Thursday, July 2, 2009

Free Agent Frenzy

It’s no coincidence that the first day of NHL free agency happens to fall on Canada Day (or is it? Either way, it’s quite fitting, don’t you think?) Yesterday didn’t blow me away, but there were some interesting moves. I spend most of my time worrying about the Capitals, so I’m no expert on other teams and how their moves might play out…but hey, has that ever stopped me before?

CAPITALS: Lose Donald Brashear to the Rangers, Sign Mike Knuble

Being a hockey fight enthusiast, I’m sad Brashear is leaving. But honestly, compare Knuble’s stat line with Brashear’s and it’s a no brainer. Replace a guy who had 4 points in 63 games, and averages 8 minutes a game, with a 47 point scorer who played all 82 games and averaged 18 minutes a game. Yes, they play different roles, but it’s not as if Knuble is all soft hands and scoring prowess. He’s gritty and he’ll drop the gloves if he needs to (thank god, because as much as I love Matt Bradley, if he’s our tough guy, we’re in trouble.) Most importantly, he’ll set up in front of the net, which means I won’t have to lose my voice screaming “GET IN FRONT OF THE NET” during every Caps power play. Is Knuble going to replace Sergei Fedorov? No. But he’s a good substitute for Kozlov.

As sad as I am to see Brashear go, it was the right move. Early on the Capitals needed that veteran enforcer to protect their young guns. But this season the Capitals ranked 28 of 30 in number of fights. Is that because we had Brashear to frighten potential opponents? I don’t think so. I think it’s a reflection of how players like Ovechkin and Backstrom have started to stand up for themselves now that they’re more comfortable. All in all, this is a good move for the Capitals and one they needed to make. The price is right and the team is adding something they lacked, which should help ease the pain of cheering for a former Flyer…

DEVILS: Lose Gionta, John Madden, Mike Rupp, Scott Clemmensen, Re-sign Johnny Oduya, Andy Green

Nash Brown should take this into the details, since this is her team. But I'm glad to see Clemmensen, who played so well when MB30 was hurt, get a chance, even if it is in Florida. It wouldn't have been fair to keep him in the AHL wile Marty chases the shutout record, so good for him. But I am sad to see Brian Gionta go. He was sassy, and one of my favorite things to do at Devils games was get drunk and yell “He’s so leeeeeetle!” Now that he’s a Hab, I have to hate him, which is sad. Speaking of…

MONTREAL: Lose Mike Komisarek, Sign Gionta, Hal Gill, Mike Cammalleri, Jaroslav Spacek

Woah, someone was busy. Before the frenzy began, I asked my co-worker, who happens to be a Rangers fan, how much tequila Sather had buy Bob Gainey before he agreed to take Gomez. I figured that massive hangover came into play when he signed Jaroslav Spacek to a pretty hefty contract. Not going to lie, had no idea who he was. His numbers aren’t bad, but, $11.5M over 3 years? Then again, these people are paying Gionta $25M over 5 years so…The only really solid addition I see is grabbing Hal Gill from the Pens. As much as I hate seeing the Habs shore up their blue line, I won’t miss the U.S.S. Gill during those heated Caps-Pens games. Picking up Cammalleri was a good move, I think, although again it seems like a lot of money ($30M/5 years). All in all, I have no idea what this means for Montreal. Clearly they needed to shake things up after last season’s embarrassment, but I’m confused by their desire to be the tiniest team in the league. Hopefully this will work out as well as the Lightning's signing orgy did last years. On the other side of things…

RANGERS: Lose Scott Gomez, Colton Orr, Fredirk Sjostrom, Add Brashear, Marion Gaborik

I though the Rags were brilliant getting rid of Gomez’s big money deal. Then they went and signed Marion Gaborik. From what I read yesterday, it kind of seemed like they wanted to get rid of Gomez so they could pick up Heatley. But maybe when it was clear that wouldn’t happen, they grabbed the next best thing out there? There’s no in between for this deal. If Gaborik finally gets/stays healthy, the Rangers could be going places fast. If not, someone’s getting fired. I wonder if there’s a no trade clause attached? Perhaps the Rags will be saddled with a Nylander like mess in a few years….wouldn’t mind seeing that at all.

