UPDATED: August 15, 2005


By John Saquella.


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 in one!!!!"

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 to match.

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 that is.

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 touch

Good Night and Good Hockey-Gene Hart


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