Thursday, October 29, 2009



I'm okay with this.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where the Wild Things are Dustin Byfuglien style

For the political junkies

Just read this in MacLean's Ottawa Outtakes:

"Liberal Mark Eyking was a serious farmer before becoming an MP. Now the Cape Bretoner maintains a hobby farm where, for the first time, he raised a few turkeys. They have names like "Cuzner" after Liberal whip Rodger Cuzner, and "Deepak" after Calgary Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai. On Thanksgiving, Eyking ate "Harper".

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nothing but trouble.

So the Sergei Kostitsyn saga continues.

After being assigned to the AHL before the NHL season began, Kostitsyn had a hissy fit and said he wanted a trade. Bob Gainey stepped in with an intervention and the younger Kostitsyn brother decided to go where he was told. He played five games for the Canadiens affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Then he decided again this week that, nope he didn't want to play in Hamilton.

So he packed up his gear and went dark. Nobody could find the kid. The rumour mill had it that Kostitsyn was entertaining at least three offers from KHL clubs.

However TSN is reporting Bob Gainey had a second intervention last night, and Kostitsyn has rejoined the club.


Why keep forcing him back. He is clearly not dedicated to the team. It's a bad precedent to set. And with all the work the Canadiens have done to remove the tumultuous environment within the dressing room, this puts them many steps back.

Let. Him. Go. Who cares if he goes to the KHL? He's clearly not doing the Canadiens much good on the ice, if he's in the AHL. And his diva behaviour is a distraction the team does not need.
Last season, it was the Russian-Montreal mob... now it's fights and missing the bus.

Backstory from

"A French-language MSN article posted Wednesday reports that a physical altercation between Montreal Canadiens players Scott Gomez and Sergei Kostitsyn during the preseason was a motivating factor that contributed to the younger Kostitsyn being assigned to the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs.
The report, written by Mario Langlois, says that the incident took place just prior to Montreal's season-opening game in Toronto on Oct. 1, as the club was preparing to depart for a team-building excursion in Caledon, ON. Before leaving, the team went out for a night on the town and returned to Gomez's house. At some point in the evening, Gomez and Kostitsyn got into an altercation that was serious enough that other players had to jump in and separate them.
General manager Bob Gainey and head coach Jacques Martin were notified about it the next day and according to the report, Gainey didn't want another off-ice distraction like the many that the team dealt with last season. As a result, Kostitsyn was sent to the minors prior to the team's departure for Caledon.
Earlier last month, Kostitsyn missed a team bus during Montreal's preseason game in Quebec City. At one specific practice, the forward was blasted a couple of times by Martin for not paying attention."

It's not like the NHL tried to make an amendment to the Canadian constitution

I'm calling you out Bob Sirois.

Your new book Le Québec mis en échec (Quebec Bodychecked).

Unfortunately since the book is only available in Quebec... the
rest of Canada doesn't really have a chance to fairly weigh in on the debate he so fervently wants to spark. But i'm going to do my best.

Sirois says it's not about bashing Canada. However, how can that be when it's only available in Quebec. If he truly believed there was something that needed to be changed, the book would be available in both French and English. Reports from the publisher are saying that no English language publisher would pick up the book. For some reason I highly doubt that. It's probably more like, they didn't try at all and don't want an English version, and that's why there's no English version.

They also say there's no real audience for the subject matter outside of Quebec. With all the hooplah this book has caused i'm pretty sure there are many a hockey fan in English Canada that would like to read this book. Myself included. At this point, you have to speak French and have a very persistant desire to read this book, because you're going to have to order it from Quebec.

Anyways, basically what i'm saying is I have to rely on what media reports say are in the book.

Here we go.

Sirous, a former Montreal Canadien, points to the World Junior teams as one of his examples. Saying sometimes as few as 2 players per year were chosen.

Brent Sutter said it best.

“As far as the world junior, there’s absolutely nothing there,” says Sutter who won back-to-back golds in 2005 and 2006.

“I know from being there for two years - you took your best players that can form your best team in your nation. It didn’t matter whether they were from Vancouver or St. John’s, Newfoundland....Never, ever, once did that cross a person’s mind.”

Columbus head coach Ken Hitchcok says he doesn't get it.

“Last I looked, they’re all Canadians,” he says. “I don’t understand that thought process or that comment. I look at the teams I’ve coached. The best leader and most-complete player competitive-wise that I’ve ever coached is Guy Carbonneau. One of the best two-way players that I’ve ever seen is Simon Gagne.”

Traditionally the QMJHL has been heavy on small, fast-skating forwards, and not too heavy on defense. Which is what Sirois is saying is causing the systematic discrimination. But if you've watched the QMJHL, which I have for many many years. It's pretty much true.

