Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To Steal A Phrase...DOMINOES

Big deal just went down.
The Montreal Canadiens have acquired centre Scott Gomez, winger Tom Pyatt and defenceman Mike Busto from the New York Rangers in exchange for winger Chris Higgins and defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko from the Montreal Canadiens.
By clearing that $7 + million in cap space, those Rangers now can afford to take the run at Dany Heatley. The arms race that Pittsburgh started (by tanking all those years for those #1 picks, zinger!), Philly escalated (Pronger), well now the Rangers are in on the act. If the Rangers do manage to land Heatley, then well, the Atlantic is the best division in hockey.


Bouwmeester Signs With Calgary

Well Calgary made the gamble to go grab Bouwmeester's right from Florida, and it paid off. The Flames announced tonight they've signed Jay Bouwmeester to a 5 year, $33 million contract. You guessed it, add Calgary to the rest of those teams who will probably need to make a move due to cap trouble. They have $35 million wrapped into Bouwmeester, Iginla, Langkow, Phaneuf, Regehr, and Kiprusoff. Will the oft-rumored Phaneuf deal be waiting in the wings? We shall find out, but hey, congrats to the Sutter clan for grabbing their man.


Heatley an Oiler...Maybe?

Must say, Dany got himself out of there pretty quickly. At about 11:00 PM Tuesday night, Sportsnet confirmed that Dany Heatley has been traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano, and Ladislav Smid. There's been a lot of conjecture about the type of teammate Heatley is, but he is talented. Between Horcoff, Hemsky, and Heatley that sure will be a "killer" powerplay. Who knows, maybe the "road" to the Northwest division title will now go through Edmonton. Ottawa? Enjoy the worthless Penner, the speedy but no finish Cogliano, and whoever the hell Smid is. More on this as it comes in.

But hold on, even though Sportsnet is reporting so, as of 11:30, TSN refuses to confirm that Heatley has waived his NTC. I suppose we'll find out in the morning, cause people, I'm going to bed.

Ok, it's after midnight, and RDS is reporting that in fact Heatley has blocked the trade to Edmonton. And the MSM says us bloggers are irresponsible!


Big news just broke today...The Swedish twins won't be traveling elsewhere this offseason. Sorry Montreal.

The Sedins signed a pair of 5 year contracts averaging $6.1mil/year. Head over to TSN.ca for the details.

Update: Wow, so much shit happened today, it's nearly unfathomable. Not really, but hey, at least we know all is right in the world, the Rangers were making ridiculous deals. For a listing of all the moves, check out this link. For some quick analysis for the bigger ones, I'll shamelessly promote my other site. Naturally, James Mirtle, Puck Daddy, and Kukla's Korner have your greatest coverage.

USA Hockey Camp Invites Announced

The youth movement has begun for Team USA, stalwarts of past teams, guys like Keith Tkachuk and Billy Guerin will be sitting this one out. Now USA GM Brian Burke has left the door open, saying some guys not invited to this camp may very well make the Olympic roster, but in all seriousness, Dustin Byflugien's game is certainly not made for the international ice. One can make arguments that Kesler or Dustin Brown's aren't either.

I'm not sure many would really want Byflugien over Pominville, but hey, apparently Brian Burke does.

2009 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Orientation Camp Roster

Goaltenders: Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick, Tim Thomas

Tom Gilbert, Tim Gleason, Ron Hainsey, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Mike Komisarek, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, Brian Rafalski, Rob Scuderi, Ryan Suter, Ryan Whitney

David Backes, David Booth, Dustin Brown, Dustin Byfuglien, Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, Jamie Langenbrunner, Ryan Malone, Mike Modano, Kyle Okposo, T.J. Oshie, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan, Paul Stastny.
We'll see how this plays out for Ron Wilson and co. At least I can still bust out my Team USA Chris Drury jersey.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Draft Dialogue

Another Monday, another Dialogue for me to be the only one to comment on.

This poor kid (by virtue of being in this picture and drafted by the Coyotes) is Michael Lee, the 91st pick in the draft. If you can work in a Michael Jackson or Billy Mays reference, +1 to you.

Chris Pronger...Chris Pronger?!!?!!?!!!?!111

This one I'm still trying to wrap my head around. I've talked to a lot of my friends, I use that term lightly, since, you know, they're Flyers fans, about the whole situation, and they're just as decidedly split. Some guys had a FML breakdown others dropped 'bows like they were Captain Elbows himself, but either way, they were all just drunk.

I simply did not see this coming, all we've heard about this whole time is Bouwmeester this, Bouwmeester that, when in fact, ADGM Bob Murray had in fact planned on moving Pronger, and his one year under contract, regardless of the Neidermeyer situation. His team was at a crossroads and they decided to go younger, quicker, and less elbowy. But the Flyers, I didn't think they were at a crossroads as much as poised to make a difference. Now...I'm not so sure.

The Flyers have 2 young guys that have already made the jump into stardom in Richards and Carter, and another who had his coming out party (the good kind) at the end of last year in Claude Giroux. The Flyers have veteran leadership, guys like Gagne who commands respect and Briere, who's been there before, not to mention Kimmo Timonen. To me, that team the Flyers had was one goaltender away from making the next stride into the elite echelon of NHL squads. That's one goaltender, not one scoundrel with flippant elbows.

