July 30, 2009

CLS Re-draft - First Round Overview

As posted on Raw Charge....

The first round of the Cycle like the Sedins Re-Draft has been completed. 30 bloggers have picked players for all 30 NHL teams. The second round is speeding right along, so I expect it to be completed by Saturday at the latest.

As a refresher, here are the known terms of the Re-Draft:

  • 30 bloggers from various blogs around the internet - including a few others here on SB Nation - are team GMs.
  • Picks are in snake order: 1-30 for odd numbered rounds, and 30-1 for even numbered rounds. Last I'd heard that was the case, anyways. There was talk of doing a z-order, but I think that got shot down.
  • There is a $57 million salary cap. No cap floor has been mentioned.
  • Only the actual cap hit matters, not the full player salary.
  • Trades are allowed.
  • Presumably, this will be going 23 rounds. Or, at least, until we get bored or someone tells us to stop.
  • This is an offseason exercise only. This is not a fantasy league draft.
  • The winner will be determined by an NHL 10 simulation.

Pick CSL Team Player NHL Team Position Cap Hit
1 Calgary Ovechkin, Alexander Washington LW $9,538,462
2 Vancouver Crosby, Sidney Pittsburgh C $8,700,000
3 Tampa Bay Lundqvist, Henrik New York Rangers G $6,875,000
4 Dallas Malkin, Evgeni Pittsburgh C $8,700,000
5 Chicago Toews, Jonathan Chicago C $2,800,000
6 New York Islanders Lidstrom, Nicklas Detroit D $7,450,000
7 Philadelphia Datsyuk, Pavel Detroit C $6,700,000
8 Edmonton Parise, Zach New Jersey C $3,125,000
9 Nashville Getzlaf, Ryan Anaheim C $5,325,000
10 Atlanta Lecavalier, Vincent Tampa Bay C $7,727,273
11 St. Louis Luongo, Roberto Vancouver G $6,750,000
12 Phoenix Green, Mike Washington D $5,250,000
13 Pittsburgh Kovalchuk, Ilya Atlanta LW $6,389,300
14 Washington Backstrom, Nicklas Washington C $2,400,000
15 Columbus Chara, Zdeno Boston D $7,500,000
16 Detroit Iginla, Jarome Calgary RW $7,000,000
17 Los Angeles Carter, Jeff Philadelphia C $5,000,000
18 Minnesota Richards, Mike Philadelphia C $5,750,000
19 Carolina Brodeur, Martin New Jersey G $5,200,000
20 New York Rangers Kiprusoff, Miikka Calgary G $5,833,333
21 New Jersey Backstrom, Niklas Minnesota G $6,000,000
22 Toronto Savard, Marc Boston C $5,000,000
23 San Jose Pronger, Chris Philadelphia D $6,250,000
24 Ottawa Nash, Rick Columbus LW $5,400,000
25 Boston Thornton, Joe San Jose C $7,200,000
26 Buffalo Zetterberg, Henrik Detroit LW $6,083,000
27 Florida Booth, David Florida LW $4,250,000
28 Anaheim Staal, Eric Carolina C $8,250,000
29 Montreal Niedermayer, Scott Anaheim D $6,750,000
30 Colorado Gagne, Simon Philadelphia LW $5,250,000

July 29, 2009

CLS Re-Draft 1st Round Update, Part IV - #26-30

As posted on Raw Charge....

The first round review will be up tomorrow evening. The first five (or perhaps ten, depending) second round picks will be up tomorrow as well. Here are the final five picks of the first round, however, to tide you over until then.

