Blades of Funny went 2-2 in the 2nd round, and all it took to achieve this averageness was a comeback for the ages. Overall playoff record now stands at 6-6. Average to the core, baby!
For the Conference Finals, I’ve decided to switch things up. Instead of looking forward and coming up with wacky storylines, I’m going to do what the pros do: compare the teams.
Montreal vs. Philadelphia
Montreal… deploys a gameplan which revolves in getting badly outplayed and then pulling out a miraculous victory.
Philadelphia… has also caught on to this style.
Montreal… players have been known to interact with distasteful individuals off the ice.
Philadelphia… players have been known to interact with distasteful individuals on the ice.
Montreal… has faced four goalies thus far in the playoffs.
Philadelphia… are fully expecting to dress four goalies going forward.
Montreal… fans have a reputation of losing their minds during playoff time.
Philadelphia… fans have a reputation of losing their minds all year round.
Montreal… has a guy in goal who’s been compared to Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy.
Philadelphia… has Michael Leighton. <—— HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
The Verdict: Montreal in 6.
The official sponsor was Kestrel, the popular manufacturer of Road bikes.
Chicago vs. San Jose
San Jose… has a guy they call Jumbo who rarely shows up in the postseason.
Chicago… has a jumbo guy who rarely shows up. Period.
San Jose… led by Joe Pavelski, have torn apart the opposition in these playoffs.
Chicago… has also left their opposition torn apart, just ask Sami Salo.
San Jose… has a star sniper whose desire for change last summer made him act like a jackass.
Chicago… has a star sniper whose desire for change last summer also made him act like a jackass.
San Jose… defeated the Red Wings in the second round.
Chicago… also defeated a whiny team/fan base in the second round.
San Jose… does not have Marian Hossa.
Chicago… has Marian Hossa, which means it’s allllllll good, baby baby…this round, anyway.
The Verdict: Chicago is 6.
This post is going to part serious and part humor. The serious part consists of me seriously trying to predict where the top unrestricted free agents will land. The humor part will come on July 1st when all my picks are wrong. Sounds like fun, no? Let’s go! (Please keep in mind that I’m just talking out of my butt.)
Ilya Kovalchuk: Los Angeles Kings at a $9m cap hit.
The Kings will be up against the cap after this signing which may cause them some headaches in the coming years. But for now: enjoy the ride!
Anton Volchenkov: Anaheim Ducks at $6m.
I’m crazy you say? Well, of course. But with Scotty retired, the Ducks need to make a splash and have the cap room to outbid other teams for the hulking Russian. Overpaid? You bet! Especially when there’s…
Zbynek Michalek: Washington Capitals at $3.5m.
Michalek presents the best blueline value, in my opinion. He’s solid in his own zone and will come cheaper than Volchenkov which will allow the Caps to go after a decent 1A goalie as well.
Dan Hamhuis: Vancouver Canucks at $4.75m.
This signing pretty much paves the way for the departure of Kevin Bieksa. Whichever team dumb enough to trade for Bieksa will be rewarded with a player who makes dumb plays all the time. A match made in heaven, if you will.
Sergei Gonchar: Dallas Stars at $4.5m.
He’ll get his money but with his age and recent injury history, I wouldn’t touch him.
Evgeni Nabokov: Philadelphia Flyers at $5m OR KHL at $15m and 100 gallons of oil.
Whooooa!!! I just went out on a massive limb. I feel like an anonymous hockey blogger! Nah, he’ll most likely sign in the NHL but I have no clue as to what team he makes the most sense with. Especially at a $5m cap hit.
Chris Mason: Washington Capitals at $3.5m.
If it comes down to Mason or Turco., I’d be shocked if any GM would actually prefer the latter. If this happens, it’s a good signing. So make it happen!
(BoF edit: According to a reader comment, this is unlikely. But hey, maybe the Caps will use the money to target Lombardi who I also goofed up on in this post. See below.)
(BoF edit #2: I’m changing Mason’s team to Tampa. However, if he signs in Washington, I’m sticking with my original thought. Win-win! Unless he signs with any of the other 28 teams, in which case I’ll continue looking like an idiot.)
Paul Martin: New Jersey Devils at $4.5m.
I think both parties will come around and keep Martin in Jersey. If not, maybe the Devils will sign Gonchar instead and regret it later.
Matthew Lombardi: Pittsburgh Penguins at $3.5m.
And the endless Crosby winger-matching continues. This one may work out well (or maybe not).
(BoF edit: I’m pretty retarded. Lombardi is a center but for some reason this morning I was convinced he played the wing in Calgary prior to going to Phoenix. So yeah, scratch this one off the list ’cause the Pens need another center like I need more arguments with the wife!!!)
Alexander Frolov: KHL.
Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, will pay him the $5 million I read that his agent is seeking in North America. If the price of oil falls, he may even have a hard time getting that in Russia (nah, that’s a lie because the extortion cash will always be there).
Willie Mitchell: Pittsburgh Penguins at $3m.
This can work out great if he’s healthy, or be a disaster if he’s not. Either way, it’s the least the Penguins can do to apologize after Malkin knocked him out.
Marty Turco: Philadelphia Flyers or San Jose Sharks at $2.5m.
If the Nabokov thing doesn’t work out, I’m thinking the Flyers take a flyer (haha) on Turco. He’ll come cheap because, well, he’s been having a rough time since the trapezoid was implemented. Those little lines cost him millions. Or maybe it was his realivitly sh*ty play that cost him (who knows with these things).
