Archive for February, 2010

Random Thoughts

February 13, 2010

[Ok, so it’s just a copy and paste of an email I sent to the OBC.]

Cheechoo
I think we all wanted Cheechoo to succeed, but none thought he would.  I’m pretty sure Cheechoo has played his last game for the Senators.  He’ll either be buried in the minors for the rest of this year and next or he’ll be bought out prior to next season.  Good guy, hard worker, slowest skater I’ve seen since Phil Esposito.

Kovalev
I think if Kovalev was taken out of the lineup today, the team would not miss him at all.  It’s not like our PP can get much worse and at 5 on 5, he’s just such a floater that he hurts the team and in my estimation, the chemistry (although I have no proof of that whatsoever).  If I was Mike Fisher, I would have taken a poke at Kovy a long time ago.  He’s out there busting ass every shift and Kovalev lazys about.  I’ve made a habit of noting their interactions on the bench.  I almost never see Fisher and Kovalev talking on the bench and most times, Fisher won’t even look at him.

Shean Donovan
Here’s what I don’t like about Shean Don.  He’s 6’3″, 220 pounds and he plays on the fourth line….yet you rarely see him hit anyone, which is exactly what 6’3″, 220 pound fourth liners are supposed to do.  He had one playoff round that he played a physical game and I was happy to see it and I think I even wrote after the season that if he were to keep that up in the regular season, that he’s a valuable player.  Alas, I don’t find him to be so.

Filip Freakin’ Kuba
I absolutely can’t believe we have 2 more years of Filip Kuba.  There’s no way another team will trade for him and his 3.7 million contract.  Maybe he’ll lose interest in playing and just retire.  That’s the best I can hope for since I can’t wish a career ending injury on anyone (except maybe Darcy Tucker…..and Patrick Kaleta….and maybe Derek Roy).

Goaltending
There are two goaltenders who have come available in recent years that I would have been interested in.  I’ve always been a Niittymaki fan but he’s been injured almost as much as Leclaire.  Tomas Vokoun was traded for draft picks only.  I’m not sure Vokoun would have fit in under the cap in 2007 but sometimes you have to sacrifice offense if you want consistency in net.  In any event, I think the Leclaire experiment needs to run another year.  In addition, if you were to dig back through the archives in this space, you could probably find a post where I endorse Brian Elliott as an option for the long-term.  I think he has the physical skills.  Can he develop the mental toughness to get there.  The jury hasn’t even been seated, let alone weighed-in.

Volchenkov
LOVE HIM, but when was the last time paying big money to UFA stay at home defenseman worked out?  Jay McKee?  Mike Commodore?  Adam Foote?  Mike Komisarek?  I’m sure the list of losing deals far outstrips the winners.  $3.2 million is the right number for Volchie and that’s what he’s making now. I don’t see any way he would accept not getting a raise.  He’ll probably get $4 million and screw us.

Matt Cullen
Cullen is a good Minnesota boy; hard working and smart.  But, he’s never been able to fit in anywhere but Carolina.  I’ll be shocked if he were to re-sign with anyone but them.

I’m Almost as Surprised as You Are
The over/under for the Senators year-long points was 83.5.  The betting community was giving them NO chance to be this good.  I happily bet the over on that one.  I KNEW they would be better than that just because of the way they finished the season under Cici.  Still, I gave no team a chance to supplant Boston as the winner of the Northeast…..uhhh….yeah….about that.

Switching Gear….The Wild
I see no way to characterize the Johnsson/Leddy for Barker trade as a win for the Wild.  Barker for Johnsson str8 up would have been a win for Chicago.  Barker’s defensive lapses are going to become legendary in Minnesota…unless Richards ends up benching him.  He’s a poor man’s Zidlicky (and pretty much signals that Zidlicky’s on his way out the door…and I’m fine with that) because he doesn’t skate nearly as well as Zidlicky but has all the same failings and similar gifts. Giving up Leddy in the process is pretty much an admission by Fletcher that his first ever 1st round pick was a mistake.  Therefore, the Wild lose…and lost last June.

Lastly, this is an email I sent to John Buccigross after learning of the death of Brandon Burke, the son of GM, Brian Burke who had recently come out of the closet to his family and later to the world through an article written by John for ESPN.com.  You should read it.

John,

With the death of Brandon Burke, I felt particularly compelled to go back and re-read your article about a young man coming out to his ‘truculent’, macho hockey father.

You said you were not trying to make a political statement in the article, but sadly, writing the article is a political statement in and of itself.  You’ve treated the person and the story with dignity that is not offered by others who make the opposite political statement.

I’m probably in the minority of hockey fans.  While I think Brian Burke is entertaining and a good quote, I don’t think he’s a particularly good manager.  But, thank you for confirming what’s I’ve always believed; that he is an admirable man.  I’ve always appreciated his honesty and integrity.

For everything that today’s generation of 20 somethings is, the reaction of Brandon’s Miami of Ohio family tells me that they are also hope for a more inclusive future and that it’s possible that courage, while an admirable quality, will not be a necessary quality to being a gay person in the world of sports.

Rest in peace, Brandon.  Your courage will be remembered by me.

Al Willig