“Bettman has only a marginal interest in the weaker teams. He only wants the NHL to make a bigger profit as a whole.” -- Dominik Hasek

May 7, 2007

Help Wanted: Hockey Columnist

I swear I have no idea how these guys get jobs as hockey columnists. Whining about tiny, insignificant aspects of the game and calling for endless rule changes are bad enough, but sometimes they can't even get their basic facts straight.

The latest offender is Scott Burnside for ESPN.com:

The Devils have significantly more questions to answer before next fall rolls around, not the least of which will be deciding what to do about the possible loss of key components -- defensive anchor Brian Rafalski and NHL playoff scoring leader Scott Gomez , both of whom are set to become unrestricted free agents July 1. Both will command top dollar on the open market and the Devils rarely, if ever, pay top dollar.

Mr. Burnside, the Devils led the league this past season in total salary obligations with a total over $53 million. Patrik Elias made $7.5 million this year, one of the highest individual salaries in the entire league. Scott Gomez made $5 million. Brian Rafalski, Brian Gionta and John Madden each made $4 million or just below. Goalie Martin Brodeur made $5.2 million. That's nearly $30 million for six players. For comparison sake, the Colorado Avalanche paid only two players more than $4 million---Joe Sakic and Jose Theodore---and spent under $40 million total on 26 players.

So, please explain to me how it's even possible to write "the Devils rarely, if ever, pay top dollar."

Where do they find these guys?


Danny said...

Ive never watched ESPN being from Canada, but I hear they don'y know a thing about hockey.


Dear Lord Stanley said...

It depends. John Buccigross is a pretty good columnist, other than his ongoing campaign to get the size of the goals increased. He's probably the most popular of all ESPN hockey pundits. Damien Cox, Terry Frei and Scott Burnside, on the other hand, have some serious weaknesses.

And Barry Melrose is Barry Melrose. You either love him or hate him.

Teebz said...

Scott Burnside is the biggest joke of a hockey scribe anywhere in the world. He doesn't check facts, he doesn't do his homework, and he rarely ever does an interview.

The guy, in my honest opinion, should be working for the Backwater Press in Hicktown, USA covering the Westminster Dog Show.

Bucci is decent, but needs to give up on some of his far-fetched ideas. Melrose is pretty good, being that he was a part of the game. Cox and Frei are alright, but have delusions of grandeur.

My ESPN hockey scribe Top 10 rankings would be: (1) Buccigross; (2) Melrose; (3) Cox; (4) Frei; (5)Cox; (6) some random chimpanzee; (7) another lower primate; (8) John Kruk (yes, I know he covers baseball); (9) the janitor sweeping the ESPN studios; and (10) Burnside.

Teebz said...

Sorry, the first Cox should actually be Hradek. I apologize for the mistake, EJ. :o)

Dear Lord Stanley said...

I think John Buccigross does a good job promoting the sport and reminding all of us (existing fans) why we all love the game so much already.

I wish he would get off the rule change bandwagon and stick to talking about how awesome Chris Drury is (he is), how cool it is to have a backyard rink (it is) and how sweet it is to watch the playoffs (it is).

Chris Moore said...

I just stumbled on this blog today and read through about a month or so of the posts. I gotta say, this is one of the better written, most interesting, most dead on blog in the league. Thanks!!!

Oh, just wanted to add, I'm a hardcore Wings fan. Not sure if this makes it more or less of a compliment for you, but still, great read!

Dear Lord Stanley said...


I really appreciate the compliments, even if you are a Wings fan. We can't all be perfect!

Please feel free to comment whenever you have something to add. All are welcome...until they act like dicks, of course.

B_Washington said...


Check Offwing today. he sings the praises of John Steinburgh of the Washington Post who managed to write a good article praising Hockey.

See it CAN be done, despite current hockey writers best efforts to prove otherwise

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