How should the Devils find Martin Brodeur's successor?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Most popular tweets of the NHL All-Star weekend

This past weekend during All-Star festivities, I did a lot of tweeting, as you might have found by now (@DownGoesAvery), and you, my followers, did a lot of retweeting my tweets, so hopefully that means some of what I tweeted was funny. Here's some of the highlights from All-Star weekend.

THE RETWEETS:


- Hey Devil fans, can we get this trending: #LundqvistGetsLitUp

- Seriously, why do Swedish goalies play so deep in their creases? Lundqvist right there and Gustavsson immediately come to mind. #NHL

- That guy sitting in the press box sleeping is Gary Bettman.

- Ovechkin looks overmatched amongst these world-class players.

- Alex Ovechkin continues to choke on nationally televised games.

- Here's a coincidence (not really): every answer to the @NHL's contests become trending topics.

- @NHLDevils not to mention youngest All-Star...ever. This league is driven by youth. (Skinner)

- Carolina fans should be familiar with 3 Doors Down. I'm pretty sure they did something at a #NASCAR race in Daytona a few years ago.

- he's least liked coach by players via CBC player survey. RT @SH_Leafs Ron Wilson would have juggled the lines by now...

- Dustin Byfuglien can't tell a difference between the defensive intensity of this game is about what he's used to in Atlanta. #NHL

- Damn Fleury...where's Brent Johnson when you need him?

- This is by far the most intense ASG in #NHL history. It's just as intense as Islander-Panther games are lately.

- If you want a lot of goals, watch the ASG, so Devils fans, don't look. This is what most teams do, score goals.

- Also in player's survey, favorite referee: None!

- Next year, my money is on Tedenby winning fastest skater and Parise winning shootout. #Devils #NHL

- Erik Karlsson salvages his reputation amongst eastern Canada by scoring. (Shootout)

- "Team Staal" is trending. Teen girls across America wondering: "Team Staal, is that like Team Edward?" #NHL

- Seriously, how do you NOT have Daniel vs. Henrik in the shooting?? (Accuracy)

- I'd like to know who voted for Ovechkin. Clearly people who aren't watching. (Breakaway challenge)

- By the way, total salary of NHL All-Stars: $204.8M. Total Yankee payroll in 2010: $206.7M. #NHL #MLB

- Potential ASG post-game headline: Angry Phil Kessel knocks out pair of Staal's en route to 5 goal performance, wins another car. #NHL

- The two #NHL All-Star team rosters total ($204.8M) is almost as much as the #Yankees 2010 payroll.

- Of course the NHL Network would have a Devils Stanley Cup show tonight. Thank you, DVR. #NHL #smart

- Hmm, anything for a hockey fan to watch tonight? If only there was an event that brought all the best players together for a weekend... #nhl

- Just announced: Avs sign Gretzky to 1-year...but the Islanders claimed him off waivers.

- Sean Avery is like the Jonas Brothers. He's horribly annoying, yet some people just can't get enough of him. #hmm

*Thanks for all the retweeting, and hopefully I'll never have to resort to "recycling" my own jokes, as I have here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Top bloopers in the NHL

Erik Johnson's own goal against...or should I say FOR the Calgary Flames, got me thinking about some of the great hockey bloopers (mostly NHL) since 2000. Have a look at what I came up with.

In case you missed it, here's Johnson's blooper:




So, to the top-10 countdown: (Was Johnson's blunder enough to make the top-10?)

10. WALLIN'S EMPTY NETTER



9. BRODEUR'S SLIPPERY STICK



8. ONE SWEDE GOAL



7. RYAN GETS O'BYRNED IN MONTREAL



6. THERE'S A SMALL HOLE ON VOKOUN



5. ILYA GOES KOVALCHOKE IN SHOOTOUT



4. THE OTHER STAMKOS PENALTY SHOT



3. DION GOES PHAN-OOPS



2. THE FROZEN TENNIS BALL



1. THE EMPTY NET



That's my list. What's your's?

