Spezza decision

- May 13th, 2014

MONTREAL _ Just getting ready to head back Ottawa.
Always good to move around in the playoffs and get a chance to speak face-to-face with NHL types, especially when the team you cover isn’t in it and you get a chance to get perspective because you’re not quite as busy with the home team.
After spending four days in this city last week and the last couple of days before Game 6, I get the sense the Senators will have a big decision to make on Jason Spezza and they have to decide by the time he’s moved at the NHL entry draft exactly what he’s worth.
The Senators want:
- A player who can help right now. Preferably a top six forward. The Senators need someone who is hard to play against.
- A young prospect. Someone who may still be in junior is fine.
- A No. 1 pick. This is optics really. It’s not a great draft but it would look good if they got that top selection back. The Senators don’t have one because they sent it to the Anaheim Ducks for Bobby Ryan last summer.
Let’s make one thing clear: This doesn’t have much to do with the relationship between Paul MacLean and Spezza. Does MacLean love Spezza? Well, MacLean would have probably liked Spezza a heck of a lot more last season if the team was winning.
This is more about both sides decidiing to move on.
A change of scenery could be good for Spezza. The Senators may have decided a different face might help. He wanted to be the captain, they made him the captain and it didn’t work out very well.
“I just don’t think they’re going to get what they think he’s worth,” said a league executive before Monday’s Boston-Montreal game at the Bell Centre.
That’s where the dilemma is for Ottawa.
This guy is a point-a-game player. He attracts a lot of attention. Spezza, in some ways, has helped Kyle Turris be successful. Take Spezza out of the mix and you don’t have that anymore.
“It’s a tough spot to be in,” said the executive. “You don’t get Jason Spezza back in any deal.”
All this will make for an interesting next six weeks.

Categories: Hockey

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23 comments

  1. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    I don’t see Spezza getting the “Bobby Ryan” return, which is what Murray is trying to get here.

    There are a few differences between the two:
    -Ryan had TWO years left on his contract;
    -Ryan is considerably younger;
    -Ryan doesn’t have Spezza’s injury history.

    Quite frankly, Murray is in a bad spot here. Melnyk pretty much threw Jason under the bus at the end-of-year interviews and if he shows up at training camp it’s going to be an absolute circus with the media asking him if he wants to be here, if he’s going to re-sign and so on.
    Speaking of re-signing, that’s probably the only way Murray gets value on Spezza. If 19 agrees to sign a 5-year deal I can see a good package.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see him agreeing to that unless the new contract has a NMC of some sort. Oh well.

    So…Subba, or is it Suckaban, is a pretty good player huh? Don’t hear a lot of people complaining about his antics or team conflicts now. He’s a fine player. Sure he’s over-enthusiastic at times, but I was too when I was 22-23 years old.

    Thanks for writing, Bruce.

  2. PaV says:

    If we do decide to move Spez, hopefully we will get enough in return.

    Well, the “Best Player In the World” not only embarrassed himself by cross checking Boyle and skating away like a coward but wasn’t able to elevate his game to help him team actually win. Can’t wait for the rants of all rants to kick in and justify Cry Baby Crosby’s game. CUE THE RANT!

    Good on the Rangers. They played an amazing series.

    Calling a 4-1 win for the Habs tonight.

  3. Mike8888 says:

    I still don’t think the Sens should trade Spezza unless he doesn’t want to sign an extension. I think we should trade Melnyk.

  4. FKevin says:

    I agree with Pierre, the only way I see anything close to a “Ryan” return is if the Sens allow the team acquiring him to negotiate a deal with him pre trade. Even then i dont believe he gets more than two of the three components mentioned.
    I have no reason to believe that Spezza is the vindictive type but if he was he could put the screws to the organization big time. He could name the teams most likely to trade for as the ones he can’t be traded to and announce loudly that he is going to free agency no matter what, reducing his trade value to rubble.
    With the Spezza drama, the nuttiness in Toronto even nuttier than usual, the Penguins finally realizing that you actually need some depth no matter how good your top end guys are, and all the rest its going to be a fun summer hockey wise.
    Speaking of the Pens does this mean finally that Ray Sheros genius papers will be questioned for authenticity?

