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Yearly Archives: 2005
I thought player agents were supposed to represent their clients’ interests, not their own.
Ask Dean Lombardi. The sharks have a long, painful and unpleasant history with Theofanus as a player agent. he’s just as annoying and greedy as Scott Boras is in baseball, but without the redeeming qualities.
At least you know what Boras is trying to do: make his client as much money as possible as soon as possible (even if it hoses his career long term, as it did with Todd Van Poppel, IMHO). theofanus seems primarily interested in what makes Theofanus the most money, not his client.
he’s not well remembered in San Jose, where he was Arturs Irbe’s agent (among a few others).
Even though Joe Thornton has been traded, nothing has changed in Boston. The Bruins are still struggling and the press continues to crucify the team.
On the other hand, in San Jose, it’s still Joe Freaking Thornton! and somehow, Boston convinced themselves that Thorton was the problem, and 29 other teams would have been more than happy to take that problem off their hands; San Jose actually DID.
Boston had major problems. Joe Thornton wasn’t one of them. Boston clearly felt that Thornton wasn’t the guy they wanted to be captain, and you just don’t make someone an ex-captain without moving him to a new team. Unlike moving Nolan to Toronto, Boston trading Thornton wasn’t trading away a failed captain — just trading away one that didn’t act like Boston wants their captain to act (whatever that is, but it seems to involve high emotion, lots of yelling, throwing guys into toilets and occasionally trashing a locker room, as far as I can tell. In other words, Trevor Linden not welcome….)
What boston doesn’t understand, I guess, is that while that kind of go-to “don’t you dare take a shift off” personality is important in the locker room, it doesn’t have to wear the C. It doesn’t have to be a captain at all; that kind of leader just, well, leads. And captains can lead in many ways — nobody will ever mistake Trevor Linden for Mark Messier, for instance, but both are very successful captains.
I expect that Thornton NOT being captain in San Jose will make him that much better, too. It’s one less thing to worry about — and it’s no insult to be on a team with Marleau as Captain, either. So I like the chemistry aspects here almost as much as the talent aspects.
I still remember when Dean Lombardi had his “chemistry rules” moment — when he brought in Ray Sheppard and Craig Janney to the team, which were combined an absolute disaster; and according to Dean, “on paper, it was a great trade”. Dean, to his benefit, put a lot of work into learning how to judge character, and ended up doing a good job. But now, it’s clear, Boston is clueless about it. I feel sorry for Marco Sturm; the other two guys won’t get boston expectations heaped on him the way Marco will, and now, it seems clear, the honeymoon over the trade in boston lasted about two games, and then the mediocre play, bad chemistry and losing started again…
We’re about a third of the the way through the season, so I think it’s time to ask how the rule changes are working…
And frankly, I like them. But they’re not perfect.
Here’s what I’d change for next season.
First, the schedule. I hate it.
Here are two alternatives:
new schedule A:
play the other conference home and home: 15 teams x 2 = 30
play everyone in your conference home and home: 14 teams x 2 = 28 (58)
play everyone in your division 2 sets of home and home: 4 teams x 4 = 16 (74)
rotate the last six games around your divisional teams, focusing on rivalries. or cut the schedule a bit. I’m easy.
In this schedule, everyone sees every team once, with a strong focus on divisional play after that.
new schedule B:
play the other
play the other conference 1 game per season, switching venues (each team visits the other every other season)
15 x 1 = 15
play everyone in your conference 4 times (14×4 = 36, for 51 games)
play everyone in your division 6 times (4×6 = 24, for 75 games)
then either cut the schedule, or fill in with divisional rivalries.
Personally, I prefer plan B. I’d LOVE to get every team into every building, but with 80 games and 30 teams, in practice, it’s tough. But we can get them in every other year, and still focus on divisional rivalries.
In this schedule, the Sharks would play Philly once, Calgary 4 times, anaheim 10 times. If anaheim is your rival, it might be 12 times, and I have no problem with a 77 game season.
Next rule change:
protect the goaltender. But not TOO much. players crashing the goalie is a bigger problem this year. My suggestion: bring back the half-moon crease, maybe extend it a bit. If you touch a goalie in the crease, it’s goaltender interference. If the goalie is outside of the paint, it’s not. Pure and simple. If the goalie wants to leave the crease to challenge, then he’s going to have to accept some contact. If he stays in the crease, players have to leave him alone.
Next rule change:
Do away with the “no touch” zones for the goalies. While I supported that change at the start of the season, I think goalies have for the most part adjusted already, adn they don’t really have that big an impact compared to the rest of the changes. What they end up being, then, are not useful restrictions on goalies but an artificial obstacle course for them — and that’s not what this game’s about. so nuke them.
Referees continue to need to work on what’s legitimate physical play and what’s a penalty, especially in the slot, but this needs refinement, not changing. And 30 games into the season, I think they’re mostly getting it right — and I certainly don’t want to go back to the days we had. There are some players who simply can’t play the new rules — and while they hate the changes, what the league needs is to replace them with players who can.