26. Henrik Zetterberg, Buffalo Sabres
27. David Booth, Florida Panthers
28. Eric Staal, Anaheim Ducks
29. Scott Niedermayer, Montréal Canadiens
30. Simon Gagne, Colorado Avalanche

July 28, 2009

Women At The Hockey Hall of Fame (American, That Is)

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2009 Unveiled
The 1998 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team had a powerful impact on the growth of girls' and women's hockey in the United States thanks to the success it enjoyed at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. The team twice defeated arch-rival Canada, including by a 3-1 count in the gold-medal game, en route to winning the first gold medal presented in women's ice hockey at an Olympic Winter Games.
Funny how the US Hockey Hall of Fame has no problems admitting women - an entire team of them, no less - but the Hockey Hall of Fame in Canada does. I guess that's just the way it is, tho. American women's hockey will always have the firsts: first ever Olympic gold medal for women's ice hockey, as well as inducting women in its hall of fame first.

Another Hockey Player in Seattle

Mariners close July home schedule with 6-game homestand
"On Monday, July 27, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Willie Mitchell will trade his
hockey skates for a chance to throw a strike before the Mariners face Toronto.
The B.C. native has also represented Team Canada in International competition."

Video of Mitchell's Pitch

What is up with Seattle and NHLers this summer? First, it was TJ Oshie. Now, it's Willie Mitchell. Who's next? Scott Gomez?

Well...maybe. Gomez did play junior hockey in BC, but lived and went to high school on the Washington State side of the border for at least a year. But then, Oshie did grow up north of Seattle, and Mitchell's from BC.

Oh, those crazy hockey players. You just never know where one might pop up somewhere randomly. I know I've seen a few in some unexpected places.

Yet Another Internet Radio Interview

Back in June, I went to the Puck Daddy NHL Awards viewing party and was chatting with this guy about his online radio show. He invited me on, expecting to interview me sometime after the draft. He emailed me last week about it, and I'll be on tomorrow night.

It'll be like 3 or 4 guys - and me. They're from the Face Off Hockey Show, and they're Washington Capitals fans. Yeah, I know, division rivals and all of that. But whatever. The one guy I talked to was niced despite that.

Their show is from 7:30-9:30, but I'll be on around 8 o'clock. And, as a nice added bonus, they actually like having a good time on their show. With all of the harassment I've been getting over picking Lundqvist 3rd overall in the Cycle like the Sedins Re-Draft, I'm sure they'll be dishing me out out some more of the same. Hey, as long as they can take what they dish out, it's all good, right?

July 27, 2009

CLS Re-Draft 1st Round Update, Part III - #21-25

As posted on Raw Charge....

21. Niklas Backstrom (the goaltender, not the center), New Jersey Devils
22. Marc Savard, Toronto Maple Leafs
23. Chris Pronger, San Jose Sharks
24. Rick Nash, Ottawa Senators
25. Joe Thornton, Boston Bruins

Hockey Music

My Playlist: Henri Richard

Now here's a man after my own heart. I think I was born in the wrong decade, since I love old music like this. I mean, how can you not like Frank? Seriously.
My Way
Frank Sinatra
The Power of Love
Céline Dion
Le temps qu'il nous reste
Fernand Gignac
Paul Anka
Strangers in the Night
Frank Sinatra
The Look of Love
Diana Krall
Ginette Reno
Mona Lisa
Nat King Cole
Je reviens chez-nous
Jean-Pierre Ferland
Walking my Baby Back Home
Louis Armstrong

July 26, 2009

CLS Re-Draft - First Round Update, Part II [Updated]

As posted on Raw Charge....

1. Alexander Ovechkin, Calgary Flames
2. Sidney Crosby, Vancouver Canucks
3. Henrik Lundqvist, Tampa Bay Lightning
4. Evgeni Malkin, Dallas Stars
5. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
6. Nicklas Lidstrom, New York Islanders
7. Pavel Datsyuk, Philadelphia Flyers
8. Zach Parise, Edmonton Oilers
9. Ryan Getzlaf, Nashville Predators
10. Vincent Lecavalier, Atlanta Thrashers
11. Roberto Luongo, St. Louis Blues
12. Mike Green, Phoenix Coyotes
13. Ilya Kovalchuk, Pittsburgh Penguins
14. Nicklas Backstrom (the center, not the goaltender), Washington Capitals
15. Zdeno Chara, Columbus Blue Jackets
16. Jarome Iginla, Detroit Red Wings
17. Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings
18. Mike Richards, Minnesota Wild
19. Martin Brodeur, Carolina Hurricanes
20. Miikka Kiprusoff, New York Rangers
21. New Jersey Devils
22. Toronto Maple Leafs
23. San Jose Sharks
24. Ottawa Senators
25. Boston Bruins
26. Buffalo Sabres
27. Florida Panthers
28. Anaheim Ducks
29. Montreal Canadiens
30. Colorado Avalanche