Olli Jokinen: Calgary Flames at $5m. JUST KIDDING! GodKnowsWhere at $3m.
I have a hard time finding a fit for him. However, you can be assured that wherever he goes, he’ll manage to royally screw things up. He’s the Milbury of hockey players these days. Maybe, just maybe, he may turn out well in the right spot. It’s happened before.
Pavel Kubina: Tampa Bay Lightning at $3.5m.
I can see him going to a few different teams but chose Tampa because I feel they really need another 3-4 defenseman-type. This should be a good fit for him, in my opinion.
Tom Lydman: New York Islanders at $3.5m.
Another defenseman that can fit on a number of teams who are looking to add depth to their blueline. He’ll be a decent 3-4 blueliner and the Isles are a good fit.
Henrik Tallinder: Buffalo Sabres at $3.5m.
And yet another defenseman who can fill out the depth chart as a 3-4 guy. He was Lydman’s partner in Buffalo and I’m thinking they keep at least one of them. My thinking is always wrong, though, so there you go.
Joe Corvo: Columbus Blue Jackets $2.5m.
He should help out with the Jackets powerplay. Maybe he’ll get $3m. Maybe. But probably not.
Colby Armstrong: Pittsburgh Penguins at $2.0m.
Colby makes his triumphant return to Pittsburgh! Nah, probably won’t happen because he’ll go after the money and should get around $3m somewhere else. Stay tuned, Sid may start tearing up if Colby doesn’t come back.
Ray Whitney, Alex Tanguay, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Lee Stempinak.
All three should get somewhere between $2m to $3m. Whitney may get a tad more if he signs a one year contract. Too hard to predict where they end up because it could be anywhere. Even Russia. And I don’t have my KHL roster reports handy.
Pavol Demitra, Paul Kariya.
Whichever team signs them better invest in a new CT Scan machine and some extra doctors. Whichever GM signs either one for more than $1.5m better stick his brain into said CT Scan machine.
This concludes my look into the UFA class. There are others but they all suck! (with all due apologizes to Antero Niittymaki).
Oh, and one last thing before I go. Even the worst hockey player that signs a contract on Thursday will make more money than you or I. Soooooo, the only thing we have left is laughter. The more we make fun of hockey players, the more we’re able to hide our inadequacies. Man Rule #425.
Since the season ended, Blades of Funny has had insiders who were inside (thus the name) meetings involving each team’s management. Here are some choice quotes we overheard general managers saying…
Anaheim Ducks: “Hey, if we can’t sign Bobby Ryan, let’s just stick a #9 jersey on Matt Beleskey and tell people that Bobby had to change his name again.” – Bob Murray
Atlanta Thrashers: “You see those pictures behind me. The subjects in those photos are Stan Bowman and his secretary, Jessica. These photos, gentlemen, hold the key to our off-season.” – Rick Dudley
Boston Bruins: “Let me call Burkie and work some of my magic on him to see what he’ll give us in return for a hockey player who can’t count to 10 without focusing to the extreme.” – Peter Chiarelli
Buffalo Sabres: “It’s that time of the year, again. Let’s do what we always do, which is… nothing.” – Darcy Regier
Calgary Flames: “Hey, did you guys see how Lamoriello brought Arnott back to Jersey? I like that. In fact, I like that so much that I’m going to one-up him.” – Darryl Sutter
Carolina Hurricanes: “Rod Brind’Amour retired. Meeting adjourned. Enjoy your summer, guys.” – Jim Rutherford
Chicago Blackhawks: “F*ck! F*ck! F*ck! Motherf*ck!” – Stan Bowman
Colorado Avalanche: “Okay guys, last year we drafted Duchene and O’Reilly. They turned out well. In fact, they turned out so well that we’ll have to spend big bucks to retain them, so let’s tone things down this year. Let’s see … probable 2nd rounders … 3rd rounders … I got it! Joey Hishon! He’s our guy!” – Greg Sherman
Columbus Blue Jackets: “I forgot how good the food is at the draft. The last few years Hitch always ate everything before we even got there. However, instead of eating, we probably should have paid closer attention to the prospects. Turns out Ryan Johansen isn’t a defenseman.” – Scott Howson
Dallas Stars: “Will somebody please go outside and tell Modano that the season is over and he can go home. He’s been hanging outside my office since spring. Awwwwkwwwward!” – Joe Nieuwendyk
Detroit Red Wings: “Will somebody please go outside and tell Modano that we’re not interested. He’s been hanging outside my office since Nieuwendyk kicked him out of Dallas.” – Ken Holland
Edmonton Oilers: “You guys are doing a fantastic job. Our youth movement is drawing comparisons to the Oilers of the 80′s. Now all we need is a Gretzky, a Messier, a Coffey and a Fuhr.” – Steve Tambellini
Florida Panthers: “As you can see by what’s happening in Chicago, I build my teams to self-destruct after I leave. Let this be a warning to those of you that want to play petty office politics with me.” – Dale Tallon
Los Angeles Kings: “F*cking Russians. From Frolov to Kovalchuk, they can all go to hell.” – Dean Lombardi
Minnesota Wild: “Hey, is that Mike Modano outside my office?” – Chuck Fletcher
Montreal Canadiens: “The future of the Montreal Canadiens now rests on Carey Price’s shoulders. … Hey, guys? … Hey? … What are you all doing? … Are those resumes you’re all faxing? ” – Pierre Gauthier
Nashville Predators: “Gentlemen, I bring great news! Hockey is FINALLY catching on in Nashville! I just came back from the coffee shop where I overheard two women having a conversation that involved the word ‘hockey’. Something about Carrie Underwood is marrying a HOCKEY player. This is a breakthrough! A BREAKTHROUGH!” – David Poile