Ways to make the NHL All-Star game relevant

It's pretty clear: nobody actually cares about the NHL All-Star game. Fans would rather watch poker on ESPN, players would rather sleep in all day and the only reason Gary Bettman still tries to promote the ASG is to have a reason to pay Stan Lee for attempting to create a "superhero" for each NHL team. Obviously, we all know, Sidney Crosby is the only real superhero...

So, this has gotten me thinking, there has to be a way to attract interest in the game itself. Well, I developed some ideas:

The Grinder's game - Everyone watches the All-Star game for goals. Well, what if we took that element out of the game? Instead of Crosby, Ovechkin and Stamkos, let's have Shelley, Orr and Parros go at it for sixty minutes. This is an absolutely absurd idea and would ruin the NHL, which is exactly why Gary Bettman would like this idea.

Make goalies important - Instead of making goaltending a chore at the All-Star game, let's make it hurt more. Let's have the goalies choose the teams, and then have a goalie fight to determine who receives the first overall pick in the fantasy draft. This way, we can all laugh at goalies even more. Ray Emery is around somewhere, right?

The blindfolded skills competition - This event is intriguing to me. Having the shootout skills competition event blindfolded seems like a way to increase interest, unless of course, Colin White is involved, because he can't see anything anyway.

The hitting competition - This is another physical addition to the All-Star weekend, since the current game is almost as intense as an Islanders home game. There is only one rule: Scott Hartnell isn't allowed to hit anyone if Jeff Carter is anywhere near him.

The slapshot competition - Okay, so they already have this, but again, I want to involve goalies more. Let the goalies shoot. Besides, Nikolai Khabibulin must have hit at least 105 miles per hour before...

The Vesa Toskala Competition - I will expand on this later with another post (the one with the 'historic first' for DGA), but basically, the GOAL is to make the easiest save turn into an adventure. Vesa has great experience with this, and would make a very good example.

The headshot competition - In this competition, a dummy will be placed at center ice and the contestant's job is to elbow the dummy and do their best Matt Cooke impression. The player that shatters the dummy into the most pieces wins. Despite requests, faces of Gary Bettman will NOT be placed on the face of the dummy.

Waffle-throwing competition - This is a way to involve fans with the All-Star weekend. This competition will be run similarly to fans shooting the puck into a hole in the net. In New Jersey, this is called "Super Score-O." The fan will stand at center ice with three waffles, and will have three opportunities to throw one in Brian Burke's mouth.

Get a TV deal with a relevant network - I know I beat this subject to death, but nobody knows what Versus is. People will look at you strange if you mention the channel. The NHL needs a relevant channel, and as I've suggested earlier, the Golf Channel has plenty of air time available.

Any other submissions will be considered, and remember, the Ilya Kovalchuk contract is almost 3% complete!

*Later today, DGA will be making DGA history with a new first, so stay tuned for that. Thanks for reading and remember, keep your head up (*ahem Marc Savard*).

Friday, January 21, 2011

How to fix the problems in today's NHL

As we know, the NHL is not exactly the most functional sports league in North America, in fact, some would argue that it is the complete opposite. The bottom line is that changes need to be made, and if you believe in taking a stand, you'll like this. Since nobody is willing to speak up, I've decided to submit my suggestions to the NHL with the hope that the game of hockey improves for everyone.

Problem: League's Collective Bargaining Agreement
Reason for problem: NHL and NHLPA don't exactly see eye-to-eye on everything, and the most shocking part yet: they can never decide how to share revenue. Basically, Gary Bettman.
Solution: Actually sit down and negotiate with the two sides and attempt to put a deal together before the day a work stoppage is announced. Bettman's salary is over $7 million per season, which is far more than most players average (that's more than Ilya Kovalchuk's cap hit). Another idea would be to have a "State of the Union" speech annually (not the NHLPA union of course). Unfortunately, neither speech seems to be productive.

Problem: Shootouts
Reason for problem: Pierre McGuire. Well, him and hockey purists, so basically everyone who's ever watched a game in their life, which explains why Gary Bettman supports the shootout.
Solution: Well, I don't know about you, but I think having goalie fights would be a lot easier than 4 on 4, then 3 on 3 overtime periods. Just let the goalies have at it, that way, everyone's happy, besides, the position has been dreaded in the past, right?

