David Booth has been in game shape for months

I'm guessing he failed the fitness test...

So, I’m thinking it’s safe to say David Booth failed the fitness test, right?

I mean, you would have thought all that traipsing through the mountains shooting things would have required some level of physical fitness. But maybe he should have spent a bit more time skating and a little less time stalking. I know when I play a sport I haven’t played in a long, long time I still get pretty sore for a few days after starting up again. It doesn’t seem to matter how many workouts I’ve had, other sports I’ve played, or animals I’ve shot. There’s always some little muscle somewhere that only gets used when you’re partaking in that one sport actvity…

All that being said, I’m not exactly sure how physically fit you have to be to hunt bears like David Booth does. Who knows, maybe if he had been going into a fair fight, he might have been more physically prepared and that would have carried through to the start of the hockey season.

But we’ll never know. What we do know, is that David Booth’s got game.

At least when it comes to hunting season. When it comes to hockey season, his shooting is a different kind of grisly:

Be vehwey vehwey quiet. I'm hunting goals.

However, there was hope that he was returning to form and could build off the 10.1% shooting percentage he posted last year, despite shooting only 4.8% on the road. But that will now have to wait, as Booth sits out 4-6 weeks with what has been described as a groin strain.

I wonder if Booth will call for more prayer during practice and training drills as a way to avoid this kind of senseless tragedy. Although, if we go by the historical record, I think we would quickly find the evidence does not support a reduction in groin pulls under these kind of circumstances:

Not so sure prayer is the answer

(Please send your complaints c/o @Pontifex.)

But enough about David Booth, let’s take a look at other roster issues around the league as we kick off this shortened season.

Over in Montreal and New York, Scott Gomez and Wade Redden have gone on a bit of a roller coast ride this week. First they were both told to stay home, collect their paycheques and watch Oprah. Hey, I wonder if she had any interesting guests this week?!

Given the provisions of the new CBA, the value of these two players (and probably others around the league, but these were just the two most extreme examples) changed dramatically with the stroke of a pen. Gomez and Redden have litterally priced themselves out of the league:

Sunk costs

In the topsy turvy world that is the new CBA, it is actually a better business decison for the Canadiens and Rangers to pay these guys to stay home.

But don’t blame them. It wasn’t their fault somebody threw truckloads of money at them. I’ll give you one guess as to who’s fault it was:

I'll give you one guess...

Yes, those very same New York Rangers. Guess they haven’t always been making smart business decisions…

But the Gomez-Redden rollercoaster took another twist when the NHLPA got involved on their behalf, arguing that locking them out of hockey for the rest of the year would diminsh their future market value. Lo and behold after only two days of talks, the NHL and NHLPA reached a mutually satisfactory agreement that protected the interests of both sides by allowing teams to make one of their two allotted compliabce buyouts early.

Funny how much the NHL and PA can accomplish when they set their minds to it. If only they had been able willing to move that fast six months ago…

But back to the NHL roster issues. The Habs have another problem on their hands. The lockout may be over, but star defenseman P.K. Subban is now voluntarily locking himself out in the hopes of getting a better contract offer. However, his options are limited because in the lookingglass world that is the NHL, you can be both free and restricted. In the real world you usually have to pay extra for that:

Some people pay a lot of money to be restricted

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t say just a little about Brian Burke’s hasty exit from Toronto. Much ink and electrons have been spilled (can you spill electrons?) on Burke’s legacy and the possible reasons for his sudden dismissal. Suffice it to say, that ultimately, I think there was just too much gassy bluster off the ice, and not enough truculence on it:

Too much bluster, not enough truculence

That’s it for this week. It’s good to be back and starting the year with new material to work with. But if you really want to relive the dearth of creativity that was the NHL last year, check out the links below.