LEAFS: Toronto steals Mike Komisarek from Montreal. If he and Luke Schenn pair up on D, they’ll have to keep the temps at the Air Canada Center subzero to stop them from melting the ice every night. I mean, holy hotness Batman! (Sorry, were you expecting hard hitting analysis there?)

I’m not even going to pretend to know about the West, but I do have to add my two cents on Chicago. They quickly became my favorite team out there this season…

CHICAGO: Lose Matt Walker, Khabibulin, Pahlsson, Havlat, Sign Hossa, Kopecky, John Madden

So I was less than pleased with their moves. First of all, letting Khabibulin go could be bad. Maybe they have a good prospect ready to come up, but I don’t think (based on this season and his last in Washington) that Cristobal Huet can carry the starting workload alone. Plus, the Bulin Wall is the best goalie nickname out there.

I suppose the drama, aside from the Dany Heatley saga, was Hosssssssa. I was a fan of this guy in Pittsbugh and cut him slack for picking Detroit. But last season made him into a less than favorite and I feel like he’s sullying the Blackhawks. Maybe they need a veteran guy in the room, but is Hossa a leader? Is he worth a 12 year!!! contract? Plus, his deal seems to have forced Martin Havlat out of Chicago, at least according to Havlat’s tweets last night. That’s too bad. The Blackhawks look different and that’s probably a good thing, but I’m wondering how they’ll manage re-signing Towes and Kane next season, especially if the cap goes down.

All in all, not a thrilling first day, but some solid moves and some head-scratchers. Unfortunately we have three more months to wait until we see how it all plays out.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Farewell Sergei

News that Sergei Fedorov is leaving DC for the KHL has me bummed and so I offer this tribute, to both #91 and the dearly departed Michael Jackson. (Yeah, I was bored on the train today, can you tell?)

To the tune of "I Want You Back": 
When we had you to ourselves, we just dicked around,
We thought you had made enough to stay just for the crowd, 
But Russia took you from our bunch, three mill was all it took,
Now it's much too late for us to take a second look 

Oh Sergei give us on more chance (to show that we love you)
Won't you please come please, back to the Caps?
Oh Feds we were blind to let you go, and now since we see you in their colors (we want you back)

Russia House without you will be just a stupid club, 
And before you go please show Schultz how to play D right, 
Every rink you skate on we'll freeze tear stains on the ice, 
Crying for the champ we couldn't keep around....

Oh Sergei all we need is one more season, (to show you that we love you)
Won't you please come please, back to the Caps?
Oh Feds were blind to let you go....

Feel free to judge, but don't tell me you don't like a tiny bit.....

Thursday, April 16, 2009


i just wanted to clear up something Gordo mentioned in her last post... Ok. So.. BU winning this game was a definite, much like Colin Wilson's dreaminess. Yes, BU did so in a dramatic fashion, but it shocked no one. NO ONE!

well.. maybe it shocked brooks orpik. douche.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Playoffs and Bad Juju

The start of the playoffs is only minutes away, instead of hours or days. Finally.

Less than a week ago the BU Terriers shocked the nation (or the couple of thousand people who watch college hockey) by scoring two goals in 40 seconds to force over-time. As OT began in the Verizon Center I couldn't help but flashback to another game that went to overtime, one year ago this month. Another team rocking the red skating onto that same ice. Overtime began and then thousands of Caps fans had their hearts broken by Joffrey Lupul's wrister.

So you can imagine my dread when the Terriers took the ice. But then, minutes into that battle against Miami (Ohio) Colby Cohn scored a fluky but incredible game winner. They won! The Terriers won! And suddenly I started to wonder....could the magic carry over? Could Colby's goal, on the same ice, in the same barn, get rid of that bad OT juju? Could the luck and the glory transfer over to the Caps, with BU Beanpot MVP Tom Poti on the blueline? Only time will tell, but I'm, dare I say, hopeful. GO CAPS!