New Jersey Devils: “Grrr.” – Lou Lamoriello
New York Islanders: “You guys won’t believe the story I planted in the media today. Check out this Darren Dreger tweet. ROFLMAO!” – Garth Snow
New York Rangers: “I don’t care how much it costs, get me a f*ckin’ enforcer with a cool nickname. That’s what I want this summer! Waaaaaaa! Waaaaaaa!” – Glen Sather
Ottawa Senators: “Sh*t! It says here that contract offers do NOT have to be sent out at exactly noon on July 1st. We DID have time to proofread.” – Bryan Murray
Philadelphia Flyers: “Okay, I acquired Nabokov for a few days. All those ‘Holmgren needs to get a real goalie’ people can now shut the f*ck up.” – Paul Holmgren
Phoenix Coyotes: “Just got off the phone with Gary. He told me that any signing over $1,000,000 is coming out of our personal pockets.” – Don Maloney
Pittsburgh Penguins: “Crosby looked pissed after our season ended. We better do something or he’ll have us killed.” – Ray Shero
San Jose Sharks: “First things first: which one of you bastards googled ‘doug wilson’s hot daughter‘ on the office computer?” – Doug Wilson
St. Louis Blues: “OH CRAP! Have any of you looked at Halak’s stats? He’s only had one good year… and he only played like 40 games… like, what the hell, man? I thought he was like Dryden and Roy combined.” – Doug Armstrong
Tampa Bay Lightning: “So it’s finalized: 15 minutes prior to each press conference, I will stand at the podium and the media will be let in and proceed to tell me how much they want to suck my di*k. After which, I will sign autographs for each of them. Gosh, maybe if I was named LeBron, I’d enjoy all this ego stroking.” – Steve Yzerman
Toronto Maple Leafs: “You guys handle the off-season stuff for me this year. I have a parade outfit to pick out.” – Brian Burke
Vancouver Canucks: “Soooo… this is a little awkward… when Naslund was my client, I sort of, um, lost a bet to him… and so if I ever became a GM, I would have to, um, retire his…” – Mike Gillis
Washington Capitals: “We have a good team, right? No, we have a GREAT team, right? We don’t need to do anything, right? … Varlamov and Neuvirth will do just fine, right? … Alex? … Alex? … Alex, you still there, Alex?” – George McPhee
With September just around the corner, it’s time to create a strategy for your upcoming fantasy hockey draft. Here are some tips to get your started…
- If you decide to draft Tuukka Rask, be prepared for the inevitable “Steve Mason” references from the gallery. Shut ‘em up quickly with a sarcastic “because playing behind Chara is just like playing behind Fedor Tyutin, right?”
- Be sure to bump Kris Versteeg up on your draft cheat sheet. His numbers are set to rise because he’ll finally be able to get a good night’s sleep as opposed to staying out until the wee hours of the morning playing the role of Patrick Kane’s wingman.
- If you draft Roberto Luongo, be sure to also use a late-round pick on backup Cory Schneider, and another one on farm team starter Tyler Weiman, and yet another one on farm team backup Eddie Lack. Remember, Keith Ballard is now on the Canucks.
- While it’s alright to draft a couple aging players with the hope that you can squeeze one more good year out of them, it’s never a good strategy to have your whole roster consist of these types. You can avoid getting yourself in this predicament by sticking a post-it on your monitor with the following rule written on it: Do Not Draft Any Red Wings.
- If your league counts penalty minutes, it’s not a bad idea to use a late pick on a goon who will rack up the PIMs. Most of them will still be around in the last round so don’t overpay, otherwise you’ll be known in your league as “Mr. Sather”.
- It’s always nice to gain added flexibility by drafting players who are dual-position eligible. For example, Dustin Byfuglien is a forward who slots in as a defenseman in some games, thus making him eligible at both positions. Another example would be Mike Green, although for some reason the powers that be never update his position in the main computer.
- If you’re playing with a new group of guys who don’t know each other very well and you sense the draft atmosphere is kinda cold, I suggest you draft Evander Kane with your next pick. The jubilation and applause that follows will surely break the ice.
- Contrary to what you’ve been hearing from the media all summer, a great manager does not go into a season with Mike Smith and Dan Ellis as his two goalies.
- Speaking of Dan Ellis, should you draft him, try to refrain from calling yourself a “fantasy specialist” right after the selection. Doing so will just force you to explain the whole Ellis Twitter debacle and in turn make you look like one giant geek in front of the whole league. (If you need clarification on what the hell I’m talking about, reference the 2nd paragraph in this link — see, I look like one giant geek now, right?)
- If you’re about to select Tomas Kaberle with the intention of trading him to another manager after the draft ends, you should probably rethink that pick.
- If during your draft you notice some of the other managers are writers for the Toronto Sun, try to make them feel at home by changing the league’s language setting to Czechoslovakian. Howver, be sure to keep an eye on them ’cause they may try to do something unethical like trading amongst each other to form one “super team”.
- Don’t get too emotional with your roster. If you let your emotions run wild, you’ll end up dropping a player who messed your team up, only to pick him up again a few months later with the expectation of a different result . That’s sheer lunacy.
