Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nick Ross

A new article up on Nick Ross:
"He was here tonight?" was Ross' response to a question about what it's like knowing Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney was in the stands to watch him play in Sunday's intrasquad scrimmage at Hockey Canada's National Junior Team Evaluation Camp.
The article goes on to say that Maloney and CO. will be taking a close look at Nick Ross this pre-season. Maloney stated he still is in need of some developing, but with the loss of Ballard and Boynton, he will get a longer look.
I like Ross but I don’t think they should rush his development to cover some holes on the blueline. He looked much better at rookie camp this year. He has been working out down here. He is one that I will want to keep an eye on come training camp. If he looks ready, I say give him a chance but if he starts to struggle, send him down. Let him learn and grow as needed.
I don’t want Ross to turn into another Yandle. Yandle has a lot of potential but he didn’t live up to it at the NHL level. Even when he went back to SA for the playoffs, he didn’t improve.
This is shaping up to be quite the year. There are so many ways this season can go, so many unanswered questions.
The end of August cannot get here soon enough!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ok, back to hockey!

I found this article on TSN: http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=244291&lid=headline&lpos=secStory_nhl#videoyourcallarticle

I agree with the revenue sharing but not moving teams back to Canada. He states, “"I mean the Canadian fans are like no others," he continued. "They're passionate, they come out and support it, they buy the merchandise, and they're knowledgeable about the sport.”

Wow, so does that mean us American fans are not passionate and know nothing about the sport? I’ve met many people in America that are both passionate and knowledgable. I think the main problem is, the league isn’t marketing the teams/sports the best in America. Everyone I have taken to a game has fallen in love with the sport. It takes time to get them to be knowledgable but if the sport was more out there, these fans could become more knowledgable.

He also states, “You know, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Quebec City, perhaps Halifax if they had an arena that could sustain an NHL team.” Am I mistaken but didn’t Winnipeg and Quebec already have hockey teams? Didn’t those teams start to lose money and were bought by Americans? Yah, so lets move the teams back and see if they do better. Initially, they may do better because it’s new but it will taper off. It did once before. Although maybe after losing their team, they have realized what they were missing out on. I say no moving of the teams and no adding new teams, especially right now with so much economic uncertainty and us taxpayers having to bail out all the irresponsible people who bought more house than they could afford.

I think the league needs to work on keeping the current teams where they are. Obviously the fans in Nashville cared enough to stop the Blackberry guy from buying their team. Their fans came out of the woodwork to protect their team. I think you would have that with other southern/southwest teams too. I know I would do whatever possible to keep the coyotes here (although, the lease with Glendale pretty much says that even if the team is sold, the new owner probably couldn’t pay the fines to move the team). Some fans are passionate but may not be able to support the team by buying tickets and merchandise. I would love to add a few more jerseys, sweatshirts and other items I’ve seen online to my collection but I’m not going to go into debt buying NHL licensed products. Some of their prices are just outrageous.

In other news, Mike York signed with Columbus Blue Jackets. This really surprised me. I was thinking York would be headed to Europe.
From the Hockey News:
York agreed to a one-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.Analysis: York is expected to add depth on the top three lines for the Blue Jackets. The 30-year-old York had six goals and eight assists in 63 gamers last season with Phoenix. During his eight seasons, he has 127 goals and 195 assists in 578 games with the New York Rangers, Edmonton, New York Islanders, Philadelphia and the Coyotes.

Top three lines? Were they watching him last year on the Coyotes? He was lucky if he made the top three lines! He also could barely crack the lineup by the end of the season. He was a healthy scratch quite a bit. I really think York’s time in the NHL is coming to an end. But then again, maybe he will have a great season with Columbus. I doubt it though.

According to Spector’s Fredrik Sjostrom has signed a one year deal with the Rangers worth 840K. The link is in Swedish, so I am trusting that Spector’s has translated this correctly. I am happy for Sjo. I always liked the guy. He is definitely not a top line guy, but he is a hard worker and a good role player/4th liner. He is good defensively and good on the PK. I think the problem in Phoenix was he was taken so high in the draft, that everyone expected him to be amazing and reach his full potential. Unfortunately, he never lived up to that potential. I liked him for what he brought to the game though and wish him all the luck in the world.