Now? They have 1 year. They mortgaged everything for a shot next year. Well, maybe not everything, and you certainly can't say the Flyers aren't a better team now than they were pre-draft. Yet the price tag was enormous (Lupul's price tag was enormous too). A pair of first rounders, a conditional 3rd, and the promising Luca Sbisa.

It remains to be seen how far the cap may drop in the upcoming years (it's going up $100K this season due to revenues prior to economic collapse) and at that point is when the cheap low end contracts become utterly important. Next season, the Flyers will have invested $39.2 million in just 7 players (Briere, Gagne, Richards, Carter, Timonen, Pronger, Hartnell). Then you'll start to see guys like Giroux and Coburn getting their raises. To say they'll have cap issues is an understatement, no matter how sly Holmgren and co. have proven to be manipulating the CBA up to this point.

With having the young stars on Philly locked up long term already, I simply assumed they'd wait for that goalie (they didn't) and then make their move for the cup. It seems Holmgren has been told to win now and they're going to go for it, I fear though, it's 2 years too soon.

So I know there's Flyers people around here. Were you of the opinion that the Flyers are ready now? Will you miss those 2 1st rounders (assuming that those picks will be in the 20-25 range) or are you not afraid of the cap? You think the Flyers + Pronger makes the Atlantic Division the top of of the crop? Or just perhaps the Atlantic Division the most penalized in the league? Hey, let's chat.

Warm Miller Lite tastes better...

...when you're drinking it out of a championship trophy.

There's more pictures around somewhere, maybe I'll upload them, maybe not. But yeah, there's the Calder Cup.

Friday, June 26, 2009

He'd Hit That: Draft Day Edition

Well, since most of today's intrigue has been fueled by Darren Dreger and not Eklund, I guess we have to believe it. In honor of all the fun we're bound to have today clicking refresh over and over again, let's feature one of the guys who figures to play a prominent role in rumor mongering today: Tomas Kaberle.

Ok, so Kessel as a human breathalyzer test doesn't make sense, but hey, he just wants to get to know Kaberle's gal. Her name's Ilona I'm told. Kessel goes "I'll own yah." Silly fat Phil Kessel. Now both of you go get traded. Oh you enjoy immature photoshops of personal photos? Here's the rest.

We'll be back around for some quick hit instant analysis if anything goes down. So, um, come back?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

He May Be In Sweden But...

This video is timeless. In 2002, former Sabre first rounder Mika Noronen manned the nets for those Rochester Americans. In a game against the Syracuse Crunch, the goal judge ruled a shot off the crossbar to be a goal, so of course, Noronen reacted like any goalie would, ridiculously hilarious.

The way he's shining the glass you would've thought he was from Mexico. ZING. Noronen, after being traded to the Canucks in 2005-2006, left the confines of Vancouver, and is currently on the roster for Linköpings HC of the Swedish Elitserien.

Some Actual...News?

Mother Russia claims another of her own. Sergei Federov shall be joining former Capital teammate Viktor Kozlov in the KHL as they've both signed deals to play in that scary Russian league, where people unexpectedly die and the ambulance drivers are too busy harvesting beets to do their damn jobs.

Viktor Kozlov signed with KHL champions (so like, the equivalent of the Panthers) Salavat Yulaev about a month ago, eschewing America's capital for the likes of Ufa in the Republic of Bashkortostan (essentially a state). You may recall, of course you don't, that Salavat Yulaev is the team that poached Alex Radulov, and includes some other former NHL players, like Oleg Tverdosky, Alexander Perezhogin, and...Steve McCarthy? Hey man, whatever.

The real news, because unlike Kozlov, Sergei Federov is actually worth something to the Capitals organization (but perhaps worth even more now that he's definitely coming off the payrolls?). The 39 year old is going to ink a 2 year $3.8 million dollar deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, which obviously is far more than he would've received anywhere in the NHL. The first Russian to reach the 1,000 point plateau, this shoe-in hall of famer is taking his 483 goals and 696 assists and going home.

Magnitogorsk by Ed Hardy

Actually now that I look at it, I'm not sure that Feds isn't joining a semi-professional roller hockey team in South Carolina, cause seriously, look at those things. Ghastly.

What does this mean for the Capitals however? Losing Feds and Kozlov opens up $6.5 million in cap space for next season, but as a friend pointed out to me, losing Feds and Kozlov also creates a seemingly drastic need when it comes to leadership. Will the Caps use some of that money (let alone Don Brashear's $1.2 million coming off the books) to signing a proven leader in free agency? Off the top of my head here...Saku Koivu? Brendan Morrison? Jere Lehtinen? Matthias Ohlund? Should be interesting to say the least. I'm going to defer to Japers Rink and find out what he thinks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What Do All These People Have In Common?

Yeah, aside from all being pieces of shit? Especially you Benedict! Turncoat sounds about right. Brent Sutter is leaving New Jersey for "family reasons", say hello to your brother, Darryl, the GM of the Calgary Flames, from your adjacent corner offices.

Yeah, maybe not the best allegory, but hey, ask a Devils fan if they pulled that knife out of their back yet.

