Severed Heads Don't Miss A Beat, Extend Lead

Revised after Rob pointed out the extra points I had given Bob. Bob's trades are always more complicated because he usually has had half the players exchanged previously. :-)


Bryan Fogarty award nominee

Jere Karalahti!

Turns out the only hockey player to make the NHL with a heroin rap sheet, a two time European All-Star and one time Ramapithicines prospect has been arrested for cocaine and amphetamine smuggling.

It's not quite the same as getting busted at a high school lab, naked and covered in cooking oil (which is why Bryan Fogarty will always be King!), but we have passed Bob Probert level jail time with this stuff, and it likely marks the end of Jere's checkered career.


How much did Sergei get for this?

Ten things that strike me about this video

10 Maxime Talbot, you da man. That facial hair is boy-band fabulous.

9. Gonchar dressed as an escaped extra from Miami Vice. He's feeling it.

8. You just know that all the directorial cues were related to Malkin through the translation of Gonchar. I bet $5.00 that somewhere there are outtakes where Gonchar has him saying the most hilarious off-colour things.

7. Talbot's dance moves + giggle of victory. He will never work in the NHL again.

6. Colby Armstrong's line of 'cuz of who I am'. After he said it I wanted to punch him in the face. Thats good acting!

5. What's with all the black? Doesn't anybody other than Gonchar have coloured shirts in their wardrobe?

4. Talbot's line about 'superstar like me'. Now I want to punch both of them! Really good acting. In three years Talbot has a career total of 44 points.

3. Gonchar as Bobby Big Wheel. That cracks me up the most.

2. Malkin is literally just happy to have been invited.

1. Makin ends up with the sweetest ride - for free.

The Onion on Crosby

The Onion is of course your most reliable news source for hockey stories in the multiverse.

Coming Soon to an NHL rink near you!

Fabian Brunnstrom!

He's 22 years old, 6'1, and 186lbs, but is he the next Daniel Alfredsson as some suggest?

You be the judge....

Apparently every NHL team has expressed some interest in the previously un-drafted winger, but give those teams with high Swedish content a leg up in the race to sign the gunner.


Mirtle's 30 in 30

Some very interesting names show up in the top 10 forwards;

1. Ovechkin-L Edge.

With Crosby down Ovechkin is now the supreme offensive force in the league. The Edge have a lot of ground to make up, but Ovechkin is doing his job in driving the team. No coincidence that Ovechkin's critical mass would be reached by the firing of Hanlon, and the presence of the player ranked #10 below.

2. Getzlaf-C Personal Vendetta

Arguably the best player on the Personal Vendetta and when you roll in his PIM (pacing for 100), he stands out. Now factor in that he's +11 in his last 10 game and you have a triple threat at centre, the rarest of creatures.

3. Jagr-R Severed Heads.

He goes through the worst offensive drought of his career and then reboots to ppg+ form. Could really use at least the hint of offense from another line to take some pressure off.

4. Doan-R Bladerunners

Exhibit A in the offense isn't either of his FP's, it's Doan in Phoenix.

5. Dumont-R Wolves

Nashville scores some goals, and the Wolves are feeling it.

6. Staal-C Great Whites

Quietly Staal has put his game back together and is poised to return to 100pt form from two years ago.

7. Zherdev-R Clb Shadowmen

Nash is making the highlights, but Zherdev is the one piling up the bigger points.

8. Bertuzzi-R Severed Heads

Has dropped 20lbs, landed on the top line with Getzlaf and returned to being one of the leagues most fearsome power forwards.

9. StLouis-R Edge

Justifying his 1st rnd selection.

10. Backstrom-C Severed Heads

Backstrom registers just 9 points in his first 24 games. The coach is fired and Boudreau replaces Hanlom behind the bench. Since then Backstrom's scored 32pts in his last 26 games, and Kane's grip on the Calder has been loosened.

