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, I send Pierre Gauthier to his hotel room to pack, while giving a big stack of congratulatory pancakes to Dustin Penner… and Ken Hitchcock, cuz YOU KNOW that guy likes to eat! AMIRITE?!
CHEERS to Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Alex Edler for being selected to this year’s All-Star Game, and to Cody Hodgson for being selected to join this year’s Young Stars game. From a mature (in age, not in mentality) hockey fan’s point of view, I find the All-Star Game totally unnecessary and the game itself is boring (and no, I don’t watch it). However, I certainly can understand that it would be a tremendous honour to be selected to play. Especially for Alex Edler, for whom this is his first selection.
JEERS to anyone who whines that their favourite players or their favourite team’s players weren’t chosen to play in the All-Star Game. As I said above, the game is meaningless. It is nothing but an honour for those players. That’s it. And maybe a monetary incentive if some players have bonuses built into their contracts based on inclusion into the ASG. But seriously, does it matter to you? No. And it shouldn’t. Ever. And a special EXTRA JEERS to fans of Lidstrom and Selanne who bitched and moaned that either players wasn’t selected… only to find out that they WERE included, but turned down the opportunity to play, opting to take the time to rest instead. You pinheads… OF COURSE they were getting picked. There was NO chance they were going to be excluded. But you morons went apesh*t complaining about the integrity of the ASG selection process… Right… even though Ottawa fans voted in four starters in their hometown but THAT’s okay. Folks… get this straight. This game doesn’t matter. It’s a joke. It doesn’t build a fan base. It doesn’t attract new fans. You know what attracts new fans? The Winter Classic and games like one we saw on Saturday between Vancouver and Boston. THAT’s what builds new hockey fans.
CHEERS to Ken Hitchcock for his quote about the Canucks. When asked about the Canucks’ reputation as the league’s most hated team, Hitch replied with, "If Vancouver wants to be liked, start losing. Everybody will love you." That’s just wicked, proving that a) he’s doesn’t buy that crap, and b) coaches in the NHL respect the Canucks. Hitch is a great hockey dude, and has taken the Blues to the near-top of the Western Conference standings. Good on him.
JEERS to folks blasting a Sports Illustrated poll on the league’s most overrated players. First of all, just like the All-Star Game, the poll is meaningless and completely subjective. But don’t get mad or worked up at SI for the poll. They simply asked the question and posted the article. If you don’t like the results ("Oh man, Ryan Kesler is NOT overrated! He’s one of the best players in the league!") then turn the page and ignore it. As a fan, why should you bother caring about this poll? You shouldn’t. Brian Burke (while he is also mad at SI because they have no clue how to cover hockey) rightly pointed out that the people at fault here were the players that voted, because these guys are potential future teammates. To quote Burke, "So I get the survey tomorrow that says who’s the most overrated GM, do you think I’d fill it out and crap all over one of my peer group? I would throw it in the trash. So the players that filled this out, my comment to you is I’ll speak slowly when I see you next because you’re obviously a cretin." While Burkie went (and always does) over the top with his criticism, his point is spot-on here. Why would you include yourself in a poll like this?
CHEERS to Dustin Penner. BIG CHEERS to him, in fact. Penner tweaked his back while eating his wife’s delicious pancakes. In no way whatsoever is that a euphamism for something else. That actually happened. As a result, Penner got torn to shreds in the hockey blogosphere. Well, he wanted to set the record straight to he wrote an open letter to Kings’ fans and merciless bloggers and posted it on Mayor’s Manor. As part of that letter, he announced that he was going to host a pancake breakfast with all proceeds going to charity. Standing, slow clap to you, Mr. Penner. Well done. Take note, hockey players. THAT is how you deal with a goofy personal story.
JEERS to Pierre Gauthier for the explosive, unmitigated disaster he has caused in Montreal for all to see. First he fires Jacques Martin and hired Randy Cunneyworth, creating a a firestorm amongst the French-language media in Montreal. Firing Martin was absolutely and completely the wrong thing to do. Hiring Cunneyworth as a coach is a good move … in any other market than Montreal, where the idiotic expectation among many (not all) of the French-language media and fans there is that the coach must be bilingual. Last night though may have been la piece de resistance. He traded Mike Cammalleri in THE MIDDLE OF A GODDAMN HOCKEY GAME. Gautheir took him off the bench and sent him to the hotel room to pack and leave for Calgary. First of all, Gauthier got soaked in the deal, trading away one of his best players for what appears to be nothing more than an inconsistent bigger body and cap space. You can read a full breakdown of the trade from the Calgary perspective here. But to do it in the middle of a GAME… I honestly don’t know how Gauthier hasn’t been fired yet nor can I explain the point of the trade he made. What a disaster in Habs Nation right now.