Monday, February 28, 2011

What you didn't hear on NHL Trade Deadline Day

Penner, Richards, Vokoun, Arnott, even John Mitchell, were all either traded or rumored to be traded on 2011 NHL Trade Deadline Day, plus many more. While just over a dozen trades actually registered today, there are plenty of deals that just never worked out. As you know, I was able to obtain a script of certain phone calls that were made throughout the day. Take a look.


Glen Sather --> Joe Nieuwendyk - 4:49 AM: Hey Joe, I guess you're still asleep. Anyway, get back to me ASAP! I think I have a deal that you can't refuse for Brad Richards!

Joe Nieuwendyk --> Glen Sather - 6:07 AM: Dammit, Glen, do you ever sleep?

Glen Sather: Nope, neither does my city!

Joe Nieuwendyk: Anyway, what are you willing to give me for Brad?

Glen Sather: Well, since he is injured right now and is a free agent at the end of the year, I'd be willing to send one of my highly regarded minor league defensemen and a 1st round pick to Dallas.

Joe Nieuwendyk: Glen, we've talked about this before, Wade Redden doesn't count as a highly regarded minor league defenseman.


Garth Snow (6:47 AM): G'mornin' Mike!

Mike Gillis: Hey, Garth.

Garth Snow: Hey, look, I was interested in trading for Alex Burrows, and...

Mike Gillis: For the 100th time, I already have one goalie with a massive contract, I'm not interested in another.

Garth Snow: Hmm, maybe you're right. Oh, actually, Stephane Auger is officiating a bunch of our games coming up, so maybe it's not a good idea.


Dean Lombardi (7:18AM): Hey, Lou, any chance you'll budge on Ilya?

Lou Lamoriello: Not a chance, besides, even if I did trade him, the league would probably reject the trade and fine me more draft picks. I'm really not interested in going to arbitration again.

Dean Lombardi: Fine. Fair enough. How's your trade deadline day going so far?

Lou Lamoriello: Status Quo. You want Jason Arnott? ... Dean? ... Dean??


Peter Chiarelli (8:29 AM): Hey, Brian, you've been of great service to me over the past couple of years, maybe you'll want to help me again?

Brian Burke: Sure, Pete, what's up?

Peter Chiarelli: Well, I have this defenseman, his name is Tomas Kaberle, maybe you've heard the name before. Anyway, he hasn't been great with us, but I'm sure he'd fit right into your Leafs team.

Brian Burke: Interesting...

Peter Chiarelli: Yeah, so what do you think? Two first rounders and maybe, hmm, Phil Kessel in return?

Brian Burke: No. I've done that before. People haven't forgiven me.

Peter Chiarelli: Dammit. (in background:) "Guys, he didn't fall for it."


George McPhee (9:55 AM): Hey, Ray, I don't suppose you want to do the Crosby for Ovechkin trade this year, do you?

Ray Shero: Nah, maybe next year.

George McPhee: Okay, sounds great. Crap, I think I see Pierre McGuire spying on me. Gotta run.


Pierre Gauthier (10:03 AM): Steve, I think I really have something you'll like.

Steve Tambellini: Okay, shoot.

Pierre Gauthier: How about Dustin Penner for Ben Maxwell and Maxim Lapierre?

Steve Tambellini: Pierre, you traded both of those guys already.

Pierre Gauthier: Oh. Hang on, let me call Don Cherry and see what he says.

Steve Tambellini: Pierre, who are you kidding, you won't make a trade if it was the last thing you did...Pierre?

Pierre Gauthier (1:27 PM): Man, that Don Cherry, he loves to talk...


Stan Bowman: Hey, Bryan, I like this Campoli guy. What'll he cost me?

Bryan Murray: Eh, couple draft picks.

Stan Bowman: Hmm, I'll give you three 10th round draft picks.

Bryan Murray: Okay, it's a deal.

Stan Bowman: Umm, I'm not sure if I should tell you, but there's no 10th round.

Bryan Murray: Oh. Well, maybe just a 7th round pick. You know, we like to pile up on 7th round draft picks.


Brian Burke to himself (2:59 PM): Ugh. I need to make at least one trade today. But who? YES! I know, I'll trade for Kyle Wellwood! Let me call his agent!

Wellwood's agent: Hey, Brian, what's up?

Brian Burke: Where's Kyle? I want to bring him back to Toronto.

Wellwood's agent: Well, he's actually out eating with his friends over at Burger King. He's been there since last night. Should I have him call you back?

Brian Burke: No, it's 3 PM, it's too late.


Peter Chiarelli (3:16 PM): Hey, Joe, just kicking the tires on Brad. Guess you didn't get a good offer for him. I was wondering what you think it would take to land him and sneak a last deal in?

Joe Nieuwendyk: A lot.

Peter Chiarelli: Prospect and a 1st rounder?

Joe Nieuwendyk: More.

Peter Chiarelli: Chara?

Joe Nieuwendyk: More. I mean, a LOT more.

Peter Chiarelli: You don't mean...

Joe Nieuwendyk: Yes. I want Gregory Campbell.

Peter Chiarelli: Forget it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

DGA invades Montreal - the week that was

I'm taking a break from the usual post genre for today, that will return mid-next week. Today, I want to write about my (second) trip to Montreal, Quebec, which is in my opinion, the heart and soul of the hockey world. With all due respect to the city of Toronto, the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Maple Leafs organization, if 29 teams were planets, they would revolve around the Montreal Canadiens solar system. Here's a recap of my days in Montreal:

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23RD: Arrived in Montreal around noon. I have a Devils sweatshirt on, so I am getting some interesting looks and occasional comments from the natives as I walk from my hotel to the Bell Centre. Nobody is being rude, everyone is classy and it's easy to spark a friendly conversation about hockey with. If I was in Philly, I might be dead by now.

I shop at the Canadiens' gift shop and buy myself a Habs cap. I have a very good reason for doing this, and it's not because I'm abandoning the Devils, it's because I have to buy any cap that fits me, because most do not.

I go to dinner at my favorite restaurant in Canada that I've found so far. It's called Guido and Angelino's and it's located at the corner of the Montreal Forum. To anyone who hasn't been to Montreal, they have kept the building from the Forum and turned it into a 22-plex Cinema, as well as created a small, 4-story mall. In the center of the building remains one section of the old Forum seats as well as a statue of a Habs fan and a statue of the great "Rocket Richard." Also accomplished at dinner: I sell my extra ticket to my waiter, as his son would like to experience his first game at Bell Centre as well.

