Thursday, June 23, 2011

a love letter to robyn regehr

my dearest reggie:

it is with both great sadness and overwhelming joy that i write to you today, because i've been informed that the biggest decision of your life has fallen into your hands. i understand you've been asked to waive your no trade clause with the calgary flames (the only nhl team you've ever really known) in order for them to send you to the buffalo sabres. you are incredibly fortunate to have your choice of fates, reggie, and i trust that you're giving it the mulling-over of a lifetime...

here's the thing: i know it's buffalo, which kinda sucks. but they do have the anchor bar and the original wingnight. admittedly, that's about it --but their hockey team has a lot of potential and a world-class coach, and i would imagine that might be a refreshing change for you... plus i'd bet a ton of dough you'll get paired with tyler myers and he's a pretty solid, punishing up-and-comer. i bet he'd learn a lot from you, and i bet it'd be swell to leave some legacy behind in the next few years before retiring (which obviously ain't gonna happen in calgary since they'll never bring any kids into the top six). plus you got your boys monty and leo there to welcome you to the fold... it wouldn't be all bad !!!

it IS a lot further from home, and from REAL home in saskatchewan. it's a lot further from roughriders games but they only really play a month into the hockey season anyways. you could still attend in the offseason...

if you decide to stay in calgary, i would be more than happy to watch you railroad the sedins and ales hemsky through the duration of your contract. there will never be anything quite like your tunnel of doom, and i'd be perfectly content to watch you run clinics on it through the next few years. realistically, though, you'll never be paired with anyone good enough to watch your back in the dome, and the D will never be good enough to win games when none of your teammates can score....

the choice is really yours but i can't imagine any good reason why you'd stick around, other than the presumed fact you've made some damn good friends in calgary. but think about it: andrew ference made some good friends here, too, but that guy won a stanley cup. maybe it's a sign from the hockey gods when you realize that he was traded after a game in buffalo....

anyhow, i want you to know this: you have been the best interview on the flames for a decade. you were the handsdown winner of the sideburns contest, and you're the most honest of the bunch; a charismatic yet crotchety beast... i think you would have made as good or better a captain than iginla, and would probably have led the team to greater victories. you were my favorite defenseman until gio came along (sorry bud, but i love gio) and i wish you the best of luck with the rest of your career, no matter where you choose to go. like the guys who left before you (ference included), i will cheer you on regardless of your jersey.... and finally? i want to thank you for playing your best and your hardest for this team through the good years and the bad. and if you ask me, you were worth theo fleury a hundred times over...

much, much love and all the best,

Saturday, June 18, 2011

bottled luongo tears: an htp original

hitthepost writer, mikeH, came up with his multi-million dollar idea during last year's playoffs, and figures he's pretty close to retirement now that he's developed a prototype:

(for the visually impaired:)

Directions: Add liberally to your cocktail to generate a smug sense of self satisfaction. Use plenty, there's more where these came from.

Ingredients: Fraser River water, sodium chokeride, hair gel.

cost will be based on demand. please leave your order in the comments section.


Friday, June 17, 2011

yet another reason to *loathe* the pink jersey

i still can't believe that vancouverites trashed their city (and each other) under the pretense of losing a championship hockey game... it really adds a little punch to the term "loser."

this might be a good time to point out that there are ever so many "canucks fans" who really only fly the green and blue for a split second every year when the team makes the post-season. this year, unfortunatly, when it looked like the dirty nucks would take the prize, it was probably these same ignorami (i'm looking at you, nathan kotylak, you unbelievable, utter moron) who decided the best way to console themselves would be to give the city a darned good reason to raise taxes... i suppose by tarnishing the reputation earned during the 2010 olympics, they did take the heat off of the fact that their hockey team took the night off on wednesday. thank god for small miracles, or whatever, i guess...

i do still know some folks that i feel awful for. even though a few pints and a first round win brought the goad out in goad, i still can't help but sympathize for a life-long team supporter who was so thoroughly devastated by the series' outcome that he sullenly described to me what it's like for a diehard fanbase to have such an unfortunate pedigree in playoff losses: "i would even say there is no fanbase more knowledgable in losing than our shitty, carburning, halfwit fans." as a true lover of the game, his team, and all that goes with it, it must be devastating not only to deal with the on-ice misfortune, but the realization that you're being represented by a horde of cretins...

