Canucks and Beyond
Earlier today, I put up a list of all the best news sources for UFA news on Kukla's Korner. Also, KK itself will be updating live with stories of any signings around the league. The UFA market opens at 9am PT / 12pm ET. (I wonder if Paul Kariya would consider signing with the Canucks for one year at under $1 million? Yeah, yeah... just a thought.) Anyway, let the fun begin...
The off season is full of so many stories, it's understandable that people joke that there really ISN'T an off season for the NHL. But it's the potential for amusement that really stands out to me, and for some reason this week, everything strikes me as worth laughing at. Here are just 5 recent stories that seem to have their own laugh-track built right in:
Eyes on the Prize is getting anxious about the contract negotiations going on between Sheldon Souray and Bob Gainey. 100 hours before free agency kicks in... will he get signed or won't he? Robert composes an interesting theoretical conversation between the two sides, with Souray's agent thrown in the mix. Apparently, a negotiation with Souray might include:
SS: It's not about the money I'll seek, Bob. The team... BG: If it isn't then why didn't you sign either of our two offers....if it's not about money? SS: (Long pause) I just want fair money, Bob. BG: Our offer was fair enough, don't you think? SS: In terms what might be my market value....I don't know....I'm not really sure.The whole thing got me thinking about what might be happening between Dave Nonis and Jeff Cowan right about now...
JC: Not too complicated, man. I want 2 years, $600K per. And a little respect. DN: We respect you, we really respect you, Jeff. But you know the kind of deals we need to get done. Hell, there's even idiots out there speculating that we're trading Willie Mitchell, we're so tight on cash! JC: I am the Brabarian. Women strip off their lingerie at your hockey games and throw it on the ice because of me. And thus, as long as I'm here, Mitchell will never leave and no seat will ever be empty. DN:..... DN:..... DN: Fine. Done. Sign here.Problem solved.
364? days ago, there was a whole lot of excitement before the Draft even started: the blockbuster signing of Roberto Luongo, taking him away from Florida. Yesterday, Panthers owner Alan Cohen posted some memories of that event on the team website. Add in the subsequent firing of Mad Mike, and it's just nice to share the memories, don't you think?
QUESTION: It was a year ago this week the club traded Roberto Luongo. Can you assess this trade now and describe exactly what happened? ALAN COHEN: “The bottom line is we tried to sign Roberto for 18 months. The plan I’ve had since day one (as owner) was to sign our kids. I said I wanted guys to stay seven to 10-plus years and build through the draft. I never dreamed we’d trade Roberto. That’s why we tried to sign him for 18 months. He never said there was a problem with the dollars. We just couldn’t get it done. With most everyone else we get the deal done pretty quickly. All he had to do was get out a pen. The contract was there for 18 months. “When it didn’t happen, the staff said (the trade) would make the team better. I really had no choice but to say, ‘Yes.’ As much as I love Roberto - and I have the utmost respect for him - but when the whole staff said trading him would be in the best interest of the Panthers, I said ‘Yes.’ “In any trade, when the main part (Todd Bertuzzi) doesn’t play, it will wind up as a bad trade. Along with that, (Alex) Auld, who was the Canucks’ MVP, didn’t fulfill that potential last year with us. If those two guys step up the way Roberto did for Vancouver, it could have been considered a much better deal. But at the time I had to make a decision and the staff believed this would be the best thing to do. If things were turned around and Roberto was the one that got injured and our players performed like we thought, the trade would have obviously looked different.” Q: Is the trade one of the reasons (former GM) Mike Keenan was dismissed? AC: “I don’t really think so. Sometimes it’s just best to move on. Mike is a great hockey mind, but it was just time to have everyone on the same page. Mike was frustrated as well. The inability to get Roberto signed was the responsibility of many. Had Roberto signed his name on the dotted line, he would still be here. He had 18 months to do that. You can pick up a pen anywhere.”