After dinner, I go back to the bakery, still at the Forum, and enjoy some gelati (Italian ice cream). After returning to the hotel, I spent hours watching TSN and Rogers Sportsnet (and some RDS that I couldn't understand), and enjoyed rare hockey coverage on national TV, all heavily bias towards the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the U.S., you'll get limited coverage that is heavily bias towards the Pittsburgh Penguins.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH: It's game day. Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens at 7:30. But that's hours away.

I find the address to Martin Brodeur's restaurant and arena in St. Leonard, which is twenty minutes out of downtown Montreal. This is the neighborhood that Brodeur, as well as Roberto Luongo grew up in.

Marty's restaurant is a modern Italian pizzeria, and he's got some memorabilia there as well. Upon walking in on the right wall, there are two framed All-Star jerseys from 2004 in Minnesota featuring Brodeur's All-Star jersey and co-owner (of the restaurant) Sheldon Souray. On the far left is a poster of pictures (all taken by Brodeur's father, Denis) from the game on March 17th, 2009, the day Brodeur passed Patrick Roy for the most wins in NHL history by a goaltender. There are 56 of these posters throughout Quebec, and this is the original. The other 55 are located at select sports bars. If you walk straight ahead upon walking in, there is a hallway filled with pictures from Brodeur and Souray's careers.

Everything about the restaurant (La Pizzeria Etc.) is phenomenal. The food, the people, the facility, it's all wonderful. I was able to make connections with the waiter who was there that day, since he and Brodeur are friends, but any hockey fan would enjoy the place. I took a leftover box home, and that's one of my souvenirs from the place. Next door to Marty's restaurant is "Prima Luna," an upscale restaurant with a ball room that also has a wall of pictures from Brodeur and Souray's careers.

It then took me half an hour to find "Arena Martin Brodeur," which is hardly five miles from the restaurant. The arena was dedicated to Brodeur after he won the Stanley Cup (I believe in 2000). Again, the people at the rink were extremely kind. Now, back to the issue of caps not relating to Ilya Kovalchuk, but baseball caps: I wanted an "MB30" cap, which is part of a line of clothes (t-shirts/caps, etc.) started on Brodeur's website ( I ended up buying the "MB30" t-shirt, which has his MB30 logo on the front with netting in the logo and a list of awards scattered on the back of the shirt, such as Calder, Vezina, Olympic Gold and Stanley Cup.

I didn't have enough time, but Roberto Luongo also has an arena dedicated to him, which is funny, because he hasn't won a Stanley Cup. Regardless, I'm assuming it's a must-see for Vancouver fans and Luongo fans.

GAMETIME: My hotel was three blocks from the Bell Centre, so I left for a 7:30 game at just past 6:00. Usually, when I'm leaving for a Devils game, I leave before 5:00 PM because of the uncertainty of New Jersey traffic. Fifteen minutes later, I'm through the gates of the arena.

Now, I've been to Bell Centre before on a tour of the arena, but not yet to a game, and I had a few thoughts about the place this time:

- Security is low. They won't let me into the Prudential Center without a pretty thorough bag check and with my cell phone on and out of my pocket. Obviously, location plays a big part in it...but at the Bell Centre, they scanned my ticket and I walked right in (don't get any ideas, please).

- Most fans appreciated that I made the trip to Montreal for the main purpose of experiencing the Bell Centre.

- There are a LOT of Toronto Maple Leaf fans in Canada, and they travel very well.

- Although Leafs/Habs is one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports, there was little, if any, fan violence. Even at Devils/Rangers games at either arena, there will be some fighting in the seats and several fans that won't make it through three periods, but I honestly didn't see a single fan get ejected from the arena. They're classy fans most of the time.

- I'm sure this is true in all six Canadian arenas, but everyone sings the national anthem. In many American arenas, fans will wait for the right time to shout something or start a chant. It's not that we aren't proud to be American, it's just that sometimes, fans have their own agendas at games.

- Despite ticket prices, every fan cares about the game. Most fans are wearing jerseys, either red or blue, and there are few seats used for purely business. The fans are obviously among the league's loudest and most passionate, but they don't miss anything. Every time ex-Hab Mike Komisarek touched the puck, the crowd was all over him. In New Jersey, Scott Gomez and Sean Avery get booed mercilessly, but not to the extent that Habs fans booed Komisarek. Later in the first period, the fans amused themselves by booing Dion Phaneuf every time he touched the puck, and did that for the rest of the game. Kessel? That's automatic...

It was truly a unique experience, and something that few, if any, other fanbases can provide. Again, nothing against Toronto fans, but as a whole, Habs fans are always involved in the game. I can't say that Habs fans are more passionate because I have yet to visit the Air Canada Centre.

As for the game itself, the crowd got into it early as Jeff Halpern deflected a Roman Hamrlik wrister in, but Alex Auld got toasted, allowing a pair of power play goals to Phil Kessel and a third goal to Brett Lebda, his first of the season, before getting pulled. In the second period, Cammalleri and Wisniewski got the Habs tied up at 3 with power play goals 20 seconds apart, but Tyler Bozak scored one in the second and another in the third to give Toronto a 5-3 lead. Max Pacioretty scored with less than two minutes to play, but Toronto pinned Montreal in the Habs' own end for most of the remaining 90 seconds and won, 5-4. The concourse was nearly silent following the game, at least by the home fans. The many Leaf fans who made the trip celebrated, but not in a rude manner.

Again, the walk back to the hotel was painless. In Newark, it would have taken 15 minutes just to get in the car, another 15 to get out of Newark, and then the ride home, but here, it was barely a 15-minute walk back to the hotel. Once I got back, I watched TSN's recap and then watched extended highlights on RDS in French.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25TH: I was supposed to leave Montreal that Friday, but New York state was getting slammed with a blizzard that kept me stranded for another day. So, naturally, when you're given an extra day in Montreal, you take advantage of it. I found my favorite bakery from two years ago, and then returned to Marty Brodeur's restaurant.

Now, Canadians have to appreciate something for a moment: in the U.S., it is absolutely impossible to find any hockey coverage whatsoever, unless you have Sirius radio, where you'll be able to find some hockey coverage, but nothing Earth-shattering. From noon to 2, you can get NHL Live on the NHL Network, and from 4 to 6, you can get NHL Power Play on NHL Network, but other than that, there is nothing you can watch or listen to, so I'll appreciate anything I can get.

Canadians complain about TSN, and you know what? I get it. It's bias and they focus on what they want to. Some of the analysts are annoying, but it's coverage that you can't find across the border. This is why I spent part of Friday afternoon watching the simulcast of The Fan 590's afternoon radio show, "Prime Time Sports," with the always entertaining, Bob McCown. I laughed hard when they discussed the Maple Leafs' playoff odds. It seemed that the Leafs were 30 points up on 9th and that there's no way they couldn't make the playoffs. They basically said that is Phil Kessel could have a point in 2 out of every 3 games the Leafs played, they would be in and Ron Wilson should win the Adams Trophy.

