It’s been quite a ride through the past two seasons, the rise and fall of the Senators and the current stirring of the once disregarded beast.
No one really knows how any of it happened, or where the team will go from here, even as countless minds dwell on the matter. Still, it’s not often that teams in this position get to experience a dose of excitement this late in the season, and certainly rarely this futile.
Update - Post Spreadsheet Fixed
Ok, so when I said that it was Ottawa’s turn to play spoiler this season, I did not necessarily have it in mind that we would be spoiling the playoff hopes of a fellow Canadian team, let alone one I might find myself rooting for come mid-April (my playoff allegiances are a complex lot, and will be challenged earlier than ever this year).
A powerful 4-2 win over Edmonton would normally be reason to cheer, or at least cheer for more than the moment. But it is a strange place to be, thinking of what lies ahead. After 11 straight years of playoffs, I’m not quite sure how to deal with this, let alone how other franchises have gotten by.
Yesterday I posted a story regarding a Violence in Hockey Symposium, a good quick read with some very telling tales.
It’s a far cry from a strong League-wide open discussion or stance on the issue, but that day will come.
Fighting will never completely disappear from the game, but evolution is only natural, with more issues entwined herein than a Buffalo-Ottawa melee.
From the CP, via TSN,
Former NHL referee-in-chief Bryan Lewis says fighting in hockey is on the way out.
Lewis was part of a Violence in Hockey Symposium staged Tuesday by the Middlesex-London Health Unit, a gathering of hockey officials, coaches, media members and a former professional player at the London Convention Centre.
“I believe the screw is finally being turned,” Lewis said in an interview.
“I think it’s slowly being removed from the game.”
The symposium, attended by 98 coaches, trainers and administrators, sought recommendations leading to a decrease in injuries resulting from gratuitous violence on the ice.”
Read on for some very good points and telling tales. I expect I will be adding to this discussion sometime this week.
It’s been a week now since the All-Star Game was played, the heroes returned to their teams, and Montreal returned to a slightly less exuberant heartland of hockey.
There were cheers and jeers all around, at the rink and hundreds of miles away, for the event, what it stands for, and all that it cannot hold a torch to.
I was fortunate enough to be welcomed into the event by the League, with all the access and privileges of the mainstream media.
Without a doubt — and not just because it was the first time I donned media credentials — the weekend will forever rank amongst my most cherished hockey memories, and always it will remind me why there is a need for an event such as this.
It’s half over now, the SuperSkills being put on display for 150 countries around the world to see.
For the veterans of all walks of life, the event may have been old hat, but for the crowd, it worked out exactly as advertised.
Ten hours on a bus spread over twenty hours of day; not exactly the most uplifting travel conditions, especially when you hear that San Jose writers spent several hours less coming from the farthest corner of the League.
But, strangely enough, the city of Montreal wasted no time in lifting my spirits.
See below for an update to this post and note the original post date was 1/24/09 at 12:25am
It’s been a long, busy day, but here in Montreal, I’ve come to realize something, something that unlike the rest of my day, I couldn’t sleep on.
Sure, it wasn’t the most graceful of moves, leaving some with a bitter taste. But the core is there.
Bettman was right, apologies to Lidstrom, Datsyuk, and Detroit homers everywhere.
The All-Star Game, pinnacle of (player) perfection, and for a long time, one of the steadiest of occasions.
Not any more; thanks go to the Detroit Red Wings.
The voting fiasco took the early thunder, but this now takes the cake.
Subtle, maybe. Irrelevant, perhaps. But if the fan voting was an assault from a bag of valencia oranges, this should take us up to a battering from a cold, hard fish to the face.
Updated - 5:30PM EST (with my thoughts on some of the comments and discussion)
From Jim Kelley at SI,
My offer for the Lightning’s captain, best player, all-time leading scorer and franchise player who averaged 46 goals and 100 points the last two seasons?
Lecavalier may be the franchise in Tampa Bay, but ownership not only appears unable to afford him, it appears it may have even gone over the limit on the debit card for the operation it creatively financed last offseason. And as we’ve all learned since the owners’ lockout wrought its havoc on the game, if you want to move a big salary that you can’t afford now as well as for the life of an 11-year contract, your reward is pretty much limited to getting rid of the contract.
So, if I’m Bob Gainey or Pete Chiarelli or Ray Shero or Neil Smith’s replacement, here’s my offer: I’ll take that ridiculous 11-year $85 million dollar contract off your hands before you have to actually fund it. That’s it.
You get financial relief. You get cap relief. You get to face your family and friends and not have them continually laughing at your foolhardiness. And you get to start all over again at a price point you can afford….And you will be thanking me, because I will be doing you a favor.
Fresh, different, and more acurate than many would like to think.
Native of Northern California. Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.
I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle. I watch, I react, I write it down.
My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked. I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind. When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom. It hasn't, I don't think it will. At all.
Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.
I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.
I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org