"Why didn’t the Bettman administration buy the Jets or the Nordiques to make sure they wouldn’t move? Why was the league less worried about decreasing the number of Canadian teams to six from eight than it is about maintaining a position in a large market that appears to have a limited appetite for the sport?
“The fact is, the biggest litmus test ultimately was nobody wanted to own a team there. And when the marketplace decides that it doesn’t want to own a team there, it has no future,” said Bettman back in ’96 when the Jets were leaving Manitoba.
To those who would accuse Bettman of being anti-Canadian, this is useful stuff"
When the NHL buys the team it would make it much easier to contract the team and then open up an expansion bid for more money for KC, Vegas, Portland, or Hamilton.
(I have switched the pasted link to a hyperlink; CH)
"Here pussy, pussy, pussy..."
Ok, that was in bad taste, but now that I have that out of my system...it's a strange thing, any team that needs ice-girl dancers is likely to be in a market that sucks with a team that sucks. But on the flip side, they get to have ice-dancers...I'm genuinely torn about this.
I know its the dog days of summer but we might want to consider ensuring we are all good to go with any rule updates for the 2009-10 season. A few notes:
* I have offered to step down from DC and let someone take my place; the DC role involves finalizing rule proposals and voting in advance of draft day
* goal tending baseline will be 3.75 (see past post - statistician and DC can of course doublecheck my math)
* there were some proposals re. goalie stats changes (i.e. wins vs GAA) and waiver wire / waiver drafts
* I believe 9/12 GMS are willing to pass a rule where GMs owning any of Crosby/Malkin/Ovechkin need to pick goals or assists only - right?
Heatley has agreed, and is doing the conference in Kelowna where he is vacationing and far away from the camp. Also smart.
Here is the Q and A (stolen from Eklund's live blog of the conference)
Q1: when did you decide you wanted out of Ottawa?
DH: been coming a long time
Reading Between The Lines: Four coaches in four years, the trading of all-star defensemen for table scraps, and the loss of the only goaltender who ever stopped a puck for us were definitely factors. Plus, Bryan Murray is an idiot.
Q2: anything you'd like to say to Edmonton
A: nothing personal. to this day there has only been 1 option. not ready to make (a decision with only one option)
RBTL: I didn't want to play in Edmonton.
Q3:is it Clouston?
DH: Not Cory completely. When I signed I wanted to be integral, and my role has diminished.
RBTL: It was definitely Cory.
Q4 Do you have regrets about impact on Edm:
DH: Wish it hadn't become public.
RBTL: It's not my fault Bryan Murray and his crew can't keep their mouths shut. I obviously can.
Q5: Are you worried about your Rep?
DH: All my teammates know I am a team player
RBTL: My rep has taken a hit, but I can fix it.
Q6: Did you not feel you owed explanation to Sens Fans?
DH: loved Ottawa. process that has to take place. didn't want a circus
RBTL: I'm saving it for my retirement biography.
Q: Murray can't trade you now. will you go to camp if he cant?
DH Yes. I have a contract. but other teams want me.
RBTL: I'll honour my contract, but I don't expect to have to.
Q: why has it taken so long to get a deal done?
DH: Don't know. teams are out there.
RBTL: Bryan Murray is an idiot.
Q With all the Oilers did were you close to going there?
DH: nothing to do with Edmonton I need options
RBTL: I REALLY didn't want to play in Edmonton.
Q: Why is Edm not the option? Care about Perception?
DH: Fans are passionate. nothing to do with Edmonton. Only want options
RBTL: Edmonton was never a serious option.
Q: did your family support your silence?
DH: yes they have been here all summer
RBTL: Garrett can eat me for suggesting my Dad wouldn't approve.
Q: Why was Edmonton (not one of) the Options.
DH Cant make the right decision with only one option.
RBTL: I'm waiting for Murray to get off his ass and trade me to San Jose.
The 26th is inching forward, so I am beginning my draft plans, and Westjet tickets to Calgary have just crept into the double-digits, so I will shortly be booking my flights. (I'm on this incredible money management system called "don't-carry-your-credit-cards-with-you" which is actually working wonders for my debt repayment success rate. But it means I can't actually book the flight until I get home.
Anyway, just so I am prepared...
1) What are pool fees this year, and who can I send the money to?
2) What are the plans for lunch this year (and do I need to send money to anyone in advance)
3) I'd really like to get a good steak dinner while I'm in Calgary. We have bar food and "The Keg" in Toronto (although, oddly enough we don't have dry fried ribs... except at Swiss Chalet where they aren't as nice as I remember them from Alberta... but I digress.) so: Where should I go for a good steak dinner in Calgary, and does anyone else want to come with me?
(And I'll up the ante for #3, I've had the privelege of eating some fine aged organic Ontario steaks. Fabulous, fabulous steaks they are. So good, in fact, I find it hard to believe that Alberta cattle can be as tasty. So: I'm willing to buy a round of drinks for the table if someone can recommend a steakhouse that will prove me wrong.)
See you in 47 days...
GM of the Lost Boys
Much like the presence of robins on ones lawn heralds the coming of spring, the arrival of the first pool guide is a sign that the long off-season will now be slowly drawing to a close.
Just a reminder that the Ultimate Pool Guide tends to have similar positions as the Bible. Normally the Guide is split into two sections, the team section - where the rosters tend to correlate exactly with the Bible's positions, and the players section where the correlation is much less likely (and often confusing).
Those of you wishing to get an early jump start on your lists (like...me), should keep an eye out for it.
- By my count Probie lands about 20 uncontested shots before Domi even warms up.
- Half way through the fight I'd swear that Domi is smiling despite having been pummeled mercilessly to that point
- Probie effortlessly switches hands to land haymakers throughout.
- It all ends as it should. Probert is still the greatest fighter I have ever seen.
Ah the Knights Templar. Is it too soon to start talking about a curse?
In the last few seasons;
- Top prospect Cherepanov died in a Russian hockey game before he could ever play a game.
- Milan Hejduk went from reliable ppg scoring winger and franchise player to offensive afterthought whose stats were padded immeasurably by one 5 point game.
- The epic late season collapse saw them plummet from contending in 4th all the way to last place in less than four weeks.
And now their star winger, one tabbed as being the future foundation of the franchise, has been arrested for beating a cab driver over $.20 - you read that correctly, but to be certain I will spell it out - 'twenty cents'. Twenty cents.
For sure there have been runs of bad luck that rivaled what the KT have been dealing with. The Severed Heads were absolutely bombed by bad Karma in dealing with Mario Lemieux for almost a full decade. The Edge have had injury runs that go well beyond the horrific and into absurd territory, and the Lost Boys are a team that to my knowledge has never in the history of the franchise finished higher than 5th overall.
But the KT seem to be giving each of these streaks a run for their money.
From now on, thats Kane's new nickname.
Update: One of the commenters at Mirtle's blog dropped the following beauty of a photo-shop picture;
The detail on that is simply awesome (click to enlarge)
Back in the early days his game was built on speed, grit and top notch hands. As the NHL morphed into a slow footed goon league, he added some pounds, and continued to play an important offensive role even as his wheels diminished. Then after the lockout, the game turned on him. No longer able to play at the pace of his 20's, and with the game moving away from the clutch and grab, JR became a role player, a third line grinder with grit and locker room savvy.
But father time catches us all, and now, he has finally claimed JR's career.
Of course, I will always remember him most for EA Sports - NHL94.
Here are the top ten other most relevant JR pop-culture moments;