Friday, June 20, 2008

draft day.

in newfoundland. it's draft day. bigger update will follow.... ALEX. TANGUAY. to Montreal.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

HWS: Day 12

Sorry folks. No posts lately. I've had a lot of my own "epic" games to play and there's not a whole lot of hockey. (actually... there's no hockey games.... sigh). Anyway, thought I'd give you an excerpt from James Duthie's blog to help you fill the void:
You likely heard the reports last week that the Cup was dented during a party at Cheli’s Chili Bar in downtown Detroit. While the NHL confirmed there was a “slight dent” which had to be repaired, The Red Wings players and other witnesses kept the traditional “Cup Code of Silence”, denying the “rumours”.

Well, it’s remarkable what you find out after several truth-serum cocktails at the NHL Awards after-party.

Here’s what happened: Chris Chelios was atop the bar, Coyote Ugly style, Cup in hand, with the packed crowd cheering madly. At some point there was an attempted handoff to Brett Lebda. Whether it was the chaos of the crowd, or the…umm…content of the blood, balance was lost. Down went Lebda. Down went Stanley.

And no, the dent wasn’t “slight”.

In fact, it needed emergency service. Mike Bolt, the Keeper of the Cup, was taken to Joe Louis Arena, where Stan, like a forward who took a puck in the eye, was placed gently on the trainer’s table in the Red Wings dressing room, and operated on.

Bolt had to use a hammer to carefully pop the dent out, a procedure that resembled neurosurgery in its intricacy. One of the bands that contain all the names popped off at one point. But like Bobby Baun, the Cup was right back out there for the rest of its appearances. Heroic.

Next post will come to you LIVE FROM NEWFOUNDLAND where Kate and I will be slumped over some bar on George Street in St. John's listening to some insane story from a local during the NHL Draft. Should be a good time. Giv'r!

Friday, June 13, 2008

No longer orphans.

Three teams have been removed from the orphan list this week as they found head coaches.

The Toronto Maple Leafs hired Ron Wilson, the former head boss for the San Jose Sharks, the Leafs brass apparently wanted someone who was well accustomed to dealing with underachieving. (ummm?) However, unlike former coach Paul Maurice, Wilson is not promising that the team will make the playoffs (probably a safe assumption), and noted that this will certainly be a rebuilding period (what was the last 5 years?).

Anyway I can't help but note the opportunity missed here, I've said this before but I want to repeat these two things again: John Tortorella and Toronto Media. Why, oh, why was this opportunity missed? John Tortorella has always been at odds with the media, and he also loves calling out his own players to them. Can you imagine what it would've been like in a city where the press probably follows the head coach home at night and stakes out the house like paparazzi I am absolutely certain that if they had have hired him, it would've ended in a giant press conference clearing brawl.

Okay, I'm done with the Tortorella dream. Back to the orphan teams, San Jose picked up Todd McLellan (former assistant with the Detroit Red Wings). This is McLellan's first head coaching position, we'll see how that shitwagon rolls when the season starts.

Finally, and possibly the most intriguing. The Ottawa Senators picked up Craig Hartsburg as their new head coach. This will definitely be an interesting ride, he has won taken Canada's World Junior hockey team to back-to-back golds... But, it's Ottawa, the team is a little... off. If Dany Heatley plays the way he did at the World Championships this year then maybe they'll be in business. But if Jason Spezza plays like he did at the World Championships, maybe not. It also really depends on a ton of off season stuff... July 1 will really be huge for the Senators. So Hartsburg definitely inherits a team that has their share of issues. God speed, Hartsy... at least it's not the Leafs job?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Told you so.

Guys, I won't lie. I didn't watch the NHL Awards. I am told by sources who watched that Craig Simpson co-hosted and did a bang up job. I'm really sad I missed my last fill of Ron MacLean Puns until the fall. And I'm super upset that I didn't see the music montage, what music montage? I have no idea, I'm sure there was one. But I had a soccer game.

