Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seguin Throws Like a Chick

Nathan Horton & Tyler Seguin threw out the first pitch tonight before the Sox game vs. the D-Rays. Horton wore a jersey with #18 on his back, after his favorite Red Sox player of yore, Glenn Hoffman. Seguin followed suit, wearing #19 in honor of his favorite Red Sox player, Jeff Sellers. The guys doing the catching? No, not Tek or someone interesting like that, but Dustin Richardson and Manny Delcarmen. Way to bust out your A-list on that one, Sox organization. Couldn't even get a real catcher, ya know, I mean really, give me Rick Cerone or John Marzano.

Yup, not much hockey news. Modano's not re-signing with the Stars. Sergei Crapstitsyn was traded by the Habs for Dan Ellis & Dustin Boyd.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Miscellany, or How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the BS that is World Cup Soccer

  • SOBOTKA is GONE. Traded to St. Looie for their 4th round pick from 2008, David Warsofsky. Warsofsky is about 5' 3", 160 lbs and hails from MarshVegas. I believe he currently patrols the blue line at BU. Surprisingly, a hockey player from BU/MarshVegas (or his insufferable parents) has not taken 5 minutes to compose his own Wikipedia page. BUT, since Warsofsky (and/or his parents) probably googles himself daily, he'll find my whining about the trade and create said Wikipedia entry post-haste. YOU GOT TRADED FOR VLADDY. Those are some big shoes to fill - so I'm a little irrational. Vladdy averages some 25 hits per game and was fun to watch. Of course, with the trade rumors regarding Savard swirling like crazy, I spoze that it's likely that both players are being shipped out of town as punishment for the line change gaffe.
  • USA is out of the World Cup. Seems to me the biggest problem with US futbol in the World Cup is that they fail to advance just as they're beginning to get the nation behind them. Folks who rarely care about soccer just start to get sucked in, but the team chokes in the playoffs.
  • Futbol would be a helluva lot more fun if there were fights. I mean, seriously, someone slide-tackles your ass and it was dirty? Time for a donnybrook. Don't roll around and cry. The Euro flopping/acting/injury-faking has been much-talked about, and it sucks how it's made its way into American sport (Pau Gasol). But that's the way it goes. Ya know, the Sox need a bench-clearing brawl, time for some bad blood, time for some team-unifying, visceral experience.
  • On a related note, the Canadiens are looking to sign Samuel Inkoom of Ghana to their farm team due to his formidable acting skillz.
  • Speaking of skillz, Hal Gill sucks.
  • Mike Tirico was talking to a British dude and a German dude before the England/Germany game this morning, and Tirico asks something like, "so what's this like for your respective countrymen?" The Brit guys starts, "This is D-Day..."
  • Okay, here's a reason that soccer blows. England clearly scored a goal here, the ball bounced a good 6 feet behind the German keeper after deflecting off the bar, and because they don't have instant replay or a ref behind the net, or near the net, the goal wasn't counted. That's BS. Did the ref bet the under? Rumble in Brighton tonight if England loses.
  • My neighbor is running a shop-vac/leaf blower on a Sunday morning. Fuck this shit.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Brass Balls is Back

The Bruins have re-signed Mark Recchi.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

NHL Awards Roundup

Jay Mohr blows.

Per the usual, the NHL Awards ceremony was a poorly choreographed, awkward affair full of bad jokes, bad music, and bad acceptance speeches.
  • Calder Trophy: Tyler Myers beats Duchene & Howard.
  • Selke Trophy: Datsyuk wins again, beating Kesler and Jordan Staaaaaal. Wears another horrible suit, but gets the biggest laugh of the night by thanking management for paying him. Ryan Kesler in a Bruins uniform - it's gonna happen someday, folks.
  • Cirque du Soleil does some dance thing for the French Canadians/gays watching the ceremony.
  • Ted Lindsay Award goes to Ovechkin, beating Henrik Sedin and Cindy Crosby
  • Amusing comedy bit involving Ryan/Getzlaf and their silver/gold medals.
  • Jack Adams award goes to Dave Tippett (PHX) who beat Trotz & Sacco.
  • Vezina Trophy: Ryan Miller beats Bryzgalov, Brodeur
  • Musical performance by Shinedown. WOOF. I didn't know Penn Jillette started a band.
  • Masterson Trophy won by Theodore who beat Ortmeyer and Foster.
  • King Clancy Trophy goes to Shane Doan. Presented by the Army. The Army is trying to recruit corn-fed Manitoba dudes or something? Doan coaxes free agents to come to PHX. He should have mentioned the golf.
  • Lady Byng: Marty St. Louis, who beat Brad Richards and Datsyuk.
  • Mark Messier assface award: Cindy Crosby. Crosby slurps up to Mess, then slurps up to Stevie Y. Pretty sure that Crosby gave a post-ceremony tongue bath to Bettman.
  • Olczyk & Roenick present the Norris. Crying joke is made with JR saying that he cried because he was stuck next to Milbury for 4 hours.
  • Goo Goo Dolls (I'll take Johnny Rzeznik to block) perform some song.
  • Guy LaFleur presents the MVP award, makes a tired joke about hair, with Henrick Sedin beating Cindy & Ovie for the MVP.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wideman for Horton