  5. PaV says:

    Mike8888 – if only it was that easy to get rid of EM – maybe they can offer him a job on CSI: NHL?

  6. Mike8888 says:

    Pav,
    When ever you see a pic of him, he looks like he esacaped from an institution, and from many of his statements, perhaps he did.

  7. PaV says:

    KEV – I never understood why everyone thought Ray Shero was this amazing hockey know it all. From all accounts he is a one trick pony. I can see the PENS clean house. The coach and Fleury will be gone. As much as the PENS will always have a ‘good team’ they will need to re-group and get some skilled players to support their other lines. The way Crosby behaved during the series is pathetic. I thought he had more class than that. The sulking behavior warranted a sit down with Lemieux – how embarrassing is that???

  8. KevinF says:

    Shero won a Cup for that he gets due credit. My point, after hearing year after year of his absolute brilliance by his many pals in the media, is that he started with a stacked deck and which he did parlay into one championship, he mismanaged a embarrassment of riches into the top heavy thin roster we see now.
    Stan Bowman also inherited a strong young nucleus and through shrewd tough decisions is a perennial contender. While keeping his cornerstone superstars happy and motivated terrific support players have been developed and when need be role players are added. Deciding to let guys go like Buff, Bolland Versteeg go after cup seasons could not have been easy, but is understood that if you want more than your role is worth your expendable. They go and cheaper players move seamlessly into the machine. What a terrific model.

  9. Mike8888 says:

    Many of these GM’s who are highly regarded, were beneficiaries of their team finishing in the bottom 3 for very good drafts. (Crosby and Malkin for Pittsburg for example who were no-brainer picks)

  10. PaV says:

    Kev – TSN is reporting that Bylsma is ready to be fired. Ownership is ready to get rid of him. The GM is there to build a contender – this is what Shero felt is a contender team. He relied on one line to do the work while giving then no support. Crosby and Malkin tend to sulk when they are not lighting it up. Prime example is Crosby acting out vs. the Rangers. Malkin tends to do the same when his time and space is taken away. Bowman was and still is a brilliant hockey mind.

    Mike8888 – you would think that would be the case – but just look at Edmonton, they should be kicking everyone’s a$$ but cannot produce the talent on the ice. Any GM in the league would want to have 3 or 4 first round draft picks. Boggles the mind how they keep disappointing each and every year.

    The MTL / Rangers series starts on Saturday. Both teams are going to be tired. My money is on MTL taking the Rangers in Game 1, but the series is up for grabs. It will come down to Price vs. King Henrik.

    TSN has released the SENS off season game plan. Its worth a read for those fans who are actual fans.

  11. Bobby Goodman says:

    It shouldn’t surprise me that many simply re-spew what they hear and read, never taking the time to examine the facts. But it would a refreshing change if some would take the time to truly understand. For some inexplicable reason it’s fashionable to dump on Crosby and by the same token, praise all things Getzlaf.

    Getzlaf never had a shadow, ever. Crosby has though and he was brutalized this year in the playoffs. His team got eliminated in the second round after 6 games, Getzlaf and the Ducks got their golf clubs out after 7. Crosby was plus one in the last 5 games of the post season but Getzlaf was minus 3! The last game they played, Crosby was minus one and Getzlaf minus 2! Crosby at 5-11 and 200 got beat up both by Columbus and the NYR. Getzlaf at 6-4 and 240 was not. In spite of having far more space to move about, he couldn’t lead this team to the 3rd round of the playoffs as Crosby couldn’t. But Crosby failed miserably and Getzlaf excelled! Say what?

    Over his career Crosby has 769 points in 550 games and is plus 124; the Leader Getlaf in 633 games has 608 and is plus 109. 83 more games and 161 less points. Crosby is plus 124 in his career while Getzlaf is plus 109. In the post season when games are played much harder and the real hockey players are truly tested, Crosby has registered 114 points in 95 games and is plus 12; Leader Getzlaf in 81 games has earned 74 points and is minus 1. Can that be?

