Monday, July 31, 2006


The WHA had failed miserably, and the Edmonton Oilers merged into the NHL along with the Jets, Whalers, and Nordiques in 1979, and an expansion draft took place. NHL teams could draft the WHA players whose rights they held. Wayne Gretzky's case was an exception because nobody owned his rights.

Somehow, Oilers GM Peter Pocklington managed to keep Gretzky in Edmonton as a 'priority selection', and it was agreed upon by the NHL. As a result the Oilers picked last in the 1979 Entry Draft in the first round.
To fill out the rest of their team in the expansion draft, the Oilers basically selected a bunch of 'nobody's', except for defenceman Lee Fogolin and goalie Eddie Mio.
But it was the 1979 Entry Draft that proved to be an exception.
The Oilers picked Kevin Lowe 21st overall, at the end of Round 1.
They then picked Mark Messier 48th overall, and Glenn Anderson 69th. These were genius picks. However, players like Ray Bourque, Mike Gartner, and Michel Goulet were selected earlier in Round 1 as well!
During the 1979 season, there was a lopsided trade between the Oilers and North Stars. Edmonton traded their 2nd round pick-Neal Broten, and their 3rd pick-Kevin Maxwell to Minnestoa for goon Dave Semenko. That trade was ass- backwards in hindsight, but at least Gretzky got his policeman! The Oils also acquired Charlie Huddy through free agency from the Sabres, and traded Ron Chipperfield to Quebec for goalie Ron Low. The Oilers finished the season with 70 points, and were decimated in the first round of the playoffs by the red-hot Flyers.
The 1980 entry draft saw more Oiler- drafting wizardry. They drafted Paul Coffey 6th, Jari Kurri 69th, and Andy Moog 132nd. Three more cornerstones to their franchise. The only trade they made in the 80/81 season was sending Pat Price to Pittsburgh for Pat Hughes, who would be an instrumental secondary scoring role player for the Oils over the next few years. The Oilers finished the season with 74 points, suprised the Canadiens in the first round 3 games to 0, and then were soundly defeated in the second round by the Islanders Dynasty.
In the 1981 draft the Oilers selected Grant Fuhr 8th overall, and Steve Smith 111th. Steve Smith would not be on the first Cup-winning team, but Grant Fuhr jumped into the lineup immediately and paid huge dividends. The Oilers made only one trade in the 81/82 season, getting reliable defenceman Don Jackson from Minnesota for Don Murdoch.
This Oiler team was maturing fast. Wayne Gretzky had a miraculous 92 goal 120 assist season and was shattering records left and right. They finished the season with 111 points, second only to the dominant Islanders, but once again fell early in the playoffs in Round 1 to the underdog Kings, who performed the 'Miracle on Manchester', squashing the cocky Oilers.
The 1982 draft was insignificant for the Oilers unless you count Jaroslav Pouzar 83rd overall as special. But they did trade Risto Siltanen and Brent Loney to Hartford for "The Rat" Kenny Linseman and Don Nauchbaur. They also traded Laurie Boschman to Winnipeg for a gutsy guy named Willy Lindstrom, and signed Doctor Randy Gregg as a free agent. They finished the season with 106 points, obliterated the Jets, Flames, and BlackHawks in the playoffs before the relentless Islanders beat them four straight in the finals. At this point, Oiler players still recall that finals loss teaching them a lesson on what it took to win.
The Oilers drafted 2 more beauties in the 1983 draft: Jeff BeukaBOOM at 19th, and Esa Tikkanen at 80th overall. This was the same year that Cam Neely was drafted 9th by the Canucks, and Claude Lemieux-26th by the Canadiens. Tiks and Boom would not be on the first Oiler Cup-winning roster, but would obviously be instrumenta further down the road. The Oilers sent Tom Roulston to the Pens for tough guy Kevin McClelland to get some more size for the playoffs, and he would pay off with a stellar playoff run. The Oilers finished the season with 119 points-well ahead of everyone else. Gretzky and Coffey led the league in scoring. Edmonton blew by the Jets 3-0 in round 1, squeezed by Calgary in 7 in Round 2, pumelled the North Stars 4-straight in the semis, and finally defeated the Islanders in 5 for the Stanley Cup. The Islanders Dynasty had finally come to an end.

The Oilers would win 5 Stanley Cups in the 80's to create their own Dynasty. Ironically the only good draft pick they made over the next 6 years was Kelly Buchberger, selected 188th in the 1985 draft. But they didn't need good picks anymore. The core of their team was one of the best in history. The huge majority of that Superstar core was primarily from their drafting prowess. This is something that the Islanders had done before them. But I'll get into that some other day.


