“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

February 11, 2008

Breaking: Canadiens Players Busted For Purse-Snatching, Seriously

While not nearly as amusing as the Staal brothers' run-in with the law during the off-season, the arrests of Ryan O'Byrne (who?) and Thomas Kostopoulos (no kidding) for purse-stealing and resisting arrest, respectively, is high on the humor scale.

The two Canadiens players were busted outside a Tampa nightclub early this morning, in town prior to their team's game against the Lightning tomorrow.

Seriously, though, stealing a purse? I know the CBA after the Lockout was supposed to crack down on inflated player salaries, but it can't be that bad. Can it? Seriously guys, get new agents if you're that hard up for cash.


Hockey Skates Sharp, Dangerous

Hockey players might be a cut above other athletes, and the game itself might be a little slice of heaven for fans, but recent injuries caused by skate blades (wait for it) could sever the game's illusion of safety for a while (hold your applause, please).

On Saturday, Steve Downie added another person to his growing list of victims this season, when his skate blade struck lineman Pat Dapuzzo in the face. The soon-to-be-retiring official dropped to the ice, which he quickly decorated modern art-style with his own blood, and was later treated for a laceration that required numerous stitches. He is expected to be fine, and chicks dig facial scars.

Then, yesterday, Panthers star Olli Jokinen was upended during a game against the Sabres. As he fell, his skate blade struck teammate Richard Zednik in the neck. Thankfully Zednick had the composure to skate to the bench instead of falling down, and was immediately treated by paramedics and is now in stable condition at the hospital.

My thoughts are with Dapuzzo and Zednik and hope their recoveries and returns to the ice are swift. Hang in there, you tough bastards.

I'll cut right to the chase here: hockey players live on the edge, for sure. Wait, where are you going?


February 7, 2008

Capitals Excitedly Surging Toward Major Playoff Disappointment

You know that now-old comparison between arguing on the Internet and running in the Special Olympics? Well, the same can be applied to winning the Southeast Conference (and its associated top-3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket).

The Capitals have improved significantly, as of late, and that's gotten the heads a-talkin'. The local boys are seeing stars. The big guns are lining up with pats on the back and whatnot. The bad news is, it's all going to end with a serious let-down.

Remember the Penguins last season? They made the playoffs with Crosby at the helm, only to get royally stomped in the first round when it dawned on them that they were just a mediocre team with a few really talented, inexperienced little kids in the lineup. Before their implosion, everyone was already convinced it was Their Year. Uh, no.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe a team still barely above .500 with less than 60 points in the standings and less than 30 games left to play, is destined to win the Cup. Or maybe the city of Washington hasn't had anything sports-related to cheer about in a while.


February 6, 2008

The Maple Leafs Are Really Good

Seriously? 8-0 against the Panthers?

Holy shit Brett McLean scored five points. He only had 11 points in the 39 games he had played prior to last night; the poor guy scores less than I do.

And it costs $300 to see the Leafs play at home. Honestly people, is the city of Toronto comprised entirely of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging morons or did Boston start up some kind of citizen exchange program?


February 5, 2008

Teams Stalking Euros Instead Of Rentals As Trade Deadline Nears

This hot piece of Euro tail is Fabian Brunnstrom. Who? I don't know who the hell he is, either, but he's apparently the second coming of Swedish Jesus (the first was Peter Forsberg).

Brunnstrom is 23 and was never drafted, but he represents the NHL's alternative to throwing away draft picks and valuable utility players on under-performing rental players at the trade deadline. All a team has to do to get Brunnstrom is get him to sign a contract and get a passport. No more betting the farm (literally) on some off-and-on veteran with a bloated salary. F' you Marian Hossa. You can suck it.

The Avalanche already pulled a stunt like this by signing Czech league stud Jaroslav Hlinka during the off-season. His six goals and 22 points in 50 games might seem pretty lousy, but at least Colorado didn't lose any draft picks acquiring the guy.

Euro poaching. It's the wave of the future.


January 24, 2008

Kovalchuk Suspended For Maximum Pwnage

You might think that Ilya Kovalchuk's 37 goals, 63 total points and slim 38 penalty minutes would suggest that he's a player who only concentrates on offense. Don't be fooled. He's not afraid to totally wreck a dude if he has to, and now the NHL is all whining and griping about it.

Kovalchuk has been suspended for one game after introducing Michal Rozsival's face to the glass at Madison Square Garden. So what if he totally hit a guy facing the other way? So what if his feet left the ice to do it? What's the big deal?

Said Kovalchuk, "It's a contact sport. I wasn't trying to kill anybody." Yeah, you stupid vaginas. Relax already. Then Kovalchuk said, "if anybody needs me, I'll be at the All Star Game embarrassing Roberto Luongo Manny Legace." Or he should have.


January 23, 2008

Leafs Firing Ferguson Not At All Overdue

Sure, the Toronto Maple Leafs have missed the playoffs the last two seasons, and sure, they're well on their way to another hugely disappointing year (19-22-8), but for some reason the organization blames now-former general manager John Ferguson.

When I think about the ownership and control of the Leafs organization, the image of Chicago politics come to mind. It's something so deeply entrenched and in control that to oppose it means you end up in the lake sleeping with the fishes, or at least voted out of office by an army of deceased voters.

Anyway, the Leafs have more problems than a lousy GM, but Ferguson was definitely not helping them. Maybe they should actually try to sign a decent player or two during the off-season. Or maybe develop some talent in their farm system. I know, that's crazy talk, but it just might work.

Said president and CEO Richard Peddie (this guy?),

"Our team performance has fallen short of what is to be expected ... We need to forge the start of a new beginning for [the] Toronto Maple Leafs."

Ha! Good one!


January 18, 2008

Mike Ribeiro Considers Career As MLB Leadoff Hitter

Rumor has it that Dallas Stars center Mike Ribeiro is considering offers from teams in Major League Baseball to become a leadoff batter. Or, if he isn't, he should be, since he's batting .328.

Ribeiro has only taken 67 shots on goal in the 46 games he's played this season. But he's scored 22 goals, good for 32.8%, which is f'ing ridiculous. Ilya Kovalchuk, arguably the best goal-scorer this side of Alex Ovechkin, is cruising at an even 20%. That's good, but it's nowhere near Ribeiro.

Now, as for what field position he'd play, well, at 6-0, 178, I forsee a brilliant future for him in right field...


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