Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Nicholas Lorenzi on 08/03/11 at 04:42 PM ET
With unbearably hot days and lack of stimulation from the Blue Jackets side of the NHL this past week, my only option is to down tallboys of cream ale and watch the program Columbus airs entitled “Slap shots”. Such an original name for a hockey broadcast—except for the fact that it is just a re-run to anyone who has been watching “Jackets TV” on the website when it posts. I have watched the first three out of nine scheduled broadcasts and found nothing new. It’s disappointing to see Ryan Johansen making a salad instead of training or giving thoughts on next season, as well as having to deal with Jeff Rimer babbling on my television set. This encourages the rate at which I drink.
This article isn’t about my drinking, but about men who are drunk and successful. No, this isn’t about the forefathers of the US but instead Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
It’s been reported the last few days that Richards and Carter were traded due to their tendency to enjoy themselves with a brew. No reports specifically on when they drank or how it affected their performance, but honestly, who cares? They both put up 66 points last season and aren’t even close to being over the hill yet. I find that when I drink I get increasingly better at throwing darts, I’m sure that throwing a wrister top shelf would be as easy intoxicated.
Maybe this could be a new trend in the league with harder hits and stumbling goaltenders. Seriously, imagine the promotional opportunity. Gatorade has already blanketed the market for most professional sports—it’s time to highlight the microbreweries local to the team. I’d be all over a power hour promo for power plays with the players on the bench lounging and knocking a few Buckeye Brewing Hippy IPAs back. There’d be an almost immediate connection between a drunken fan and the backup goaltender blacking out on the bench. The defensemen full of spunk, would murder anyone entering the blue line. At the other end of the ice their forwards would be laughing as they drunkenly deke through players and circle the net six or seven times before shooting. At the beginning of the game the arena would announce what instigates a drink. “Tonight’s drinking will be brought to you by way of shots” The Jumbotron would spew “DRINK!” every chance it sees fit. This certainly would help the Jackets make enough money to stay in Columbus; they’d just have to pay the Hosers more to clean the vomit off the ice.
But seriously, the thought of “partying” having a hand in this trade is absurd. Did they stumble into Wells Fargo Center when they came to the realization that they had a little too much to be able to make it to practice the next day so blacking out in the locker room was the best option? This is coach Laviolette and GM Holmgren’s fault in the end. The Cross Checks Blog on ESPN reports:
“According to the report, coach Peter Laviolette asked his players to commit to not drinking for a month on six occasions by writing their number on a board in the locker room. Richards and Carter did not ever participate in what was known as “Dry Island.”
General manager Paul Holmgren confirmed to the newspaper that they did not participate but said they were not the only players to decline. “We carry 23 players and there wasn’t 23 numbers up there,” Holmgren said. “
There was no reason to leak this to the press. You’re asking grown assed men to stop drinking? The only way this could become a problem is if the stats sheet reflected it. Both players were positive in the plus/minus and tied for third in points for the entire teams. Hell, Carter led in the goals for the season. So what did they possibly receive for these two party-boys? Three players and two draft picks? That hardly seems worth it, when you have gold you don’t just trade it away for a prospect and 2 mediocre players. Combining the stats of the old and the new last season we have another way to look at this. We find that the Flyers gained three players who had a combined 168 games played and accrued 78 points by bargaining away two players who played 178 games and racked up 132 points. It’s enough to scream if I was a Philly fan. Voracek has promise and possibly Simmonds too, but is it worth it to gamble when you had the “for sure” thing? The Flyers have been consistently playing the post season since 1995 but this trade could derail them. Maybe it’s the way the Eastern Conference is made up weak teams, but I imagine that slowing down with these players could hinder their chances to make it to the playoffs next season, even with Bryzgalov.
In the end I’m happy; we trimmed some nice tasting fat with Jakub Voracek being traded for Jeff Carter which increases our chances for a playoff appearance. So thank you Philadelphia for giving us something you shouldn’t have, we may have our chance to play for the Stanley Cup again. I’ll be spilling my beer every time Carter scores on you and hope to meet up with him at the Ice Haus arena bar after the game to congratulate him with a round of IPAs.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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