It has been a slow week for hockey news so I figured I'd share with you some baffling steals at NHL draft days from 1992 to 2002. We obviously are not fully aware of any steals from 2003 to 2006.
The two Detroit drafts of Zetterberg and Datsyuk always amaze me. I can't say enough about their scouting staff. Another beauty is that in 1998, the Lightning drafted Vincent Lecavalier 1st overall, and Brad Richards 64th.
A known fact is that European players tend to go under the radar, as we have initially drafted North American players. You will see more of this when I post draft steals prior to 1992.
This is less the case in recent years, and the growing trend of drafting more Europeans should increase in years to come. If you have any others to add to this time frame please feel free to discuss!


With the dust starting to settle and teams either spent to the limit or waiting to sign their restricted free agents, some prominent UFA's are still waiting for a phone call. The most notable ones I haven't heard much about lately are Brian Leetch and Jason Allison. They are older and slower but should still be able to contribute at a reasonable price.
TSN has the complete list of UFA's, which I believe they keep up to date.

Maybe this will be the year we see the likes of Jim Dowd, Scott Young and Lyle Odelein put out to pasture. Or we see the Jason Woolley types end up like Mike Keane of the Vancouver Canucks, playing babysitter in the minors for the rest of their days, which I personally hate to see. Although alot of these UFA's are reaching the end of their careers, it would be handy to have them come playoff time. Imagine if Buffalo would have had a "Woolley Mammoth" or two when there defense was crumbling this year.


There is reports out of Detroit that Dominic Hasek will sign with the Red Wings for one more year. The Wings had no plans to stick with Manny Legace or Chris Osgood as their number one goalies this year, and signing a bigger name goalie was imminent.
The question now is if Hasek's groin will be able to withstand another season. Last season Hasek had great numbers in Ottawa until he injured his groin at the Turin Olympics. He then missed the rest of the season and playoffs.
It is an interesting scenario. For one, Wings fans were awfully nervous about the chance of Belfour coming to Motown, but can they be any more or less excited about Hasek?
Another issue is: Why the hell don't they like Manny Legace? Legace was 37 - 8 - 3 last season with a 2.19 GAA. Strange.
Hasek's deal will include incentives. So maybe that will heal his groin a little quicker. Either way, not even Hasek can save the potential downward spiral in the standings for the Wings, IMO.
Terms of the deal were not announced at this time.
Thanks to Christy for her prompt post at Behind the Jersey.


There are various reports that UFA Petr Sykora may be heading north. There are rumors that he could sign a 1-year $2.85 million deal as early as today.
I say they can have him!! Sykora has been awfully streaky in recent years. He had 51 points in 74 games last year. His best seasons were with the Devils on the famed Arnott/Elias Sykora line that won the Cup in 2000. That is still one of my favorite lines of all time.
However, it would be interesting to see Sykora's work ethic in Edmonton. MacT wouldn't ever let him off the hook for slacking, and maybe Sykora could revive his career with the Oils.
Either way, it is SPECULATION at this point. I'm sure Oiler fans hope it becomes a reality.

(photo from Seattle Times)


This week it is the Great and Mighty Borje Salming.
Damn, I used to have this card! Salming was my first hockey hero. I can remember watching Hockey Night in Canada as a kid in the late 70's, and seeing Salming break out of his zone with that burst of speed. He was a great powerplay quarterback, and made the great breakout passes out of his zone as well.

Salming changed the concept of how westerners viewed Swedish hockey players. We used to call them the 'Swedish Chickens.' But Salming was the first to prove us wrong. Mats Sundin called Salming a 'trailblazer for Swedish hockey players'

Salming was one of the first Swedes to play in the NHL. He was signed as a free agent in 1973 (out of Sweden. He is the first Swede to be inducted into the Hall of Fame..(like that Temujin??)

He played from 1973 to 1989. He finished his career with 1148 games played, 150 goals, 637 assists, and had 49 points in 81 playoff games for the Leafs.

In 1989 he was acquired by the Red Wings as a free agent, but only played 49 games with the Wings before retiring from the NHL. He then played three more years in Sweden with AIK Solna.

Funny Facts: *Salming has his own line of underwear called Salming Underwear! Oh Geeza!
*Apparently, Salming was also suspended during the 86/87 season for admitting he had tried cocaine 6 years earlier at a party. Borje.....deny deny deny!!!!

Sunday, July 30, 2006


There has been a lot of debate lately on all the popular blogs as to who had the worst jerseys ever and I was suprised this gem wasn't presented. Here's Butch Goring sporting the all yellow digs for the '71-72 season. It made Butch look like a prancer if you ask me.


Here are some pieces that the Canucks put together to create their 1994 SuperTeam:

September 1987- New Jersey traded Greg Adams and Kirk McLean to Vancouver for Patrick Sundstrom and Canucks' 4th round pick Matt Ruchty. (Matt who??)

Montreal traded Gerald Diduck to Vancouver for draft pick Vladimir Vujtek in January 1991.