Through all of this ridiculous talk, they did call Gary Bettman an "irrational businessman" who was making decisions to save his image (what's left of it, anyway??) and to boost his ego. The decisions they were referring to is the situation in Phoenix. It's been nothing short of a drama, with the league's constant refusal to relocate, the failed bond sales and the fact that other teams are paying for a team to play in Glendale, Arizona and take a financial loss every year in Phoenix. That's not bias, it's rational. If I lived in Canada, I'd listen to those guys every day. Those three hours were more entertaining than three weeks of coverage in the U.S.

That night, I returned to (where else) the Forum to eat at Guido and Angelino's again, topped off with more gelati.


I made my return to Twitter mid-day yesterday after waking at 4:00 AM to leave Montreal at 5 AM to arrive back at noon to meet Zach Parise at a signing in New Jersey.


Montreal is an awesome city. It almost has a European-feel to it. The people are great, there's great food, and they're all crazy about the Canadiens. It's a different world during hockey season than it is in the summer. I still can't believe that it's all over now. Well, there's always next time... Au revoir, Montreal.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Problems with the Caps-Pens rivalry

If you catch a rare ESPN segment where they talk about hockey, Pittsburgh and Washington are probably the featured teams. Washington, Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh, Washington. Sometimes, listening to Barry Melrose talking about Crosby and Ovechkin just makes you want to pull off that ridiculous hair of his and lend it to Pierre McGuire, because of the obnoxious glare you see on TV with the arena lights shining on his head (thanks to @retroguy777, I may have borrowed that). Either way, here's a list of problems with the Washington-Pittsburgh rivalry.

ESPN - Anytime ESPN says something about hockey, assume the opposite. Here, they say the Caps-Pens rivalry is the league's best.

Scandals - Usually, a crazy game or playoff series occurs, which brews a rivalry, sometimes involving officials. In this rivalry, Pittsburgh wins because the scandal with always go one way.

Lop-sided results - The Caps have owned Pittsburgh for much of the regular season recently. The playoffs do balance that, however.

All about the stars - Let's face it, the rivalry would be nothing without Crosby and Ovechkin. Now, if, say, Matt Cooke were to brutally knock out a Cap or John Erskine were to wickedly own a Penguin in a fight, then there'd be something to look forward to.

Mario Lemieux - If you listen to Mario and league keeps handling situations the way they do, he's selling the Penguins, which naturally leads to bankruptcy and the relocation of the franchise, thus destroying the rivalry. Um, Gary, this is where you step in and fix everything...

Relevance - Just because they're the only two teams in hockey not in Chicago doesn't mean they hate each other.

Divisions - Although they both used to play in the Patrick division, they are in seperate divisions now. Washington gets to play in huge hockey markets, such as Atlanta and Miami.


- Back in the 1970s and 1980s, teams would just start brawls with each other. To avoid having the entire roster of a team suspended and relying on minor leaguers, the teams should avoid this, unless you're like Pittsburgh and you already have a minor league roster on your NHL team, then you really need to be careful.

- The Pittsburgh Penguins badly need a superstar on their team. Right now, Alex Ovechkin is the only relevant player in the rivalry. Too bad Pittsburgh doesn't have one of those...

- You can't just create a rivalry because it amuses Gary Bettman, it needs to develop over time. They've met in the playoffs once, if they do again, two things will be certain: a) The rivalry will become more intense and b) Washington won't play anyone else that season after that series.

- There needs to be bad blood, not just from the seats, but from the people involved with the teams. It's a shame neither team has an owner willing to openly come out and criticize things...

- Not only is the rivalry lop-sided, but if you take the two stars, Crosby and Ovechkin, their facial-hair-growing-ability is as well. If you averaged them together, you'd probably come up with two average human beings.

- To make this the best rivalry in the NHL, the easiest thing for Gary Bettman to do is simply get rid of the Original Six.

- For fans' amusement, Mike Milbury should coach one of the teams and Pierre McGuire should coach the other. Pierre would only have to move over twenty feet from where he already stands and annoys players.

- If they listen to me about the Milbury/McGuire one, make sure everyone brings extra Tylenol.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What has gone right for the Devils?

The Devils started the season 10-29-2, which was by far the worst record in the NHL. It was also a worse record than the Islanders, which is more embarassing. Since then, however, they've gone 15-1-2, cut their playoff deficit from 27 points to 10 and even have Scott Burnside believing that this team is for real. Okay, I admit it, Burnside never said such a thing. Here are some of my theories as to why the Devils are playing so much better now.

The threat of being traded - Jason Arnott was the most vocal member of the Devils saying he would waive his no-movement clause to be traded to a contender, but then he saw Jamie Langenbrunner get shipped to Dallas, and out of fear that he too might be traded to Dallas and be Langenbrunner's teammate again, he has changed his mind.

They're "Moose"ing not booing - Johan Hedberg has been an intrical part of the Devils' recent success, but it took a while for that to happen. There is a logical reason for this. Hedberg earned the nickname "Moose" while playing for Pittsburgh, reflecting on his Manitoba Moose days. Somehow, Hedberg forgot this and believed Devils fans were booing him and the team, and they played miserably. Insert Jacques Lemaire, who reminded Hedberg of the chants, and the Devils turned into the hottest team in the NHL.

The Sidney Crosby theory - Interestingly enough, the day Sidney Crosby went out with his concussion (Jan. 4th) is also the day the Devils started playing better. They lost twice to the Flyers, but less than a week later, the 15-1-2 run began. Part of this reasoning is that Gary Bettman has less time to give orders to the refs about how to ruin the Devils, because he had to spend more time caring for Crosby.

Put the player on waivers theory - Lou Lamoriello placed Brian Rolston and Anssi Salmela on waivers, because both players were struggling badly. No team claimed either, and now both players are magically playing like superstars, or well, at least up to their contracts. Tim Sestito was recently waived. Did I miss something? Did Ilya Kovalchuk get waived at some point?

The John MacLean conspiracy - Maybe coaching matters. Under John MacLean, the Devils were a completely random team that had no idea a game was going on. It looked more like the Winter Classic family skate than an NHL game most of the time, but to cover that up, MacLean had the Devils shoot from everywhere, and the Devils averaged more than 30 shots per game. Since then, Jacques Lemaire has re-instituted the neutral zone trap, with the threat of Lou Lamoriello's secret stash of jelly jars being available to him if the players didn't cooperate.

