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Monthly Archives: December 2006
Explain to us again, why the NHL canâ€™t return to Canada?
A few weeks ago I put forward my frequently espoused theory that the NHL could do a lot worse than to put a few more franchises back into Canada. For my efforts I received a few letters and comments suggesting that Canadians whine too much about getting back into the game so to speak.
Let me just say this upfront: I don’t think moving a team or two back to canada is a bad thing. But there are problems. the three most reasonable candidates — Winnipeg, Hamilton and Quebec City — all have problems.
Hamilton doesn’t have an arena that can handle the NHL without significant update. Ditto Winnipeg. both need upgrades. Quebec City — simply needs a new building. Is any of this being planned? Not that I can find. So right up front, is there any place willing to commit $40-50 million and two years of construction to bring a team back? Not that I can find.
Well, Balsillie seemed to be, but the league threw that out. And HIS idea had problems, namely the the Maple Leafs clearly didn’t want to share its fan base with anyone else.
To be honest — the place best suited for another NHL team would be: Toronto, where if you look at the population size and the ticket prices, it clearly has the demand to support another team.
Personally, I think Winnipeg is the best shot for a new team; it’s got a building taht could be upgraded to NHL capability. When they LEFT, they were *only* losing about $10m a year ($C), at a time when US-Canada currency discrepancies were making life miserable for all Canadian teams, and when there was no revenue sharing. If a team existed in Winnipeg today, with revenue sharing, it would probably be supportable.
But let’s throw some facts into this argument and see what happens.
Attendance for Winnipeg, 1989-1995: 13,106, 12,931, 12,931, 13,550, 13,297, 13,013, 11,316
Attendance for Quebec, 1989-1994: 15,080, 14,188, 13,666, 14,981, 14,614, 14,395
Attendance for Phoenix, 2001-2005: 13,161, 13,229, 15,469, 15,582
Attendance for Colorado, 2001-2005: 18,007, 18,007, 18,007, 18,007
And here’s the problem — the team that used to be the Jets, that everyone loves to talk about how badly they’re doing down in Arizona attendance-wise, they’re still drawing better than they did in Winnipeg. Please don’t tell me about the “two for one” and freebies, unless you can prove that these things magically stop happening north of the border. And frankly, having been a beneficiary of comps in Vancouver, I think it’s safe to say I know it happens up there, too.
He took a snapshot of one day in November which saw a number of American teams play in front of what can only be called embarrassing numbers. Crowds dropping below 11,000 per game, maybe even less when you donâ€™t count the papered houses.
Snapshots, however, are a rotten way to judge this. They don’t take into consideration short-term issues like weather, and frankly, ignore the reality that — gasp — a bad team draws badly.
Campbell has provided a scratch sheet of sorts, similar to the attendance tracking I did as kid as I watched the NHL and WHA stumble their way through season after season of declining and embarrassing attendance returns. He paints a picture of a league very much in denial and soon to be very much in trouble.
Sorry, I don’t agree.
When you look at the waiting lists for tickets in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto (only Ottawa seems content to be a walk up city) you quickly realize that the NHL is a tale of two leagues, one a passionate relationship between fans and team, the other an indifferent glance by a less than interested bystander.
Vancouver, since 1989, has varied from a low of 14,000 a game to a high of over 18,000. Calgary in the late 80′s and early 90′s was averaging close to 20k. By 1999 that was down to 15K a game, and it didn’t really recover until 2005. Edmonton started the 90′s drawing 17,000 a game, and by 1995, was down under 13,000, then recovered back to 16K.
The excuses are many why the NHL canâ€™t succeed in the likes of Winnipeg, Hamilton or Quebec City, but one has to wonder how things could be any worse than the current problems of the southern outposts and the formerly showcase cities of Chicago, Long Island and St. Louis.
You have just answered your own question. NOTHING will save a team from bad management. A poorly playing team draws well. A team with management that doesn’t care and doesn’t spend, or spends badly, will draw badly. Nothing the league does will solve that problem FOR THE TEAM. That’s why looking at St. Louis today in the tunnel vision of this season means nothing; yeah, attendance sucks — and you have a team where the old management did basically nothing for years waiting for a new owner, and missed the playoffs after 25 years of going to post-season (and exiting in the first round….); and now, you have a team with a new owner who had to patch it together from spare parts, and it shows; and the fans in St. Louis have responded to the decay by — gasp — staying home. But as recently as 2003, the Blues were drawing 18,000, and were for 20 years consistently in the top five or six in average attendance in the league for the last 20 years. And because they’ve had a two year drop in attendance, suddenly they’re not a hockey town and ought to move?
