We're already 10 days into 2011, which means there's only 355 days remaining (what a minute, is this a leap year? ... No? ... Good!) It's time to take a look at the GOOD, the BAD and the UGLY of the early portion of 2011 in the NHL.
- Chris Pronger hasn't played a game this year.
- Sidney Crosby shaved. Yeah, I know, that was not a fake mustache. At least I don't think it was.
- Anyone watching post-game Winter Classic coverage had to see Gary Bettman. That alone makes hockey fans sick.
- A 6-game suspension for Tom Kostopuolos after he broke the jaw of Brad Stuart. You know, back in the ancient days, they would have broken Kostopuolos' jaw as a penalty.
- Dan Ellis. Well, maybe not Ellis himself, but his play. If you want literally ugly, see "The BAD."
- Maybe Crosby's mustache belongs here...
- Rangers just traded Roszival for Phoenix's Wolski. They now drop Roszival and Redden's contract and need a bad defenseman. They can call Lou about Tallinder. Obviously, GM Don Maloney has been watching too much of his brother, Dave Maloney, on TV, talking about Roszival. Now if you're Wolski, imagine going from Phoenix to New York. He'll probably wonder "oh, there is such thing as a sellout." Either that or "Did they have the mute button on in Phoenix every game?"
What will happen next?
Well, I'm no analyst, but I sense two major trades occuring. First, the Rangers' Alex Frolov is done for the season with an ACL injury, meaning the Rangers are in need of a really bad contract on their team. Have no fear, Glen Sather's good buddy Lou Lamoriello has a great idea: Brian Rolston for a 1st round draft pick in 2011. Or 2012. Or never. Whatever works.
The second trade involves the Devils...again. Except I sense the Devils will be buyers to an extent (Ilya Kovalchuk immediately hears "BUYS" and looks up). The Devils have a lot of Swedish presence on the roster, and unfortunately, they traded Niclas Bergfors and Johnny Oduya away last year for Anssi Salmela...and another player whose name eludes me right now. They've also had their share of absolutely awful Swedish defense, I won't name names though (*Alex Urbom and Henrik Tallinder...cough, cough*). This calls for Lou to re-trade the 3rd round conditional pick he received for Jamie Langenbrunner to Sweden for Niclas Havelid.
What to expect:
Expect the unexpected...what's that? No, I do not think the Islanders are going to win the Stanley Cup this season.
Expect the possibility of the first-ever forward to win a Norris Trophy this year. Yes, Dustin Byfuglien. You can't argue that he's a defenseman, because that implies him playing defense.
In a recent USHL game, a defenseman fired a slapshot that hit the post. As you can see, the puck split in half. The rumor after the game was that Zdeno Chara disguised himself and played in that game, but I don't believe that.
That was cool, but not quite as cool as this Dion Phaneuf memory. That was cool.
Last thing: I know many of you are in horror that Sean Avery scored a goal recently. Look, I'm trying to get through this just like everyone else his. Hopefully the world will restore justice and he goes back to...doing whatever he does, like screening goalies without being an idiot.