January 28, 2010
Public transportation. Where there's nothing but time to ponder ...
1. "I want to play for a contender" is all the vogue these days in professional sports. I can understand when Roy Halladay says it. Hell, that makes sense. Jamal Mayers? Not so much. I'm sure Brian Burke's phone is ringing off the hook now that word has leaked that Mayers and Garnet Exelby are officially available, with their agents exploring trade possibilities. Actually, we know that's not the case, otherwise Burke would be trying to make the trades himself. Anyway: good riddance. Whether it's now or via unrestricted free agency come the summer.
2. Can Brian Burke tell Jeff Finger and Jason Blake's agents to explore trade possibilities as well? Please? Pretty please?
3. Whose position would you rather be in: the pathetic Edmonton Oilers, first round pick in tow, and approximately $46 million in salary committed to only 13 players for next season, thanks to a ton of brutal contracts - Shawn Horcoff (20 points, -23) at a cap hit of $5.5 million through 2013/2014, Sheldon Souray at a cap hit of $5.4 million through 2011/2012, Steve Staios at $2.7 million through next season, and the injured, and old, Nik Khabibulin at $3.75 million through 2012/2013. Or the equally pathetic Toronto Maple Leafs, without their next two first round picks, but Phil Kessel, and approximately $34 million committed to 11 players for next season. You tell me.
4. I know; I can't bring up Edmonton's brutal contracts while not bringing up Blake's and Finger's. And at $2.9 million, Mikhail Grabovski might be overpaid as well. Bollocks!!1
5. And I can't ignore the fact the Oilers have Jordan Eberle in their system. Yeah, that guy who doesn't panic, even when destiny does. If Edmonton is blessed enough to draft Taylor Hall, the scales might be tipped, albeit slightly, in the Oil's favour.
6. Staying with Edmonton, they remain winless in 2010. Their best bet to change that might come on March 13th when they visit Toronto. It will be a night to remember.
7. Random thought: Seinfeld remains the greatest comedy sitcom ever written and produced. You may disagree, but you're wrong.
8. I took in the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers game a couple of nights ago on TSN. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Those kids are alright. And back-to-back first round lottery selections. Ha.
9. As a television hockey personality, anyone compared to P.J. Stock is articulate. Even Matthew Barnaby. And "articulate" is the last word I'd ever imagined labeling Barnaby.
10. The Hawks appear to be the real deal. If Chicago loses in the Stanley Cup final, they will only have Marian Hossa to blame. Could you imagine? As for Cristobal Huet, he doesn't strike you as a stand-on-his-head, playoff-type goalie, does he? Me neither. The Hawks need some insurance. It's a good thing the Leafs have a veteran goalie in Vesa Toskala, with an expiring contract whom they can explore trade possibilities for. It's a shame Burke will be laughed on the phone as soon as he mentions Toskala's name.
11. The Blackhawks have allowed an astonishingly low 25 power play goals so far this season. The Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres are even better: 23. Ron Wilson's Toronto Maple Leafs check in at 59. I'm sure the Leafs have allowed 23 power play goals in a month this season. I refuse to check; that's a little too depressing.
12. To add salt to the gaping wound this Leafs season has already wrought, the Ottawa Senators seemed to have legitimized themselves as a playoff team. They've won seven in a row, and are dominant on home ice. It pains me to admit it, but Brian Elliott has been more impressive than Jonas Gustavsson this season, and their workload has been about the same.
13. Francois Allaire? The Leafs clearly should have hired Eli Wilson.
14. A quick nugget on the Toronto Raptors: don't those Huskies jerseys look rather dashing?
15. Due to increasing and unrelenting comment spam, which I absolutely love to read on my BlackBerry, the comments section is back to being embedded below each post. If that doesn't get the terrorists to stop, I might be left with no choice but to employ the dreaded "word verification" system. Let's hope it doesn't get to that, folks. Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting.
Image courtesy, as usual, This Isn't Happiness.