Problem: Concussions
Reason for problem: Players train now more than ever, well at least that's what trainers claim. The real reason is because of idiots in the NHL who think they're Scott Stevens, but really have no talent whatsoever. That and Mike Richards.
Solution: There's 2 options - don't allow any hitting at all (especially Martin Brodeur when he's around his sister-in-laws and Jeff Carter when he's around Scott Hartnell's wife) or the league actually cracking down on what needs to be destroyed, like the Philadelphia Spectrum.

Problem: Waivers
Reason for problem: Well, it depends on who you ask. If you ask Doug Armstrong of the Blues, you might get a different opinion than David Poile or Doug Wilson. The problem the league is looking at, however, is other teams interfering with the process and doing teams favors.
Solution: Do nothing. It's what the league is used to, anyway, plus, all Bettman needs to do is call up Richard Bloch, and he'll tell you that the team violated the "spirit of the Collective Bargaining Agreement."

Problem: TV deals
Reason for problem: 97% of the U.S. has never heard of Versus, let alone watched one of their shows.
Solution: Pretend Americans actually care about hockey and sign on with a relevant network, like the Golf Channel.

Problem: Expansion
Reason for problem: Despite every single NHL General Manager arguing that Canadian expansion would be highly successful, Gary Bettman insists that there is a demand for more hockey teams in the southern U.S.
Solution: Develop "franchise tags," so players don't get lost in the expansion draft. When that fails, pack up and join Bettman and move your team to Florida. Yeah, I know, that would be stupid.

Problem: NHL Draft lottery
Reason for problem: Some teams claim they the draft order was "fixed." An example of this would be the 2005 draft out of the lockout.
Solution: Tank 5 seasons and get top-5 draft picks. You're almost guaranteed a Stanley Cup ring within 5 years, unless you're the Islanders or Oilers.

Problem: Low-scoring is back
Reason for problem: Some have named 2010-11 the "year of the goalie." That is partially true, but only because the New Jersey Devils' offense has been non-existent most of the season. Other than that, everything is fine.
Solution: I suppose taking the trapezoid out could help the Devils, but in general, just keep doing what the league does: nothing.

Problem: General Managers with attitudes
Reason for problem: They have attitudes, they're human.
Solution: Applaud them and hope the players follow instead of constantly acting like robots.

Problem: Poor officiating
Reason for problem: Supposedly, when officials make all the right calls, everyone is better off...including the official.
Solution: NHL-owned cameras that are neutral, which will benefit everyone in the case of replays. No, FSN Pittsburgh's cameras do not count towards the league-owned property.

Problem: Long-term player contracts
Reason for problem: Honestly, the salary cap. Teams think they need to lock up franchise players to avoid losing them to free agency.
Solution: Well, the cap isn't going anywhere, so the only thing to do is make sure that the player being signed is actually worth signing...not singling any players out, though.

Problem: The All-Star Game
Reason for problem: Nobody actually cares about it.
Solution: Call Stan Lee and have him create an ugly superhero for every team and hope that works. Once that blows up in your face, just scrap the whole idea and stick to the Winter Classic, before that gets ruined, too.

Problem: Identity of the league
Reason for problem: Superstars throughout the league are marketable, but nothing is being done, as usual.
Solution: Tell Sidney Crosby to shave his absurd attempt at a moustache and inform people that, yes, there are TWO Sedin brothers.

So there you have it, all the major problems the NHL faces, and what to do and why to do them. If we all do our part, we can fix the NHL. Or at least try to, after all, we're not superhuman. Also, I can't believe Scott Burnside still has a job, but anyway...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A player's guide to recovering from concussions

With the growing number of NHL players, and all professional and amateur athletes suffering from concussions, I thought it would be helpful if I offered advice to NHL players, helping them decide when to return to action after their injury has subsided.


- If you're name is Marc Savard, do not miraculously recover from your concussion because you see the Pittsburgh Penguins as your next opponent. Take the extra time to rest and hope that Shawn Thornton and Matt Cooke go at it.

- Now that Chris Pronger is back from his injury, you might want to reconsider speeding up your recovery with the Philadelphia Flyers on the upcoming schedule.

