Saturday, September 15, 2007

Local Fishwrap Sept. 15

There is an unbelievably candid article by Chris Stevenson where he gets a real sense of what John Paddock is thinking concerning his lines.

"Heater and Spezz love playing with Chris Kelly and there's certain reasons for that, but it probably lacks a little bit of offensive pizzazz.

"Patty Eaves, is he going to be a top-six player for the rest of his career? I'm not sure he can score. Does he make things happen quick enough? Could (Antoine) Vermette be responsible enough defensively and not get too caught up in the offence?

"Unless you're an elite player like Alfie, it's a certain kind of player that can play there. We only have one Alfredsson.

"I think it's clear what Bryan means by we need another top six forward. Whoever it is to play with, it doesn't matter. We need another one."

I'm liking the way Paddock thinks. He seems like a real straight shooter and that can only be a plus as long as guys can take criticism well. It sounds to me like he's daring Patrick Eaves to perform like a top-line player. Great article.

Chris Stevenson remains on a hot streak with a piece about Jeremy Yablonski, a six time Golden Glove boxing champ and a "mixed-martial art" fighter trying to win the enforcers job with Bingo this season. Yablonski has played one NHL game with the St. Louis Blues a couple years ago and apparently dusted Todd Fedoruk in his one fight (although who doesn't put Fedoruk down nowadays?)

Not to get too off topic, but I hate the way people are starting to treat "mixed-martial arts" or Ultimate Fighting with some kind of respect. This is not a sport. It is pure blood lust and savagery and it's only fans are the kind of demented adolescents who defend Michael Vick for fighting dogs. It's bloody sickening that it's starting to get traction in the respectability department. If you wouldn't let your kids watch it, then it's not a sport.

Anyhoo, in the same article, Stevenson quotes Paddock as saying this about Ray Emery.

"I don't think Ray has done anything in the NHL at all, confrontation-wise. Teams have tried to goad him into situations and he's, to me, sometimes, he's been too content. He's too quiet in there. I have no issues about Ray's temperament on the ice and his composure. I think it's been outstanding."

Will we get to see more situations where Emery throws down the gloves this season? Looks like Paddock encourages it. Man, this Paddock dude gets better and better with every interview.

Over at the Citizen, Wayne Scanlan does an in-depth look at Antoine Vermette who has put on some serious muscle over the summer while getting rusty on his English skills. Scanlan does point out that Vermette has been the lone Francophone on the team since Patrick Lalime left. It would be nice to have a few more guys who can speak French, considering the bilingual nature of the capital city. Who's got Daigle's number?

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