January 18, 2010
Monday. You know how it arrives.
I haven't written in about a week. So effected was I by Mark McGwire's bombshell announcement. Steroids. Who knew? ...
1. Inspired by the fine folks at Silver Seven Sens, who donated $0.05 for every comment in Saturday's game day thread to the Canadian Red Cross's Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, I've donated Sports And The City's January ad revenue (up to the 17th) to the same cause. I'll be topping up the donation at the end of the month. The pictures of dead bodies in the streets of Port-Au-Prince are difficult and downright disturbing to look at. The poor country can't catch a break. The donation isn't much, but it's something. Thanks for reading.
2. On to more distracting things ... The last time the Edmonton Oilers won a game, it was 2009. December 30th, actually, at home against -- you guessed it!!1 -- Toronto. As bad as the Maple Leafs are, the Oilers are worse. Poor Pat Quinn. I'm worried about his physical and mental well being.
3. I'm high on Phil Kessel, but at least Oilers fans have their first round draft pick to look forward to.
4. The immediate years post-Mats Sundin (last season, this season, and probably the next two) will do wonders for #13's legacy. With Phil Kessel the only true offensive threat the Maple Leafs boast, people will eventually marvel at just how consistent, and just how good, Sundin truly was in Toronto. Don't get me wrong, Kessel's good. He's got the potential to be great. But as a sniper, I'm not sure he possesses the acumen to become a guaranteed 30-goal scorer, and point-per-game player, like Sundin was only three seasons into his career.
5. You're Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. Would you trade Toronto's 2010 first round pick, David Krejci, and Blake Wheeler for Ilya Kovalchuk?
6. I recently began reading mc79hockey.com - "Where we're welcoming the local and national media to the news that the Oilers suck" - and it's fantastic. Check it out. Last week, an excellent post was written about Ethan Moreau's propensity to take more penalties than he draws. In conclusion: since 2007/2008, five-on-five, Moreau has "generated 20.5 more power plays for the opposition in the course of a given season than would a forward who takes and draws penalties at average rates." Interesting stuff. There's a chart and everything. Fourteenth on the list: Toronto's Jamal Mayers, at 14.4. Mayers hasn't done much in Toronto. Other than take a lot of penalties, clearly. While he's simply trying to fit in, it's probably safe to say the trade to acquire Mayers is a wash. As I'm sure you remember, Florida's third round pick in the 2008 draft, acquired by Toronto for Chad Kilger, was sent to St. Louis for Mayers. The Blues drafted James Livingston 70th overall with the pick. Livingston's playing out his final year in the OHL and has 14 goals, and 26 points, in 38 games. Knowing nothing about Livingston but his numbers, I'm going to go ahead and conclude he will not be an impact player in the NHL.
7. I try to watch Tyler Bozak's first career NHL goal on YouTube at least twice a day.
8. Since being traded by the Montreal Canadiens, Guillaume Latendresse has become a rather prolific goal scorer. In 24 games with Minnesota, he's lit the lamp 13 times. Latendresse is now only one goal off his career high of 16 and, as a Leafs fan suffering through yet another bullshit season, this pleases me.
9. There was irony in watching Jacques Martin lose to the Ottawa Senators's next young hope in the crease, Mike Brodeur, Saturday night. The carousel of goaltenders in Ottawa also pleases me.
10. In his last three games, Andrea Bargnani has pulled down 35 rebounds - 17, 12, and 6, respectively. With half the season officially in the books, Bargnani has posted seven double-digit rebounding efforts. Last season, he managed the feat six times. In 2007/2008: once. In 2006/2007, Il Mago's rookie year: twice. It's happening, folks. Bargnani is learning how to rebound. The patience is paying off.
11. For good measure, Bargnani is putting up the best shooting numbers of his young career as well: 47.2% from the floor, and 17.2 points a game.
12. I'm not sure what the "That's Vernon Wells type money" vote means in the new poll on whether Chris Bosh is worth $130 million. It's either a shot at Bosh, a shot at Wells, or a shot at both of them. I'm assuming its connotation is negative. But it's good to see the most number of votes, so far, are in the "Yes" category. Bosh and Bargnani, with Bargnani at his peak? I'd like to see that.
13. To be a fly on the wall at -- if it happens -- Jeremy Accardo's arbitration hearing.
14. Jason Frasor made only $1.45 million last year, and is in line for a nice raise. What is The Sausage King of the Bullpen worth to you in 2010 - $2.5 million? $3 million?
15. With only two weeks left to vote, it's all but certain that Aaron Hill will replace Roy Halladay in the Sports And The City banner. Which means he likely won't be a Toronto Blue Jay for much longer.
16. There's nothing -- absolutely nothing -- like a devastating block in football. Kurt Warner surely agrees.
17. My boy 40's a New York Jets fan. I'm happy for him.