- If you happen to be David Booth, well, just keep your head up.

- Not to name names, but just because you've been injured with a concussion doesn't give you any special rights to complain to the men in stripes when you come back.

- Henrik Lundqvist is not a human punching bag. He does have feelings, and he'll let them out if you challenge him to.

- If you ever feel your symptoms coming back, run to Colin Campbell's office and claim that you were hit from a blindside angle by David Steckel.

- If you were recently suspended for injuring a Detroit Red Wing and you play for the Calgary Flames, and you can't reach Darryl Sutter, keep trying, he'll answer eventually. Jay Feaster won't last forever.

- If you play for the New Jersey Devils, battle through it. If you go down for a significant amount of time, you probably won't be able to get traded out of New Jersey.

- Unlike New Jersey, if you are a Toronto Maple Leaf, you will be taught to work for next year. They haven't needed to rush guys back for April in a while.

- If you happen to be in the Phoenix market and you notice that you aren't attracing much attention with your injury, it's nothing personal. Unless your known name is "BizNasty2point0," you probably aren't getting a lot of attention anyway.

- Having a concussion does not entitle you to free ice cream...just saying.

- There is a difference between missing the All-Star game due to a concussion and boycotting it...in case anyone was wondering.

- If you're Sidney Crosby, you might be under a great deal of pressure to get back into games from your buddy, Gary Bettman. Don't listen to him for 2 reasons: a) you'll get under his skin (again) and b) his ploy of injuring Evgeni Malkin just to get you back sooner shouldn't work. Remember, you have the Devils tonight.

- If you're a goalie, you're better off getting back ASAP. There's enough decent goalies that you might be out a job by time you get back.

- If you happen to be a player such as Alex Kovalev and you suffer a concussion, relax, the season's more than halfway done, and you won't have to worry about the playoffs anyway.

- Just because you're in a slump offensively doesn't mean you're automatically injured. Hey, you never know, you might come back and score 4 goals tonight...

- If you are missing the All-Star Game due to a concussion and your name is not Sidney Crosby, don't worry, nobody will miss you...or even notice.

*If you have something to say, positive, negative, somewhere in between, please let me know by commenting below, e-mailing me at DownGoesAvery@aol.com or by following me on Twitter (@DownGoesAvery). If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my posts on the right side of the main page. Thanks for reading the most popular blog on the web...that's about making fun of hockey players and subliminally attacking Sean Avery run by a Devils fan.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gary Bettman's letter to NHL General Managers, open thread of GMs

Twice during NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's tenure atop the National Hockey League, he has cancelled at least some hockey due to labor disputes. With the current Collective Bargaining Agreement due to expire in the summer of 2012, and the world not about to end, at least outside of hockey, Bettman has decided to take a pro-active step and stay ahead of the Player's Association. He sent a memo to each of the 30 NHL General Managers and then started an open thread to discuss it. Take a look:

To my dearest and closest friends, NHL General Managers,

It has come to my attention that our Collective Bargaining Agreement is going to expire in a little over one year from now. This CBA was signed in 2005 (has it really been that long since I locked the league out?!), and here at the NHL, we want to ensure that we don't cancel another full season because of greedy players. I want us to reach a preliminary agreement before the end of this season, so I cans sign a TV deal with ESPN, reel in the revenue, and then lock the league out. We all have to petition to reduce player's salaries. We must boycott all expensive player signings. There will be no long-term deals (still trying to decide if long-term is 7 years or 17 years), and anyone who chooses to disobey me will pay the consequences long-term. If you have any suggestions, I am always open to listening to other people's ideas, not that I'll ever use them, but it's always nice to hear the voice of rational people every now and then. Colin and I want to make this a painless process for all of us, and together, we can make it happen! And remember, the more seats you sell, the better off everyone is!

Sincerely, Gary Bettman

OPEN THREAD.

Ray Shero: Wow, that's great. I love it. Great work as always, Garr!

Lou Lamoriello: Wait, teams who have already signed players to ridiculously long deals can void the contracts at no expense to the organization, right?

Steve Yzerman: ESPN! Alright! There's going to be almost as many Americans watching hockey as there are Rays fans here in Tampa!

