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I’ve Been Traded to SBN
There are times when a superstar player leaves a team for greener pastures, and that team looks to fill the void by trading for a second-line player while promoting within the organ-i-zation. And it’s happened once again, as Hart Trophy candidate James Mirtle has left SBN’s From The Rink to…
Posted by Mike Chen on 01/22/10 | Comments 0

What’s JR Up To?
Everytime I think Jeremy Roenick does something too silly to be taken seriously, he comes across as engaging, (somewhat) thoughtful, and entertaining. His appearance on the NHL on NBC was a nice addition to one of the best regular season games I’ve seen in a while, and it’s certainly nice…
Posted by Mike Chen on 01/18/10 | Comments 0

Intent To Blow vs. In The Crease
The NHL has a not-so-pretty track record of going overboard comes to rule changes; in the past, they either made rules that seemed nonsensical (whoever thought a two-line pass would be a good rule?) or they wound up mucking up their own rules with crazy flowcharts of “if-then” statements for…
Posted by Mike Chen on 01/15/10 | Comments 0

A Tiny Sign of Life
Since I’m on the west coast and I watch a lot of Pacific Division match-ups, I’ve had the opportunity to catch a variety of Phoenix Coyotes games throughout the season. Normally, this wouldn’t mean too much but it does allow me to get snapshots of how the Phoenix market is…
Posted by Mike Chen on 01/13/10 | Comments 0

Success is Relative
Only one team can win the Stanley Cup. Does that mean that the season is a failure for the other 29 teams? For teams like Chicago and Washington, the answer could be yes, though I’d say that making the final four teams could be argued as the measuring stick for…
Posted by Mike Chen on 01/11/10 | Comments 0

Looking Back At 41 Games
Just about every team has hit the halfway point (41 games) into this season, and while some teams are hitting all cylinders, there’s very little we can predict based on standings at this point. For a brief history lesson, let’s look at the 41-game records of the past five Stanley…
Posted by Mike Chen on 01/05/10 | Comments 0

What Do You Expect From A Rookie Season?
I know we live in a “Win now!” era, but it seems kind of ridiculous for the media to be getting on John Tavares for an extended slump in his first NHL season. These must be the same folks that called Steven Stamkos a bust because he didn’t have 90…
Posted by Mike Chen on 12/30/09 | Comments 0

Cross ‘Em Off
With the turn of the calendar year nearly upon us, it’s time to look at the standings. I’ve always maintained that the first unofficial throw-in-the-towel marker is the end of December; basically, by my logic if you’re not hovering around .500 by this time, then it’s time to start looking…
Posted by Mike Chen on 12/29/09 | Comments 0

Do You Want Your Players In The Olympics?
With everyone caught up in Olympic-team discussion these days, I find myself torn between wanting to watch peaking players in a best-on-best tournament and—selfishly, yeah—not wanting to see key players on my favorite team involved in what will be a physical and intense tournament. As a Sharks fan, I’m facing…
Posted by Mike Chen on 12/18/09 | Comments 0

Winter Classic Doubleheader In Discussion
In case you missed it earlier, NHL.com did a Q&A with Gary Bettman about the BoG meetings. Here’s this little nugget: Q: Has there been any talk of having any Canadian teams in the Winter Classic? A: We had discussion not with the board but over the summer about dong…
Posted by Mike Chen on 12/17/09 | Comments 0

The Ron Wilson Pattern
Don’t look now, but those Toronto Maple Leafs—the team left for dead about a month ago—are within two points of a playoff spot (of course, they’re tied with five teams, but that’s parity). All of this happened despite having a horrific goals-against and an ungodly 70% penalty kill rate. Part…
Posted by Mike Chen on 12/16/09 | Comments 0

Demographics, Not Hockey
With the Ice Edge group on the brink of purchasing the Phoenix Coyotes, small details have begun to be revealed about the fine print, such as apparent games in Saskatchewan, a retooled lease, and (currently denied) rumors of escape clauses to Quebec City or Winnipeg. If this is the only…
Posted by Mike Chen on 12/14/09 | Comments 0

Who’s Your Favorite Broadcast Team?
Last Saturday, San Jose Sharks play-by-play man Randy Hahn broadcasted his 1000th game for the team. 1000 games—now that’s quite a while, and they showed a retrospective of some of Randy’s past color commentators besides current partner Drew Remenda. That montage brought back some good and bad memories, and at…
Posted by Mike Chen on 12/07/09 | Comments 0

