Tag Archives: Larry Brooks

Sunday’s Funnies (quotes of the early day)

Here are a few of my favorite things this am:

“No kidding the Coyotes operate under an onerous lease. But that’s exactly what previous owner Steve Ellman signed on for in exchange for his land-grab in Glendale, which was exactly the wrong spot to build a new arena and everyone but everyone knew it. Ellman didn’t care. He got his land. But now the NHL is supposed to bail out the franchise? Now the NHL is supposed to pump money into an organization that, somehow, is paying head coach Wayne Gretzky more than $5.5M this year and will pay Gretzky between $7-and-8M next season?” Larry Brooks

With the players taking the hit that they are, the count should expect long and hard questions about the league finances and the propping up of teams who do just enough to qualify for large revenue sharing payments. The ethical appearances of the league this day are all wrong.

“When Garth Snow talks about expanding the Islanders’ fan base in explaining why the team is playing a preseason game in Kansas City and spending the opening week of training camp in Saskatoon, it sounds like nothing more than an insult to the suffering fan base on Long Island. What is it about going to work in a suit and tie rather than in illegal pads that has turned Snow from an insightful, candid fellow into a suspicious, uptight individual?” Larry Brooks

Nothing like good old fashioned blackmail. Anyone else remember the Kansas City Blades of the IHL? Quick, when you think of hot potential NHL markets how many list KC in your top 25? The folks in government should tell the isles to build their own damned arena…Look around people, this isn’t the time for governments to be handing out checks to the likes of Charles Wong…. Poney up Charles and build your own building your fans deserve it.

“This Ron Wilson “we won, they lost” attitude in public will last only as long as his dressing room doesn’t erupt against him. There is much to like about Wilson — and who wouldn’t want a boss that rewards hard work and accomplishment? — but lately, he’s tripping over himself in public.” Steve Simmons

I agree. This we suck thing is going to get very stale in the locker room sooner rather then later. Coaches want to be part of the us vs. them mentality along with their players. Kind of hard to establish that when you slaughter your guys in public all the time. Take shots at the media, bash your players in private, man stand up for your guys just a little bit.

“How tough is it to get a hockey scholarship at a top U.S. college? Well, consider this: The top 10 ranked teams in the NCAA have only 15 Ontario players of the 250 or so on their rosters.” Steve Simmons

It used to be parents dreamed about the NHL. Now it’s a us scholarship. Let your kids have fun and stop pressing them to be all that you weren’t!

“When Doug Gilmour’s jersey is honoured at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night, his Kingston Frontenacs players will be in attendance. But he had nothing to do with getting them tickets. Turns out, Mike Zigomanis of the Penguins, as a goodwill gesture to his former junior team and knowing nothing of the Gilmour ceremony, bought 34 tickets for the Fronts players to watch the Pens play. Now they get to see Zigomanis play and watch their coach honoured on the same night” Steve Simmons-

Why, would Gilmour lie about this? Seriously, I don’t get it.

“Donny (Doc) Lyons, the loudest, most opinionated, most inflexible and maybe most interesting sports fan in Toronto, has lost his fight with cancer. The owner of the popular House of Chan and longtime coach will be missed by all who have sparred with him and been charmed by him. He was a one-of-a-kind character in a city of too few” Steve Simmons

The house that Chan built won’t be the same…

“Boo hoo: Overpaid millionaire NHL players have to take a 13.5% paycut in the first half of the season and some have the nerve to squawk about it. Tell that to the autoworkers in Oshawa or the half-million Americans who lost their jobs in December” Steve Simmons

You knew it was coming and it is 100% accurate. This is why the players didn’t re-open the CBA.


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

Mats Sundin Left A Waiting

According to Larry Brooks, Sundin decided to……wait. 🙂

Sorry have to laugh.
He wants to be a ranger (according to Brooks), but the have no room to make him an offer of $6 million (which he is demanding-ouch to Vancouver at 10! and double ouch to say he won’t go for less then $7)

“Thus, with the NHL holiday roster freeze going into effect Friday night at midnight and lasting through midnight the 27th, Sundin – who has a $10M offer on the table from the Canucks that he obviously is in no hurry to accept – is likely to remain unsigned until late in the month.”


“J.P. Barry, Sundin’s North American representative, said today that Sundin might accept a conditional offer from the Rangers, but that is nonsense.”

And sheep may fly, Wilbur may invite Larry and Richard for dinner and Mccown will be on Pat Quinn and Cito Gaston’s holiday card list.