Don Maloney: Gary, we have to talk. Attendance has been a big problem down here.

George McPhee: Garr, is it alright if we take a mulligan on the whole salary cap thing?

Glen Sather: Ugh, geez. Maybe I should quit while I'm still ahead...

Garth Snow: Yes!!! I was never a fan of long-term deals! We should spend our money wisely.

Mike Milbury: What do you mean you don't like long-term deals, Garth? Without them, you guys would be below the cap minimum! Okay, I gotta go, I'm gonna be late to Hockey Night in Canada...again.

GARY BETTMAN: Hey guys, thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate all the support! Oh, by the way, I should mention that we are adding a new format to the draft lottery this year. We will be randomly assigning the first overall pick (did you hear me, RANDOM!) for this year's entry draft. This year, we are proud to select the...PITTSBURGH PENGUINS!!!

Lou Lamoriello: Wait, what???

Ken Holland: Can we just get rid of the salary cap?

Glen Sather: I second that, Ken!!!

Stan Bowman: Thank you! I was waiting for someone to suggest that!

Rick Dudley: NO!!! I love the salary cap! We built our team off of Chicago's lousy cap management! Next thing you know, we'll have so many good players, we'll only have 96% visiting fans in our building!

GARY BETTMAN: Oh, by the way, I'm meeting with the hockey operations people this week, we're going to review some possible rule changes. Now, I don't know anything about hockey, so does anyone here actually watch the games? Do we have any former players on here?

David Poile: Nope.

Greg Sherman: Anyone catch that last episode of Jersey Shore?

Lou Lamoriello: YES!

Paul Holmgren: Stupid Jersey...

Glen Sather: Well, you know, I coached Gretzky...

Jim Rutherford: Nah, don't have the time.

Jim Rutherford: Oh, I can tell you that one of our scouts apparently watches some hockey, if you want a referral, let me know.

Glen Sather: Hey, I told you, I can help!

GARY BETTMAN: Anyone? Anyone at all?

Mike Gillis: Hey guys. Anyone interested in a defenseman? Bieksa? Salo? Ballard? Edler? Anyone?!

Ray Shero: Want me to call Mario? He's played in a few games...

George McPhee: Hahahaha. Mike, I'll take one of them.

Ray Shero: Caps suck.

George McPhee: So do you when you're your superstar is injured.

Ray Shero: "You're?"

George McPhee: Oh. Fixed.

Peter Chiarelli: Gary, when are you going to get back to me about suspending Matt Cooke for the Savard hit?

Glen Sather: Hey Bob Murray, can we have Lubomir Visnovsky?

Mike Gillis: Glen, you want a defenseman?

Colin Campbell: bvb>?o>y6pd-=='a'khj-ja110]+ao-0jhjkfdhkhttmm'?/mb&hgbnnd&&bb@>hdhkjaoua!@~k~`

Darryl Sutter: Hey, guys, what'd I miss??

Jay Feaster: Hey, Darryl, get outta here! I'm in charge now!

Glen Sather: Is Bob Murray on here?

Steve Tambellini: Colin, what the hell is that?

GARY BETTMAN: Seriously, we have no players on this board?

Paul Holmgren: Did you guys see that hit by Chris Pronger? OHHH it was SICK!

Lou Lamoriello: Status quo.

Joe Nieuwendyk: I'm here, Gary.

Steve Yzerman: Player? Pretty sure I was a player.

Brendan Shanahan: Hey, did anyone see my All-Star ideas?

Chuck Fletcher: Hey, Pierre, how's Pouliot doing?

Pierre McGuire: WHAT???

George McPhee: Pens suck.

Pierre Gauthier: He's good, Chuck. How's that Latendresse fellow?

Chuck Fletcher: Injured.

Pierre Gauthier: Ouch.

Chuck Fletcher: I know, right?

Colin Campbell: SORRY, GUYS, THAT WAS MY SON. HE HACKED INTO MY COMPUTER.

Colin Campbell: Oh, sorry about caps locks, guys.

George McPhee: What about the Caps, Colin?

GARY BETTMAN: Okay, thanks Joe and Steve.