Even the QMJHL commissioner, Gilles Corteau, has stated the QMJHL in the past has battled with the problem of being the weaker brother of the three Canadian CHL leagues. He says in this season (2009-10) the QMJHL has been enjoying unprecendented levels of parity because of teams that are building themselves properly. (About 4 teams from the Q have consistantly been in the national top 10 since the beginning of this season.)

The Q-league is a fast-skating, high-flying league. You don't see too many Dion Phaneufs in the Q. And although after the lockout, the NHL has opened up for a smaller, quicker player. Teams still want someone who can backcheck.

In the QMJHL your defense is usually your goaltender. Because Quebec breeds some of the most fantastic goaltenders.

So think about that for a second. Quebec tends to produce a position that is limited. You have room for 12 forwards versus only 2 goaltenders plus a reserve guy. That puts Quebec's chances down immediately.

You can parlay that into the NHL as well. 30 teams, 2 goaltenders each. 60 spots. It's also difficult to break in at goaltender, so you usually don't see 18-year-old goaltenders busting into the NHL.

And think about the top goaltenders in the league right now. Marc-Andre Fluery, Martin Broduer, Roberto Luongo, Pascal Leclaire, Jean-Sebastien Gigure...

Of the 59 goaltenders that have gotten ice time this season, 10 are from Quebec... or 16.9 per cent of all goaltenders. The REST of Canada has 18 goaltenders seeing ice time, which is 30 per cent of all goaltenders. Quebec produces more goaltenders than the entire United States.

He's also called out specific NHL clubs for not drafting Quebec-born players. So what? Some teams have scouting patterns. Chicago Blackhawks have 12 players from the WHL. Then there's a team like the Pittsburgh Penguins. They have five QMJHL players. Including their starting goaltender and they're captain, their mixed in with quite a few Europeans. Some teams scout more in Europe. Some try to stick to CHL players, others like NCAA. It's just the way organizations run themselves.

Sirois also blames the Canadiens for not taking more Quebec-born players. Well do the Leafs have enough Ontario-born players? Earth to Sirois, it's not 1946, teams don't take hometown boys just because they're hometown boys.

You think francophone players are going to rush out to support his cause? Nope. Francois Beauchimen says he never knew a francophone player who was supposed to make it, who didn't. He said those who didn't make it... didn't put the work in.

One of the other things he points out apparently, is the whole "Shane Doan hates French people" thing. Referring to an alleged on-ice comment made by Doan. I'm pretty sure we've been through this about 8 times. And every time, the conclusion is, there's no proof that this happened.

Blois says he's just looking at the numbers. Ok well look at this number. In 2005, Hockey Canada says we had 482,483 male registered players in Canada. Of that number, 83,215 were in Quebec. That's 17.2 per cent. Now remember that number and stick with me. In that same year there were 518 Canadians in the NHL, including 91 from Quebec. So 17.6 per cent of Canadians in the NHL were from Quebec. Last time I checked, that's the same.

Someone roll out the human rights inquiry red carpet.


Numbers are a funny thing, you can crunch them and manipulate them to make it appear to prove anything you want in this case. The NHL is huge. Minor hockey systems around the world go through ups and downs. Look at the way Hockey Canada did 10 years ago. We were all up in arms because we weren't winning, because our grassroots hockey wasn't focusing on skill. Now look at the players coming out of Canada. Now Canada's biggest problem is having all their World Junior- eligable players staying in the NHL.

Scott Morrison also points out an interesting fact on his CBC blog.

"...Fact is, hockey has become a global game with more Europeans playing, which affects the number of North American players, not just Quebecers, that wind up in the NHL," says Morrison.

"Beyond that, immigration has affected the numbers playing hockey in Canada, not just Quebec, and that has an impact on the overall NHL numbers as well. In major centers especially, cities such as Toronto and Montreal, there is such great ethnic diversity that not all are involved in hockey at the grass roots level..."

This stuff really grinds my gears. Kids growing up in Quebec are no more "discriminated against" than some kid from Russia or some kid growing up in rural Saskatchewan. Seriously Quebec, you're like that whiny kid in class who gets a 99 per cent on a test and argues for the other 1 per cent.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Injury Gods no likey Savard

I am working on a post about crazy old Bob Sirois. Lots of numbers, should be up later today.

But in the meantime:

Bruins lose Savard to broken foot

Injuries continue to ravage the Boston Bruins as center Marc Savard joins winger Lilan Lucic on the sidelines.

Savard suffered a broken left foot and is expected to miss up to six weeks. He has been placed on the long term injured reserve list.

I've been one of the people who thinks Savard is highly underrated. And that he should be in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics. However, he didn't get an invite to the summer evaluation camp, and those in support of Savard on Team Canada had to hope he would play an amazing first half of the season to earn a spot on the team in lieu of a player who is not producing (there are many).