For more, please go to Cycle like the Sedins.

July 24, 2009

CLS Re-Draft - So Far....

As posted on Raw Charge....

There is no set schedule as of yet for when people have to pick - that's still being figured out. The Lightning's second round pick is at 58 - followed by the third round pick at 63 - which I'm sure will garner me even more grief for who I chose. But that's alright. I was pretty sure going in that most people wouldn't like my decision.

So here's what we have so far, with the rest of the order following.

  1. Alexander Ovechkin, Calgary Flames
  2. Sidney Crosby, Vancouver Canucks
  3. Henrik Lundqvist, Tampa Bay Lightning
  4. Evgeni Malkin, Dallas Stars
  5. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
  6. Nicklas Lidstrom, New York Islanders
  7. Pavel Datsyuk, Philadelphia Flyers
  8. Zach Parise, Edmonton Oilers
  9. Ryan Getzlaf, Nashville Predators
  10. Vincent Lecavalier, Atlanta Thrashers
  11. St. Louis Blues
  12. Phoenix Coyotes
  13. Pittsburgh Penguins
  14. Washington Capitals
  15. Columbus Blue Jackets
  16. Detroit Red Wings
  17. Los Angeles Kings
  18. Minnesota Wild
  19. Carolina Hurricanes
  20. New York Rangers
  21. New Jersey Devils
  22. Toronto Maple Leafs
  23. San Jose Sharks
  24. Ottawa Senators
  25. Boston Bruins
  26. Buffalo Sabres
  27. Florida Panthers
  28. Anaheim Ducks
  29. Montreal Canadiens
  30. Colorado Avalanche

Vinny ended up going in the top ten after all. Good for him. I was wondering about that.

As mentioned previously, this is a snake order draft. Odd numbered rounds go 1-30; even numbered rounds go 30-1. At least, that's what they tell me. Since this is the first time at this, we're sort of making things up as we go along, at this point. The process of drafting will go much faster once we figure out a more efficient way of how to do things, though.

This is not a typical fantasy draft. This is an offseason exercise only. The winner will be determined by an NHL '10 simulation.

As more picks are made, I will update this list. For more information on picks, please visit the Cycle like the Sedins blog. They will also update the terms of the draft as we go along.

July 23, 2009

And the CLS Re-Draft number 3 pick is....

As posted (and heavily commented about) on Raw Charge:

With the third overall pick in the CLS 2009 NHL Re-Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning will pick...Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist

I have reasons for this. Lots and lots of reasons. And I'll even share a few of them with you right now.

What's the very first position people complain about on a hockey team? Goaltending. What's the very first thing people start picking apart when a team isn't doing well? Goaltending. What's the very first thing people talk about when it comes to making playoffs? Goaltending. What's the first thing a team needs but can never get because people hoard them like gold? Goaltending.

I'm sure you see my point.

If I'm going to be playing the GM role, then I'm going to be thinking like a GM. I wanted a player who's consistent and can perform well under pressure. One who's a proven veteran, but who still has plenty of years left in him. Almost all of the marquée goaltenders are over 30 years old, and I wanted to pick someone who's around 30, but preferably younger. That doesn't leave one with a lot of options.