Other than these tweaks: LEAVE IT ALONE. I like it.
or the Joe! Freaking! Thornton! era continues.
Sooner or later, the sharks are going to lose a game. Sooner or later they’re going to ONLY score three goals on a team. It just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon.
Last night, against a tired Florida team, the Sharks played their weakest period yet in the “Joe” era, opening the game with only five shots but ending the period 1-1. Florida, which had played the night before in Dallas (and lost a heartbreaker), didn’t arrive in San Jose until 7 in the morning because of weather delays out of Dallas, but they made things tough for the Sharks early. In the second, the Sharks started rolling, Mark Smith (Mark SMITH?) scoring two goals (for the first time in his career) and never looked back. AFter that point, the game wasn’t even close, although a horribly soft goal by Nabokov from Stumpel made the score a bit less lopsided.
Nabokov’s found his game, and looks solid. He got called for a brain cramp (um, playing a puck in the no-touch zone) after the puck bounced over his stick and he reacted.
Stevenson got another goal, in somewhat limited minutes. Doug Murray only had one really significant hit last night, on Gratton, but it took off Gratton’s helmet (with a bit of an elbow, I think, but it seemed as if the arm was put up defensively, not thrown into Gratton’s face when Gratton initiated the hit). Gratton came back to try again, and I’ll call that second round a draw. What I keep noticing about Murray is he’s on the ice for goals: three of the six last night. He’s not generating points, but the team is scoring when he’s taking a shift regularly.
refs were Kimmerly and Sutherland, and they did a solid job. I felt the goaltender inteference call in the first was a bit weak, but the refs have been told to protect the goalies; Kimmerly called an unsportsmanlike on Scott Thornton after he chirped on a call, but I’ll cut him some slack, because he took a puck to the face as he was blowing the whistle, and it clearly stung and I think Thornton should have realized it was a bad time to argue — but I thought what he said (we were in lipreading range) didn’t justify it.
The Cupertino Courier | 0547 | November 23, 2005:
. Van Sant has spent more than 20 years working with her feathered friends, and it’s her mission in life to teach people how to treat them. Touted by some as the best bird doc around, she’s got a clinic full of squawking fowl and a loyal following of bird owners. Van Sant even flew to Louisiana to help save the birds there after Hurricane Katrina. She will take on any bird with any problem.
Nice piece on Fern Van Sant, of For the Birds. Fern’s been my bird vet for about as long as I’ve owned birds, and I can’t recommend her highly enough. When my first cockatoo, Morgan, started getting sick, Fern took it personally that we couldn’t keep her healthy, and fought like crazy to figure out what was going on (it turned out, after we lost her, to be a case of Polyoma that hid from the tests, where Morgan was basically getting just enough reduction in her immune system to allow her to keep catching bugs). Fern bought us at least a year that we otherwise wouldn’t have had. And when Tatiana ended up with Zinc poisoning, Fern and her crew were great at helping us get it under control and Tatiana back to whatever we laughingly call normal around this house…..
I was tied up moving plaidworks to the new server when the thornton trade went down. Just BEFORE it happened, I was going to post that the Sharks needed to do something, and try to get a top-6 forward (preferably center) to bolster the team.
I certainly wasn’t thinking about Joe Thornton. Which is why Doug Wilson is the Sharks GM, and I’m sitting on a blog suggesting we need someone like, oh, like a Scott Thornton. (By the way, I just want to note that Trent Klatt is still not playing hockey, and while he might need some time in Cleveland to get in game shape, his fight with the union notwithstanding — he’s someone who might improve the sharks and bring some of the spark we’re missing with Scott Parker on the IR again. Not in the fighting sense, but in the lead-by-example form.
Anyway, there’s only one way to describe my reaction to the Thornton trade. It is, of course, to channel the ghost of Joe Piscopo‘s The Sports Guy:
TSG: REALLY BIG TRADE!
TSG: JOE FREAKING THORNTON!
TSG: COMPROMISING PHOTOS?
TSG: JOE FREAKING THORNTON!
To be honest, the Sharks gave up a lot — Marco Sturm is a great player and Brad Stuart while he hasn’t been the same since his head injury, still has a upside and even the way he plays today is a top four defenseman, and Wayne Primeau is one of those lunchpail guys that teams need and which will give them a lift by playing quality minutes and bringing a good work ethic and attitude with him. This trade works nicely for Boston is Stuart and life his game up a level, closer to what he was expected to be as a kid, and I think that’s very possible.
On the other hand, this is a no brainer for San Jose. None of the guys the Sharks gave up make the players around him better. Stuart is replaceable, Primeau is easily replaceable, and Thornton is, well, a lot better than Sturm — and he makes everyone on the team better.
