Saturday, June 28, 2008

a love letter to tömi mäki

dear tömi:

i am extremely saddened, though completely unsurprised, to find out that you've signed a contract with jökerit of the finnish hockey league. your NHL dreams have apparently come to an end, my friend, no thanks whatsoever to darryl sutter and his penchant for veterans.

if nothing else, i'll always remember you, my #57, for winning the all-business tie on your only NHL outing, and for landing the first annual "this guy is everywhere" prize on my inaugural run with the baby flames' awards.

i wish you all the best success in hockey, and in life. i'll miss you more than you could ever know....


Friday, June 27, 2008

welcome back

langkow, conroy, nystrom, mcelhinney: re-signed.

no surprise there for me --as in: none whatsoever. as in: ho-hum....

details are tbd, but i read that conny got a two-year 2.1 million deal. my initial reaction to that is WTF, DAZ ??!?

i'm not suggesting that 1.05 mil for craig this coming year ain't a great signing. i'm saying that i'm effin' sick of sutter's two-year deals to guys that are edging closer to the precipice of retirement. i imagine a year from now we'll be seeing ol' #24 on waivers....

otherwise, good day for the flames.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

blessed, blessed waivers.....

right around the time duncan and i were puttin' back our second pints on a toronto patio last night, darryl sutter was, presumeably, filing the paperwork that put warrener, eriksson & nilson on waivers.

while warrener and eriksson seemed like obvious moves (untradeable, unplayable guys), i'm a little surprised at the inclusion of nilson. at 1 million/yr, with a year left on his contract [wasn't the extension signed just this past year ??!] and the only natural LW left in a flaming C, i thought marcus a shoo-in for a 3rd/4th line position. he proved his value at the worlds this past may, showing he still had some games left in him, and at bargain basement pricing, i'm not convinced getting rid of him is a smart move.

the sutter good-or-bad debate continues.

freeing up all or some of the aforementioned players cap space (2.5, 1.5, 1 million respectively), pending buyouts or league interest (*ahem*unlikely) is pretty huge in our current situation. what would have been equally huge, and a major point of agreement between my last night's drinking mate, is if sutter had NOT signed eriksson or mark smith last year, thereby giving any of the equally [some might say MORE] capable youngsters a season's worth of experience in low-minute play. instead, we've lost some of our top prospects to europe [taratukhin, puustinen], others turn RFA july 1 [van der gulik, stevenson, maki], while duds like kris chuko remain firmly on the farm with no promotion in sight.

it's actually kindof dire.

that's it for now.

Friday, June 20, 2008

draft day: by popular request....

well, my biggest fear for day #1 of the 2008 NHL didn't transpire (lombardi for a sack of pucks), so i guess i'll weigh in on the cammalleri-for-tanguay (sortof) trade(s).

i'm a fan.

tanguay, on paper, is clearly a better player but he never seemed to live up to his potential in calgary (funny, i'm sure we've said this about a half dozen players). in cammalleri, we get a skill player with crazy good speed who could feasibly, in my opionion, play pretty much anywhere..... he's a centre, but he shoots left, so i'm guessing sutter has him pegged as a winger.

we shall see.

that's all for now. it's too nice out to sit here and write.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

NHL Awards 2008: W. T. F... ???

so i realize that pretty much nobody cares about the NHL Awards, especially since the OV-MVP-T fiasco, but it really would've been nice of the CBC to make it look like THEY cared. this is easily the most amateurish awards show i've ever watched.... like, uh... wow. i'm dumbfounded.

the show opened to the cbc sports theme: the one you're familiar with from the olympics (and the pre-HNIC music) before cutting to stompin tom and ron maclean [who i will never heckle...ever]. after his opening monologue, he passes it over to martin st.louis to give away the pearson trophy.

st. louis announces the nominees and the winner in a single breath. no cut-to edited B-reel of the three players, no cut-to the NHLers watching live in the audience. when the next award (selke) is given out, there IS all of that bio stuff, which makes me wonder if they had some kind of technical error.... except it wasn't the only award that was given out that way. there was no rhyme or reason to which awards had a great lead-in, and which nominees were simply announced by the presenter(s). lame, lame, lame.

one awesome compilation of highlights was the "young guns" series of clips. and if they'd followed it with the calder, that would've made sense... but no. the calder was presented about 45 minutes later....

on the bright side, ovechkin & datsyuk were awesome in their acceptance speeches (datsyuk's 2nd win was extra hilarious, as he managed to explain that he used all his english in the first speech). a nervous ovechkin is such a great character.... god, i love that guy. ;) ron maclean asks him "who taught you how to win, your mom or your dad ?" ovechkins responds "both. my mom won... everything, and my dad won... me." awesome.