In March 1991, St. Louis traded Geoff Courtnall, Cliff Ronning, Sergio Momesso, Robert Dirk, and futures to Vancouver for Dan Quinn and Garth Butcher. Thanks Blues!

June 1991- Minnesota traded Dave Babych to Vancouver for Tom Kurvers.

March 1993- Hartford traded Murray Craven and a pick to Vancouver for Robert Kron. Vancouver then completed the deal in May by sending Jim Sandlak to Hartford.

January 1994- Vancouver signed Martin Gelinas off of waivers from Quebec.

February 1994- Vancouver signed Brian Glynn off waivers from Ottawa.

March 1994- Vancouver traded Craig Janney to St. Louis for Bret Hedican, Jeff Brown, and Nathan Lafayette.

Wow...then combine these guys with the likes of Linden and Bure and head into the 1994 playoffs to whoop some serious ass! Canuck fans should toast Pat Freaking Quinn for this once in a while!!!


For a great Canuck read, check out the Post-Pessimist Association's Canucks That Don't Suck. Quite enjoyable actually, and it is written by an Avs Fan!! Scroll down the page a little once you get there.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Recently fired GM Neil Smith takes job as security guard until the season starts and he can get back on TSN.

A Special Message From Markus Naslund


Wow, he actually speaks TRUTH for once!

thanx for the idea Alanah!


Alanah Downie of Vancouver Canucks Op Ed is in the midst of a 24 hour blogathon to raise money for the kids at Canuck Place. She must compose 48 posts in that time frame. So far, the reading is great! Come visit her and keep her company! The blogathon ends at 6 AM tomorrow morning!


Ok, I've got a weird sense of humour but I thought this headline was funny. I can skate better and faster than this guy. Dave Andreychuk and Jason Allison look fast in comparison to big Keith for christ sakes.

Do the Flyers really want Primeau to return?? My guess, knowing Bobby Clarke is he'd wish Primeau died if it freed up some cap room. Remember Clarkes infamous quote after Roger Neilson's firing "its not our fault he got cancer".

Oddly enough, Clarke is acting quite respectful towards Primeau and his decision to attempt to play this season even tho an extra $3 Million would help get Gange signed or dip into the free agent market, before its down to Allison, Daze and Jim Dowd left to pick from.


As I stood in line with my Trevor Linden Jersey I had just picked out to purchase, I overheard this guy asking to have his own name put on the back of his newly acquired sweater. I remember thinking to myself " what a putz, don't you have a favorite player on this team"??
With all the players changing teams or numbers (see Earl Sleeks Blog) these days because of the Cap rules, free agency and misc reasons (my wife doesn't like Edmonton) I'm now thinking this guy was smarter than the rest of the sheep making player favorite decisions that day. Think about it, as long as this guy is a Canuck fan, his jersey is still cool.
I think the "Yzerman days" are gone with the new NHL, making the perennial lifer jersey pick virtually impossible.
Until they attach players names and numbers with Velcro, my next jersey's gonna have my name on it. I'm just glad I don't have a silly last name like, Tornbaum or Kuntz.


Below are stats of what the significant Western Conference teams have accomplished in the 10 years PRIOR to the lockout/new cap structure. The values are where the team finished in the Western Conference.

THANK GOD FOR THE NEW CAP SYSTEM! Those were TEN dreadful years for anyone who wasn't a Wings, Avalanche, or Stars fan! And quite frankly we were getting sick and damn tired of seeing those markets buy and maintain their expensive, talent-laden rosters. Especially Detroit, who has finished in the top five 100% of the time, and finished in the top three 90% of the time in the past decade. They have also finished in the top three 87% of the time in the past 15 years!) Of course, Detroit and Colorado drafted alot of their talent, but would match any team's over-inflated offer when their player was up for contract negotiations.

Already the benefits of an even playing field are evident. The Flames made their first appearance in the top 5 for the first time since the 1994/95 season. The Predators cracked the top 5 for the first time in their franchise's history, and the Oilers are on the rise.
The ONE team I have to give credit to, is the Sharks. For the past 6 years especially, they have remained competitive. Most of that team's core was drafted and remained in San Jose at an affordable price. The cap system arrives, and they add Joe Thornton to a super talented, affordable lineup. The result? The Sharks could/should take over the Western Conference this year.

With the Red Wings and Avalanche losing some key players this offseason, and not doing much to replace them (because they financially can't-HAHAHA) the Sharks, Flames, Predators, and Ducks will make a push for the top spots in the West this year, and will likely succeed. The Stars should linger in the mix as well.
NOW we can enjoy a level playing field, and I won't have to pick so may Red Wings in my playoff pool! Ten years from now, statistics like the one above won't be so lopsided. And that's.....a good thing!