Bull. they’re a bad team because the old owners let them wither, and the new owenrs haven’t had time to fix the rot. And last year, when the rot really set in, tehy still drew 14,000 a game. More than any of the last six years the Jets drew. ahem.
Now, the Blackhawks are another matter. A team that in the 90′s consistently drew 17,000 and upwards of 20K when the new arena opened, for the last six years lucky to see 15K, and been trending downward to 13K. Why? bad ownership — the Al Davis of hockey. The teams have sucked, the GMs and coaches picked more for loyalty than talent, and the players for being inexpensive more than good. And the fans have responded — by staying away. Of course, the “bad” attendance in Chicago still outdraws Winnipeg’s last years, although I’m convinced the Blackhawks will fix that soon and drop down into the 12K range in the next year or so.
15,000 in Winnipeg or Le Ville du Quebec surely must trump 1,500 on a November night in St. Louis, no matter what accounting guidelines you might be using.
except, of course, you never DID draw 15K in Winnipeg. and you DID in Quebec, but the building got old and nobody wanted to build a new one. They still haven’t.
Read the Campbell article below, itâ€™s an eye opener and should provide a fair amount of ammunition for those that believe the NHL needs Canada a hell of a lot more than Canada needs the NHL!
I’m sorry, the campbell article is a crock. The numbers don’t stand up.
He forgets that it wasn’t too long ago that both Calgary and Edmonton were doing so poorly financially that they were both considered candidates for moving. That Vancouver was struggling, too.
right now, the canadian teams are drawing well — because the canadian teams are PLAYING well. But they aren’t immune to slumps, and with those slumps come drops in attendance (except in Toronto and Montreal, where the demand is so strong they could legitimately field second teams, and because they don’t, people will grab tickets to BAD teams and BAD games because they’re the only tickets available). But what about when the teams go mediocre again? And they will?
What are the worst draws in the NHL this season? Probably not what you think:
26 Chicago (13283)
27 Washington (13130)
28 New Jersey (12,991)
29 Islanders (11714)
30 st. Louis (11,312)
funny thing is, go back to 2000-2001, and only the Islanders were in the bottom 5. chicago was 24th, Washington 21st, New Jersey 19th, and the Blue 4th.
The “hockey doesn’t belong here” crowd favorite whipping boys
Phoenix (14K, 24th)
Anaheim (15,5K, 21st)
Atlanta (15,9K, 19h)
columbus (16.4K, 17th)
Carolina (17,3K, 15th)
Which, I’ll note, every one of those teams outdraws what Winnipeg drew, and all but Phoenix are consistently outdrawing the last years of Quebec City. For all people gripe about the Hartford to Carolina move, Hartford in it’s last 8 years NEVER drew more than 13.7K. Since moving to its new building, the Hurricane have averaged better attendance than it did in Carolina, and only once in the last four years has it averaged under 15K (and that year was the year before the lockou when lots of us hockey fans tuned out and watched NASCAR or something else, no?) — so they’re averaging 2000/game MORE than the best year Harftord can muster.
My point here?
There’s no magic formula. there’s lots of “mystical golden age memories” that don’t hold up to the light of day or the facts of reality; Of the five teams in Canada, three of them are accepting revenue sharing to get by; there’s no reason to believe that a new team in Quebec City or Winnipeg would be any different — so why should the league encourage moving a team to a place where it knows it’ll have to subsidize it? I think, with revenue sharing, that Winnipeg is viable — but does it make sense to move to a place where you know subsidies are required? Isn’t it better to look for a place that can be profitable?
If you want to look at teams that OUGHT to be moved — it’s not Atlanta, or Columbus. It’s Boston, which has a new building but ahs consistently shown attendance in the bottom ten the last six or more years, and Chicago (ditto), and the Islanders (who have been trying to get a new building for ever) and Pittsburgh (ditto). And unfortunately, you can’t tell me those aren’t hockey cities, especially given Chicago and boston are both an original six team.
