09 February, 2006

And because you can never have enough humor in your life....

You were all waiting for the resident Darren McCarty fangirl (that being me) to post this link, weren't you?


I saw this and about fell right damn outta my chair. I bet he was jammin' to "Moskau".

Qui custodiet ipsos custodes?

OK, I'm going to take some time to engage in a little more mental digestion before I comment again on Wagergate. I have several things on my mind, there's a lot of information coming in, and I want to be able to see what else happens before I weigh in on the issue again.

Unlike Jes Golbez, I do think that this is a big deal--but I also think that it would be good for all of us bloggers to take a step back for a while and turn our attention to other things.

So--I present to you two things that will be a regular (even daily) feature of this space:

The CanesWatch for 9 February 2006

The Carolina Hurricanes currently have 80 points, are 1st in the Southeast Division and 1st in the NHL.

Tonight, they take on division rivals Tampa Bay (LET'S GO HURRICANES!)

And since Jason Kirk has, sadly, decided to retire his Predators blog, I present on his behalf:

The PredsWatch for 9 February 2006

The Nashvile Predators currently have 72 points, are 2nd in the Central Division and 3rd on points in the Western Conference.

Tonight, they take on division rivals Detroit (LET'S GO PREDATORS!)

And there you go.

08 February, 2006

Rumors, Bargains, and Lies

Today at work, I was thinking about my post yesterday, where I mentioned Mario Lemieux in connection with Wagergate--and now that I think about it the more I find myself convinced that Mario isn't a part of this....or that if he is, it's only because he found out that Mark Recchi was part of Rick Tocchet's gambling ring (which would explain the trade rumors that have suddenly arisen involving Rex--Mario's gotta keep the team's image as clean as possible so he can get buyers in Pittsburgh and get that arena deal done.

Wayne, OTOH.....

Which brings me to the next part of today's post.

Jes Golbez has got a bug up his ass about everyone who's going "oh noes!" over Wagergate. Specifically, he doesn't see what the big deal is and that people are getting their knickers in a wad over nothing.

I can understand that--after all, he lives in BC and votes NDP. (just messin' with you, Jes)

On various message boards, there are some that are taking a similar tack and claiming that anyone who's ever wagered anything on anything has no right to comment--and (in a couple cases) that, moreover, the gambling laws in this country are stupid anyway and should be repealed.

That's all well and good, but issues that we fans may or may not have with the law aside:

This is NOT a good thing for the League--period. Even if an investigation shows beyond a reasonable doubt that no betting on hockey occurred, there will still be hints and allegations and whispers that just maybe inside information was given to bookies or bettors to influence wagers, or that just maybe there was some payoff occurring somewhere to influence the outcome of a crucial game.

Even if it never happened, there's always going to be that dark cloud hanging over the players involved, the teams involved, and the NHL in general because of the possible mob ties and the image that "under-the-table" betting has (again, because of links to organized crime).

The idiocy of Todd Bertuzzi, Marty McSorely, and Dale Hunter (which Jes brings up in his post) is nothing compared to this, nothing. I mean, those three incidents were considered "black eyes" on the League--but at least what happened was all out there, was in public and witnessed by thousands of people, and was caught on tape. This, however, is different because it wasn't conducted in public. So unless the League does something serious in response to this to distance themselves from the people involved--even Wayne Gretzky, if it comes to that--then I really do think that there will be some serious and potentially irreparable damage done to what little image the NHL has left.

Just my 1/50 of a dollar.

07 February, 2006

Sound the horn, Heimdall.

As more information comes out in dribs and drabs about the Rick Tocchet betting scandal, the more afraid I am for the future of the NHL.

See, it's not the gambling thing that bugs me--much. Individuals placing bets in Vegas, making small-change wagers with friends (a la "Betcha one of your Camel Twists that the Steelers won't score on this drive"), that kind of thing--that's one thing.

But this....this is huge. It's a big-time gambling ring set up across state lines. I mean, fuck--organized crime is involved. How damn stupid do you have to be to get all caught up with that mess?

OK, so according to sources there's an owner involved--all signs point to Wayne Gretzky (just cos his wife placed wagers with the ring), but for some reason I don't think so. Some are praying that Chicago Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz is the owner involved in the ring, but Wirtz is smarter than that. He's a crook and a dirtbag--but he's untouchable in the Land of Lincoln, thanks to having most of the legislature and more than a few law enforcement types in his pocket--were he involved with a gambling ring, he'd never take it across state lines where the Feds could nab him.

My gut says it's Mario. He's the one owner in the most tenuous position financially (as far as his team is concerned), and his behaviour lately regarding the viability of his team in the 'Burgh has been quite puzzling. You'd think that he'd be doing a lot more work to try to keep the Pens in their home, but I'm just not seeing it.

Honestly? I hope I'm wrong--but I've a sinking feeling that I'll turn out to be right and that I'll be watching Hodr hurl the mistletoe dart at the heart of his brother.

Sound the horn, Heimdall. The fire giants are on the march.

The shit, it is about to hit the fan.

Well. I get off work this morning, come home to take a nap, and I wake up to see this:

Coyotes' Assistant Coach accused in multi-state gambling ring

Wow. How damn stupid do you have to be to get involved with something like that? I mean, really.

According to reports, about a half-dozen players are named as participants in the ring--two names that have come out so far (thanks to a station in Philly) are:

Mark Recchi
and the real kick in the nads--

Janet Jones.

You know, Wayne Gretzky's wife?

And of course, good ol' Jeremy Roenick is probably going to be implicated--if noted degenerate bettor Jaromir Jagr ISN'T involved in this, I'll be surprised.

