Archive for July, 2008

Get That Cattle Prod Outta My Ass

July 6, 2008

OK, so I’ve taken some time off from thinking about hockey (much), but it only takes some wonderfully electric news to get me moving again.  Sheesh, there’s just too much juice out there to be ignored, so let’s take a sip or two (pass the rum). 

Antoine Vermette:  OK, already…I’ll admit I’m an Antoine Vermette apologist and as proud as I can be to be an apologist of anyone (save Marian Hossa; more later).   I truly believe that the man just needs a chance with the big boys to be a superlative scorer for the Senators.  [Please try to remember that he is one player who stepped up in the playoffs some.]

Antoine has opted for arbitration.  This is absolutely the best thing I could think of happening for the Senators.  What this means is that there will not be an offer sheet coming for Mister Vermette.  I’m confident that the arbitrator’s award will be much more palatable to the Sen’s cap situation than whatever they would have to match (or not) from another team.  I’m fairly confident that I would rather have Antoine Vermette than the package of draft picks we would get if Murray were to choose to release him to the offer sheet.  On top of that, it also means that Vermette is more interested in being a Senator than selling his services to the highest bidder, which is heart warming isn’t it?? (all together…..AWWWWWWWW). 

Here’s what I like about ‘Twawn.  I’ll start with the dangerous penalty killer aspect.  He’s very good on the kill and a threat to score shorthanded…funny that one of the arguments that Murray used against him on the top two lines was that he wasn’t responsible enough.  I know…penalty killing and five on five are different animals, but c’mon.  He’s fast fast fast and he’s nifty with the biscuit.  (see this).  He’s not Marty Havlat (who is a top 10 talent in this league, in my estimation) but he’s Havlat light…and without the injuries. 

Antoine made $1 million last year, my guess is the arbitrator would give him a year at $2.5 million (two years at that amount would be even better.)  My biggest worry is that the Senators have the biggest enemy for arbitration already parked on their roster; that being Mike Fisher.  If there’s some basketball fan acting as arbitration judge and they take a look at Fishers 47 points and $4.2 million salary and Vermette’s 53 points and do a simple math calc, we could end up with an expensive Vermette.  If the Sens are savvy enough to throw out the hit counts for each player and help the arbitrator understand that those are tantamount to 4th quarter shooting percentage, it should all work out. 

Hossa:  Marian Hossa was offered dump trucks of money from many teams and settled for a Mini Cooper with a suitcase in the back.  And I thought the guy was greedy?  I still do.   Love ya, Hossa (let me give you scritches), but you’re still a money grubber.  Here’s what I see has happened. 

Gaborik’s contract is up in a year.  If he re-signs with the Wild before then, Hossa will be in Minnesota next year for the $8 million + they offered him.  If Gaborik goes to free agency, they will package themselves together to the highest bidder.  Hossa has simply accepted a still ridiculous amount of money (he’s making more than Jerome Iginla, for chrissakes….but less than Danny Briere…OY!) to play with a Cup winning team that has a chance to repeat (although, I’ll bet against it). 

Bernier (not Jonathan):  Anyone else getting the impression that Steve Bernier may be an asshole?  He was sent down by the Sharks last year and then traded to the Sabres at the deadline who promptly trade him to Vancouver in the offseason.  I’d like to have his agent (travel agent, that is).  He should probably have United Van Lines on speed dial.   

Sharks revolving Dman door:  I’m perplexed by what they’re doing.  They were third in the league in GAA.  I have to believe the defensive corp had something to do with that.  I love Nabokov, but let’s give a *little* credit to the guys in front, eh?  They’re completely remaking the defensive unit.  There is definitely a moron named Wilson still in San Jose.  Perhaps he should be taking a close look at the leadership on the ice.  I love the talent they have, but they are the Senators from 5 years ago as far as understanding what it takes. 

Ruutu:  My first reaction on hearing the news that Jarkko (f’n) Ruutu would be a Senator was to put my head in my hands and shed a tear.  I really hate his ilk and it makes me sad that this kind of asshole player can be effective in the league.  I found no honor in his kind when I played sports and I find no honor in them now.  Having said that, he will help the Senators; I have no doubt about that…unless I’m hired as commissioner.  He actually has some skills, but plays the clown instead.  You Leafs and Sabres fans who want to lump Neil in with Ruutu? go take a nap!  And, any Leafs (probably the same ones) or Ducks fans who put Aflie in that category, please just suck on a muffler in the quiet of your garage.

