Monday, September 28, 2009

Is Preseason over yet?

What is it with the NHL and making everything super long?

The season is 82 games... the playoffs are a marathon...



WHY OH WHY... do the teams have so much preseason. TOO LONG.

Play real games.

Heart-to-Heart with the moose

Okay boys.

If i'm going to sacrifice my Friday/Saturday nights... and Sunday afternoons, let's start winning, k?

I'm just going to pretend Sunday didn't happen. You're welcome.

(they lost to Victoriaville 4-2 ... and if you really need to read about it, the recap is here)

Also, here's Bobby Smith's reaction to the winless season.

On an upside, former Moosehead Jason Troini has been working with the team, we had him on after the game Saturday night and he was fantastic. He'd previously been behind the bench in the Midget AAA level. And he seems like a good addition to the staff.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Winless... forever.

The Halifax Mooseheads held on to the dubious title of being the only winless team in the QMJHL, as the dropped their fifth straight Saturday night, this time a 5-2 drubbing by the Gatineau Olympiques.
Associate Coach Jason Troini called the loss dissappointing.
"It's going to take a sacrifice to get wins," says Troini.
"I think if we understand that aspect we'll be rewarded for our efforts."
The Olympiques silenced the Metro Centre crowd early with two quick goals from Thomas Middup and Joshua Domingues.
The Mooseheads lacklustre first period effort showed up on the shot clock as well, registering only five on the Olympique's net. Spencer Metcalfe got the crowd and bench excited momentarily with a huge open-ice hit near the end of the first period.
But the momentum was short-lived when Tomas Knotek took a penalty early in the second period and Domingues put in his second of the night.
17-year-old Joel Grodin took over the goaltending duties for Halifax after Mathieu Corbeil let in the Olympique's fourth goal.
"Some times they might feel guilty for what might have happened to Mathieu and might give them a little boost," says Troini.
"I think it was the right move at that time."
It wasn't until 17:02 that Mooseheads forward Charles Bety was able to put one past Olympique goaltender Derek Tait.
The assault continued in the third as Alexandre Quesnel tallied his second goal of the night.
Many of the 5,102 headed to the exits midway through the third period. Yuri Cheremetiev scored on the powerplay with four minutes left in the third, but it was too little too late.
The Mooseheads play again Sunday afternoon against the Victoriaville Tigres, puck drops at 4 p.m. You can also listen live on News 95.7 with play-by-play host John Moore, the pregame show starts at 3:48 p.m.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Update on JimBalls

Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie pledged to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale.

Lawyers for Balsillie say the club would play in Glendale for the upcoming season, which starts October 3, and then move to Hamilton for the 2010-11 season.

They also pointed to a recent exhibition game in Glendale that only attracted a meagre 400 fans (for example, the recent exhibition game in Halifax, where tickets ranged from 49-59$ attracted more than 6500 fans. The game was at the beginning of camp, so there were no stars in the lineup and the match was between Ottawa... and the Florida Panthers.... can't say there are too many Panthers fans in Halifax.)

However, Balsillie still intends to move the team to Hamilton for the 2010-11 season should he win the bid.

Judge Redfield T. Baum, called Balsillie's new proposal, "a fairly significant change."

The revised offer came during an emergency hearing called by current owner Gerry Moyes Wednesday.

Moyes asked for the hearing to argue the point the NHL should have to go into mediation about contensious issues surrounding the sale of the club.

Baum was expected to rule on the mediation issue later Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jason Spezza's brother appears to be as goofy as Jason Spezza.

So I saw this story this morning and it's just too bizarre not to pass on.

Jason Spezza's brother (Matt Spezza) was involved in an insane car chase in Ottawa Friday night.

Apparently Matt and friend Ryan O'Connor came across a woman who had been attacked.

"I got out of the car and he was just telling her to shut up," said Spezza.

"That's when I started running towards his car — ask him if he wanted to be a man. And then he sped off."

So Spezza, O'Connor and the woman did the logical thing and jumped in their Porsche and sped after the attacker.