- Don’t draft Alex Tanguay. Especially if you’ve been burned by him before.
- Oh, and don’t ever trade one good player (who may or may not have a celebrity girlfriend) for a package of lesser-skilled players.
- But don’t worry too much about the last three things. They’ll only spell your team’s downfall if you make all three mistakes in the course of one calendar year and surely nobody on this planet would ever be that dumb.
- Lastly, since all fantasy leagues end in the regular season, it’s okay for you to draft Russian-born players.
Hopefully this list will serve you well… good luck, my friends!
For those still reading, I’ll be a guest on Rink Side Rants this coming Thursday at 9pm est. Yup, this will be my podcasting debut so if you want to hear some lame attempts at humor and just overall awkwardness which will make you cringe, do tune in.
You can also follow me on Twitter, where the push for 1000 followers is gaining steam.
For the past five months, I’ve been working really hard to assemble this feature, so please respect these rankings like Brian Burke respects a no-trade-clause.
Three quick points I want to make before getting into it…
- I managed to interview Steve Yzerman and get his input, thus adding instant credibility to the rankings!
- Drake was also selected to help me because: 1) he’s Canadian and soundsacts like he took his fair share of Evander Kane-like right hooks, so you know he knows the game; 2) he’s really popular with the younger generation and also friends with LeBron James, which means he must be like a super cool guy.
- These are, simply put, the best rankings ever created. Other “experts” don’t know what they are talking about unless they copy these rankings word for word.
#30 – New York Islanders
Biggest offseason story: The one where TSN’s Darren Dreger was made to look dumb.
Best case: Matt Moulson proves he’s not 100% dependent on Tavares, only 95%.
Worst case: Tavares gets injured causing Moulson to get sent to the AHL and Rob Schremp becomes the go-to-guy on offense.
Why they’re #30: When one of your goalies is 41 years old and the other one has a body of a 93-year-old, it makes it hard to put you in at #29.
Steve Yzerman says: “Blades, suck my c*ck, you c*ck sucking a**hole!”
Let’s hear what Drake has to say about the Islanders:
Bout to roll me a blunt with my list of regrets
burn it all, burn it all, I’m starting fresh
cause half the time I got it right, I probably guessed
Final verdict: They’ll play as good as they look on paper.
#29 – Florida Panthers
Biggest offseason story: Made the mistake of thinking their acquisition of the Big 3 (Michael Grabner, Steve Bernier, Dennis Wideman) wouldn’t get overshadowed in the Miami sports world. When it was, they hastily hired someone to do their marketing; a 15-year-old kid from Iowa, who they met while playing NHL 10 on xBox Live.
Best case: Michael Grabner has a breakout year and finishes the season with 30 goals, 20 assists and only a minus-25.
Worst case: Panther fans start thinking how different things would be if they had someone like Rob Schremp on their team.
Why they’re #29: Because they’re always #29.
Steve Yzerman says: “Hey, Blades. How many f*ucking Stanley Cups have you won, a**hole?”
Let’s hear what Drake has to say about the Panthers:
Look at where I landed
You would think I planned it
I’m just doin’ me and you could never understand it
Final verdict: Vokoun and their defensemen will make them better than the Isles, which is, um, awesome, I guess.
#28 – Anaheim Ducks
Biggest offseason story: Played a very fun game of “let’s piss off our 23-year-old two-time 30-goal scorer” all summer long.
Best case: They end up with a top-5 pick in the 2011 draft, who should compliment their top-5 pick from the 2010 draft, Cam Fowler.
Worst case: Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf realize they’re underpaid, form their own union, and go on strike.
Why they’re #28: After Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan (possibly), you have a team which consists of too many players who are either aging or injury-prone or castoff journeymen. Or in the case of Andy Sutton, all three.
Steve Yzerman says: “What’s that, Blades? You’ve won ZERO Stanley Cups? Sh*t, with the way you flap your gums, I would have thought that number would have been much higher.”
Let’s hear what Drake has to say about the Ducks:
Emotions in this game run deep
done a lot of sh*t they never get to do
so before they say this to me in my sleep
I’d like to say it’s been a pleasure
reppin’ to my last second, dude
Final verdict: Not even Scott Niedermayer returning in the middle of the season can save this team.
#27 – Edmonton Oilers
Biggest offseason story: Found out what the rest of us already know: it’s hard working with a drunken Russian.
Best case: If they keep signing enough goalies, eventually one may go on a run like Michael Leighton did in May… which will be an awesome two weeks for Oilers fans.
Worst case: Amidst a 20-game losing streak, the team launches a workplace sexual harassment investigation, where they learn that Khabibulin has been sneaking vodka into the dressing room and corrupting the youngsters.
Why they’re #27: Because I like to be different from every other site who will have them at #30.
Steve Yzerman says: “Classy, man, making fun of alcoholism and Russians. You’re a bi*ch, Blades!”
Let’s hear what Drake has to say about the Oilers:
man, they treat me like a legend
am I really this cold?
I’m really too young to be feeling this old
it’s about time you admit it, who you kidding, man
nobody’s ever done it like I did (ugh)
Final verdict: While it looks like it’ll be another long year in Edmonton, I can see this team climbing a bit higher in the rankings. Either way, Edmonton fans can take solace in that someone other than the Grim Reaper finally got to benefit from Dany Heatley’s douchiness.