So we can toss out the “hockey doesn’t work in southern states” argument, because Dallas and Tampa and LA and Anaheim shows that it DOES — when you have a good team that’s well run and marketed properly. Even Phoenix is showing improvement in the new building, but what it really needs is to win hockey games.
Instead, the teams that have struggled consistently are teams that haven’t succeeded on the ice — Chicago and Boston — or have been in sucky buildings — New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Islanders. Boston has finally revamped management (enough? we’ll see), and Jersey has a new building planned, and the Islanders have one on paper (finally), and Pittsburgh finally has permission to find one.
And chicago? oh, feel sorry for Hawks fans. It’s a long, long winter. again.
The NHL’s number one goal right now should be to convince Wirtz to sell to new ownership that doesn’t include any of that family. Not that it’ll happen.
Does the league have problems? Yes. But ti’s funny — if you compare the “problem children” five years ago with now, there are very few names in common (and the ones that are, most have plans to solve the problems, like Jersey does). Los Angeles and Anaheim are still drawing a combined 31K a game, not exactly chopped liver.
Frankly, the only team I’m worried about is Nashville. They started at 17K, dropped to 14K, dipped to 13K for a bit, and back up to 14K, but they don’t seem to be driving improved attendance. If you want to look at moving a team — they seem a legitimate candidate. Atlanta’s grown attendance to 15,5, Florida’s consistently around 16K, Tampa’s up over 20,5, Columbus around 17K.
Someone please tell my why a team drawing 12k-16K in the states ought to be sent back to Canada. Especially when, if you look at the facts, the best a place like Winnipeg could do was 13K — at a time it was actively trying to save the team.
Maybe, just maybe, the reason the NHL isn’t considering Canada is that they have to actually pay the bills, where reporters and bloggers only have to dream the possibilities. But in the stark light of day (and facts), Canada just doesn’t seem like a good deal (well, I’d put a team in Kingston, or 2nd teams in Toronto and Montreal, but that’s not what most “home to canada” folks are talking about….)
Reality is, maybe the NHL isn’t as stupid as some of the critics want folks to believe….
â€œIt goes up and down from one thing to another,â€ [Blackhawks assistant GM Rick] Dudley said. â€œYou take into consideration (travel) expenses. Then we say that is not good enough – we want rivalries. Then we say we want Ovechkin and Crosby coming into our buildings. Everyone has a different agenda. At some point, you have to think, `What is best for the game?â€™ â€œ
What’s best for the game: a schedule that makes the fans happy, that encourages interesting rivalries and makes sure the best teams play each other so they can be given high profile on television, and which creates as much of a balance to the schedule as you can so that each team faces the same strength of schedule.
None of those things, IMHO, can be done within the context of the current unbalanced schedules. Basically, half the teams in the league won’t see any of the hot players this year, won’t see most of the original six teams, won’t see the canadian teams. The schedule also gives some teams (notably Rangers, Devils and Islanders) much softer travel schedules than others. While you can’t even out the travel schedule without a committment to make it equally painful for all (not a good idea), let’s not pretend that the current schedule is great for ALL teams. It’s (maybe) somewhat better for a team like Vancouver — and a cakewalk for the Rangers, who only leave their timezone once in the season (by my check of the schedule). The rationalization that this schedule improves travel for the teams is in fact a BAD rationalization, because travel is still painful for some teams, and it just increases the unfairness of the schedule for a team like the Kings or Canucks compared to the Rangers or Devils or Boston. Better all teams take some more travel pain, if it means the difference between the “easy travel” team and the “bad travel” team is narrower.
So once again, we get back to a couple of realities: the only way you can be fair to fans is to make sure teams are in their buildings once a year — because some of those fans you’re trying to get into San Jose are in fact toronto fans, or Philly fans, or Detroit fans, or St. Louis fans, people who’ve relocated, or who’s fam,ily brought them up as fans of a specific team. And no unbalanced schedule is fair to those fans, and eight games against Anaheim won’t get a Toronto fan into San Jose Arena — unless, of course, ?Anaheim signs Doug Gilmour.
