Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Recap

For those who have been out of touch with hockey during the summer months and enjoying all that cool wet weather, here is a recap of major hockey stories.

  • Scott Gomez was named the most untradeable player in the NHL because of his large, bloated contract. Bob Gainey decides to prove the pundits wrong by taking Gomez off the hands of the Rangers. So then Glen Sather turns around and uses the money to make another bad signing.
  • Gainey decides to do an entire makeover of the Canadiens’ lineup by not signing any of his 10 unrestricted free agents. The only certainty is that revenue from program sales will be up this season.
  • Chicago screws up providing a group of their restricted free agents with qualifying offers before the league deadline. They fix the problem by offering them all more money than they would have otherwise received as restricted free agents. This provides the team the excuse they need to fire GM Dale Tallon and replace him with Stan Bowman, son of Scotty Bowman. This completes the bloodless coup which began last summer when Scotty signed up as a special advisor.
  • Gary Ballsillie and the NHL have developed a stimulus package to help the legal profession get through the current recession. The initiative involves filing truckloads of legal document with a bankruptcy court in Phoenix in regards to a dead hockey franchise. The stimulus package is expected to assist unemployed and underemployed lawyers until 2012.
  • Dany Heatley demanded that the Ottawa Senators trade him and then rejects two attempts to move him to Edmonton (the only NHL team with colder winters than Ottawa). Senator GM Brian Murray is left with either subjecting Heatley to the Ottawa boo birds or moving him for an inferior package to a destination acceptable to Heatley. I would consider a 3rd option of sending to the Binghampton Senators of the AHL.
  • Chicago signs Marian Hossa to a ridiculous 12-year, $62.8 million contract which happens to be heavily front-end loaded. The NHL head office approves the contract then several weeks later announces it is investigating the contract to determine if the parties are trying to circumvent the salary cap. That is followed by the sound of 29 GMs slamming their hand on their forehead and declaring “Duh!” To add to be farce, Chicago also announces Hossa will undergo shoulder surgery and will miss half the season.
  • Brian Burke increases the truculence factor in the Leaf organization by drafting Jamie Devane, trading for Garnet Exelby, and signing Colton Orr and Mike Komisarik for the Leafs and Richard Greenop, Jay Rosehill and Andre Deveaux for the Marlies. If only John Kordic was still alive.
  • Chicago star Patrick Kane (the Blackhawks have hogged much of the news this summer) seemed to have gotten himself locked in a Buffalo cab with his cousin late one evening following a dispute over 20 cents. The cabbie claims they punched their way out and took off with his $13.80 fare. Police laid charges and, as always, the public presumes guilt until proven innocent. The cabbie’s lawyer later comes out stating it was all a misunderstanding, the incident has been overblown, cabbies shouldn’t be locking customers in their vehicles, his client did not incur serious injuries and this should not lead to a felony conviction. Which makes puts this lawyer at the top of the list of lawyers you would least likely hire if you wanted to win your case.
  • Theoren Fleury announced that he wasn’t happen with the way his career ended so he would plans to launch a comeback. However, there are a few small problems with his plan. He is still under suspension for substance abuse. He is 41 and hasn’t played a truly competitive level of hockey in 7 years. The post lockout NHL is younger and faster and poor Theo is risking further damage to his legacy.
  • Mats Sundin has spent the summer in Sweden trying to decide on his hockey career which only proves that some things actually stay the same.