Peter pulled one off. He took one of his problem children (Wideman) and traded him to Florida for their own problem child: Nathan Horton. Florida GM Dale Tallon stated that Horton made it clear he wanted out as soon as he took the job. According to Darren Dreger's tweets, the complete deal is as follows:

Florida Gets:
Dennis Wideman ($3.875M cap hit for the next two seasons)
Boston's 15th Overall Selection on Friday
Boston's 3rd Round Pick in next year's draft

Boston Gets:
Nathan Horton ($4M cap hit for the next three seasons)
The rights to RFA Gregory Campbell (role player at best)

Here comes Horton

Peter cashed one of his chips in (the 15th overall selection) to hopefully improve the Bruins offense this season. There has to be more to come now. As Matt Kalman also said, he now almost certainly has to dump a forward salary or Timmy's salary to make room to sign some help on the blueline. The hot rumors have been Marc Savard, but I don't know how willing Savvy will be to waive his no-trade clause to most markets out there. Is Savvy being shopped because the Bruins are figuring Seguin will be their guy on Friday? Is Savvy being shopped at all or is it just a bunch of ridiculous rumors out there? The Horton rumors proved to be true however. This blogger is still hoping for a Thomas trade. The Bruins could do some nice things with their blueline if Timmy's $5M cap hit was off the books.

Horton has had flashes of brilliance over the years, but has mostly been disappointing given his pedigree (3rd overall pick in 2003 behind Marc-Andre Fleury and Eric Staal). It is troublesome that the Bruins brought in a guy with a penchant for taking nights off, but then again, they got rid of one too. They are also married to him for the next three years so here's hoping that playing in front of a full house in a better hockey market will motivate the kid (turned 25 last month) to bring his game on a consistent basis. Over the years, when watching him, I've alternated between "this kid will be next year's breakout star" and "did Nathan Horton play tonight?"

Psychologically, Wideman had to go. He wasn't going to succeed here again which is a shame because he was so good two years ago. Peter had to do this and I'm surprised he found a way to be honest. This is how trades get done - when two GM's have guys they want to get rid of that fit the other's needs (and Peter can throw in a valuable 15th overall draft selection). That's why I was hoping Paul Holmgren wanted to get rid of Jeff Carter because it's obvious they need goaltending. Now if you look for trading partners for Thomas it would be to net a top 4 defenseman one way or another.

Late-breaking news has it that next year's cap number will increase which is great news for the Bruins and will help with their situation on the blueline.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Savvy to Columbus Rumor

Can anybody honestly tell me that Savard would waive his no-trade clause to move to Columbus Effing Ohio?

These are just silly rumors created by people who are bored now that the playoffs are over and they have to wait for the draft to start.

You can have Wheeler though Columbus.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

9 Days Until The Draft

A few things today:

Cam Neely is going to be named "President" of the team. So what? Front office maneuvering is really exciting. I'm glad I got the email from Bruins Fan Relations saying a "major announcement" is coming today. A major announcement would be a blockbuster trade - spare me the front office BS. The only thing I would be interested in is how this changes his day-to-day. I doubt it changes much.

For those of you that play keeper fantasy leagues: every one of you knows a guy in your league who is always stockpiling young talent and hoarding extra draft picks right? This guy is constantly thinking about next year and never wins a penny and you love having him in your league because he is a doormat. For me, Peter Chiarelli is in danger of becoming the NHL's doormat if he doesn't parlay some of these extra picks they have into something this offseason (especially the Bruins own 1st Rounder this year and Toronto's 1st Rounder next year). Cash some of your chips in and make a run at it Peter - you have a window of opportunity right now.

More thoughts on a potential Tim Thomas trade:
1. The only teams that would take on a contract they cannot get rid of (35+ with no-movement clause) to be saddled with a $5M cap hit for the next three seasons would be teams trying to win now who think a solid goaltender is the missing ingredient. We already know Philly is desperate for goaltending...who else needs help?

2. Other teams with weak goaltending as of right now: Atlanta (no one signed, Pavelec is RFA), Dallas (already extended Lehtonen 3 years @ $3.55M per), Ottawa (LeClaire under contract with $3.8M cap hit for next year only), San Jose (Nabby a free agent), St Louis (Mason a free agent), Tampa Bay (Mike Smith under contract with $2.2M cap hit), Washington (Theodore a free agent, Varlamov still under contract). Ok, so of these teams who is a possibility?

