Frankenstein's Monster

I was reading an article on Grantland by Chuck Klosterman that reviewed this video in (excruciating) detail, and was reminded of when I first encountered the Edgar Winter band and 'Frankenstein'.

The setup is that about 22 years ago I was working at the Sheraton Cavalier as a lifeguard and being a huge NFL nerd at the time, I had recently taken the local office football pool down for a cool $200. After being handed my cash by the Sheraton's Event Manager - Barry, I was asked if I would join in their new hockey pool. Not knowing much about hockey, but seeing a chance to perhaps earn some extra cash I agreed.

A month or so later I was briefed on the rules of the hockey draft I would be entering while drinking beers at the apartment of the pool manager - Steve, who I worked for. The teams would be 22 players, and you had to draft a minimum of 8 defensemen and three goaltenders. Each week you would dress 9 forwards, 6 defensemen, and two goalies. Trades were allowed (even encouraged), and stats would be kept from the moment the trades were negotiated (i.e., if I traded you Robitaille for Turgeon, at noon on Wednesday, the Wednesday nights games would be effected). Goaltenders were scored in a way I had never heard of before as they received 5pts for a shutout, but lost a point for every goal scored on them in a game.

I thanked the hockey gods I was not responsible for stats keeping.

Each GM was expected to name their team after themselves in a humorous way. Wayne Flaman's team became the 'Flaming Flaman's', a fellow named Joel called his team the 'Joel's Autos', etc. After a Letterman sketch popular at the time, I christened my team the 'Late-Night Thrill Cams'. The beer was cold, and it was good times all around.

A month or so later I walked into a Sheraton Cavalier conference room with a raised dais at the front. Barry and his fellow league commissioner sat a table at the front with a ghetto blaster on it. To inaugurate our first draft the commish cheerfully pushed play on an ancient cassette tape and I was introduced to 'Frankenstein' (and later 'Godzilla' by BOC) for the very first time.

Three months into that first hockey pool season I found myself in first place. A couple of weeks after that I missed a waiver draft (in my mind I tell myself because I was with a girl, but it was more likely I just forgot), and the league decided to kick me out and refund my entrance fee. A few weeks after that I had my last shift as a life-guard with them and resigned. I may have been a little bitter.

That summer I approached Dan and Doug with my ideas for how to improve the template they had given to me. Sort forwards by position, add tough guys, etc. Not long thereafter the FUNHL was officially born.

I can't say I like the song all that much, and I never went out of my way to listen to it again. But reading the Klosterman column I was transported back to that room in the Cavalier with the cheesey low-fi sound pumping out of the boom-box.

Frankenstein created quite the monster that day.


Has Hell frozen over?

Yashin in talks to return to the islanders.



Goal of the Year?

From an Israeli division 3 hockey tournament against Bulgaria, I give you Eliezer Sherbatov;
So we have the ole between-the-legs pass-to-oneself-bat-it-top-corner-on-the-backhand move.

Ho hum, like that is a big deal.


Press Release from Dion Phaneuf

The NEXUS has received the following press release from Mr. Dion Phaneuf:

I am thrilled to be joining the Bladerunners organization and look forward to anchoring their defense during the upcoming season. It was a huge honour to see the Bladerunners move St. Louis, followed by Kovalchuk in order to land my rights! Go Bladerunners!!

FP Replacement Time?

Phaneuf is going bye-bye as his new rights holder, the Bladerunners, are poised to promote Stamkos.

Phaneuf's former team, the Shadowmen, are set to flush Brodeur and with the third choice in the ED will have the luxury of either Getzlaf or one of the Sedins.

Do the Scourge consider replacing Spezza?  At pick 10, who would they get?

Has Price done enough to warrant an FP contract?  If so, do the Great Whites replace E.Staal or Green?   Would they be able to find a buyer for either?

With the 1st overall pick, do the Personal Vendetta look to deal the ageless Lidstrom to create a space for an FP Sedin?

