Tuesday, September 23, 2008
New NHL Season: The Good, the Bad, and the Coffey
Top 10 things to look forward to:
1. the prospect of Peter Fosberg’s career being over… dead, buried, in the ground with fresh flowers laid across the gravestone.
2. 2008-2009 World Championship Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey League! (only 1 spot left!)
3. Patrice Bergeron back in action after almost a year. If you don’t remember, he got his head rammed into the boards. It was a dirty hit from a dirty player, a Philadelphia Flyer. Those guys were all over the ice last year; swinging sticks, slamming bodies from behind into the boards, whining, dishing out cheap shots. Not a pretty sight. Not really hockey at all.
4. Jarret Stoll suiting up for the LA Kings. This is interesting because Stoll is now a heck of a lot closer to his girlfriend, former wife of Rod Stewart! I am not kidding! Jarrett Stoll, 26, had been dating Rachel Hunter, 38, for about 2 years and in August they got engaged. Crazy!
"She is engaged. She's never been happier," said the rep, Mike Heller. "She has been with Jarret for a long time and everyone is thrilled for them. He was recently traded to the L.A. Kings, so it's a really exciting time in their life together. He is an amazing guy and she is an amazing girl – they're truly meant to be."
From small town Canada to LA and a superstar wife! Sound familiar? This is in the top 10 because it is really funny and, according to rep Mike Heller, Rachel Hunter has finally found the right 26 year old father for her 16 and 14 year old children. Go Jarret!
5. 46 year old Chris Chelios suits up for his 25th NHL season. He first hit the ice with the Montreal Canadiens back in 1984, when I was 3 and a half years old! I don’t really like the guy that much, but he is the only player still around from the first days that I started watching hockey. A faint memory of him on the Canadiens seems to reside in my mind. When he’s done playing I will officially feel a lot older than I think I am now. I count down my life in hockey years.
6. When the season starts there will be less time for the temptation of looking at Eklund’s crappy hockey rumor blog.
7. Erik Cole is on the Oilers! I love this guy. Ever since he played in the finals with a broken neck I’ve loved him! He’s fast, strong, and likes to score goals. That’s pretty much what we want. My modest Erik Cole prediction: GP 79 G 32 A 38. Watch this move.
8. Something a friend of mine pointed out to me last season. Watching Pierre McGuire of TSN pronounce the names of NHL players, my friend noticed that he usually says the player’s full name. “Steven Staios”, “Daniel Heatley”, “Joseph Thornton”, “Christopher Pronger”. Actually, its quite a fun game to play and its quite refreshing after hearing so many annoying nick-names that fans seem to make up for every single player in the league. Go Pierre!
9. Joni Pitkanen will wander around the ice for another team far away on the other side of the continent. I hope someone over there can help him figure some things out. Maybe he’s depressed.
10. The Oilers have a good team. There is a lot of depth in case of injuries and it seems like the playoff expectations are well deserved.
I can’t watch the games at all, but I can listen to them on the radio. This helps me to use my imagination. It’s always good to use your imagination, so that’s why this is the #1 thing to look forward to. Imaginations rule!
Top 10 Things to Avoid:
1. Avoid Swedes with green/clear eyes. The possibility that Peter Forsberg will return to play for the Flyers/Aves/Preds/ sometime around January or February makes me a little sick. A few shifts into his comeback and we’ll expect him to injure himself one last time. This, hopefully, will result in his retirement. The worst thing is that the media will talk about him before, during, and after all of the above happens.
2. Avoid the CBC. Though it does not affect me much at all, listening to the “hockey theme song” before games on TSN instead of CBC will break many hearts. Is it just me or does it seem that TSN is trying to monopolize the Canadian sports industry? It seems as though CBC is getting ready to die or something.
I have heard it said: “A TV station cannot live on re-runs of The Littlest Hobo and Road to Avonlea alone, but must be sustained by the traditions of pucks, toothless grins, and skates.” Wise words.
I hate to say it, but by now the Littlest Hobo is most certainly dead! Tomorrow's settling down came and went a long time ago. He had so many chances.
3. Avoid looking up Mike Comrie in People Magazine. He is reportedly still dating Hilary Duff. Some rumors even suggest that they are engaged. We Oiler fans remember all of the “interesting” controversy surrounding little Mikey. I find it funny that he continues to intrigue. She seems a little young for him. Isn’t she still on Disney? I guess not. Actually, good for Mike. I hope you grow a whole field of Comries.
4. Avoid Mats Sundin in your hockey pool, who, while I am writing this, is still “thinking” about his future. How long does it take for someone to figure out if they want to spend the rest of their life swinging a golf club or if they want to play professional hockey for one more year, while making a ridiculous amount of money?
“Make up your mind already! You are a great hockey player, but you don’t deserve all of this media attention. It is annoying to hear your agent say every couple of weeks that you are still “undecided”. You are hovering dangerously close to Forsberg territory. I am starting to not like you. Not as a hockey player but just for your decision making skills.”
UPDATE: after trashing the guy, I realized that he's on one of my fantasy teams!
5. Avoid Ryan Smyth. We must witness another awkward season with Ryan Smyth on the Colorado Avalanche. That was really awkward last season, wasn’t it? So awkward. If you see him at a party or some other function, walk to the other side of the room and sip your drink. You can stare back at him awkwardly, but don’t let him catch you doing it. Imagine if he did?! That would be awkward.
6. Stop thinking that Bertuzzi is finished. I don’t like the guy but he is a good hockey player and he makes less money than a lot of junk on a lot of other teams. I think he will light it up. This is not good for the Oilers, at all. My modest Bertuzzi prediction: GP 78 G 37 A 33. All that equals a pretty good deal for the Flames.
7. If they sell chicken wings at your hometown arena, you’re going to want to avoid them. They are too sticky and it is gross to imagine 10 000 fans with sticky chicken wing fingers. Yuck!
8. Avoid printing your own name on the back of your hometown jersey. Despite what you may think, the league will never have any players named “Gruggs” or “Horne” or “Platch”. If it ever does, it won’t be you!
9. Avoid wearing your home team’s jersey to anywhere but the game. Those jerseys are way too big for you to be taken seriously. I mean, they are meant to have a bunch of hockey equipment under them, not your thin, phuny, weak little body. They look too much like the nighties that women sometimes wear to bed. The only place that they actually look okay is on a professional hockey player’s body, or on a lot of people in one place. That place is the arena.
10. Avoid cheering for the Maple Leafs. They have a gazzilion dollars and with that they bought about 5 professional players and 18 minor leaguers pretending to be professionals, and some pucks. Probably nice pucks, but still.
And finally, Paul Coffey rules!