Out for 6 weeks. That pretty much ends the Savard Olympic team dream.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


"If there's ever been footage that backs up getting rid of fighting in hockey...."

Craig MacTavish on seeing footage of himself fighting Keith Jones.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's like i've woken up in some sort of alter-world.


So the mayor of Quebec met Regis Labeaume, and former Nordiques owner Marcel Aubut met with Gary Bettman to discuss "hockey".

If I where Quebec I would run... fast. Because when you finally do attempt to get a team, there's good reason to believe you'll have a long and expensive court battle.

In all seriousness, it does appear that Quebec, amidst a strong Canadian dollar, and failing teams in the United States is putting it's hat in the three ring circus that is hockey North of the Border.

They need a rink. The aging Le Colisée was one of the reasons the the Nordiques left in the first place. There has been talk about a new 18,000 seat arena, which is promising.

I still believe that southern Ontario is the destination of a new team. At this point it appears this little meeting has usurped Quebec over Winnipeg as the #2 choice for a team in Canada. I guess.

Why are we surprised?

Can someone please tell me why you're all surprised that the Leafs are 0-5-1? Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, that's a surprise. The Chicago Blackhawks coming back from 5-0 to win 6-5, that's a surprise. Finding out that robots can play piano, that's a surprise (see: stephen harper). The L.A. Kings sitting atop the Pacific division, yup that's a surprise.

Getting my point.

It's the Leafs. They aren't very good. And just one Phil Kessel is not going to make you good. You probably need a whole line of Phil Kessels... and some actual defense.... and a goaltender who can at least stop a beach ball.

Stop being surprised. Stop asking the coach what is wrong with the team. There's nothing wrong. This is how they are supposed to be.

Globe and Mail "journalism".

I saw the commercial for this and immediately filled with rage.

It's called the Great Canadian Journalism Dream. The Globe and Mail is giving out prizes to a photographer and writer to cover the Olympics.

Are you kidding me.

So coming out of school, the market for jobs in this profession was pretty dire. I don't know why I said "was"... "is" is more appropriate. Most of my classmates are still not working. Many Canadian news outlets are replacing real jobs with free interns. Others have laid off hundreds (The CBC laid off 800 jobs nation-wide earlier this year).

I understand money is tight. Especially in the newspaper world. But LITERALLY taking people off the street to cover the Olympics makes people who have paid good money to learn how to do this job, and can't find a job, really really sad.

Why not make the competition for Journalism students? At least it would have slight credibility.

But to make it this competition that says the to general public, "hey you can do this with no school!", further de-values the trade. Something we don't need help with when entire news outlets are being run by free interns.

Friday, October 9, 2009

In the studio on a Friday night...

Apparently you can stop him. For 4 months, actually. Torn ACL. Not good news for the Detroit Red Wings. Does this mean someone besides the Red Wings will win the division/conference. Hopefully.

Sad News

Former NHL star Theo Fluery says he was sexually abused by his junior hockey coach, Graham James. Fluery's account of the abuse is detailed in an autobiography called "playing with fire" that is set to hit shelves next week.

It's weird, I heard this news and it made me sad. But at the same time, I wasn't surprised. It's like knowing the answer to why Fluery had such a rough life.

Pat Quinn is still insane?

and is getting a $10,000 fine for his insanity?

Quinn was angry about an incident between Sheldon Souray and Jarome Iginla that lead to Souray being assisted off the ice.

"I don't understand the players of today," said Quinn.

"If that had happened in the old days he would have got hit over the head with a stick right after. It was a pretty dirty play in my opinion. He poked his feet out and then piled on top of him. Somehow they never deal with that ... and they won't let the vigilante stuff happen to deal with it. It's disappointing."

Actually I am sorta let down by the comments. I mean, that's not really that inflamatory. I'm sure if Quinn knew he was going to be fined he would've said worse.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ummm okay?

This came up in my twitter feed and I thought it was fake:

Defenceman Chris Chelios without an NHL contract, will suit up for the AHL's Chicago Wolves on Monday.

In 28 games last season with the Red Wings Celios was held pointless and had 18 penalty minutes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thoughts from the weekend.


So on Friday Hudson's Bay Company released the new team Canada gear for the Olympics. Steve Yzerman was there... modelling the fancy duds. Pretty cool. So you're like... why are we talking about this.

A few hours later...

We're sitting at work and an urgent comes over the wires about the Olympic gear. Thinking that someone was just trigger happy on the urgent button I didn't read it at first. But then I heard a "are you kidding me?"

The Liberals had pointed out the new logo for team canada's gear looked similar to that of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Okay, seriously?

