Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Burning Questions

Keeping me awake at night:

1. Would I recognize Tom Preissing if he walked up to me in the Rideau Centre? I think I'd recognize most of the roster in their civvies, with the exception of maybe Dean McAmmond or Denis Hamel.

2. Would I break up Heatley / Kelly / Alfie to accommodate the returning Spezza? I'm with Mendes here - worth seeing if he can fire up Eaves and Vermette.

3.(carrying on yesterdays discussion) Would I sign Phillips to a slightly DiPietro-esque lifetime extension? According to Garrioch, he wants to stay put. Can his contract be tapered out over a longer period of time, so that the team's yearly outlay is minimized and he takes up a lower percentage of the cap over time as it gets adjusted for revenue / inflation?

4. How would I improve the All-Star game? My favourite ideas so far (by no means practical according to current labour / franchising agreements) include:

-Have the Stanley Cup winning team face the rest-of-the-NHL All-Stars. (I heard this one suggested on Pratt & Taylor the other day). Think of how many teams suffer a severe hangover in the year after they reach the finals. Winning such a one-off challenge might help get things back on track before the stretch drive and provide some more championship continuity from season to season. Even better, you host the game at the home arena to increase the intensity and see how well the defending champs hold up against the league's best.

-Lay out a big pot of money and have the selected All-Stars go "sticks in" or use league / fan nominated Captains to pick teams just like in road hockey. It would be kind of cool to watch the dynamic that might develop.

-Set the game aside and focus entirely on the skills competition. Again, having wads of corporate cash available to shower on individual winners should help in the motivation department. Works fine in NASCAR, golf, tennis, etc.

All of these achieve the goal of providing a one-day high-profile show in the slowest part the schedule without diminishing the end of season spectacle of chasing Lord Stanley's mug.

Anyone else have anything they want to get off their chest?

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