KK Members Blog
Following up on my KK Members Blog of November 20 on Coach Burns passing and the shameful actions of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
To the eighteen voting members of the HHOF, please ignore your tendency to now postpone Pat Burns being voted in the Hall for a few years for his accomplishments. After being called out by virtually the entire hockey world, I know that some of the people who vote for the the Hall inclusion are probably now thinking that we can’t possibly put Pat Burns in the Hall of Fame for the next two years, because if we do that, it will admit we made a mistake.
My advice to the HHOF and special call out to Scotty Bowman who sits on the committee is: man up, admit you made a mistake and correct it with the next vote. Better yet, organize a teleconference, take a special vote and announce his election to the Hall of Fame before next Monday when he is laid to rest. And while you are at it, vote Fred Shero in at the same time.
People will have more respect for the Hall if you correct your mistake.
You have a second chance to get it right. Don’t blow it again.
Everyone in the hockey world was saddened to learn of the death of Pat Burns. Pat was known for being a policeman in Gatinuea, Quebec. He was a fair, but touch coach that held his players accountable.
Coach Burns record in the NHL speaks for itself. A head coach in the NHL for 14 years with the Canadians, Maple Leafs, Bruins, and Devils. Pat coached over 1000 games and won more than 500 of them between 1988 - 2004. He won the Jack Adams award with three different teams, and was Coach of the Stanley Cups champions with the New Jersey Devils in 2003. He retired in 2006 and courageously fought three different types of cancer (colon, liver and lung) before finally succombing to the disagree at age 58 on Friday.
As you look at Coach Burns record, it obvious that he is a Hockey Hall of Famer, right? Well, obvious to everyone except the Hockey Hall of Fame. Coach Burns deserves to be in the Hall based on his credentials by itself. Yet, knowing that his cancer was in final stages, the HHOF failed to vote him in this year, in the same year that Dino and two females greats were inducted.
I recently ran across a list of the top ten hockey movies of all time. Of course, any hockey fan will immediately say ‘Slapshot’. Why not? We’ve all seen the movie a hundred times and I’ll bet you can repeat many lines in the movie. Who can forget some of the lines: “You go to the box. Two minutes by yourself and ... you feel shame. You know ..... and then you get free” and “Anybody throws me against the boards, I’m gunna PXXS all over myself”. How about those Hanson Brothers, “None of that stinkin’ root beer!.”
On the list of the top ten, was a movie I had not seen called “Net Worth” , produced in the 1990’s by CBC. It basically tells the story of how the NHLPA was formed. I knew previously that Ted Lindsey was a key figure in forming the association (not union), because of poor treatment from ownership and management. What I did not realize was the rest of the story behind the scenes and the reputation of some of the original owners and the NHL Commissioner at the time, Clarence Campbell. The owners were making money hand over fist, cooking the books and paying the players a relative small sum even for that time. The head coaches manipulated and treated the players like dirt . (Yes, I know, players still get manipulated by coaches but nothing like this).
With the changing format of the All-Star Game, maybe it’s time to consider some other new interesting ideas around the NHL.
First, on the issue of flagrant diving (ala Phil Kessel). To address diving, which has no place in an honorable, men’s game, provide the league with the ability to suspend a player without pay for an indisputable, flagrant dive. This will send a strong signal to all the divers out there
that won’t take the risk of fine and suspension.
Second, the issue of awarding three points for an overtime/shootout game. Rather than the current format of awarding one point each in regulation time to both teams and an extra point for an overtime/shootout win for a total of three points, here’s a better potential solution. Award each team a half point after a regulation tie. Award a full extra point for the overtime/shootout winner. Winning team gets 1.5 points The losing team gets a half point (0.5 point). This would encourage teams to win in regulation and end the frustration of fans/teams with the awarding of three point games. Three point games are especially frustrating down the playoff stretch as team trying to catch a team in a playoff positions are disadvantaged by the awarding of three points.
I’m less than one week from finally learning all 87 rules in the NHL Rulebook. With the Olympics imminent and all the trade talk in the air, I’m moving on to the IIHF Rulebook and the business of hockey. On the latter, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the Kovalchuk trade. And don’t even start me on the elbow that Patrice Cormier put on Mikael Tam.
When you see things like the death of Brian Burke’s son or the loss of Ryan O’Byrne’s mother, it makes things like brain-damaging elbows and outrageous salary/trade demands even uglier. Therefore, I propose my own addition to the current NHL Rulebook. Again, I don’t consider myself an expert just yet, so here is my admittedly amateur take on this whole circus:
1. I don’t know what’s more horrifying, Kovalchuk saying no to $101 million or the reason he did it. What have we come to in this world that anyone in any profession anywhere says no to a nine-figure salary offer AND still stays employed? Even more horrifying:
2. I read somewhere that acquiring Patrice Cormier in the deal was apparently a “must” for Waddell. Let me first say that I love a good clean hit. I love the sound of guys crashing into the glass and I firmly believe that fighting is one of the rules that was meant to be broken. But that hit on Tam was cowardly and unacceptable. If you’re good enough to get drafted into the NHL and be named captain of your World Junior team, you’re good enough to find a more honorable way to win.
3. That being said, I propose my own addition to the NHL Rulebook: Humility. Here it is: 88.1, Humility. Players are responsible at all times for understanding that the world does not revolve around them and that they are fortunate to be in the NHL at all. Players who do not endeavor to appreciate their good fortune and/or who try to pout their way to a higher salary or trade shall be subject to removal from the NHL and permanent reassignment to an ordinary day job in a windowless office with a salary cap of $60,000 a year before taxes.