Link City, USSR

There's a lot of things to post about, oh wait, no there's not. So you'll get links about people who are seemingly more creative than I am and can find things to post about during the offseason.

Enjoy your reading for the day, I'm off to do whatever it is I do at work.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Dialogue: Viva Las Vegas

Uh ooooooooohhhhhh, somebody's got a case of the Mondays, and you know what that means, Dialogue time.

So who's mantle will the Jennings Trophy land on? I do believe Mr. Fernandez and Mr. Thomas may have had a discussion about that very fact, a dialogue if you will. Do it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Awards Recap or Something

You're not comin' here to see who won, you already know who won, outside of Chris Chelios, everyone who was at that ceremony had a legitimate claim to each award. So why am I writing this post? I have no God damned clue.
  • First off, who in their right mind thought throwing Alan Thicke's boy and Chaka Khan on stage would be a good way to open off this gala event? Like hey dipshits, this is hockey. How bout you just turn on Jock Rock Vol. 4 and be done with it? Boom, saved you a couple million in unnecessary costs and the Phoenix Coyotes all in one fell swoop. You're welcome.

  • And another thing, what were the escort costs for all those hookers in the room? I'm pretty sure these are hockey players; if Cale Hulse (who? Exactly) can score Gina Lee Nolan, then what was with all the mail order brides?

  • OMG Super Superlatives!

Damn that took a while.

  • Anyone else think Richard Zednik got shafted? I mean, Steve Sullivan made a helluva comeback, but Jesus Christ, Zeds almost lost his life on the ice! At least we know his wife is smokin'.

  • It's not that I thought Green deserved to win, it's that those are some sexy numbers he put up. I actually thought Chara deserved it, not so much for his season, but for his whole career under the shadow of Lidstrom's dominance.

  • Ethan Moreau is apparently a good guy, good for him. Also, any appearance by Pat LaFontaine is a good appearance.

  • I now know some hilarious stories after meeting Puck Daddy last night, can't share them in a public forum like this, but I'll tell you what, what a riot. Consider yourself teased.

That's about all I got this morning. We'll get back to not really posting anymore as soon as we can. Woooooo.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Former Player to Front Office Trend Continues

I'm sure everyone heard this news already, but Derian Hatcher has accepted a position with the Philadelphia Flyers as a player development coach, taking over for Former Flyer Eric Desjardins after his single year in that role. This seems to be a feeling out process for Hatcher in regards to coaching, seeing if at 37 he still has a passion for the game that made his knees explode and will fail him for the rest of his life. You have to say good luck to Derian, for as much as I hated him, he had some great years, pre-lockout of course.

Sorry Derian, you're still a pylon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It Could've Been So Much Better

Sean Avery was on Jimmy Fallon last night. No I didn't watch it, I'm a Craig Ferguson guy. Actually, I was asleep, who actually watches late night shows? Anyways, thanks to Jeff at the faceoffboards.com, who is a go-to for hockey videos, cause as he admits, he's got nothing better to do.

The whole thing was meh, Avery trying not to embarrass himself or get put back on the naughty chair, while Fallon continues to embarrass himself by being Jimmy Fallon. Though, I'd like to point out we've been calling Scott Hartnell a clown far longer than Avery has. God I effing hate him. Wait, I hate everyone involved in this post. Damn, I'm sour.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sending Mixed Signals, eh?

Ok, we haven't done any of these "Wow, uber douchey headline [insert website name here]" Well guess what! We got a winner. Thank you for this Sports Illustrated.

So look at that first headline, "Father Mario" way to play up the roman catholic imagery there SI. Oh and hey, nice picture there, as "Father Mario" pounds champagne. That's funny stuff there.

The First Dialogue of the Offseason

Now please people, we haven't a clue what we're going to do now that there's no hockey (I lie, we do, I'm just not telling yet), but first things first, I have to post the first dialogue of the offseason. Yeah, let's make it fun, and controversial (?), and bound to piss off somebody. Why? Why not.

[Insert Conspiracy Dialogue Here]

Sunday, June 14, 2009

BanginPanger's No-Foil Cup

Well I told some people about this, and whether or not you care, I'll leave it up to you. But the following picture includes our entry into Puck Daddy's No-Foil Stanley Cup contest, and our set up for the Finals.

Fun fact: It takes 37 bottles to fill the circumference of the Stanley Cup. Somewhere around a 100 beers total in that thing, and a carved up Paulaner mini-keg. Don't judge us.

As for the tvs? The bigger one was on the AHL Calder Cup, the smaller on NBC, all because Pierre McGuire sucks ass.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Congratulations Hershey

On the same night the Stanley Cup was decided, so to was the Calder Cup, with about 20 minutes separating the two celebrations. My hometown Hershey Bears won their unprecedented 10th cup since 1938, and 2nd in years, by defeating the Manitoba Moose 4 games to 2. [Links to the highlights of all 6 games can be found here.]

