19 August, 2005

Far be it for me to link anything from Bristol, but.....

ESPN.com - NHL - Japanese goalie looking to catch on in NHL

This is damn cool.

My friends, this is your next hockey area right here--Asia.

What? Stop laughing and listen to me for a moment. Russia is out of the picture now--or at least they soon will be, what with all the mobster-run Superleague teams and the Russian hockey federation refusing to sign the IIHF/NHL transfer agreement--and the NHL is going to need a new place to look for talent.

Enter the most populous region on the planet: Asia. Hockey's taking root there, kids. They play it in China (which has a professional league). They play it in Japan and Mongolia and even in Thailand (with the help of some North American expats). Yutaka Fukufuji is the first Asian-born AND raised player to be given a shot at the NHL. I'm willing to bet that in 10-15 years we may see more.

14 August, 2005

Dear Jackasses in Caniac's Clothing,


"Wah wah wah, boo hoo hoo, Josef Vasicek only made $385,000 the last time he played in the NHL! We're cheating him, boo hoo hoo! Rutherford's lowballing him, boo hoo hoo!"

"WTF are you talking about?" I say. "That's his rookie contract you're whining about."

"He deserves a million dollars a year! We're rogering him! Rutherford's going to be cheap and let him walk rather than pay him!"

Let me say again:


HellFREAKINGlo, people! Josef Vasicek is NOT getting freaking lowballed! That 385K/year IS HIS ROOKIE CONTRACT. After the year he had pre-lockout and the year he had in the Czech Extraliga/IHWC? I would say that he's earned a significant raise.

Good lord, people--that's like all the doofi that are whining and pissing and moaning because Hockey Jack (Hurricanes prospect Jack Johnson--as opposed to the singer of the same name (who I shall refer to in this space as Guitar Jack)) has decided to go to UMich for at least one year. As the Defenseman's Advocate, I feel I should respond to this.

In a nutshell, defensemen take longer to mature into their positions (on average) than forwards do. We're talking several years--the only position that takes longer is goaltender. The people that are thinking that Hockey Jack will be Scott Stevens, Jr. as an 18-year old are pretty sorely mistaken. The best thing for him right now is to go to UMich this season and continue to develop as a player--and the final decision about whether or not Hockey Jack is ready to take the next step belongs to Hockey Jack and not some clownboat n00b from Nash County that thinks he knows more about hockey than everyone else because he took an Adult Learn To Play class at the Icehouse in Cary one weekend.