Unlucky 13
In ten years, I’m guessing that NHL inflation wouldn’t have accelerated to a point where $5 million is an average salary. In other words, it’s still going to be a premium price for a premium player. Knowing that, the Chicago Blackhawks, the king of the bizarre long-term contract, are poised…
Posted by Mike Chen on 12/03/09 | Comments 0

Fun With Google Image Search
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what does that mean in the age of today’s Google Image Search? Well, it probably means that you’ll find a hodge-podge of randomness when you type a player’s name in and hit “Search”—most of it good (action shots or media…
Posted by Mike Chen on 11/24/09 | Comments 0

Putting Rules On The “Intent” Rule
I might be in the minority here, but I support the idea behind the “intent to blow the whistle” rule. Refs are human and that means that they need to take time, however minuscule it is, to comprehend what they’re seeing, grab the whistle, and blow it. That part makes…
Posted by Mike Chen on 11/19/09 | Comments 0

Hockey Songs Vs. Cricket Songs
The boss sent this piece from British paper The Guardian over to me yesterday. It’s a view of puck rock (the punk sub-genre, not the occasional feature I run interviewing hockey folks about their music tastes) and Vancouver’s punk pioneers DOA from across the pond. This particular passage amused me:…
Posted by Mike Chen on 11/18/09 | Comments 0

Off Topic: Writing About Writing
Disclaimer: This post is way, way, way off topic, so if you have no interest in writing or publishing, feel free to politely ignore this. Otherwise, read past the jump.
Posted by Mike Chen on 11/17/09 | Comments 0

Triple-Dipping On Ticket Prices
We all know that the NHL is a gate-driven league, and that depending on which market you’re in, tickets can be extraordinarily high. It’s all supply and demand, and what many North American pro teams have done is partner with TicketMaster to create what is in essence a legalized scalping…
Posted by Mike Chen on 11/16/09 | Comments 0

Should The Sharks Re-Sign Patrick Marleau?
He’s been their best player so far this season, and was the team’s MVP from last year. He’s the all-time leader in franchise points, a consistent short-handed threat, and one of the team’s faceoff leaders. Tally that all together and it makes sense for the Sharks to re-sign Patrick Marleau…
Posted by Mike Chen on 11/11/09 | Comments 0

25 or 30?
Joe Starkey, columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, recently stated something that we’ve heard off and on over the years: that the NHL needs to contract. Now, I’m guessing Starkey is saying this from a talent perspective instead of looking at economics, because he’s not saying “These troubled markets need to…
Posted by Mike Chen on 11/09/09 | Comments 0

Fear The Fehr
Uh oh. The NHLPA’s looking at the one place I don’t think any of us want them to. From The Hockey News: Donald Fehr, who plans to retire in March 2010 as the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, will serve as an advisor on both the…
Posted by Mike Chen on 11/09/09 | Comments 0

How To Get Kicked Out Of Honda Center
How many times has the drunk guy next to you yelled, “Ref, you suck!” during a game? How many times were you that guy? Did you think the people around you were offended? I doubt it, and I think the majority of readers would agree. Ok, well, what about carrying…
Posted by Mike Chen on 11/02/09 | Comments 0

What Tarnishes A Legacy?
A few weeks ago, I heard a debate on XM Home Ice regarding the Hall-of-Fame worthiness of Theo Fleury. The discussion didn’t involve his numbers per se, but rather whether or not his battle with addictions immediately disqualified him from such an honor. The hosts acknowledged that Fleury’s issues were…
Posted by Mike Chen on 10/30/09 | Comments 0

Primeau And Who Else?
The boss pointed out this radio interview with Keith Primeau the other day, who discussed his views on the whole hits-to-the-head thing. It’s one of the most outspoken things I’ve heard from a well-known player and it’s clear that his view is strong and definite—and it makes me wonder why…
Posted by Mike Chen on 10/29/09 | Comments 0

Suggest A “Fire Bettman” Rally
The NHL Fans’ Association (NHLFA) is a one-of-a-kind organization that tries to position itself as the voice of the NHL fan in terms of negotiations and direction of the league. With 30,000+ members, they’ve got a reasonably sized constituency, though one could argue that that’s a fraction of a percentage…
Posted by Mike Chen on 10/26/09 | Comments 0