Versus can’t schedule a game like Washington/Sharks (which might be a fun game!) if they don’t play. Or Anaheim/Rangers. or Anaheim/Pittsburgh this year — wouldn’t you want to see how Pronger and Niedermeyer could do against Crosby and company? I would. but it wno’t happen…
And taht’s the ultimate failure of the current schedule…. it makes sure there is NO CHANCE of interesting games happen, in favor of trying to build artificial rivalries through playing teams until you’re sick of seeing them. and while eight games between San jose and Anaheim is going to be an interesting series, how does that make people spending eight games watching Blackhawks/blues or Coyotes/Wild feel?
okay, that sucked. well, the sharks did, for about two periods. Phoned in — completely phoned it in — in the first, which more or less made it a fair fight, and got stupid and scrambly in the third, allowing a goal with 40 seconds less to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and to allow the dreaded Red Wings to take 4th in the league.
the sharks fully deserved the loss. cheechoo was a disaster tonight. After one particularly painful shift in the 2nd, even Coach Wilson noticed, and the kid sat for the next nine minutes, finishing up the 2nd with 2 short shifts. he didn’t play the first 7 minutes of the 3rd, skated one very short shift (and changed early compared to his linemates) and then played sparingly the rest of the night.
What woke the team up was when Grier got moved into Cheechoo’s spot on the Thornton line and banged some guys. Curtis Brown took that spot the next time, and it led to a goal. After that, the legs were better and the energy level went positive, and the Coyotes simply tried to hang on. Unfortunately, the Sharks didn’t play well enough to put the game away, and handed it back late for the Coyote win (give the Coyotes full credit for not giving up and TRYING. But teh sharks sleepwalking merely made it more or less an even game….)
A few things crystalized tonight, watching them play.
First: Cheechoo just isn’t skating well. He’s slow, he’s not moving his feet, he’s peripheral, he’s static. I’m not sure if he’s hurt, or simply in a nasty funk, but either way, get him off the Thornton line. What seemed to get Cheech going a bit a few weeks ago was living on the third line. Make it so, and whenever he takes a shift and doesn’t move his feet, sit him. It worked tonight, he had some good shifts with hard work — but nothing sustained. He’s not a top-6 forward right now, others deserve time with Big and Little Joe more. give it to them.
Second, whatever you do, skate thornton with either Grier, Curtis Brown, or Mark Smith. Brown seems the best match, but the energy/mucking guy makes a huge difference. Thornton was effective with either MIchalek or Pavelich on wing tonight — when one of those three was the other wing. Just do it.
Third, there’s a chemistry thing going on. Seems silly to say with a team 5th best record in the league — but it keeps playing down to the level of the opponent, and guys sleepwalk and phone in shifts. It used to be Scott Parker’s job in the locker room to “talk” to guys who do that, but with him not in the lineup, the “you will NOT do that to your teammates” in your face guy seems missing, and team goes soft and inconsistent. Don’t think this is an indictment of Marleau as captain, that’s not the role I’m thinking about. This is more of a seargent-at-arms role. I’m wondering if McLaren has been doing some of that — but he’s been out, too.
the talk down in 127 tonight was about trades — and a growing thought one might be useful here. One focus was on lack of scoring from the blueline (not long before Vlasic scored his second. Hard to score with just forwards causing pressure, and the offensive-potential blueliners (Errhoff, Vlasic, Carle) have been pretty quiet. Good defense, no offense. I think it may be a true thing.
the deal that got floated in the section was with Tampa: Mark Denis and Dan Boyle for Nabokov, Errhoff and someone like Rissmiller. It’s actually the kind of trade that serves both teams pretty well, IMHO. I’d seriously consider it….
Anyway, Saturday a rerun, only in Phoenix. We’ll see if the team shows up, or sleeps in again… gah.
The Anaheim Ducks 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night had all the makings of a heavyweight prize fight. The Sharks avenged a 5-0 loss in Anaheim on November 21st with a come from behind 4-3 win in San Jose a week before Christmas.
Both teams were confident, looking to dictate the physical play early, and send a message to the rest of the league in the process.
Boy, the alarm goes off at 6AM, which makes it hard to write about a game immediately afterward. Makes life interesting some days (especially when I stay up too late the night before…)
So I’ll let the good folks at Sharkspage talk about the game, and only make a few extra comments:
The first period was some of the fastest, most intense, highest tempo, DAMN GOOD hockey I’ve seen, period. anywhere, any year. Almost no whistles, and both teams played exceptional.
