Offseason hockey questions

I'm bored. Bored, bored, bored (and procrastinating on a project to boot).

Rather than talk about my FP situation ad nauseum (been there, done that), here are some other questions for us to debate over the off-season;

#1 Is Theoren Fleury a Hall of Fame candidate?

Here are some stats and figures collected by 'Five Hole Fanatics' that make his case;
  • Fleury is 56th in all time scoring
  • Recent inductee Glenn Anderson was 55th
  • Theoren averaged 1.004 pts/game good for 47th all time.
  • 51 goals, 104pts, +48 (1st in league in +/-) in 90/91.
  • 8 30 goal seasons, and had 29 in 47 games in '94 (strike year).
  • Played in 7 NHL All Star games.
  • 11 pts in 22 playoff gms in 89 playoffs for Stanley Cup Champs as a rookie.
  • 79 career playoff pts in 77 career playoff gms.
  • 67 game winning goals, 37th all time.
  • 35 career Short Handed Goals; 9th all time.
In my opinion there are three major knocks against him;

- Never won a major award, or (aside from one year of awesome +/-) lead the league in any category.
- Did not reach the magic number of 500 goals (though 455 is nothing to sneer at)
- Serious off-ice issues marred the later stages of his career.

#2 According to Bob's and my back of the envelope calculations, as many as 6 teams could be taking new FPs this year (Severed Heads, Shadowmen, Highlanders, Lost Boys, Knights Templar, and Great Whites), with Jagr, Elias, Marleau, Sakic, Hejduk, and Whitney all potentially being on the block. Lecavalier is a good bet, as are Crosby and Erik Staal who are both RFAs. With Getzlaf being both young and very talented we have a good idea for who four of these new FPs might be, but who are the other two?

#3 Once Nabokov and Giguere are off the board, who is the next best goaltender to take?

#4 What round does the newest Calgary Flame Todd Bertuzzi get picked?

#5 How many non-forwards (goalies/defensemen) will be taken in the first round of the prospect draft? (this question comes courtesy of Doug)

Seen Stamkos?

The headline is part of the marketing campaign the Lightning are building around him.

I gotta give the new owners credit, they've handled the Stamkos pick WAY better than Ottawa handled Daigle.

The 2nd line centre spot will be handed to him out of training camp, and I don't be surprised if he is the runaway ROY with all the powerplay ice-time he's going to get with big Vinny and Co.



Which of these are the best Franchise Players?
Heatley and "Lecavalier"
Gaborik and Brodeur
Iginla and Hossa
Crosby and Pronger
Chara and Turco
Zetterberg and Lidstrom
Ovechkin and Thornton
Elias and Luongo
Spezza and Richards
Kovalchuk and Sakic
Whitney and Lundqvist
Tanguay and Hejduk
pollcode.com free polls


Polling results so far...

What should the Severed Heads do about Jagr leaving for Russia?
Selection Votes
Trade for someone else's trash FP and suck it up 38%3
Insert shotgun into mouth, select Malkin with first overall pick, pull trigger with big toe. 25%2
Make Vincent Lecavalier an FP. Finally. 13%1
Go to the darkside and make Nabokov an FP goaltender 25%2
Take Datsyuk (or whoever) just so I can look him in the eye and laugh when he takes Lecavalier 0%0
8 votes total

Curiously the only person who thinks I should take Lecavalier...is me. Everybody else picked a different option (including two recommendations that I blow my brains out by drafting Malkin).

All of which leads to me think that if everyone thinks I should do something else, I am probably on the right track.



It would seem that as part of the Karmic bargain for my soul, I must lose Jagr a year early to balance out my winning the lottery.

About these things one can only argue with the hockey gods. So be it.

So what happens next?

If Jagr had left next year instead of this year, the clock on Malkin's contract would have just run out and a match in the first round would make him the replacement FP. Neat and tidy. Now it is anything but.

Here are the options I have as I see them, all of which take place after the perfunctory bids for Crosby services are matched by the Highlanders (I have to at least try).

1. Trade for a new FP.

The appeal to this is obvious because replacing an FP costs the value of a 1st for a 9th rnd pick, so a trade that nets even a moderately productive FP (say Elias) is sensible as the payback comes in the form of not taking the hit on my first rounder and then proceeding as scheduled with the FP replacement next season. The downside is that to move from Jagr to a moderate FP would likely cost me something, and I suspect from conversations so far that that cost would be something I am going to miss (say my RFA Zherdev taking Jagr's spot on the first line)

2. Simply draft Malkin this year.

This would make some sense if I were sitting with pick 9, but wasting the first pick overall on a guy who is already on my roster? Not going to happen - I'd rather take the hit and draft an FP two years running.

3. Draft Lecavalier.

This makes the most sense right now. Lecavalier fits the FP profile (being the 1st forward in his draft year), and is still just entering his prime years. He also fits some of the teams prejudices in that he's a better goal scorer than setup artist, he's a winner, and he's tough enough to drop and throw with Iginla. He also has fear-my-wingspan. Which we like. A lot.