I've read about a lot of Leaf fans who are excited about the Leafs' offseason signing of G Andrew Raycroft. But I have been feeling so cautious and unsure of it since JFJ announced it. This is because in a sickening way, Raycroft reminds me of former Capitals / Bruins goaltender Jim Carey. Let me explain WHY I draw these comparisons...

Andrew Raycroft won the Calder Trophy as the best rookie in 2004. Jim Carey won the Vezina Trophy as a rookie in 1996. There has not been ONE GOALIE in the past 40 years-plus who has floundered the year after winning one of those 2 awards as a rookie except Raycroft and Carey. (Jose Theodore is a debatable possibility.)

*Raycroft went from a 29 - 18 - 9 record, .929 save percentage, 2.05 GAA, Calder-winning season to a 8 - 19 - 2 record, .879 save percentage, 2.92 GAA post-lockout sophmore season. Jim Carey went from a 35- 24 - 9 record, .906 save percentage, 2.26 GAA Vezina -winning season to a 17 - 18 - 3 record, .893 save percentage, 2.75 GAA sophmore season.

**Both goaltenders were traded after (or shortly before) their 2nd year had expired after winning those awards. Both with high hopes with their new teams.

***Jim Carrey's play was slowly declining in 1996-97. In March he was traded with Jason Allison, Anson Carter, and a 3rd round pick to Boston for Adam Oates, Rick Tocchet, and Bill Ranford. Once 'The Net Detective' arrived in Boston, his play deteriorated immediately, and his NHL career ended shortly afterward.

So what will be the story of Andrew Raycroft? The Leafs gave up a great goaltending prospect in Tuuka Rask for him. The fate of the Leafs will rest on his shoulders. JFJ is banking on it. He is expecting a full recovery of Raycroft's play and psyche.
I'm hesitant because history is not on Raycroft's side on this matter, and this could be the first year the Leafs don't have a bonafide number one goalie since Grant Fuhr played for us in the early 90's! Are my comparisons far-fetched? Am I wrong? This concept is a longshot possibility. We shall see in October... and as Han Solo once said, "I got a bad feeling about this!"

Friday, July 28, 2006


On September 19, 1991, Toronto traded Vincent Damphousse, Scott Thornton, Luke Richardson, goalie Peter Ing, futures, and cash to Edmonton for Glenn Anderson, Grant Fuhr, and Craig Berube.

In January 1992, Toronto traded Gary Leeman, Craig Berube, Michel Petit, Alexander Godynyuk, and goalie Jeff Reese to Calgary for Doug Gilmour, Jamie Macoun, Ric Nattress, Kent Manderville, and goalie Rick Walmsley.

Grant Fuhr and Futures were traded to Buffalo in 1993 for Dave Andreychuk, Daren Puppa, and Sabre's 1st round pick Kenny Jonsson in the 93 draft.

These moves solidified a strong core for a revived Leaf team in the 1990's. Gad, Fletcher was good, he was REAL good!


The NHL team will take the ice next season as the Anaheim Ducks, wearing new uniforms with different colours and a redesigned logo. The makeover cuts the team's final remaining ties to former owner The Walt Disney Co., which sold the Ducks last year to Orange County residents Henry and Susan Samueli.

The team kept Ducks in its nickname after a poll of season ticketholders.

"I really love the new look and thank the Samuelis for giving me a chance to have input on the design," winger Teemu Selanne said.

Sorry couldn't resist... check out the link for a look at the new Duck's logo


Although Hab GM Bob Gainey was slow to jump into the free agent sweepstakes, he finally took the plunge and signed UFA forward Sergei Samsonov. Mike Johnson was also added to the team via trade. Both players should fit in well on the Canadians seeing neither can seem to play more than 2/3 of a season without injuring themselves.

The Habs had only two players play all 82 games last year, both defenseman. Can a forward play every game this upcoming season?? bet its not going to be either of the two new guys.


*TSN rumors the Ducks are looking to trade or dump Vishnevski.

*The Sabres have signed Tim Connolly to a multi-year deal. Terms not released.

*As Earl Sleek has pointed out, the Ducks have signed D Vitali Vishnevski to a 1-year $1.55 million deal. Gad the Duck's defence looks ...well...mighty!

*Sorry Hodge, Peter Schaeffer is NOT coming to Vancouver. It looks like Ottawa has signed him for 4-years at $8.4 million.

*The Panthers have signed D Mike Van Ryn to a 4-year deal today, avoiding arbitration. It seems that everything is going right for the Panthers this offseason.

*The Canucks have officially signed Exile D Yannick Tremblay to a 1-year $600,000 contract. DON'T break out the champagne!

*Chicago F Pavel Vorobiev has signed in Russia and will not play in the NHL this season.

*Sabres fans are in an uproar over a new jersey that could be implemented this season. Sportsnet reports that over 20,000 fans have signed an online petition in protest, forcing Sabres management to rethink this bone-headed idea. Personally, I love the current jerseys, so why f--k with a good thing?