They called 911, and told the dispatcher they were in pursuit of the attacker and travelling at speeds up to 170 km/hr -- AND THE DISPATCHER TOLD THEM TO GIV'R!!! (well, actually i'm sure those aren't the words spoken by the dispatcher, this was in Ottawa and I doubt they speak Maritimese there... but that was the essence of the response)

Apparently police eventually caught up with the chase and charged a man in the incident.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Phil Kessel

The worst-kept secret since... well actually since Brian Burke became Leafs GM... hmmm funny.

Anyway, I'm talking about the Phil Kessel trade. It came through Friday night as we were wrapping the Mooseheads home opener. ("...John, 30 second commercial here... and Phil Kessel just got traded.)

And then I kinda forgot about it.

I had a very long day Friday, and another Mooseheads game Sunday, and Saturday is kinda a blur that included a very long afternoon nap, many Keith's White, and the inside of the Pogue Fado.

Anyways, my thoughts on the Kessel trade.

First of all, I'm thinking the Leafs sold the farm here for Kessel. A first and second round pick in 2010 and another first round pick in 2011. Wow. Hope he doesn't get injured... like he does every year. Moving on. So the Leafs have placed a lot of confidence in Kessel. (The Toronto Star headline read: "Leafs' world now centres on Phil Kessel") So, who is this supposed great player... supposed to play with?

In Boston Phil Kessel played on a line with Marc Savard. (And we all know my love for Marc Savard — one of the most under-rated players in the league — he could make Hal Gill look good.)

The candidates for linemates are looking like, Mikhail Grabovski? Matt Stajan? John Mitchell? Good God!

After fretting for the fate of poor Mr. Kessel, I then realized Kessel will fit in JUST FINE with the Leafs:

Tweet from TSN's James Cybalski: "sense in bruins room was that players had mixed feelings about kessel. some felt he was too injury prone and didn't always play hard."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Moose drop road game 6-1 to undefeated Sea Dogs

Another third period unraveling, and another turnover by rookie defenseman Garrett Clarke led to the Halifax Mooseheads dropping their fourth straight game Sunday afternoon.

Saint John Sea Dogs forward and Halifax native Steven Anthony put the Mooseheads down early, scoring two of his three goals in the first period.

Mooseheads veteran Travis Randell cut the Sea Dogs lead in half by the end of the first period.

The second period was promising for the Mooseheads, with the young team outshooting the undefeated Sea Dogs 18-6. However they were unable to capitalize.

The Sea Dogs owned the third period, with Danick Gauthier scoring four minutes in, and Steven Anthony completing his hat trick half-way through the third.

Gauthier picked up another and then 33 seconds later Tomas Jurco collected a loose puck on the side of the net to make it 6-1.

Despite the team's winless record, majority owner Bobby Smith still likes what he's seeing from the young team.

"I see we have eight and nine sixteen and seventeen years old in the lineup," says Smith

"This years team will be a very good team, we'll improve as the season goes on, we've got character, we've got lots of speed."

Moose drop home opener 3-1, honour legendary broadcaster Pat Connolly

September 18, 2009 - 10:00 pm
By: Jennifer Casey

Even though it was the Halifax Mooseheads home opener, Friday night belonged to Pat Connolly.

The 81-year-old veteran hockey announcer hung up his microphone this season, and after a 30 minute on-ice ceremony, a banner bearing Connolly's name hung next to the retired players' jersey.

"It was completely overwhelming, it was way beyond anything that I had ever expected," said Connolly.

"It was tough to keep my composure out there because there are so many wonderful memories of so many great events and so many wonderful people."

They Sydney native began with the Halifax Herald in 1945.

During Connolly's storied career his voice has boomed over the public address system in a number of arenas throughout the province including the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, Nova Scotia Oilers, Halifax Citadels and most recently the Halifax Mooseheads.
And the Mooseheads came out swinging after the ceremony.

Late in the first period Garrett Clarke capitalized on a Konrad Abeltshauser shot from the point to make it 1-0.

But it was the Titan came out swinging in the second and so did the momentum. The Titan scored minutes into the period, and followed it up by an odd-man breakaway that just narrowly missed the net.

They were able to carry that momentum into the third, when Taylor Lambke scored a big goal to put the Titan up 2-1.

And it was Lambke that iced the game late in the third when defenseman Garrett Clarke coughed the puck up and knocked it in his own net.