Nabokov had a weak game. Unfortunately, he’s had just enough of those to make me worry — and he simply CAN’T do it against the ducks. He’s a damn good goalie, but if I had a crunch game, Toskala would be in goal. If that pisses off Nabokov, well, two soft goals against the Ducks made a winnable game into a loss. Stop giving up weak goals, Nabby. Or last night, you were forgiven for the first one by me with the saves right at the end of the first period — unfortunately, that wasn’t good enough.
The Sharks missed McLaren last night; the team D is fine when both McLaren and Hannan are in the game, but when one is out, it stretches the team’s defense thing. major props to the rest of the defense for stepping it up (especially Gorges, who had what I felt was his best game of the season) — but it wasn’t quite enough against the Ducks. Again, a winnable game that was lost. This was the second key to the loss.
third key to the loss: the Sharks legs looked tired in the third; not by a lot, but by enough. the Ducks seemed to be a better conditioned team, and when both teams simply tried to skate the other out of the building, the Ducks seemed to have slightly better reserves late in the game.
three games in, Ducks lead the series 2-1. I have to say, right now, that the Ducks are the better team. Not by much, but you can’t squint at this and call it a tie any longer. the better team IS winning. I wouldn’t want to see the Sharks and Ducks in a playoff series, I don’t think the Sharks can do it.
I’m not sure what the answer is, either. another veteran blueliner — a good, legitimate one — might help, but I’m not sure that’s what the Sharks need to win 3 of the next five games against the Ducks.
In fact, I don’t think I’d change anything, unless the “right” deal for a goaltender arrived with the proper serving of good skating talent in return. It may just be that the Ducks (barring injuries) are going to be the better team this year.
(quick note: Pavelski was told to get a room and a real number — to nobody’s surprise, he’s not going back to the AHL, and he’s now wearing #8, last worn by Teemu Selanne. Eventually, one has to guess the mystical magical groin injury that keeps putting Crowe on the IR will heal and he’ll head down….
â€œThe big thing Rory, if youâ€™re watching, theyâ€™re not laughing with you, theyâ€™re laughing at you,â€ said Cherry.
Cherryâ€™s co-host Ron MacLean defended the campaign, saying it made for a cute story. He said fans are simply voicing their appreciation for Fitzpatrick, a concept Cherry strongly refuted.
â€œThey never saw him play, how could they say heâ€™s an all-star?â€ asked Cherry.
One of the things really pissing me off right now — the smug self-righteousness of the media ripping on the fans over selections of the all-star game. I feel bad for Rory Fitzpatrick. It’s not exactly like he asked for this. Some fans did this FOR him, or perhaps TO him, and yet — Fitzpatrick’s taking the largest load of crap from the “we’re the experts, and you folks are idiots” crowd.
Let me ask Don Cherry a question? Given the NHL lets fans vote for both Eastern AND Western conferences, how many games do you think the typical New York Rangers fan has seen Joe Thornton play this season before casing a ballot for him? For that matter, how many games has CHERRY watched Thornton this year? I’m just curious. Remember, in the current schedule, fans in a given arena only see a team from the other conference every three years, and most West coast fans are still at work when Eastern teams go to work at 4:30, and most East Coast fans (and media) still believe no real hockey happens to go on out west and go to sleep before the 10:30 start time.
So lets get off this might horse and be done with it.
If you want the players who are playing the best this season at the All Star game, then have the coaches and GMs vote for the team (and don’t let them vote for anyone on their own teams).
But we don’t do that. This is the Fan’s game. It’s the fan’s choice — that’s what they keep telling us. And evidently it’s okay for the fans to keep voting for Gaborik in Minnesota (games played this season: 4, votes 115K and ahead of McDonald, Hejduk, and Michalek, to name jsut three well-qualified all-star capable players), but not okay to vote for Rory Fiztpatrick (486K votes).
Every year, teams put out press releases encouraging their fans to vote for the team’s candidates — not the most qualified ones. Every year, team-sponsored booster-club outings mass-punch ballots to try to get their team’s players in the game (well, not this year, since there’s no paper ballots). THAT is evidently okay.