First round draft picks - Due to the rather insane Ilya Kovalchuk contract, the Devils are going to lose a first round draft pick in one of the next four seasons, but Gary Bettman was going to rig the draft, give the Devils the first overall pick, and then force Lou to lose the draft pick this year. Since that would be slightly embarassing, Lou Lamoriello decided not to tank this year.

Recent history comebacks - The last two Eastern conference champions have been Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, respectively. Both teams are Atlantic division teams that struggled miserably during the first half of the season, changed coaches, and made impressive runs to the Finals. New Jersey management must have felt that even at 10-29-2, the Devils could continue that tradition. Now all the Devils need to do is trade for Matt Cooke.

Attendance - The Devils have tried many different ways of trying to attract more fans to the Prudential Center. They even went to the extremes of building a $300 million arena, and lured the worst team in the NBA to play in it. This season, the Devils figured they'd tank the first half of the season, and then go on a historic run to the playoffs that would put the 1978 Yankees to shame. How does that sell tickets? Hmm, that's a good question.

The curse of Cam Janssen - The Devils have not won a playoff round since the trade of Cam Janssen. They really don't want that looming for one more year.

Incentives - John MacLean clearly didn't have the Devils motivated or inspired. Jacques Lemaire does. He offers everyone a box of doughnuts after each win, so even the suddenly injury-prone Martin Brodeur joins the fun. I'm not sure the long-term implications of this are smart, though.

New York City - Some Devils players are aware that Madison Square Garden is exactly 7 miles door-to-door from the Prudential Center. That also means New York City must be a similar distance. The players realize that by not allowing 7 goals per game, the games could end sooner, the post-game rants by the coaches will end sooner and the fear of having your car destroyed ends sooner...oh wait, that's only in Philly. Then they can go to Manhattan and find a place to eat...again.

Chico Resch - Devils goalies were getting sick of listening to Chico Resch going on endlessly about how he was a better goalie than them.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Who is the best player in the NHL right now?

For the first half of the season, Sidney Crosby was the best player in the NHL. Following his injury, Steven Stamkos exploded, and some believed he was the best player in the league, but as of today, who's the best player the league has to offer? Check out my analysis.

Henrik & Daniel Sedin - Some NHL statisticians have been claiming that they may have mixed up some of the points awarded to Daniel Sedin. They said something about not being able to tell him apart from his linemate. Ironically enough, they said the same think about Henrik. Excuses...

Steven Stamkos - While he's a nice guy, he didn't have to take measures to such extremes as to cool off his goal scoring to wait for Sidney Crosby to come back from his concussion. This has Martin St. Louis annoyed.

Alex Ovechkin - Ovechkin leads the NHL in shots, yet he has managed to be tied with a NY Islander, John Tavares, for 21st in the NHL in goals, and trails another Islander, Michael Grabner, overall. Another interesting point is that while they may live in the same city, it may be tougher for Ovechkin to visit the White House than teams from far away.

Corey Perry - While Perry is talented, he hasn't managed to take a big step into becoming a true NHL star. How do you accomplish that? Have your name mentioned on ESPN at least once a year.

Mikhail Grabovski - Hey, just because he's the best player on the Leafs does not automatically mean he's the best player in the NHL...

Henrik Zetterberg - He doesn't lead the league in any statistical categories, but I'd love to know what he wears to games on gameday, especially after pulling this off at his wedding.

Matt Cooke - Amazingly, this pesky dirty forward does not lead his team in suspended games.

Loui Eriksson - Two thoughts come to mind when thinking about Eriksson, especially to the casual hockey fan, and it can't be both. Who? OR Most talented athlete in the state of Texas. Actually, I'm pretty sure nobody in Texas thinks that...

Brad Richards - Yes, Richards is having another great season, but consider 2 things: He's un unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and might be signed by the NY Rangers. Glen Sather then overpays for Richards, and Richards becomes bust #2334 in New York, just behind Wade Redden and Carl Pavano.

Sidney Crosby - He didn't have enough time to lock up the Art Ross trophy before he got knocked out, but I'll tell you what he does have plenty of time to do right now: develop normal facial hair. When he does, he'll have to teach Jeff Skinner how to do it.

Paul Bissonnette - These days, people are judged by how many followers they have on Twitter, right?

Eric Staal - Not sure about Eriksson in Texas, but it's safe to say Eric Staal is North Carolina's most talented athlete, yes, including college basketball. I don't think any Carolina Panthers will be upset or insulted that I said that...once someone tells them who Eric Staal is.

Keith Yandle - The 24 year old has 41 assists in 59 games from the blue line, trailing 3 Swedes and St. Louis in the league. Now, put him on a team with real offensive players, and he's a superstar.

Brandon Dubinsky - Dubinsky is tied with Lucic for the NHL lead in empty net goals.

Dustin Byfuglien - If he was an actual defenseman, his stats would be quite impressive, but he's not, nor is he a candidate for the Selke Trophy. Still, I figured I'd include him because I remembered how to spell his name correctly.

Sean Avery - Whoa, I have no idea how that got there.

Chris Pronger - His ability to shatter fellow players and intimidate them just by being in the same state has to draw some consideration. That may reveal why Crosby and Malkin will be out so long.

Ilya Kovalchuk - Only Couture has more game-winning goals than Ilya, nobody has more overtime goals than Kovy, he's also scored the first goal of a game seven times, and he only has one empty net goal. Since he has 4 game winners over the past two weeks, and he's got points in 9 straight games, goals in 4 straight, as well as 11 goals during the Devils' 14-1-2 run, I conclude that Kovalchuk is the best player in the league right bias.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Finding optimism for every NHL fanbase

The NHL trade deadline is looming. In fact, it is just 10 days away. For some teams, this may mean adding that one extra piece to make a serious Stanley Cup run this season, while for others, it could mean trying to add a significant piece to make a playoff run. For others, although there aren't many this season, this time of year means trading away valueable assets to other teams so they can have a chance to make the playoffs (sorry Edmonton and Islanders, Trottier and Gretzky don't count anymore...). So let's be ridiculously optimistic, and shed a little light on every NHL team this trade deadline.

ANAHEIM DUCKS - The loss of the retired Scott Niedermayer has been eased by the emergence of Cam Fowler. More importantly, watching George Parros throw punches has become quite entertaining. It's going to take more than a Matt Cooke elbow to slow these hands down.

ATLANTA THRASHERS - Despite one of the most...unique marketing campaigns in league history (having the team's mascot drive a zamboni down an Atlanta highway), the Thrashers have experienced a decrease in attendance this season. I'm not entirely sure why. Just because they lost a player with a powerful shot who lacks the ability to play defense last season doesn't mean they couldn't find a replacement, they found Dustin Byfuglien (see, I didn't need to check the spelling of his name!!!).