Calder Cup MVP goes to the Washington Capitals other highly rated goalie prospect, the 21 year old Michael Neuvirth, who's 16-6 record, with a 1.92 goals against, .932 save %, and 4 shutouts led the Bears to the AHL's top prize. Alex Giroux (a UFA after this season) set the single greatest goal scoring season in AHL history last night by scoring on a breakaway about 10 minutes into the first, that gave him 75 goals on the season (60 regular, 15 postseason), so congratulations to him, hopefully he can find a spot up in the big leagues next year.

The highlights for game 6 aren't up on youtube, but the celebration is. Tell me these guys weren't playing for something.

Congratulations Pittsburgh

...And well, at least they we won't have to watch this particular Crosby commercial for a while.

But in reality it's pretty amazing what the Pens were able to pull off, mired in 11th place around the all-star break, getting a new coach, turning that around playing the best hockey in the league over the last month, then playing 24 hardnosed games (well except the 4 against Carolina) until they reached their ultimate goal. Goes to show what can happen when you get hot at the right time, again, congratulations Pittsburgh. Now I have to go put up with my Yinzer roommates.

Friday, June 12, 2009

He'd Hit That: KHL Edition

This one is far too funny to let pass, regardless of exactly how recent it is, or the fact that I haven't a clue who this broad is. But I do believe, in this context, broad is indeed the right term. I'm too lazy to even try to look her up.

Outside of my hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrriiiiiious commentary, there's so much that makes this funny.
  1. Jagr has mongoloid hands.
  2. Her hands, both of them, are hilariously placed. Junk City, USSR.
  3. Jagr is more effeminate than she
  4. That girl wore her spider-woman costume to an awards ceremony
Now like I said I haven't a clue where, when, or why this photo was taken. Let's just enjoy it for what it's worth, cause you just know Jagr enjoyed that. Now of course we kid (Jagr might get mad and yell at us on Outside the Lines) but hey, whaddaya gonna do?

Here's to another summer of rumors involving Jagr making his way out to Edmonton, and the years worth of Ray Emery jokes we have lined up. As always, for the rest of the He'd Hit That series, you can go right here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Accountability: An Issue in the Blogosphere

Sometimes I wonder this, and I guess now is as good a time as ever to bring it up. This doesn't necessarily involve hockey, but it sure as hell could, and if some Capitals were as touchy as Raul Ibanez, then maybe somebody in the hockey blogosphere could've got his 15 minutes of fame on Outside the Lines. But imagine that, it was a baseball player, and now there's an issue.

Somebody, a blogger (link here), not unlike myself, made inferences that Raul Ibanez, the free agent signing in left field for the Philadelphia Phillies must be using PED's for his increased production, both in slugging and average. Well Ibanez took exception, frankly, he got pissed off, and went off on the blogosphere.

"I'll put that up against the jobs of anyone who writes this stuff," he said, according to the Inquirer. "Make them accountable. There should be more credibility than some 42-year-old blogger typing in his mother's basement. It demeans everything you've done with one stroke of the pen.

"Unfortunately, I understand the environment we're in and the events that have led us to this era of speculation," Ibanez said, according to the Inquirer. "At the same time, you can't just walk down the street and accuse somebody of being a thief because they didn't have a nice car yesterday and they do today. You can't say that guy is a thief."

At what point is Ibanez wrong, and this guy (JRod) wrong? There's a line between accusation and speculation, right and wrong, truth and rumor; and frankly, yes, the entire blogosphere rides that line. It's what draws readers. And for the record, I do not live with my mother thank you very much.

There is a reason that so many mainstream media folks take exception to blogs; lack of journalistic integrity, no accountability, etc. except here and now we have a big name athlete (leading vote getter in the All-Star game for NL outfielders) coming out and not only crying foul over the words written in blogs, but looking for accountability.

We've already seen this type of thing happening in the NHL blogosphere. Remember when Pittsburgh police looked into the 17 year old kid who "threatened" to kill Ovechkin on a message board? The Capitals PR team releasing statements about the "steroid" accusations after every blogger and their uncle had a piece about it? As they grow in popularity, we're only going to see more scrutiny put on each one.

I think all in all, the NHL has been good to the hockey bloggers. There's numbers of bloggers that get press credentials, SBNation blogs were featured on NHL.com during the playoffs, and frankly, I think the lack of MSM coverage of the NHL is what makes these hockey blogs, every single one of them, so important for us fans. Where would we go without news from Kukla, snark from Puck Daddy, or insider news from the best of our team's blogs? Certainly not ESPN, SI, or CBSsports.

Hopefully there is no fallout from all this and blogs begin to be moderated and held accountable for what they're allowed to speculate on. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Frankly, we've done some pretty outlandish things around here, calling people out for search terms, going after everyone from Crosby to Brodeur to Sean Avery, we call it humor, others may call it slander or libel. Here's the Outside the Lines report from ESPN on the situation, go ahead and give it a watch if you'd like.

I just wanted to throw some thoughts out there on the situation and wondered what you guys thought about the whole thing. What would you all do without your favorite blogs? Do you think we should be held accountable for what we say? Go for it.

Both Series Continue on Friday

Well, to my dismay, both of these damn series are moving on. After 1,230 regular season games, the 2008-2009 NHL season will come down to a single game in Detroit. HIGHLIGHTS After just as many, the AHL season could be closed out in game 6 in Winnipeg. HIGHLIGHTS All the action goes down on Friday. Aren't you excited?