Anyway, just as National Passtime, told you a few days ago, Alexander Ovechkin won the Hart Trophy (I really went out on a limb with that one.) He also took home the Lester B. Pearson (MVP as voted by the players).

Patrick Kane won the Calder Trophy (although Toews is still my pick, cuz he's a MONSTER!)

Bruce Boudreau took the Jack Adams (I have problems with this... weren't the Capitals supposed to be a good team? And didn't most major media outlets have the Canadiens finishing somewhere around 13th in the East this year? Oh, wait didn't they finish first? Oh, wait. Yes they did. Carbo was robbed.)

Pavel Datsyuk took home both the Lady Byng (sportsmanlike) and the Selke (two-way forward).

Martin Brodeur won another Vezina (Nabokov was roooooobbed.)

And Jason Blake won the Bill Masterton for his battling through leukemia all season.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Lord Thunderin.

are. you. serious?

CTV reported today that it has bought the exclusive rights to the Hockey Night in Canada theme that CBC failed to secure after using the song as it's theme for 40 friggin years. TSN will now use the theme on its NHL on TSN broadcasts, and the 2010 Olympics.

This move by CTV has now solidified it's obvious goal of stealing absolutely everything from CBC (and take over the world... but that one was obvious). Don't believe me? Check out the sentence above. 2010 Olympics. CTV managed to pry the rights away from CBC for the Olympics back in early 2005. Two years later they narrowly missed grabbing the rights to all NHL games in Canada.

Since they couldn't get they're grubby hands on that they went on to grab the rights to the CFL, after about 50 years on CBC. No big deal. It's only 50 years.

Only 50 years? Not impressive eh? Well fine, let's take the Curling Brier from CBC, they had that for like 60 or something.

Let's not even mention one of TSN's most gifted hockey colour commentators, Chris Cuthbert, was swooped up after CBC decided to drop him during the CBC lockout of 2005. I'm sure Ron MacLean would've followed if there hadn't been a national uprising (via e-mail... the Canadian way) to defend MacLean.

The only redeeming thing about CTV stealing CBC's song, is apparently Stompin Tom Connors would be open to licensing his equally famous song "The Hockey Song" to the CBC. Which, would be much better than some crappy song that'll win the national contest that's proposed.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ovechkin wins Hart.

Yes, folks, you heard it right here. And this time it wasn't the voices in my head that told me. It was the official site of the NHL. The site posted the following item for sale:

Apparently the NHL is claiming that they have merchandise for all possible outcomes (ummm, don't they know the results by now? How does the name get in that little envelope?) and that the item was posted in error (or it was set to post automatically next week and someone keyed in the wrong date).

My guess is Ovechkin wins the Hart Trophy.

Friday, June 6, 2008

It was only a matter of time.

Before our nation's politicians jumped on this shitwagon.

Ottawa should defend Hockey Night theme: Liberals
No breakthrough in licensing agreement talks between CBC, composer

Last Updated: Friday, June 6, 2008 | 4:48 PM ET
CBC Sports

According to Scott Moore, the executive director of CBC Sports, negotiations to keep the Hockey Night in Canada theme song are continuing. According to Scott Moore, the executive director of CBC Sports, negotiations to keep the Hockey Night in Canada theme song are continuing.

While all was quiet at the CBC Friday regarding the status of the Hockey Night in Canada theme song, talk heated up in the nation's capital.

Liberal Heritage critic Denis Coderre told reporters in Ottawa that Conservative Heritage Minister Josée Verner must defend one of Canada's most famous musical traditions and do everything possible to ensure the CBC continues to broadcast the theme.

"The Hockey Night in Canada theme is part of Canada's culture that goes beyond sport," said Coderre. "This is a great opportunity for the heritage minister to finally get off the bench by defending an important Canadian tradition."

Coderre's comments came on the heels of published reports Thursday that CBC Sports no longer wishes to enter into a new licensing agreement with Dolores Claman, the composer, owner and administrator of the HNIC theme tune.

Later Thursday, CBC Sports executive director Scott Moore told Newsworld that negotiations for a new licensing agreement are continuing with Copyright Music & Visuals, the Toronto agency representing Claman.

