Cheers and Jeers – June 1st

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 sign Friesen and Gillis to new contracts, while being sick and tired of cover votes and the word "classy".

JEERS to EA Sports for their NHL13 Cover Vote campaign. While the idea is awesome, the execution has been horrendous. Maybe I could’ve put up with a month-long campaign, but EA is dragging out this process. As such, not only is fan interest waning, but they’re really starting to tick me off! Right now, I just want the damn vote to be done, as my twitter timeline is flooded with RTs begging me to vote. It feels like this has been going on for eons now. Just pick someone already.

CHEERS to Alex Friesen for signing his first professional contract with the Vancouver Canucks. The 20 year old had a solid year with the Niagara Ice Dogs of the OHL and could very well start the 2012 season with the Chicago Wolves. He’s a strong two-way player and a good penalty killer, and could project as a 3rd line C. With a long-term injury to Ryan Kesler keeping him out of the lineup for the first month of the season, it’s been speculated that Jordan Schroeder will have a solid chance of temporarily taking that second line role. That shuffle upward will create a good opportunity for Friesen to do, what his former teammate Darren Archibald couldn’t – stick with the Wolves through all of next season.

JEERS to Mike Ilitch and his "hair". I wouldn’t normally pick on frail centenarians, because we really should respect our elders. However the Red Wings owner seems to have his wits about him, and is hella-rich, so he should know better. Mike, what the hell were you wearing on your head? Sir, your ridiculous toupee is rivaled only by the monstrosity that rests atop the head of Donald Trump.

Mr. Ilitch, your hair piece is absurd and atrocious. Please, just take it off. If you are concerned about the look of going bald, which many men are, just shave your head. Trust me, this is a highly touted practice. I know that you spent countless hours building up your empire, and for that I give you mad respect and props. You were probably so busy with business meetings and acquisitions and board meetings and the like that you didn’t focus on fashion. I get that. In the winter of your life, take the time to learn a few basic truths about personal appearance. When you’re going bald, beat Nature and shave it off. Rugs are never the answer.

Mr. Ilitich, I’m not trying to be mean. I’m trying to help.

CHEERS to Mike Gillis on his contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks. According to Elliotte Friedman in his "30 Thoughts" today, Gillis signed a 5-year contract extension with the Canucks. While it was assumed that Gillis had indeed re-upped with the Canucks, the terms were unknown until today. Gillis has been a breath of GM’ing fresh air; willing to take risks (albeit calculated) and able to admit when he’s wrong and cut loose his "projects". Gillis is exactly what the Vancouver Canucks need, and has assembled a dynamite crew around him. This summer will likely prove to be Gillis’s most trying, as he aims to build a team to get back to the Stanley Cup Final, trade an all-star goalie with a lengthy contract, and fill some noticeable holes in the lineup (Say, on defence and on the top two forward lines)

JEERS to absolutely EVERYONE using the word "classy". I get it. Lidstrom is a super nice guy and always took time to answer questions and sign autographs. If I counted every instance of the word "classy" together with "Lidstrom" yesterday on Twitter, blog posts and MSM articles, I’m sure I would have easily reached a billion, possibly a gajillion (#fancystats).

But the word "classy" has lost all meaning now that we use it in earnest and in sarcasm, and almost always incorrectly. So I refuse to call Lidstrom classy, because it means nothing to me now. Instead, I will say that Lidstrom was a genuinely good and thoughtful human being. That’s a far more apt compliment. Stop saying classy. It’s worthless.

CHEERS to Nicklas Lidstrom for a truly envious career. The Red Wings captain announced his retirement yesterday after 20 seasons in the NHL, 4 Stanley Cups, 1 Conn Smythe and 7 Norris trophies. He is quite simply the greatest defenceman I have ever seen play the game (I missed out on Orr and Harvey, sadly).