But like I said I would, if you followed along the old Twitter feed, I pretty much gave play by play of the Bears game last night, in which I was indeed in attendance. Thanks again people. I left DC at around 4:30, drove through a Tornado warning in Northern Maryland, and was handing my tickets to ushers while the Colors were being presented. Seeing how this is the AHL and not NHL, the game promptly started at 7:05, when they said it would, instead of 7:39 after 14 Pokerstars.net and Bridgestone commercials. Well I had to wait for the first stoppage to get to my seats. I took the time to snap a pic.

Not too shabby seats huh? Only annoying part...they gave out Thundersticks, my God, it's like people never saw such a thing before, anything they could hit with them, they would. Shit like that is what drives people over the edge.

So on to the game itself. The Bears dominated the first, looked to open up in the 2nd, then boom, in a 67 second time span late in the 2nd period, 2 quick goals from Grabner and Hodgson put the Moose up 2-0 after 40 minutes. Well, exactly how badly were the Bears outplaying Manitoba? Shots were 9-3 after 1, and 21-8 after 2, I forgot to take down the final tally. Eventually the Bears got on the board, with a Graham Mink garbage goal rabout 4 minutes into the 3rd, but Manitoba clamped down and played a solid defensive game, both aggressively and positionally, and kept forcing the Bears back down the ice. Jason Krog potted an empty netter with about 1:30 left to make it 3-1, but 19 year old John Carlson made it kind of interesting when a low shot beat the 1st star of the night Corey Schneider.

I will say this, the AHL needs to go to the 2 referee system. As much as you hate to see players behind the action take lame ass penalties, it was borderline ridiculous what this guy was calling, or should I say not calling. Freddy L'Ecuyer, you were abysmal. Manitoba Moose coach Scott Arniel said "it gets kind of...it's old Hudson Bay rules" I don't know what the hell that means, but I bet it loosely translates to L'Ecuyer sucking at his job.

But all in all now we can look forward to an 8 o'clock start in Detroit and an 8:30 start in Manitoba.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Well the Sniper Wants Out of Ottawa

So the guy that never was rumored to want out of the Canadian capital, does. It's being reported, originally by E.J. Hradek (grain of salt?) that Dany Heatley wants a change in zip codes. Perhaps 14203? Eh? No. Let's take a look at what we've got here.

Heatley is only 1 year into his 6 year, $45 million extension signed way back when in October of 2007, yet here he is, according to "sources," looking to move out of Bytown. Apparently, now this is from "TSN.ca Staff" (gee thanks), but Heatley got upset over his current role after Hartsburgh got the axe, and Cory Clouston took over. Apparently Heatley even took the steps to go over Clouston's head and voice his disapproval to upper management during offseason meetings. Well somewhere between then and now, Heatley decided he wanted out.

Now Bryan Murray on the other hand, wants nothing to do with this speculation. As a matter of fact, he spit all over the reporter who asked him, and then gave him this quote.

"We signed [Heatley] to a long-term deal and we expect him to honour it," Murray said on Tuesday. "At this point in time he's a Senator."

Well, at this point in time I still freakin' hate you, and Heatley doesn't want to be a Senator. Any logical destinations at this point? Well, StayClassy.net has their take read if you will. I think they hit the nail on the head about Montreal, but why would Murray trade a 50+ goal scorer intradivision? It won't happen. The Kings have been rumored on all kinds of big names; Lecavalier, Gaborik, hell, even Jason Spezza, but until they pull the trigger on something bigger than Justin Williams for Patty O'Sullivan, I won't believe it. Trade him for picks and prospects and begin the rebuilding process? Perhaps. Of course, Greg states the obvious, boy does it ever [Gretzky] suck to be a Sens fan?

I'll throw out some more teams for people to speculate about. If Gillis in Vancouver thinks he's lost out on the Sedins, will he go for broke? How about the "new look" Minnesota Wild; if Gaborik looks good as gone, why not go get Mikko Koivu some snipe city action? Edmonton is always rumored to be sending Horcoff or Hemsky out to pasture; throw in Cogliano to sweeten the deal and could Heatley be headed to Alberta?

Lots of options here; what do you guys think? Where does Heatley fit? Will he actually get that trade? Let's chat.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Geno Malkin: That Is His Name

So Vance is being really lame using our damn site to get him tickets...but go vote for the little bastard...he gets all giddy when he sees his Bears win. If you read our site, and you're going to that game...introduce yourself to Vance so we can feed our ego some more.

Aside from that, I caught word of an Evgeni Malkin song floating around in Pittsburgh. Living in DC, we don't really come across these things, but I was in Pittsburgh this weekend and heard about it. It's from the DVE Morning Show with Jim and Randy. These guys have basically been doing radio skits about Evgeni Malkin...called "Evgeni Malkin's Diary". I knew about these, heard them, pretty funny stuff...but this recent one makes me laugh because 1. It's a song. and 2. It's to the tune of that stupid ass "It's Not My Name" song. Enjoy.

Goofy stuff.

So Can I Be Totally Lame Here?