BOSTON BRUINS - The Bruins have another Toronto Maple Leafs first round draft pick to use this season, so naturally, that means it'll be a fairly high pick. This is a good thing, because Boston needs to not only make off for the loss of Phil Kessel, but Marc Savard as well.

BUFFALO SABRES - Ryan Miller has certainly not backed up his Vezina-winning season last year in 2010-11. Perhaps he left his heart in Vancouver after pulling a Leighton (even though that goal occured after the Olympics...) in the Gold Medal game. One thing cannot be denied, though, and that is Buffalo is a model of consistency. Their first generation of fans never got to see them win a Stanley Cup, and 40 years later, this generation still hasn't seen one. I'm pretty sure I saw a few Sabres jersey at last week's Toronto/Buffalo Buffalo. That's a good sign.

CAROLINA HURRICANES - The Canes will retire Rod Brind'Amour's number tonight, so you can bet the Canes will be pumped up to play tonight. With Staal and Skinner, one can only help but wonder if Carolina might be Gary Bettman's new favorite hockey city, especially since Crosby and Malkin seem to be a bit banged up. It works, though, because Skinner's ability to grow facial hair makes Crosby look like Lanny McDonald on a good day.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS - The Jackets average about 13,400 fans per game, however when the Penguins or Red Wings play in Columbus, they average about 15,000 Penguin and Red Wing fans per game. It's good to know that if Mario sells the Pens that they will have a potential new home.

CALGARY FLAMES - The Flames have been, well, on fire lately. Some might attribute this to the change in front office. Darryl Sutter out, Jay Feaster in. There might be some truth to this, as Darryl's brother, and Flames head coach Brent Sutter now realizes that he could get fired since his brother isn't the General Manager.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS - The Hawks are on the outside of the playoffs looking in. The last defending champion to miss the following year's playoffs was the 1995-96 Devils. Unlike that team, these Hawks have been gutted out and rebuilt. Their coach is also in the hospital. Hmm, I said eevery team had to be optimistic, so what does the city of Chicago have to look forward to (besides another year of misery for the Cubs)? I apologize, but I couldn't find the date for the Chicago circus.

COLORADO AVALANCHE - The Avs are a young team, but they're certainly a disappointment this season, just a year after riding Craig Anderson all the way to the playoffs. Avs fans should be excited, though, because there's always Foppa watch part...21. If Forsberg doesn't return, the watch turns to Joe Sakic?

DALLAS STARS - The talk of the off-season in Dallas will be about Brad Richards' future in Dallas. No it won't. Actually most of the summer will be spent watching the Texas Rangers and hope that there will be Cowboys, or any, pro-football. But I'm sure someone will be watching Brad Richards' future. I know Ranger fans will be.

DETROIT RED WINGS - If this is Nicklas Lidstrom's swan song, I hope he enjoys retirement. Chances are that he'll end up in someone's front office, following Detroit's last captain's footsteps. On a lighter note, I wish they'd bring that squeaky air-hornish goal horn back. Okay bad idea, maybe not.

EDMONTON OILERS - Hey, what's not to get excited about in Edmonton? The perks of losing are endless...until Gary Bettman gets sick of giving you the #1 overall pick. That's about when things get ugly.

FLORIDA PANTHERS - Last time the Panthers were good, they had players killing rats and fans throwing plastic rats all over the ice. I wouldn't suggest that promotion again, but then again, Florida's marketing department isn't that bright, as they continue to welcome visiting fans. That's not how you build a home fanbase.

LA KINGS - Maybe by this trade deadline, Dean Lombardi will finally manage to land a superstar. Too bad Aaron Voros is off the market. Colton Orr and Zenon Konopka seem like viable options for the Kings.

MINNESOTA WILD - They'll get Guillaume Latendresse back for next year, and maybe, while they're at it, they can get Marian Gaborik back. Maybe Jacques Lemaire as well if he doesn't retire.

MONTREAL CANADIENS - The Habs could use a big guy. They'd be doing themselves a favor by adding Jason Arnott at the deadline. Then maybe the "Hal Gill and the 7 Dwarfs" jokes would go away.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS - What do Preds fans have to look forward to? Well, probably a lot of big goalies and a lot of Carrie Underwood-sung National Anthems. I hope she knows the lyrics to "O Canada." Her husband only spent 11 years in Canada's capital. Didn't Christina Aguilera live in the U.S. longer than that?

NEW JERSEY DEVILS - No matter what the fate of this season brings, Lou Lamoriello will be given a lot of HELL if the Devils don't re-sign Zach Parise. This isn't Phil Kessel, where a pair of first round picks can compensate for him. Although, apparently the Devils also have a superstar sniper on the team. Too bad I haven't seen him play.

NY ISLANDERS - This season, the Isles have claimed someone else's goalie, lost three goalies of their own (1 due to trade, 1 due to a fight and 1 due to an injury in warm-ups), however the emergence of Michael Grabner has to be inspiring. Two things could occur with Grabner: He could leave via free agent like most rational ex-Islanders, or sign long-term and leave the team because he felt like going back home or because he gets injured twice a week.

NY RANGERS - The Rangers really need a bad contract. Roszival was their last hope. Well, there is Chris Drury, I suppose. Glen Sather has finally realized that the minor leagues are not for programming robots to be traded for washed up stars. Too bad they don't have a really overpaid player buried and trapped in the minors right now...

OTTAWA SENATORS - The Sens keep trading away pieces, and with all the mediocre draft picks they keep acquiring, they'll have a competitive ECHL team within the decade, AND have a goaltender to stabilize them in Craig Anderson. That's a reason to be optimistic, right?

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS - Not sure they're looking to make any impact trades. What they could do is trade Zherdev for a 1st round pick. That is, of course, only if Paul Holmgren is able to edit Zherdev's "awareness" levels to 95. That would give Philly a rare 1st round pick.

PHOENIX COYOTES - I hope my car can fit all of the Coyote fans as I help them move up to Winnipeg/Quebec City/anywhere. I should have plenty of room. Gary Bettman doesn't count.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS - Just think, if Pittsburgh needed to level the playing field without Crosby or Malkin, they could just tell Matt Cooke to go and elbow the opposing target and knock him out...not that he's ever done that before.

SAN JOSE SHARKS - They now have the Great White Shark...Ian White. That would excite me. That should compensate for the brutal loss of Jay Leach in a minor league trade last week.