Blake:  Rob Blake worth $5 million???  He was either mailing it in last year or he’s completely lost it.  Even if it’s 50/50 either way, I’m not going to take a $5 million chance on him.  And Lowe thinks Burke is a moron…..(hello again Mr. Wilson)

Brian Burke:  Speaking of….I really don’t think Brian Burke is a moron as Kevin Lowe would have us believe, but I also don’t think he’s a great GM.  His devotion to Todd Bertuzzi is enough to question his acumen.  I’m 100% behind Lowe in this war of tactics (but not the war of words).  Lowe had every right to make an offer.  He’ll either reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of a good/bad signing.  No dishonor in that.  The offer sheet is here to stay and GMs take risks all the time in the free agency market.  This is absolutely no different.  Savvy GMs will make the system work to their advantage and part of that is letting go when you believe someone is over priced.  The trick is to be RIGHT and to have the foresight to not open yourself up to a situation that you don’t want to be in.   Burkie is just playing some cards he was going to have throw away anyway. 

Jagr:  Goodbye Jaromir Jagr.  You were as frustrating a player as I’ve seen in this league.  Not even Alexei Yashin wasted as much as you did.  I know you’ll be in the hall, but I won’t celebrate you and here’s why…because the waste of you was intentional.  I’ll never forgive you for mailing it in for the Capitals.  It’s pure jackassery.

Jokinen:  I really hoped to see Ollie Jokinen in a Senators uniform, but there is no way Martin would deal with the Senators because he’s a child.  “I’m taking my Jokinen and going to Phoenix”

Erik Cole: precisely the kind of guy I would have taken a chance on.  The Cole to Ottawa rumours (remember Cole for Corvo?) have been swirling for 2 years now.  Would that it were.  What’s not to like about Erik Cole…oh yeah, the broken neck.  Still love him (only slightly less than Justin Williams).

Foster:  One big HUZZAH! to the Minnesota Wild for giving a contract to Kurtis Foster, who is almost 100% unlikely to play for them next year.  (again…collective AWWWWWW…..)  That just the kind of thing you never see in this cut throat world any more.  Foster is still recovering from a broken femur (ugh!) he suffered when chasing down an icing (queue Don Cherry) and may never play again.  The Wild thought enough of him to give him an insurance contract so he doesn’t have to worry about money (provided he’s not in Vegas with Ray Emery right now). 

Campbell:  What the hell were the Hawks thinking throwing that money at Brian Campbell?  Does anyone really think Brian Campbell will be the difference between the Hawks making a (first round) playoff appearance or not?  How about a second line??  Morons!!  Sure they have a yound defensive corps, but they have a young team so let them grow together and then bring in a veteran leader at the right time.  This ain’t that time and Campbell is not THAT much of a leader…..Brian Campbell will be 37 when his contract is up.   I guarantee they will be regretting it before then.  They’ve got a number of young and promising dmen that will have their development hampered by this signing.  It’s shortsighted crap!!! (and I just bought a Hawks shirt, damnit)

Redden:  *kisses* Wade.

Donovan:  Shean Donovan re-signed with the Senators for less money (and he wasn’t making a lot by NHL standards last year).  If we get the playoff Shean all year, that’s frickin’ awesome.  If we get the regular season Shean back; well, whatever…….

Zherdev:  Few players have frustrated me like he does.  There was one game against the Wild 2 years ago where I literally wanted to punch the guy for his lack of effort.  It was astounding and an f’n embrarassment that he was on the ice “playing” like that.   If someone can find a cure for “headupmyassiss” the Rangers will be in good shape with this trade.  Nice move Grand Moff Sather!

Islanders:  I just continue to alternate between laughing at and feeling completely sorry for this team.  Holy Christ, what a mess!  Bring on Doug Weight to be yet another 2nd line player…OY!!  And I thought Dallas had it bad. 

Dallas:  I don’t want to talk about Dallas.  I hate that team.  I hated everything about them as a team and THEN THEY SIGN SEAN AVERY.  Fucksicles!!!  I’m going to lose a lot of money betting against them next year.

Penguins:  The Penguins will be good, but will not win a Cup in Sid’s career with them.  You heard it here first (unless you heard it somewhere else already).  Too much money being spent on the top end.  They won’t have enough on the third and fourth lines and 4-6 D to make it happen. 

Alright, enough already.  I’m going to bed now.