From The Hockey News' Lighter Side of Hockey..

One day early in 1975-76, after years of glory with Boston, Phil Esposito was called in to meet with infamous coach Don Cherry. Cherry reluctantly told Esposito that he was being traded to another team. "OK," Esposito replied, "but if you say it's the New York Rangers, I'm going to jump out that window." Cherry's reply? "Bobby," he said, turning to an assistant, "open the window."


This past Monday, the Canucks signed 4 prospects that could possibly crack their lineup this season.

Upon reviewing their profiles, I realized that a few of them may not be so bad at all.

Pictured above is winger Jannik Hansen. Born in Herlev, Denmark, Hansen played on the under-18 Danish National Team twice. He is 20 years old, 6 feet tall, and weighs 190 pounds. Ok, so you figure he's Danish, so he can't play hockey, right? Last season he played for the Portland Winter Hawks (WHL) and recorded 64 points in 64 regular season games. He then achieved 13 points in 12 playoff games.
The scouting report on Hansen is that he has great speed, good hands, and a good wristshot. The knock on him is his size and lack of physicality. Look for Hansen to have a good training camp and possibly crack the Canuck's lineup occasionally this year.
Vancouver selected Hansen 287th overall in 2004.

The second prospect is defenceman Alexander Edler. He is 20 years old, was born in Ostersund, Sweden, is 6 foot 3 inches, and weighs 212 pounds.
Edler had 53 points in 62 games and was a +21 with the Kelowna Rockets last year. He had 8 points in 12 playoff games. He had 23 points in 33 games playing with MoDo Sweden in 04/05.
Canucks scout Thomas Gradin scouted a virtually unknown Edler. Dave Nonis had to swap picks to pick him ahead of Detroit, who wanted him. He was drafted 91st overall in 2004.
Reports say Edler is good at making the first pass out of the zone, and is gifted offensively. Knocks on him are his defensive play and his lack of using his size. (Malik anyone?? ha!)
Edler may impress at camp this fall, but probably will not get a shot this year, due to the Canuck's current depth on D.

The third prospect is defenceman Shaun Heshka. Born in Melville, Saskatchewan, Heshka is 6 feet 1 inch, and weighs 190 pounds. He is 20 years old.
Heshka has offencive numbers that are impressive.. His 59 points last season withthe Everett Silvertips was second on his team and second among WHL defenceman. He is assistant captain of the Silvertips. He was a second team allstar in the WHL western conference last season.
I read about someSilvertip fans knocking Heshka for his slow speed and mental lapses. Either way, we'll find out how he plays with the Moose this season.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


*Black Hawks' F Kyle Calder was awarded a $2.95 million contract through arbitration today. The Hawks will likely accept it, and Calder will have a hell of a year playing with Havlat.

*The Red Wings avoided arbitration and signed former doghouse resident C Jason Williams to a 2-year contract. Williams was good enough to be a decent pool pick last season.

*The Lightning have signed D Corey Sarich to a 1-year 1.9 million contract. They will need all the help they can get on their somewhat depleted D unit.

*The Kings have signed F Mike Cammalleri to a 1-year contract. He led the Kings in goals last season, with 26, which doesn't say much for the King's offence, and says alot about the Crawford hiring!

*The Flames have added UFA D Brad Ference to their lineup. Ference was actually a 1st round pick by the Nuckleheads in 1997. Is this the brother of fellow Flame Andrew Ference? Both were born in Alberta. Are they drawing inspiration from the Niedermayer Weiners in Anaheim?

*ALL RIGHT! The Sabres will wear the old blue and gold jersey as the 3rd jersey! Love it!


Ok, lets see.... I've got about $2 million to fill 14 roster spots, Hmmm.

Dave Nonis has been active in the "New To You" arena picking up Chouinard, Pyatt, Santala, Bulis and now Tremblay. If one of these guys turns out to be a diamond in the rough, he's gonna look more than half-assed wise.
Nonis showed us with Carter. I can't remember too many people getting excited about the dark knight until he meshed with the twins last season and then proved he could play tough and let Carter walk if he was going to be unreasonable in his contract demands.

Way to go Dave, keep up the good work as GM. Sure glad the rumours of you taking over as Head Coach were false tho....Phew.


Signed by Montreal as a UFA recently, Sergei Samsonov will be counted on to put up numbers he hasn't been able to obtain since his '01-'02 season. Signing for $7.6 million for two years may have Gainey looking like the monkey if Samsonov can't stay healthy enough to contribute for a whole season.