    Getzlaf is an outstanding hockey player and his numbers are phenominal, but, they aren’t as good as Crosby’s! Crosby’s Pens have 1 Stanley Cup and as do Getzlaf’s Ducks! So, why do Fool(s) continue to focus only on Crosby? Perhaps we should forgive them…they no not what they do. What team was expected to go come out of the West? No one had Pittsburgh advancing to the Cup final in the East.

    Crosby never had a League MVP by his side for many years! He never had a 50 goal scorer! So you have to wonder why Fool(s) join the band wagon and dump on Crosby.

    The Organization decided to nuke the GM but it should be a no brainer to let Bylsma go as well. Crosby was struggling and it was clear that he and Malkin weren’t getting it done together so why did they play as a tandem? Effectively it hung Neal out to dry; he is a finisher and his set up man was playing with Crosby! I thought it was a dumb move.

    Therien is another who should get the axe but it looks like he will stay on with the Habs next year. Vanek should be sent back home to Austria, he is wasting time on the ice and space on the bench. He hasn’t taken it out of 1st gear!!! He didn’t register a single shot last game. He played while Bournival sat in the press box!!?? Bournival has shown the passion, courage, speed and committment which is the hallmark of Les Glourieiux game and he got to eat popcorn or it.

    I also didn’t like Therien’s response to the Kreider play. It was an accident and happens many times a year. He sat with Yosemite Sam.

  12. Bobby Goodman says:

    Is there anyone who thinks the DAC truly expects Spezza back with the hockey club in the fall? I am sure he knows Jason is gone. It’s all so silly.

    He says he wants Karlsson “to be himself”. Really? The DAC offers when he’s himself “he dominates with the puck and he dominates without the puck”. This too is very silly. We will see how much he is able to dominate with the puck with Spezza gone. Karly wont have him to give the puck to “as quickly and as often as he can”. When Turris and his linemates are on the ice, they have possession much of the time! Indeed, Karly is very fast and can race up the ice with the puck when there is an opening, but who are the players capable of holding on to it in traffic?! It was Spezza, Hemsky and members of the Turris line, not Karly.

    And, Karly is “dominant without the puck”? How is this even possible with a player who: a) is not the best skating backwards”; b) has difficulty (at the NHL level) turning to his right skating backwards; and c) is not physical at all? In the defencive zone, Karly doesn’t pressure the puck at all and he often concedes the corner and the puck to the opposition. He is also very soft in front of the net. Was he not being “himself” last year? Is he dominate when he is caught up the ice many times every game? Offensively he is extremely good, but how much will the club be wiliing to trade wins for his points next year?

    Spezza was second on the hockey club with 66 points in 75 games last year (averaging 9 minutes less icetime per game than Karly). He had 8 more points that the 3rd place Turris. Who will backfill for Spezza when he’s gone? Hemsky was posting the best numbers (by far) of his career when paired with Spezza. Based on his production over 20 games he would have had 69 points over 82 games. He will be gone as will Michalek. With the likelyhood of them all out next year, who will provide the missing points (174 over 82 games)? How many of those points was Karly part of? Who will take over Spezza’s role on the PP?

    It is said that they hope to get a player who will come in and produce right away but how much? I don’t see it happening but what I do predict is the team getting some younger players who will need time to develop. This will be imply they and the team will need even more time (5th and 6th year of the 3 year rebuild putting the 2016 Stanley Cup on hold). Will the new arrivals pan out? Will they be as good as: Rund’sbad, Silverberg, Butler, DaCosta, Pageau, Cowen, Greening…Zzzzz?

    It will be an interesting year for the Sens organization in ’14 ’15. Will the DAC be harder? Will Karly come in with a “better attitude” and make an effort? Will Zzzz live up the hype? Will Peumbal and some kids in Bingo get a chance? Will Boro? What about the D? Are DaCosta and Pageau really going to make the club? What will Murray get for Spez? Will Ryan, Methot, Lehner want to stay?