It’s okay for a hundred thousand voters to vote for a guy who’s been on injured reserve all season, it’s okay for the sharks to tell the boosters and fans to vote for Cheechoo, even though he’s clearly taken a step back from his season last year. But of course, the media pundits will rationalize the first that Gaborik is a name, and therefore, that’s okay (sort of, and besides, being hurt, he won’t really play), and the latter will be rationalized away that Cheech is being honored for what he did last year, too — and I’ll actually buy into that to some degree.
So — it’s okay for fans to vote for unqualified people – if the media agrees with them. Bring in a player they don’t agree with, and suddenly, you have this massive character assassination of a guy and all the media ripping their shirts and declaring the end of civilization over this.
Reality check: THE ALL STAR GAME IS AN EXHIBITION GAME.
In other words, CHILL THE FRACK OUT. People are taking this way to freaking seriously. Most of the media (starting with Cherry) are mostly showing themselves to be humourless boobs that have no sense of humor OR perspective.
If you give the fans the right to vote — then the people they vote in are the right people to be there. There’s none of this “… but only if the media approves of the choices” anywhere in the rules I can find. So either accept the results as they are — the will of the people — or change the rules and give the vote to the pros. (hint: I have NO problem giving the vote to the pros, but the fan voting is a way to generate interest in the game and get people excited. Except, of course, when the media band together to piss and crap on the thing and make everyone feel sour and grumpy about it. Gee, thanks, Don. You’ve really made me look forward to the game, no matter WHO is skating… Great way to promote the sport you keep bitching at Bettman needs your help to succeed and grow…..)
go take a look at the news. Everyone’s talking about the All-Star game in the media — but it’s not about the game. It’s about The Controversy. Great for the media, rotten for hockey.
the media has, once again, taken what is at worst a minor bit of quickly forgotten trivia (and one the fans have actually done on their own. gee, fan interest and involvement, we HAVE to stomp that; bad for the game) and ramped it up into a major controversy, mostly by trying to set up the media as the people qualified to judge whether or not the fans are capable of making proper choices — and, of course, the media is once again standing up and declaring their viewers and readers TOO STUPID to be allowed to make choices like this. (instead, give it to the (ahem) media).
This sucks. And then the media will rip on Bettman over why there’s so much negative media on the NHL….
Reality: Fitzpatrick isn’t an All-Star. Neither is Gaborik, but lots of people are voting for him. Neither is Cheechoo this year, but lots of folks are voting for him, too. Every year, there’s an argument over some player or another that “deserves” to be there or “shouldn’t have been voted in” — think back the last ten years, and ask yourself if ANY year there wasn’t some player fans and media were bitching about.
Nope. Every year. just like clockwork. And it doesn’t matter. Not now, now last year, not ten years ago when the NHL started online balloting and the Sharks fans made it their goal to get Andrei Nazarov into the All-Star game (hey, back then, the NHL simply threw the votes out. no idea why they finally decided this year to treat this like a real election and count the fitzpatrick campaign; they have a long track record of ignoring or invalidating stuff they find inconvenient,a nd all of us involved with the “50,000 votes for Nazzy” campaigns (which may actually still be happening, I’ve lots touch) have known since year 1 that the vote was fixed (because none of our votes ever were counted, even when we followed the rules. WE won’t even get into the mid-campaign rule changes the NHL threw in to block us the first few years…..)
So my suggestion: GET OVER IT. the media’s trying to screw up the NHL’s party over a piece of trivia, one they conveniently ignore in other cases throughout the years, but this year, for some reason, they got this hair up their butt.
And then, the media will complain about how this all ruined what should be a fun atmosphere at the All-Star game — and blame the league and Bettman for it. STart to understand why Bettman doesn’t exactly consider many of the league beat writers friends?
How is this helping the league, anyway? Not that the media has to shill for the league — but can it simply try to not actively destroy it over trivia? Is that too much to ask? (hmm. reading the last five years of Al Strachan columns. Evidently, yes….)
Just get over it. All of you. Starting with Don. It’s the all-star game.
Quick question: name the starting teams for the last all-star game. Name the six goalies that played.