"We're prepared to do a deal, we're prepared to talk, but we're not prepared to do a deal at all costs," said Moore, adding his numerous calls to Copyright Music and Visuals had not been returned Thursday.

The CBC had nothing to report on the status of negotiations Friday.

"We have nothing to announce right now," said spokesman Chris Ball. "The status [of negotiations] is pretty much the same as it was [Thursday].

"I don't know what the plans [for discussion] are moving forward for the weekend yet. We're just basically in wait-and-see mode."

Ball was unable to confirm whether a Friday deadline of 5 p.m. ET for the CBC to respond to Copyright Music & Visuals' latest proposal remained in effect.

Copyright Music & Visuals said it had offered the public broadcaster a chance to renew its licence to use Claman's song — a staple on HNIC since 1968 — on terms that were "virtually identical to those that have existed for the past decade."

Previously, each use of the song cost the CBC about $500, the company said.

After the first two years of a new agreement, the rates would rise about 15 per cent, an increase Copyright Music & Visuals president John Ciccone called an industry standard.

A call made to Ciccone by was not returned Friday.

Moore said if an agreement can't be reached, the CBC would hold a nationwide contest for Canadians to submit a new theme song.

"This musical theme cannot be treated like any other song and certainly not reduced to a simple economic commodity," said Coderre. "If [Verner] wants to show that she cares about Canadian heritage, this is her chance.

"When it comes to arts and culture, this minister and this government have shown themselves to be minor leaguers at best."

Claman, who has written about 2,000 jingles over her career, is also credited with the Ontario theme A Place to Stand, which she co-wrote with her husband Richard Morris in 1967.

Hockey Withdrawal Syndrome: Day 1

I'm getting the hand shakes, guys. What do you mean if I turn on my TV, there will be no hockey? I don't understand. I think it's still setting in. I'm tempted to grab that 1987 Canada Cup box set and throw it in the DVD player. But it's too early. There's too much time ahead. I'll crash and burn if I do that. I should probably wait until at least July... That's the month where it really gets bad.

At least the Halifax Mooseheads open their training camp in mid-August. That's when all of Halifax crams into Cole Harbour Place in shorts and t-shirts and watches some inter-squad games. Yes, we get that desperate. Inter-squad games. Blue verses Grey. Fights galore.

Speaking of Canada Cup (now World Cup), due to my calculations there should be one this year. The last was 2004. Every four years. Wait... What?! They're not having it this year? OK, the world is truly out to get me. At least there's some lingering hockey-related things in the near future:

NHL Awards: June 14 12

NHL Draft: June 20-21

Contract Doomsday: July 1

NHL season opens with games in Prague and Stockholm: OCTOBER 4 (my rough calculations put that 120 days, 2 hours, 35 minutes away)

And one quick update on the Hockey Night in Canada national disaster. Apparently the CBC is still in "negotiations" with the composer and her agent for a new contract. Remember a few years ago when the CBC wasn't going to re-sign Ron MacLean to the show and the nation rose up in a collective cry? It appears to be a similar situation.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The world has gone mad.

CBC has dropped the Hockey Night in Canada theme song (see story below). Is that allowed? If the Canadian government blocks the sale of the Canadarm to the United States, how is the Hockey Night in Canada theme allowed to be dropped from Hockey Night in Canada. Isn't that sacrilegious or something? Apparently there has been a raise in the royalties being asked for the tune and the network couldn't afford to keep it. Answer me this? Where else do the royalties for this song come from? Is it really wise for this silly company "Copyright Music & Visuals" to charge so much that their only customer gives them the middle finger and says... Peace out homies. We'll get the Tragically Hip to write a song? Who else is going to buy this song? The odd documentary, sure. But Hockey Night in Canada provides steady income...every week. That is now gone. Stuuuuuupid. My guess is the company will cave for a cheaper price.

Dolores Claman the composer of the song also seems like a real peach. Back in 2004 she sued the CBC for copyright damages but was all smiles when the station decided to do a story on the 40th anniversary of the song.