I was down to Niklas Backstrom from Minnesota or Henrik Lundqvist from the NY Rangers. Roberto Luongo was mentioned, but he's not very consistent and tends to buckle under pressure. Regardless of what many people may think, that's how he is, and that didn't fit into my criteria.

Backstrom has a great reputation, and is a solid goaltender, but he also played in Jacques Lemaire's system. While the defense in front of him didn't have any big names, Lemaire is a stickler for overall team defense. So that weighed in against him. It's why I dismissed Jonas Hiller from Anaheim from the start - Hiller had Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger playing in front of him, so his stats aren't a true representation of how well he plays.

Lundqvist, on the other hand, has played extremely consistently and has very similar numbers to Backstrom. But, surprisingly, doesn't get the good press that Backstrom does - despite playing in New York City. He's also played under two different coaches so far which, in turn, have dictated different playing styles. And has had a notoriously inconsistent defensive corps in front of him recently as well. Still, his numbers stay about the same. I mean that in a good way, of course.

And it doesn't hurt that Hank helped Sweden win an Olympic gold medal at the last Olympics when he was only 23 years old.

Sure, I could've gone with a so-called franchise player. I could've picked someone like Vincent Lecavalier with the Lightning's first pick. But, to be honest, I'm far more interested in winning than observing the standard forms of franchise building. Goaltending was the priority. Goal scoring isn't. At least, not yet.

I think it's much more important to stop goals being scored on a team than it is scoring goals on the other team. If you score four goals but let in five, then that doesn't get you very far. It's exciting, yes, but you still lose. If you score 1 goal but let in nothing, then that's much more effective. Yeah, it may be a boring way to win - but at least you're still winning.

Oh, by the way, did I forget to mention that there's an NHL 10 simulation happening after we put our teams together? No? Well, there is. And I plan on winning it.

But trust me, this team won't be boring.

July 21, 2009

Re-Drafting the NHL

Over at Cycle like the Sedins, they've decided that we need to liven up this offseason with a fantasy draft. It's not just any fantasy draft - the whole league is game, and possibly the KHL as well, and we're reconfiguring the NHL to our satisfaction. And I'm the designated GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

So, who should I pick for my first overall player? I have the #3 spot. Do I go with the predictable and take Vincent Lecavalier? Or do I take someone like Alexander Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby instead? Youth or veteran talent? Anyone have any opinions on this? Keep in mind that I have a salary cap of $57 million to work with here - no floor as of yet, tho.

Decisions, decisions! Oh, and if any NHLers happen to stumble across this page, please don't be offended if I don't choose you. It's nothing against your abilities, it's just that your style of play may or may not fit in with what I think I want to do.

Now, the real question is, do I start with a goalie, a forward, or a defenseman? Each has their appeal. Hmmm....

July 20, 2009

Women In Sports Journalism

Assault on Erin Andrews' privacy scary for all female journalists
"Now that Andrews is a victim of this crime, why would a woman want to follow her on camera? That's not the sort of thing that ESPN co-workers Chris Berman or Stuart Scott have to worry about."
Here's something that male journalists and bloggers don't have to think about, but female journalists and bloggers do. And yes, that would include me. It's one of the reasons I'm not entirely sure I want to do face-to-face interviews with hockey players - or even be anywhere near the locker room with them in it. Not because I'm a prude, but because of things like this. I don't want to be targeted for any reason. I would think that most NHLers would be respectful, but there's always bound to be a couple of bad apples in every barrel.

TJ Oshie in Seattle

Interview with TJ Oshie (video)

In Seattle this last weekend, my friend Su interviewed the St. Louis Blues rookie, TJ Oshie. Now, you might wonder why TJ Oshie was in Seattle. You see, he grew up there. Yes, this NHLer is actually from Washington State. It happens sometimes, you know?

Su is the one asking the questions off camera - apparently off the top of her head, no less. She'd never done a face to face interview before, but has done plenty of phone and email interviews. She's rather self-conscious about it, but I think she did a great job, even tho she's not actually a reporter herself.

