OK, so all we have to look forward to now is the Draft.
Well, except for me–I have Rangers playoff games to look forward to (Give ‘em Hell, Harry)…which, to be honest, is exceedingly small comfort. I would much rather have the Hurricanes in the playoffs than barrack for this season’s application of The Malik Effect.
Back on message, AQ.
Oh, sorry about that.
Anyway, the Draft. I’ve been looking at our depth chart, and what I see is the same old shit: we’re thin on our left side, our defence is getting older, and we have like half the goaltenders in the known universe because our GM insists on drafting at least two every year rather than actually trying to seriously address our paper-thin left side or our aging defence.
So, let’s address our needs:
This is kinda “duh”, here. We have Ray Whitney, Sergei Samsonov, Tuomo Ruutu, Chad LaRose, My Man Ryan Bayda, and Wade Brookbank. Umm…hmm. I am guessing–though not immediately assuming–that Samsonov will be offered a contract, though whether Sammy signs or not will more than likely be contingent on whether or not we retain Laviolette as coach. Ray has one more year IIRC. Same with Ruutu. Rosie will be staying unless JimR can find somebody that will offer us an upgrade for him–and I would make that deal too, even though I adore the Chuck Norris of Hockey, because the team is far more important than any one player. Bayda will more than likely stay in the speed dial as first callup unless he really impresses in training camp this fall, and Brookbank? We’ll keep him around for the judicious application of excessive force, I’m sure.
We can’t have Casey Borer, Timmy Gleason, Dennis Seidenberg, and Joe Corvo holding down the fort by themselves once Glen Wesley and Bret Hedican retire, Nicky Wallin goes back to Sweden to raise his 2394878724 children to be proper Vikings, and Atlanta Frankie gets taken away by the aliens for the last time. They need some serious help–especially because Joe isn’t getting any younger himself and Dennis and Timmy (much as I adore them both) are pretty much mid-range kinda guys. Which leaves Casey Borer, who (though promising) is not a Jedi yet, and Tim Conboy–who the fans love because he’s willing to drop ‘em (and he’s a good egg), but let’s face it: he’s a callup type of guy, and not much else.
I will say it now: If the Warchief isn’t back in September then I fear he may not be back at all–which will hurt, but not as much as having Trevor Letowski as our second-line center behind The Chosen One. Brandon Sutter is currently in Albany on an Amateur Tryout (ATO) contract, which means that he’s there on his dime. It’s my sincere hope that this franchise decides to go against type and doesn’t rush him, but I have a feeling that he’ll be rammed into the lineup and spend all of next season getting pushed around (because really, he’s like Wierd Harold: 6’9″ and 50 pounds). You know, like Eric Staal in his first season–though hopefully we’ve taken the lesson from his experience and will actually take some time with this kid.
We are actually kinda okay…ish. Kinda. Sorta. Maybe…ish. Erik Cole may wind up being trade fodder for a defensive upgrade (or, with our luck, another freaking goalie)–depending on the guy we get in return, I could dig this. And I say that as a charter member of Erik’s Caffeine Nation. After Cole, we have JWillie, Remo Williams, Patrick Eaves, and…and…err…
*looks at depth chart again* *blinks* *rubs eyes* *looks askance at bottle of diet coke*
Fuck me, did I say we were okay here? Am I high? Right side, we need it. We need it bad.
Ward, Leighton, Nastiuk, Peters, Manzato, Akerlund. I THINK WE HAVE ENOUGH GOALIES, DON’T YOU? And Grahame is a goner. His backbending stretches may turn the ladies on, but he’s just not pushing Cam like he should have been. But of course, JimR will trade half our team for another freakin’ goaltender. Why don’t we get Manny Legace back? I’m sure he’ll LOVE that.
So, the Draft. I was planning a trip up there, but the hubby has decided that we need to move to a new apartment the same weekend–which, needless to say, pisses me off greatly cos I was (and am) hoping to organize a blogmoot. Bah. So anyway, if you’re there and you hear somebody bellowing out “DEFENSE!” “RIGHT WING!” “NO MORE GOALIES!” from somewhere in ScotiaBank Place every time the Hurricanes are on the clock, you’ll know I made it.
