Tag Archives: Chicago Blackhawks

Mid-Day Ramblings

Hi folks, I have a wicked cold and all the peeps viewing Obamamania this am slowing down the internets didn’t make me feel any better.

Here are some random mid-day thoughts:

1. Someone explain what the hell Lowen is talking about:

“For fans of the television series Lost, it returns on Wednesday with a brand new season.

For fans of the Maple Leafs and Raptors, they will all be reruns.”

HUH??? What the hell does that mean. Is he trying to say that MLSE is lost? Talk about a broken analogy….

2. Bruce Arthur’s article in Today’s national post is as good as I have seen on the Raptors. Consider these:

“Jose Calderon is close to coming back, and Marion would give this roster balance that it hasn’t had since general manager Bryan Colangelo assumed control nearly three years ago. A real small forward: imagine that.”
“No, the chief value of Marion’s theoretical arrival is that he would allow this team to embark on its latest repair job one season sooner — that is, one season before Chris Bosh opts out of his contract and is presented with the option to become a Detroit Piston, to become a New York Knick or to win several championships with LeBron James, in Cleveland or elsewhere.”
“For this franchise’s franchise player to remain, the Raptors will have to have made giant strides from their current state. And that means fielding a team that does not include the rather ridiculous sight of Jamario Moon hoisting up an entirely unnecessary three-pointer with 16 seconds left on the shot clock, and 35 seconds left in a one-point game, as he did yesterday.”

WOW- in depth analysis what a novel concept???

3. Interested in looking for the perfect hot dog down near the ACC??? These guys did a nice job!

4. I see the Toronto Rock fired their coaching staff, just 3 games in to the season. Did the head guy lie about being in Vietnam too? In any event, Mike S tells me that the lineup for Brady and Watters looks something like this:

4-5 the old rock coaching staff
5-6 the new rock coaching staff
6-7 great moments in rock history

5. Thanks to the folks aat Kuklas Korner for highlighting the greatest in arena promotion I have ever heard of (even better then my old favorite, the move of the game), If the blackhawks ever score a goal at exactly 10:00 of the second period one fan is awarded $1,000,000 by the Illinois lottery. Happened at a game last night. How cool is that?

more later this afternoon….


The Ego Of Larry Brooks

Love when the weather is guy is wrong the wrong way! 5-10 cm’s my butt!

Love Larry Brooks article today, it’s so self serving it’s actually funny.

“The marketing people are suggesting that the Jan. 1, 2010 extravaganza might be held in Las Vegas, or at the Rose Bowl, sexy sites that have absolutely nothing to do with the league or the sport.
Would the league get a one-day bump and terrific TV ratings for a neutral-site outdoor game between the Penguins and Caps? No doubt. But would the day advance the league’s interests beyond a one-and-done? Would the showcase improve the state of either franchise? The answers are no and no.”

I agree, an oudoor game in either place would be dumb.

” Now that it has a hit on its hands, the NHL should whenever possible use the Winter Classic as a vehicle to help needy markets and franchises.”

I totally agree.

“Which is why next season’s Winter Classic should be played in New York between the Islanders New York Islanders and Rangers New York Rangers , whether at this new rich mans’ palace masquerading as Yankee Stadium or at the Mets New York Mets ‘ new ballpark with the stigmatized name, or in Central Park. ”

Huh? Needy markets and franchises, got it. New York??? New York is as needy a market as Toronto is or Montreal for that matter!

“No franchise in the league needs more help than the Islanders, the team that time has forgotten. And no city could do more with the spotlight than New York. The biggest market could use some love once in a while, too.”

What???? the team that time has forgotten? What is Larry smoking. The Isles are owned by the one guy Larry bashes more then Bettman! New York is now the “biggest market?” by virtue of what? That there are three teams in the greater Manhattan area? Let’s see the Rangers do well, granted. Very well. The other 2 get pretty poor support. Before you go blaming the arena for the Isles trouble, look at the Devils, who are in a brand new arena. In terms of percentage of the building is full the Devils rank 22nd! Based on overall average which is a tad hard to judge because no 2 arenas have the same capacity, the Devils are 25th!

“A Jan. 1, 2010 outdoors Battle of New York would energize and elevate the Islanders. It would give this woebegone club a spotlight event. It would put hockey on the back page in New York, and not only for a day, but for a number of days. The event should feature a Legends Game modeled after the Heritage Classic the Oilers hosted on Nov. 22, 2003.”