Severed Heads Still Lead; WD2 Draft Order Set; Out of Calgary Conference Wins All-Star Game

Last night of play before for the NHL All-Star Break also brought to an end the FunHL All-Star Game with the Out of Calgary Conference avenging their loss in last season's game. The Calgary Conference did, however, take home something as Great Whites Goaltender H.Lundqvist was named the game's MVP.

Last night's play also brought to a close Week 17 in the Predator Cup race with the Severed Heads holding a 6+pt lead on the Bladerunners. The Highlanders had a strong night to close the week above the 600pt mark as well as the two front runners. The current standings will also set the WD2 draft order as the last week before the WD next Sunday.

In the Omnivore standings, the Wolves have slipped back ahead of the Shadowmen - another consequence of Mr. Lundquist's good play.

Trade lines are still open, now with more FP content...


All Star Game Tied Going Into Third Period

Bragging rights for Calgarians or the Out-a-Towners are on the line tonight as the puck drops for the final period of the FunHL All-Star Game.

Trade lines are still open...


Severed Heads Continue To Lead

The Severed Heads continue to lead the league and the week. Belated congratulations on crossing the 600pt level. They were joined on Tuesday night by the Bladerunners in the exclusive 600 club.

The Shadowmen and Wolves continue to race for the lead of the Omnivore.

In the FunHL All-Star Game the teams are almost dead even. Hopefully the rosters will be a little more legible today.

Trade lines remain open...


What was JFJ's Worst move as GM?
Signing McCabe to a $5.75M yr deal
Signing Gill to a $2.075M yr deal
Singing Kubina to a $5M yr deal
Not making the trade of Steen and Kaberle for Pronger
Signing Blake to a $4M yr contract
Trading Rask and a 1st for Raycroft
Trading a 1st, 2nd and 4th for Toskala and Bell
Not blowing the team up two years ago
pollcode.com free polls

Forsberg Update

He's back on skates! And things seem to be going well;

"It's fun to be back on the ice," Forsberg was quoted as telling reporters in the Camden Courier-Post. "It feels good and it's absolutely going in the right direction. I'm positive and think I'm going to make it. But it is too early to say anything for sure, and I want to be a 100 percent before I make any decisions."

Speculation on what teams might be interested center around the usual suspects; Detroit, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Colorado and Vancouver.


News story
Ferguson fired, Fletcher named interim GM

TSN.ca Staff
1/22/2008 12:30:56 PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired general manager John Ferguson Jr. The team informed Ferguson of his fate earlier early Tuesday morning. Cliff Fletcher has been made the club's interim general manager.
When contacted by TSN, Ferguson said he would not be commenting at this time but when asked if he was offered, or considered, the option of staying on in a different capacity, he bluntly said, "no."
"After full consideration of the Leafs' situation, it has become clear that change and a new direction is needed," said Richard Peddie, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd in a release. "The decision has been made that John will not be receiving a new contract at the end of this year, and it's in the best interests of the Leafs and of John to begin the transition immediately."
The Maple Leafs have called a 1pm et/10am pt news conference.
Toronto currently sits in 14th place in the Eastern Conference with a 19-22-5-3 record. They have missed the playoffs for the last two seasons.
"[Ferguson] has been given the opportunity and the resources he requested to deliver results from the strategic plans that he put in place when he was named general manager in 2003, and while the new collective bargaining agreement required some re-shaping of those plans, the results have fallen short of what our organization, including John, and our fans expect," said Peddie.
Fletcher had been linked to much of the speculation regarding the team. The Leafs contacted a number of hockey management types last week to gauge their interest in the job and asked Fletcher if he was interested in taking over for the rest of the 2007-08 campaign.
"Cliff Fletcher is the ideal person to lay the groundwork of positive change for the Leafs,” said Peddie. "As all of our general managers have had, he will have the autonomy and responsibility for all hockey decisions with a focus on establishing a foundation from which the next general manager can build. He will guide us through the upcoming trade deadline and toward the draft and free agent signing period."
The Maple Leafs also announced that Toronto sports lawyer Gord Kirke has been retained to assist Peddie in the search for the team's new GM. The search team has specific qualities in mind for the next full-time GM of the club.
"Our ideal candidate will be a long-term builder and a short-term fixer who has an established track record of success on the ice," explained Peddie. "Along with experience and extensive knowledge in the areas of drafting and identifying talent in the professional, amateur and international ranks, this individual will be comfortable with the intense scrutiny within the Toronto hockey market and will work effectively with the media.
"He will have the full autonomy to lead this hockey club in the manner he feels is best," added Peddie.
The fate of head coach Paul Maurice is unknown at this time, however Maurice left the ice at one point during the team's morning practice. He re-emerged from the dressing room with MLSE President and CEO Richard Peddie.
Fletcher, a Montreal native and Hockey Hall of Famer, was GM of the Leafs from 1991 to 1997. His NHL career spans more than 50 years, starting as GM of the Verdun Blues in 1956. Verdun was a junior team operated by the Montreal Canadiens and Fletcher ran the club for 10 years with Sam Pollack never very far away.
Ten years later, the Habs hired him as a scout.
When St. Louis joined the NHL, Fletcher was hired by the Blues to head up the scouting department and later became their assistant general manager.
He got his first GM job with the Atlanta Flames in 1972. He was general manager of the Calgary Flames from 1980-1991. In that time, the Flames won two President's Trophy's and a Stanley Cup.
In 1991, he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as president, GM and COO. He stayed with Toronto through 1997, after helping to turn the team into a contender again.
He joined the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1999 as a senior advisor, before taking over as GM of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2001.
Fletcher was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2004.


