Some more quick hits to get me through this very dull Monday. (BTW, are any Monday’s really anything other than dull? I’ll leave you to ponder that later.)
-So 21 days into July and the Mats Sundin debate rages on. Will he stay? Will he go? Will he even play? I personally felt and documented last week that Mats will not stay in Toronto, and that if I had to pick, I would assume he would most likely go to Montreal. But, events of the last week have made others question whether or not Vancouver still has a good chance, despite Mats apparent preference for the Eastern Conference. I mean I guess Vancouver always had a chance, because look at the money out there. 2 years at $20 million. That’s a chance if I ever saw one. But apparently, as I heard on XM 204 last week, Vancouver is trying to sweeten the city in Mats eyes by saying the 2010 Olympics will be held in Vancouver. Yes, I see that. And apparently Mats is a prideful Swede, as I always knew he was. So playing for his home country would be a great honor for him. His home country. Have you ever listened or taken part in the utter glorious insanity that involves Canada and Canadians competing in the Olympics? They love it. They need it. They are devastated if they lose any world competition where hockey is the game being played. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I still believe hockey is Canada’s game and I proudly support Canada for giving me the game I love. But. . .you really are going to tell me that Canuck fans in Vancouver will cheer their potential captain as he leads Sweden to a gold medal in the 2010 Olympics? That he won’t be knocked down (although understandably) in the wake of such a glorious personal achievement if the city that has persuaded him to come and has loved him for his greatness in black, gold, and orange – whoops sorry, I meant blue, maroon, and navy. uh, er, what was I thinking, I really meant - his greatness in blue, white, and green (whew!) because they are so devastated the red and white didn’t win gold? Right. Sure. I believe that. And for all those doubters saying, oh but Sweden will not win. They can’t win. Umm, then what happened in 2006? Canada is and was and will probably always be the favorite, but they do not always win. And Sweden (with guys like Nick Lidstrom, Henrik Lundqvist, and Sundin) has just a good a chance as any. Just something to think about before planning any Olympic celebrations with captain Mats in Vancouver.
-Am I letting the IIHF stuff bother me? No. Honestly, it hurts my head. And even though it’s summer and the off-season and the closest thing to a “break” I can ever hope to get, it still hurts my head. So I think I’m going to go the way of waiting. Waiting to see how this really affects the NHL and its players. If this is just another temporarily blip or if it’s something to get really worried about. If it is, then I’ll worry. But for now, palm trees, sandy beaches, raspberry margaritas. Whoops, sorry, that’s someone else’s life! I can only dream. Where was I? Oh yes, but for now, messy cubicle, poor air quality, I’m-not-sure-if-its-uv-protected-or-uv-enhanced-water from the kitchen filtration unit. *Sigh*
-Jonathan Toews being named captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, third youngest captain in NHL history behind Sidney Crosby and Vincent LeCavalier. Toews says he’s not he most vocal in the room, but it’s about what he can do on the ice. I guess it’s better him saying that than…well, than someone who wasn’t good. J Greatly looking forward to watching the Hawks this season and seeing NY open their home season (literal home season, not including the games in Prah-ha) against them at the Garden. That should be a fun one. I’ll start taking over and under numbers on goals for Toews and Patrick Kane combined - 3? 4? 5? Too early to predict, I guess.
-So the results are in. Chicago and Detroit are the two teams I’ll be watching on New Year’s Day 2009, while tired, dehydrated, and quite possibly hung-over. ;) I’m kidding. Seriously. Really. Well, maybe not. But if it wasn’t going to be in New York and/or have the Rangers, I guess it’s really cool it’s in Chicago on a famous field like Wrigley. That’s a trip I have to make. No, no, not for the hockey game. For a beer, a hotdog, 9 innings of dreadful boredom. (again, kidding!) That kind of a trip. Seriously though, I’ve never had the pleasure of going to Chicago. I hope to go and see a ball game, a hockey game, and all the city has to offer. But if I’m in as good a state next year as I was watching this year’s Buffalo/Pittsburgh tilt on New Year’s Day, I’m just as happy to be watching the game from the comfort of my own home.
-In case anyone missed it (and I admittedly did) the Calgary Flames and Phoenix Coyotes are playing a pre-season game in September from Winnipeg. Nice. Anyone predicting a whiteout for old time’s sake? Seriously though, anyone NOT predicting a whiteout for old time’s sake?
-Which brings me to “Bring back hockey to Canada!” As much as I’m saying I feel for the Islanders and Atlanta and even New Jersey which certainly struggles to fill seats anyway - - (and don’t tell me NJ didn’t have to pay that special tax that only a few teams had to pay for not generating enough money or not having high enough attendance numbers. Guess who’s crying in Jersey? Lou and Co. Because the Rangers, Flyers and Penguins are all coming one less time to the Prudential Center next year. That’s three more high intensity, big ticket nights in Newark lost due to rescheduling. But one question. How did the all-mighty Lou let that one happen. . .?) - - I am not against having more teams in Canada. I’m for it! We all know that even if you stuck two more teams within a half an hour of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) that they’d still sell out. Come on! People in Canada wait years – decades? – for a chance to have season tickets? Tell me these people wouldn’t gladly take season tickets for an NHL team, even if it wasn’t their beloved, although not at all moments lovable, Maple Leafs? So, yes, I feel for those teams that are in the . . .well, those that are not doing so great right now, but not enough for me to not know where teams do and should belong.
-On a Rangers note, Larry Brooks and I saw eye to eye again this Sunday (In Slap Shots in the New York Post, which might just be the only thing I enjoy about waking up on a Sunday morning). I think we’re going on . . .just about every week this year and running. Good job, Larry. Kudos. Honestly. Again, you say what no one else has the guts to say. And most of the time, it’s not that far from the truthful, though sometimes painful to swallow, reality. Now if by chance the Rangers have a stellar season and everything falls perfectly into place and all these questions and these worries were for naught (for example, guys like Jagr, Straka, Avery, Shannahan are never thought about as regrets again, just pieces of the past, and guys like Patrick Rissmiller and Aaron Voros are the best pickups in NYR history, and lead the Rangers to the promised land – you know – beyond the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs), well we’ll all smile, nod, and forget you or I ever wrote these things – agreed?
How you doing with the “are there any Mondays that aren’t dull” question? Seriously, you didn’t forget now, did you?
Thank you. Goodnight. Try the veal.