Friday, July 31, 2009

I ordered the onion rings

With the Oilers saying buh-bye, it's good to see that a local restaurant thinks enough of our boy Dany to put him on the menu. This was on the menu at a local restaurant I was at tonight.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bertuzzi a Leaf only a matter of time?

If you have your finger on the hockey news pulse today you may have noticed his name and the Leafs are in many of the same sentences, some saying the deal is hours away from being announced.

Good signing or really bad?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Collecting Pogge

Like most Toronto residents these days, Brian Burke has some household refuse that he needs to get rid of. Justin Pogge will be shipped out of town at some point. Lets hope it's easier for Burke than it has been for all of us.

It's not news that Pogge never found his game in Toronto, a career that started out with so much promise has over the past three years inched it's way from the sports pages to the obituaries.

What's even more painful for Pogge and Leafs Nation, is that Pogge's failure to succeed in the NHL puts him into a very small and unenviable group of Canadian Goaltenders.

Here's a quick list of World Junior goaltenders who have represented Canada over the last 20 years:

1988 - Jimmy Waite
1989 - Stephan Fiset
1990 - Trevor Kidd
1991 - Trevor Kidd, Felix Potvin
1992 - Trevor Kidd
1993 - Manny Legace
1994 - Jamie Storr, Manny Fernandez
1995 - Dan Cloutier, Jamie Storr
1996 - Jose Theodore, Marc Denis
1997 - Martin Biron, Marc Denis
1998 - Roberto Luongo, Mathieu Garon
1999 - Roberto Luongo
2000 - Maxime Ouellet
2001 - Alex Auld, Maxime Ouellet
2002 - Pascal Leclaire
2003 - Marc Andre-Fleury
2004 - Marc Andre-Fleury, Josh Harding
2005 - Jeff Glass
2006 - Justin Pogge
2007 - Carey Price
2008 - Steve Mason

Only Jeff Glass who has played 0 NHL games (that I can find) has been less successful than Pogge who played 4. Maxime Ouellet isn't far behind after playing only 12 NHL games. Everybody else has played 200 games or more, except Leclaire because of injury.

That means that from 1988 to 2008, only three world junior teams failed to produce an NHL goaltender. Not the kind of company Pogge dreamed of keeping when he finished the 2006 World Junior Tournament with a 1.00 GAA.

To make matters worse, when Pogge does finally pack his bags and move out of his Toronto condo, a certain blemish on JFJ's resume will instantly turn to scar tissue.

Trading Tukko Rask for Andrew Raycroft will go down as the stupidest trade of his tenure, especially when you consider that Rask is unbeaten in the NHL (his one win coming against the Leafs), will get a shot at the NHL this year backing up Tim Thomas on a contending team, and does awesome things like this.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kaberle T-22 days

"We thought the best strategy was to wait and see where Jay Bouwmeester ended up (on July 1) and then get to work on the teams that were unsuccessful in that courtship".
- Brian Burke, June 25th, 2009.

"I look at our defence now and I'd put it up against just about anybody's. I think (Kaberle) is going to be a big part of that..."
- Brian Burke, July 23rd, 2009."

Is this more Burke posturing or has he come to the realization that a) he isn't ever getting the offer he wants or b) he might be f'd without him?

Rumours still persist...

Buffalo, Vancouver and Boston are still the interested clubs with one particular internet blogger (I'll let you guess who) reporting that a Kaberle/Hodgson conversation has been going on with the Canucks. I find that one just slightly outlandish...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gerber takes Emery's job again and what the hell is Garth Snow thinking?

Emery is out and Gerber is in, this time in the KHL with Atlant Mytishchi. Is it just a bit surprising that Andrew Raycroft has a job in the NHL, but not one NHL team could even offer Gerber a back-up gig? Maybe a few teams did, and Gerber refused, or perhaps he wants meatier paycheques, but I think Gerber is more capable than a few back-ups and 1A tenders who are employed in the NHL.

While we're talking goaltenders, anybody else find it strange that the Islanders now have Dipietro, Biron and Roloson all signed for a grand total of $8.4M in salary next season? That's the highest paid goaltending position in the NHL! Obviously Dipietro has had injury troubles to put it lightly, but by all accounts he'll be ready for camp. One would think that Snow could have waited to see if he holds up before finding a serviceable back-up to Roloson if called upon? I sometimes wonder if Snow uses rock, paper, scissors to make management decisions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


2009/10 Full Schedule here.
(Leafs and Sens)

Tuesday, Oct 6 in Tor
Tuesday, Nov 17 in Ott
Monday, Dec 14 in Tor
Saturday, Feb 6 in Tor
Saturday, Mar 6 in Ott
Tuesday, Mar 16 in Ott

Ottawa starts 15 of their first 21 games at home - lots of love for Dany!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The world according to Eklund.

I forget who it was who called this the most boring week in sports, but there's certainly some truth to it. If you're a fan of the four major North American leagues, all this week provides is one meaningless baseball game. Tough times.

So with that in mind, I was scanning the Eklund rumour chart over at HockeyBuzz, looking for remaining UFA clues and I thought it would be interesting fodder to list the remaining UFA's linked as favourites to land in Toronto or Ottawa.