3. Cross off Atlanta because they are not in "win now" mode. Cross off Dallas because they are already committed elsewhere. St. Louis may also fall into the rebuilding category and Ottawa also has the commitment to Leclaire. So the way I see it, I rank the potential Thomas trade partners in this order: Philly, Tampa, Washington, San Jose, St. Louis. You could speculate for days on what would happen with this, but the end result would be freeing up cap room for a top 4 d-man (my preference - look at the Bruins D and compare it to the top four of the two cup finalists as Fluto did the other day) or a scoring winger.

4. If Philly wants to trade, I want Jeff Carter and no one else. I do not want Simon Gagne (injury prone). I do not want Danny Briere's contract (5 years left @ $6.365M per against the cap) even though he was a Bruin killer in the playoffs. Add on some nice draft picks to sweeten a deal for Carter. Philly can fit Timmy under the cap and still take care of the only guy they need to take care of: Braydon Coburn. Basically everyone else on that team is signed for next year and some at an incredible discount (how would you like to have Giroux, Leino, and Van Riemsdyk for less than $3M total against the cap - roughly $3.3M with Van Riemsdyk's bonus potential?).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Habs suck

NHL Network is airing Game 1 of the 1969 Adams Division semifinals, Bruins vs. Habs.
Bruins are up, 1-0 on a goal by Derek Sanderson, assist from Orr.
Habs suck, even in black in white.

USA ties England, 1-1

Michael Leighton flew across the pond and lent his goaltending expertise to England goalkeeper Robert Green, "Okay, now....this is how you let in a soft goal..." (picture swiped from npr.org)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Calder Cup Finals, etc.


The Mayor reported in last night with this picture from the Calder Cup Finals. The Mayor, a Section 311 ex-pat, has landed in Austin, TX where he has become a drooling, spastic fan of the local AHL team, the Texas Stars. They are in the Calder Cup Finals against the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals - not only is their parent club pretty good, but their farm team as well? Bullshit!), where the Bears have a 3-2 series lead after last night's game.
The above picture is supposedly of Chris Bourque, son of hockey god Ray Bourque.
The Calder Cup finals are being aired on the NHL Network. If there's another game in Austin, the guy flipping out against the glass with the local paper rolled up and tucked in his back pocket wearing a beer-and-burrito-stained yellow shirt, green ballcap...that's our boy. He's either offended everyone in his section and they've all left for the balcony, or he's whipped his section up into a tremendous frenzy and they are all buying him food, beers, etc.

Today, USA plays England in the World Cup. I've been waiting for this all week. Sure, I only know, like, 4 players on the USA squad (Clint Dempsey, who used to play for the Revs), and I can barely figure out why all the players fall onto the grass holding onto their shins in writhing I-just-got-shot-by-a-howitzer pain despite their, uh, shin guards...but I'm still watching. Here's ESPN's modus operandi for the World Cup: American announcer that we all know, like, say Mike Tirico, who pretend to talk about players and a game they know nothing about - with a guy from Europe, usually some guy from the UK who has just retarded soccer credentials with like 400 games played for his home nation or something ("caps"?). The American announcer brings it home for us fairweather fans ("Look, Kornheiser!"), and the Euro guy is there to actually drop some legitimate futbol science on our Yank asses. Yup, I have a startling grasp of the obvious.

I guess Don Orsillo is under the weather or something, so NESN had local lackey Eric Frede fill in. It was like listening to a really bad date, as Frede was trying to keep things light and Remy wanted no part of it. Remy was just sulking, arms folded defiantly across his chest, and not saying anything for the first, say, 4 innings. Actually, the game was in hand at that point, so I hit the mute button and went to sporcle and did this week's latest quizzes, so maybe Remy softened and Frede ended up getting lucky.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jeff Carter for Thomas?

Just minutes after Michael Leighton let in a weak goal to Patrick Kane to lose the Stanley Cup, an anonymous commenter posted "I'll give u Carter for Thomas" on this post from February.  Let's face it, Philly may have been a goaltender away from hoisting the Stanley Cup this year.  Leighton was underwhelming on the Sharp goal that tied the game at two in the 2nd period as well.  Philadelphia will be clamoring for goaltending in the offseason (they only have Boucher under contract for $925K).  As I noted in that post, a Carter for Thomas swap makes sense because of the equal cap hits.  Philly's fans are probably upset with Carter right now (should have buried that one in the waning moments of the 3rd period and didn't do much after coming back), but like Marc Savard for the Bruins, he probably wasn't ready to come back when he did for the Flyers. 

We'll take him here in Boston.  That would be the sniper the Bruins don't have.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Blake Wheeler Sucks Ass

Do ya think Blake Wheeler googles himself every once in awhile? Do ya think he'll catch that headline and go, oh, yeah, I suck massive dogballz?