#26 – Minnesota Wild
Biggest offseason story: The huge-dollar contract extension given to Mikko Koivu sparked a spirited debate between diehard Minnesota Wild fans and those who actually have a brain.
Best case: Given that he’s such an amazing defensive center, there’s a good chance that Koivu’s negative +/- rating last season was a one-off. If he gets back in black and posts 70+ points again, he’ll only be slightly overpaid.
Worst case: *yawn*
Why they’re #26: I’m not 100% sure, but I think I’d rather take the Leafs’ forwards over their Wild’s, which means I may be a little generous with this ranking.
Steve Yzerman says: “You sh*thead! The Dan Snyder reference in the last ranking was absolutely tasteless. If I ever see you in person, I swear to God… ARGH! F*CK!”
Let’s hear what Drake has to say about the Wild:
this is me
still the same
they want the hits
I play the game
no auto tune, but you can feel the Pain
it all comes spilling out like I hit a vein
Final verdict: The only time you should concern yourself with the Wild this year is if you have trouble falling asleep. Think of them as a cheaper alternative to an Ambien prescription.
This concludes the first part of the season preview. Stay tuned for ranks #25 to #21 which will be posted sometime soon (hopefully before October). In the meantime,don’t forget to follow me on Twitter ’cause I’m *this* close to living out of my childhood dream of having 1000 followers. Granted, I always envisioned having to start a cult to get to that number; never imaged a hockey blog would do the trick.
I’m sure this post will upset half the people reading it (meaning 1 or 2 people at the most), but I thought I’d voice a different point of view than the one I’ve been reading since Belak’s death.
I like hockey. I like sports in general. And while I stay current with the four major sports, I consider myself a casual sports fan at the end of the day because I rarely ever plan my days around sports — with the notable exception being the NFL Playoffs.
I refuse to put these athletes on some pedestal like I may have when I was a kid. Reading some of the stuff I’ve been reading the past few weeks leaves me a bit perturbed because it showers pity on professional athletes. That’s just silly, in my opinion, of course.
Wade Belak committed suicide (allegedly). Rick Rypien committed suicide (allegedly). Derek Boogaard mixed pills with alcohol (allegedly) and died.
All sad tragedies for those who knew them on a personal level. And extra painful and sad for Belak’s daughters who are the biggest victims of their father’s death.
But I’m sorry, heroes or martyrs they are not. People commit suicide every day and most don’t have the options or possibilities that professional athletes do.
And that’s why these words by Georgs Laraque on the plight of enforcers really made me see what a delusional world some people live in.
“This job is so hard, physically and mentally,” said Laraque. “You can go to a movie theatre the night before a game and you’re thinking of the fight you’re going to get into the next day.
“Like, you have to fight Boogaard. Then that game’s over and it’s like, ‘OK, I have to fight Jody Shelley.’ After that it’s Brian McGrattan. You try not to think about it, but you start with the drugs or the alcohol and that creates the problem,” Laraque continued.
“And, when you retire, most of the tough guys aren’t set (for life). You don’t make a lot of money as a fighter, so they’re thinking ‘OK, now what do I do? So they go back to drugs and alcohol. There’s no options.”
I’m sorry but this is typical “I have it so rough” drama queen type stuff.
Let’s address the “when you retire, most of the tough guys aren’t set (for life)” line. Minimum salary in the NHL these days is over $500k a year. You play in the league for four years and you’re basically a millionaire after agent fees, taxes, etc. 100% of the population can retire with $1,000,000 in their bank. That is, unless they want to live a lifestyle that’s not entirely needed.
Now the line “So they go back to drugs and alcohol. There’s no options.” Are you kidding me? There are options available for professional athletes that aren’t available to anyone in society. Putting “NHL Player” on your resume I would imagine opens up way more doors than, say, “Hockey Blogger.”
Some use this to their advantage. others toil away in self-pity; Just like in the general population.
And now to the line “This job is so hard, physically and mentally.” While I can see the fighting week in and week out taking its toll on a person, this is another self-pity line by Laraque. The life of on an NHLer is not hard, no matter what some people will write. They are pampered and taken care of in every single aspect of their lives.
They play a game that is made out to be more than a game, which some buy into causing unneeded stress. And while they may have to deal with physical injuries more often than the general population, it is the line of work they chose. Don’t like it? Quit.
Which brings me to the other contradiction I keep reading. If life is so hard as a player, how can it be depressing when you retire?
I guess the one thing it’s all about at the end of the day is personal greed. Some people want their fame, their perks, their lifestyle and their money. When they have to sacrifice something to get it, they wallow away in self-pity or complain. Kind of silly when you think about it, no?
As far as the disease of depression goes. It is just that: A disease. It affects everyone from athletes to cashiers. People shouldn’t make the sport the story when it comes to depression but rather they should focus on the individual, his story and the disease itself. I know very little about Rypien, Boogaard and Belak’s life story. You’d think people would focus more on that rather than the fact they were just hockey players.
Well, hockey players have been powerlifting for months and even if it means getting one of the best power racks, that’s what they get!
In the case of Rypien, I just found out a few days ago that his girlfriend died in a car accident while he was in junior. Makes you think that would have a greater effect on his life path than fighting ever did, no?
And if hits to the head because of the sport are to blame for some athletes, then I’m sorry to sound cold, but that’s the price of doing business. Just like every time I get on a plane, there’s a chance the plane will crash. And even if we eliminate all unnecessary physical contact (like fighting), there’s still going to be individuals abusing drugs and alcohol, because while they may live in a fantasy world, they’re still human. And like many humans they like to create problems for themselves rather seeing their blessings.
