January 15, 2003

Intermittent NHL Beat Report

(inside)

posted by Samsonov14 to hockey at 01:37 PM - 8 comments

The biggest news in the hockey world recently has been the bankruptcies of the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators. Buffalo isnít surprising, since itís arguably the worst team in the league, but as of today, the Sens own the best record in the NHL. When the leagueís best canít make any money, something has to be done. Some reporters have mentioned that with every failing franchise, a salary cap in 2004 looks more and more likely. Others insist that owners, not salaries are the problem. Interestingly, both teams are in the lower third of the league in team payroll, with Buffalo at $32 million and Ottawa at $28 Million. The league average is $41 Million. Stories about the possible relocation of the Senators to the US will doubtless bring back a sentiment people have been expressing for years - Canadian Hockey has quietly gone into a tailspin. A more dramatic story of decline is the rise and fall of russian hockey, which, strangely, began as an obscure sport called bandy. Those interested in the ties between the Russian Mafia and the hockey world should have a look at this excellent frontline site. Donít miss the interview with Pavel Bure, in which heís clearly lying. Iíll leave you with a quote from unfrozen caveman Mike Ricci: "There's a thousand theories, but theories are for scientists. We're too stupid for that. We've just got to get back to the X's and O's." - Mike Ricci on the San Jose Sharks' slow start. (Canadian Press)

posted by Samsonov14 at 01:48 PM on January 15

Are we ever going to find out who replaced the Bruins with an All-Star team for the first 20 games and then put the real Bruins back in place? All of a sudden we go from half-ass team with a skinflint owner to amazing and then back again. I would have prefered staying in one of the two places.

posted by yerfatma at 09:01 AM on January 16

No kidding. I have no idea what's going on with that team. Florida's 3-0 shutout of the B's wasn't surprising last night - in fact it was hardly disappointing. Coach Ftorek said after the game, "I liked how we played". What was he on? The only guy on the team who showed up was Martin Samuelsson, and he's an AHL call-up. Dammit, yerfatma, I think you're just trying to wind me up. It's working. I know it's easy to be an armchair GM, but SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE. Trade McLaren already!

posted by Samsonov14 at 10:39 AM on January 16

i take issue with the claim canadian hockey in a tailspin. the hockey is fine. its the loonie thats the problem. but we seem to have GOLD under control.

posted by garfield at 01:29 PM on January 16

I don't like your tone, Upper Mexican. I mean hey, I don't write the stuff, I just post the links. p.s. - tailspin.

posted by Samsonov14 at 03:01 PM on January 16

Unfrozen caveman. Classic. :) In other less important news, the Islanders still can't beat the Capitals. And it's driving me crazy! Where's Succa? I'd be interested to hear his take on the Sens. I don't like the team but it still sucks, I hope they don't have to move or fold...

posted by Bernreuther at 08:08 PM on January 16

What? No mention of the All-Star choices? Including the often questionable fan picks? Leetch !? If you scroll down, you'll see the fan voting break-down -- and it becomes painfully obvious: fans in big US markets are the only ones that count. Small market fan bases (as well as competent voters) can't compete with the massive influx of votes from the big US cities. I mean, how the hell does Irbe get more votes than Belfour or Lalime and Kolzig combined?

posted by mkn at 05:09 PM on January 18

What? No mention of the suddenly hot Toronto Maple Leafs? Winning games without their best players, winning games without their goalie, winning games against "better" teams...it sure does look like they are getting themselves some practice for playoff hockey. I just hope they don't have to play the Senators in the first round of the playoffs. Not because I'm worried they'd lose, but because I would just feel terrible if they kicked that franchise when it was down. I mean, 4 years in a row would just be too humilitating...

posted by grum@work at 09:59 PM on January 18

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