Friday, July 23, 2010

In This Case; I'm a Blue State

Let's just go ahead and laugh here for a moment; at New Jersey, at the Devils, and particularly Ilya Kovalchuk. Thanks to Ilya, we've filled up ESPN's .03% quota of NHL coverage for the Summer with a single poll, and the best part? How entertainingly scathing the whole "results" thing is.

Is ESPN even allowed to talk about hockey anymore?

Whether it's 29 other jilted fan bases (nope) or just how shitty that contract really was, well, sorry Devils' fans, you stand alone. Devils fans; you're kinda like Leonidas and the Spartans, nobody is backing you up, you're all alone, and there's only 300 of you.

You know what; when it's segregated like that, you really do get the armpit joke.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Tampa Bay Lightning: The Cause of America's Obesity

Damn Lightning.  They just are something else.  Picking on poor Flyers fans the past 2 weeks, and now, now this.  It seems that yes, yes indeed, the Tampa Bay Lightning are one of the greatest factors in the rise of obesity in America.  Look; a graph.


Graphs don't lie.  But in reality, this is pretty interesting.  The damn Lightning couldn't get anyone to go to their games back in '99, so naturally, you bribe them with beer, nachos, and other delectable treats.  Awesome.

As part of the sales team of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning in 1999, then-fledgling executives Chad Estis and Brent Stehlik were part of the unit tasked with what they both called the "hardest job in sports."
Tampa Bay was the worst team in NHL history. It was in the midst of four straight 50-loss seasons, becoming the first team in league history to ever do so. In 1997 Forbes magazine ranked it as the worst professional sports franchise economically, reporting the team had accrued a debt equal to an astounding 236 percent of its value.
"We were a last-place hockey team, and a historically bad last-place team at that, in a warm-weather market," Estis said. "Straight up, selling a Lightning season ticket was almost impossible to do at the time. So we would brainstorm ways to have a better opportunity to sell season tickets."
Estis' solution was what would evolve into today's all-you-can-eat options. He helped create a high-end, all-inclusive club in one of the underutilized end zones of the St. Pete Times Forum, then known as the Ice Palace. A huge risk, the renovation to the arena and building of the club cost what Stehlik said was more than $1 million.
Estis, Stehlik and the Lightning's sales team sold the XO Club as a different way to take in a hockey game. Everything was included in the package, even alcohol. The club was catered to corporate clients and large company groups. It was a model -- the all-inclusive experience -- that was fairly common in the service industry but foreign to the sports industry. Estis said the franchise sold out the majority of the club: 500 buyers purchased season tickets.
Who wants to bet Estis and Stehlik are pretty big boys?  Either way; apparently MLB teams are trying to get folks into their over-sized stadiums with all-you-can-eat offerings.  Way to go Tampa, look what you started.  Now I bet you'll want to make the playoffs or something equally ridiculous.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Headline Fail: A Bruin in the Closet?

So, dear Mr. Truth & Rumors headline writer; you tell me; are you insinuating Marc Savard is a closeted homosexual?  Well, golly gee, it sure looks like it.


I mean, we all thought it, the faux-hawk doesn't do him any favors or any of this crap floating around, but come on SI, of course the Bruins aren't scared if he's in the closet.  Do you know a single person afraid of Tom Cruise? Of course not.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Actually Introducing The ThreadShop

Wow, sitting here I realized I never actually introduced this to the BP mass viewing public (mass viewing public, that's rich), so I guess now is as good as ever. 

I've joined up with a buddy and created the BanginPanger ThreadShop; yeah, t-shirts.  We're still in the infancy of the whole process, but we're slowly building out ideas, and welcome yours as well (go ahead email threadshop@banginpanger.com, we'll even answer).

Right now we've got the limited edition (not really) "Fire Sather" t-shirt for you Rangers fans, as well as a whole slew of Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears wares for you Hershey/Caps fans.

Look, we're even getting positive buzz 'round the net!

What's the future hold?  Well; obviously we're sports fans, not just hockey, so we'll be building out to other sports, but obviously focusing on hockey for now.  So do please visit the store.

The Other Russian

Since apparently this free agency period has been claimed by ego-maniacal douchebaggery; in multiple sports mind you; there's been little activity in the secondary market while we wait, and wait, and effing wait for some indecisive bastard to choose between his 15 year, $1140143 gazillion dollar deal, or his 17 year, $221312 bajillion dollar deal. /LONGEST SENTENCE EVER.

There's been one guy floating around (and no, I'm not talking Ovechkin in the defensive zone) who has the most to lose, but potentially gain, while we all wait on Ilya Kovalchuk. That is; of course; Alexander Frolov. He's coming off a 5 year deal, worth $14.5 million, coming to a very affordable cap hit of $2.9 million. Obviously; his tenure with the Kings could very well be coming to a close, depending on when and where Kovalchuk signs.

Now for a guy who topped out at 35 goals, and 71 points (when he was their only option two years ago) and had 19 G, 51 points this year (on an actual good, competitive team), $2.9 million is a steal.

Yeah, he's gonna get a raise. But what's he waiting for? Well, I wish we'd knew, but with the MSM just lathering up Kovalchuk's shaft for the past 3 weeks, we don't. But here's what we can assume.

In lieu of the fact that he hasn't signed anywhere yet; when I'm sure there's suitors in the likes of the Pens, Isles, and elsewhere, he must desire to stay in SoCal with the Kings. Maybe it's a family issue?

So is Frolov going to continue to wait for the Kings; and for Kovalchuk; when he's obviously already been labeled as the 2nd Option White Russian (sounds like either a beverage, or a sexual position, I'm not sure, but I think I will invent both later), and somehow not feel jilted by Lombardi and Co.?

Obviously the Kings have cap space now (but won't later when the need to sign Quick, Doughty, and others), so can they sign both White Russians?  I tend to think Quick and Doughty are just an eency weency bit more important to that team's success than Frolov.  No offense, rolly Frolly.

Now if Kovalchuk does sign with the Kings today, as was widely speculated upon yesterday, and multiple days before, what options does that leave him?  Does he take a one year deal, a la Hossa, with say the Pens, to play sniper to Crosby's playmaker?  Or does his agent go calling to one of those franchises who need to reach the cap floor, like the Isles or Les Thrash looking for an absurd overpayment?

Or like we've seen with so many (and by many I mean a few) of his countrymen, will he fly the coup, and just head over to the KHL?  This is probably as likely as anything.

I don't know, nor will I pretend to, hence why I laid out every single potential option, which kind of makes me a dick.  What I do know is that Kovalchuk continues to piss off everybody while he clamors for his $100+ million, including me.
 
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.