A fan's perspective on the National Hockey League
Chelios doesn't want to hang them up
When it comes to longevity in professional sports, Chris Chelios has to be one of the best examples of what one can accomplish with hard work and determination. The 47 year old former NHL defenseman is making a comeback, signing with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.
In my opinion Chelios has accomplished everything a pro-hockey player could want. He's played in a ton of games, won the Norris Trophy multiple times as the best defenseman and won multiple Stanley Cup championships. But he still has enough passion for hockey...to ride the buses in the AHL. Good for him.
The Washington Capitals are off to a blazing start, scoring 10 goals in the opening two games. I realize that this is VERY early in the season, but the Capitals team has some impressive (young) offensive stars. In their game this past Saturday, the Caps simply outclassed the Toronto Maple Leafs scoring 6 goals. But this game also showed the potential achilles heal of the young team - inconsistent defensive play. The Leafs were able to make a game of it in the third period, but the offensive skill of the Capitals was clearly apparent.
Olympics, NHLPA in disarray, Mike Modano and more
- NHL players may not be participating in future Olympics, at least those that are outside North America. In a recent interview, Gary Bettman shared his views on why it makes little sense to disturb the NHL regular season Olympics that wouldn't showcase the game and league in prime time. This will prove to be an interesting point during the next contract negotiations with the NHLPA.
- Speaking of the NHL Players Association, this organization is once again looking to salvage its image as an association in total disarray.
- Mike Modano starts his 20th NHL season with the Dallas Stars (counting when they were the Minnesota North Stars). In the age of free agency, you have to tip your hat to Modano and the Stars for showing this commitment. He's had a superb career and benefited from his time in the legaue, as have the Stars.
NHL kicks off 2009-10 season
The 2009-10 NHL regular season kicked off tonight with four games being played. Among them is one in Denver, Colorado where NHL great Joe Sakic
saw his number 19 raised to the rafters of the Pepsi Centre. The Maple Leafs also played tonight; taking on the Montreal Canadiens in Toronto. They blew a 3-2 lead late in the third period to lose to the Habs in overtime. The drama in Phoenix continues to be a distraction for everyone. This week has been no different as bankruptcy judge Redfield T. Baum rejected both Jim Balsille and the NHL's current bids to buy the dwindling franchise.
Back in action
The "Hockey Critic" blog has been limbo for just over the year, but its now time to resurrect the blog. There is a lot going on in the NHL and hockey in general, so the voice of a fan should once again be heard.
Hockey pool draft
My keeper league draft is this evening and I am just not prepared. We are in year 8 of the 10 year league and the salary caps will absolutely kill me this year. The likes of Joe Thornton, Olli Jokinen, Dany Heatley, Alex Tanguay and Daniel Sedin are now in the 5% of the salary scale and so I am going to have to dig out a lot of deals. As of right now, almost all 10 of my picks have to be very close to the minimum salary level for me to be able to make it under the cap.
Stanley Cup Final is (finally) underway
After an excruciatingly long wait, the Stanley Cup Finals get underway in Anaheim, California this evening. This should be a very competitive series but the NHL may have managed to really screw it up. The bigwigs in New York have allowed themselves to be pushed around all playoffs by the US television networks and now, have seen a poorly planned Ducks schedule really come home to bite them.
The state of (NHL) hockey in the United States
About a week and a half ago, I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days in Silicon Valley for work. With the NHL playoffs in full swing and the San Jose Sharks in the mix, I thought I'd share some of my experiences. First off I couldn't watch any of the games live as my hotel didn't carry Versus - I had ESPN and ESPN 2, but no Versus. And ESPN and ESPN 2 didn't really give hockey a lot of coverage. Highlights began almost 30 minutes into Sportscenter though they did have Barry Melrose commenting on some of the games, during the late night broadcast.
The Tie Domi Saga
It all began about a week or so ago. Tie Domi
held a big news conference to announce his retirement from professional hockey and a move behind the camera with the Canadian sports television station, TSN. But now Domi continues to find himself in the spotlight, airing out some dirty laundry with a public divorce. The plot thickened as the public received confirmation that Domi has been having an affair with Liberal party MPP (and former Conservative) Belinda Stronach. This info was revealed as Domi's wife, Leanne, included Belinda Stronach's name in the divorce papers. For a hockey goon who got little media attention, except for when he did something dumb (like the Scott Neidermayer or Philadelphia fan incidents), Domi has gotten more newspaper and talk radio play than he'd probably care for. He can't blame them though...cause he is part of the same media guild!
Former NHL'er alleges widespread steroid use in the NHL
Former NHL tough guy Andrei Nazarov said in an interview with a Russian newpaper that drug use is rampant in the NHL, espcecially within the enforcers. He also railed on the league for having a very ineffective drug testing policy. These comments come after WAPDA chief Dick Pound
made waves with his allegations last year and the near miraculous record the NHL put forth in its first year with drug testing - zero positive tests. The league was quick to rebuke Nazarov's comments and came back with its usual "everything's under control here" attitude.