Severed Heads Take On All Comers


Bladerunners and Severed Heads Gain Ground

The Wolves are hoping to gain enough ground to make it a 3 horse race again, but for now it looks like the Bladerunners and Severed Heads will be the two aspirants for the crown. At least until tonight.

Remember, the FunHL All-Star game is this week so please indicate which 2 forwards and 1 defensemen will be representing your team at the festivities. Goaltenders, Severed Head Nabokov and Great White Lundquist, will be in addition to these three players.


Severed Heads lead; Top 3 Within a Point

Wow, ok that is close. A few games today and tonight will close out the week.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Remember that there will be no Head-to-Head game next week as the Challenge Cup schedule takes a break for the FunHL All-Star Game. Please indicate with your line-ups which two forwards and one defenseman will be dressing as the representatives of your team. The starting goaltenders look to be Lundqvist for the Calgary Conference and Nabokob for the Out of Calgary Conference.


In honour of Pyrrhus, Highlanders retake the lead

In a fit of delicious irony, at least for 11 other GMs, the Highlanders retake the lead on a very, very dark day.

Trade lines are certainly open. Be gentle...


Best Hockey Team Name Ever

The Rhode Island School of Design's hockey team is called the 'Nads'!

The chant from the crowd? "Go Nads! Go Nads! Go Nads!

Which is just inspired, really.

But even better, is their mascot...'Scrotie'

That is nothing short of AWESOME - right down to the black shoes with white socks!

Wednesday Night Doesn't Change Much

Highlanders are less than a minor penalty behind the Bladerunners but they are still behind.

The Wolves edge back ahead of the Shadowmen in the Omnivore race.

Trade lines are open...


Bladerunners Back In First Place

Only 24 hours after relinquishing the Predator Cup lead, the Bladerunners parlayed a hat-trick from M.Hossa and points up and down their roster to vault back into first place. The Severed Heads, who had a more modest night and are still working on the week's best total, fell back to third. Ecstacy for one, dispair for the other. No, just a really, really close race.

The good news on the stats front is that I already was able to catch a mistake with the stats before being bludgened with e-mails declaring my failure. :-) Seriously, thanks to everyone for keeping me on my toes. [Update, the mistake that I had caught was still posted earlier this morning. Uggh. Its fixed now. Thanks Bob.]