ST. LOUIS BLUES - They just lost Eric Brewer today. This year doesn't look like it'll be one of their big second half charges.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING - They just acquired Eric Brewer. Also, I bet Steve Yzerman is sure glad he didn't have to draft Steven Stamkos, because judging by his Team Canada roster from the Vancouver Olympics, he may not have gone to Tampa Bay.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS - After years of speculation, the Kaberle rumors are least until July 1st, when Brian Burke will probably sweet-talk Tomas into re-signing in Toronto. Maybe the league will reject the trade and fine the Leafs a first round pick. Hmm, that'd be tough, coming up with a 1st round pick is going to be a difficult task for Toronto. I can't wait for Leafs fans to start campaigning to bring in Brad Richards to make a playoff run this year.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS - Why not be optimistic about the Canucks? The only problem is that they are attempting to pass the Devils for "most defensemen called up in a single season." Sami Salo needs to play in a bubble to avoid injury.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS - It must be weird looking up and seeing a team in your division ahead of you. I bet the Caps forgot they played in a division. They just usually win the regular season and then choke out of the playoffs. This year has been a bit humbling, huh?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gary Bettman's questionaire to the NHL players

Following a crazy week of line brawls, ridiculous scoring and goalie fights, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wanted to get the pulse of the NHL. He created this poll to get the opinions of the players in the league. He then encountered a small problem. There are a number of teams that don't consist of NHL-caliber players. Therefore, the New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators were disqualified from the survey. Upon further review, the Islanders were allowed back into the survey, due to their involvement in Friday's actions.

1. Do you feel that the NHL does enough to protect its players?
- Yes: 1% (dammit, Cooke...)
- No: 1% (dammit, Savard, you don't count as an "NHL" player anymore...)
- Undecided: 98%

2. Do you feel safe when you step onto the ice for an NHL game?
- Yes: 86.7%
- No: 13.3% (hmm...4/30 is 13.3, so basically every Atlantic team that has to face Chris Pronger)

3. Who is the biggest idiot in the NHL?
- Matt Cooke: 44%
- Chris Pronger: 19%
- Sean Avery: 16%
- Steve Ott: 2%
- Trevor Gillies: who???
- Other, please specify: Gary Bettman: 96% (hey.....)

4. What is the most inappropriate thing you've seen during an NHL game?
- Check from behind: 37%
- Matt Cooke: 12%
- Fans throwing waffles on the ice: 51%

5. What is your favorite arena to play in?
- Bell Centre: 78%
- Madison Square Garden: 10%
- Joe Louis Arena: 5%
- Nassau Coliseum: 7%

6. If you answered "Nassau Coliseum" for Question 5, are you out of your mind?
- Yes: 99%
- No: 1% (Man, John Tavares is a dedicated Islander)

7. If you could commit one illegal action on the ice and know you could get away with it, what would you do?
- Board Sean Avery from behind: 5%
- Board someone else from behind: 4%
- Punch Pierre McGuire in the face: 40%
- Attack a fan: 1% (Rypien, you don't count...)
- Steal pucks from Stanley Cup games: 1% (Pronger...!)
- Nothing. I am a completely honest player and would never commit a foul: 49%

8. Who is your best friend during a game?
- Our team captain: 34%
- My head coach: 29%
- The referees: 0%
- Gregory Campbell: 36%
- Guy in the penalty box: 1%

9. Which team would you least like to be traded to?
- NY Islanders: 99% (Hmm...John Tavares did not vote on this one)

10. Do you make more than the NHL median salary or less than the median salary?
- More: 49.5%
- Exactly: 1%
- Less: 49.5%

11. Is your team the most popular team in your city?
- Yes: 20% (Hmm...all the "Yes" answers appear to be players from Canadian teams)
- No: 63.3%
- My team isn't named after a city: 16.7%

12. Which player are you envious of?
- Gregory Campbell: 96%
- Ilya Kovalchuk's contract: 3%
- Phil Kessel: 1% (I hope this was a joke)

13. If you were Garth Snow, would you have claimed Evgeni Nabokov from waivers?
- Yes: 6%
- No, I would let him play for a World Class organization in Detroit: 46%
- No, I'd let him play for a real NHL team: 48%

14. Is Peter Forsberg retired for good?
- Yes: 91%
- No: 2%
- Is retirement that thing when you stop playing for 6 months and then come back?: 7%

15. Who is the most overrated team in the NHL?
- Toronto: 21%
- NY Islanders: 67%
- Edmonton: 12%

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Top 10 Ilya Kovalchuk moments as a NJ Devil

This may seem very pre-mature now, but I've taken Kovalchuk's top 10 moments as a Devil for 2 reasons: 1. Because he's had some great moments already, and 2. I haven't been able to come up with anything else. Here's the 2nd DGA post ever with video: (*Warning: this is not "funny"*)

10. Devils trade for Ilya Kovalchuk - The Devils aren't known for grabbing superstars, especially in mid-season trades, but for whatever reason, Lou Lamoriello felt adding Kovalchuk would be what the Devils needed. Well, it didn't work right away, and despite Gary Bettman trying everything he could to prevent the signing, Ilya signed with the Devils forever, or so it seems. I'm sure a few jars of jelly were tossed over the summer that was, but here's the trade to New Jersey.

9. The Great Rush - In game 1 of the playoffs against the Flyers last year, Ilya Kovalchuk took the game over, at least for one shift. I know the bottom line is, he didn't bury it, but this end-to-end rush gave Devils fans a preview of what the next 15 years could be like.

8. Fight with Phaneuf - It was the day after Christmas 2010, and nothing could go right for the Devils, or Ilya Kovalchuk, for that matter, since he had been slumping miserably, as the whole team had. Ilya finally showed his anger as he tangled with Dion Phaneuf.

7. Breaking out at MSG - While Kovy had experienced some success against the arch-rival NY Rangers early in his Devils career, the Devils hadn't. This time, things would be different. Unfortunately, few Devils fans were around by the end of the game, since everyone had already had a heart attack by then.

6. The Flower blooms - Some Devils fans thought this game was a classic, and while I don't agree with that, this goal is certainly one of the more memorable from Kovy's first year in New Jersey. The celebration speaks for itself. Fleury wasn't exactly thrilled after this one, either.

5. Breaking away against former team - On the final day of 2010, finally, Ilya and the Devils had a reason to celebrate: they won a game. This was the highlight of that game, and finally, for all the right reasons.

4. First win of the year - This is the first of three overtime goals for Ilya Kovalchuk in the 2010-11 season, and it was also John MacLean's first win as a head coach. 8 wins later, he'd be fired.

3. First goal as a Devil - Here's Kovalchuk's first goal as a Devil. Yes, as you'll hear Chico Resch point out, we all threw hats onto the ice after the goal.