while i like to boast that when calgary went down after the '04 run there was nary a fistfight on the redmile (just a LOT of bare chests), i'm not dumb enough to think that there weren't more extenuating factors that led to the difference beyond my belief that most canucks fans are simply awful... first is the fact that the "red mile" was a seven-or-so block stretch of the same road and therefore radically more simple to police than an entire downtown area. secondly, the city of calgary didn't put up a bunch of large screen tvs and encite the townsfolk to gather in droves without the proper amount of law-enforcing presence. and thirdly: the '04 flames were a mötley crew of nobodies and replacement players, led by a charismatic captain, a hotter-than-hot goalie, and the surliest coach in history. they weren't ever supposed to make it that far... the '11 canucks, alternately, were the best team in the league by a significant margin during the regular season, and were far-and-away the favorites to take home lord stanley's prize. the difference lies in expectation; while the flames fought to the bitter end, the fans were happy to have had the run. the canucks, on the other hand, fostered enormous feelings first of entitlement, and finally disappointment. a far more incindiary mentality, in my opinion...

anyhow, what's done is done. the draft is next up and i'm off to the big smoke then the big apple. it doesn't look like i'll be around for prospect camp this year, which is a drag, but i look forward to a blogger meet-up in ---let's say--- mid-august ? we can catch up then and discuss hockey at the time of year it's least in our minds....


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

so long, wallin.... *heart*

i came on here planning to reference a whole bunch of stuff i've said historically on the subject of niclas wallin, but it turns out i never wrote about it.... *typical* ... which means i can only really say "i toldya so" to the handful of people i've discussed it with in person: niclas wallin retired today, which makes my prediction [that he would throw in the proverbial NHL towel at the end of this season, returning to sweden] totally (though admittedly obviously) accurate. it also means that the cupcakes i made to celebrate his last game (referenced on twitter @hitthepost, may 24) will now be remembered for all-time as bittersweet....

happy and sad simultaneously...

not surprisingly, he will return to his homeland and play hockey for luleå HF, which is appx 30 kms from his hometown of boden in sweden. it sounds like he'll be named captain, too, so that's rad for a dude who was totally loved and will be sorely missed by his teammates... a seriously great guy all-around.

best of luck to the guy they call the big swede. i hope your new nickname is as awesome....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

not happy about this omen

i happened across it on my run yesterday, and even went so far as to call it a doomstone today...


(but good for you, goad).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Vote of No Confidence.

And so it begins. The ineptitude and managerial ridiculousness that made the Calgary Flames an irrelevant bottom dweller in the late 1990s and early 2000s is back in full effect. And I've come to the conclusion that it didn't just arrive over night, it's been brewing for years, it was just shrouded in playoff appearances. But Flames fans, do not kid yourself, this organization is about as Mickey Mouse as it gets today and the trade of Tim Erixon is clear cut evidence that it is.

I've restrained myself over the last weeks to come on htp and draft up my assessment of the Flames hiring Jay Feaster as full time GM. My opinion on the matter is very simple and does not need to be elaborated on. It's a horrible hire and one that will set the franchise back for years to come. Feaster's hiring, qualifications, pros (not many at all) and cons, have been well documented by htp's friends over at FlamesNation so I won't be chiming in with my take. But I will say this, there is a reason the guy couldn't get a hockey job in the years after he was let go by the Lightning. Curious what he was doing during that time, read this. It speaks for itself.

Anyways, I'm my opinion the recent (forced) trade of Tim Erixon speaks volumes to who's currently running the Flames organization. It is an absolute vote of no confidence in Feaster in Ken King in Craig Conroy in whoever else you want to insert here. And yes it comes off as arrogant and egotistical from a young Swedish prospect who hasn't proved anything beyond some solid play in the WJC. But you can't take away the fact that his father played in the NHL and is well aware of how things run in NHL front offices. Had Erixon's circle of advisors (if I may call them that) really believe the Flames organization was going in the right direction they wouldn't have requested what they did. In the end, its not like Calgary is some dreaded place to play...the reason Erixon didn't want to sign with the Flames was because of his lack of confidence in the people that run the team.

Unfortunately, this is what Flames fans have to deal with. It's not going to get better anytime soon either. Just wait and see, Butter will get the axe next season when the team falls flat on its face; because for years the organization has been addressing their problems bottom up instead of top down. And I'll be the first to admit it, I was critical of Darryl Sutter but I'm starting to wonder just how many decisions he was really making and just how much was dictated to him, from the hiring of scouts and coaches to scouting and contracts. (Don't take that statement as some sort of backtracking, I am still laying a lot of the blame for the Flames' shortcomings on Daz.) We probably will never know, but we have to deduce things based on what has happened since. I've heard the rumors that Steve Yzerman turned down the GM job last year and if true, it's telling. I see them hire Jay Feaster (of all people) as an AGM when the GM is clearly on thin ice. I see them drag Feaster along as "acting" GM and then make him full time GM the same day they make Craig Conroy some sort of AGM. Then a few weeks into the job, Feaster can't lock up Erixon because Erixon doesn't want to play for them. If that's not a vote of no confidence I don't know what is. But think about it...if you were Erixon...would you want to begin your career with this organization? Think about it...