Oh I will. Thanks to the local Harrisburg station, 97.3 WRVV, Rock n Roll without the Hard Edge, I will be in a battle for game 5 tickets up in Hershey. Between Noon today, and Noon tomorrow, whoever gets the most votes, wins. This is the first good thing that ever happened on Twitter.

Soooooooo here's what I'm asking you all, if you could vote for me at this link, I would be eternally grateful. Why? Because I'd love to go to game 5, and see the Bears win the Calder Cup for an unprecedented 10th time, the first time on Home Ice since 1980.

Thanks people! I'll have more on the adventures of BanginPanger in Hershey later, including meeting the guys from JapersRink, a legend in the blogging world On Frozen Blog, as well as another chance meeting with Brett Leonhardt, not too mention the first "fan" of BanginPanger, who a) I didn't know b) wasn't my friend previous or c) didn't think I was an asshat. At least I don't think he considered mes an asshat.

Anyways, hey, vote for me starting at noon!

UPDATE:: Hey, everybody, just wanted to say thanks! I got those tickets, and since we routed the guy so bad, he also threw in some Hersheypark passes as well. I probably should like offer up a contest for those or something, butttttttttttttt, we'll see. Just wanted to say thanks again, you make reporting on things none of you care about easy.

- Vance

Thursday, June 4, 2009

More Canadian Expansion/Relocation Plans?

This is just plain old piling on. I'm not on the up and up of this particular situation, but it looks dead on serious. A "mystery" group claims to have $1 Billion dollars in their war chest to bring another team...to Toronto?!? Now that's fundraising, eat your heart out Obama.

There was a press release issued by this group with some details, but certainly nothing more than further details at a press conference tomorrow at 11 A.M. We are in for a good time! But don't worry Long Island, a spokesman had this to say...
“It’s a completely separate item,” a spokesperson for the new group said Thursday. “It’s about an expansion team. It has nothing to do with any type of relocation of that nature. And it’s for the 2012-13 season.”
Apparently tomorrow's conference will put on a grand display of arena plans, jerseys, and logos for a new Toronto team. What do you think; are we getting Toronto Two and Las Vegas in 2012-2013?

Personally I rather feel for Bettman at this point. Poor guy has to deal with Balsillie, a down economy, all kinds of criticism, and now this. I don't envy the bastard.

Some Announcements 'n Such

Well obviously things are slowing down around here as of late. Not enough news from around the league, and I'm not one to dwell on tired story lines repeated after every game. We have to think of some fresh ideas around here, we've got some in mind for these dry Summer months, draft previews, UFA prospectus, etc. etc. but we'll probably just be rehashing the same old, same old.

But as it is, I wanted to let you guys in on a new venture for us. The reason Denson hasn't been slurping the Penguins around these parts lately, is because we were...recruited(?) to join a fledgling blog network at Fanball.com. They're a pretty prominent fantasy sports network, but decided to get in on the blog scene. That's where we come in.

Denson has assumed the role of writer at PensAreMightier.com, where he will be able to fellate his boys to his greatest desires. Likewise, I'll be taking the reins at DoubleEdgedSabres.com (mine's not up yet, so settle down), where I'll toss the salad of all things Buffalo Sabres.

The question is; why did we do this? Well, the initial goal of BanginPanger was to keep an objective look at all teams, a look at the entire league, and as you know, it's nearly impossible to do that with our own biases. Soooooooo, essentially these new sites will simply be an outlet to release our fanboy nature about our own teams, which hopefully, will improve this site in turn.

So hey, that's our plan. Ok, back to your regularly scheduled program.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Flyers Shedding Their Image

Or not. Word is out of Philadelphia that yes, the rumors may be true, that Ray Emery will be coming out of exile in Russia to join the Flyers. Rumors are usually just rumors, but now that Tim Panaccio of the Philadelphia Inquirer has gotten his fingers into Agent J.P. Barry, there's much more to it.

"Emery is here to say, bitch ass homies I'm here to play!" - Rizzle Dizzle Emery

Panaccio says "barring a collapse in negotiations" Ray Emery will be their starting goaltender. Bryan Murray talks about how he hopes that Russia made him realize what he had here in the NHL, and how truly lucky he was. Would you rather have poutine, Labatt's and French Fries with gravy or Pickled Beets and Vodka? Exactly, Raymond. Exactly.

My God though, read through the list of "off-ice" incidents is just hilarious. Charged with "stunt driving" in Ontario, road rage against a 65 year old, cutting off police cruisers, my God man.

But this leads us to the real fun, what to do with Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki? A lot of Flyer's pundits feel Biron will go elsewhere and get a raise off his $3.5 million dollar salary, I'm not exactly sure where at this point. Niitty, if he could ever stay healthy, is a backup that's worth the $1.375 million. Now Emery cannot sign a contract until July 1st since he is a UFA, some free agent rule nonsense, so I suppose we have to wait a month to see how this all will play out.

Some other things to think about, what's Emery going to cost? $2 million? $3 million? Will eschewing Biron for the immediate and potentially long term savings give them a run at Bouwmeester? Can Emery regain his form that led the Sens to a President's Trophy and a run at Lord Stanley? Armchair Prognosticators Assemble!