A great job as usual, of course. She's a diehard Penguins' fan, but I don't hold that against her. Mario Lemieux is one of her favorite all-time players, tho she'd be too tongue-tied to actually talk to him if given an opportunity.

So, here you go. Washington State boy done good in the NHL. Hope we'll see a lot more of the guy.

July 19, 2009

The Man, The Myth, The Legend - Adam Deadmarsh

What Ever Happened to Adam Deadmarsh?

I am so happy that Deadmarsh has found his way back to the NHL again. It's really too bad that his career ended so soon. Just yet another illustration of how the unexpected injury can end a career.

I started watching hockey with major juniors - the WHL - and Deadmarsh was with the Portland Winterhawks at the time. He was one of my favorite players then. His younger brother played for the Seattle Thunderbirds at one point - but I don't remember if they played on those two times at the same time. I don't think so, but I could be wrong.

The last game I saw of Deadmarsh in the WHL was against the Seattle Thunderbirds in old Mercer Arena at the Seattle Center. I remember that game very clearly, for some strange reason. He'd gone to training camp with the Québec Nordiques, but then the 1994 lockout happened, so he was back playing in juniors.

The next time I saw him, was a few months later - same season, or what would've been the same season had the lockout not happened. I think I still have the ticket stub for that game somewhere, even. I'd moved to New York and was at a game at the Meadowlands. It was the only time I've seen the Québec Nordiques play, and it happened to be in New Jersey. The Nordiques moved to Colorado the following season. Deadmarsh had become great friends with Peter Forsberg, and I clearly remember watching the two of them at warmups.

So I look forward to the time that Deadmarsh manages to get himself behind a bench. He was a good hockey player, and I think he'll be a good coach, too. It's nice to see a guy like that get a second chance - especially with the team that he started out with.

July 11, 2009

Deflection: Not Hockey - Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC) Goes NCAA

Simon Fraser first Canadian institution to be accepted into NCAA
It is now expected Simon Fraser will apply for membership in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The GNAC currently has nine full-fledged members — Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks, Central Washington, Montana State Billings, Northwest Nazarene, Saint Martin’s, Seattle Pacific, Western Oregon and Western Washington — in five different states. In addition Humboldt State (Calif.) and Dixie State (Utah) are affiliate members in football only.
I'm so not surprised by this. If you're not aware of where Simon Fraser University is, it's located in Burnaby, which is a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. I've been there a number of times. My school, Western Washington University, would play them often for preseason basketball. The campus is pretty unattractive, actually - but so is the University of British Columbia's campus (which is in Vancouver proper). It's all concrete buildings.

Most importantly, when you're talking college sports, Simon Fraser has a football team. As in, American football. Simon Fraser will field the first Canadian college football team in the NCAA. It's only Division II football, so they won't be playing bowl games or anything. But they may play against Division I schools at some point in the future, depending on how things go overall in Division II for them. I've heard that a lot of the Canadian Olympic team trains at Simon Fraser - don't know how true that is, tho.

The other important part of that football picture is that it gives those of us trying to reinstate WWU's football team another valid argument for reinstatement. Part of the problem was travel. But if more schools out West have D-II football teams, then travel isn't much of an issue, now, is it.

Hockey on Twitter

So if anyone would like to add me, my Twitter account is: https://twitter.com/dagmar27

I only plan on using it when I go to games - maybe even while I watch games, but I haven't decided on that yet. But, being me, I could randomly decide to just do it whenever. Most likely, tho, I'll wait until the season starts.

I'm following only a few NHLers. Not many have really taken to it, but that will probably change when the season starts. Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Dan Boyle, and Mike Komisarek are the only ones that I'm following. I've come across a few others like Donald Brashear, Patrick Elias, Brendan Witt, and a couple of others that I'm not all that interested in.