Ray Shero: Oh, Gary, do we have any scheduling updates for the Stanley Cup finals this year?

GARY BETTMAN: Not yet, Ray. I'll let you know when I hear anything.

Don Maloney: Man, Roszival is terrible.

Glen Sather: I KNOW, RIGHT?!

Darcy Regier: Wait, what's a Stanley Cup?

Scott Howson: Anyone have a defenseman they want to trade us?

Doug Wilson: Hey, where's my buddy, Brian Burke?

GARY BETTMAN: I banned him from here. You know, he's kinda annoying.

Colin Campbell: BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

Peter Chiarelli: Hey, wait a minute, is that Gregory that hacked Colin's account?

Scott Howson: Seriously, nobody has a spare D-man?

Garth Snow: Sure, Scotty, who do you want?!

Scott Howson: Nah, never mind, I'm good.

Paul Holmgren: I'm uploading the Pronger video on YouTube, check it out: http://www.youtube.com/users/PensSuckGoPhilly

Lou Lamoriello: Status quo.

GARY BETTMAN: Okay, then, I'm shutting this thread down. Nobody is helping me out. I feel like it's me against the world.

Glen Sather: Hey, anyone have a really overpriced winger? I need a bad contract.

Sidney Crosby: Hey, Gary, what's up??

Paul Holmgren: Hey, Crosby, NO DIVING! HAHAHA!!!

Ray Shero: Caps suck.

GARY BETTMAN: Okay, folks, that'll be all for this thread! By the way, there's going to be a meeting to try to get a new CBA worked out next Friday. I won't be there, but you know, I never do anything anyway. I'll probably catch a Celtics game up in Boston.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Likely conversation between Don Maloney and Michal Roszival

Yesterday, the New York Rangers shipped defenseman Michal Roszival to Phoenix in exchange for 24-year old forward Wojtek Wolski. This marks the second time Wolski has been traded in the past year. The deal was made mainly due to financial and salary cap reasons. The deal opens up an extra $1.2 million of salary cap space, while the Coyotes add salary cap space, but reduce their real-money payroll. However, when Roszival got to Phoenix and met Yotes GM Don Maloney, things got a little interesting.

Don Maloney: On behalf of our coaching staff, I would like to welcome you, Michal, to our hockey club.

Michal Roszival: Thanks, Donny. So, um, what will I be doing here?

DM: Well, we have great expectations for you. You will be paired up with Ed Jovanovski, and we...

MR: Wait, me with Ed Jovanovski? Wow, I've never been paired up with someone I've heard of!

DM: ...um, alright then, as I was saying, we...

MR: Wait a minute, I actually have to play hockey?

DM: ...um, of course! I gave up one of my only offensive threats to get you here.

MR: Hey, whatever, I'm making big bucks anyway.

DM: Well, that's the other thing, I wanted to talk to you about a conditional contract.

MR: Whatever the hell that means.

DM: Look, I'll pay you twenty dollars for every person in attendance at our home games.

MR: We don't use dollars in the Czech Republic...(makes mental calculations) wow that means if you sell this place out every night, I'll make over $13 million! I'm in!

DM: (to himself) YES!!! He totally fell for it! I love trades!

MR: Can I see the arena?

DM: Sure, right this way! (Leads Roszival into arena)

MR: Wow, this place looks just like it does on TV!

DM: There's nobody here...

MR: Exactly! ... Hey, wait a minute, if you're paying me in terms of how many people actually show up, I'll be broke!

DM: Well, of course not! You'll help us sell out! My brother Dave says you're a superstar!

MR: Wait, you mean that annoying guy who's always interviewing Rangers at the Garden?

DM: That's my brother!

MR: Oh, yeah, he calls everyone a superstar.

DM: Well I'm sure he meant that you are.

MR: You know, I'm really not. I mean, it's not like you got Tomas Kaberle, you got me. I completely fooled Glen Sather when I got that deal. I mean, at least I'm not Wade Redden!

DM: Who?

MR: You know, that guy from Ottawa that Sather spent like half the salary cap on and now dumped in the minors.

DM: Oh, well, I'm sure we won't have that problem here. Salary cap has never been an issue here. Well, it has, but not because we're at the cap!