4. Draft Nabokov.

This makes sense if the scoring stays at 4.0 and Nabokov is a 130 pt goaltender - But it won't and instead he'll be a 110 point goaltender. Which is good and all, but its only been one season of wonder from Nabokov, and history has not been kind to goaltender FPs with slim resumes.

5. Other. Datsyuk? (tactically so Darrell doesn't get him and match him up with Lidstrom and Zetterberg again - before you suggest this, consider that it leaves him Lecavalier to take instead), Gonchar (the argument being he gets turfed or traded next year and he brings back the offensive presence/linkage with Malkin). Sundin? (Unlikely, but if he were to land in Detroit or Pittsburgh he would move back into consideration), etc.

What should the Severed Heads do about Jagr leaving for Russia?
Trade for someone else's trash FP and suck it up.

Insert shotgun into mouth, select Malkin with first overall pick, pull trigger with big toe.

Make Vincent Lecavalier an FP. Finally.

Go to the darkside and make Nabokov an FP goaltender

Take Datsyuk (or whoever) just so I can look Darrell in the eye and laugh when he has to take Lecavalier
pollcode.com free polls


FunHL 2008-2009 Challenge Cup Schedule

This is the FunHL Challenge Cup Schedule for 2008-2009.

To read a team's schedule, simply scan across the above charts. The team in the "Red" is at home, the team in the "Blue" is away while "Yellow" is a neutral site game.

Week One action kicks off on Saturday October 4th through to Sunday October 12 with a battle between the defending Challenge and Predator Cup Champion Severed Heads and the Herbivore Trophy recipients, the Knights Templar.

Weeks go Monday through Sunday from there on in. The second set of neutral site games are held during the week of the NHL's Christmas break, Week Twelve beginning Monday December 21st. The FunHL All-Star Game will be held from Monday January 19 to Wednesday January 21, 2009 with regular season play resuming Week 17.

The Challenge Cup regular season concludes at the end of Week 21 on Sunday March 1st with the top four teams advancing to a best of three semi-final and the winners of the semi-finals advancing to the Challenge Cup final series commencing Week 25 on Monday March 23rd.

The Challenge Cup has never been won back-to-back, will the Severed Heads acheive the feat this season - let's drop the puck and find out.



By now you will no doubt be aware that Calgary has signed Todd Bertuzzi to a one year $1.95M contract.

Sports radio programs, face-book pages, etc. are all a-twitter about this being a sign of the apocalypse.

To them all I say 'calm the f*ck down'.

First lets remember what this was all about. Once upon a time a gutless puke and marginal hockey talent Steve Moore drove Markus Naslund head-first into the boards injuring him badly. About this incident, everybody (at least in Vancouver) was totally pissed. So sure enough the coach hypes it up in the locker room, and in the follow up game, the pesty Cooke even gets the chance to trade shots with Moore in a what amounted to a fair enough tilt, but not the cathartic beating Canucks fans were hoping for.

Enter Bertuzzi - Naslund's best friend.

Now when I think about this I put myself in Bertuzzi's shoes and picture one of my friends motionless on the ice as a result of a hit from behind - and I ask myself, 'would I clock the villain from behind'?

You bet I would. And I'd have ridden him face-first into the ice too.

Will he help the Flames? Yes. His days of 30-30-60, 150 are now gone, but he can be a very useful player. Is he overpaid? Nope.

So all in all, I like the deal.


Radulov unhappy with Knights management... leaves NHL

Alexander Radulov has made the jump back home, as the young forward signed with Ufa of the Russian Superleague on Thursday.
The financial details of the contract were not disclosed.
Radulov, who is still under contract with the Nashville Predators, said he had warned the team that he wanted to play in Russia.
"I told my bosses in Nashville that I wanted to play at home and some Russian clubs were offering me much better conditions than I had in Nashville," Radulov told the Russian media.
"They said they would call me back but never phoned. It seems that they were either not really interested in me or just did not believe I could return home. One way or another, I'm happy to come home."
Radulov, 22, scored 22 goals and 58 points in 82 games with Nashville last season and made $688,900. He has one year left on his entry-level deal that pays $984,000 next season.
The former Quebec Rempart added that it was unlikely that the Predators would be able to demand his return to North America, as the NHL had no transfer agreement with either the Russian Superleague or the new Continental Hockey League at the time.


Jagr Sickness

As the comment on YouTube says;

"Bad quality video, shitty music, but a great player"

You just can't make a bad Jagr highlight reel.

Personally I think he qualifies as the greatest player of our era other than Wayne and Mario, but with 11 years of Jagr as my FP, I'm defiantly biased.