Gretzky’s Imitators
The other night, during the awfully boring Phoenix Coyotes/San Jose Sharks game, my wife turned to me and said, “You know, these Coyotes games just aren’t as fun without Wayne Gretzky.” Of course, she wasn’t referring to the forechecking system that Gretzky used as opposed to Dave Tippett’s snore-inducing neutral…
Posted by Mike Chen on 10/14/09 | Comments 0

How Will Tavares Compare?
In his first NHL game, John Tavares scored a goal and put up a secondary assist on a Mark Streit goal. For what it’s worth, those two points beat out the first games of Sidney Crosby (one assist), Patrick Kane (scoreless), and Evgeni Malkin (one goal). Of course, those guys…
Posted by Mike Chen on 10/08/09 | Comments 0

A Timeline For Panic
Colorado wins the Stanley Cup! Detroit is the worst team ever! Alexander Ovechkin will score 200+ points! Sweet Jebus, people, grab a pint of Newcastle and take a deep breath. The season’s less than a week old and it seems like everyone’s already making all sorts of weird proclamations about…
Posted by Mike Chen on 10/05/09 | Comments 0

DTV & Versus…For What It’s Worth
Pretty much everyone knows that the NHL has suggested that DirecTV subscribers call DirecTV and bug them about Versus. As a longtime DirecTV subscriber, I decided to do just that to see what they’d say. After doing a little research, I saw that some people were getting free stuff for…
Posted by Mike Chen on 09/29/09 | Comments 0

Would You Sign This Guy?
It’s the end of September, which means that we’re subjected to the annual Peter Forsberg comeback rumors. (Everyone collectively roll their eyes right now.) Been there. Done that. Excellent player when healthy. Still has great vision and hands. Fragile, capable of straining a groin while reaching in the cupboard for…
Posted by Mike Chen on 09/28/09 | Comments 0

Steven Patrick Morrissey vs. Patrick Marleau
(Hey, that’s two posts in a row that use something vs. something. Totally unintentional.) If, while pondering the great mysteries of life, you’ve ever wondered how a Smiths song could possibly sum up an upcoming San Jose Sharks season, have faith in the universe—I’ve finally answered that burning question. Check…
Posted by Mike Chen on 09/25/09 | Comments 0

Versus vs. Common Sense
(Apologies for being MIA over the last little while. We’ve had a family medical situation, which causes priorities to shift quite a bit. Fortunately, things look much better this week. Don’t worry, I won’t go all Dwayne on you with soap-operaish details about my life other than that things are…
Posted by Mike Chen on 09/21/09 | Comments 0

Meet Dany (Through The Eyes Of A Sens Fan)
In the aftermath of the ginormous Senators/Sharks trade, Andrew the SENSHobo and I asked each other what we thought of our now ex-players. I spoke rather glowingly of Jonathan Cheechoo and cautiously optimistic of Milan Michalek. What does a Senators fan think of Dany Heatley? Well, there’s a lot less…
Posted by Mike Chen on 09/14/09 | Comments 0

Likely Sharks Lines
As an addendum to news about the Dany Heatley for Milan Michalek/Jonathan Cheechoo trade, here are the lines that Todd McLellan was originally using as Sharks training camp was opening: Michalek/Thornton/Cheechoo Marleau/Pavelski/Clowe Setoguchi/Mitchell (sitting out because of tendonitis)/McGinn With Heatley in the mix, I’m guessing that McLellan will still want…
Posted by Mike Chen on 09/12/09 | Comments 0

Maloney: “With a big season, we will make up for all the unrest…”
Last week, I interviewed Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney about a few different topics, such as where his young players stand, why Olli Jokinen didn’t work out, what he expects this year. You know, the usual things you’d ask a GM. Oh, and that whole bankruptcy/auction thing. While you wait…
Posted by Mike Chen on 09/11/09 | Comments 0

Kessel Can’t Go To The Sharks (Directly)
Ok, so the Phil Kessel-to-San Jose rumors are flying about now thanks to the Sharks’ cap-clearing moves last week. However, a simple look at numbers shows that a trade between the two teams is pretty much impossible without a third party getting involved. Please recall that the trading of Christian…
Posted by Mike Chen on 09/04/09 | Comments 0

Appropriate Use Of Hockey Terminology
Heard these terms lately? Stoned: “Well, if you mean stopped a shot on goal, yes.” Puck Bunny: “No. But I’ve met them.” Who is this and what’s he describing? Here’s a hint—I think the world of the guy who was interviewed and I’ll still be sticking with the rival product…
Posted by Mike Chen on 08/31/09 | Comments 0