“But while the big Swede – who earned $5.5 million last year with the Maple Leafs – is willing to take less to play Broadway than to play in Vancouver, his willingness to take a discount only goes so far. Cap counts are calculated on a daily basis in the NHL. Sundin’s contract would be pro-rated and charged against the cap from the day it’s registered with the league. Sundin, who has returned home to Sweden for the Christmas holiday, likely will need a week to 10 days of practice before he’s in game shape. The contract would not have to be registered until a day before he’s ready to go. Thus, if Sundin were ready to go the first week of January, the Blueshirts would have to have approximately $3.2M of space in order to accommodate Sundin’s need for a $6M contract. With a current $1 million available, the Rangers could not clear the necessary space merely by deleting Petr Prucha and Dan Fritsche from the roster. More would be required. Which is why Sather and Sundin both need more time.”

Take as much time as needed. Who knows, maybe February or March will be a good time… This whole thing is a joke. The best news is that the Leafs are FINALLY out of the picture. I guess for Mats’ it’s no longer important to be part of the entire journey, or even half the journey (from a calendar perspective). By the way, which fellow GM is going to do Slats the favor of dealing with him? They are such a warm agreeable bunch aren’t they?

If I am Mike Gillis, I go do business elsewhere. What happens if Slats can’t move the money? Should the entire league just wait around for this guy? He is good, he isn’t that good.

Brooks is here

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

Kevin Allen, Bob McKenzie & Damien on Sean Avery

Folks, as I have told you from the very first time I started to write this blog, behind almost every story there is one common theme. The almighty dollar is the ultimate inspiration and driving force behind so much of what goes on. Sometimes people’s motives are clear. Greed, is good as the line from Wallstreet goes. Other times you have to look a little closer, between the lines if you will, to realize what exactly is going on.

You see, Larry Brooks writes about inconsistencies in the NHL justice system. This is not a case about justice. This is about money. Don’t think for one second this whole issue is about anything other then money. For one second, however let’s look at a more reasonable approach to this issue from Kevin Allen.

As predictable as Larry Brooks response to the Avery incident was, the fact that Kevin Allen would present sound arguments supporting the NHL was equally a given too. While he hasn’t been as vocal about the incident in the local papers Damien has a post on ESPN about it too and he is more in line with Mr. Brooks (what a surprise) as opposed to Mr. Allen.

“The First Amendment guarantees that all U.S. citizens have the right to open their mouth and make fools of themselves. Sean Avery exercised that right Tuesday by going on television and making a crude remark regarding Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf’s relationship with Avery’s ex-girlfriend.
There are many important legal battles being fought over free speech in the workplace, but none, to my knowledge, are being waged over an employee’s right to publicly demean the girlfriend of someone who is a member of the same union.”

I love when something like this happens how the first amendment arguments fly out of people’s mouths…. Sorry folks, from my perspective that is totally irrelevant.

“he NHL needs to punish Avery, but the important message here has to come from the Dallas Stars, who gave him a four-year, $15.5 million deal.
Since Avery came in the NHL, he has continually disgraced the game with his antics and words. It’s embarrassing for respected players such as Marty Turco, Mike Modano and Brenden Morrow to play beside a player who is this disrespectful to the game and its image.”

Every comment out of Dallas is anti-Avery. Turco’s comments were pretty telling when he said something like this is what they have come to expect from a guy like Avery….

I love this next piece because Allen offers a solution, which most critics don’t, they just complain:

“Presumably Avery will be suspended, and when he is finished with his suspension, the Stars should put him on waivers. Given the circumstances, I can’t believe any team would bite on his contract. How would a general manager explain to fans that he is bringing in Avery?
If he clears waivers, then the Stars could send him to the minors until he demonstrates he has respect for the game that has made him a millionaire. And if he does get back to the NHL, then he should be subject to zero tolerance. If he doesn’t report to the minors, the Stars could suspend him.”

I agree, except that I doubt Avery will report to the minors and am sure that the union would file a grievance somewhere along the line.

“if Avery’s character requires him to be a rebel, there are ways to accomplish that without behaving like a punk. Avery’s boss, Dallas co-general manager Brett Hull, was a rebel. He exercised his right of free speech throughout his career and didn’t shy away from criticism of the league. If Hull didn’t like the way the game was played, he said so. But didn’t engage with fans or take verbal shots at opponents or talk about their girlfriends. Hull was a loveable rebel, and Avery comes across as an ogre.”

I am not sure about Hull being lovable, but I get the point… There is a right way to be an ass and then there is Avery’s way…

“he has become the NHL’s most undesirable character, a shameful performer who doesn’t seem to know where the line of human decency is located. A suspension and a trip to the minors might help him find it.”