ESPN’s power rankings have been up for a few days. They are the first (and only) I’ve seen so far. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=burnside_scott&id=3504426
Coyotes are ranked 11th in the Western Conference. “The Coyotes now have the big center they've been lacking in Olli Jokinen, but they still don't have enough scoring and they're going to miss Keith Ballard along the blue line and in the dressing room.”
Ever since Ballard was traded, all I’ve heard is how much he sucked and how much better off we are without him (these would be from fans). Thanks ESPN for pointing out what I have been saying all along. I would rather have Ballard on my blueline than on the opponents. Ballard did regress a little bit form the previous two seasons but this was his first season as a top line shut down pair. You have got to expect he’s not going to be the same player, especially since he’s in a new role. As far as the scoring, if the young guys can step up and produce like expected, we will have no problem scoring. Below us in the rankings are Vancouver, Colorado, St Louis and the Kings. Those teams don’t really surprise me. Although, if the Kings have solved their goalie problem, they may cause some trouble and upsets. Kings will be a team that I will keep a close eye on this year. They started to turn around and were getting better at the end of the last season.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Daniel Carcillo Finally Signed

Oh happy day! Today is my good friend Kate’s and my cousin Jeremy’s birthday. Happy Birthday guys! An early birthday present was given to those two… CARCILLO WAS SIGNED! It was announced late yesterday afternoon.

Actually, I was told Sunday night it was done and not to worry. I just didn’t want to write about it until it was confirmed. I am told that he was signed to a 1 way, 2 year deal for about 920K/season. Not a bad increase for him, he was making about 525K last year.

With the 2 year deal the coyotes will still hold his rights when it expires. It’s also a long enough time to prove that he has grown up and you will see the post-San Antonio Carcillo all the time. With McGrattan and Fedoruk, the pressure to defend his teammates will be taken off Carcillo. He will be able to focus more on his offensive prowess.

I would also be willing to bet that the Coyotes will see an increase in season ticket/partial ticket packages. I know a few people that were waiting to purchase their tickets until Carcillo was signed.

Good to see Carcillo is back! He brings a good energy to his team, plays his heart out every game, every shift. He is willing to stand up for his teammates and it seems the guys really appreciate him. Nothing seemed to get the guys up and playing again like Carcillo did.

I am definitely looking forward to the season starting. It looks like I will be heading to DC again. I am planning to catch a Caps and Panthers game. It’s another chance to watch Ballard, the hip check king! It looks like my friend might come for Valentines Day weekend to party and watch hockey. That will definitely be a fun time.

I am thinking about learning to skate. It would be fun and give me a good work out. AZ is willing to go with me sometime. I just need to find some time where I can go with her and she’s not at a lesson! Then maybe once I got the skating down, I would try out playing hockey. It would be a new challenge and lots of hard work but fun at the same time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Assistant Coach Hired and Blake Wheeler is a Douche

A couple of new articles I want to comment on have been brought to my attention.

The coyotes have hired a new assistant coach, Doug Sulliman. He was an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils from 1990-1993. Between then and now, he spent his days on Wall Street. He also happens to be the brother-in-law to Mr. Don Maloney. Ok, a couple of interesting things there… First off, I am a little worried that they guy hasn’t coached since 1993. A lot of rules (and the game) has changed. He has been out of it for so long, is he really ready for this? Secondly, he is Don Maloney’s brother-in-law. That is a little suspicious. Family hiring can sometimes work out very well and other times can blow up in your face. I am reminded of the FOG era. Are we ready for that again? I am going to reserve further judgment until the season starts and I can see how this all works out.

I would have liked to have Toc around for a full season, but going to Tampa Bay might be a better opportunity for him to reach a head coach position. I wish him all the luck with the hodge-podge of players they picked up! Seriously, they have to have reached cap a long time ago and must be damn close to having 50 players under contract. They went crazy this off-season!

I have lost my respect for Blake Wheeler after reading this:

I had high hopes for the kid. I liked the kid. Then he chose to go to UFA and signed with Boston. I still liked him and wished him well as I didn’t know the reason behind his choosing to not sign with Phoenix. Now that I’ve read the article that basically says fans in Boston are awesome and know hockey and it’s a great hockey market blah blah blah (and then by default fans in Phoenix know jack shit and suck). I can’t respect that. Not one bit. So I am done with Blake Wheeler, spoiled little Minnesotan brat. Peter Mueller and Keith Ballard seem to love it here. I’m sorry you thought you are so much better than Phoenix but you’re not. I no longer wish you luck in your career but I will not wish harm on you like other Coyotes fans. Coyote’s fans, at least the ones I know, are very passionate and knowledgeable about hockey. If you are on our team, we will support you (even if we hated you previously) because you are one of OUR boys. Mess with our team and you mess with all of us! So Blake, you were wrong. Your loyal fans would have supported you and cheered you on like no other. We had faith in you, you believed in you, we were patient waiting for you. So have fun in Boston with fans that have no loyalty to you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Some off Season Humor