In the Omnivore race this week, the Shadowmen have retaken the lead. These Omnivore stats are accurate as of today's numbers. Be aware that a lot of teams have players on the cusp of making it to their baseline (a point or two behind another player) so even one evening's game can change things - particularly for teams where the "obvious" tough guy is on the baseline bench looking to get in. I'll try to update this more frequently now that I've got everyone's possible tgs listed out.

Trade lines remain open...


Severed Heads Take Predator Cup Lead

It was only one game but the Heads made the most of it lead by former Bladerunner prospect E.Malkin's hat-trick, the 4 Severed Heads players combined for 7pts and leapfrogged both the Highlanders and Bladerunners into first place in the Predator Cup race. The Highlanders themselves, with a more modest 3pts, also crept past the Bladerunners into second spot.

Not a lot of changes in the standings as there was only the one game but I did find the source of the discrepency noted in the Knights Templar's points and corrected it. The fates have also taken away 0.5pts from the Shadowmen. I can not see where this change occured in the spreadsheet so I am suspecting that the NHL has, not for the first time, retroactively taken a minor penalty away from one of Bob's tough guys. Bob, if you still have that old print out of your team roster from before and can mail it back to me it might help me track it down.

Otherwise, all hail our new leader. With the Heads on top, trade lines are most certainly open.

Suck Leafs Suck

Leafs nation is on suicide watch as the team suffers through a prolonged skid of losing to weak teams.

The Leafs were already getting everybody's 2nd best goaltender and yet they were still giving away points at an alarming pace. The latest losing streak has the pundits chanting in unison that something, anything, must be changed.

Here are the options;

- Change the team. Normally, this is the first thing a team would look at. The Leafs are bad, don't have young talent coming up the pipe, and have a couple of assets that might be worthwhile on the open market. Here's the problem, as much as Leafs Nation have mentally prepared themselves to deal Mats Sundin for Sidney Crosby it isn't going to happen. Nor are they going to get Jarome Iginla, or Vincent Lecavalier. Sucks to be you.

Here is a look at trading any of the top 10 salaries on the team;

1. McCabe - he's hurt, has a no-trade clause, and is ridiculously expensive. Of all the contracts JFJ handed out, this one hurts the most.

2. Mats Sundin - has publicly declared he does not want to go anywhere, has a no-trade clause, and while he's still just a shade off of awesome, he's 37 and a free-agent at the end of the year.

3. Jeff 'I have cancer and now can't score' Blake. What can you get for a guy who is deep into his 30's, expensive and suffering from cancer?

4. Pavel Kubina. Un-tradeable. How bad is your GM when this loser is your 4th highest paid player?

5. Thomas Kaberle - expensive, but as a healthy puck-moving defender in his prime - he's actually worth it. IMO he's trade-bait #1. He's also aside from Sundin the teams best player, and still young enough to build around.

6. Darcy Tucker - hurt, under-performing and at $3M a year moderately expensive. If you can get a 3rd rnd pick for him you are probably lucky.

7. Hal Gill. The immense glacier of a defenseman is on pace for 30 pts and +4 on the season, but the hulking defender makes $2.1M a season. His lack of footspeed is worrisome, but aside from Kaberle is the teams best defenseman right now and might bring something in return.

8. Raycroft. At $2M a year he's an expensive back-up and with a GAA of 4.01 he's not exactly Ty Conklin.

9. 10. Antropov and Pony Boy. Presumably, neither of these guys is on the block as they are young, relatively inexpensive (around $2M a season) and actually productive.

Worse, despite the insistence of Glenn 'Leafs-GM-in-waiting' Healy that the Leafs should get '5-6 good assets back for Sundin, and then re-sign him in the summer' (oh yeah, as if that will happen), the fact is he has a no trade clause and has publicly stated he doesn't want to go anywhere. Maybe he changes his mind - but right now, I doubt it.

- How about firing the coach?