other things that irked me:

- mispronouncing iginla in his bio for the hart (unless iginla IS, infact, pronounced "EEginla").
- bettman announcing the lifetime achievement award winner as gordie howe, then making him stand on stage for the duration of the presentation.
- not televising the red carpet: no dion & elisha, no zäta & his popstar gf, no lundqvist in his (presumeably) high-end tux.
- martin brodeaur IS a bit of a fatty and i can't believe he beat nabby for the vezina (my favorite trophy, with the little beaver perched on top)...
- after OV won the hart, maclean did not present him with the NHL-issue Tshirt
- where the hell was NHL poster boy sidney crosby ?!?!!!!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

no man is an island

in 2000, penguin books released a novel by nick hornby called "about a boy," which was made into a feature film starring hugh grant two years later. the story is about a callous thirty-something womanizer "who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy" (

'what does this have to do about hockey', you ask ?
allow me to explain....

the story's protagonist, Will, doesn't have a job (haha kinda like me!). the REASON he doesn't have a job is because he's independently wealthy... from collecting royalty cheques from a jingle that his father wrote....

i presume that dolores claman, with her already-sixty years worth of royalties from penning the theme to hockey night in canada, was considering her grandchildren's trust funds when she essentially told the CBC where to shove it. someday, the grandbabies claman can enjoy breaking time into 30-minute "units,"** because they have the financial luxuries of not working. and kudos to dolores for setting'em up.

unfortunately, this means that (as of yesterday), the newly dubbed "Hockey Theme", has been officially divorced from the cbc's saturday night classic. To me that's the part of this saga that's the most heartbreaking. sure, the tune won't fade off into obscurity but, get this straight kids ---it must heretofore be referred to as "the former theme song to hockey night in canada."


anyhow. congrats to TSN for making the brass at the mothercorp look like flailing idiots (again).

**seriously, if you haven't seen this movie, i highly recommend it. hugh grant is very.... well, hugh grant-ish, but the supporting cast (rachel weisz, toni collette and the kid that plays marcus) is kickass....

Saturday, June 7, 2008

cause you can never have too much dion....

[they even got the walk right...]


thanks to jason for the tip. x

*sigh: only 6 weeks till prospect camp....

the New York Times slapshot blog has, apparently, not been affected by random idiots scaling the building, and they've requested a season sum up from the cast of team bloggers that still have one eye on the hockey world.

as for the cup, well... *sigh... it's such a beautiful thing. seeing it come down the red carpet like a hollywood starlet fills my heart with such joy, and watching the captain hoist it is like christmas morning.... it's just electric. kudos to 65% of pens fans for opting to go home.


while lidstrom could easily have taken the conn smythe as well, game 4's third period 5-on-3 led zetterberg directly to the MVP hardware. he seems poised to be the forsberg incumbent in my heart (forsberg... zetterberg... it seems i'm a sucker for 'berg's ... iceberg and, i suppose, pittsburgh notwithstanding).

as for sid & the kids, they very nearly summitted the peak, and it was no doubt a heartbreaker of a loss in the final seconds... marian hossa proved that he WAS worth two roster players, a prospect & a draft pick, and i would bet that, if the pens can afford him, he'll be back beside sid next season.... and at the risk of sounding like don cherry --HOLY CRAP is staalzy ever good. i find it fascinating that he is such a different player than eric or marc, though essentially takes the best bits of both his brother's games. i just love'im....

so now it's on to the NHL awards (june 12), the draft (june 20) and then straight on to prospect camp (i presume the week of july 14th).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

pens v. wings game 6 preview: being right sucks

so the NY times slapshot staff have been asking their team of unpaid interns (ie: me +29 other bloggers) for series predictions since the beginning of the playoffs. adding these numbers to the staff picks, stanley cup final breakdown went as follows:

Penguins over Red Wings
in 4 games: 0
in 5 games: 0
in 6 games: 6
in 7 games: 3

Red Wings over Penguins
in 4 games: 0
in 5 games: 6
in 6 games: 13
in 7 games: 6

i was in the majority of armchair pundits that presumed the penguins would win a couple games enroute to getting evenutally slaughtered by the redwings. detroit in six, i said.... and here we are.

"why does it suck," you ask ? well, because i was pretty amped at the thought of seeing the cup come out on monday, infront of the home crowd at the joe, and get awarded for the first time ever to a european captained squad..... after the first two shutouts i thought i was gonna be wrong (that detroit would win handily in five) and now, going into game six, i'm scared that the wings won't be able to deal the death blow (most notably due to the formidable play of M.A. fleury) ...

i'm not sure if i can take the anxiety if this series goes to seven.... and, ultimately, what do i care who wins ??!
(i've already lost my pool).