What Noronen or Flaherty can expect as Luongo's backup... A funny clip from TSN


The Sabres have avoided arbitration with two players, F Jason Pominville and D Toni Lydman. Lydman accepted a 4-year $11.5 million deal. Pominville's contract is undisclosed. Click HERE to see why Pominville is an asset!
There is no word yet on whether or not the Sabres will accept Daniel Briere's $5 million arbitration ruling.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Another one from "The Instigator" archive. Funny how timeless they seem to be!!
Poor Lou, can he actually pull something off without every other team in the NHL wanting to rob him blind??
Last year he had Elias fake Mono or something to get under the cap, so maybe there's a loophole or two in the CBA fine print??
What if Mogilny and Malahkov disappeared mysteriously?? or a boating accident?? Hmmm


Here is a comic from CBC's The Instigator that paints a true picture. As it stands, the only acquisitions made by GM George McPhee so far this offseason are D Brian Pothier, F Richard Zednik, and F Donald Brashear, and F Alexander Semin from Russia.
These are minor upgrades, unless Brian Pothier and Alex Semin's upsides exceed expectation. But Semin is a longshot. Zednik will help a fair bit if he clicks with Ovechkin.
Below is the commitments that the Capitals have so far. Matt Pettinger is the only player unsigned. (TSN)

This adds up to about $23.14 million US. The Capitals are still paying about $4 million of Jagr's salary as well, since they signed him for too much and too long in the old NHL pre-cap system.
So make that total $27.14 million. Add about $2 million onto Ovechkin's total because he reached all of his incentives last year, and the total is about $29 million. (damn confusing) There is still alot of room to play here.
So why the delay by GM George McPhee to sign a pricier- higher talent? Ovechkin's contract will expire in 2008 I believe. So he'll need to have $8 million plus to resign Alex, for one.
I think McPhee has a lot of patience with his young players as well. But do you see a lot of upside to this roster? I don't. Not much beyond D Steve Emminger.
I think they should trade for Scott Gomez within the next couple of months. There is not one good center on the team to play with Alex. (No, Halpern and Zubrus are NOT good and should be used further down the depth chart). Gomez would fit in the cap structure, and thrive with Ovechkin. If not Gomez, then any center of Gomez' calibre. Devil's GM Lou Lamoriello must lick his lips at he sight of a sucky team's high draft picks. It makes sense...
The Capitals must be somewhat suffering financially at this point. From what I gather, they averaged about 13,905 people in attendance last season, and the arena holds 19,700. This would be about 28th in the league. The Capital's record was 29 - 42 - 12 for 70 points, which was 26th in the league.
People will pay to see Ovechkin, but more people will pay to see a winning team, especially in a RedSkins/Wizards climate.
So DO IT, McPhee! Not only because it would make me a prophet, but also for the fans- as one Capitals fan said today "Show me Gomez, and I'll buy season tickets tomorrow."
I agree, don't leave Ovechkin with a bunch of stiffs.

**UPDATE- The Devils have accepted Gomez' deal and are now over the cap.**


With all the rumours floating around as to where Scott Gomez will be playing this year, I decided to make a bold prediction.

He's heading to the "OTHER" team.
According to Gomez, " I feel blessed to be here but wearing white jerseys, home and away may take some getting used too".

Unlike the other rumour hounds out there unwilling to share their source, I officially heard it from the "OTHER" team's goalie. LINK


From a great Russian Hockey Blog called kulichki, which I believe means 'Snap'..

"Big deal

The bidding that greeted Lindros' NHL arrival was unprecedented. He had already said he would not play for Quebec, which held his rights. The Nordiques accepted trade offers from both Philadelphia and the New York Rangers, which an arbitrator had to sort out. Here's a look at what teams were willing to give up for Lindros in 1992:

Philadelphia: The Flyers sent Peter Forsberg, Ron Hextall, Steve Duchesne, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Chris Simon; two first-round draft picks; and $15 million.

New York Rangers: Their offer included Doug Weight, Tony Amonte, Alexei Kovalev, John Vanbiesbrouck and three first-round draft picks.

Chicago: The Blackhawks were reportedly offering a package led by Ed Belfour and Steve Larmer.

Detroit: The Red Wings were reportedly willing to part with captain Steve Yzerman and other veterans. Quebec also wanted Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom as part of any deal."

Wow, I didn't know half of those offers were out there. Thank gad the Flyers made that trade, because I detest the Flyers! And I hate Lindros!

For a MUST SEE CBC news video of the Lindros saga, click HERE.


I'll try to keep you up to date on any movement today

*Pittsburgh F Ryan Malone was awarded a 2-year 2.75 million deal this afternoon. Malone has consistently had 43 and 44 point seasons in his first two years in the NHL*

*The Red Wings have signed UFA defenceman Danny Markov today. Markov is 30-years old. He had a plus 9 rating and 11 assists in 58 games last season. But Markov got lost in Nashville's depth chart, as the Preds have been deep on defence for the last few years. In Detroit, Markov will be a 2nd or 3rd line defenceman, and will fill in the gap on the Wing's D, especially if Jiri Fischer doesn't return soon. See more Markov stats here.