I see you all cheating on google. See? proves my point. The only reason this is a controversy is because the media felt like making it one, not because it has any real importance.
My real question, listening to the pundits on TV and reading the newspapers across the web: why do so many of the professional press have such a negative attitude towards the league this year? And if that’s THEIR bad attitude, why are they blaming the league for it and trying to tear down all of the positive improvements that came with the league last year?
What’s wrong with letting the fans do what they feel like doing, sitting down with the family and watching the All-Star game, where we can complain about the lack of checking and gripe about the 10-8 score with a smile, and then forget it happened two or three days later? That is, after all, about what the All-Star game is worth, and how important it is in the grand scheme of the game.
you’d never know it from how guys like cherry are carrying on though.
sigh. And here I am, talking about this instead of a damn good sharks/ducks game last night.
That’s ALSO the media’s fault….
News – Sharks Acquire D Patrick Traverse From Montreal For D Mathieu Biron – San Jose Sharks:
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Patrick Traverse from the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Mathieu Biron.
There was a collective “huh?” in the section at the game tonight over this transaction. To me, the reason and timing are pretty simple: the Sharks are relying pretty heavily on Hannan and McLaren as the veteran influence on the defense corps. McLaren’s recently been out for a few games (“lower body injury” — rumor has it he’s pregnant, and I will continue declaring players pregnant until the league gets over this Monty-Pythonesque skulking around the injuries….
While the other players stepped up where they could, it showed with McLaren out. Traverse is a veteran, if we lose either Hannan or McLaren again, he can be brought up and step in and eat 15 minutes a game AND help steady the kids and take on some of the pressure. He is, effectively, an insurance policy on the big two studs.
Giving up Biron? As laurie said tonight “he’ll go and play for some other AHL team now….” — maybe down the road, but now, he’s a moderate price for some insurance…
I may be accused of channelling Don Cherry here, but…
If you want proof that fighting CAN have a place in hockey and impact a game, all you need to do is check out Monday’s Pittsburgh/Washington game.
The game started out completely lopsided towards the Capitals, who stretched it to 4-0 early in the second. At 13:47, with the score 4-1, the fights kicked in, end result 33 minutes in penalties and 3 game misconducts (to Washington’s Muir, and to Pittsburgh’s Orpik, who got a double-game misconduct; enthusiastic guy…..).
After the fourth goal, the radio announcers declared Fleury shakey looking and were wondering when he’d be pulled. By the end of the 2nd. it was 4-3, Pittsburgh outshot the capitals 8-4 in the 3rd and tied it, and went on to win in a shootout. The fight was a turning point in the momentum of the game.
I’m not saying this is the only way for a team to change momentum in a game, or even that it’s the best way. But it definitely can work, can break up an opposing team’s rhythm and give your team something to get motivated over — assuming, of course, your fighter doesn’t get pasted…. When it works, it’s a LOT more effective than, say, pulling your goalie or calling time out, or simply threatening your team with two hours of parachutes and wind sprints if they don’t wake up and get their asses rolling….
I was at Yahoo! HQ earlier this week and noticed that the sprinkler heads are purple
It turns out that a LOT of stuff is purple at Yahoo, including a cow at the reception desk.
While Yahoo uses a lot of purple on its campus and as one of its primary corporate colors, the reason the sprinkler heads are purple is not because Yahoo is that anal about color branding…….
It’s because purple in plumbing indicates that the water in that system is recycled. They’re irrigating their landscape with water recovered from the wrong end (or maybe the right end!) of the sewage treatment plant, which would otherwise flow out into San Francisco bay. While that water is “drinkably clean” if you ask any of the sewage treatment experts, for some odd reason most people have a problem with actually drinking it, so cities have been installing piping to take the outflow from the plants and schlepping it off to companies to use in landscapes and other situations where non-potable water can be used. It’s one of the ways cities are trying to stretch the supply of drinking water to avoid having to build more plants and find new sources.
Technically, the recycled water is non-potable, so all of the plumbing and fixtures that carry is are signed to show that and they use purple pipes and fixtures to warn folks that the water coming out here isn’t from the main (i.e. “safe”) water supply.
Sometimes, the color purple is simply the color purple. In this case, it just happens that Yahoo is near the water plant and shares the color with the water folks, for very different purposes….