I also think there is a fair argument to be made that Jagr with his blend of skills and size (6"3 - and between 220-240) he was simply a more overwhelming offensive player than either the ultra-durable Gordie Howe or the shoot first Rocket Richard - and that Jagr with his four straight scoring titles in a dead puck era, is arguably the greatest right winger of all time.

Here are his career stats.

Note that even during his worst statistical years in Washington, he was still a ppg or better, and that he had multiple surgeries for shoulder problems and a host of groin issues (cause no doubt by having refrigerators like Hal Gill and Derian Hatcher leaning on him all game long).

Also consider that he lost a 6th scoring title to Joe Thornton (who is 7 years younger than Jagr) and a 3rd Rocket Richard trophy to Cheechoo, on the last week of the season because of a soft schedule of non-playoff teams for San Jose that allowed their first line to fatten their stats.

Here's a great recap of some of Jagr's best goals and my break down of each one.

10. Actually a Jagr assist as he simply obliterates his coverage along the wall to cycle in front and find the wide open man - Marty McSorely. Note how the defenseman (Jeff Finley?) is allowed to grab and hold Jagr throughout and never has both hands on his stick. Also check out the interference pick thrown by Francis that helps spring Jagr free. Ah the unmistakable sweet and sour hockey of the 90's.

9. He picks off the horrible pass glides in front of the net and then in defiance of the laws of physics reverses his position in the space time continuum with his deke before going top shelf. Also has one of the best lines by an announcer... "Jaromir Jagr has the hat-trick and Lalime doesn't know whether to cry or to wind his watch". Cry Lalime, cry.

8.A. Inside, outside, inside, a dash of fear my wingspan, inside the post - goal. And yes, you are seeing that correctly, he is in fact beating Patrick Roy with a wrist shot to the AHL side of the net.

8. B. Here Jagr tortures the Canadiens 1 on 2 from centre ice.

7. In this clip he first attacks the defender with his speed and then screws him into the ice with a 'how you doing?' stick-handle, before slamming on the brakes and unleashing a backhand move that undresses the goalie to the short side.

6. Jaromir Jagr is bigger, faster and stronger than Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins. First he picks the Bruin defender clean, then overpowers him wide, and finally paralyzes the remaining defenseman and the goaltender with a series of fakes to score what amounts to a tap in putt - all while cruising at near top speed.

5. Call this the 'art of the head fake'. Also note that according to the announcer this goal was Jagr's 4th point of the night. Something that really doesn't come through is how prolific he was. Sure he could dangle, but he once had me a 7 point night vs the Islanders! How do you get that kind of dominance to show up in a goals clip?

4. Another clip of Jagr simply overwhelming someone with raw power. Note how the helpless defender (John MacLean) attempts both to hook and grab Jagr to slow him down to no avail.

3. Jagr toys with the soul of Joe Juneau before casually snuffing it out.

2. Jagr not only gets away a hard back-hander after being tackled to the ice, but HE PICKS THE REBOUND OUT OF THE AIR AND PUTS IT TOP CORNER while sliding into the net!

And he does this with a mullet that would have made Joe Dirt cry with envy.

IMO this goal is next to Ovechkin's for its physics mocking beauty.

1. The ultimate. Fear. My. Wingspan.

The Severed Heads waive the period of mourning clause and announce that we will be adding Jagr's jersey number to the list of those retired by the team immediately. Raising ceremonies will be held at the first Heads home game.

Au Revoir Jaromir.


End of an Era

Jagr has signed with a Russian team, consequently we are officially ending his tenure as a Severed Head FP.

While we are saddened by his departure for greener pastures (he is reportedly getting $12.5M for at least two years) we recognize his role in leading the Heads to three Predator Cup victories during his long tenure as Heads franchise player.

In truth, Jagr was merely getting ahead of the game as the Heads were planning on giving Malkin the Franchise Player contract next year and allowing Jagr to test free agency.

Heads fans need no longer ponder, "what the fuck exactly is going on with Jagr's mustache/beard?"

Ponderous and lachrymose Jagr retrospective to come.

:-( Won't be making it out West

Hi all,

After some discussion with Bob last night about possible options for September, I won't be able to go out West for the Draft. Plane fares are just too much, and there are other planned trips I need to save for.

So, the Lost Boys will be calling it in. (But still wearing our awesome authentic Lost Boys Jersey)


(And damn you Jagr with your millions-of-rubles contract! Cam is now drafting an FP...)


MOSCOW - Russian club Avangard Omsk says it has signed Jaromir Jagr, a day after the New York Rangers parted ways with the star winger.
Avangard announced the signing on its website today but did not disclose the terms of the contract.
Jagr had long been reported to be considering lucrative offers from Russia. Rangers general manager Glen Sather said Thursday the club could not wait any longer for Jagr to decide where he wanted to play.
Jagr played for Avangard during the NHL's lockout season in 2004-05.
On Thursday, the Rangers signed former Vancouver captain Markus Naslund to replace Jagr.