And, what would an event like that be without Scroodge telling everyone how BAD all things related to the game are??? I mean can’t you just imagine, the game in New York and one guy booing loudly from the pressbox??? The game would be on the back page for sure, what would Larry’s headline be? NHL players party hard on Park Avenue?

“But a New York-New York Bowl would benefit the league’s most important American market. That in itself would benefit the league. And this game would benefit the Islanders New York Islanders , the team that time has not only forgotten, but the franchise that is running out of time.”

Excuse me, the most important market? What is that based on? What criteria other then the location of the games most vocal critic determines “the most important market?” What about Detroit, Chicago, Boston or Minnesota?

“The NHL has an opportunity here. It can sell out and chase ephemeral glory in Pasadena or Las Vegas or some other exotic location. Or it can celebrate New York while coming to the aid of one of its historically greatest franchises. Seems like it should be a relatively simple call.”

Here is the funny part. I have no objection with the game going to New York. I think the Rangers hosting a game would be fantastic. I do think though that these criteria as defined by the Ego are nuts. I wouldn’t have the Rangers play the Isles, I would sooner do the Capitals (I mean the best player in the league is on that team, why not display the best you have to offer?) then the Isles. The league is going to play an exhibition game in Kansas City to come to the aid of the Isles (and of course the LA Kings who manage the building in KC right!!?? That will certainly force the good folks of Nassau to build the Isles a new building so that sir Charles can hand out some more 15 year contracts. Oh wait, isn’t the Isles trainer about ready to take over as the next GM??? I am sorry Isles fan, our leafs have a longer drought then you do, I used to be a huge isles fan (I still have a Mike Bossy poster around somewhere)….but Brook’s arguments are nothing but self serving.

I mean wouldn’t this be the type of news the league would dream of if the big game where in New York?:

“You know, we feel very strongly that the situation in Phoenix and Tampa Bay -and affecting other cash-poor franchises – could be avoided if only the NHL had a salary cap.”

Again, to put the game in New York is fine. To do so for the reasons Brooks states would be as ludicrous as the personal agenda items veiled as stories in Brook’s articles.

You can read the ego here

Feel Good Stories In The NHL

We are surrounded by bad news. Don’t dare watch the nightly news these days without a handful of Tums. From coast to coast, north to south, and east to west there just isn’t too much to smile about out there. This appears to be especially true in the world of sports. Players entering rehab, shooting themselves, making lewd comments about ex-girlfriends etc. are easy front news stories. History will remember this time if for nothing else as the train wreck generation. We love bad news about someone else. A crash on the highway stops traffic the other direction so people can stop and take a real good look. Enough, you get the point.

2 stories recently involving NHL clubs caught my eye and in the spirit of the holidays i thought it was a good time to share with those out there not familiar.

The obvious one involves the Chicago Blackhawks. The team was in town to play the Buds and were supposed to fly back to Chicago the next morning. However, the team’s general manger Dale Tallon was heading to northern Ontario to attend the wake for his father who had just died. The players, acting on their own accord altered the plans to return to Chicago. Instead they were able to arrange for a practice in Toronto the next morning and pay out of their own pockets for 2 buses to drive them north to attend the wake.

“I thought to myself, ‘What is this? Am I back in Chicago?’ ” Tallon said. “They started coming in and, wow. My mother, she gets the hockey package and watches all the games, it was so great for her. She was having such a hard time with it, we all were, but to see that, it was so heartwarming and it really took the edge off everything. That was the buzz the rest of the night. My dad was a hockey player and there were pictures of him when he was a young player, so the guys were looking at all the pictures and stuff. It was really cool.
It makes you feel good about the character of our team and the homework we’ve done as a staff in drafting and getting these players. They’re genuinely good kids. It makes you feel good about our young population, to make the decision they did.”

The story doesn’t end there. Not sure how many of you have been up to Gravenhurst, where the wake was, but at 9pm on a Sunday night there just isn’t a whole of choice when it comes to dining options. The players headed for the golden arches and the coaches to Harvey’s.

“There weren’t a lot of people in the restaurant and the players said they barely were recognized as they ordered. “I’d say there were about 10 people there, maybe,” Sharp said. “I don’t know if they were surprised and knew we were an NHL team, or if they were just surprised a bus load of guys came in in their suits.” What did happen was the players acted like kids when they saw a display of hockey cards that McDonald’s was giving with the purchase of meals.”It was cool when you walked in, there were all these hockey cards on the wall because it was a giveaway and if you bought a Happy Meal you got a set of cards,” Sharp said. “So right away everyone was looking to see if they were in this set of cards. But it was just Kane and (Jonathan) Toews and maybe (Nikolai) Khabibulin. I think it was just the three of them.” The players filled the restaurant, eating their burgers and fries as people in the store finally began to sense this was the Chicago Blackhawks eating in their little town. “It was pretty funny because most guys don’t eat McDonald’s,” Bolland said. “The last time I had McDonald’s was, I think, last summer.””Not to sound like I’m a health nut or anything, but I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s in years,” Sharp said. “It was funny to see guys like Dunc (Keith) and Ben Eager, guys that really, really take care of themselves and watch what they eat, sitting there eating chicken nuggets and Big Macs.”