Paul Maurice, is IMO the one decent thing about the Leafs. He's smart, experienced, and I believe getting the best out of an ill-motivated, pampered and untalented pack of yahoos. If I were looking at re-building a franchise he is exactly the kind of coach I'd be looking for. So if I have the gun, I don't pull the trigger on P-Mau

- Fire the GM?

Obviously. RE-signing McCabe to his deal (4 years and $26M remaining on it) was a mistake. Massive mistake. Blake was a horrible free-agent choice before he got diagnosed with cancer. The Kubina signing reeks of desperation, and is cap killer at $5M a year. All in all he was acting like a GM without a budget limit despite the fact there was a salary cap coming in. He has developed no young talent, traded for no assets to help rebuild the farm, and made the Leafs older rather than better. Worst of all, he simply wasted three good years from Mats Sundin. Utterly wasted them.

That all said, if you fire JFJ now, who can you get to come in with half a season to go? Cliff Fletcher as an interim guy? Scotty Bowman on a Bryan Colangelo 'give me the keys and go away and leave me alone to let me work my magic' kind of deal?

Here's the trick, if (and it's a big IF) there is a possibility of trading Mats Sundin (presumably by asking him nicely to waive the no-trade), JFJ isn't the guy to do it as he is both incompetent and whats more has been publicly told that if he misses the playoffs he doesn't get re-hired. Well, if he trades Sundin, he is missing the playoffs. So how do you make a guy trade his top player just so you can then turn around and fire him? Absurd.

- Conclusion

As the unpaid consultant to the Leafs I would recommend the following to fix the Leafs;

- Fire JFJ immediately. If you can get Cliffy to take on the stewardship in the short term, awesome, if not, check with Bowman, if not him, Craig Button and Neil Smith are both available and experienced, and as a last resort I'd promote Maurice to interim GM. Anyway I cut it, JFJ has to go. Whoever comes in this year gets the job only as an interim guy unless it's Bowman/Fletcher on a 'write your own ticket-full control-no oversight' deal.

- Keep Maurice, let the new Mgt evaluate him.

- Pursue discussions with Mats about waiving the no-trade. If he says 'no', say 'ok, we respect your decision, and no hard feelings, and let's talk about an extension at a lower salary so you can retire as a Leaf'.

- Trade Kaberle to a Western conference team. I'd target the Sharks (who need a puck-rushing defender) and target to get back a package of Logan Couture and(?!) Matt Carle.

- See if the Pens will give me a 2nd rnd pick/or Erik Christenesn for Tucker. They are missing Roberts since he went down, and Tucker would fill the same role.

- Trade McCabe (if possible - he has a no-trade clause) to a McCabe friendly environment like the Islanders (where he has expressed having fond memories) for a bag of pucks (or whatever I can get). Just moving his obscene contract off the books will be worthwhile. If the Islanders actually send back any kind of picks(a 2nd?) or prospects that are worthwhile all the better.

- Waive/buy out; Raycroft and Kubina.

- Trade Blake anywhere he can get good health-care. He's not worth hanging on to except as a means of eliciting sympathy.

- Under no circumstances should the Leafs;

Hire an inexperienced loudmouth idiot like Healy to be their GM
Trade draft picks away
Pursue sub-mega-star restricted free agents like Dion Phaneuf that will cost them draft picks as compensation.

The team is desperately in need of young talent, and that comes through the draft and via trades. You can't afford to buy any until you've restocked the team.

- Pursue drafting/trading for a new franchise forward, defenseman and goaltender (though Justin Pogge may be the guy for the last role). This will take time and patience.

Following my advice would create immediate cap space, add a few draft picks, add a young player or two, shake the teams chemistry up, and place them in a new direction. It also will require that the new people in charge prepare to take some time to right the ship and allow the talent to mature. At a minimum, the Leafs need to miss the playoffs for between three and five years to stockpile high end players.

So while the problem is 'Suck Leafs Suck', the solution is actually a recommendation to suck harder .

Should the Flames trade Dion Phaneuf?!?

Matt Fenwick over at the Battle of Alberta has an awesome breakdown of the options the Flames have with stud D-man Dion Phaneuf.