Many of you may not know this, but there is a top-secret scouting organization whose membership is comprised of retired Israeli Special Forces operatives and ninjas. This secret organization is highly skilled at assessing the psychological shortcomings of hockey players, as well as their on-the-ice deficiencies. We’ve learned that there are a couple teams in the NHL that pony up the millions in cash that is required for this group’s top-secret scouting reports.
We cannot tell you how we were able to get our hands on this latest report, but rest assured that none of us working here at Blades of Funny headquarters are allowed to go down into the basement for the next three months. All we can speak on the subject is that we saw someone who appeared to be Darryl Sutter, leading someone who appeared to be Jay Bouwmeester (only with a burlap bag over his head), into what he playfully called the “I’ll teach you to make a sucker out of me” room.
San Jose Sharks – Deploy a covert operation inside their dressing room which involves equipping every stall with a calendar that prominently tells the subject it is the month of April.
Chicago Blackhawks – Set up intelligence officers outside their team hotel. Four hours prior to game-time have your men slash the tires of their team bus. This will force the subjects to take either a cab or limousine to the game, thereby ensuring that several members of the team will be in no state of mind to concentrate on the game. Better yet, some may not even arrive at the arena after becoming distracted by random puck bunnies. * Should you be playing this team in the Stanley Cup Finals, before putting this plan into effect, make sure that Marian Hossa has a secure mode of transportation arranged to the arena.
Vancouver Canucks – While this may go against your gut instinct, it is essential that you spot this team a 1 or 2 goal lead late in the 3rd period. Subjects have been known to be unable to respond to such a scenario. This is especially true for the subject who wears jersey #1.
Phoenix Coyotes – In order to have any chance of victory, you must warn everyone in your organization to not get within 2 feet of any subject wearing a jersey with the emblem of a howling coyote head. Failure to do so will result in unlimited powerplays against. Also, due to recent developments, having rattlesnake bite antidote on hand is the wise thing to do.
Nashville Predators – A report on this team will require a membership upgrade due to our employees having to pay a special “scout tax” to enter and watch games held at venues inside this state.
Detroit Red Wings – Step 1: plant propaganda stories in the papers that go on and on about what a “money” goaltender Chris Osgood has been in the playoffs. Step 2: plant propaganda stories in the papers that paint Mike Babcock as a genius for switching goalies in the middle of the Olympics. Step 3: enjoy facing Chris Osgood.
Los Angeles Kings – Not much is known about this squad because they have not participated in post-season hockey since the days of Jason Allison and Zigmund Palffy ruling the NHL. We did learn that in the past, however, calling for stick measurements has been known to work against this team… because they are a bunch of cheaters.
Colorado Avalanche – In order to win against Colorado, you must neutralize Joe Sakic and Peter Forbserg. Getting traffic in front of Patrick Roy is also a crucial key to victory. Syke! We’ve been too busy fooling around with our hot tub time machine to do a report on the current Avs. But don’t worry about this team, they’re in way over their heads… this year.
Washington Capitals – To gain an edge on this team, study film of the February 24th Olympic game between Canada and Russia. Formulate the same strategy that the team in the white jerseys used against the team in the red ones.
New Jersey Devils – Leave an envelope containing plane tickets to Hawaii and a list of tee times for the state’s finest golf courses outside Ilya Kovalchuk’s room. His predisposed instincts will take over and nobody in the Devils organization will be able to find him for a good week.
Buffalo Sabres – We’re sorry to inform you that we have been unable to gather any intelligence on this team. This is because the Ontario-based scout assigned to cover this team traded in his tickets in hopes of snagging seats for the new Hamilton franchise. He was last seen standing outside Copps Coliseum, wearing a faded “make it seven” t-shirt, texting away feverishly on his blackberry about what what he plans to do to Gary Bettman and how big of an idiot Judge T. Baum is. Recent reports that our scout has been seen flying in and out of Atlanta have not been confirmed.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Prior to puck-drop, have your captain skate over to Marc-Andre Fleury and whisper the following in his ear: “I’m so glad that your hard work and dedication were rewarded with a well-deserved Olympic gold medal.” Subject will spend the rest of the series distracted as he tries to figure out if your captain was serious or just a sarcastic a-hole.
Ottawa Senators – Prior to game 1 of the series, kidnap Jason Spezza and transport him to the nearest comedy club. This will result in him choking on his own laughter and leave the rest of the organization in no mood to play hockey.
Montreal Canadiens – Let agent Allan Walsh know that you’ve heard rumors that Carey Price has been strutting around the Canadiens dressing room like he owns the place, bragging to everyone who will listen that he will get all the playoff starts. This will surely result in an off-ice incident that will distract the franchise. If you really want to up the distraction ante, drop some rumors about the City of Montreal cracking down on organized crime.
Philadelphia Flyers – Shoot the puck on goal. Our computer analysis has informed us that if you do this, there is a 33% chance it will go in. This has proven to work time and time again, and should work again unless John Tortorella is choosing your lineup.
Boston Bruins – If you are able to locate the subject on this team who is an offensive threat (we have been able to find this person), send out one of your fourth-liners to take him out with a headshot. After a quick fight with Shawn Thornton, you are guaranteed that none of your players will be touched for the remainder of the series.
