Archive for November, 2012

Frustrated much?

- November 26th, 2012

Milan Michalek only had 32 penalty minutes all last season, but he picked up half that number during a game in the Czech league Sunday.
Michalek, who has been credited with only three fights in his 526 NHL game career, started a line brawl when he charged to the net against Energie Karlovy Varyon. The 6-foot-2 Senators winger wound up dropping the gloves with 5-foot-9 defenceman David Zucker.
Here’s the link (hopefully I’m connecting you) to the video and story on Yahoo’s Puck Daddy.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/milan-michalek-shoves-goalie-sparks-line-brawl-gets-155739041–nhl.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

If it doesn’t work with a click, just copy and paste.
Michalek, who has six goals in 10 games for Ceske Budejovice, has always played the game hard. He’s also been called onto the NHL carpet for a questionable attack on an opponent. But rare does he have this kind of outburst.
Maybe, just possibly, it has something to do with frustrations over the lockout?

Time is of the essence

- November 7th, 2012

This will be Day 2 of the latest talks for a collective bargaining agreement. My advice: Don’t get excited.
There is a lot of work to do. Talks, I’m told, haven’t gotten serious yet. Sure, it’s good news they met for seven hours. It means nothing. There are so many issues to cover.
Today they get to the heart of the matter: The “Make Whole” issue. The owners have to find a way to cover all the contracts they signed in the off-season. How do they do that?
It’s a valid question.
They signed them in good faith. They should honour them in good faith. I’m not sure why people see owners honouring contracts as such a huge concession. Isn’t that why they were signed?
I’m told IF these talks gets serious they’ll go several days.
I have no expectations either way. These could just as easily fall apart. I’m not mad at either side. I just think they need to get a deal done. I can’t believe they have actually allowed this to get to this point and they didn’t come to their senses early.
I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if talks went sideways in the next few days and we went through another thaw.
I do know the owners are putting pressure on Gary Bettman to play.
I do know their are players who have told Donald Fehr to get back to the table and get this deal done.
Everybody wants to play.
I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
Lots of work to do.
Lots of fight ahead.
This battle isn’t over.
I do think the season hangs in the balance if they aren’t able to get a deal done.

The Skate Down The 138

- November 5th, 2012

This, courtesy of the website Choose Cornwall.
(More from me below).

Driving Directions from Ottawa
The fastest and easiest way to get here is to take the Queensway (Highway 417) east, keeping to the right at the Orleans split. Travel about 30 minutes and exit on to Highway 138 (exit 58). Proceed south towards Cornwall. Turn left on Cornwall Centre Road, then right onto Pitt Street. Proceed South and Pitt Street will take you to the downtown core, filled with shopping and restaurants, as well as scenic Lamoureux Park along the St. Lawrence River. Turn left to access the Cornwall Civic Complex and Le Village shopping district, or turn right to head to Brookdale Avenue for more shopping and restaurants.

I truly hope I’m not able to canvas the crowd – in an attempt to find out how many people actually needed those directions – at Monday night’s exhibition game being played by locked out NHLers at the Cornwall Civic Complex.
Because proceeds are going for charity, I hope the turnout is too big to do that.
But frankly, I have my doubts.
Oh, I think some will show up. There has to be people living in Cornwall who would rather pay $20 to watch some NHLers take part in a game of pond hockey than stay home and watch the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints on TV.
But I can’t imagine there are many, if any, folks in Ottawa that would bother.
Fortunately, Daniel Alfredsson has decided to make the journey and lace them up. His presence alone with sell some tickets. But if you’re a frustrated hockey fan who makes his home in the nation’s capital, you’re probably not going to spend the gas and time, especially since it means you’re not going to get back much before midnight.
If not for my job, I wouldn’t even consider it.
Then, I wouldn’t spend a cent on a ticket even when the NHL does start up again. There are others out there who feel the same way, of course, but you know as well as I do that Scotiabank Place will be sold-out, or close to it, for the first post-lockout Senators game of the season, and most if not all of those to follow it.
And for that, we are thankful. It’s good for the newspaper business and a lot of others.
Anyway, I firmly believe that the marathon meeting held by Steve Fehr and Bill Daly Saturday will lead to a resolution of this ridiculous spat. I see where Rick Tocchet (the former player) said on Twitter this morning that he has a “hunch” it will be over in 14 days.
I’m predicting seven, if not sooner.
The one question that will never have a good answer is this: why did Fehr and Daly finally get together for their breakthrough session one day AFTER the league was forced to cancel the Winter Classic, its huge moneymaking attraction? Why not a week earlier? They could have saved the outdoor game and a little face.
For that matter, why did they not sit down for a grownup meeting in the summer? They could have saved two months of the season.
Now, people will tell me this was hardcore negotiating, that the sides were standing firm, that they were calling each other’s bluff … whatever else.
I think it’s all a bunch of crap.
They knew they were going to find common ground at some point. They knew there was a deal to be made. They were just never desperate enough to avoid the league’s third lockout since 1994.
The Fehrs, Bettmans, Dalys … they will all be applauded for getting a deal both sides can live with when they finally get it.
But, for all the damaged caused, they should all be embarrassed and fired for not getting it done when they should have got it done.

Hello Folks

- November 3rd, 2012

Day 49 of the lockout for those counting at home … like me.
Personally, I’m tired of this work stoppage but I also know there’s nothing I can do about it so I’m not going to get frustrated.
I think the NHL is doing a lot of damage to itself.
The members of the NHLPA are losing money they won’t go back.
That we are here again is mind-numbing.
Trips to places like Binghamton are good because it’s a chance to see hockey. If you haven’t had a chance to go down there, you should. It is worth it. There is a Holiday Inn right beside the rink that’s a good place to stay. You can go have a cold beer around the corner and there are a couple of good restaurants.
Was on the road last month with Senators scout Pierre Dorion. Enjoyed the ride. Quite the lifestyle. Driving from town-to-town, seeing a couple of games a day.
These charity games will kill time. They fulfill the need for hockey.
Time is ticking away but I still think they’ll play this year.
I’m not angry at either side. Just tired of the whole thing.