Try to imagine the scene of that Mcdonald’s on that Sunday night in cottage country. It’s 9pm and there are 10 people in the restaurant. Suddenly 2 greyhound buses unload and a ton of guys in suits enter the um, restaurant and end up ordering happy meals so they can get the hockey cards! Grown men, making serious coin, buying happy meals so they can play with hockey cards. This is what the game should be. It is nice to hear that beneath it all, the business can step aside if only for a day and the guys can be the decent people we always hear about and then be kids at heart loving the game they play as much as we who watch it do.

You can read more from the story here

The second story happened in Washington DC. Imagine you are 26 years old, working for an NHL club when you are sitting in your cubicle, doing your job producing the team’s website when the GM appears at your desk to tell you that you need to get suited up for the game that night. Now I am sure many of us out there have had a similar dream (save for the web producer part). I am sure we have all at one point in our lives envisioned the GM of our team asking us (why us?) to suit up for the big game. Well, Brett Leonhardt lived the dream for all of us. The pride of Waterloo Ontario has been fortunate enough to play goal the for the caps when needed in practice. However, with Jose Theodore out with an injury and the third-string goalie Simeon Varlamov stuck in air transit McPhee was stuck. What else is a GM to do but walk down the hall and tap the 6’7 web producer on the shoulder?

“Before the game, (the players) were telling me, ‘Be yourself. You’ve been doing this your whole life. They made me feel really comfortable. In the warmup, I didn’t want them to not shoot their hardest because it was me. I tried to challenge them and help them get them ready for the game. (The players) were awesome. They couldn’t have been better. I’ve practiced a couple times with the team, so the guys were familiar with me, and I travel with the team because I do the Web site. The guys were cheering and high-fiving me.”

Brett got to sit on the bench in full equipment, jersey on for about 30 minutes of real time, just over 10 minutes of the first period when Varlamov showed up. What did the 26 year old do when he got relieved? Showered, dressed and headed up to the press box to do his job!

Can you imagine a better holiday present then that. Here is hoping someone took lots of pictures and video for him to show his kids and grand kids. One that day, Brett Leonhardt was able to live the dream so many of us lived. Quite a lesson for all of us this time of year to teach our kids. Keep dreaming, you never know who is going to come tap you on the shoulder at your cubicle to get ready for the big game.

TSM is trying to confirm whether he had to sign a contract and got paid for one day as an NHler. If not I am hoping that Glen Healy steps in and gets the kid his due!

Happy Monday to all…

Brooks is Freezing; Simmons Aint Buying; Sundin’s Poker Face

A happy Sunday afternoon to all. Anyone else noticing that the city seems to have already started the winter break? People aren’t calling back, traffic is down, certainly seems like people are away pretty early.

In NY, NHL hater (and i can’t for the life of me understand why someone so biter covers the NHL as Brooks does) Larry Brooks wants the Count to initiate a league wide price freeze on single, season and playoff tickets. Not a bad suggestion, but what about the UNION Bob Brooks? I mean Larry Goodenow? How, pres tel can the UNION allow this? I mean what about the PARTNERSHIP, the MISTRUST, the HATRED you spew every week in your columns. Certainly the league can’t do this without the UNION’S permission. Funny how you don’t mention that one little peace in your article this week. This would have a direct impact on hockey revenue which would have an effect on the UNION. Had the league done this before Larry Goodenow, I mean Bob Brooks suggested it, we all know he would have been hopping up and down about the UNION…..

A rather dull week for Steve Simmons’s again. One part worth noting, Simmons is bang on when he asks just who is going to be buying Blue Jays tickets this year when the manager has given up the season already. Trade Doc, and announce a year to rebuild and I will buy tickets. Keep trying to be half pregnant and count me out. What JP and Rogers are selling, I am not buying.