I stole this from AZ (THANKS!!) She found it at::http://geocities.com/fastnfurious18/hockey.html
20 Fun Things To Do If You're A Goalie
1. One word: Salt.
2. Before the game, secretly switch the green and red light bulbs around.
3. Slash, hook, and spear every opposing player who comes within 3 feet of your crease, then point and laugh at your teammates when they have to go to the box for you.
4. After you cover the puck and the ref blows the whistle, quickly put the puck in your shorts before the ref can pick it up, then tell him to "come get it."
5. Moon the goal cam.
6. Get into a shouting match with your stick, then tell the ref you refuse to play until the stick apologizes.
7. If you're on the bench, start giving away all the sticks on the rack to the fans sitting behind you.
8. Every time an announcement is made over the PA system, drop you your knees and start screaming, "Not the voices again!"
9. Every time the opposing team scores, remove one piece of of your equipment.
10. Fill your teammates' water bottles with vodka and watch the fun.
11. As soon as the trainers finish putting your equipment on you, say out loud, "Hey, you know what astronauts can do right in their suits?" Then watch the fun as they scramble to pull the equipment off again.
12. During a faceoff, stand next to your defensemen as if you're a skater too.
13. When someone scores a hat trick, grabs as many hats off the ice as you can and stuff them in your jersey.
14. Using hockey tape, put a large bull's-eye in the middle of your chest.
15. Using hockey tape, put "(Insert name of opponent's enforcer here) Sucks" on the back of your teammates' jerseys.
16. Rub Ben Gay on the inside of your teammates' cups/jills.
17. Pour Crazy Glue inside your teammates' cups/jills.
18. When the trainer isn't looking, throw a red sock in the washer with the white home jerseys (but make sure you take yours out!)
19. Before the game starts, go up to the opposing team, start crying and say, "Please don't score on me! My coach beats me if I let a puck in!" Then, when the ref comes to take you back to your crease, start screaming, "No! I don't wanna go! I don't wanna go!"
20. Position yourself in front of the goal cam and proceed to scratch your rear end.

I loved it so much, I printed it off, took it to work and it is now hanging in my cube!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

UFA Signings

Xtra910 had an interview with Maloney this afternoon after all the signings. So basically here is what was said:

Maloney stated that Fedoruk will probably average 10-12 minutes per game and he has speed and can skate well.

He emphasized Mikkel Boedker a lot. I have a feeling he will be with the big club this year. He also talked a lot about Porter being the top scorer in college hockey and how smart and fast he was.

He said the team will have a lot of skill and speed and the toughness will be vital to make sure that other teams don’t take advantage of our young guys.

He said come January/February/March he will look into replacing Vrbata if needed.

He is very happy for Weller who signed with the Wild. He said Weller wanted a one way contract and Maloney was only willing to offer a two-way.

Ross is currently in Tempe working on a professional training program. He is paying for that with his own money. Maloney said the coyotes are very excited about him but at 19 he is still very young to be a dman in the NHL. He said Ross will one day be in NHL player and his training camp this year will determine if he stays in Phoenix or goes back to his junior team.

Maloney stated that he is happy with the free agents they have signed and will continue to look for value for the blueline but will not be pursuing anyone. He said he is letting guys come to him and no guys over 33. He is looking to add skill and grit.

He was asked if Jokinen will get the A and Maloney said that is up to the Coach.

Ok, now I know Maloney didn’t promise us any elite signings, but I’m feeling a bit disappointed in what we did today. Sauer is supposed to be Bally’s replacement, but I see him more as Boynton’s. Ballard was used in a shut down roll last season and Boynton was definitely a stay at home dman (he had no choice, he was paired with Yandle). Sauer has also had a history of concussions. Great.

Fedoruk would not have been my first choice from the Wild. I would have gone with Rolston. I have never really been a fan of Fedoruk. He has gotten a lot of concussions and when he was with Dallas he tried to start fights with everyone but then failed miserable! We have Carcillo and McGrattan to fight and they can actually win.

Sounds like they wouldn’t give Vrbata 3 years (that’s what Tampa gave him, last I heard we were offering 2 years) but they give 4 to Sauer and 3 to Fedoruk? I just don’t get it. I’d rather have Vrbata then Fedoruk. I would rather have Weller than Fedoruk. Weller was a beast for us. Coyotes gave other players (Gratton, Bell etc) one ways last year and sent them to SA. Why not Weller? I wish him well, he was a great player.