"Well obviously disappointed," said head coach Cam Russell who said some rookie mistakes cost the game.

"The type of team that we have we want a hard working energetic team, we want to see that honest effort. There's some players that do that and there's some that have a tough time with that."

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Okay, so i'm frikkin dead. I'm creeping up on a 12 hours shift. Spent the day chasing random local stories... then over to the moose practice.... then to the film festival red carpet. I'm in the newsroom filing my stories and an urgent comes over the wire. Oh yah and i work at 8am... and there's a mooseheads game tomorrow so i will not be out of here till about this time tomorrow again...

So at this point I'm thinking it might be time to do this shit Hunter S. Thompson style... I have no way to decipher whether this is actually important... but here it is:

Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes wants NHL ordered to mediation

PHOENIX - Beleaguered Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes has asked
a federal bankruptcy judge for an emergency hearing to order the NHL
to mediate the `key sale issues' in the complicated case.
The request was made Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court by the
lawyers who filed for Chapter 11 protection on behalf of Moyes on
May 5.
The proposal came as Judge Redfield T. Baum considers whether to
award the team to the NHL or to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie,
who would move the team as soon as possible to Hamilton, over the
vehement objection of the league.
The filing says the NHL rejected mediation in an email to Moyes'
lawyers on Wednesday.
(The Associated Press)<

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The kids aren't alright...

The Saint John Sea Dogs suspended Nicholas Pard indefinitely after some sort of altercation that involved police at a Sean Kingston concert. The team is saying it's "conduct detrimental of the team", but won't say what he did.

Actually guys, my first question isn't: "what did he do?" -- It was: "why is he at a Sean Kingston concert?"

ANNNNND... The Halifax Mooseheads have sent recent acquisition Chuckie Schrembie "home"... That's according to a recent press release from the team.

That's literally all it says... that they're sending him home because of "disciplinary reasons".

My first question: "Was he at the Sean Kingston concert?"

hahahahah... awww I wish our Prime Minister was cool.

Or even knew who Kanye West is...

hilarious audio from President Obama

Monday, September 14, 2009

Former Moose suit up.

If you're at the Halifax Metro Centre tomorrow night, keep on the lookout for former Halifax Mooseheads... Pascal Leclaire, Alexandre Picard, and David Brine.

Weekend Moose Roadie.

So the first couple games are under the Moose's (and my) belt.

We had some glitches on the weekend which is to be expected, hopefully Friday runs a lot smoother... for me and for the Mooseheads.

The Moose were in both games Friday and Sunday... but right now it seems they have this problem of flukey goals and a third period unravelling.

Friday before the season opened, Moncton's head coach Danny Flynn called the Atlantic division the toughest in the entire league -- something the Mooseheads will undoubtedly learn this year as they rebuild. But they did look promising, and I would say they will finish higher than last year. (They finished dead last, last seasaon).

The coaches echoed that sentiment after the weekend losses.

“You’d like to come out on the other end winning two hockey games but we know this year is going to be a work in progress,” said Cam Russell.

“We have a lot of young hockey players and new guys and the positives outweigh the negatives right now.”

Friday: Halifax Mooseheads 4 -- Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 6

The Moose seem unable to stop Screaming Eagle Michael Stinziani as he got his first career hattrick. This hattrick included the empty netter at the end of the game to hault the Moosehead's near comeback in the third period.

Rookie Konrad Abeltshauser, one of the team's two European players, is looking like a fantastic pickup.

The Mooseheads outshot the Eagles in this game, but they were unable to shut down the other team. A few questionable goals (which hopefully can be written off as first-of-the-season jitters for goaltender Mathieu Corbeil) led to the Eagles win.

Sunday: Halifax Mooseheads 4 -- PEI Rocket 7

Don't let the score fool you. This was a spirited affair. The Moose had this game tied at 4 in the third period... only to have the Rocket take the lead just over a minute later on a flukey goal that hit the partition behind the net and bounced into the goal.

After that, it unravelled.

But some pluses for the Mooseheads, Tomas Knotek, who was away on NHL camp was back in uniform for the game. And he wasted no time, scoring twice. Abeltshauser also scored again.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

All signs point to JimBalls?