But then again, what if Emery cleaned up his bad boy image? What if that 2.12 GAA and close to 93% save percentage also migrates back over from Russia and shows up next year in the Flyer's crease? Does that make Philly all the more dangerous given their offensive prowess?

But boy, don't you want Emery and Biron to share lockers next to each other? Now that's a locker room dynamic.

Calder Cup Highlights

I know I posted the link of the Calder Cup highlights from Saturday's Game 1, but somebody finally uploaded an embeddable version into Youtube, for your viewing pleasure.

Game 2 isn't uploaded yet, but here is the link to the AHL Live video. It's a pain, but until somebody rips it, it's all we got. Last night was a battle between the goaltenders, until with 46.7 seconds left in the 3rd, Jason Jaffray scored his 2nd of the night (he later added an empty netter for the hat trick) to put the Bears away. Tough loss for the Bears. Tough loss for me cause now I won't be able to see them with a chance to put the series away.

Update:: Videooooooo

Conn Smythe Update SCF

Ok, so we got away from the whole Conn Smythe nomination thing lately. Why? Well, because Varlamov and Hiller were "winning" and well, that doesn't make any God damned sense. So basically we're starting over; weighting the Conference finals less than this series, but we're taking it into consideration as it is.

First off, 3 games in, I'd have to say there is probably 3 guys you can really point to as being the go-to's for the Conn Smythe at this point. Osgood, Zetterberg, and Malkin. You can make cases for Franzen and Crosby, but that's it.

Osgood's Case: By virtue of his 1.66 GAA and 94% save percentage, he's going to be your leader at this point. Gordon Bombay would like to point out the posts have aided his numbers, and so has Zetterberg, but that would be a disservice to the overall way he's played thus far. This ginger is leading, get over it.

Malkin's Case: Well he's still got 33 points in 20 games doesn't he? He's got 1 goal and 4 assists in this series so far, and pretty much got the Pens back into it last night. The only knock against him in his playoff resume? Check out the top 5 in scoring: Crosby +10, Franzen +11, Ovechkin +10, Zetterberg +13, Malkin? +3. Just pointing that out there.

Zetterberg's Case: I know Denson will not agree with me, as we argued just this morning about it. But I think Zetterberg has been the Red Wings best player at both ends of the ice, limiting Crosby to 0 points even strength, while averaging over 23 minutes of ice time. He's only got 3 points (1 G, 2 A) but he's carrying that team without Datsyuk. His knock? This isn't the same Zetterberg performance that won it for him last year.

Franzen's Case: Franzen leads the Wings in points, with a mere 22, and is giving the Penguins defense all sorts of fits. He's got 2 goals and 1 assist on the series, but looks to break out at any given moment. He's been averaging about 19 minutes a game. His knock? Hasn't been the best forward on the ice.

Crosby's Case: It's an interesting one here, as his play during this series has been debated by about everyone. From pundits to bloggers to fans alike. He's got a single secondary assist (everyone knows what I think of secondary assists) on the series, but his phenomenal play through the first 3 rounds will really carry him through here. His knock? Fairly unnoticeable at times, Bill Guerin needs to bury it for him.

Max Talbot's Case: HE'S A SUPERSTAR.

So what do you think people, who do you have leading the Conn Smythe thus far? Albeit it's far from over, and there's plenty of time for a guy like Justin AppleGrater to put up fierce numbers. But hey, who you got? POLL DADDY TIME.

By the way; after the shellacking Crosby took in that NHL article we featured in Link City USA, today they've changed their tune. Apparently after his secondary assist last night, he put his "intangibles on full display." Yayyyyyyyy slurp slurp.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Link City USA

I don't normally do this, but hey, let's waste a little time.

Stanley Cup Links

Calder Cup Links

Around the League

Just Making Sure Everyone Saw This

Kukla's Korner had this, and I want to make sure everybody saw it.

The Hossa slash on Dupuis just before the 2nd Red Wings goal? Not so much a slash as an exploding composite.

I guess it's one less thing for Pensblog, and EdZo, to bitch about, but they still have Zetterberg rolling around in the crease.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Colin Campbell Does What Colin Campbell Wants

We have ourselves here another disciplinary conundrum. By now, everyone saw the hullabaloo last night in the last minute. It started with another shot that landed in Osgood's chest, and ended with some game misconducts. We'll recap all that after the video. But first I want to qualify this; the following will be just my opinion on this matter, I can't speak for Denson, I don't know where he is, what he's doing, whether or not he's in a ditch face down in an Applebee's parking lot, or what, but what I do know, is he's apt to be pretty pissed off.

Well, I suppose we should go through this. Malkin fires a pretty innocent snapshot into Osgood's chest, maybe it was floating around in his pit and Talbot caught a glimpse of rubber, maybe he didn't. But he most certainly did spear Osgood, what he didn't do was put enough juice behind that poke to send a 176 lb (plus whatever goalie gear weighs nowadays) goalie sprawling across the ice. We can all agree on those points no? You can also say that Brad Stuart and Zetterberg did the right thing by giving Talbot the face wash as well.