    Without Spezza it will be far less interesting.

  13. Bobby Goodman says:

    Steve Simmons authored an interesting article. Fancy stats may fascinate the bored nerdy types but does very little for a dumbass like me. Can you imagine it possible to watch a game and say a particular player was awful then examine the extended statistics and then proclaim: “…wait a minute…! was wrong…he played great”!

    Simmons was right on, much of what determines winners from losers is not and can not be captured in a stat. How do you measure passion, character, pride, effort? I may find it interesting to pour over them from time to time but that is all. For the most part, the stats that I want to see are already there and been around and accumulated for many years! But the best judge will always be your eyes (if there are a few brain cells active). If one was to look at Vanek’s numbers only, they might be inclined to say he was playing well with 5g and 3 a and minus 3 but what is not captured is his total disinterest and what that may do to others on his line and on the team! What might others who bleed for the team on every shift think of the Coach when he continues to put Vanek in the lineup and award him with ice-time? I know that if I was was one, I wouldn’t be pleased at all. The same as I strongly suspect some felt about Karly and Zzz’s icetime and effort level with the Sens last year.

    Therien may be one of those no active brain cells. He is the guy who put Douglas Murray in the lineup for Bouillion. Bouillion was plus 5 after only 6 games averaging 14 plus minutes! Could he not see that Murray was a very big pylon only? Markov and Emelin are minus 8 together getting 22-26 minutes every game! Some suggest the plus/minus is extremely over rated and they can be but by and large, they tell a story. Plekanek is minus 7 in the post season. That can’t be good…can it?

    If one was to watch the series without ever looking at the stats, they could tell who were making a contribution. Lars Eller has been unbelievable and his stats suppor it. Beaulieu has been very good in his 4 games played and it was a mystery why he didn’t play more this entire year (in 17 games he had 2 assists and was plus 6). He gets involved as has Bournival!

    Just like culture will trump strategy in business trasformation, it is the same in sport. I will always trust what I see that is obviouos: work ethic, committment, courage, pride and effort. I don’t think “the machine” will ever be able to select and winning team. It may be able to select targets to be murdered in a TV series but it will aways be those who can discriminate the diffefence between the real hockey players and the pretenders who will build great hockey teams. Extended, fancy stats can’t build teams nor can they tell you how a player truly performs….but they do fascinate some. BS still baffles brains!!!

  14. Bobby Goodman says:

    Therien had the Habs playing Katie bar the door again last night. For most of the game, the NYR had an easy time exitting their own end. They played the same way for the first two games against Boston. It doesn’t work and is horrible to watch. They also looked flat footed. Therien needs to change the way they play and while he is at it, change the way he behaves, he is embarrassing himself and the team.

    Why is Vanek dressing? What is wrong with this guy? Has he no pride? He stood and watched on the Rangers first goal and all he had to do was use his stick to neutralize the goal scorer. I have never seen such a dispaly of disinterest in a 3rd round of the playoffs in my life! He chooses to be a spectator. He may have registered a shot last night but it wasn’t really a threat at all; he now as one in the last two games by my count. Is he worth having in the lineup…especially if he is going to bounce around from line to line? I would take the very fast and competitive Bournival any day of the week.

    I would also have played Tinordi the entire playoffs. He is very big, very pysical and he can skate!

    The Habs need to play the players who can best match the Rangers speed and intensity. If I was coach I would make the necessary changes…the team may lose but at least they would lose making an effort!

    It is hard to fathom why Dum Cherry is so popular. As far as I am concerned, he is an absolute fool and a joke. Be a spectacle and you will be loved….that is the only explanation I can come up with to explain his popularity. He is an invention by the CBC! It is hard to believe how much he has morphed from the first time he was on television. Everything abouty him is contrived from his cloths to his love of Canada (he once told HNIC that “Americans are better hockey players because they want it more”. He stumbled on the Military thing years ago and the CBC discovered it resonated with the fans. As a fan of the game, I would rather have Ray Feraro or MIke Johnson any day. Maclean and the Clown of Saturday night will be back next year and I don’t understand it at all. It is proof positive that most are dumb as spit and if that isn’t proof enough, check out the polls for the upcoming provincial election.