So, wow. It’s a gutsy trade by the Sharks, giving up three roster talents (beyond that, two top talents and a solid contributor, not minor leaguers, not draft picks, not fill ins. that’s significant depth to lose) — but it’s a no brainer. o it in a second, without quesiton. I’d give up MORE to get Thornton (anyone want Nils Ekman? cheap?) — which makes me wonder what Boston was thinking? To me, the best they can hope for here is to minimize the PR disaster in the making.
As cousin Scott Thornton noted “what team wouldn’t want Joe Thornton?” — um, Boston. 29 other teams, on the other hand, would have been happy to take him off their hands, but the Sharks made it happen. The Bruins are going to regret this…
for other coverage of the trade, try these links:
And the trade is a big part of Carnival of the NHL 14, brought to you this time by Hockeydirt. A great read…
Ken Campbell of the Toronto Star suggests that Patrick Marleau may be the next San Jose Shark on the trade block…
Well connected NHL executive or not, this trade would make no sense. After trading Marco Sturm [tied for the San Jose Sharks scoring lead in 2002-03] and Brad Stuart [the Sharks leading scorer on the blueline],
My thought is that the Marleau rumors are based on explorations Wilson was making before the Thornton trade went down. Once Joe Thornton was snagged, that one died. That doesn’t mean the Sharks were necessarily serious about trading Marleau, but it seems clear that all options were on the table to fix the team.
I still think that the Sharks aren’t done. I keep wondering whether we’re going to see a goalie moved, although Nabokov tweaking his groin makes that problematic right now — if they ever have all the goalies healthy, there are teams that seem to need a goalie, and the Sharks can take advantage of that.
However, I also keep asking myself — is there a trade available that includes swapping Nabokov and Luongo? Not straight up, but as part of a larger deal? I wonder what it would take…. On the other hand, the last couple of games have made me a lot more comfortable here again, and if Toskala is really healthy…
One thing Laurie and I keep wondering — why are the Sharks seemingly so insistent about NOT playing Schaeffer? We don’t get it. People I’ve talked to at the Tank tell me he’s a real NHL-caliber goalie, maybe a bit green. The problem some of us have is that both Nabokov and Toskala are quite solid and smooth goalies on their technique and angles, where Schaeffer is more of a reaction/scramble guy, and so he just looks — out of control. I’ve muttered more than once about the return of Irbe, and Schaeffer’s occasional braincramps puck handling haven’t helped stir up those ghosts… But people who’s opinion I trust say he really is the real thing… So I wonder if Schaeffer will ever see Cleveland again…
If the Sharks make another move, I’d expect it to be a defenseman. I don’t think the Sharks defense is in as tough a shape as many fans, and right now, I wouldn’t mind standing pat. Yes, Hannan’s struggled, and Stuart is gone (and wasn’t what he should have been — and hasn’t been since the head injury) — but from what I’ve seen, most of the Sharks “problems on defense” is the defense attempting to make up for defensive lapses by the forwards, and the Sharks were having trouble getting three lines that could be consistent and reliable every game. Joe Thornton changes all of that.
On top of that, the Sharks have a player few folks are thinking of: Dougie Murray. He’s up with the team now, but he was, from what I heard in training camp, expected to make the team — and got hurt in the first week of camp. So now, he’s healthy and stepping in, and I’d expect will fill some of the gap people are looking Wilson to run a trade for, and Joe Thornton will fix the rest by reducing the number of problems the forwards cause that the defense gets blamed for.
There was that one person who tried to time the closing of the sharks list to get in the last word, which was his “appreciation” of all the work we did over the years.
What is it about people who think everything you do sucks, but who insist on staying around and telling you how much they hate it, instead of going off somewhere else where they might be happier?
Because, of course, there are some people who get off on screwing things up for others. And when you’re managing communities, I’m more and more convinced you need to recognize and isolate those people early and often if you can.
Trolls — they’re easy. But there’s another group, which I always called Eeyores (nothing’s ever good, much less good enough), that can turn into cancers and sour or destroy a community if you aren’t careful.
I used to believe it was the admin’s responsibility to make a community work for everyone. I now understand some people like to take advantage of that, because ultimately, they get their joy not out of being part of the community or contributing to it, but screwing it up and watching people be miserable. The virtual equivalent of the boy poking a stick into the anthill.
Some people simply get off on destroying, not creating or using. And they don’t WANT to be helped.
If you don’t believe that, just ask the wikipedia folks. they’re learning the reality of what happens when the gang-bangers show up to have a little fun. and they assumed everyone would be like the core group was, which is a fatal mistake if you grow and get popular, because backpatching protections in (instead of designing them in up front) is a bitch.
If you have a group of 300 and four people think it sucks, the proper answer is to invite them to go elsewhere, not try to make it work for them. Of course, they’ll hate that,b cause they want everyone ELSE to change to fit their ideas, not try to fit themselves into the group. And that dynamic is easily 90% of the problems online groups end up having.