Can’t You Remember?
With each passing day, I think I better understand just why Dany Heatley stayed silent for so long. It’s cause every time he opens his mouth, he appears worse and worse. Today, he gave us this gem (hat tip to the Illegal Curve guys): “I love playing in Canada. I…
Posted by Mike Chen on 08/25/09 | Comments 0

Bizarro Heatley, Bizarro Clouston Kiss and Make Up
Here’s what Dany Heatley’s saying about his situation to the media today: “When I signed in Ottawa two years ago, I felt it was to be an integral part of the team,” Heatley said. “Over the last two years and more recently over the past year, I feel my role…
Posted by Mike Chen on 08/21/09 | Comments 0

Guess Who’s This About?
From Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators (via the Canadian Press): As a businessman, I know about playing tough and getting your elbows up. I also know lessons that most of us learned early in our childhoods - you play fair; you play by the rules and you help…
Posted by Mike Chen on 08/21/09 | Comments 0

In Defense of Patrick Marleau
Several years ago (pre-lockout), a friend and I debated what Patrick Marleau’s actual upside was. This was when he still floundered in 40-point brilliant-one-game-awful-the-next land, pre-captaincy and with the life being squeezed out of him by then-coach Darryl Sutter. We finally agreed that under the right coach and with the…
Posted by Mike Chen on 08/19/09 | Comments 0

If Gretzky Ran America’s Energy Policy…
It’s not everyday you read a political/scientific article in Time Magazine with a random hockey reference, but I flipped open the new issue (dated August 24) today and a little sidebar (well, bottom bar) on page 32 showcased Wayne Gretzky in Heritage Classic tuque. Ok, that seemed a little weird,…
Posted by Mike Chen on 08/16/09 | Comments 0

Random X-Men Reference Of The Day
Here’s your semi-related-to-hockey detour of the day. I haven’t said too much about the Patrick Kane incident so far, but when James Mirtle made
Posted by Mike Chen on 08/12/09 | Comments 0

Jeremy Roenick: A Lifetime Of Memories
A few weeks ago, I titled a Joe Sakic retirement post “A Class Act.” Now I’m writing one for Jeremy Roenick—a guy who over my 20 or so years of hockey fandom has pretty much been my favorite player—and I can’t quite say the same thing. It’s not the appropriate…
Posted by Mike Chen on 08/05/09 | Comments 0

Zherdev: Tremendous Upside Or Waste Of Talent?
At first glance, I have a hard time trying to figure out why an arbitrator awarded Nikolai Zherdev $3.9 million. That’s a pretty hefty price tag for such an enigmatic player, and it feels like it’s paying more for potential than anything else. Here’s the thing. If I’m a GM,…
Posted by Mike Chen on 08/04/09 | Comments 0

You’re Just Figuring This Out Now?
You gotta love the way the NHL’s investigation branch works (here’s s hint—they’re not quite as efficient as the guys on CSI). They’re just catching on to the fact that these ridiculously long contracts with significantly cheaper final years may have been designed as, shockingly, a way to circumvent the…
Posted by Mike Chen on 07/31/09 | Comments 0

Juuuust A Bit Outside
From the ever-amusing Drew Remenda at the Seagate Broadcaster Blog (remember, he was an assistant coach for the Sharks before he became part of the only NHL broadcast team to publicly discuss their telecast’s drinking game): Now a normal video before a game at the team meal would be 6…
Posted by Mike Chen on 07/20/09 | Comments 0

Sakic: A Class Act
Super Joe. Burnaby Joe. Quoteless Joe. Of all the nicknames that stuck with Joe Sakic, perhaps the friendly mockery of “Quoteless” summed up Sakic’s persona the best. He didn’t blurt out thoughts without the brain/mouth filter a la Jeremy Roenick and he certainly never grabbed the attention of Extra or…
Posted by Mike Chen on 07/08/09 | Comments 0

“He would just like this to all go away.”
One thing hockey fans appreciate more than anything else is the down-to-earth hard working mentality of most hockey players. Sure, they’re millionaires but they work their tail off on the ice, are respectful off the ice, and appreciate the special chance they’ve earned. They live in a different world than…
Posted by Mike Chen on 07/02/09 | Comments 0

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