The famous hockey player Pavel Bure filed a lawsuit against the largest British airline British Airways because he was thrown out of the plane. The pilot had mistaken Bure for a soccer hooligan and flatly refused to lift the airplane in the air with suspicious passenger on board.
The police had to withdraw Pavel Bure from the flight. Now hockey player is asking British Airways 20 million dollars for moral compensation, said his lawyer Dmitry Ragulin.
According to the English translation used above, Bure’s lawyer was quoted as saying,
The incident occurred on October 31. My client was forced to leave the plane, fly another flight in Economy class and it took him over 24 hours to reach the final destination (Los Angeles). The lawsuit is first and foremost about the compensation for moral harm because we have not received any apology from the airline. All that we have received is the letter expressing regret over the incident and a hope that our client would use the airline in the future.
Yeah, that’s worth $20 million, easy…
Winners are being noted on Kukla's Korner live as they're being announced. Meanwhile, so far the Canucks have picked up one piece of hardware:
Canucks’ Vigneault Wins First Jack Adams Award Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault has captured the Jack Adams Award as “the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success,” as selected by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association. Vigneault received 18 first-place votes and 134 points, edging 2006 Adams winner Lindy Ruff of the Buffalo Sabres, who polled 11 first-place votes and 126 points.Roberto Luongo announcements, if he wins any of his 3 nominations, coming up soon. Update: 5:55 pm PST
Things have been quiet in the hockey universe leading up to the Stanley Cup Finals, but the wait is now over and the fun stuff starts tonight at 5pm PT.
Meanwhile, I know I’m a bit behind the times, but Ricky’s been on my mind… and I feel like pissing off probably more than half my readers.
What the hell. It’s Monday.
When Rick Tocchet pled guilty to gambling charges last week, I was surprised but pleased. By doing so, he ended the worst of the largely misrepresented omg-gambling-in-hockey! freak out, and gave us hope that we can all move on.
Against all the odds -- and to my endless irritation -- I see Dominik Hasek continues to snap up those salary bonuses of his with some show-off performances. God, it's hard to stomach. But I'm a good sport so I thought I'd offer him a celebratory drink, sure to be the next big thing at The Joe: Octopus Ball Soda. (I'm not even making this up.) Who knew the Japanese could contribute something so profound to the sport of ice hockey? I'll look forward to seeing the boys at the office knocking a couple of these back. ___________________________ Note: For Wings Fans with octopus fetishes that are unable to get their hands on this fine product, I've listed the ingredients below, just because I care. From News on Japan:
"a soda drink made with the flavors of diced octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, konnyaku, and green onion, topped with okonomiyaki sauce, green laver (aonori), mayonnaise, and katsuobushi (fish shavings)."I do hope you have fun making it and sharing it with your friends... there's even a soundtrack to go with the experience.
This morning I had a chance to interview LA Times columnist Helene Elliott for Kukla's Korner. Ms. Elliott was the first female journalist to be honored with a plaque in the Hall of Fame of any major professional sport, and it was a great pleasure to speak with her. Secondly, I also participated in an interview (with Paul Kukla) chatting with CBC's Kelly Hrudey a little while ago. I hope you enjoy them both! P.S. Go Senators! P.P.S. My apologies for not being around this week. A couple personal issues have made my schedule unexpectedly difficult.
A comment from Colin S. earlier today:
Hmm no new posts in a few days.... Has Alanah taken this loss a little harder than expected? Has she hit the bottom of the bottle yet? did she drink the worm? These are the questions that I want answeredGod. You'd think after a lifetime of far worse moments, the death of the Canucks after a great season and a well-fought playoffs would be reasonably easy to cope with. Well, you would be wrong: I still get intensely bitter and waaaaaaaay too emotionally involved on behalf of this team. It really does take a few days to shake the violent hatred from my heart (and watching Hasek win the Wings series for them didn't help that much) but I think I'm ready to come out of my cave. Also, getting this photo in my email from a reader cheered me up considerably this morning. Sometimes it's the little things that mean so much...
About Canucks and Beyond
Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]