Just out of spite. Please visit this.

Hockey Night In Canada to ditch famous theme

TORONTO — The famous Hockey Night in Canada theme that has introduced thousands of great games over the years may not be heard again when the puck drops next season.

The agency that represents the song's composer said the CBC will no longer use the familiar hockey anthem.

CBC Sports executive director Scott Moore would not comment on the claim when reached at his Toronto office. The network was expected to issue a release later Thursday.

The licence agreement CBC had with composer Dolores Claman ended with this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, which wrapped up Wednesday night.

John Ciccone, whose company Copyright Music & Visuals controls use of the song, said he was given a deadline until noon Wednesday to reach a new agreement. The CBC sent him an e-mail later in the afternoon telling him they would not renew the contract.

``We looked at it every different way we could,'' he said. ``Whatever it takes, let's try and come up with something.''

It cost the public broadcaster about $500 every time it used the theme, but Ciccone doesn't think it came down to an issue of money.

One of the ideas Ciccone said he offered involved maintaining the same contract for two years, then increasing the rates by about 15 per cent, an increase he calls an industry standard.

He says he has yet to hear back from the CBC, but that he would always be open to starting negotiations again.

``We're always here,'' he said. ''They've got our number.''

Claman could not be reached for comment but released a statement on the website

``I am saddened by the decision of the CBC to drop the Hockey Night in Canada theme after our lengthy history together. I nevertheless respect its right to move in a new direction.''

Claman wrote the song in 1968 after it was commissioned by McLaren Advertising. The company was looking for something big, adventurous and brave to go with the broadcast.

Some good news. The Penguins lost the Stanley Cup, but hey, at least Sidney Crosby can finally shave that greasy stash he's got going on.

The Detroit Red Wings are expected to have their Stanley Cup parade on Friday. I have found no word on what kind of accident the Cup has endured this year. It's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Detroit Red Wings Win Stanley Cup

Coach in exile.

Tampa Bay fired John Tortorella yesterday. No Kidding.
The Lightening join San Jose, Florida, Ottawa, Toronto and Atlanta as orphan teams.

And check
out this story from the Chronicle Herald apparently that whole little drama involving Sidney Crosby and Don Cherry doesn't exist:

There is no feud
Does Don Cherry have a beef with Sidney Crosby? Both men say no

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby denies he has any
problem with Don Cherry. Al Hollingsworth, a local columnist, says
Mr. Cherry has “been bullying this young man from
Day 1, and people who watch this are saying,
‘What’s going on? Why?’ For somebody he’s never met,
he’s highly critical." (FRANK GUNN / CP)

SIDNEY CROSBY and Don Cherry publicly deny there’s a grudge between them.

But fans, bloggers and professional writers aren’t buying it, saying hockey’s loudest high-collared commentator has it in for one of the game’s biggest stars.

"If I were the head of CBC Sports and the best player in the game seemed to be ignored in favour of Gary Roberts looking up at the time clock, I think I’d wonder," William Houston, a sports columnist for Toronto’s Globe and Mail, said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Mr. Houston’s column after Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final said Mr. Cherry and Hockey Night in Canada have a ridiculous grudge against Mr. Crosby.

He said the Pittsburgh Penguins centre’s performance was one of the best stories of the year and should have received raves.

The Cole Harbour native had two of the game’s three goals and logged almost 20 minutes of ice time. Mr. Cherry’s post-game comments ignored Mr. Crosby, instead praising veteran teammate Gary Roberts.

Mr. Roberts had almost nine minutes of ice time and one assist to go with his gritty, physical play.

Mr. Houston said he likes Don Cherry and the two sometimes speak on the phone. While Mr. Cherry is a pundit paid to express his opinions, Mr. Houston said Ron MacLean, the show’s impartial host, had a responsibility to bring up Mr. Crosby’s performance.

"I like Don," said Mr. Houston. "I think he can do whatever he wants to do. He can say whatever he wants, ignore whoever he wants. However, I think most of the fault rests with Ron MacLean."