Check out Stephen Harris' article from Sunday's Herald, where Blake Wheeler says he does not need to work on his physical game or his aggressiveness. He also thinks his work in the corners was much improved this past season. He did admit that he needed work on his skating and balance.

Let's pile it on. Here's a video of Blake Wheeler's "fight" against Ryan O'Byrne

Ya know what? Ryan O'Byrne, you suck, too. Remember that own goal you scored vs. the Isle last year?

Wheels got square wheels. Your time here is done. If you want to play hockey in Boston, you never say, "well, I don't think I need to work on my aggressiveness". You say, "My life as a Boston Bruin is incomplete because I have not scored 50 goals, gotten 200 PIM and won the Stanley Cup all in the same year. Anything else is failure."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Out of Hibernation

It's time to start thinking hockey again...three weeks of mourning was about enough...I think...

In the past few days the Bruins signed Thornton and Seidenberg to extensions.  Their respective cap hits are $812,500 and $3.25M.  Thornton for two years and Seidenberg for four.  The pricetag for a fourth liner is a little high (he made $550K last season), but Thornton has earned it by being good at his role since he came here and being one of the few Bruins that were actually "big and bad" during the lackluster regular season.  He stands up for his teammates which is more than we can say for a number of Bruins. I like the signing.

Seidenberg going to be here for years to come (photo from Boston.com)

The Seidenberg deal is a good one if he plays anything like he did in his short time here before getting injured. They likely got him at a discount compared to what he would have commanded in free agency (this blogger guesses at least $3.75M per). The fact that they got this deal done, however, makes me despise the Ference extension even more than I already did. In a perfect world, I would have liked to see both Stuart and Boychuk back in the fold (Stuart moreso to be honest: grit and leadership - Johnny is a little too metrosexual for my liking even though he provided us with one of the greatest hits I've witnessed against Buffalo). This signing means someone is gone. Perhaps Chiarelli will be able to pull off some sort of salary dump trade and offload Wideman or Ference, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that. Instead, I'm afraid Johnny or Stuart will walk and I think it will be Johnny because he will probably command more money with his solid play in the postseason, and money is very tight for the B's at this point.  Please keep Stuey around Chia!

So here's my priority list among the remaining free agents:

1. Do not sign Wheeler (Aggressive Wheeler-Hater Guy in Row 10 is completely right to rank on this guy)
2. Re-sign Mark Stuart
3. Sign Vladdy Sobotka - he's ready to take over the Yelle/Begin role for this team and will be a good guy to have around should one of the three centers miss time (which they certainly will).  Could his play in the first round before he hurt himself give him some value on the trade market?  Remember how good he was?  It's hard to think back past the Flyers debacle, but he was great until he tweaked his shoulder.
4. Bring Recchi back if he wants to play another year

Random crap:
  • David Krejci is a stud and is an incredible bargain at $3.75M
  • Patrice turns 25 in July...25!
  • Lucic and Chara were fighting injuries all last season and will be better in 2010-11
  • The Bruins will end up with Taylor Hall one way or another - the media posturing by Tambellini and Chiarelli is fun to follow (Chia: Seguin can play the wing.  Tambellini: Hall can play center.)
  • Tim Thomas - I don't know what to think about this one.  I think Timmy wants to play so he might approve a trade, but who's going to take that 35+ contract with 3 years left on it.  Also, look at the Cup Finals this year: Niemi vs. Leighton.  Are teams going to want to sink that kind of commitment into a goaltender when Chicago and Philly had success with low-rent goaltenders?  The Bruins could REALLY use that cap space.  They could bring in some high-priced talent to make a run at the Cup a la Chicago this year.  Things are going to change this time next year when Chara and Bergeron's contracts are up.
  • Michael Ryder is in a contract year in 2010-11.  Will that motivate him?  No.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Whaler Fans are Sad

She cries because:
a) Her favorite team, The Whale, is leaving town
b) Zarley Zalapski was just traded to Calgary
c) She's a Whaler fan - a disease for which there is no cure

(photo swiped from boston dot com, photo taken by Steve Miller - Midnight Toker)

Today's Globe featured a story about the former owner of the Hartford Whalers and his futile attempts to make Hartford, CT relevant again. It's no secret that Connecticut places 6th in importance when ranking the New England states. From their shitty driving to their on-again, off-again Red Sox/Yankee fence-sitting fandom (depends on who is winning), from their law against radar detectors to their incubation/cultivation of Lyme Disease, folks in Connecticut have to fight for respect from all other New Englanders.
Note how, in the article, it states that the Hartford Wolfpack place 18th in AHL attendance, yet somehow this guy believes there are enough basement dwellers in the Hartford metro area there to justify the presence of an NHL hockey team.