I'll admit, I'm a bad hockey blogger. I didn't make it my intention to even watch what happened yesterday because I was certain that (1) not much would actually happen and (2) Vancouver Canucks sure as shit wasn't getting involved with anything.
So...I was 50% right.
Dear god I was wrong on the first point; feels like just about every big UFA moved yesterday. By doing so, some people out there are going to do their damndest to make you think by signing so-and-so well they're now cup contenders. Blah blah blah.
Let's take a cynical, yet honest look at what the aftermath is:
>> Fuck The Rangers
I know Jes beat me to it last night noting that, once again, Sather and his cretins have made it incredibly easy to hate their team. For losing Nylander, they came up with Drury (5 years, $32.25mil) and Gomez (7 years, $51.5mil). Chuck in the prima donna Jagr, assclown Avery and a wonky headed Shanahan in there and you have all the makings of the old Messier days when names beat youth and what looks great on paper beats building from within. Now, that said, the Rangers DID build from within for two straight seasons so they do have guys like Tyutin, Hossa & Prucha in there, but the fact remains that after yesterday, its once again fashionable and damn appropriate to hate these assholes (here's hoping Lundqvist gets an RFA offer that is simply obscene).
>> The Flyers Apparently Do Not Want To Blow Again
There is something really funny about what the Flyers have done. First it was raping Nashville starting at last year's trade deadline and again two weeks ago. Then it was giving a solid middle finger to the Sabres by dropping an 8 year, $52 mil deal in the hands of the silliest looking UFA out there. Then, in another act of "who can we piss on" they turned towards the Northwest whipping boy Edmonton Oilers, getting both the Pronger throw-in Lupul and their captain in exchange for Joni Pitkanen and forward Geoff Sanderson. There’s still time for Holmgren to kick another pig before the offseason, but he’s certainly earned his money as GM so far in turning the Philly shitbox around.
>> Get the Sylvia Plath Poems Ready For Buffalo, New Jersey & Long Island
…when it rains shit, it REALLY does rain shit. I feel the worst for the Sabres fans who have watched their core guys who grew up on the team all leave in the span of two years (we like Pyatt though I won’t lie). NJ lost key guys on both offense and defense (Rafalski) and Garth Snow suddenly has nothing on his team other then a goalie with 14 years left on his contract. Some Devils fans seem to be taking it well. Feel free to buy these fans some beers if you see them, next year could be pretty rough.
>> The Oilers Will Own The NW Basement Again
So this and this is how Lowe is going to right the good ship HMS Oiltown? To top it all off, they missed their chance at Smyth but get to see him 8 times a year thanks to Bettman. Well, it’s a start. Enjoy your latest expensive mess.
>> And Challenging the Canucks for the NW Title Will Be…
No, not the Flames. It’ll be the perennial enemy Colorado Avalanche who I’d argue quietly may have had the best day yesterday, getting both Smyth for five years and Scott Hannan for four. Smyth joins an offense that already had Sakic, Hejduk, Wolski, Svatos and Stastny firing on all cylinders at the end of last season. Hannan, Liles and Leopold in the back? Christ. At least their goalies are still questionable/laughable.
>> Speaking Of Vancouver
…not a peep. Unless you count losing Sabourin from whence he came. It’s killer fun to watch all these names fly around while your team who, last I checked, still cannot score (23rd-ranked offense and a power play which went 4-for-64 in the postseason.)….come the morning after STILL cannot score and technically got weaker in the strongest position it has. OK Nonis, time to go fishing for the smaller trout now.
>> So Help Me God
…if Niedermayer doesn’t retire and the Ducks have three top defenders starting next year for them instead of a paltry two, I won’t have enough curse words to formulate a coherent enough sentence to actually convey a logical assessment of how much I am not happy with that.
Update: They have Bertuzzi now too. My original statement stands unedited yet with far more emphasis now.
>> Stupid Is As Stupid Does
Blake to Toronto? Not a bad move honestly, but if their view is he’ll be the next Mogilny for an aging Sundin, well then I want some of what they are smoking. But the biggest winner (re: loser) has to go to Kariya. I feel pretty confident in suggesting that the Blues aren’t primed for a blowout season so I’m not terribly sure why Kariya (who I understood went to Nashville because he thought they had a legit chance at the Cup) would opt for St. Louis. Some of my favorite quotes come straight from JD himself:
"Put it this way: When you looked at the Blues a week ago, and then you look now, we're a little better hockey club. This should send vibrations through the organization that, 'Man we're getting better.'"
The team had Al MacInnis, Doug Weight, Tkachuk and owner Dave Checketts speak with Kariya.
"I think he felt wanted," Davidson said. "Knowing Paul, he could have gone elsewhere for more (money). But I think he felt wanted by the club. In our discussions, he asked lot of questions about the city and the franchise. He's had experience with (Blues coach) Andy (Murray) at the World Championships. That plays into these things. We're lucky to have Andy."
WOW. You guys are in the wrong profession…someone out there has a bridge to no where that needs to be sold off.
>> The Atlantic Division Is Revoltingly Stacked
By adding Sykora and Sydor this morning, the Pens and revamped Flyer and Ranger teams make the Atlantic division amazingly stacked with talent. If you can’t sell out the Battle of Pennsylvania games or a Pens/Rangers game now, someone in their marketing division should be fired. Or all of them for that matter.
All of my wrath aside, sounded like a great day for hockey fans yesterday. Especially good for Ranger, Flyer & Avalanche fans. Not so hot for us Canuck fans as not only did all the big names fly around and some, like Smyth, back into the NW but middle tier guys like Kozlov (now with the Caps) and White (now with Atlanta) are off the table too. I guess we have to wait for our turn at the big table next year when presumably there’d be a shot at inking a guy like Heatley, Lidstrom or Iginla (ya right).