So yesterday’s highlight–for me–was getting a text message telling me that Buffalo lost both their captains to free agency.
Well that and fending off Paco the Burrito Bandito’s latest attempt to clean out the store’s sandwich cooler without paying for anything. And trying not to fall asleep behind the wheel on the way home from work.
Now that I’ve had some sleep (and a chance to take a look at everything), I find myself laughing at the stupid money that’s being thrown around yet AGAIN this season. Tom Poti to the Crapitals for 3.5 bills per? Wow, thanks a lot for buggering the market for mid-to-low-end defensemen, GMGM. This time next year I’m sure somebody will be able to sign Marek Malik for 6Million per (and as much as I adore the cat, he’s no 6 Million Dollar Man). And now they’re thinking of signing Alexei Yashin? What? This is a joke, right?
And the Rangers, of course, are reverting back to their old ways by throwing idiotic money at every free agent that they think they can get their hands on. The more things change….
The ‘Canes, meanwhile, are content to hang back and let the dust clear–their only signing being Yet Another Midget. I am okay with this, since he should help us on shootouts, but of course half the folks at TheScoreBoards and the Hurricanes’ official site are whining and crying over the signing. Yeah, maybe we should have offered Scott Gomez $12Million per year for the next five years or something–that would have made a lot of sense, huh?
As for that Pitkanen trade that was blowing around the ‘Canes boards for a while….huh. Turns out Cooch went to Edmonton after all–and Philly, IMO, went almost as stupid as the Caps and Rangers.
(We interrupt this post for an important announcement: CONGRATULATIONS, TSN, ON SCHEDULING ONLY A SHORT DAY OF COVERAGE OF UFA DAY 1 TO SHOW NASCAR.** After that and Sportsnet getting the NHL to shove back the start time of a Leafs-Canes game so they could show a race in Toronto, I don’t ever EVER want to hear another NASCAR crack from anyone north of 49 again. EVER. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled thread, already in progress.)
Briere for 8 years at 6.5Million per? 10Million per for Timonen and 5.2Million per for Hartnell? Homer, have you fallen off the wagon again? Was Bobby the Brainless in the room with you holding a gun to your dog’s head or something, to make you sign those completely asinine deals? Seriously mang, I’m worried about you.
I dunno, kids–I don’t think anyone was smart with their signings yesterday. The smart folks, IMO, are the Carolinas and Ottawas and Tampas that are hanging back and letting the “big spenders” get themselves in cap trouble so that they can capitalize later.
The more things change….
**: This very belated edit is to amend a misunderstanding on my part–TSN only scheduled 3 hours of coverage to show Neckcar. Apparently that’s supposed to make it still OK for Canadians to crack Neckcar jokes about hockey teams south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but this blogger ain’t havin’ it.
Relax, this is going to be G-rated. Well, PG-rated and catering to juvenile senses of humor at any rate.
Word around the Caniac Campfire is that Niclas “Mr. OT” Wallin is being asked if he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause so that he can go to Philadelphia in exchange for Joni Pitkanen. I dunno how I’d feel, really.
“Nicky, we’d like you to waive your NTC so we can trade you for a Finnish kid whose name sounds like the Sanskrit word for your wife’s babymaker.”
Umm….yeah. I’ll wait for you mooks to stop with the Beavis and Butt-head impressions.
Moving right along….
According to my boy Luke DeCock, Bret Hedican has formally informed JimR that he’s going to be giving it a go in training camp. Jim-bob, predictably, has declared that he won’t be looking to land any free-agent defensemen come 1 July. What do I think? I think that by not pursuing a contingency plan of some sort (and I’m sorry, but Snatch Pitkanen isn’t it), the man is setting himself up to get shot in the ass again. As for the rumored trade for Pitkanen….
My sources* tell me that Edmonton did some background checking on the the young Finn (what, they were trying to find out if he was the second coming of Janne Niinimaa?)–and that checking apparently turned up something that made the Oilers drop the idea of trading for the kid like a hot rock. Velly interestink, if you ask me. I think I’ll give that an A1.