    HNIC and their group are awful. Stock, Hrudey and especially Friedman are horrendous and what is up with Maclean? When did he become a renaissance man, a music afficionado, a promoter the conscience of Canadians??? By comparison, James Duthy and his “panel” are infinitely better. Although I grow weary of some of the nonsense, they know the game, speak their mind (no need to pacify someone like Maclean) and offer great insight. HNIC is amateur hour compared to TSN.

    I suspect the Stanley Cup finals will be Coast to Coast affair from LA to New York and from New York to LA! Hey, they can right a song about it! It will be Bettman and the NHL’s dream wouldn’t it???!!!!!

  15. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Kevin, on Shero I think he did a pretty good job. The coach has to take some blame; he plays guys like Bortuzzo with Crosby, has had trouble adapting to some situations and defensive systems and judging the flow of a game. I doubt Bylsman (or “Disco Dan” as he’s amicably called) is back when the new GM signed.

    Habs only down 2-1 now with young Tokarski doing so magic. Can they bring it back to MTL 2-2? We’ll see tomorrow night!

    Not sure what PaV said. I imagine he was talking about Karlsson since I thought I saw “best player in the world” somewhere in his ravings. No one here called Subban that, but Toews has been called as such and well he should, two Cup finals and yeoman’s work year in and year out at all levels merits him due praise. Sure, the ‘Hawks are down 2-1 in the series but this is a close as it gets folks. For once I agree with SunMedia (think it was Rob Longley), this series is an absolute coin flip!

    Bobby, where are ya buddy! Need some clarity of thought over here!

  16. Bobby Goodman says:

    The Hawks are down 3 games to 1 to the LA Kings, does this mean that Toews isn’t a great leader? No it doesn’t but the discussion about leadership is often off target (IMO). Are there great leaders on lousy teams? But of course there are, just as there are players on great teams whose leadership skills are inflated! Oh it is easy to call Toews a “far better leader” than Crosby when he team was winning, but the voices are all silent now that they are down and almost out (one more game left).

    The media invent “leaders”. The narrative can fill the void and of course many simply buy-in. No one dared ask why Annika, with his “amazing leadership qualities” couldn’t lead his team(s) to a championship or even out of the first round on 11 ocasions!!!! Make that 12.

    It is painful to watch Therien in an interview. He should stay on point and forget the whining. GM Bergevin should remind him that this is about class and there are no excuses! No matter if he follows the GM’s lead or not, there is little doubt in my mind the Coach has done a miserable job with this hockey club. We saw it in the first two games against Boston and it is playing out before our eyes again; where are some of the players? Pacioretti is big, strong, fast and a goal scorer but I haven’t seen any of it! Where is the speed. even to force the issue going after loose pucks? Vanek has embarrassed himself, the team, the Franchise and the Coach! Therien should sit Vanek out, the man doesn’t have a heart beating in his chest! Plekanek is minus 7 and his claim to fame is his “defence” skills! Subban has been average at best. As a team they have made a number of mental mistakes and the coaching has to take some responsibility for it!

    You cannot fault some who aren’t scoring but are trying very hard like Desharnais, Gallagher and Gionta. Bournival, Eller, Wiess and Prust have bled for the hockey club but are getting only 9 minutes or so of playing time! Markov is talented but slow and he’s pinched when he shouldn’t and is often caught out of position. Bouiollion and Beaulieu have been great but they are in and out of the lineup (I would have had Tinordi in). If goals aren’t coming, players need to find other was to contribute. How can Captain Gionta lead if there are players on the team who are ALLOWED to float around (it is similar to the Spezza situation in Ottawa). IMO Therien has failed on several fronts. He never selected the players who would put the team in the best position to win games; he won’t punish those who aren’t willing to make the necessary effort/sacrifices and he’s (and perhaps his team of assistants) been awful strategically during the games. You can also add that he has been less than “classy” in his behaviour!