Mr. Cherry seemed to respond to the column during Monday night’s game, saying there isn’t a feud with Mr. Crosby. He said while he has chastised Mr. Crosby for diving and embellishing to draw penalties in the past, he hasn’t been the only target.

"If you ask (Wayne) Gretzky, I gave it to Gretzky pretty good because he was flopping around," said Mr. Cherry. "I gave it to Mario (Lemieux), and I tried to tell Crosby what’s going on. Mario was diving all over the place and he embarrassed the referees, and after a while they wouldn’t call anything against him.

"That’s all I tried to do with Crosby. I tried to teach him that, and not to yap at thereferee, and he’s doesn’t do it anymore. But it’s too late."

Mr. Cherry first criticized Mr. Crosby during the superstar’s rookie season in junior hockey, calling him a "hotdog" for a lacrosse-style goal from behind the net. He later cast doubt on Mr. Crosby’s injuries when he pulled out of an NHL top prospects game.

Mr. Crosby has dismissed rumours of a feud with Mr. Cherry, saying the two have never met.

Al Hollingsworth, a columnist for the website, also took Mr. Cherry to task after Game 4. He says Mr. Cherry just doesn’t like the 20-year-old star.

"He’s been trying to get around what he’s been doing all along and that’s bullying the kid," Mr. Hollingsworth said over the phone.

"He’s been bullying this young man from Day 1, and people who watch this are saying, ‘What’s going on? Why?’ For somebody he’s never met, he’s highly critical."

Mr. Hollingsworth said Mr. Crosby is arguably the best player in the game, yet he gets almost no mention on Coach’s Corner. When he does, it’s usually negative.

While he’s all for legitimate criticism, Mr. Hollingsworth said the CBC, as a Crown corporation funded by tax dollars, shouldn’t let Mr. Cherry go out of his way to attack Mr. Crosby.

Herring Cove’s Jonathan Turner started a Facebook fan group about Mr. Crosby. He said he doesn’t believe Mr. Cherry’s comments about trying to help.

"That’s all show, everybody knows what he’s like," said Mr. Turner.

"He first saw Crosby in junior and he legitimately thought he was a hotdog. I think he realizes now what the kid’s all about.

"He’s just backpedalling and now he wants to be with Crosby."


’If you ask (Wayne) Gretzky, I gave it to Gretzky pretty good because he was flopping around. I gave it to Mario (Lemieux), and I tried to tell Crosby what’s going on.’


’If I were the head of CBC Sports and the best player in the game seemed to be ignored in favour of Gary Roberts looking up at the time clock, I think I’d wonder.’

William HoustonGlobe and Mail columnist

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Petr Sykora can see the future.

Petr Sykora told TSN's Pierre McGuire during the first overtime intermission that he was going to score the winning goal.


Triple OT.

I missed just about all of the game due to my own soccer game tonight. So, the Pens decided to treat me to a full game anyway. Triple Overtime. Petr Sykora. Back to Pittsburgh for game six. Game just got over and it's 2 a.m. here in Halifax. Cole Harbour Place is probably going mad. But i'm too exhausted to do anything but load this pic up and sleep.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Where's the Eug?

Everyone is saying that Malkin disappeared. But I'm not really sure if "disappeared" is the correct word. Malkin is there, that part is obvious. It's especially so when he's coughing the puck up to the other team, making poor passing decisions, and floating around, putting him at a -3 this series.

I speak of this today because I found myself literally yelling at Malkin. Well... I was yelling at the television, but that makes me sound crazy. It's literally unbelievable that this guy is an MVP candidate, after watching him meander through the Stanley Cup Finals playing like the Malkin of the pre-high ankle sprain days. It appears to me now that the only way to wake Malkin up is for Georges Laraque to take Sid Crosby out back and bust up his foot (Tonya Harding style).

I came into work this morning and a friend of mine said watching the game last night was "like watching the last two seasons of Miami Vice." I don't know what that means, but it sounds like a bad thing.

"The first two games weren't the best games our team played, and especially me" ... let's extend that quote a few more games shall we?