I did decide to follow Dave Andreychuk, since I blog about the Lightning. Surprisingly, he returned the favor and wants to follow me as well. For some, it's a case of following the people who follow you - reciprocity does encourage people to actively follow what you're doing and respond to it. But that's not the case with Andreychuk. John, the fellow I blog with, also added him to our official blog twitter account, and Andreychuk did not return the favor in that case. So that's a bit flattering, even if it's only because he thinks I'm cute or something, since I haven't written anything as of yet.

So, there you go. Add me or not. Do it now or wait. Whatever. That's totally up to you.

Clark, the Canadian Hockey Goalie

I had never seen this before - until my friend and fellow hockey nut Su put it up on Facebook today. This is soo funny. How many Canadian stereotypes can you put into one short video? Plenty!

Tampa Bay Preseason Schedule Released

I was out in the hinterlands of Indiana for work, but I'm finally back - and have quite a lot to catch up on, too, so we'll start with this:

Comcast Arena to host NHL's Coyotes, Lightning [Everett Herald]

Lightning Announce 2009 Preseason Schedule

The following is the schedule of games for the Lightning’s 2009 preseason:

Date Time Venue Opponent
September 16 8:30 p.m. American Airlines Center; Dallas, TX Dallas
September 18 7:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum; Tampa, FL Atlanta
September 21 9 p.m. Evraz Place; Regina, SK Ottawa
September 22 10:30 p.m. Comcast Arena at Everett; Everett, WA Phoenix
September 23 9 p.m. Budweiser Events Center; Loveland, CO Phoenix
September 24 8:30 p.m. MTS Centre; Winnipeg, MB Edmonton
September 27 5 p.m. Philips Arena; Atlanta, GA Atlanta

* All times EST and subject to change

This sucks. I so want to go see the game in Everett. I had been thinking about going to see the USA Hockey's Olympic Orientation Camp in Chicago at the end of August on my way to meet my dad. But now I want to go home and visit everyone just in time for that Lightning game in Everett. It's so unfair that I can't do both!

I've never been inside the arena, but I've been past the rink in Everett a few times. My friend Aparna works a block or two from the arena. She also used to live in Everett as well. So I'm very familiar with it. It looks really nice from the outside, at least, and it's pretty new - it was built in 2003 and seats 8,300 people for hockey.

Comcast Arena in Everett is the home of the Western Hockey League's Everett Silvertips. Their first head coach was Kevin Constantine, and their current head coach that they just hired is Craig Hartsburg. Both coaches were head coaches in the NHL previously. Everett, Washington, is about a half-hour drive north of Seattle without traffic, by the way.

The Lightning's goaltending prospect, Dustin Tokarski, ought be familiar with the building. He played for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) on the other side of the state and visited it often in his three years with the Chiefs. I'm sure the games weren't very nice. The teams from the eastern side of the state weren't very welcome on the western side - and vice versa.

Yes, there is hockey in Washington State. There are four teams: the Everett Silvertips, the Seattle Thunderbirds (who now play in Kent), the Spokane Chiefs, and the Tri-City Americans located in Kennewick (and partly owned by former Lightning Olaf Kolzig). The Portland Winterhawks are in Oregon, are the southern-most team in the WHL, and have the best hockey crowd of anywhere that I've ever gone to watch hockey.

With the Lightning playing in four cities in four days, it makes me wonder how they're going to pull that off. I wonder if they'll split the team up and take two separate squads out with them. That's the only thing that makes any kind of sense to me, frankly. One group of guys and bouncing around like that really doesn't. But who said hockey or sports made sense, right?

July 3, 2009

A Couple Of Interesting Reads

One Hundred and Forty Characters That Are Revolutionizing Hockey Coverage

It was on Twitter this week, for instance, that Martin Havlat ignited an on-line firestorm with his parry and thrust against the Blackhawks in the aftermath of failed contract negotiations with them: "Excited to be in Minny where I was welcomed and appreciated by management. The real story about what happened in Chicago to come out." [133 characters]

Soon thereafter he followed with: "There's something to be said for loyalty and honor." [51 characters]
Who says that 140 characters aren't enough to say something interesting, huh?