It's still unclear to me who they're accusing of what. Are they accusing Hudson's Bay Company of being Tory supporters? Or accusing the Tories of making Hudson's Bay Company design the logo in that way? I don't get it.

I mean sure, the logos look similar. So what?

A spokesperson from the Prime Minister's Office spokesman also pointed out that CanJet Airlines' logo is also a blue "C' with a red maple leaf.

"Somebody should tell Liberals that C stands for Canada and the maple leaf in the middle is on our flag."

No kidding.

I will file this as a "fail" for the Liberals

Speaking of the Conservatives...

who is this man dressed as our Prime Minister, singing the Beatles?

does. not. compute.

Moving on...

First Hockey Night in Canada.

and what a night! All 30 teams were in action Saturday. There was pretty much hockey on all day, with the two games in Helsinki and Stockholm.

Some thoughts:

- John Tavares gets his first goal. For some reason people were dubbing the Islanders/Penguins game the "battle of the firsts". As in first overall picks. I think that might be a stretch. But if we're playing along... Crosby also had a goal in the game, opened the scoring with a goal where he skated around the outside of the D and then cut in to net. The game went to shootout where Tavares had a less-then-stellar attempt where he shot about 2 feet wide of the net. Whereas Crosby's was pretty darn slick.

- The Leafs were eaten alive by the Washington Capitols. Why is everyone so surprised by this?

- The Habs, are playing their classic Cardiac Canadiens style. Winning both their games in extra time. Brian Gionta got the overtime winner by picking off a bounce off the backboards in mid-air and putting it in the net. He said it was luck. I call it magic.

- Sens lose 5-2. Surprised it wasn't more.

- Despite getting Bouwmeester, the Calgary Flames still can't play defense. What's up with that?

Battle of the Blades.

Oh. My. God. So I wasn't really planning on watching this. But i turned on the TV and it was what was on. And I am now hooked. It is so funny. I can't even handle how funny it is.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Too... much... going... on.

It's been a busy week, especially with the extremely complicated, convoluted, and unfortunate story that broke yesterday afternoon.

Also spent much of my day preparing for tonight's Mooseheads game against the Rimouski Oceanic.

But most importantly...


There's four games opening the NHL season tonight. And not a moment too soon.

Washington vs. Habs at 8pm AST

Leafs and Habs at 8pm AST

later tonight, San Jose v Colorado and Canucks take on the Flames.

Oh yah, then there's this other stuff happening:

Brendan Shanahan.

Weird story... apparently the New Jersey Devils and Brendan Shanahan have "mutually decided" to part ways. I'm thinking he was cut. But whatever.

I don't even know what to say about this. Actually it's kind of weird. I was reading an Olympic story the other day and it was talking about Steve Yzerman, which led me to think about Brendan Shanahan. And I did that... "Is Shanny still playing?"

Guess he was.

Sergei Kostitsyn.

Is apparently asking for a trade after being sent down to the minors by the Montreal Canadiens. There are also rumours that the younger Kostitsyn brother wants to play in the KHL.

I'm sort of hanging out on the fence on this one. On one hand he is getting demoted to the AHL, just days before the opening of the NHL season. Then there's the fact that he's being a whiny little....[insert name here]... And the Kostitsyn brothers were one of many off-ice distractions last season with their... random Russian mafia connections.... something about And one of the few distractions that are actually left on the team after the summer clearout.

In keeping with the teams cleaning house motto... might as well send Kostitsyn packing. Just start the hell over.

On the upside the team was on a "team bonding" trip for the past week, and the players are all praising new coach Jacques Martin and his system.

I'm mildy optimistic...


Well that was a whole lot about nothing. Judge Baum said neither children can have the candy. er... Judge Baum said neither the NHL or Jim Balsillie can have the Phoenix Coyotes.


Come on man, don't you get it, sagas need endings eventually. I'm sick of this one. This is possibly longer than the famous Sundin Saga of 2008.

I won't bore with the details, (because quite frankly i don't understand a lot of this freaking crazy arse legal story) but JimBalls is saying he is not appealing.

But I doubt that will be the end of JimBalls... there are plenty of teams in the NHL that has no fans. See: 24 teams located in the United States. So I reckon he'll be after another team before 2010.

I'm now accepting bets on his next victim.

Avalanche retire Joe Sakic's #19.

thumbs up.

Michael Landsberg.

Okay so this is just frikkin bizarre. I really do think that Lansberg possibly took the good pills before yesterday's broadcast.

"So I'm going to lay it out here. Being a hockey captain is similar to leading the Jews from slavery and persecution in that they have one ultimate common goal: get to the promised land."

WHAT?! That's nothing like that at all. Are you serious? I'm speechless.