Mats Sundin is in NYC to meet with the Rangers and of course play poker. The Sens are out of the race, and word is so FINALLY are the Leafs. The other team that is out is Chicago. For my money I would love to Sundin in black and red. As I wrote earlier this summer, the only team Sundin actually contemplated waiving his NTC for last season was the Rangers. I am moving my chips to the team Bob Brooks, I mean Larry Goodenow covers. Which is good so I can hear EYE and LT chear while a few others boo.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I really missed the Leafs last night. Felt like i lost an old friend….

Larry Goodenow, I mean Bob Brooks can be found here

Blackhawks Reporter Blasts Sundin- TSM Sending Eye A Defibrillator

Me thinks the Big One is coming at chateau Eye. Elizabeth is ready, cause he is a coming!

Steve Rosenbloom, a pretty well respected writer who covers the Chicago Blackhawks for the Chicago Tribune (are they the one that just went bankrupt) wrote on his blog today that the Blackhawks needs don’t need a player like Mats Sundin:

“Sundin has never been on a champion. He chose not to try last season. How can you not question his heart or spine at this point? I’m not sure I’d want Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews exposed to a whiff of that mentality. Right now, this Hawks team has shown wonderful character and focus. This Hawks team also is playing perhaps the most exciting brand of hockey in the league. This Hawks team is not ready to beat Detroit in the playoffs, either. So that’s the problem. I don’t think Sundin is the solution.”

Eye??? LT??? You both alive??? You doing okay?

This is the type of stuff that drives fans of any player nuts. Sends people off the deep end. If my memory is correct Sundin is actually a champion, just not an NHL champion. Semantics aside, I do in fact wonder how many others feel that way about the Big Swede.

In fairness Rosenbloom does give Sundin some props:

“Sundin scored 32 goals for a bad Toronto team last season. Working backward in the five seasons before 2007-08, the former Maple Leafs captain pounded the net for 27, 31, 31, 37 and 41 goals. Good numbers.”

Good numbers? Man look at his lack of supporting cast! If Dan Marino had Jerry Rice, If Jim Kelly had Hank Illisac (sorry had to get Hank in 2x in 1 day). Sundin was a constant performer for a pretty bad team.

“But I’m not sure I trust the guy, and here’s why: The Hawks have had bad luck with aging veterans expected to provide points and leadership (Doug Gilmour and Paul Coffey are the leading disasters) and Sundin chose to stick with a miserable team last season because he was comfy instead of picking a contender to be traded to for a run at the Stanley Cup.”

Wow, a shot at little TSM’s coach. Can’t wait to ask him about that on Saturday morning. The last part of that post is the one that is going to sting a little. You all know how I feel about Sundin’s actions and motivations last trade deadline. While we may not have liked them, the reality is if nothing else he earned that right. Those pro Sundin and those anti all agree that if nothing else, he earned his NTC and therefore he had the right for whatever reason of his choosing to act accordingly.

Personally, my hope is that he goes to Chicago. I would love to see him with a team so full of speed. I hope he doesn’t go to Vancouver because no matter what anyone says to the contrary the argument will be there that he went to where the money is. Even if that isn’t accurate the perception will be there and those who sling the arrows towards our former captain will sling them on that point because they offered him 10m a year.

All in all, with everyone thinking we are four days from a soft deadline being met (hands up who thinks there should be a soft deadline for paying taxes). Interesting to see how a team that wants to sign him and needs to get under the cap to do so, is able to move players when the trade freeze is in effect, but that is an issue for smarter guys to answer then me.

Eye, LT, we, the Leafs Nation are for you today…be well and breathe. It is gonna be okay.

The article can be found here and sorry the video was a little cheesy but you got the point

Kris Versteeg Suspended

For this fight (1 game)and his coach Joel Quenville fined $10k

Canucks Believe Sundin Decision is “Imminent”

Vancouver Canucks’ GM Mike Gillis told a Vancouver sports radio station that he believes “Gillis told the TEAM 1040 in Vancouver that he is meeting with Sundin and his agent J.P. Barry over the next couple of days to make a final push for the Swede’s services.

Gillis believes that Sundin will make a final decision within the next 10 days and remains confident that the Canucks are still in the running.

“Everything from our perspective has been positive with him from day one,” Gillis told the TEAM. “He explained in detail how he felt about the situation he was in and I completely appreciate it. I’ve represented players who have been in similar situations and I understand and appreciate it. From where our team is today, I think he’d be the perfect fit for our group. He brings something to the table that would enhance our offense and enhance the leadership stuff that we are so focused on. Yeah, we’re hoping that he’ll come our way.”

Here’s hoping he decides soon, and I for one would be thrilled to see him play in Vancouver. If the rumblings are true that Chicago is the other option, well, that would be fantastic too.

you can read the rest of the story here