If you enjoyed this post, the only thing left for you to do is follow Blades of Funny on twitter. Tonight, I’ll be on that machine celebrating the fact that Toronto finally won something meaningful this season… the draft lottery!
(This is a guest post written by Vladimir Sharapov (Владимир Шарáпов). Vladimir works as a baseball scout in his home country of Russia, but his true passion lies in the sport of hockey. We hope that you agree with us when we say that Vladimir will add both a serious and an international opinion to the Blades of Funny community. His posts are unedited from the copies that he sends us, save for the censoring of swear words.)
HELLO BLADES OF FUNNY READER,
I write here TODAY to tell you about PROFOUND INJUSTICE done to my comrades. My expose will AWE and SHOCK you lazy North American who sit around eating cheese covered chip all day.
After watching games involving OVECHKIN vs. STUPID MONTREAL and MALKIN vs. UGLY MONTREAL. I can tell you this with no question in my mind: THE RUSSIAN SUPERSTARS WERE CHEATED IN THE PLAYOFFS.
YES IT IS TRUE. Every bone of VLADAMIR’S BODY feel truth must be told.
EVIDENCE IS CLEAR.
Montreal bad team who can not score goal on MICHAEL LEIGHTON but they defeat MALKIN AND OVECHKIN? THIS smell like more fish to VLADIMIR than the shores of SEVERDVINSK.
GOALTENDER from SLOVAKIA <Vladimir SPIT on floor> play like MIRACLE ON ICE vs. OVECHKIN and MALKIN but now he not able to stop MIDGET FRENCHMAN BRIERE and WALKING HOSPITAL PATIENT GAGNE. This no make any sense to VLADIMIR.
League do not want Cup of Stanley champion to be HANDSOME RUSSIAN MAN with flair of sabertooth tiger and instinct of killer bee. This why league conspire to ELIMINATE comrades with superior HOCKEY SKILL.
OR League afraid of CRAZY FANS in Philadelphia and Montreal so they act like chicken who do not want bones broken. I do not understand how Montreal defeat OVECHKIN and MALKIN back-to-back. IMPOSSIBLE.
Anti-RUSSIA conspiracy also effect DATSYUK and KOVALCHUK too but VLADIMIR not have evidence as clear about this like I have about Montreal. Plus DETROIT team get many breaks in previous times so it is CLEAR to VLADIMIR they not part of conspiracy.
You say to VLADIMIR: but what about NABOKOV and BROTHERS KOSTITSYN, they still in playoffs?
I write in previous post about NABOKOV how he not TRUE RUSSIAN because he too much CALIFORNIA DREAMING. About BROTHERS KOSTITSYN I choose not to talk about them. They good Russian boys and we leave it at that, OK? Good. No more question in future about BROTHERS KOSTITSYN, PLEASE.
I need to end now as I have to catch train to scout baseball tomorrow but I hope my words open eyes of hockey fans that league cheat and is anti-RUSSIAN. American Fans deprived of ability to watch best players in league because league eliminate all GREAT RUSSIANS. This make VLADIMIR’S STOMACH HURT more than water from village well.
Before I go, I answer COMMENTS AND WORDS FROM READERS FROM PREVIOUS POST…
I do not know what this mean. Everytime VLADIMIR visit America to scout baseball, people come up to me and say about player:
“He strong like Drago.”
“He powerful like Drago.”
“He probably juice like Drago.”
Why should Vladimir care what juice player drink? SILLY AMERICANS. I do not get your conversation. NEXT!
Man who work as waiter write comment:
You must spend too much time in kitchen because RUSSIAN MEN do not golf. What sort of SISSY game is golf? Walk around park, hit little ball into little hole located in middle of park. GAME IS LAZY AND STUPID FOR FAT NORTH AMERICAN MEN.
You want to know what OVECHKIN and rest of RUSSIA MEN do to relax? WE hunt the elusive LYNX in SOUTHERN SIBERIA. This is what a REAL man do, not walk around park and hit white balls with stick.
Finally, lovely lady write to BLADES OF FUNNY ABOUT VLADIMIR:
Maybe you invite VLADMIR to marriage in North America so VLADMIR get visa and achieve life dream of working for Blue Jays of Toronto?
What can VLADIMIR offer in return for visa? I strong like ox, fix house without problem, hunt for food, and build magnificent well in your village. If you marry VLADIMIR you become ENVY of all women in village filled with fat and lazy NORTH AMERICAN MEN.
BYE BYE FOR NOW PEOPLE IN INTERNET.
Let me start off this post by stating how royally pissed off I am about HBO’s “Luck” getting the boot after a few horses died on set and PETA/TMZ/JACKASSES decided to blow the story up. And, of courses, everyone is piling on now because our society is cool like that. I can just hear the phone calls to HBO in protest of the show by people with nothing better to do…
WAH WAH WAH
I would have called their bluff if I was HBO… especially if it was a male caller, ’cause no way in hell would any man ever cancel HBO with Eastbound & Down still playing. And chicks probably still dig True Blood ’cause vampires are still sexy, am I right, ladies?
So yeah, RIP “Luck”. You’ll be remembered for some great acting, awesome character development and intriguing story lines by this amigo. But with your departure, hopefully now, no horse will ever die, anywhere, ever again.
With that rant out of the way, let me focus on the hockey part of this post. I got to thinking last night and there are really only two teams in the West that would scare me in the playoffs. Before I get to them, let me list off the ones which don’t.
