The Good and the Bad of this past week.
It’s Friday. So we close out the "Week That Was" with our latest volume of Cheers and Jeers.
This week’s entry starts with a Rule 48-esque headshot to the NHL for getting their priorities completely backward.
JEERS to the NHL for releasing guidelines on their players using social media, while these same players continue to decapitate each other with impunity. I have no problem with the guidelines themselves. In fact, I think they’re pretty damn reasonable. But the fact that the NHL spent ONE IOTA of energy on these guidelines before doing anything to eliminate hits to the head and head injuries from their games is borderline criminal. It is utterly neglectful at the very least.
CHEERS to Teemu Selanne for coming back to play after signing a one year contract with Anaheim. In all honesty, I believe that the prospect of starting the season in his native Finland, as well as playing one final game in Winnipeg had a role in his decision to return. On the theme of social medial, another cheers to Teemu for recording a video message to his fans and posting it through social media via the Anaheim Ducks. This guy is just pure class and everything that is good about the NHL.
Speaking of contracts, JEERS to NY Islanders and the Buffalo Sabres for the ridiculous and unwarranted contracts for John Tavares and Tyler Myers, respectively. I find this trend of rewarding potential to be an utter waste of money. Teams like Vancouver and Boston (just two examples. Look at Marchand’s latest deal as a example of a great, reasonable contract for both sides) have done a great job recently of nurturing players then rewarding them when they succeed and the fruits of their labours are evident. This strategy is working. What Pegula and the Sabres are doing, overpaying for players and spending like a coked up Paris Hilton, is asinine. The Islanders have nothing anyway but they’ve had a history of offering stupid contracts (RICK DiPIETRO?!) and giving Tavares this type of contract is just irresponsible. Tavares will be making 500K less than either of the SEDINS next season. The Sedins… back to back Art Ross trophy winners. The Sedins who are right in their prime now… and then Tavares… who turns 21 on Tuesday.
CHEERS to Mike Gillis and Lawrence Gilman for their approach on signing UFA veterans to Professional Tryout (PTO) contracts. Sure, they’re getting a little liberal with them (Niko Dimitrakos and Anders Eriksson?! REALLY?!) but there are benefits to both sides. The Canucks bring in these vets trying to prove themselves and it costs the Canucks nothing. There is no commitment from them. If the vets do well enough, they earn themselves a contract, either with the team or another. A good example of this is Brendan Morrison last year. He had a great camp with the Canucks while on a PTO. The Canucks didn’t feel he fit into their lineup, but Morrison did enough to impress the Flames management and earned a contract. It’s a good strategy for both parties. And for the Canucks, it’s low risk, high reward. If Owen Nolan lights it up, or Manny Legace proves he’s capable, it gives the Canucks a lot more options heading into the start of the regular season.
JEERS to the continued lack of offer sheets. We haven’t seen ANY offer sheets this off-season despite a big list of RFA’s. Brad Marchand would have been ripe for being signed to an offer sheet. Nothing. For crying out loud, it’s part of the CBA. You’re ALLOWED to sign players to offer sheets. Enough of this ridiculous unspoken rule to leave RFA’s alone. It’s just crap. The fact that one GM would be blackballed for playing entirely within the rules of the CBA and the league is garbage. And it’s another reason why you end up having teams like the Sabres and the Islanders signing their players to stupid contracts. Why? Because they don’t want to lose them to unrestricted free agency, but they aren’t challenged to sign them to shorter term, more reasonable contracts.
CHEERS to the baybee Nuckies and the rest of the Young Stars during the YoungStars Tournament in Penticton this past week. Most of those Canucks prospects were invited to the team’s main camp so they’ll get to see how the big boys play. For some of them, it’s a chance to show that they can play full-time in the NHL (Jordan Schroeder?). For others, its their first experience in a proper NHL training camp.
A BIG JEERS to Jonathan Toews for trying kill kids. Ok, that’s a bit strong. But he did bowl over a kid right proper this week. Maybe Captain Serious is taking this hockey thing a little too seriously? Maybe. Or maybe our unwavering bias against anything Blackhawks related has tainted our view of the severity of this incident. … Nope, Toews is a kid-killing demon.
CHEERS, CHEERS and CHEERS to Trevor Linden, Tom Larscheid and the BC contingent of the 2010 Canadian Men’s Olympic Hockey Team (including Roberto Luongo) for their induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. A terrific and well-deserved honour for a great group of guys. Stick-taps to all.