    Based on the way they have played some of the games in this series, you would question if the Habs are a skating hockey club! They may win one more game but they wont win the series. It’s LA and NY and LA wins.

  17. Bobby Goodman says:

    Pierre, mon ami…I’ve been here and I have been E-vocal!

    Yes….yes, yes, yes I remember the talk that Karly was the best player in the world. Perhaps some might include Doughty in those discussions. Some here have been pumping his tires for years! We may be talking about Jacob Trouba in the same way in a couple of years.

    Iasn’t it fascinating that the Fool targets Crosby; could it be because some here love the way he plays? The Fool is certain Crosby isn’t the best player in the world but certain that Karly is??? Yikes.

    And Pierre, you are so right, Shero did do a good job in Pittsburgh! The team did win the Prize and should have won another last year! I Iisted the players on the team in 2012-2013 and it was talent laden and they had a lot of toughness if it was needed. An engineer can build a race car but he can’t drive it! Dan Bylsma had a phenominal hockey club and he couldn’t get out of the East, losing embarrassingly to Boston in 4 straight! This is again where the entire Leadership thing can be questioned. Who besides Crosby failed to lead the team? They had many leaders including Iginla, Morrow and others?! Perhaps Bylsman should have dictated the play by dressing Macintyre, Glass, Engelland and company (Engelland didn’t get a minute of ice-time this year).

    Had the Pens won the Cup last year would Shero have been described as a great GM? And the Fool calls him a one-trick pony (he loves the GM in Ottawa, how might he describe Murray?).

    Craig Adams
    Beau Bennett
    Robert Bortuzzo
    Zach Boychuk
    Matt Cooke
    Sidney Crosby
    Simon Despres
    Pascal Dupuis
    Mark Eaton
    Deryk Engelland
    Marc-Andre Fleury
    Tanner Glass
    Jarome Iginla
    Dustin Jeffrey
    Jussi Jokinen
    Tyler Kennedy
    Chris Kunitz
    Kris Letang
    Ben Lovejoy
    Steve MacIntyre
    Evgeni Malkin
    Paul Martin
    Brenden Morrow
    Douglas Murray
    James Neal
    Matt Niskanen
    Brooks Orpik
    Dylan Reese
    Trevor Smith
    Brandon Sutter
    Eric Tangradi
    Joe Vitale
    Tomas Vokoun

    Dale Talon was the Black Hawk GM from 2005 to 2009, he helped rebuild the team into a Stanley Cup winner in 2010 (at which point he had been demoted for “not getting qualifying offers out in time” (surely that wasn’t his responsibility of the GM, shouldn’t the A/GM (Shero) or others have done it). Bowman won with the Dale Talon built powerhouse Black Hawks that included B4, Versteeg, Ladd and company. With “the embarrassment of riches inherited”, brilliant Bowman could trade the ones he deemed expendable for draft picks and/or prospects. There isn’t any real genious involved. It was smart identifying those committed to winnng and signing them to long term contracts (not those who decide when or if they will make an effort. Chicago is going down this year; will Bowman have failed? Talon mentored Bowman, he built the hockey club, but was discarded because of an administrative error, “he was 58 and Bowman only 33″ (the Organization “preferred youth”). Bowman…

  18. PaV says:

    VIS – PD – you should learn how to read better mate. Looks like you need to dust off those pom pom’s and resurrect your BobbyG cheering section.

  19. Bobby Goodman says:

    So Bouillon is plus now 5 in only 8 games played in the post season this year. Beaulieu is plus 3 in just 6. Vanek saw less than 9 minutes of ice-time and Briere less than 6. Maybe, just maybe Therien is figuring some things out! I hope it isn’t too late. I would be totally convinced if he sat the two forwards and slotted Prust and perhaps Moen instead.