The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2007 will be announced this week–Mark Messier will of course get in, but the question on everyone’s mind is (of course) “who will be able to fit on the stage with that guy’s ego?”
Conventional wisdom has Al MacInnis,
Orenthal Scott Stevens, and either Ron Francis or Adam Oates as the other inductees–but personally? I think that Francis will wind up getting overlooked, just like he has been overlooked his whole career (especially by Bristol–screw you John Buccigross, for comparing St. Francis of Assist to Bernie fucking Federko back in ’04).
The Hurricanes are shopping for a third-line center to replace the departing Joe, Lord of Evil–and wouldn’t you know, Kevyn Adams was waived by the Coyotes the other day. It seems perfect, Kevyn coming back to the team he won a Cup with, but I’m wondering if there aren’t some issues stemming from the fight he and Bret Hedican had last season. Mind you, I could be all wet–but I just get this strange feeling that this is a fence that might not be so easily mended.
In news from other teams (well, one other team)….
The Boston Bruins canned yet more people in their haste to clean house after yet another lackluster season: this time, they got rid of assistant coach Jeff Gorton and amateur scout Daniel Dore. Yet another futile attempt by the Bruins to reverse the fortunes that are pretty much ruined by a bastard who’s more concerned with raw profit than with actually having a team that has at least a snowball’s chance in Muspelheim of winning a Cup. And whose bright idea was it to name Jeremy Jacobs as President of the Board of Governors?! The only suggestion that would have been worse would have been naming Bill Wirtz as BoG President!
*: TSN, Canadian Press, and Sportsnet. Come on people, who do you think I am–Eklund?
RBH and CasonBlog have already covered it: Bret Hedican went to have his bum hip looked at, and the ‘Canes are hoping to hear what he’s going to do.
Loyalty is a two-way street.
The ‘Canes have shown a lot of loyalty to Hedi, and JimR is hoping that Hedi will show the ‘Canes some loyalty by telling them if he’s coming back or not…and doing it before 1 July, so that they know whether they can go dippin’ in the UFA pool or not.
Scott Walker has said that he’s going to go poking around the market to see what his skills will command. From his comments regarding Jim Ballsillie buying the Preds with the intent to move them, it’s clear that his heart is still with the team that he helped shepherd through its first seven-odd years in the NHL and that he’s hoping Dave Poile will make him an offer. The Hurricanes’ response is that they’ll not wait to see if he’s signed or not–meanwhile, Glen Wesley quietly re-upped for another season with the team that he helped shepherd through its first ten seasons in North Carolina.
Loyalty is a two-way street.
The store I work at is under siege by a gang of freelance socialists who are making sport of coming in every evening, stealing whatever they want, and doing their best to intimidate whoever’s working that night and isn’t me or my boss–and not only does the Raleigh PD refuse to do anything about it except trespass the miscreants (rather than, say, actually arresting them for larceny and whatever other charges they can throw at them), but our corporate office has made it clear that we’re not to defend ourselves in any way should the situation turn violent…nor can we use the in-store alarm. It doesn’t matter that these low-lifes will come over the counter and beat the ever-lovin’ Chelios out of whoever’s on duty if that clerk picks up the phone–The Company is more concerned with the $500 that the security firm charges for summoning the police than they are with the safety of their employees. So I’m looking for a new yob and being a hell of a lot more diligent about preparing to go back to school (after that 15-year summer vacation I took), because I don’t need my husband freaking out every time I go to work because he’s afraid that this will be the last time he sees me alive.
Loyalty is a two-way street.
See some of you next week in C-bus.
For the love of Forseti, why are the ‘Canes even thinking about bringing David Tanabe back? Is this like a total regression to 00-01, or what?
Maybe we can get Igor Knyazev, Cousin Jeff Heerema, and Nikos Tselios to come back too!
Actually, that’s really not fair to Jesse–I don’t think he’s much of a WWE kind of guy.