St. Louis – I’d say they’re the best team out of the teams which don’t do it for me. I just can’t see them getting past round 2. They’ve got an interesting mix of players, good character, and you’d think they could go far, but it’s just hard for me to think this group is experienced enough as a whole (together) to really contend this year. Just a gut.
Detroit – Do you think they can survive the grind of the postseason? Hell, they can’t even survive the grind of the regular season. I know, I know, 91 points is nothing to sneeze at but *sneeze*!
Dallas – Yeah, don’t really see them doing much because, umm, they may not even make the playoffs.
Chicago – I don’t know what the hell is wrong with the Blackhawks — “Goaltending, defensive depth, drunken Kane!” you say — but are they really fear-worthy at this point? Hell no.
Phoenix – Mike Smith had an epic February so you know things will even out with him having an epic disaster of an April. Can you really picture the Coyotes having playoff success? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Colorado – Too young.
San Jose – They sadly made a trade for Dominic Moore which means that they now face the “Curse of Dominic Moore” and will have no playoff success. Plus, it’s kind of time for them to fade out of the picture. They do play in San Jose, after all.
Calgary – BAHAHAHAAHAHA
Los Angeles – Sadly, they have the great ability to mess everything up. I think that became their lot in life after the McSorley stick incident.
So that leaves Vancouver and Nashville as the two teams in my mind that could make hay in the West.
Vancouver has their own issues from Luongo’s psyche to the Wonder Twins misplacing their special rings (I’m sure they’ll find them come April), but you still gotta give them the edge here. The one issue I see is that they may run out of gas with another long playoff push.
Nashville is pretty stacked top to bottom without any superstars up front. I’m not exactly sold on Radulov being a difference maker because it’s probably hard to adjust playing in that crap league over there to getting thrown into the playoffs over here. He’ll probably be a disaster and take his butt back to Russia soon after where he can return to being that mysterious Russian star hockey player, without the mystery. But with their goaltending and blueline, hard to argue against the Preds going far.
So yeah, how about that. Another post done!
So I’m back up in the game
Running things to keep my swing
Letting all the people know
That I’m back to run the show
90′s music for the MOTHER EFFIN’ WIN!
It’s March 14th. I think Arron Asham has had a long enough run as the face of Blades of Funny —since October 14th for christ’s sake! It’s true that I’ve been away from blogging because of concussion-like symptoms. However, no media showed up at my door asking when I’ll be back. I didn’t even get any emails asking if I’m alright… or even a “hey jackass, hope you didn’t die from mold poisoning in your basement, idiot blogger!”
Not that I’m bitter or anything.
A little sad, sure… but not bitter.
Not at all.
Seriously, I ain’t. Let it go already!
The spam bots left enough comments on BoF to make up for YOUR lack of caring.
But yeah, earlier this week I received an email from my domain registrar telling me this prime piece of internet real estate is about to expire. So I remembered I still have a blog! And it might be time to update it.
Life has been busy. Me and the Missus had a baby at the end of November –THIRD ONE! BOOM, I GOT POTENT SPERM!!! So time has been quite scarce. And between blogging or running my fantasy teams, something had to give.
I’ve moved away from reading blogs — save for Down Goes Brown, Puck Daddy, Fantasy Hockey Scouts (hey, I play to win!) and some parts of Backhand Shelf — and moved on to getting my hockey fix from podcasts. Marek vs. Wyshynski is pure awesomeness. Their sweet, sweet voices put me to sleep every night when I fire up the podcast — which is not to say it’s boring or dull, just that I’m dead tired usually so I dose off after 1/2 hour. Backhand Shelf is the other one I tune into all the time. So yeah, find the podcasts help with my ADD… or contribute to it. Either way, I’m a happy camper.
In January, I put down $100 on the Canucks to win the Cup. $900 coming my way if that happens. Feel pretty confident with this one still.
I also put down $20 on the Caps to make the Finals at 11 to 1 odds. Don’t feel as confident here (should’ve bet on the Pens instead).
As far as players who I’ve fallen in love with this year (mostly because of fantasy hockey)… Alex Pietrangelo! Dude is money after a slow start.
Who/what do I still hate? Call me Brian Burke but advanced stats are so damn boring. I’ve made a conscious effort to never read about them ever again!
Some other thoughts:
– Don Cherry is awesome.
– This “ringette” line that they’re thinking of implementing is retarded (not a politically correct statement in this age of softness, I know, but it is!). Why don’t we just make a Pac-Man maze that the defesemen have to follow in order to advance the puck of the zone. Maybe make it a corn maze. Boom!
– The Mario Lemieux statue is pretty damn ugly. I’m not sure it’s ever a good idea to put other people in a statue unless their legacies are intertwined (like Matt Cooke and Marc Savard, for instance). But taking that little tidbit out, the fact that when you see two giant asses in the air right behind him, makes me just shake my head.
– Cody Hodgson is like a Christian Ehrhoff. He’s a product of the Canucks system. Won’t be as good as many think he will be. Zack Kassian is going to be a beast. He skates so well for a dude his size and has nice hands and not to mention has that sandpaper to him. Good trade for Vancouver. Thumbs up to Gillis, thumbs down to the haters.
I think that’s all for today. I’m going to try to get this blog going again. Maybe do a redesign and make it cooler. But I missed you guys. Spam bots just don’t do it for me. Leave some comments dammit so I know someone at least read this! Hahaha.