There's also an ugly rumor floating around that a GM is involved--but that comes from Eklund the Fraud and not from any legitimate source, so I'm going to go ahead and file that under "bullshit until reported by someplace with some credibility".

OK, so according to all reports that have come out so far, none of the current NHLers involved have bet on hockey. That still doesn't change the fact that not only have they broken the law (and probably an NHLPA bylaw or three), but it's also in the process of giving the NHL yet another huge black eye--and how does it look for the Penguins, given that one of the individuals whose name has come out so far is currently sitting on their roster?

Brace yourselves, folks. We're about to be in for one hell of a bumpy ride.

06 February, 2006

Don't be hatin'? YEAHRIGHT.

Ottawa Sun columnist Erin Nicks levels her guns at the Golden Child this week:


Yanno what? I agree with her. I'm sure that Sid's a nice kid and all--but come on, people. The amount of excusemaking that people have been engaging in for the kid's behaviour this season is absolutely mind-boggling.

I'm sorry, but if it was (for example) Aleksandr Ovechkin whining and crying like Sid's been doing, fans, the mediots north of 49, and Don freaking Cherry (who is in a class all by himself) would have been all over him like white on rice.

Ovechkin should be the poster boy for the New NHL. This is a guy who just loves to play and doesn't give a rat's ass that his team is in the freaking basement--give him a stick and a pair of skates and point him to the ice, and he's a happy camper. So what if his English isn't that great? I met the guy in Raleigh--his English is miles better now than it was in 2004, trust me. He's a smart guy, he's personable, wickedly skilled, and he loves what he does and does well no matter how the Capitals are doing.

Or, as he once put it: "So? I've got Halpern and (lists off 5 other teammates)."

Sure, he's a little on the arrogant side (and he freely admits it, so perhaps he's not quite so arrogant)--but the dude is wise enough to know what's up and that he's responsible for himself and what he does, and he's a team player.

Sid can't say that--and yet the chances are good that he'll be getting the Calder Trophy in June. Yet another accolade that he hasn't earned.

It's official!



Monday, February 6, 2006

Bret Hedican To Replace Injured Aaron Miller On

2006 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team

Team USA Names Martin, Cullen and Ryan Miller To "Taxi Squad"

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Bret Hedican (St. Paul, Minn.) of the Carolina Hurricanes will replace the injured Aaron Miller (Buffalo, N.Y.) of the Los Angeles Kings on the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team it was announced today by Don Waddell, general manager of Team USA.

"We feel bad for Aaron that he's unable to be part of the team," said Waddell. "At the same time we're extremely fortunate to be able to replace Aaron with someone the caliber of Bret Hedican."

Hedican has logged 18 points (5-13) in 51 games with Carolina this season while averaging more than 20 minutes played per game. He last put on a USA jersey at the 2001 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, where he scored two goals and had two assists in nine games for the U.S. Men's National Team.

Waddell also announced that Matt Cullen (Virginia, Minn.) of the Carolina Hurricanes; Paul Martin (Elk River, Minn.) of the New Jersey Devils; and Ryan Miller (East Lansing, Mich.) of the Buffalo Sabres will make up Team USA's "taxi squad" for the XX Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

The players will be available as potential replacements for Team USA members injured during the course of the Olympic Games.

Hoody hoo!

Various odds and ends from the Old North State

Is there a copy of the CBA available for public perusal yet? I want some light bedtime reading, here.

Well OK, I really want something to poke through when I have to babysit the store while the floors are getting their annual strip-n-wax.

Anyway. I occasionally like to watch opposing teams' broadcasts of Hurricanes games on Center Ice, because I like to see how the "other half" lives, broadcastwise--and if I never have to watch an NESN feed of a Boston game again, it'll be too soon. My gods, does Jack Edwards ever pay attention to any other team? How can he call Gerber "Wildly inconsistent" when he's been nails for us (after a rough first game) this season? Whatever. I thought he was a boob when he worked for Bristol, and I still think he's a boob.

And I wish people would just STFU about people like Eric Bresee at KUTV in Salt Lake City, who called for the contraction of pretty much every team south of the Mason-Dixon Line and gave no justification at all for it. It's pretty obvious to anyone with half a braincell (which is more than Bresee has) that the guy just says what he says because he's an attention-whore. I really don't think the guy has watched a single NHL game this season, aside from the 239872498724 Red Wings/Rangers/Flyers/Avs/Devils games that OLN is showing. Therefore, he has no right to comment about anything as far as I'm concerned.

And then we have this very amateurishly-written (and spammed-to-Helheim-and-back) petition regarding the pending redesign of NHL team sweaters. Now, while I am no fan of the redesign, I am even less of a fan of a "petition" that is not only poorly-written but also spammed across 90% of the hockey boards in existence. Though I will say that I'll have a blast cracking Star Trek jokes at the practice jerseys for Team Canada.

"Warp Speed, Mr. Jovanovski!"

In other news, Bret Hedican is on Team USA for Turin 2006, thanks to Aaron Miller's wonky back, and Matt Cullen is on the taxi squad after a herculean recovery from a busted jaw--at least, according to a Canadian Press report and TSN. No official word yet, thus no official celebratory post from yours truly.

If I win the lottery, I'm opening a Tim Horton's down here just so I can have Timbits with my coffee. I think I've said this before. I also want Herr's ketchup-flavored potato chips (since Lay's doesn't market their ketchup chips south of 49, AFAIK). Damn they're good. I could eat them all day--better than shrimp chips.

Hurricanes still in first. Still in shock.

Scott Cullen still dissing the Hurricanes. Still not surprised.

I also know it's late, but "Gong xi fa cai" to all my readers. Xian nian quai le, and hope you didn't have too many dumplings.