonna write that much about the other teams my heart’s attached to, wings and caps ;)

    thanx for another great read!
    oh, and more cat pix plz. your indoor tiger rules!

  7. jtbourne says:

    A) Great point. They only traded the right to negotiate. B)I get conlflicting cat pics comments. C) And yes, more Isles!

  8. Neil says:

    I read (I think on Puckdaddy) that the original rumour was Halak for a first-rounder and David Perron, which seems insane to give up for the rights to sign a guy. It is kind of a weird distinction though: is there really much of a difference between trading a guy on a 4 year, 16 million dollar deal, and trading a guy who is going RFA and clearly willing to sign a 4 year, 16 million dollar deal? If the Habs gave him the contract and THEN traded him, would they have suddenly gotten way more? Why? Someone who knows more about the specifics of being RFA might have to enlighten us here.
    Don’t spare the cat pictures and videos!

  9. jtbourne says:

    Tooootally, Neil. Like would a sign-and-trade suddenly double his value? If so, there’s another reason to be mad for Montreal fans. I have no idea how that works. I’m still obsessed with that cat Snookie punch. The sound of the punch reminds me of a Dustin Burnham punch on Jesse Brown in the hallway at Mt. Boucherie.

  10. rouven from germany says:

    that whole rfa-stuff is really complicated. maybe the habs were afraid of getting an offer sheet for halak they just couldn’t/wouldn’t match, especially after halak’s playoff performance?

    but what i’m really confused about: halak’s still a rfa, hasn’t signed with the blues yet. so if any other team decides to come forward with an offer sheet, would that one go to the blues now?

    but even if the habs didn’t want to risk creating maybe sth like a penner situation, they’d still get a first-rounder as compensation, wouldn’t they? so i’m still trying to figure out the “this makes sense”-part of the whole deal.

    maybe my bouwmeester-comparison wasn’t that appropiate, since he was a ufa and it was get at least something for him or let him walk for free for florida.

    sry that i’m a bit confused, maybe has sth to do with the fact that all of the trading/drafting/pacta sunt servanda is, unfortunetely, not the way things are handled over here in europe.

  11. rouven from germany says:

    sry for the double-post, but i forgot another thing: halak had/has arbitration rights, price on the contrary is just a normal ufa.

    but still … can someone help me understand that trade? i can see what montreal is up to, but still i don’t really get why they’re giving up on a potential franchise goalie (just like price) that early and that easy.

    i’d like to see the canadian teams having success in the nhl, but i just can’t help thinking that this deal will certainly blow up in the canadien’s faces. ?)

  12. Amy Jo says:

    Artest is an updated version of Rodman….less shock value, more actual lunacy. At least he appears to have love for his psychiatrist.

    This blog is your blog…. about hockey and other stuff (cat!). If they don’t like it, they can stick to reading your Puck Daddy stuff that is strictly hockey.

  13. Neil says:

    Yeah that is a solid punch, I guess even in cat-land wearing a fedora marks you as a douchebag.

    UFAs are another question worth researching: why trade prospects for a guy who is under no obligation to sign with you (a la Bouwmeester)? Sounds like the beginnings of a morning research session… yay internet!

  14. Usually Frustrated Caps Fan says:

    RE: “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).”

    Pretty awesome comment (NOT) about a former Veznia and Hart Winner by a guy who’s only qualifications is being a Cup Winning “Daddy’s Boy” who still hasn’t shown he has the hockey talent to make it at the AHL Level consistently let alone in “the bigs”. Poor form and poor attempt at humor after the season that Theo put up for the Capitals this year – he really didn’t deserve “the hook” in round one at all and after Varlamov’s Game 6 effort, he should have gotten a chance at redemption in game seven for the Capitals. If he had, his stock might well be trading significantly higher. As it is I’d put he and Dan Ellis at the top of the list of UFA Netminders any way.

  15. jtbourne says:

    Haha, I approved that comment cause it was so awesome. First time I’ve had my humor shredded with a “not” joke.

    And thanks for reading! The donate button is on the right.

  16. rouven from germany says:

    omg, this is even better than “go and play with your daddy’s rings, bourne” on yahoo …

    this raises the question how on earth i should be qualified for commenting on professional hockey players … i never played even semi-pro hockey AND i come from a country that traditionally sucks at hockey. hmm …

  17. Neil says:

    haha awesome

  18. Four to Five says:

    Haha okay reading the end of these comments was pretty funny yeah.

    But yeah, STL only has the rights to negotiate, so Halak could burn them anyway and be like”Hell no I don’t wanna be in Saint Louie, get me out of here!


  19. SDC says:

    love that the one song artest gets filmed in the club dancing to is the most gangster one ever, Shook Ones 2 by Mobb Deep. That guy is all over the road at all times. His shrink must need a shrink after those sessions.

  20. vek says:

    I’d pay good money to see that cat scene re-enacted with either Carcillo or Lapierre wearing the hat.

  21. Richie says:

    Seems Yahoo posters have followed you home……DUN DUN DUN!

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!