MR: Did you bring me here to use cap space?

DM: No! Of course not! We brought you here to be a valuable piece to what we hope is a winning puzzle here in Phoenix!

MR: That's what Sather told me in New York. I leave Pittsburgh and they win a Cup, now I leave New York and I'm supposed to believe Phoenix will be better for me?

DM: Well, I didn't sign Wade Redden!

MR: You brought me here, isn't that bad enough?

DM: Hold on, I'm getting a call...Gary? Yeah, hi...I know you yold me not to spend any more money...what's that, you want me to clear cap space? Who do think we are, Chicago? Oh, right, New Jersey...alright, fine, but I'm not happy about it.

MR: Who was that?

DM: Gary Bettman, he owns the team.

MR: Who's team?

DM: OUR team! He told me to send you to the minors to clear cap space. Don't worry, I'm not going to listen.

MR: Nooooo...

Monday, January 10, 2011

First 10 days of 2011...the good, the bad and the ugly for the NHL

We're already 10 days into 2011, which means there's only 355 days remaining (what a minute, is this a leap year? ... No? ... Good!) It's time to take a look at the GOOD, the BAD and the UGLY of the early portion of 2011 in the NHL.

The GOOD:

- Chris Pronger hasn't played a game this year.
- Sidney Crosby shaved. Yeah, I know, that was not a fake mustache. At least I don't think it was.

The BAD:

- Anyone watching post-game Winter Classic coverage had to see Gary Bettman. That alone makes hockey fans sick.
- A 6-game suspension for Tom Kostopuolos after he broke the jaw of Brad Stuart. You know, back in the ancient days, they would have broken Kostopuolos' jaw as a penalty.

The UGLY:

- Dan Ellis. Well, maybe not Ellis himself, but his play. If you want literally ugly, see "The BAD."
- Maybe Crosby's mustache belongs here...
- Rangers just traded Roszival for Phoenix's Wolski. They now drop Roszival and Redden's contract and need a bad defenseman. They can call Lou about Tallinder. Obviously, GM Don Maloney has been watching too much of his brother, Dave Maloney, on TV, talking about Roszival. Now if you're Wolski, imagine going from Phoenix to New York. He'll probably wonder "oh, there is such thing as a sellout." Either that or "Did they have the mute button on in Phoenix every game?"

What will happen next?

Well, I'm no analyst, but I sense two major trades occuring. First, the Rangers' Alex Frolov is done for the season with an ACL injury, meaning the Rangers are in need of a really bad contract on their team. Have no fear, Glen Sather's good buddy Lou Lamoriello has a great idea: Brian Rolston for a 1st round draft pick in 2011. Or 2012. Or never. Whatever works.

The second trade involves the Devils...again. Except I sense the Devils will be buyers to an extent (Ilya Kovalchuk immediately hears "BUYS" and looks up). The Devils have a lot of Swedish presence on the roster, and unfortunately, they traded Niclas Bergfors and Johnny Oduya away last year for Anssi Salmela...and another player whose name eludes me right now. They've also had their share of absolutely awful Swedish defense, I won't name names though (*Alex Urbom and Henrik Tallinder...cough, cough*). This calls for Lou to re-trade the 3rd round conditional pick he received for Jamie Langenbrunner to Sweden for Niclas Havelid.

What to expect:

Expect the unexpected...what's that? No, I do not think the Islanders are going to win the Stanley Cup this season.

Expect the possibility of the first-ever forward to win a Norris Trophy this year. Yes, Dustin Byfuglien. You can't argue that he's a defenseman, because that implies him playing defense.

P.S.

In a recent USHL game, a defenseman fired a slapshot that hit the post. As you can see, the puck split in half. The rumor after the game was that Zdeno Chara disguised himself and played in that game, but I don't believe that.

That was cool, but not quite as cool as this Dion Phaneuf memory. That was cool.

Last thing: I know many of you are in horror that Sean Avery scored a goal recently. Look, I'm trying to get through this just like everyone else his. Hopefully the world will restore justice and he goes back to...doing whatever he does, like screening goalies without being an idiot.