2. Rebounding - Here's what happened the night before:

Knowing that, Kovalchuk found a way to make up for that blooper the night before.

1. Another OT goal from Toronto - This one is arguably the prettiest Kovalchuk goal since he came to New Jersey, and it came late in overtime against the Leafs. It was Jacques Lemaire's 600th career win as a head coach.

So there you have it. That's just the first 82 games of Kovalchuk's Devils career. He's got more than 14 years to add to that.

Come to think of it, I like doing top-10's. Feel free to comment not only on this, but suggest future top-10's I should feature on the blog, and yes, I already know what someone's thinking, top-10 bloopers. Well, go to the archives, I did that already. This is also an easy way to give me time to come up with something original.

*EDIT: Ilya Kovalchuk's Devils debut cannot be forgotten. Here's his first point as a Devil against Toronto.

here's the incredible finish of that hockey game:

Thanks to NHLVideo and DevilsHQ, most of the footage is from them on YouTube. One video is from Fel0096.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Comparing the Superbowl to the Stanley Cup finals

Yesterday was the 45th Superbowl in NFL history. As you know, in both the Superbowl and the NHL Stanley Cup finals, a champion is awarded in their respective sports. Let's take a look at some of the differences between the two championships:

Superbowl: The Vince Lombardi Trophy costs about $25,000 to make every year.
Stanley Cup: Originally purchased for $50, the Stanley Cup spends about $25,000 in air fare every year.

Superbowl: This year's half-time show is a reminder that maybe Tom Petty wasn't that bad.
Stanley Cup: Stan Lee, not Stanley, prepares his next Guardian adventure, where the teams in the Stanley Cup finals will most likely turn out to be the hero.

Superbowl: The Superbowl is the most-watched single event in America, averaging over 100 million views per year.
Stanley Cup: Pretty sure there were over 100 viewers in the state of Michigan for last year's Stanley Cup finals.

Superbowl: Since there are no teams outside the United States, the term "World Champions" makes no sense.
Stanley Cup: There are 6 Canadian NHL teams, but since none of them have won since 1993, the term "World Champions" makes no sense.

Superbowl: The NFL has a rotating TV contract so that multiple major networks can air the Superbowl, such as CBS, NBC and FOX.
Stanley Cup: Two games from last year's Finals were aired on Versus, a channel most Americans who don't live in North Carolina have never heard of.

Superbowl: The Superbowl MVP wins a trip to Disney World. Walt Disney founded Disney, one of the greatest influences of American childhood.
Stanley Cup: The NHL playoff MVP award is named after a guy who build the Toronto Maple Leafs, Conn Smythe. The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the greatest influences of Canadian childhood.

Superbowl: Generally, the Superbowl is played in a southern venue, to ensure warmer weather.
Stanley Cup: Generally, teams in the south are completely irrelevant and have fans that throw rats onto the ice.

Superbowl: Pittsburgh's coach, Mike Tomlin, became the youngest coach to win a championship in 2009 all-time.
Stanley Cup: Pittsburgh's coach, Dan Bylsma, became the youngest coach to win a championship in 2009 at the time.

Superbowl: In Superbowl XXIV, the San Francisco 49ers put up 55 points.
Stanley Cup: In his career, Jean Beliveau had 62 points in the Finals.

Superbowl: Traditionally, commercials are much anticipated due to comedy, and cost $3 million per 30-second slot.
Stanley Cup: The NHL is happy to get any company that wants to advertise for $87.

Superbowl: The National Anthem is occasionally sung by someone who can't remember the words.
Stanley Cup: The National Anthem is occasionally sung by someone who can't balance themselves.

Superbowl: The Superbowl is the second most watched event in the world, second to the UEFA championship game, a game most Americans don't care about.
Stanley Cup: The Stanley Cup finals are the second most watched event in the Underwood/Fisher household, second to the Country Music Awards, an event most people don't care about.

Superbowl: Several Americans resort to front-running, or bandwagoning, so they have a team to root for every year.
Stanley Cup: Several Canadians resort to front-running so they have a team to root for every year.

Superbowl: The commissioner presents the Lombardi trophy to the champion.
Stanley Cup: If the Toronto Maple Leafs ever make the Finals, the commissioner will have to beware of flying objects, such as waffles.

Superbowl: Following the conclusion of the playoffs, speculation further grows about the possibility of an NFL lockout, due to labor issues with the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Stanley Cup: Ditto.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The residual effect on sports with an NFL lockout - in mockery

With Superbowl XLV coming up this Sunday, the economist in me couldn't help but wonder what the sports industry would be without the NFL. Look, I'm a New York Giants fan, I thoroughly enjoy the game of football as much as the next American, but if the NFL lost a season due to labor disagreements, what would likely happen amongst the other 3 major sports? I think I have a pretty solid set of predictions.


MLB: Baseball would probably introduce a substance that increase a batter's power to bring home run totals back to the steroid era, since baseball has declined over the past several seasons, however, it is a summer sport.
NBA: David Stern would probably step up his advertising and try to turn the NBA into America's Game...sort of. Instead of a national past-time, basketball would become the national PLEASE PASS, TIME!
NHL: Pretend nothing happened and do nothing.


MLB: Launch an aggressive campaign for autism awareness, cancer awareness, and maybe a dietitian to help CC Sabathia watch his calories.
NBA: Call ESPN and ask for advice.
NHL: Fundraise to help Sidney Crosby find the right razor blade for his face.


MLB: Extend their TV contract with top networks, such as ESPN, to stay in the national spotlight.
NBA: Extend their TV contract with top networks, such as ESPN, to stay in the national spotlight.
NHL: Continue to deprive Americans of adequate NHL coverage by "spreading into different demographics by utilizing the potential of the Versus channel."


MLB: The baseball off-season just became much more relevant.
NBA: Without the NFL, the NBA has no competition this time of year...riiight?!
NHL: Continue to rely on the Winter Classic and All-Star weekend to boost TV ratings.


MLB: Make last season's silver sluggers use silver bats.
NBA: Any time a player touches another player, he is ejected from the game.
NHL: Skip the first three periods and go right to a shootout. If that doesn't work, add a fourth period.


MLB: Keep a close eye on the historic franchises and promote the history of the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Cardinals, and other storied teams.
NBA: What's a franchise?
NHL: Expand into potential hockey markets, such as Mexico or Brazil.

MLB: Make sure MLB's CBA gets renewed before any labor tensions build. Assure fans that they should never worry about a work stoppage in baseball.
NBA: Have the players write the rules. There's none as it is. Assure fans that as long as ESPN has a TV deal with the NBA, there will never be a work stoppage in basketball.
NHL: Wait until the day before the CBA expires, pretend like they're doing anything and then complain that there wasn't enough time and lock the league out.

