Thoughts…

1 – Alexander Semin had some choice words for the NHL’s poster boy, Sidney Crosby. The Caps forward is off to a hot start and with the team being hailed as favourites to win their division again, didn’t hold back any punches. In short, Semin believes Crosby’s overrated – and that Chicago’s Patrick Kane is the superior player. He believes that stats, in particular Crosby’s, have made him out to be a better player than he actually is. I’m never turned off by some good sound bytes, but this sort of personal trash talk doesn’t really stoke any fires for

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Leafs bloggers respond to being called losers

Toronto Maple Leaf fans across the blogosphere are responding to a recent Howard Berger post in which he called Leaf fans ‘losers’. In a coordinated response several Leaf related blogs have responded with the following post: Dear Most Valuable Losers Yesterday, continuing a long-standing trend, another Toronto reporter took his shot at Leaf fans. This time it was Howard Berger calling us “losers” but we’ve seem the same cookie-cutter article before from virtually everyone who covers the team. Quite frankly, we’ve had enough. As fans, we believe that those most deserving of our praise and our scorn are directly inolved

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League Revenues, the Loonie and the Salary Cap

On Monday NHL Players Associations Executive Director Paul Kelly was on Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown discussing several topics but of particular interest was the light he shed on NHL revenues, the contribution of Canadian teams to those revenues, and the impact of the Canadian dollar on those revenues. You can listen to the complete interview but let me summarize. He stated that 27% of all league revenues are generated by the 6 Canadian NHL franchises and that of the 12% revenue growth the league saw last season, one quarter, or approximately 3% growth, was attributed to the rise

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Man Down

For those of you who don’t know already, one of the world’s most popular blogs, “Covered in Oil,” will be inactive for an indefinite amount of time. Known as “DMFB,” on his site, Dave Berry was employed to cover the Oilers and get a quote or two after the games. He was given a pass into the press box, and to break up the monotony of the game, he does live web-blog coverages, until he was informed by an Oilers official that he was not allowed to do so and will have his press pass revoked. You can read the

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Tough times for Canadian teams

I have written here several times before but I think it deserves repeating because this is could be a major issue in the months and possibly years to come and could have a significant negative impact on the smaller Canadian NHL franchises. The issue is the falling Canadian dollar. A season ago the dollar averaged fairly close to parity. Right now the Canadian dollar has dropped below 79 cents in US dollar terms. This is real bad news for teams like the Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers, all of whom struggled for their survival in the late 1990’s

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Two Minutes for Shot-Blocking

Darren Dreger on TSN yesterday said that Bob Gainey had proposed a new rule to increase offense: players will not be allowed to block shots lying down on the ice. Ridiculous? Yes. But, okay, I’ll bite. Let’s say the NHL goes through with this. The first question is, what’s the penalty? Because it’s absolutely ridiculous to penalize a player for making a good defensive play, let’s say the “downside” is an offensive zone face-off for the shooting team. It’s the only viable solution I can think of, but even then it doesn’t necessarily promote offensive play. I can just as

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Point Taken?

I could live with Kurt Sauer‘s hit on Andrei Kostitsyn. It’s a fast game and it happens when people are hitting others – the arms come up sometimes to protect themselves and near the boards is always a dangerous area to be. What I don’t get, however, is what Georges Laraque was supposed to accomplish. There are only a handful of teams out there who dress their tough guys fairly regularly: Montreal with Laraque, Minnesota with Derek Boogaard, Pittsburgh with Eric Godard, Atlanta with Eric Boulton, Anaheim with George Parros (who is on a scoring streak), Buffalo with Andrew Peters,

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Gaborik up for Grabs

The Minnesota Wild have been rumoured to have offered Marian Gaborik upwards of $8 million per season on a long term contract but so far Gaborik has refused to accept any of Minnesota’s offers.  It seems almost certain that Gaborik’s days in Minnesota are drawing to a close.  Unless Gaborik changes his mind he will almost certainly be traded before the trade deadline and maybe even much sooner than that. There are really two types of teams that would be interested in Gaborik.  The contenders and the rebuilders.  The contenders are top level teams looking to bring in Gaborik primarilly

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Burning Questions

The only thing that’s saving the Ducks from being the worst in the league is their one win (4-0 vs. SJ). Some teams have traditionally been off to bad starts (Dallas), but the hockey the Ducks have been playing have been horrendous. In six games, the Ducks’ top offensive weapons in Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, and Chris Kunitz have only combined for a measly 3 points and -18. Instead, it’s the third liners that have done most of the scoring, led by veteran linemates Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen, both with 4 points. I find it a little

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Importance of Offense from Defence

Bruce Garrioch, Tim Baines, Don Brennan and Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun wrote a ‘discussion style’ article today that brings up an interesting point about the importance of offense from the defensemen. Don Brennan: Waiting for you guys to say something smart is like waiting for snow to melt … The Senators’ defence last season was a collection of Orrs, Harveys and Coffeys compared to this group. Each year, the Stanley Cup champions get 200-plus points from their blueline. The Senators will be lucky to get 130 from theirs this season. Case closed. I decided to look into this

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