well, i'm not gonna lie: yesterday was a bit of a rollercoaster for me.
my brother woke me up with a text reading something-to-the-effect-of "nycholat for leopold ? i'll take that." while i'm not a fan of the bring-back [i always think to doug gilmour's second run as a leaf, where he crawled off the ice at the end of his first shift], that moment filled me with a certain GLEE... picking up leopold for, essentially, a sack of pucks (no offense to lawrence nycholat, ryan wilson, or whatever dude they pick up with the 2nd rounder we got from montreal on draft day) was pure darryl sutter magic: making something out of nothing in less than a 24-hour period.
i hadn't even finished my first trade entry below ("leopold") when the guys on tsn started insinuating that olli jokinen was a flame. my breath caught as i listened and was instantly devastated when i heard it was lombardi going the other way (no offense, here, to brandon prust or whomever gets selected in the first round of 2009 or 2010). like i said yesterday, i was in no way SURPRISED but i was certainly grief-stricken... and seeing lombo's farewell interview, taken in the bowels of the wachovia centre as he was presumeably saying goodbye to his teammates (and the only NHL captain he's ever known), was heartbreaking. he said all the right words, yes, but you could see the hurt in his (enormous brown doe) eyes.
a few hours later, as i struggled to find sleep, i imagined poor lombo in his hotel room in boston (where the new-look coyotes will take on one of the league's best tonight), staring at the ceiling, trying to comprehend how different his life would be. i wondered if andrew ference or chuck kobasew took him out to dinner, or if his departure from the flames' lockerroom in philly was tearful. i wonder if he lamented enver lisin for wearing #18 for the desert dogs (lombardi will take #15).
it didn't seem, to me, like the flames' staff made him take his own equipment off the bus and i'm guessing he didn't have to hitch a ride to the airport [though i'm not sure who would have been toni lydman in this situation.... derian hatcher ????].
BUT. onwards and upwards....
familiarizing myself with new players is a bit of a challenge, and i think the first thing i always tend to do is find them nicknames. leopold is easy: "leo" rhymes with gio (as kent said a day or two ago in his deadline day predictions) and is clearly the most obvious one... as for jokinen, i've settled in on "olli". i know it's kinda boring but i really like the sound of "iggy, olli, and squid;" it should be a children's book.
like the weather in calgary, that's about as warm as i'm gonna get today, methinks. i don't have a whole lot of hope for tonight's game. call me pessimistic but, while sutter added some depth to the blueline yesterday, i still see a bunch of really big holes up front. the flames sent DVDG back to the QC today, which means (as i presumed) vandy will return to the wing and leo will take his spot (or someone else's) on defense. the flyers are healthy and fast, and ---once you get past the flames' obvious first line--- there's a whole lot of pluggers. this one could get ugly fast... hopefully kipper's feeling good and is on his game...
as predicted, jokinen will take #21. leopold's second run with the flames will have him sporting #40 (rhett warrener, though not likely to play another game in a flaming C, still hangs onto lucky #44).
in other news, it was nice to get a shoutout on puck daddy regarding thoughts on our newest centreman. clearly he got the hit the post sentiment bang on... :P