To think we almost had him here in Toronto. I wonder if Burke/Wilson think they can control him…

Read the rest of Allen here

Over at TSN, Bob McKenzie provides some insight into how sour things have gotten between player and team:

“Avery’s attempt to issue an apologize to his teammates and the organization through the organization was summarily rejected by the club today. Sources tell TSN that Avery’s personal publicist reached out to the Stars’ president on Wednesday morning in an effort to get the club, in conjunction with Avery, to issue a formal apology by means a press release. The Stars made it clear to Avery’s representative that the door was not open for that to happen, that they wanted nothing to do with it. Avery later in the day issued a press release apology of his own that was not issued or sanctioned by the team”

One word….ouch

The Hoser says that the stars are considering the following options, adding on to whatever suspension the NHL levies, trying to negate the contract he signed under the conduct detrimental to the league clause, an off season buyout, sending him to the AHL,

Time will tell what the Stars do, at least McKenzie thinks that they will make the leagues punishment look mild.

As for Damien…

“When Sean Avery decided this week to slag his ex in the most discourteous way possible, the NHL decided he’d broken an unwritten rule and told him to take a seat. Meanwhile, some laughed at his “sloppy seconds” comment and suggested that kind of brazen showmanship would bring attention to the NHL and enhance its profile.”

Has anyone heard this mentioned as a positive for the league? Didn’t think so…

“One man’s entertaining outspokenness, it seems, is another man’s obscenity.
This is the reality that professional sports leagues confront when they attempt to legislate against words or thoughts. Without the benefit of a public vote to tell them what their constituents believe is a proper code of verbal conduct, these organizations rely on reflexes or gut feelings when it comes time to decide what is lively trash talk and what crosses the line into untoward politicization of their sport, a hate crime or simple crude and boorish behavior.”

You don’t think the public has voted???? Some things aren’t so clear, this one isn’t one of those cases, people seem pretty aligned that Avery crossed the line this time. Except Larry Brooks of course.

“So when the Dixie Chicks choose to dis Dubya, there was no commissioner of country rock to hand down a suspension. No matter whether the Dixie Chicks were right or wrong, it was the market, or a chunk of their market, that reacted negatively to their words. They didn’t have guaranteed contracts to lean on, only their reputation and appeal.Saturday Night Live” can parody recent vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and chuckle about those who would call her a “MILF,” but there’s no one to sit down Tina Fey for the next five episodes of “30 Rock.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong. First Don Imus seemed to get shut down pretty quickly. Second, those in the entertainment industry answer to a much more powerful entity then a commissioner, Corporate America. That is who pays the bills. So if Apple, Coke, Reebok, Mastercard, or any other corporate giant thinks for one second that being affiliated with you isn’t such a good idea you are sunk… Don’t think for one second that this isn’t what has set off The Count in NYC.

“Theater, art and rock ‘n’ roll are about having no rules, while sports are, to some extent, all about rules. It’s why those shut-ins will call in while watching a golf tournament to complain about a ball that was lifted illegally. Without the rules, there is anarchy, right? But when it comes to words, thoughts and morality in professional sports, whose rules apply? Who are we protecting, exactly? The kids who watch everything and anything on YouTube, or those who belong to abstinence groups in college and participate in overseas service trips?”

It is really amazing that Damien has missed the boat on this. The ones being protected here are the ones writing the really big checks. With the world economy plunging, do you think anyone in the NHL or team marketing departments wants any negativity of this type while trying to save a relationship that is diminishing for financial reasons. Companies want to sponsor sure things, not ones where they may get one whiff guilt by association.

“In the case of Avery, he offended a lot of people, but most specifically, he offended NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Never mind that he has said similar things or nastier things over and over during his career to his opponents and has directed disgusting slurs against their girlfriends, daughters or mothers. Sean Avery is set to meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and league disciplinary czar Colin Campbell on Thursday in New York.
Never mind that this is a league that does little or nothing to stop the words that athletes exchange on the ice, mostly because there’s little it can do about attempts to get the other guy “off his game.” You can turn on games any night and read the lips of coaches and players saying things a great deal worse than what Avery had to say about Dion Phaneuf and Elisha Cuthbert. But after the Dallas forward stage-managed his own news conference Tuesday afternoon in Calgary, the league suddenly felt compelled to act.
Confused? Join the club.”

This is really so simple… There is no reason for confusion. Rome is burning all over corporate north America and the NHL can’t have this type of thing all over the press as the lead story when it has dasherboards to sell. Funny how all these naysayers love to tell us how bad things are with every team in the league, yet when there is really good evidence of it they can’t see the signs…

You can read the rest of Damien here….

Larry Brook on Sean Avery~ WOW

I knew this was coming….