(Yeah, Rag/Terrier Chris Drury won a Hobey Baker and the Beanpot MVP too.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Draft

The draft lottery is this evening and while I really could care less, I'll probably tune in just to get a dose of puck. The top two prospects are crazy good and you couldn't go wrong with either, but if I were a GM, I'd take Victor Hedman. Not only is he skilled; he looks like a young, dreamy, puck-moving Brad Pitt:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

At Eastern Motors...

At tonight's Thrashers game, they showed this clip. I think it's pretty funny (and in good fun, since Kovy and Ovechkin are friends. Plus, they mocked Colby and showed a clip of my fav NHL commercial ever.) But Cap's coach Bruce Boudreau wasn't laughing in the post game presser.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Brooks Orprik

In hockey, as in life, you will encounter souls so insufferable, it's easy to wonder how they have survived. More often than not, these individuals have spent a few years of their life residing along a stretch of Commonwealth Avenue in and around Boston, Massachusetts.

It's been about a week since I've had my most recent run in with one of these miscreants. His name: Brooks Orpik. His goal: pissin' me off.

So, it all began innocently enough when Mumbai and I wanted to do something special for our 25th birthdays, which are exactly a week apart. We decided, totally rationally, that a trip to Pittsburgh to take in Pens-Flyers was a must. The game was an experience in itself; but, I'm not going to waste my energies on that. Alas, I'd like to focus solely on the Orprik.

After some quality autograph signing by some upstanding Penguins, out strolled Brooksy. I don't think it was coincidence that he was one of the last players to leave. You know he looooooooooves the attention. So, as I'm politely standing around for #44 to work his way down the line, Mumbai joked about how Orpik went to BC and how I, on principle, shouldn't get his autograph. However, my jersey was getting up there with the signatures, and I could use him, even if he was an Eagle. At the time though, Orpik was more than an ear shot away and could have in NO way heard our childish rumblings.

This is where it gets interesting... So, several minutes pass and Orpik finally made his way to me. I gracefully handed out my jersey for him to sign.. and.. he passed right over! He signed for the guy next to me on the left, and then came back and signed for some kid on my right. Then he signed my jersey? NO! Instead, he passed me again and signed for some chick down the line. Awkwardly, the middle aged man next to me (whom, by the way, knew way more about Sidney Crosby's whereabouts than any middle aged man should) asked if Orpik had signed for me. I, even more awkwardly, chuckled out an 'um.. no.' Orpik, now, begrudgingly scooped up my jersey.

To make the situation lighter, I joked. 'Is it because you know I'm a Terrier. ::pause:: 'Cuz, ya know, BC sucks!' At this point, Orpik puts Sharpie to jersey and scribes a 'B'. Then. He pauses. Stops dead in his tracks. The pause felt like an eternity. What was he going to do?! My mind, it raced. My palms! They sweated! Was it going to scribble over my jersey, ruining all my creeping?!? Was he going to, Eruzione forbid, write 'BU SUCKS!'.

However, the professional in him reigned supreme and he graciously signed his name before scowling and eerily chirping out 'Yea, ha ha, BC sucks'.

I felt awful and violated and will never look at Orpik the same way. Yes, I was honored that he spent the time to sign autographs. Others didn't even do that (Malkin.. I mean you!). But, honestly, he could have made light of the situation and joked with me. Hell, BC is the reigning NCAA champion, it's not like he didn't have material.

What Mumbai and I didn't know at the time of this encounter was that Orpik's little brother, Andrew, is a member of the current BC squad. The same squad that had, earlier that weekend, been booted from the NCAA tournament courtesy of my Boston University Terriers. Big old 'OOPS' on our part.

But. Yes. The event, as a whole, was unique and something I'd much not want to endure again. If only Orpik could spend a little time with Scott Hartnell. It's just a game.

You can never forget that.