* The Senators have resigned F Chris Neil for a reported 3 years at $3.3 million, avoiding arbitration.

*Laracque says: "Know your role, and shut your damn mouth, jabroni!" to Nazarov, in a really roundabout sort of way. This is in regards to Nazarov's statement yesterday about NHL enforcers using steroids.*

**Jay Bouwmeester has been awarded a 2-year $4.35 million deal through arbitration. The Panthers have 48 hours to accept or decline. I think the obvious decision will be to sign him and keep him, don't you think?**


When asked If he was going to enjoy Florida, Eddie quipped "it's a trade off really, I have to accept being a backup goalie for the first time in my life but the old bones are loving this weather".

Eddie's wife giggled and refused to comment on the case of Grecian Formula observed in the back seat of their '77 Cadillac, other than to utter "does it look like it's mine".

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


This is still more than GM Lou Lamoriello wanted to pay Gomez, and is less than the $7 million Gomez thought he was worth. It still puts the Devils over the cap by about 4.5 million, and F Brian Gionta has not even been signed yet.
The Devils have 48 hours to decide what they will do. Which is obviously to sign Gomez and then trade him, or someone else. The fallout in Jersey begins....

Here is the Devils' current situation.


"I just got back from the Canuck's dressing room and Pavel's groin has never felt better!"

During a Canucks game, CKNW color commentator Tom Larscheid chose the wrong words to report on the status of injured forward Pavel Bure.

Excerpt from The Hockey News - The Lighter Side of Hockey


The 41 - year old has signed with the Panthers for 1 year, at $750,000 plus incentives.
Reports say he will split goaltending duties with Alex Auld this season. It seemed unusual that the talent-ridden Panthers would rely solely on an un-proven Auld in the first place. I figure Eddie will take the #1 position by late October.
This is a smart move by Keenan regardless of what Belfour-haters say. Belfour has constantly returned from back problems and proven to be a good starting goalie. At this point I don't believe his age is of too much significance.
This re-unites Eddie with Captain Hook Keenan. Their relationship in the past as members of the Black Hawks was rocky,
but this time around Keenan is GM and Jacques Martin is the coach.
Belfour is second on the all time wins list by a goalie, and will probably only get close to first place, held by Patrick Roy.
Wow, I'm going to jump on the Florida badwagon this year, now that they have two of my faves in Gary Roberts and Belfour.


*The Sharks have signed Mark Bell (acquired through trade) to a 3 - year deal.
*The Sharks have also sign D Christian Erhoff to a 2 - year deal.
*Predator's goalie Tomas Vokoun has been cleared to play this season. Vokoun missed the playoffs last season because of clotting in his blood. His situation has stabilized, and doctors have cleared him to play.

**UPDATE- The Oilers have signed winger Ales Hemsky to a 6 year contract today. Terms in dollars have not been revealed yet. Hemsky had a career year last season scoring 77 points in 81 games. A good move by the Oils, unless Hemsky has a wife in the U.S. somewhere who wants him to leave the team next year to be closer to her...sniff sniff...**

**The Islanders have decided to accept Mike York's arbitration awarding for 1-year $2.85 million. York will stay with New York.**

**Former NHLer Andrei Nazarov , pulling a Jose Canseco, has been quoted in a Russian newspaper saying that drug use runs rampant in the NHL , and that drug testing policies are inefficient. Anyone else wanna pool money for a plane ticket, fly to Russia, drag his ass out back and shoot him?**


With our "Waiting for Stanley" theme in mind, I thought it would be fitting to look at why my favorite team (Canucks) hasn't hoisted that elusive cup yet. It didn't take a lot of research to find that it must be our Captains fault. Not because Markus is a bad guy or anything but the fact is, he's not Canadian. The Dallas Stars, with Derian Hatcher wearing the "C" are the only Stanley Cup champions to have had a non-Canadian captain. As it stands right now, four of the six Canadian teams have European Captains, with only the Alberta teams flying the red and white at present. Interestingly, they are the only Canadian teams in recent years to make it to the finals and only a game away from bringing home the Jug both times. Same goes for the Canucks in '94, with Linden sporting the "C". The last Canadian team to win the Cup....Montreal, with Guy Carbonneau as captain. Coincidence?? I think not.

Is this the reason Ottawa (alfredsson) can't get past the first round, the Leafs (Sundin) past the second, the Canadians without a sniff since Koivu took over, my Canucks (Naslund) not getting past a team with a Canadian captain in the last five years of the playoffs??

