Posted on: September 12, 2009 1:25 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2009 1:30 pm

Pissin' Match: Yotes Wet from Bettman & Balsillie

Isn’t that just what it boils down to in the fight to control the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team? A big ol’ PISSIN' MATCH between Blackberry ’s Co-CEO Jim “I’ve PreSold Tickets to Hamilton Games” Balsillie and the National Hockey League ’s commissioner since 1993, Gary “Don’t Mess With My West Coast Expansion Plans” Bettman .

Read more at  Cranium Carom!

Posted on: September 2, 2009 1:26 pm

Montreal: Wasteland for overpaid talent...

...or home of the 2009-10 Stanley Cup?

As I wait for the new season to begin, I can't help but wonder how things will unfold thru training camp with new faces battling for the few roster spots avail., whether the Captaincy will be awarded to someone new, someone old or perhaps no one, how long Bob Gainey will last as Montreal's GM before the pending new ownership (Molson brothers) replaces him with... oh, Stevie Yzerman, hopefully, and last but not least will the 2009-10 incarnation of the Montreal Canadiens be the cream of the NHL crop (like they did in 2007-08) or will they fizzle and fade quickly (as they did last season).

My predictions:
  1. Squeak into the playoffs in 7th place in the East
  2. 2nd round exit
  3. Captaincy will be handed to Scott Gomez or be rotated among Andrei Markov, Scott Gomez and Maxim Lapierre.
  4. Surprises of the yr will be Hal Gill stabilizing the D with his hitting + shot-blocking, Lapierre steppin up as a defensive specialist, Price bouncin back
  5. Gainey fired/"promoted to VP" by January 2010 (before the Olympics)
Let training camp begin!
Posted on: October 1, 2008 3:04 pm

Young Guns, 2 Much, 2 Fast!

As the Pre-season winds down and we prep for another incredible NHL season, I'm hearing teams, paid-pundits, blogs, and boards chat up some young players... about how they're ready for the NHL now!

I'm thinking, unless your name is Gretzky, Lemieux, Lindros, Kovalchuk, Crosby, Ovechkin, you should go get some seasoning in the AHL or back in junior.

Luke Schenn of the Maple Leafs and Max Pacioretty of the Canadiens are 2 players that are at their 1st camp and generating rave reviews.
Both are under 20yo and although may be ready now for the NHL skillwise, should be given a chance to mature mentally in a lower level. Afterall, look at the trail of damaged NHL careers because players were rushed to the NHL too quickly, especially as 18yo's. The Posterboy for that list would have to be Alexandre Daigle. How about guys like Chris Gratton, Jeff Friesen, Jocelyn Thibault, Radek Bonk, Pat Falloon, etc.

Parting shot: One of the side benefits of the 2004-05 lockout was the opportunity for some promising can't miss prospects to get some experience without the brutal pressure of the NHL big business machine hoovering over them and allow them to work on developing their skills. Prime examples, Eric Staal, Jason Spezza... both turned in career years in 2005-06 when the NHL resumed play.
Category: NHL
Posted on: September 21, 2008 1:29 pm

Players You'd Actually Pay to Watch Live!

CBS recently published it's Top 50 players list for 2008-09 (Wes Goldstein,Top 50: Zetterberg's the complete package, just hitting prime)
The article got me thinking, which players I would pay my good, hard earned $$ to see play live?

Keep in mind, some key players will be missing from this list, namely top defensemen such as Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer and Sergei Gonchar. No doubt, they rack up points, lead rushes, are consistent and steady... but we're looking for flash and sizzle, so that includes the enforcers of the League.

Here goes, my picks and why I would pay to see them:
  1. Alex Ovechkin - Total package, goals, plays, hits, speed, showman, game-beraker.
  2. Sidney Crosby - Ice Wizard, plays with edge; Crosby is the player you'd get if you combined Mario & Gretzky's skills together.
  3. Ilya Kovalchuk - Pavel Bure 2.0, has the mean-streak Bure was missing.
  4. Dany Heatley - 1 tool shy of the total package, if only he'd drop'em a little more often, but scores from anywhere
  5. Evgeni Malkin - Poor man's Ovechkin
  6. Marian Hossa - Slick stickhandling and able to rip any type of shot
  7. Dion Phaneuf - Leads rushes but hits like a Mack truck
  8. Jarome Iginla - Fast, hits, fights, rocket shot
  9. Martin St. Louis - Yes, ahead of Vinny only because he's shiftier and plays like a PitBull
  10. Vincent Lecavalier - Just about the total package, only missing Ovechkin's showmanship abilities.
  11. Pavel Datsyuk - Creative playmaker, deceptive shot and shifty quickness
  12. Mike Richards - Plays like a wreckin' ball and hits anything that moves. Like hockey's Energizer Bunny - not sure he'd like that comparison
  13. Chris Pronger - Big hits + Big point shot, what's not to like from this D-man who stands 6'6 and has a mean streak that borderlin dirty/cheap?
  14. Zdeno Chara - You just enjoy watchin' someone who's 6'9 hit other people, it's like a train wreck.
  15. Martin Brodeur - Arguably the best goaltender of all time - Big time Money goal - definitely Top 2 if not #1!!!
  16. Roberto Luongo - Quick reflexes and acrobatic moves, imagine how much better he'd b if his teams had an average defence to protect him against facing 40 shots a night
  17. Henrik Zetterberg - Datsyuk's hockey twin: Creative playmaker, deceptive shot and shifty quickness
  18. Joe Thornton - Amazing puckhandler and finds his teammates from anywhere
  19. Henrik Lundqvist - Rockstar goalie with cat-like reflexes
  20. Alexander Semin - Fast skater with a good set of hands
  21. Marc Savard - Poor man's Wayne Gretzky - finds anyone who's open with his passes, even those who don't think they're open
  22. Ryan Smyth - an oldie, but still fun to watch Captain Canuck bulldoze through traffic to come away with the puck
  23. Jonathan Toews - Has the makings to be the next Steve Yzerman
  24. Mike Green - Fast and leads crazy all-or-nothin' type rushes up th ice
  25. Sean Avery - A psycho-path agitator-magician - and that stunt he pulled in front of Brodeur during the playoffs, hi-lit reel stuff! Pure entertainment, like watching Wrestling.
  26. Georges Laraque - It's always a Heavy weight fight when George gets challenged, and there's no cheap shots when he fights.
  27. Daniel Carcillo - He's a young pitbull without a lease on the ice, you just know he"ll fight someone.
  28. Eric Staal - Young magician with the puck, will develop more flash in coming years.
  29. Chris Neil - Chris Nilan 2.0, hands of cement, maybe head too.
  30. Ales Hemsky - Speed, shiftiness and hard shot - a natural sniper.
Honorable Mention to these players
  1. Anze Kopitar - budding talent along the lines of a Dany Heatley.
  2. Tomas Holmstrom - the only player who makes a living out of keeping his head down to pick up loose pucks at his feet to score garbage goals. He also takes a beating in the crease every night.
  3. Alexei Kovalev - Similar to Datsyuk and Zetterberg, but took too many nights off in his career to be ranked any higher.
  4. Tomas Vanek - Great mix of sniper and dangler.
  5. Marian Gaborik - I hesitate to include Gaborik on this list only because if you pay, you might not see him play because he's on the IR yet again... LOL!!!
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com