Speaking of which...
- Have you heard about how John "Heatley to the Sharks" Buccigross has pissed off the Wings nation by voicing the opinion that Z and Dats are past their prime and the team is now in decline? George Malik takes offense, and immediately gets defensive misinterpreting Bucci's take. And then the rest of the mutt patrol jumps on board and starts calling him out, of course. First of all, what Bucci said isn't all that far from the truth, and second, its his fucking OPINION.
He said that Z at 29 and Dats at 31 are past their prime, and in the downward arc of their production. That's not unreasonable to think, they're still great players, and their past prime is better than half the league's peak season. As far as Detroit being at the end of their reign, again its not that outlandish a claim. I think its fair to say that the next wave of players for Detroit under Z, Dats, Franzen, Holmstrom, and Lidstrom have left for greener pastures. I'm referring to Samuelsson, Hudler, Kopecky, and that leaves kids like Helm, Leino, and Abdelkader to take over those roles in the coming seasons. Not to say all the aforementioned stars of Detroit are retiring at the end of the season, but the team does not have the depth it once did even from last season. Bottom line, I too have grown tired of Buccigross, and Z and Dats, and Detroit will still be awesome, just not as awesome. Fuck, just listen for a fucking minute you retards.
- Spector is throwing out ideas for the goaltending question mark of Toronto. The choices are J.S. Giguere and Josh Harding if Burke is in the mood to pull the trigger on a trade. Apparently, Burke is always in the market for good goaltending. Personally, I'm sticking with Gustavsson, and closing the door on Toskala, but if I have to choose between those two, without question its Harding. Josh is dying for the opportunity to be a number one, and if Backstrom wasn't so damn sharp, he'd have it. Giguere hasn't looked like a marquee goaltender since he got his ring, plus his contract is way too heavy for his value lately. But there are other potentials out there as Lyle mentions, old UFA's Manny Fernandez, and Curtis Joseph, and other trade options including Lehtonen, and one of the Islanders three goaltenders, probably Biron. More than likely, its just talk, as Burke likes to do.
- Pretty nice post by John Grigg of the Hockey News on the Top 10 Bargain Players, although I'm not sure you can throw Cam Ward in there at #1 with a $6.3mil/yr. contract extention, but he definetely was a bargain at $2.7/yr. Instead I'd replace him with Pekka Rinne's $725k contract, is that ridiculous or what?! Pekka's definetely getting paid at the end of the year, but by who is the question since Dan Ellis is also due for a new contract, (right now at $1.75mil/yr.). If I'm Nashville I'm extending Rinne's contract, and letting Ellis walk. Other than that the list is pretty good, Matt Moulson on there is a laugh, if its only the line, "When your leading scorer costs less than $600,000, you’re doing well." That's not good John, that's bad, the Isles are far from doing well.
- Calgary vs. Columbus on Tuesday was a great hockey game. Iginla rifled an awesome shot on Mason, (Steve Mason that is, not Chris), that looked like a return to his former self. I think breaking up Jarome and Olli is the right move, put them together on the power play but separate them at even strength, they're both shooters, spread 'em out. The BJ's work ethic is awesome, I love that never-say-die attitude, that's going to win them games more often than not.
- Florida's game last night against Buffalo was atrocious. Clemmensen's quote, "It's the fastest I've ever been pulled." Ya think?! Two goals on three shots, less than 2minutes into the game. Granted one was on the power play, but the first one from Grier was brutal. Vokoun wasn't much better upon coming in, giving up another 3 in the first before closing the door for the rest of the game. But the damage had been done, and paying good money to see that shit, sucks. Refunds for the hundreds of people in attendance.
- I kept a close eye on the Vancouver vs. Chicago game last night, which I thought was the best playoff series in the West last post. Bob-O needed a big game in Chicago to disprove his doubters, which he more or less did, the two goals he let in were deflections. Mikael Samuelsson's rip past Niemi was awesome for the winner. I love Byfuglien's game, I can't believe Chicago is already talking about cutting ties with him in another year, after signing the big three. Willie Mitchell's hit on Jon Toews is the talk of the town today. My take, its legal, but its not really fair. You can't fault Toews for not expecting that hit coming out of nowhere, and to his credit and Joe Q's they admitted its a clean hit. Wobbly going off the ice, a minor concussion isn't out of the question. Listening to Steve Bernier in an interview is always hilarious to me, I never expect him to have that slurring French Canadian accent.
- Which brings us to the next item, the discrimination against French Canadian hockey players. As Malik said about Bucci, 'Bull, all of it.'
- Sergei Kostitsyn is a fucking idiot, his brother wants no part of him. Countdown to the defection to the KHL started when Gainey said, 'Hamil...'
- Any other DirecTV subscribers pissed about Gary's lack of activity in brokering a deal between Versus and the satelite provider? Hockey Joe nails it over on Gross Misconduct Hockey with his latest post, 'How's That Versus Dispute Going Gary?'
- Canadians love hockey, here's proof. See comments in previous post for background.
- Nice post on the Rookie race by Wysh. They all seem to be off to a good start, unlike Mr. Stamkos' stiffling from the Mullet last season.
I plan to get out another post, or a series of posts on the Contract Year Anomaly, and team's individual situations with regards to pending Free Agents, but as always, don't hold your breath.