    Beaulieu was on the ice for 10:28, perhaps he and some others should get more ice-time and relieve Subban somewhat. At this time of the year, the body has been through 100+ games and there is no way a player should get 30 minutes a game (especially the way he plays).

    You have to wonder why the Habs pressure the Rangers all over the ice for 60 minutes at home but give up 65 feet of the rink and are spectators in New York?

    Things just got a lot more interesting. Surely Dorsett and Moore will be get suspensions for head butting and an illegal hit to the head. They will join another Ranger on the sidelines. Game 6 will be a tough one for a relative newby to this years playoffs. Perhaps the Habs have regained some confidence in their powerplay that has been anemic. Maybe they believe that can score a lot of goals and beat Lundquist! The team held the Rangers scoreless/shot less for extended periods of time and that may give them confidence and the surely learned they can skate with them. Should Les Glorieux win on Thursday, anything is possible. The very last thing the Ranger Organization want is a game 7 in manic Montreal!

    Bournival was stuck with Vanek and Briere and it was a shame. Vanek has been an embarrassment as has Briere for the most part. Maybe he could join Prust and Moen so the team could confidently roll 4 lines! It will be interesting to see what Therien does and what team shows up to play on Thursday night. I really would hate to see a Glen Sather team succeed.

  20. FKevin says:

    Given what Shero started with pretty good is not enough in my estimation Pierre. His friends in the media, Bruce and McGuire chief among them, have raved about his brilliance for years. The teams only strength today is exactly what it was when he took over Malkin and Crosby, he failed miserably to build a deep broad based organization. It’s paper thin. He made a great trade for Hossa then squandered it by failing to find a way to retain him, jsticking with Fleurey for far too long is another example of his egregious mismanagement.
    Maybe he is a wonderful fellow I don’t know, but he has sure got wonderfully soft coverage from prominent media types.

  21. Bobby Goodman says:

    Drew Doughty was on the ice for over 39 minutes last night in Chicago’s loss to Chicago. He registered 9 shots and owned the puck every shift, yet, he didn’t register a single give away. He was creative and his passes were crisp and on target. What made it more interesting was he played against Keith, the Defenceman who will win the Norris this year. Doughty isn’t one of the three finalists; he wasn’t nominated. But going head to head, year after year, there really is no comparison. Doughty is the best defenceman in the league.

    He plays the way his coach tells him to play, to be a defenceman first. He could rack up many more points but he is a defenceman and is responsible. Doughty is also vey physical. He was a target in every series so far but he survived and thrived.

    For those tired, old, angry men like me, Doughty may conjure images of Brad Park, a bigger, faster Brad Park. He too never won a Norris. His problem of course was a fellow by the name of Bobby Orr. It really makes me wonder though, what the members of the Professional Writers Association look at when they nominate and select the eventual Norris winner.

    I don’t know how Dorsett could avoid being suspended for his attempt to head butt (whether he made contact or not).

    Snow showering a kid in the pre-game is disgusting, isn’t it.

    Racism is actions, practices or beliefs, or social or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities. How is this consistent with naming a Football Team the “Red Skins” or a Baseball team the “Braves”? Tens of thousands of manic fans come out to watch and cheer these athletes game after game and year after year. Aren’t these Organizations celebrating Native people as being proud, fiercely competitive and talented! Isn’t it too easy to invent reasons to be offended? What would happen do you think if some of the respectred Native Leaders come out and supported these Team names (and the left leaning morons payed attention to the real/tangible examples of racism)? Sports teams are doing far more to keep the Native Heritage current and in a positive light than the native people themsleves. If it wasn’t for the Florida Seminoles, who would talk about that particular tribe? The Black Hawks are loved as are the Eskimos.

    It is interesting that there have been no compaints about teams with Ethnic origins like there are for those for Native peoples in N/A. There are professional sports teams with names like: Italians, Celtics, Aztecs, Knicks (Knickerbockers after the Dutch in NY), Vikings, Texans, Canucks, Saxons and the list goes on and on!

