Archive for July, 2010

Cooler Full of Ice

July 8, 2010

Well, it’s 90 damn degrees here everyday, my lawn is dying, I’m spending all my off hours building stockade fencing around my yard to get ready for my daughter’s 6th birthday party this Saturday during which she will be presented with a little black and white puppy named Sarah. Hockey seems about as far away from my consciousness right now as Nevin Markwart’s career plus/minus stats. Still, things are happening out there. These may be the Dog Days, in more ways than one, but the world of professional ice hockey grinds on.

For example, the Bruins’ Development Camp is underway in Wilmington and there is a certain buzz around a certain youngster who was taken 2nd overall in last month’s entry draft. Matt Kalman at the The Bruins Blog has been down there and is doing an excellent job of covering the proceedings. Click over for his notes and some great photos of what’s going on. Apparently, Tyler Seguin has not failed to impress.

Meanwhile, Doug Flynn has a nice piece on Joe Colborne’s development, reminding us there won’t be just one first round pick setting his sights on making the Bruins in 2010-11. How many centers can one team have? That remains the burning question on the horizon for the Beantown hockey faithful.

Up in Edmonton, it’s much the same as all eyes are on Taylor Hall.

In the Yawn Dept., the Ilya Kovalchuk saga continues. Word is the Kings have dropped out of the race and the Devils are the leading contender for his services once again. Someone wake me when it’s over. Or when the one hour live special on Versus where he announces his decision is going to air.

Looks like Nikolai Zherdev is on his way back to the NHL with the Flyers. Will they have any better luck getting him interested in playing hockey for a living? We’ll see, I guess.

Team most active in free agency so far: Calgary Flames. Five signings, none of which were re-ups. Alex Tanguay, Olli Jokinen, Raitis Ivanans, Tim Jackman and Ryan Stone. Jokinen and Tanguay have played for Calgary in the past, however.

Bob Probert will be laid to rest tomorrow morning in Windsor. One of the toughest of the tough, a warrior on the ice who inspired both fear and the ultimate respect from his enemies, his passing at age 45 is a sad, difficult reminder of our mortality and the fragility of this life we share. No matter how big and strong you are, how famous or how honorable or how decent, it can all end in the blink of an eye, without reason or sense.

Spend time with the ones you love. Treat them right and make sure they know how you feel about them. You just never know when that embrace you share might be the last.

‘Nuff said.

In Memory of Bob Probert

July 5, 2010

At HGW, we like to think ourselves tough and not prone to public displays of emotion. So when it broke today that NHL toughie Bob Probert died and I shared that news Ken, it’s no exaggeration to say that we sobbed like fluffy bunnies.

What’s there to say that isn’t being said on tons of other web pages and news sites? Not much. Probert was a feared commodity in his day and so many wanted to be him. As former Blue Jacket and current Flyer toughie Jody Shelley said, “He played the game like a man.” I think he meant Superman because death shouldn’t ever happen to the pugilists. There’s something about the NHL tough guy that gives them a sense of immortality, like each punch they receive simply increases their inability to succumb to earthly existence.

So it is, with great sadness, to report that even tough guys are susceptible.

UFA Time

July 1, 2010

I think the best thing I’ve seen relating to the commencement of the NHL’s Unrestricted Free Agent signing period today at noon might just be this little Sortable UFA Tracker that TSN has going on it’s website. A quick and easy way to see who’s going where, what they’re getting paid, which teams are stocking up, etc.

I’m tired of all the talk about Ilya Kovalchuk. Frankly, I don’t care where he ends up. A decent enough goal scorer but yet to show he’s the sort of impact player that is going to inspire/carry a team to the Promised Land.

I don’t expect a lot from the Bruins as the room on their roster and under their salary cap is extremely limited until they can trim some fat and the chances of that happening this off-season seem more and more remote as time goes on. Even if Savard or Thomas can be moved, they’ll be eating equivalent contracts in return I think.

We’ll see when the Feeding Frenzy starts at noontime.