AROUND THE LEAGUE PLAYOFFS WEEK SIX

As the Stanley Cup Finals wind down, I wonder if Patrick Kane is the most under-rated player in the NHL; or at least from the Canadian media and fans. Jonathon Toews gets more accolades than Kane, and despite his 22 points, to Toews 27; Kane hasn’t been mentioned as even a possibility for the Conn Smyth.

Why I wonder?

Toews is clearly a better ambassador off the ice.

He hasn’t been involved in any dust ups with taxi drivers,  doesn’t have a cool nickname like 20 cent, and he wasn’t shirtless in a limo with young Vancouver ladies. The only flak Kane should have received over the limo pics was his choice of companions. Who cares if a 21-year-old male is partying in a limo with girls?

But if you focus on his on-ice play it is hard to overlook what he has accomplished.

In his first three seasons he has 76 goals and 230 points in 244 games. Toews has 83 goals, 191 points in 222 games. Toews is the captain and one hell of a leader, and has shown an ability to step up his game in the playoffs and Olympics.

But so has Kane.

Toews has 40 career playoff points to Kane’s 36. It’s not a comparison between who is better, (I’d take Toews’ overall game) because their games are different, but I sense Kane doesn’t get the respect his game deserves. He might be the best player in the game at controlling the play high in the offensive zone. He has the ability to circle between the top of the circles and the blueline and make teams look lost. He has great vision, and for my money is one of the best passers in the game.

I also like his flair/cockiness. He makes the game fun. Some have laughed at his playoff Mullet, but it doesn’t faze him. And you can’t discount his ability to produce in the clutch. Kane needs one chance and he can finish. If Patrick Kane was Canadian would he be talked about more?

ICE WOMEN OF THE WEEK

The playoffs could be over by next Thursday, so let’s honour the entire BlackHawks Ice Crew. With such a wide array of beauties it is hard to pick a favourite, but, for me, something about Yanina separates her from the rest of the crew.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • Can anyone tell me who picked up the puck after game one of the Penguins/Red Wings series last year? Didn’t think so, because we shouldn’t care. Not sure why The Human Rake’s decision to pick up the puck annoyed so many people. That’s why he did it. To piss people off. Rake 1- hockey people 0.
  • If you are planning on going to the NHL draft in LA you can get tickets starting Saturday. Here’s a blurb from the Kings website. “Tickets for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft will be available to the general public beginning this Saturday, June 5, at 10 a.m.~ A limited number of tickets, which are free of charge, can be downloaded and printed (note a service charge of $1.25 per ticket will be charged) by visiting LAKings.com/nhldraft.~ Ticket limit is 4 (four) and each ticket is good for both days.”
  • The Hawks haven’t missed Andrew Ladd that much in the finals. He is an RFA this summer, and with his size should make him attractive trade bait if Stan Bowman elects to move him.
  • How much will RFA D-man, Niklas Hjarlmarsson be worth this summer? The 22-year-old Swede has been very solid for the Hawks. What Bowman does with his backend this summer will be intriguing to watch. Brian Campbell has played the 5th most minutes in the Cup final out of the blueliners, but his contract makes him untradeable I’d think.
  • Would Darryl Sutter buy-out the final two years of Ales Kotalik’s contract? They could buy him out for $4 million and split that up over four years.  
  • Why doesn’t baseball have instant replay? Detroit pitcher, Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game last night when first-base umpire, Jim Joyce ruled Jason Donald safe at first. Replays clearly showed Donald was safe. Commissioner Bud Selig should wake up and allow teams to one or two challenge flags every game. I do credit Joyce for admitting after the game he screwed up, and Galarraga was incredibly classy after the game. He did get a surprise gift today though for his efforts
  • Kelly Buchberger and Wayne Fleming have yet to receive contract extensions. Their contracts are up June 30th, so we could see some changes behind the bench this summer. No position in the organization is safe at this point, and that’s how it should be when you’ve missed the playoffs four years consecutively.

 

  • Ender

    Molly’s the girl. She’s got that ‘nice-girl-next-door’ look to her. I’d be disappointed if I saw her in a limo with Kane, but I couldn’t fault 20-Cent’s taste.

  • MrCondor

    Kane is right there with Datysuk for smoothest skater/stick handler in the league. Not saying he’s the best, but it just looks effortless – just a treat to watch.

    Cambell has the 5th most minutes for D men in the Cup Final?

    So only Pronger, Keith, Seabrook, and Timonen are ahead of him?

    ~Yeah, couldn’t get a thing for him~

    • Jason Gregor

      And enlighten me with the teams that will line up to take him and the six years left on his $7.1 million cap hit???

      ~I love the sarcastic comments with no backing~

      • MrCondor

        Re-read your original point.

        “Brian Campbell has played the 5th most minutes in the Cup final out of the blueliners, but his contract makes him untradeable I’d think”

        Based on the information you gave me, my sarcasm wasn’t far off. Yet you seem upset.

        I now know the truth and stand corrected. Let there be peace.

        Is there a chance that the injury OV gave him earlier in the season has come back and it has affected his ice time? Wouldn’t shock me.