    Perhaps it is time for a different perspective. Perhaps it is time to ask those who are so offended to explain why. These Teams of exceptional athletes do not promote the notion that one race is better than an other. They only inspire pride!

  22. Bobby Goodman says:

    The Habs went further than anyone would have expected but I still fault Coach Therien for doing a very poor job as bench boss.

    Last night’s game was awful to watch. The Habs were holding on for dear life! One doesn’t need CORSI to identify who made an effort and who didn’t. Inexplicably, Briere and Venek dressed for the game. Briere got 7 minutes of playing time and Vanek got 12!!!! He did make an effort on 3 ocasions when he thought he could score a goal but aside from those 30 seconds, he was again embarrassingly bad. Yet, he dressed. Bournival who is fast, courageous and leaves it all on the ice, enjoyed only 7 minutes of ice-time. Go figure. Prust got only 9 minutes and he is another who plays hard.

    Markov possesses offensive skills but he been awful. For a player who doesn’t have speed in his game, he continuosly took chances, pinched and got caught well out of position. He gave the puck away often, although he was only credited with 3 give aways. Not surprisingly, he and Briere were on the ice when the only goal was scored.

    Therien could have iced a far better team than the one that played last night. I will take heart, passion and intensity over lazy skilled players any day of the week. Why Vanek and Briere played made no sense. I supose Vanek was there for the PP. I heard Stevenson on the radio explain as he chuckled that Tinordi didn’t play because of his bad decision making…really Chris? Did Markov make good choices? Couldn’t the Habs have used a strong skating 6-6, 220 lb kid who would punish the opposition?

    The NY exposed the Habs slow defencemen. I love Georges but he was beat to loose pucks as was Weaver and Markov. Subban struggled miserably and I believe he simply ran out of gas and again, I blame the DAC.

    The team missed Weiss’ speed, intensity and physicality and should have inserted a player who would do the same. The Organization is about passion and some simply didn’t show enough of it, it didn’t matter to Therien. Personally, I think he is a lousy coach and Bergevin would be making a mistake to bring him back next year.

    It is interesting how once a player has a reputation, it can gather momentum and everything he does is sensationalized. Last night Tokarski WAS sensational, but the talk is about Lundquist. On ESPN NHL Scores, “The King” (there are two now in the league) got 2nd star while Ticker was awarded a 3rd. Tokarski face almost twice as many shots and had to make many truly sensational saves. Lundquist was credited with a theatrical save on a shot that wasn’t even going in.

    Haglan and Zuccarello could play for my team.

    Coaches Corner? Does it take a Coach to identify who dresses the best? Does it take a coach to show off silly bugger ties and wander off trying to explain what they mean? Does it take an ex-NHL coach to talk about Alley Oop? He purposefully mis-pronunces names and we’re to think it’s funny? The guy and the segment is an embarrassment.

  23. Bobby Goodman says:

    Chicago finally closed out the Hawks and it couldn’t have been closer! The game was fiercely fought and extremely tight. The difference may have been LA’s 43 hits (and they are hits…Oh baby). For those still interested, we may have seen the best that was and will be played in 2014. The Stanley Cup Finals could be anti-climactic. However, it is a National Hockey League dream series and it will be great for the game and the League. All the Stars will come out to shine!

    LA will win the Prize and if that should happen, will GM Lombardi then be described as “brilliant” as Bowman was? Afterall, it will be LA’s 2nd Cup (’12 and ’14)! It was a brilliant move by the GM to pick up Gaborik. With him in the lineup, he brought more speed/skill and scoring touch and Kopitar’s game was elevated as he began score. It made their PP bette and brought more offence the team desperately needed which had a trickle-down effect! It was brilliant!

    Everytime I get to watch Justin Williams play, I appreciate him more.

    You have to wonder who would invest in Vanek after his miserable display.

    Some loved Ginette singing the Canadian National Anthem but I favored Sara Diamond and her rendition of the Star Spangelled Banner (Oh Baby!).

    Oh joy we’re getting more Bob Cole….No Baby….no!

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