If anyone would defend Avery you knew it would be NHL hater Larry Brooks. Anyways, here is what the Grinch who hates hockey has to say:

“As of tonight, Sean Avery will have been suspended for as many games (two) for yesterday’s on-camera vulgar reference in Calgary to the Dion Phaneuf-Elisha Cuthbert relationship as Randy Jones was last season for his late October hit from behind that concussed Patrice Bergeron and forced the Boston center to miss the remainder of the season”

Another fight for a “just” justice system….

“But then, when it involves Avery, who is every bit as despised by Sixth Avenue as he is in his own locker room, there is no perspective. Sticks and stones may break peoples’ bones, but the NHL has decided that Avery’s words are at least as harmful as hits from behind.”

LOL, sorry, that is actually pretty funny.

“Gary Bettman’s decision to indefinitely suspend Avery pending a hearing tomorrow in New York is extraordinary, unprecedented, and most importantly, an abuse of power that the NHLPA must vigorously oppose even if a vast majority of its membership would just as soon see Page Six Sean receive a dishonorable discharge from the NHL.”

There you have it…Let the PA come to Avery’s rescue. I have been waiting for this….

“This suspension must be challenged in an independent forum where the burden of proof would be placed on the commissioner to demonstrate that saying the words “sloppy seconds” represents “[conduct] detrimental to [the NHL] or the game of hockey,” as Bettman is claiming in citing the language in By-Law 17 and Article 6 of the NHL constitution as grounds for imposing discipline.”

Is anyone else surprised that Brooks raised this????

“Has Avery gone too far this time? Oh, has he gone farther than Chris Pronger when the Anaheim defenseman twice within four games of the 2006 Finals nailed Ottawa opponents with shots to the head.
Apparently, Avery has gone farther than Pronger, apparently Avery’s language was far more detrimental to the game than Pronger’s forearm; twice as bad, actually, for the NHL suspended Pronger for one game following each incident.”

So is the argument you messed up before so you must mess up again? Just so I am clear…

“Dallas owner Tom Hicks’ enthusiastic support for the suspension is laughable. This is, after all, the same fellow whose Texas Rangers were in the epicenter of baseball’s steroids scandal and are all over the pages of the sport’s Mitchell Report. This is also the same fellow who took no action against Ed Belfour when the goaltender later pled guilty to a March 20, 2000 misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest arising from a liquor-fueled incident involving a woman at a Dallas hotel that ended with Belfour being escorted away with restraints on his wrists and ankles.”

He isn’t wrong on Hicks, Hicks hired the GM who brought in the player…

“I’m not defending what Avery said, though in the big picture, do we not have far more important issues to address? Does not the league? We have a football player in this city on the defending Super Bowl champions who appears to have been engaged in an attempt to obstruct justice, yet he remains a member in good standing of his team.The moment the commissioner acted yesterday, he pulled the plug on what had become an immensely anticipated game. Avery had started promoting this one against the Flames even before the season began when he called Jarome Iginla boring in an interview with ESPN. Yesterday morning, Avery increased it a notch, tasteless though the promotion might have been.”

Is his argument that nothing should be done so that Avery could have played????

“Though it is now impossible to argue either way, I’d suggest that last night’s match would have attracted the largest NHL Network audience ever for any game ever played by either Dallas or Calgary.
But we wouldn’t have wanted that.
Why, spontaneous combustion might actually have occurred on the ice.
Wouldn’t have wanted that, either.”

To that I say, is this the type of guy you want out selling your game??? Who is your target audience??? ANIMAL HOUSE(a great movie by the way)

“Avery’s future in Dallas, and in the NHL for that matter, are most certainly in doubt. We’ll see if the owner uses this incident as a means to attempt to void the remainder of Avery’s four-year, $15.5 million contract he signed this summer. We’ll see if the Stars place Avery on waivers then attempt to bury him in the AHL, hoping he’ll quit and walk away from the money. One thing, however, is clear. And that is, in Bettman’s world, George Carlin’s list of seven words you can never say on television has been expanded by two.”

The league had to act. The team should still act…

Read Brooks here



So despite posting more bullshit about Sundin (“imminent”, “things are definitely moving!”) the status quo remains.

As I have said before Eklund’s sources are Mr. Hanky- the adorable Christmas Poo!

And for the “I am hearing montreal”

“It is difficult to be optimistic because we haven’t had much contact with him. We haven’t gotten the message he’s very interested in becoming a Canadian. We have a place for him on paper and we’ve made him a good offer.”

Yeah Bob Gainey agrees!


We all hate Larry Brooks- Again, he completely blows Hanky out of the water (how do you like that analogy?) with his post today on Scott Gomez:

“The Mats Sundin situation remains status quo, with big No. 13 at home in Sweden agonizing over the decision whether to retire or play an 18th NHL season. Contrary to falsehoods circulating on the Internet, the Rangers have never considered trading Scott Gomez to clear cap space for Sundin. Nor will they.”