Everybody assumes the first and best option is to bite the financial bullet, sign him to a long term deal, and work out whether you can afford Huselius or Langkow later.

But what is the potential if the Flames trade Dion?

More interestingly, what if the Flames don't match an offer for him, and take four first round picks coming back?

Matt does a fascinating breakdown of four NHL drafts worth of players could have looked like in the past, and in some cases (a higher percentage than you might think) there would have been cause for delerious joy at the outcome.

Consider, if the Flames let Dion sign with the Capitals and got back; Perezhogin, Eminger, Fehr and Ovechkin, is there any sane person who would suggest we lost that deal? Or how about; Armstrong, Whitney, Horton and Malkin? I'd be screaming BINGO!

On the other hand, it's worth noting that in some scenarios we get; Foster, Paille, Belle and Kaspar. Or, Blackburn, Nystrom, Jessiman and Montoya. Oh God. That's the kind of return that would kill a franchise.

Here's how Matt tallies it up (I think he is being generous as far as assessing the return in some cases so his numbers are a tad higher than they would be for me);

  • In at least 4 cases (Kovalchuk, Nash, Spezza, Ovechkin) and possibly 7 (add Getzlaf, E. Staal, Malkin), the Flames would get one player who alone would make it worth it.
  • In 18 of 30 cases, the Flames would get 4 players who, as a group, would make it worth it.
  • In 7 more cases (25 of 30), the Flames would at least get enough not to rue the day they let Phaneuf go.
  • In 5 cases, it would be a definite loss, although even here, only a couple would qualify as total disasters.
Tom Benjamin (that curmudgeon) has a grumbling dissent on the thesis, with his main contention being that you have to wait several years for the talent to emerge from those drafts and in the meantime you've lost 5+ years of Dion wreaking havoc on opponents.

All in all, likely the best hockey read you'll have today.


Pink Ice

Yes, it makes your eyes squirt blood to look at, but it's for a good cause.

This is what happens when breast cancer awareness meets hockey. So, cure breast cancer and we don't have to look at pink ice ever again.

Works for me.

Kudos to the Norfolk Admirals for taking the initiative.

(discovered at Mirtle)

Cujo signs with The Flames

Curtis Joseph was signed to act as Kipper's backup today. Which is good on two levels. It should help the Flames make the playoffs, and it should mean less minutes for Kipper between the pipes and thus, fewer points for the Highlanders.

Week 15 Ends With Bladerunners Holding Small Lead

By the end of the week there was little change atop the Predator Cup standings with three points separating the Bladerunners, Highlanders and Severed Heads. The Wolves move into 4th place and remain almost 20pts back of the leader. The Personal Vendetta and Ramapithicines are passed by the Wolves this week and drop a little further back of the lead group but are still very much in the hunt while the Shadowmen and Lost Boys similarly lose some ground on the lead pack and now sit almost 40pts behind first place. This makes for eight teams all with more than 500pts so far. At the bottom of the table, the Knights Templar are now only 7pts behind the Great Whites.

The Challenge Cup playoff picture is getting clearer - pretty much everyone still has a shot. The Highlanders continue to lead the standings but the other teams in the playoff slots all lost while the three teams just behind them all won. The race is still very much on. At the bottom, the Knights Templar finished their season sweep of the Great Whites and pull out of last place on the basis of the tie-breaker.

The Wolves have slipped into first place in the Omnivore standings. Note that I have not reviewed the baselines since last week so with the race so close it is possible that some positions are off. I hope to get a chance to review the baseline again later this week.

Until then, trade lines are open.

Week 16 Line ups

I noticed my position in the standings went down when I stopped doing this. Surely, this will see Detroit get shutouts, and Montreal and Carolina big scores. (Uh... Vancouver can sink like a puck through a pond though... sorry Bob)

GM Lost Boys


Bladerunners Still Lead; Hockey Gods Hate Cam

Big slate of games on the schedule for tonight so a lot still to be decided for the week.