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a beaver hugging patriot or anything even close but I'm calling Dave Nonis as soon as I'm done here to enlighten him on my findings, so don't be suprised to see Trevor Linden with a "C" on his jersey again this season.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Salmon River, Nova Scotia will witness an NHL exhibition game between the Canadiens and Senators on September 25, as a result of winning the Kraft Hockeyville competition. Realizing this, I now feel the sting of our loss once again, as we (Smithers) finished in the top 5. Imagine a Canucks / Flames game at the Smithers Civic Center.....
Nevertheless, I'll once again congratulate Smithers Hockeyville Organizer Matt Davey and Co. for the job they did. And way to go, Salmon River, you guys will have a hell of a time! As a sidenote, aren't most maritime province hockey fans Canadiens and Leaf fans? Every easterner I've met has been a fan of either the Habs or the Leafs (and Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum! Heheh) I wonder how many Senators fans are out there.
I hope the game will be televised on September 25th, as it will be a treat to watch. I'm just not looking forward to feeling the pain of losing once again.

Despite all this we can also be proud of the 'highest altitude women's hockey game..EVER! (as seen to the left, and here. That was one sweet idea! The women played at about 5500 feet above sea level, just above our ski hill, and at the same location that Eight Below was filmed.


This week it's Bryan Trottier. These are the rookie and sophmore Trottier cards (75-76 and 76-77). Trottier and the Islanders reached the playoffs in his first year as an Islander. The years prior to this were post expansion bottom feeding for the Isles. Trottier was drafted 22nd overall in 1974 by the Isles, and Clarke Gilles was drafted 4th! For all you history buffs, Denis Potvin was drafted 1st overall by the Isles in 1973, and King Richard Brodeur was drafted by New York 97th overall in 1972. The exceptional draft picks in these years solidified a lineup that would soon become a dynasty.


I saw this pic of Bob Gainey and the first thing to mind was.... Caption Contest. Post a caption in the comments. The winner receives an Ed Jovonovski Canucks third jersey. lol

**warning-some of the comments may offend some readers**


According to Czech newspaper articles, as reported on Canucks Corner this morning, Jan Bulis has signed a $1.3 mil contract with the Canucks. Is this the replacement for Carter?? Can he play on the right side?? All I remember is him scoring 4 goals in one game last year. Apparently was in the doghouse last year in Montreal?? maybe R/C can shed some light on Bulis for us??

***Some more signings today..
*The Sharks have signed C Mark Smith to a 1-year $700,000 deal.
*The Avalanche have found a replacement for Rob Blake! It's Ken Klee! Whoopee! Terms not disclosed.
*The Canucks have re-signed RW Lee Goren.
*The Islanders have re-signed Arron Asham to a 1-year 950,000 contract.
*After a career year, Martin Erat has re-signed with the Predators for 2 years, $3.35 million.

*Heads up, the story on Scott Gomez should surface soon!***

Sunday, July 23, 2006


The Sabres' rising star has just been awarded a $5 million US 1-year contract through arbitration. This coming off the heels of a 58 point season in only 48 games. TSN reports that the contracts of players like Martin Havlat and Alex Tanguay were used as templates for the negotiations.
This is a huge raise for Briere. But apparently Buffalo management is not happy with this. There is speculation that Briere could still be traded within the next 48 hours. (Sabres' GM Darcy Regier has only 48 hours to accept or reject this settlement.) If rejected, Briere will become an unrestricted free agent. So the Sabres need to move Briere before that happens, if Briere is out of their plans. TSN reports that Montreal, Altlanta, and Los Angeles are especially in the hunt for Briere right now.
Speaking of Montreal, the Canadiens have signed Michael Ryder to a 1-year 2.2 million deal today. The Habs have all their player under contract now...lucky b*****ds!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006


There's no party like a Garth Snow party! I don't see anyone else posting this picture, so I will dammit! This is Garth partying a while back. I think he clipped this picture onto his resume to Wang!


Hodge and I live in a beautiful area in Northern BC called Smithers. Pictured above is the picturesque Hudson Bay Mountain. In between the two peaks is Glacier Gulch, which is receding a bit quicker in recent years because of the warmer winters. The ice melt coming off the glacier and peaks around it runs quickly down the mountain and forms two majestic waterfalls called Twin Falls.

This is me backcountry skiing on top of the prairies, just above our ski hill. It was in June, after the ski hill had closed for the season. Nice views. This is where the Disney movie 'Eight Below' was filmed. Yes, we are proud of that!

The is a range northwest of Smithers called The Nipples and the Rocky Ridges. The picture is taken from the abandoned Hankin fire lookout. Nice place to stay overnight and party.

This is probably the best hike in the valley. It's an area near Hazelton called Blue Lakes. You have to see this area to believe just how majestic it really is. Here I am standing at the top of a waterfall which flows into the lower lake. The trail ascends higher from here to the top lake, where you can camp.
For more pics of this area, visit my friend Temujin's site, West Coast Chaos, and view his Smithers pics here. Thanks for the idea, man!

Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.