Last week the NHL rejected the New Jeresy Devils 17 year, 102 million dollar contract offer to Ilya Kovalchuk. They said the last four years were added on for the sole purpose of driving their salary cap figure down. Now the NHL Players Association has filed a grievance with the league. But the length of these contracts is what gets me. How can you lock a player in for over a decade is beyond me.
The People of Chicago are going crazy because of one man Dustin Byfuglien! Big Buff, as he is known, single-handedly beat the San Jose Sharks by scoring three game winning goals, and thereby sending the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 18 years. The kid sure has delivered after being promoted to Chicagos top line.
The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs showed a 25 percent increase from last year, and they were the best in almost a decade. Still, less than one million people are watching the average NHL playoff game. That would be different if the league were willing to push back their season so the playoffs started in June. Then they would only be competing with baseball on a nightly basis, and ESPN would gladly air their games.
Tuesday will be the first game seven of the NHLs Playoffs and as we all know, theres nothing more exciting than a game seven of a hockey series. Despite all the action, though, theres one thought I cant get out of my mind What the hell is Barry Melrose doing with his hair?
I guess we all knew how this one was going to end even before it began with Canada winning the Gold Medal in Hockey. But damn, it was a great game! And once the US tied it up with 24 seconds left in regulation, I honestly thought we were going to steal it away. But Sidney Crosby made sure that wasnt going to happen not on his watch, anyway.
When the Men’s US Olympic Hockey team was announced following the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, I have to admit, I wasn’t too impressed. I would have liked to see a little more veteran presence – it’s a very young squad with little Olympic experience, but I should have known better than to doubt Team USA GM Brian Burke. Going a perfect 3-0 in their qualification games, this group of kids has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that they deserve to be counted. In one of the most highly anticipated games in Canadian hockey history, the USA vs. Canada game last Sunday further solidified this team’s chances at medal hopes while delivering a crushing blow to the Canadians who laugh at the idea of American hockey.
American goalie Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres) was spectacular in the game, making 42 saves, while his counterpart, Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils) stopped only 19 shots. I’m questioning Canada coach Mike Babcock’s decision to keep Brodeur in net considering he was mediocre at best when Canada required four rounds of a shootout to defeat Switzerland in their second game of qualification play. Brodeur may be the NHL’s all-time leader in regular-season wins, but backup goalie Roberto Luongo is not exactly, well…a backup goalie. I imagine there has to be some pressure on Babcock to get Luongo some play considering Canada didn’t exactly roll over any of their opponents, not to mention Luongo is the hometown hero, playing for the Vancouver Canucks during the regular season.
The women’s hockey tournament has been a little odd – I know that typically high scoring games are exciting to watch, but is scoring 18 goals in a game really necessary? Where’s the mercy rule? I can’t really get too excited about these games where it becomes obvious after the first five minutes who’s going to win. I watched the first two periods of the Canada vs. Sweden game last week and it wasn’t exciting at all…13-1? Really?
I’m going to venture a couple of predictions here…I’m going to call Russia vs. USA for the men’s gold medal match and I’m going to say the Canadian women will repeat. Just sayin…
What’s the deal with the Boston Bruins and Detroit red Wings? Last year these were two of the most polific scoring teams in the NHL… but this year, they’re both dead last in their respective conferences.
Goal Tending and Defense has been decent, so they both have a chance to get their acts together and make a run for the playoffs. Hope the Olympic break doesn’t mess up their continuity. Then again, the way they’ve been playing, that might not be such a bad thing!
After looking beat down by the end of last season, it’s no surprise the Great One decided Enough was Enough!
With the Coyotes bankruptcy proceedings dragging on, and it clear to all that neither remaining party ivolved had a place for him in their future plans, Wayne Gretzky made it official and stepped down Wednesday morning as head coach and director or hockey opperations.
So what’s next for Greatsky? Hopefully something that returns a smile to his face, because for one, I was growing tired of watching him do a job that he clearly didn’t want to do anymore.
Here’s some free advice, Wayne… Go hang out with that still hot wife of yours and enjoy yourselves. Because life is far too short to be miserable when you really don’t have to be!
That’s right, my head is spinning right round… and I love it (cue up Flo Rida!)
Ron Artest to Los Angeles, Gilbert Arenas to Houston, Rasheed to Boston, Hedo to
Portland Toronto, Hossa to Chicago (that’s going to be an incredible team), Gaborik to the Rangers, Gomez and Cammalleri to the Habs! Wow!!!
Like I said, my head is spinning.
But where are the Devils, Kings and Sharks?
And how about the Suns and Hornets?
More to come as more deals unfold!
In her season finale of In The Crease, the Sports Report Girl reviews the Stanley Cup Finals, gives an “I told you so” about her prediction, and contemplates a career move to Las Vegas