Are the Ramapithicines convinced that Hossa is still an FP?  If not, can the find a suitable replacement on the market or at pick 5?

The Severed Heads are picking 7th but with the rights to rfa Blackhawk winger P.Kane the solution to the FP problem may be at hand - IF the Severed Heads come to this conclusion about Heatley.

Lots to consider between now and October 1st.  What are everyone's FP replacement predictions?



Chris, his better half Karen, Mike B and yours truly got together this evening to drink, eat wings, yap, make trades and of course do the lottery selection.

Congratulations to Chris again on his triple crown victory! We had a jagermeister toast to cap his triumph.

Thanks to Karen for making the picks - although she certainly didn't do any favours to the Scourge or Bladerunners! Darrell, Mike, Bob, Collin and Doug are all probably quite happy with her though.


1st - Personal Vendetta (1st selection)
2nd - Knights Templar (2nd selection) - lottery winner!
3rd - Shadowmen (3rd selection)
4th - Edge (6th selection)
5th - Ramapithicines (7th selection)
6th - Wolves (10th selection)
7th - Severed Heads (12th selection)
8th - Barbarians (11th selection)
9th - Great Whites (9th selection)
10th - Scourge (8th selection)
11th - Bladerunners (5th selection)
12th - Highlanders (4th selection)

See email for trades made tongight and updated spreadsheets will be sent out including an ED spreadsheet.




Heatley Goes Wild

Minnesota ships out Havlat and Heatley joins the Wild.

I'm of mixed feelings on this. When Heatley joined the Sharks it was a godsend. An offensive team with a gifted playmaking pivot - let the music begin! But after another flameout in the playoffs (against Detroit) they switched their coaching style to a NJ-esque defense first model, Heatley got bumped off the first line to ride shotgun for Logan Couture, and his numbers nose dived, as the team once again thrived in the regular season. Come play off time, Heatley toughed it out through a high-ankle sprain and took abuse from the media for the resulting poorer play (once upon a time Thornton sucked it up and played through a rib injury that would have felled a leser being, but noticeably laboured with it and had no points in 4 games of a sweep. The media labeled him a playoff no-show, and here we go again).

In contrast, the Wild are desperately trying to move on from the Jacques Lemaire years, and install a more up-tempo offense. Havlat was expected to be a part of that - unfortunately Havlat is still as fragile as ever (whether he is just Straka fragile or full-blown Nylander at this stage is an open question. Tim Connolly is also entering this purgatory), and can't drive the bus himself offensively.

Miiko Koivu is no Joe Thornton, but if Heatley wasn't going to play with Thornton except on the powerplay then Koivu is superior to Couture by a good mile.

Still, I am kind of sad to see Heatley leave the Teal behind - but also sad that Calgary wasn't able to land him.

Side Notes:

Heatley didn't have a NTC anymore because for some weird reason it disappears once he allows himself to be traded. It's a nuclear option he had with Ottawa only. He can prevent a trade to Edmonton, but once he agrees to be dealt to San Jose he can't subsequently prevent SJ from dealing him to Minnesota. And you thought the FUNHL rules were complicated.

Havlat just moved in to a strange situation. He has better wheels than Heatley, but lacks the passing, size, checking, and face-off stuff that Heatley brings to the table. It's also an open question who the best pivot for him is. Thornton is the top center on the team, but every other player has bounced around lines (what line does Devon Setoguchi play on?), positions (what wing is Ryan Clowe going to be on?), or both (Marleau from a #2 C to #1 LW).

I hate the Minnesota jerseys. Hate. Them. Not as much as I hated the idea of wearing a San Jose jersey though. That all said, if he helps me win another Cup, I'd probably go with his gold medal Olympic jersey before either.


ESPN Readers design prospective jerseys for the Jets (and others)

ESPN readers have voted on reader-submissions for designs for the Manitoba team..

Some of these are moot now that the name is confirmed as Winnipeg Jets once again, but they are worth a look. I was especially amused by the "Threshers" - love the secondary logo!