MLB: Encourage franchises to promote more giveaways to keep fans coming back.
NBA: Have fans' tweets run across the ticker of SportsCenter.
NHL: Design really slick third jerseys for every team, or in the Canucks' case, a 17th jersey.


MLB: Convince Chicago fans that it really was weather that damaged Wrigley Field and not some conspirators trying to ploy for a new Stadium.
NBA: Let the players play XBox between quarters.
NHL: Design every new arena to look like Nassau Coliseum.


MLB: The economy is still recovering. Reduce prices slightly to attract more fans for the long-term.
NBA: Find someone willing to go to a Nets game and buy them a beer...every day for life.
NHL: Prices? What prices???


MLB: Place mirrors around the field so the sun glares off of it to distract players, thus increasing bloopers and YouTube hits.
NBA: Paint the backboards pink in Cleveland and tell the fans it's LeBron's fault.
NHL: Ban goalie pads.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NHL All-Star game thread (which is now closed)

This past Sunday, the NHL All-Star game was held in Raleigh...what's that? Yes, the NHL does have an All-Star game...yes, I find it as hard to believe as you do. Well, anyway, I've acquired the posts left by the players, managers, and yes, Gary Bettman too. Take a look:


Gary Bettman: Hello everyone and welcome to the...annual NHL All-Star game. It is my pleasure to introduce such a creative new format. I have opened this game thread to all members of the league so that we can get to know each other on a more...personal level. A few rules: Keep it clean. No attacking any individuals, hear that Mr. Cooke? Any personal attacks or inappropriate behavior as judged by me will be banned from this page. Pronger, you're automatically banned.

Chris Pronger: This comment has been blocked by the moderator. To view, please click here.

Brendan Shanahan: Dude, not cool, this was my idea.

Sidney Crosby: Gary, why did you leave your razor at my house?

Gary Bettman: Sid, it's not mine. I got it for you. Just don't forget to shave at least twice a year.

Ilya Kovalchuk: Dammit! Nobody will let me in! This message was sent using mobile web

Donald Fehr: Umm, how many quarters are there in hockey?

---Game is about to begin---

Jordan Staal: Let's go Lidstrom!

BizNasty2point0: Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that I stole everyone's jerseys last night and I was in the shootout. That's why nobody was scoring.

Colton Orr: Who was that guy who did the American National Anthem? People like that deserve a piece of me!

Gary Bettman: Colton, watch it, that's a personal attack.

(Colton Orr has been blocked from this thread by Gary Bettman)

Ilya Kovalchuk: They even locked the back door! This message was sent using mobile web

Chris Pronger: This comment has been blocked by the moderator. To view, please click here.

---Game is under way---

Brian Gionta: Man, those jerseys look stupid.

Kyle Wellwood: (*yawn*) Man, that breakfast was good. What'd I miss?????

Mike Komisarek: Brian, did you see those prisoner jerseys they made us wear in Montreal a few years ago?

Stan Lee: Stay tuned for the second intermission when I will unveil the GUARDIAN PROJECT!!!

Gary Bettman: What a beautiful shot by Ovechkin makes it 1-0 Staal!

Chris Pronger: This comment has been blocked by the moderator. To view, please click here.

Dion Phaneuf: Man, Briere is sooo ugly...

Lou Lamoriello: What an ugly goal. GET THIS PLAYER ON MY TEAM!

Gary Bettman: Paul Stastny makes it 2-0 Staal!

Jacques Lemaire: It will be interesting to see if the guys start to play better defensively to hold onto this lead.

(Dion Phaneuf has been blocked from this thread by Gary Bettman)

Gary Bettman: Patrik Elias scores and it's 3-0!!!

Gary Bettman: Why do the refs keep blowing the whistle? I thought I had figured out the rules to this game over the past 20 years...........I need new refs...

Glen Sather: Look at that Richards guy. He's ALL MINE come July! MWAAA!!

Lou Lamoriello: Glen, need advice on signing a superstar? I'm just across the Hudson whenever you need me.

Glen Sather: You mean...

Lou Lamoriello: Richard Bloch...

Mike Richards: Sorry, Glen, I just signed in Philly long-term.

Donald Fehr: 4-4 in the first period, is this the average score for a hockey game?

Gary Bettman: Hey guys, sorry I missed a few goals. Oh well, it doesn't really matter.

Phil Kessel: Me and Karlsson are getting tired of being on the bench.

BizNasty2point0: It's okay, Kessel, I know the feeling...

(Gary Bettman has been blocked from this thread by Gary Bettman)

Lou Lamoriello: I had nothing to do with that...

(Lou Lamoriello has been blocked from this thread by Gary Bettman)

Jarome Iginla: The coast is clear??

Ales Hemsky: I think so. What did you tell Bettman, Iggy?

Jarome Iginla: I don't remember, something about a personal reason.

Ales Hemsky: hahahaha, good one.

Sidney Crosby: You're ruining the integrity of the game, guys!

Chris Pronger: This comment has been blocked by the moderator. To view, please click here.

Donald Fehr: This is an exciting game!

Brendan Shanahan: I'm glad you feel that way, Donald. I have worked extremely hard trying to make this event relevant.

Donald Fehr: No, I wasn't talking about the All-Star game, I was talking about this replay of the 1993 World Series!

Jordan Staal: Yes! Lidstrom wins!!

Colin Campbell: noidvd849mcs09,9mt4n8by5][-[0pwimfcp]

Glen Sather: So, Lou, any word on players you're going to trade?

Lou Lamoriello: Status quo.

Colin Campbell: Sorry, that was Gregory.

(Colin Campbell has been blocked from this thread by Gary Bettman)

Patrice Bergeron: Let's go Celtics!

Brendan Shanahan: Well, this concludes the NHL All-Star weekend! Thanks, everyone for contributing on here and please leave feedback! I'm looking to improve it again for next year!

BizNasty2point0: Loved it. Seeing All-Stars warming the bench really makes me feel better.

Kyle Wellwood: Today was the All-Star game? NO WAY?! What channel was it on?

Ilya Kovalchuk: Damn... This message was sent using mobile web

Rick DiPietro: Wow, that looked like it was really hard.

BizNasty2point0: What looked hard?

Rick DiPietro: Playing.

BizNasty2point0: I know!!!

Brendan Shanahan: Anyway, that concludes this game thread. We'll see you next time.

Stan Lee: Don't forget to tune it to see the next part of the GUARDIAN PROJECT!!!

Brendan Shanahan: Umm, sure...what he said.

---This thread has been closed by Brendan Shanahan---