Man what a time to have a crippling, monster cold. It’s the middle of summer, the weather’s beautiful, the beer is cold, and there are all sorts of reasons to be outside having the time of your life and not thinking about hockey. For those of us without that luxury, the offseason makes for a very…. very, slow day at the house.
So here’s my attempt at injecting a little life into the blogosphere for those of us who are just bored enough to have the time to be checking these sorts of things:
- I’m appalled at the hooplah over the whole Spezza wedding thing. Ok, the Elisha Cuthbert thing was funny. This is not. For the last time, when it comes to the private lives of athletes, nobody gives a damn! And if they do, they’re rank amateurs as hockey fans go. These guys spend 3/4 of the year in the spotlight, give them a few days off for chrissakes.
- My big fat guess as to where Heatley will end up next: New Jersey; the only real contender with money to spend. My big fat guess as to when: If he doesn’t show up at the Senators training camp: October. If he does: March 2010. Disclaimer: If he ends up in Anaheim at a discount, god help us all.
What can I say, I go away for four days to spend my time floating down a river on an innertube drinking as many Modelos as the clock has hours on it and I come back and all hell has broken loose.
Oh right, it’s the draft…
Pronger To Philly
I have to say, happy to see Pronger leave Anaheim; they almost went all the way last postseason and anything that weakens them makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Also happy to see the Penguins have one more thorn in their side. Enoy him, you bastards, we’ve dealt with him long enough.
And then I check the calendar this morning, sipping my PBR at 2am PST because I’ve gotten sucked into watching a TiVo’ed goddamn 3 hour draft, and realize that July 1st is a Day Away.
Jesus, and I thought I was going to get a break from all this.
There has been a lot of talk over the past few months about removing fighting from hockey. Let’s be honest, there are a few in the media who continuously bring this up at every opportunity that they can get. Unfortunately this season there have been two incidents in particular (the tragic death of Don Sanderson the result of a fight in the OHA and shortly thereafter a fight in the AHL that resulted in Garrett Klotz being taken off of the ice on a stretcher). This was fodder for the anti-fighting proponents in the media and in the NHL. Ever since it seems like you can’t go to TSN.ca without having to read an article that is anti-fighting or listening to a Versus/NBC telecast where one commentator completely rips a part the idea of fighting in hockey.
Despite what some might like you to believe—for example TSN continues to have headlines on their main page that would have you thinking that most fans want to get fighting out of the game. For example, a headline a few weeks back that indicated that “Majority Want Fighting Eliminated!”—However, when you read the article you see that the survey was conducted not just of hockey fans but amongst the general population of Canada. In fact the article even specified “68 per cent of NHL fans who follow the NHL closely say the gloves should continue to drop.” How can you run an article on the front of your website with such a misleading title? Why would anyone care what a typical Canadian thinks of fighting in hockey? Wouldn’t it seem obvious that the people who actually watch hockey, pay for season tickets, pay for individual games, pay for NHL apparel would be the one’s whose opinion would count? If 68% of NHL Fans are in favor if fighting—why is this even an issue?
It’s been a while since I’ve come through with a bog entry. A new son (in addition to a 22 month old son) quickly eats up your time.
That said, I can’t stand this fighting talk nonsense anymore. The yuppie media hasn’t missed a chance to ram the anti-fighting drivel down our throats. Forget what the players have to say. Forget what the fans have to say. The yuppie media wants changes; and by God you are going to hear about it.
Leading the charge as always is TSN. Their most recent (well I haven’t checked in a couple hours) article focuses on the little known “Concussion Summit.” Apparently this Summit wants to completely ban fighting at all levels of hockey. From TSN:
“Fighting should be eliminated from hockey at all levels of the game, according to recommendations released Tuesday from an expert panel dealing with concussions in hockey… Fighting is one of the known causes of concussion, and may result in the related long-term complications,” the panel’s summary statement says. “Fighting can cause needless death.”
I have to ask, how long did it take the” expert panel” to come up with this Earth-shattering conclusion? May, can, might, could, would… let’s get them all in while we’re at it.
And before they concluded their “expert” research, did they ever take a look at crosschecking, tripping, slewfooting, highsticking, boarding, hitting from behind, shooting a puck over 80 mph, skating with razor sharp skates at breakneck speeds?
Because, my expert research concludes that the above actions too “may result in the related long-term complications [of concussions]… and [insert above actions] can cause needless death.”
There has been a lot of discussion on who is leading the Calder and Art Ross races, but there is another race that NHL fans should be looking at: the leader for NHL’s Cy Young award. The leader right now has to be has to be Thomas Vanek with an 18-5 record (the exact record that Tim Lincecum finished with after winning his Cy Young award this past season). However, he is followed close behind by Jeff Carter, who got his 17th and 18th goals (wins) last night, but also got an assist to bump up his total of 7. Whoever can reach the 40 mark without getting 20 assists will be saying “woo hoo!” in no time. My bet is on Vanek, whose game is more in front of the net; while Carter is a center and handles the puck more, and should see his assist total come up a little bit more. Despite their great starts towards the NHL’s Cy Young award, I’m not too sure if either will match Marek Svatos’ ratio of 26:11 last season. Incredibly, through 23 games this season, Svatos has more assists than goals (4-7)!
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