Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gary Bettman: Surprisingly Less Loathsome

Quite a while ago I received an e-mail from a reader asking for a post on Gary Bettman. Specifically, explaining why exactly I hated the man in charge of running the NHL. It was a topic I was only too happy to tackle.

I decided to go through the history of Bettman's tenure as commissioner and made what I liked to call 'a timeline of disaster'. It was going to be a smashing hit. Accompanying events would be snippy little remarks or explanations of what the event signified. For example, "1996: Winnipeg Jets move to Phoenix. Gary Bettman's popularity could only decrease if he kidnapped Wayne Gretzky."

But a funny thing happened: after getting through the lockout the timeline of disaster just started to fizzle out. All of a sudden there was nothing bad to say about the man, which surprised me because it seemed like there was always something bad to say about Gary Bettman.

From that day I began to think something so utterly taboo that I didn't dare mention it in public. Has Gary Bettman become a good commissioner?

That's the topic I wrote about for the Good Point this week. I wasn't proud of defending Gary Bettman - I felt dirty and had to take a shower - but I think he deserved it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Mighty Ducks Mailbag

gordon bombay mighty ducks 2
Last summer I wrote a post outlining the results of an NHL Entry Draft that featured fictional players from all sorts of movies, but most prominently the Mighty Ducks series. Since that time there have been plenty of people who have asked Google questions about the Mighty Ducks. Those questions led here.

These are the answers to those questions (edited for grammar, of course).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why the NHL Doesn't Need More Goals

wayne gretzky oilers
After the lockout, fans and management alike were quick to congratulate the game for ridding itself of clutching and grabbing and creating a much more exciting product on the ice. Goal scoring was up and teams could no longer sit on a lead in the third period, otherwise they would quickly find themselves on the losing end of the scoreboard.

Flash-forward to the present day and most people agree that the league is as strong as it has ever been.

People generally acknowledge that an increase in goal-scoring is the cause of the league’s revival, but the numbers actually paint a different story.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Can the Jets Make the Playoffs?

If you’ve read this blog for a while you should already know that I pretty much hate every Canadian team in the NHL, except for Toronto obviously. The short answer as to why is that pretty much everyone else in Canada hates the Leafs, so why shouldn’t I return the sentiment?

But at the same time I am intensely passionate about bringing struggling southern franchises back where they belong: Canada. We need to stop the charade in Phoenix and move them to Quebec.

I, like most people, was extremely happy when the news broke that Winnipeg was getting a team again. And, oddly enough, I will cheer for the Jets this season, despite the whole ‘I hate everyone but Toronto’ thing I have going on.

The reason for cheering on the Jets is that they’re wounded. They’re back in Winnipeg, but their economic viability is somewhat of an unknown. I want to see them do well until they establish that they’re back and aren’t going anywhere.

At the point where they’re safely entrenched in Winnipeg, I can proceed to hate them.

I wrote a post for the Good Point arguing that the Jets have a shot at the playoffs in their first season in Winnipeg. It will make for a nice feel-good story and I’m sure more than a few people will be rooting for the little guys.

Of course if it comes down to Winnipeg and Toronto for the final playoff spot they can contract the Jets for all I care. I’m beginning to forget what the playoffs are actually like, so a heart-warming Jets story will leave me nothing but cold if it costs Toronto a chance at Lord Stanley’s mug.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Challenge to Roenick's Video Game Throne

jeremy roenick video games best
The geniuses at EA Sports, makers of the outstanding NHL series of video games, have made a major announcement about their upcoming version of the popular game. NHL 12 will feature nine hockey legends: Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Ray Bourque, Jeremy Roenick, Borje Salming, Patrick Roy, Steve Yzerman, and Chris Chelios.

It would certainly be nice if EA included legends such as Bobby Orr in the game, but there was probably some sort of licensing issue that EA couldn’t get around in order to have him in the game. Still, it’s a pretty cool set of players.

Some people may complain about Chris Chelios and Jeremy Roenick, two players who only recently retired and sort of feel out-of-place among the other legends. I can't really explain Chelios, but Roenick’s addition to the game might be due more to his status as a video game legend, rather than an actual NHL legend.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hockey Hipsters: The Brooklyn Islanders

brooklyn islanders hipsters
Hat tip to my friend Mike for the excellent Photoshop.
With an uncertain future on Long Island, the Islanders, and owner Charles Wang, are looking at all available options to keep the once-great franchise in the greater New York area. It’s almost certain that the Islanders will leave Nassau Coliseum when their lease expires in 2015 because it is a horribly outdated excuse for an arena that resembles a poorly lit barn.

There are preliminary discussions between another Long Island county, Suffolk, and Charles Wang to determine if the Isles could fit there. Others suggest that the Islanders could move to either Queens or Brooklyn. I don’t know anything about Queens, except that Kevin James drives a mail route there, so I can’t vouch for its viability, but I do know that Brooklyn is absolutely perfect for the Islanders – at least culturally.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What is Mikhail Grabovski Worth?

mikhail grabovski leafs faceoff
Cross another name off the list of potential free agents in 2012. The Chicago Blackhawks locked up all-purpose forward Patrick Sharp to a five-year contract with an annual cap hit of $5.9 million per season.

The two premier free agents remaining – assuming they make it to July 1st, which is, admittedly, a total unknown – are Alexander Semin and Zach Parise. Both are high scoring wingers who are capable of topping 40 goals a season. Both will also be only 28-years-old by the start of next season. To suggest they will be highly sought after is an understatement.

After Parise and Semin, the second-tier of forwards consists of Dustin Penner, Ales Hemsky, R.J. Umberger, Brad Boyes, and Mikhail Grabovski – the latter being the only real quality top-6 centre option available.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

No Wang, No Way

charles wang garth snow islanders
A large crowd by Islanders' standards
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The once proud New York Islanders franchise that was dynastic during the early 1980s is now skating on thin ice. The team has been consistently terrible on the ice for a number of years and the attendance figures at the Nassau Coliseum reflect that: the Islanders drew an average of just over 11,000 fans for home games last season, a figure lower than the number that show up in Phoenix.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...