Over the duration of the Pheonix Coyotes ownership saga, Jim Balsillie has taken some lumps. And for a while there it wasn't looking good for JimBalls. It's clear Gary Bettman really hates the guy, so that doesn't help. The league's board of governors recently unanimously rejected Balsillie as a prospective owner.

But things have started to go his way.

Yesterday Ice Edge Holdings, the third party about to take part in Thursday's auction for the Pheonix Coyotes, has dropped out of the mix. That leaves Jim Balsillie's $242.5 million bid up against the NHL's bid of just $140 million.

There is the obvious reason Balsillie may get favourited by the judge. The judge has to choose the bid that is best for the owner Jerry Moyes -- who's lost millions during his time with the Coyotes.

I would say millions of dollars extra, are better for him.

Moyes has publically said the NHL needs to come to its senses in terms of their bid. He's says the NHL needs to add $80 million to their bid to bring it in line with Balsillie's original bid of $212.5 million.

Balsillie has put concessions in his bid package that gives $50 million to the city of Glendale, Arizona for losses incurred by the loss of the team.

Moyes is so outraged by the possibility of having to accept the NHL bid that his lawyers filed a motion to have the NHL's bid thrown out.

Another thing that should push the bidding in Balsillie's favour, is that the NHL, who despite arguing against Balsillie because he wanted to move the team, is willing to move the team themselves at the end of the 2009-10 season if the team is not making money.

I can't guarentee much. But I can pretty much guarentee that the Pheonix Coyotes will not make money this season.

I can't wait until Thursday and Friday to see what comes out of the process.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Halifax Mooseheads

Generally this blog has been mostly a general hockey blog, I kinda just speak about or cover things in a completely random fashion. It's usually based on my anger level that day, and how much (or little) coffee, beer, etc. i've had that day (also known as motivation).

But since I have now been assigned Producer to New's 95.7's Halifax Mooseheads broadcasts -- (Yes, every game. Yes, yes, I know, poooor me. haha) -- I figure I may as well start a Halifax Mooseheads component to my blog, since i'm gonna be listening to absolutely every single game (pity me, seriously...).

I may live-blog, I may do game recaps, I may just pick something I thought was dumb, weird, strange, awesome, etc. and write about it.

I apologize to those who don't live in Halifax and/or don't give a damn about the QMJHL... but don't worry... The JimBalls Saga and Dany Heatley's Saga don't appear to be very close to resolution... and the NHLPA is in shambles and is ridiculous and is going to cause another goshdarned lockout if their not careful (did I mention ridiculous?)... SO, i figure I'll still have lots of material (and ranting) to go around.

The season opener is September 11, when the Moose are in Sydney to play the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. See you then...

For fun...

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Stability is nice but...

...signing these mammoth contracts seems kind of unwise.

Yesterday Roberto Luongo signed a 12-year contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks. When the 12 years is up -- he'll be 43-years-old.

There are upsides to the long contract. You're guarenteed a world-class player for the forseeable future, letting the General Manager plan and build around him. In the end, it's probably a financial win for the Canucks because as the salary cap moves upward so do salaries, and you've got him locked into that one. He's your captain. You're giving the fans a franchise player to get behind... etc. etc.

But then there's a number of reasons why long contracts are a pain...

1. On top of the long contract you gave him a No Trade Clause. So if the team ever needs to move him, they're at his mercy. We saw how well that went with Mats Sundin.

2. Even if he agrees to be moved, he's got a giant contract dangling behind him. Most teams don't want to commit to those giant contracts for a player they haven't seen fit into the dressing room yet. Chemistry is a big part of the team. I'm not saying that Roberto Luongo wouldn't fit into a dressing room, but there's a lot of factors at play, and that long contract is certainly a deterrant.

3. What if he gets injured, and is just not as good as he used to be. If he has a career-ending injury he gets paid out by player insurance... but what if it's an injury that just makes him not as mobile, not as quick, but he still plays... eventually riding the bench more and more... or missing chunks of games here and there but not entire seasons... while you're still paying him. That sounds like fun.

4. And finally, there's just a lot of unforseeable things that a team will encounter. Like... What if suddenly there's a new coach in town and said coach and Luongo hate each other (see: Ottawa Senators, Dany Heatley).

I'm still not quite sure whether these contracts are a great idea.