But anyway. The Day of the Brawler (as in, “does nothing but fight”) is pretty much over, and Jesse knows this–or if he didn’t before, he certainly got that wake-up call when he was traded to the Blues right before the Canes’ stretch run. See, Jesse was actually improving as a player in the 03-04 season. However, for some inexplicable reason he decided not to sign a contract anywhere during Ragnarok. Why?Â I have no idea. But all the improvement that he was starting to show toward the end of the last season pretty much went *pffft*, and believe me it showed post-Ragnarok. Despite his efforts to get back to where he was, it just wasn’t happening–and his temper started flaring again (there was one incident in a practice here right around December or so where Bolo got into a fight with Martin Gerber, and one Blues blogger reported about an incident involving Jesse deliberately taking a run at a teammate in St. Loo). Those two incidents had me thinking that Bolo may be effectively done careerwise, but if I’m hearing right from a few buddies on a couple boards, Bolo might have a very important ally in his quest to get his career back on track:
If the Warchief is on Bolo’s side, then who the hell am I to argue?
Not necessarily a HUGE signing, but definitely some depth–and Colesy has one of his buddies from when he played in Deutschland, so it’s all good.
Brendan Shanahan is a Ranger, which means I have to look at that fuckhead every time I watch a Rangers game on Center Ice. Blah. I think I was happier with him in Detroit, where I only had to put up with him once a season if that.
The only bright spot in all this is that if he gets hurt and has to be given a conditioning assignment before he comes back, he’ll be once again subjected to the tender mercies of the good people of Hartford–unless he balks, in which case he’ll be in Charlotte and then several representatives of the Caniac Nation can head on down and throw batteries at his head.
(note: I am kidding about the battery-chuckin’)
Now, I’m seeing a few posts on teh LGC and other places about the guys that have left for Free Agency. On the whole, they’ve been kinda “well that blows”–but of course there just have to be a few huckleberries blasting the guys that left. I also have it on pretty good authority that one of the players got a personal blast from one drekhead that apparently can be summed up as “Funk you vurra so much, I hope they keep your ring you traitorous bastard.”
Wow, I can’t wait to see what’ll happen when Erik Cole bolts for a big market where he can be a “supah-staaaaah!” after getting his one-year contract. The poor guy will pry have to make sure his life insurance is paid up and hire bodyguards!
This, my friends, is one time where the collegiate mindset of the Triangle is a real pain in the ass. It’s great for engendering deep-seated team loyalties–but at the same time, it sometimes brings fans to complete and total irrationality when a player leaves the team via free agency or a trade after a long holdout.
Yes kids, there are still people in the Caniac Nation that want Keith Primeau’s head on a pike–go figure.
But anyway–people need to get a grip, especially about the four guys that have left. I’ll miss AWard, Cully, Dougie, and Tinu–but come on. They have a right to do what they feel is best for them and for their families. It sucks, but welcome to life in pro sports. Our team wasn’t going to stay together, I knew that much going into the offseason. But people gotta remember that the crest on the front is a lot more important than the name on the back.
As of this writing, Matt Cullen has been signed by the Rangers and Doug Weight went back to the Booze. I’ve heard rumblings that both guys really wanted to stay, but they were kinda left hangin’–whether through design or simply too much procrastination, I dunno.
Can’t say I’m overly surprised at either guy leaving (especially Dougie)–but I’m really starting to wonder what thought processes are going on at 1400 Edwards Mill Road, because it’s really starting to look like JimR is going a little too far overboard in his attempt to prevent a redux of the Season From Hell.
My guess?Â Somebody is going to get a payday. Either that OR there is something huge in the works–but that’s just my guess.
OK, could somebody please tell me why Ragnarok happened if teams are going to be signing guys to stupid money?
I mean, seriously. Willie Mitchell? Kim Johnsson? Nolan fucking Baumgartner? Why are they getting that kind of money? HOW CAN YOU JUSTIFY THAT KIND OF MONEY, PEOPLE? What, did the Lightning pay Andy Delmore like $3Million per or something? I thought The Serene Master of Malik-fu was overpaid at 2.5 bills per–but now? Hey Jimmy, can we get him back? Seriously, I’m asking here. He can even have #8, since Cully broke the Curse on it (and is now gone).
And in a rather nice “Unity of Rings” deal, Rob Blake has gone back to the Los Angeles Kings to finish out his career. Best of luck, d00d. You’ll need it.
More later after I’ve had time to digest everything.