Brad May
Todd Bertuzzi
Mats Sundin

Brendan Bell
Marek Malik
Mike Grier
Blair Betts

At first glance, Toronto-wise, one has to believe the Leafs would never resign Sundin for one season, at this point. As far as Brad May, he's obviously been replaced by Colton Orr (plus if the Leafs resign May they have to give Anaheim a draft pick - not going to happen). Bertuzzi, however, for the right price and brought in with the understanding he's a role player, is a deal I could see materializing.

In Ottawa, I can buy Murray looking at Grier or Malik. If nothing else, both are affordable ways to add veteran depth to a team that probably could use some.

So, any interest in any of these players, or are there other remaining UFA's out there that Burke and Murray should be contemplating?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Alberta bound

Mirtle on McGratton's latest fight - getting back to an NHL club.

BoO losing traction?

The NHL today delivered an early look at the upcoming season schedule and for the first time since the lockout, the BoO will not face each other to open their season schedules.

Toronto will face Montreal on October 1st.

Praise Alfie!

Longest serving captain in the NHL. Silver Seven looks at some of the highlights.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Nicely done

Might have seen this already - passing around the web:

With Dany

I find myself thinking a few times about a Sens lineup for 2009/10 with Dany Heatley in it.




That's a lineup under the cap assuming Smith is moved.

What's the difference from last year's debacle? Clouston, LeClaire, and more balance up front. Obviously it's a team that would dominate the Battle of Ontario, but would it be enough to contend?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The lone gunman?

Melynk yesterday:
"A lot of this is not driven by the individuals," Melnyk said in an interview on the Fan 590. "Hockey people know who I am talking about. ... Ninety-nine per cent of the players you speak to are good people. They work in a community. They work hard. They want to score and they want to win, but there are other influences in their lives, and you've got to grin and bear it. It's going to happen. You always wish it didn't, but you may as well click your heels three times and want to go to Kansas in the Wizard of Oz if you don't believe it's going to happen to you."


Monday, July 06, 2009


A two year deal for $10 million. I'm sure cap issues with Heatley not traded are going to come up but for now I am remembering this bit of sweetness:

Friday, July 03, 2009

In the words of one of my favourite blogs...

Now's the time when we juxtapose!

July 2
Sens fan Don: So Burke's strategy for scoring goals the next five seasons is what?

Leafs fan Five-O: Nash 40

Sens fan Don: Nash will get a big offer from Columbus - he's their franchise.

July 3
Rick Nash will be staying in Columbus for the long haul.

Reality's a bitch Leaf fans. Kovalchuk or bust!

Franchise rankings

Its not about market size / franchise value / how much a corporate suit will pony up for sushi and not even watch the game.

It's about which franchises give the most back to their fans. "Which teams are most deserving of your hard-earned dollar."

Out of 122 NHL/NBA/MFL/MLB franchises, here's where the Canadian NHL teams sit:


No Sens or Leafs at camp

(I'm not going to count Heatley.)

It's a little saddening to have no invites to the Team Canada camp from the Sens and it's no solace that the Leafs and Habs are in the same situation. Last time around we had Heatley, Redden, and Phillips at the training camp and Spezza was under consideration.

Some wonder if Spezza not being invited is a mistake. Savard likewise. Both are in the same situation where they are pure centers and up against Thornton, Lecavalier, Getzlaf and two way centers like Richards and Eric Staal.

The best argument in Spezza and Savard's favour is that Jordan Staal and Andy McDonald got invites. I don't understand the inclusion of either player frankly - especially the younger Staal - actually his brother Marc's inclusion on the defence leaves me scratching as well. Why isn't Jared there too?

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Think this is possible?

From another perspective

Sometimes an article written from outside the sports circles looks at things differently - this one from Feschuk of Maclean's looks at it from the PR side. Plus, he's a funny guy:
To be fair, a small number of Ottawa residents are still keen to give him the key to the city, though only if he agrees to accept it rectally.

Kelowna sunrise

From commenter at Lowetide:
Melnyk is worth about 700 million. If I were him, I would put goalie pads on Heatley and tell him that he is playing net through the preseason.

Now, that's not going to happen as much as we'd like it, but what does this really mean for the Sens and Heatley?

1. Pretty much no way getting back that 4 million. Cash can't be traded and it looks like most of the teams that are trading partners are close enough to the cap that they aren't going to looking to take on Smith/Schubert contracts for fun. Heatley will be paid $31 million over the next 5 years now (4, 8, 8, 6, 5) - $6.2 per. Of course his cap hit is still $7.5.

2. NYR, MIN have added the skill up front they needed yesterday and are now unlikely suitors.

3. StL, LA didn't sign any contracts - still suitors?

4. With Heatley still in the fold our current cap hit is $52.6 (I think) with a lineup like this:




Not enough room to add Koivu who'd I would really like to see center our 2nd line or is it?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day

Should be a good one!

Burke's already lost out on the Sedins and will put the future of the Leafs in the hands of an overpaid Chris Neil. I'm hoping Burke signs him to a 5 year 2.5/yr deal.

I'm thinking Sens fans would be mostly okay with keeping Heatley now and having him sit on the bench for 82 games a year for the next 6 years. Money well spent. Well, if we can get Marc Staal, that may be better.

Enjoy the holiday!