Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Sometimes?  Well Sometimes It’s Good To Be Dumb

Dude.  I just read something that reminded me of a great piece of advice I received at a young age.

I was 22, a young Sailor doing what young Sailors do in the Philippines.  I happened to wander into a nifty dive called the Irish Rose out in The Barrio, where a few old Chiefs were sitting around doing what old Chiefs did.

I started out smart.  Sat there and listened, bought a few rounds.  Because that’s what young Sailors used to do for old Chiefs.  Then I made the mistake of opening my mouth and spewing my opinion about the Navy.

All conversation stopped, and one of the Chiefs looked at me and said, “Sit there.  Drink your beer and learn.  Most importantly, don’t talk about what you don’t know.  And, yes, I mean the Navy.”  I think memory has softened the exact language.

Boom. Got it.

Why?  This.

Dave at Gorilla Crouch is comparing hockey teams to “famous” philosophers.  And I have literally nothing to say about that because my idea of a “famous philosopher” is Bob Seger.  Anything more profound than Seger?  I have no business discussing. 

Dave’s a smart guy, obviously.  But when you’re so smart that you’re comparing hockey teams to intellectual giants?  Man, that’s just too much stuff rattling around in your melon.  You gotta dilute that stuff.  With cheap beer.  A ton of it. Fast.

If there is an NHL franchise that can be said to use their a priori knowledge of what it is they are looking for in prospects and use a posteriori experience to determine when those prospects are ready to play for the big club it would probably be Detroit.

Man. I need to read a Ted Montgomery column to even things out.  Good stuff Dave.  I think.

Seen Wyshynski’s latest attempt to take over the hockey blogging world?  Yeah. You probably have.

He asked for input for the “Bettman Portraits in Heroism” photoshop contest.  231 people responded, all with quality renditions of professional sports’ worst commissioner.  This one disturbed me.  Because even when joking?  You don’t try to taint the Stallion.


Wanna see the rest?  Of course you do.

Terry Frei’s a Denver guy and he writes for ESPN.  We don’t like Denver guys too much around here.  But he came pretty close this week to calling Uncle Mike the best hockey coach on the planet.

Pretty close?  Yeah. He couldn’t bring himself to say it.  Just said he was part of “the elite.”

He could become, if he hasn’t already, the prototype for the modern-era coach. Babcock didn’t play in the NHL, but he has a broad coaching background on the major-junior, Canadian college (briefly) and American Hockey League levels before stepping up, and up to the challenge. Yes, he’s been blessed to be in organizations with considerable talent, but he has proven to be adaptive in the evolving NHL—and that might be the most important quality for a coach in this era.

Oh, and he revamped a soft team into a tough one.  He jettisoned some guys who didn’t fit his mold, and that meant going head-to-head with one of the strongest personalities in hockey in Brendan Shanahan.  He weathered a big-time storm in tactfully handling the retirement of hockey’s greatest Captain…ever.  He meshed young upstarts with a few salty veterans.  He had the nad to sit a hall of famer in the middle of a playoff series. 

I guess, and remember I’m not real smart, that kind of makes him “elite”.  You can say it Teri.  We won’t tell the kin in Denver.  Babcock’s the best coach in the NHL.  “Elite” doesn’t do him justice.

Speaking of elitism.  Kevin Allen still figures hockey bloggers haven’t earned the right to eat the same popcorn as the vaunted MSM.  Me? Whatever.  I’ve got all the access I need sitting my fat ass on my couch with my block of cheddar.  But others have earned it.  Not according to Allen, though.

“My membership believes that right now there is not enough history to bring aboard bloggers,” Allen said. “They don’t really have any accountability. They can post anything and it doesn’t really matter, while those of us in the Association have accountability and have standards.”

Kevin’s “association” is the Professional Hockey Writer’s Assoc.  He’s the president and I dig the fact that he’s representing a lot of writers who don’t feel bloggers belong in the press box.  I’m not going to disagree with that.

But, I can tell you this.  I’ve got 19 members of my “association”.  And I guarantee the next time I write something stupid?  They’ll hold me accountable.  Those are my standards.

Oh, and while you’re reading that you’ll notice The Empire has been named the greatest hockey blog ever invented in the history of the world wide internet.  Great job to Paul and Alanah.  If anyone doubts how hard those two work to keep this place running, then you should be reading the site named #3 on that list.



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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com