I wrote about this before, but it's still something to bring up again. For a society that has an attention span the length of a gnat's, Twitter is a good deal. It's also the raw feed of everything that's been going on in the NHL lately with the draft and free agency. It makes you feel like you're a part of the action - even if all you do is read and not type - instead of just a passive spectator waiting for official news to be released.

Speaking of media and Twitter, TSN's Darren Dreger -- he of the 21,000-plus Twitter followers (Dreger Tweet on Entry Draft Friday night: "Gord Miller just compared my number of followers to Paris Hiltons . . : ) ") -- was tweeting in real time from the draft floor in Montreal. The Versus/TSN broadcast of the Draft opened with word of the blockbuster Chris Pronger trade to Philly. But if you're like me, you were exasperated waiting for television's word of what Philly was sending back to Anaheim. The broadcast didn't have those details for a curious period of time, but Dreger on Twitter did.
For every day stuff, I don't know that it's all that valuable. But for things like training camp rosters being trimmed down, Olympic/All-Star teams to be announced, the trade deadline, the draft, and the start of free agency, it's a good deal. Maybe for games as well, but I think that depends entirely upon who's doing the twittering. If it's just scores, then that's almost not even worth the bother.

The growing salary gap, Heatley's mess, Ted Nolan returns

Heatley has badly misplayed his plan for a forced trade out of Ottawa, letting word get out that he didn't want to play for new head coach Cory Clouston.... He compounded his error on Wednesday by shoving his no-movement clause in the faces of Senators management after they constructed a deal to send him to Edmonton.
Players, don't let this be you. What Dany Heatley's doing, I mean. If, for no other reason than, he's pretty much untradeable and is stuck in Ottawa indefinitely.

He is the most recent case of one of the few egos in hockey that's gotten out of control. Everything I've read casually has pointed to the fact that he's a prima donna. And who wants a guy like that on their team?

You know, it wasn't so long ago that the coaches and teams had the power and not the players. And I'm sure most of the players think that's an improvement. I almost always side with the players in most things, but I think that's wrong.

Maybe I'm Old School, but I think coaches and teams should have the power, and not the players. It'd be like students having control of the school, or workers having control of the company. It doesn't always work out very well, in the end. The establishment ought to be in control of the situation, not the visitors.

Heatley's a classic example of the players having too much power. As are Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer waiting until they're damned well ready to play when they want and where they want. They call the shots and the rest of the guys on the team get to suffer for that. It'd be one thing if it were in the best interest of all of the players on the team, but it almost never is. It's always done for selfish and individual reasons. And that's not right.

In the end, it's not the players that have the power. The reality is that it's only the star players that have the power, while the majority of the rest of the players suffer for it. It's not even a partnership with the league or the teams, either, since the players finally know their worth.

And that's not so unlike Soviet or Chinese communism that way. The wealthy oligarchs rule, and power is not distributed evenly amongst the general population. Even if the majority has been encouraged to think that it has.

July 1, 2009

Ohlund Now A Lightning

Lightning Sign Free Agent Defenseman Mattias Ohlund

I'm actually pleasantly surprised by this. It was a smart move for Tampa Bay to pick up Ohlund. Well, I think so, anyways. Especially with them having just drafted Victor Hedman.

I've always like Ohlund, tho. I watched him when he played for the Vancouver Canucks. I think he was probably the last NHLer I've talked to, too. Or maybe that was Jason Strudwick? Obviously, neither experience left a big impression upon me. Well.... No, never mind.

Anyways, Ohlund was really the last guy that I cared about on Vancouver once Naslund left. So now I'm officially freed of any obligation to go watch Vancouver play. Unless I move back there, that is.

Now I can't wait for the schedule to come out again.

The Lightning have also signed D Matt Walker, formerly of Chicago, and re-signed Krajicek.