Now here's where things get icky. It looks like it's going to be standard face washing scrum city time (but with Satan out on the ice you never know!) until Malkin skates from behind the net and gives Zetterberg a number of gloved punches to the face. Zetterberg returns the favor and, by the looks of it, tries to skate away. Malkin has none of that. With stick still in hand (1:18 in the video), he's throwing at the back of Zetterberg's head, is he not? Eventually they throw down, get their misconducts since their fight straps weren't tied down, and we all move on.

That is, until everyone realizes that Malkin was issued, in my opinion rightfully, an instigator penalty for the fight. And being the diligent hockey fans we are, we all know that instigators in the last 5 minutes of a game or in overtime "shall be" suspended for one game pending review. You know what, ef this, I'm just going to quote this.
Rule 47.22 states: "A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes or at any time in overtime shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident. The director of hockey operations will review every such incident and may rescind the suspension based on a number of criteria. The criteria for the review shall include, but not be limited to, the score, previous incidents, etc..."

Following that review, Campbell said: "None of the criteria in this rule applied in this situation. Suspensions are applied under this rule when a team attempts to send a message in the last five minutes by having a player instigate a fight. A suspension could also be applied when a player seeks retribution for a prior incident. Neither was the case here and therefore the one game suspension is rescinded."
Common sense here dictates that of course Malkin would not be suspended in this situation, because it's the Cup finals, it just wouldn't happen. But here again we are with Colin Campbell making his presence known, not unlike the Carolina - Bruins series, where Scott Walker's sucker punch was also deemed not suspension worthy, even though he picked up an instigator late in the game.

But how can such ambiguous terminology suffice in such a cut and dry landscape that we like to call the NHL Rulebook. I think Puck Daddy puts it best...
"That Malkin picked him out of the pile is no coincidence, no mistake. It may not specifically be "retribution for a prior incident," but it sure as hell was a message being sent about the frustration Malkin's feeling this series."
Who is Colin Campbell to say what a player's intentions were? How does he know anything of prior incidents, personal vendettas, or bad blood? How can one man dictate what is supposed to laid out clearly and succinctly? If this rule exists for a reason, and if the reason is "to decrease goonish nonsense," at the end of games, why is it not enforced? For the record, there have been 2 applicable instigator's so far, neither were given the supposedly obligatory 1 game ban [well, at least their consistent in that regard.]

Conspiracy theorists will point and howl about preferential treatment and what not, but what's the point? Scott Walker certainly isn't a damn star. If you want to bitch and moan then bitch and moan that Colin Campbell seemingly gets a free pass to do whatever the hell he wants on that bully pulpit of his, while we the viewing public gets another free spin at the Wheel of Discipline. A one game suspension is a one game suspension, there is no grey area. It is what it is. It's my opinion that both Walker and Malkin should be suspended a game, whether or not they deserved it (Malkin no, Walker yes), because it's in the rulebook. Change the rule, get rid of the rule, or enforce the rule, simple as that.

The Dialogue: Sweden vs Mother Russia

Oh as if you didn't see this coming. There's gotta be a dialogue in here that everyone, EVERYONE, can come up with.

So what have, what's the conversation between these three? Let's chat in the comments.

Weekend Update

We're people of principle here at BanginPanger, and when we say we don't post on weekends, we stick to those guns, Stanley Cup or not. There's a lot going on in the world of hockey over the past couple days, so let's get to it.


The AHL Calder Cup finals began in Winnipeg on Saturday night, with the Hershey Bears scoring 3 goals in the 3rd period to take a 4-3 lead, only to give up the tying goal with less than a minute left. Alex Giroux set the AHL record for combined playoff and regular season scoring (72; 60 + 12) by notching a hat trick in game 1, including the game winner at 13:33 of the overtime period. All I can say is watch the highlights, the sold out MTS Centre was rocking, and it looked to be a thriller.

As we all know Detroit and Pittsburgh capped off game one with flukey bounces, fortuitous caroms, and quite a bit of bad luck (depending on your point of view). We'll just go with the highlights.


In a move that can only be described as comeuppance, the ill fated idea of letting Brett Hull run personnel decisions is kaput. Both Hull and co-GM (is this high school? Co-Gm? Bush league Texas) have been "re-assigned" to positions not related to signing Sean Avery to bloated contracts. I'd just like to point out to Mr. Hull, your ass got served. Joe Nieuwendyk will take over as GM now, after being called an up and comer with the Leafs organization (yet how can anyone believe that? It's the Leafs). So Joe good luck, and Brett, enjoy your new role as "Alternate Governor." Joke. NO GOAL. I'm still bitter.

Yesterday also saw game 2 of the Cup finals, which, according to every mainstream hockey pundit, was going to be rough for the Red Wings, since you know, they're so old and playing on back to back nights would be disastrous for such an overachieving squad like themselves. Cue Zetterberg to play as well as he has this postseason, cue some fortunate post placement, and viola, the Red Wings once again have a 2-0 series lead heading off to Pittsburgh. Highlights n at.

We'll do a post on the Malkin fiasco shortly. It is almost certain that myself and Denson will have differing viewpoints on the situation at hand. Hell, we probably all have differing opinions. We'll all vent later, then we can all sing kumbayah as we mock the Canadiens for hiring Jacques Martin. More on that later too! Woooooooooooooooo
Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.