        Cambell is a damn good hockey player, but he is forced to stand in the shadows of Keith and Seabrook who happen to be world class. Yes he is overpaid, but all puck moving d are. I’d take him over Souray even with the extra price tag.

        My opinion is that he is movable.

        • Jason Gregor

          Actually read the entire paragraph. It mentions Chicago defence. Doesn’t mention anything about Philly. How

          And while you might like Campbell you still haven’t given any proof why a team would trade for him. He has SIX years left at $7.1 million dollars. He is 31. Why would anyone want to pay him that much for the last three years. Sorry man, unless the Hawks giveaway a young guy to go along with Campbell I don’t see any team that would take him.

          • MrCondor

            I agree that term is a bit nutty, but D Men can be effective later in there careers.

            Chris Pronger is 35 and he’s in the running for playoff MVP (how he does it at his age after playing 25+ minutes a night for the majority of his life is beyond me).

            Lidstrom won the Norris at 37 (and 36, and 35…)

            If he were to hit the free agent market this summer, I’d bet he’d pull in close to 6 million given what J Bo and Dion got. So he’s only about 1 million over market value. This site is cheering for close to that much worth of buyouts in O Sullivan and Nilsson (if we can’t move them).

            And so what if they do add a young guy and a draft pick. The Hawks are so deep right now that it’s not out of the question.

            He’s got a bad contract, but not an unmovable one.

            Unless either one of us is close friends with every GM in the league, we’ll never know until the chips fall.

          • Jason Gregor

            Yes Lidstrom and the Rake dominate into their late 30s because they are Norris trophy winners and soon-to-be Hall of Famers. Campbell is neither, nor will he ever be.

            Brent Sopel is playing more than him in the finals. That was the point. He is a defensive liability, and so he’ll never play big minutes.

            I don’t need to be friends with a GM to see a horrific contract. Why would any team trade for him?

            The only hope for the Hawks is that the cap keeps going up, so his % of the team cap goes down.

  • A new corvette after an official screws up a call? That is a dangerous precedent, I didn’t realize GM was in the position to be giving out expensive cars like that. What do the shareholders think Barack & Steve?

  • Bucknuck

    They are all beauties, but the last one gets my vote. She has that mischief in her eyes that can’t be ignored.

    Good game last night. Philly is playing very scrappy and I was surprised that the refs mainly left them alone. There were a number of times I thought for sure there should be a whistle and there wasn’t.

    I hope Philly wins again and keeps it close, though i really don’t want to see Pronger hoist the cup so I am kinda cheering for Chicago.

    Kane wears his hat sideways, so that is why I ignore him. If you aren’t a rapper you shouldn’t be permitted in public with your hat askew, but hey maybe that’s just me. Other than that I agree he isn’t talked about as much as his skill level should merit. I like his mullet idea. You have to appreciate a guy who can laugh at himself.

  • Let's Rebuild

    “Brian Campbell has played the 5th most minutes in the Cup final out of the blueliners, but his contract makes him untradeable I’d think”

    I think not, there may be a potential deal there but all the pieces would have to fall in place. Chicago will be looking to shed some salary and Campbell is the most overpaid player on the team. We have Horcoff who (at this time) is our most overpaid player. I wouldn’t suggets a straight swap because the player I’m after on Chicago is Bolland. I’ve really liked what I seen in him and he seems to have the “crust” Quinn is looking for. He would be the perfect third line center for us, plus he’s young so he can grow with the group of young guys that we have.

    Of course we would have to send some other players to Chicago as compensation and I’m not sure who they would want. The money would be: Campbell and Bolland (approx 10.5 mil cap hit) for Horcoff and Cogs? (approx -7.5 mil cap hit) Chicago saves 3 mil on the cap, moves Campbell allowing their young D more ice time to develop. They lose Bolland but they get a very effective shut down centerman who can put up some points and play on the 2nd or 3rd line depending if Chicago moves Sharp or not.

    We would get Bolland who we need and Campbell can slot into the 2nd pairing with Smid (not an ideal scenario but Campbell can still play)(plus we’ll be getting another guy with a cup ring 2010) This also means that Souray must be gone to absorb Campbell’s cap hit. I think Campbell has a year longer on his contract than Horcoff did so that is a negative. I guess I just really like the thought of Seguin Gagner Bolland down the middle for the next few years but is it worth the cost of Campbell’s contract?

    I also not sure if Campbell has a no movement/trade clause. That could gum up the works

    • BBOil

      Agree on Bolland. Would love to see him in an Oil uniform. Mentioned a similar idea involving Cogs the other day. There is no way they can keep everyone, its just a matter of who they move. Even sending some big tickets to the minors like Huet and/or Sopel, they have some RFA’s that will be looking for raises, especially after a Cup run.

  • Gregor,

    Great article as usual. Do you think Bucky and Fleming will be back? SHould they be.

    And

    @BOB

    I laugh at guys like you who suggest these girls aren’t attractive. I’m sure you’re a real eye catcher. Please.

  • Skidplate

    Not sure of the girls names, but the second last one sure is special.

    You are right about Kane. I think Robin could get those girls in a limo, Kane’s standards should be higher 😉