LESS WILD WEEK
We had a fairly quiet week-no
stunning signings, no major trades, and if you live in the Philadelphia
area, no coverage of anything except for Terrell Owens.
Now, as I take refuge from TO by hiding in my media-proof bunker,
I have some thoughts on the weeks that was.
After two solid and resonable signings(Joe Nieuwendyk and Gary
Roberts) I started to think maybe Mike Keenan had turned a corner
and wasn't going to be a self-destructive clown like he was in
St Louis. Then he sets to battle franchise goalie Roberto Luongo
in arbitration and signs Chris Gratton....I am awaiting the returns
of Brian Noonan and Stephane Matteau.
I am actually surprised the Blackhwaks managed to trade Jocleyn
Thibault so quickly. I really though his qualifying number might
scare a couple of teams off. But he's a solid pick-up for Pittsburgh.
If Eddie Olczyk monitors his minutes to avoid a late season breakdown,
T-Bo could be a steal.
Why is it that team owners in Washington and Carolina can't seem
to understand that pissing off fans is a bad idea, especially
coming off a lockout that killed a season? Ted Leonsis admitted
that the Caps would have a payroll of around $25mm, and very
likely contend for nothing more than a spot in next year's draft
lottery. @$%#$ Karmanos made a similar statement a few weeks
back. Maybe the reason your franchises are introuble gentlemen
is because you make asinine statements at bad times.
"Yeah, we just missed a season because of a labor issue.
Even though it's widely viewed that the owners got the better
of the deal, we're going to only moderately lower ticket prices
and keep merchandise right where it's at. We're also not going
to come within $10mm of the new salary cap we held the sport
hostage for, because even with the 10% rollback, we're such bad
businessmen we can't afford to spend more. Anyhow, if you buy
season tickets, we'll send you a calendar and refridgerator magnet-all
LEAFS NAME GARY BUSEY HEAD COACH....
Well maybe they should.
If healthy, Mats Sundin, Eric Lindros and Jason Allison provide
a mix of size and talent that would be difficult for any team
Maybe I should have made that "If healthy" in all caps
or italics. John Ferguson jr is playing with fire a bit. Financially
these aren't bad signings...Hell financially they're great signings,
if both guys can play 60+ games. However, that's optimistic on
the level of....I don't even have a metaphor for how optimistic
Allison hasn't played in almost three years. How badly have his
skills deteriorated in that time? The severity of his concussion
also is a nagging concern.
Lindros is a bit different. The concussions are a concern, but
unlike Allison, Lindros has other health issues. His 2003-04
season ended not because of a concussion, but because he tore
his labrum rehabbing from the concussion.
Lindros has to play a physical style to be effective. He has
trouble when he can't assert himself with a big hit or tussle
with an angry defenseman. For proof look at season two in New
York and the 1997 Stanley Cup finals. you can limit him by forcing
him to play a finesse game.
The big downside is that when he's physical he gets banged up.
Eight concussions. Knee injuries, shoulder injuries, back injuries,
a bad facial laceration just under his left eye. Lindros just
seems to be one of those "star crossed" players that
fate always likes to take down, despite their many physical gifts.
I wish both guys the best, but JFJ's taking a gamble I wouldn't
Good Night and Good Hockey-Gene Hart