Friday, August 31, 2007
But who really gives a shit at this point. It's been decided so it's time to live with it.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
1. George Parros’ moustache.
2. Mike Commodore’s Red Afro.
3. Ray Emery’s wardrobe.
4. Ray Emery beating up fellow goalie Martin Biron and then taking on enforcer Andrew Peters, smiling through it all.
5. The Red Wing’s sweaters. No matter how many times they wash them, they still look as dirty and menacing as they did in the 60’s and 70’s.
6. Mike Keenan still gets jobs. Nothing better for storm chasers.
7. Screw everyone else. Dominik Hasek is still playing and proving that he is the best goalie to ever live.
8. Ted Nolan. He's good.
9. The Toronto Maple Leafs. What a continuous circus. Much like the Canadian political party, Bloc Quebecois, they take themselves way too seriously while everyone else couldn’t give a s*!t.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I feel sorry for this girl but it's too much to pass up for a laugh. "Such as...so to speak... US Americans..." An instant classic.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
- Onetime Edmonton Oiler defenseman Scott Ferguson explains why he accidentally scored on his own goalie, Tommy Salo. The next game, Ferguson scored his first goal of the 2003-2004 season, and his first in 49 games.
- Mike Keenan upon being fired by the Chicago Blackhawks as their coach and GM in 1992.
- Jeremy Roenick gets off a good blast about his own troubled Coyotes team in 2001.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Notice that all three of these examples used non-linear stripe patterns. In the new styles, they are leaving the fronts of the jerseys empty but filling the underarms with colour swooshes and putting non-linear stripes on the pants and socks.
Thanks to NHL Uniforms and Drop The Pucks for the images. Also check out Bleu, Blanc et Rouge for the up-to-date new uniforms section.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Line 2. Vermette – Fisher – Alfredsson
Line 3. Donovan - Kelly – Neil
Line 4. Hennessy – McAmmond – Schubert
Redden – Meszaros
Phillips – Volchenkov
Corvo – Nycholat
What becomes clear very quickly is that this team needs another top six forward and probably another physical stay-at-home defenceman.
Eaves is a risky proposition on the first line because the team wants him to blossom into a scorer but the role on that line calls out for someone who is defence first. Maybe Shean Donovan is a better fit but it’s hard to give a career third liner first line minutes every night.
Fisher and Alfredsson are another strange combo who don’t really seem to click together the way they should. Vermette is also a mystery man because he has all the tools but can’t seem to rise above being a penalty killing specialist. His forays into offense always seem awkward and he misses more chances than anyone on the roster. He might be a better fit on the third line.
Kelly and McAmmond look to be locks as third and fourth line centres while it’s probably time for talented youngster Hennessy to make the jump to the NHL. Ideally, the Sens would like to have Schubert back on defense but that leaves too big a hole up front. They obviously don’t want to commit to giving McGratton 82 games and it’s a crapshoot whether or not some of the prospects like Cody Bass, Nick Foligno and Shawn Weller are ready for prime time. Schubert provides plenty of hard hits and muscle on the fourth line while Nycholat looks to be a reasonable solution as a sixth defenseman in lieu of a quality veteran.
On defense, it looks like Redden will be forced to find chemistry with Meszaros. Both of those players were mediocre last season but in reality, there is no other fit currently on the roster. You can’t break up the excellent Phillips/Volchenkov combo and Corvo is too fragile and jittery to command top minutes.
Who should we get?
In an ideal fantasy situation, Bryan Murray would just open the cash drawer and sign Peter Forsberg and Danny Markov. That would solve the roster problem but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. There’s not much left in the free agent pool that would really help the Sens.
Eric Lindros would be an interesting addition but it looks like he is on the verge of retiring to work for the NHLPA full-time. Despite his reputation as being injury prone, Lindros is still a quality player when his body allows him and he would add some size to the wings. Mike Johnson could play effective minutes on the fourth line but something about him is just too ordinary to bother. Dave Scatchard might be the guy some team picks up and gets really lucky with. Ottawa once tried to trade for Scatchard but those executives are long gone.
It looks as if Murray will wait until after training camp to see if some of the youngsters show they’re ready. But one thing is for sure: the current roster has too many holes to be considered a favourite just yet. They will still rely too much on one line to score and the top six forward positions desperately need a seasoned veteran to help Alfie and company. Bill Guerin would have been ideal but perhaps the Sens can entertain some trade options to bolster the group. As you know, almost every team believes they can compete in October but by the time December rolls around, about six teams will be looking to dump bodies overboard.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
On a more positive note, here's a closer look at the numbering and lettering which I absolutely love. They actually look a little like Team Canada jerseys from behind.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
2. No Side Profile Logo - Just like that, the Sen's classiest symbol is wiped off the face of the earth. Instead we are subjected to a "meaner" looking Roman Soldier... oops!... we are now supposed to refer to him as the "Warrior". Whatever.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
"I was a little worried about the drinking, but they assured me they would be drinking everywhere we went."
"There are two things I don't want to know - how they make hot dogs and what goes on in the NHL office."
Monday, August 20, 2007
- Ken Hammond, a member of the Ottawa Senators for their first season in 1992-1993 when they finished with a record of 10 wins, 70 losses and 4 ties.
- Senators goalie Tom Barrasso throws down an S-bomb on a stunned Scott Oake who is interviewing him live nation-wide on Hockey Night in Canada during the Leafs-Sens playoff series in 2000.
- NY Islanders GM Mike Milbury goes nutzoid on Ottawa while trying to defend his decision to obtain the much maligned Alexei Yashin from the Senators on June 23, 2001.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
-Andre 'Moose' Dupont describes facing the opposition while with the notorious Philadelphia Flyers of the 70's.
What a joke. Take a look at these horrific duds. The orange on the sleeves is gruesome and the piping on the shoulders is strictly amateur hour. In ten years, these jerseys will be laughed at much like we now laugh at the Captain Highliner jerseys they wore in the 90's. Talk about going in reverse.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I'll be posting some great hockey quotes (semi) daily for the rest of the summer. Many of these are taken from the previous incarnation of Black Aces which I ran from 2003 -2006. What better way than to start off with some famous quotes about my favourite all-time player, Mark Messier.
- Jeremy Roenick of the Chicago Blackhawks screams this audibly after Mark Messier steamrolled him during game four of their playoff series in 1990. Messier single handedly won the game for the Oilers by scoring a hat-trick, an assist and breaking two sticks over Denis Savard and Doug Wilson as well as elbowing Dirk Graham in the jaw. He also took a stick in the throat from Wilson just seconds before scoring his third goal.
"That Messier! That Messier! He knocked three of our guys out of the game. Three! That was ...that was ... Amazing!"
-The late Bob Johnson, then coach of the Calgary Flames, comments on Edmonton Oiler Mark Messier injuring three of his players - Al MacInnis, Mike Eaves and Paul Reinhart - in one playoff game in the mid 1980's.
"Jimmy Carson is no longer with us because he couldn't stand the heat... He didn't like Messier always saying he'd beat the shit out of him if he didn't produce."
- Glen Sather explaining why winger Jimmy Carson walked out on the Oilers during the 89-90 season. Mark Messier captained the Oilers to the Stanley Cup at the end of that year.
Gretzky is making an appearance with poodle rockers Nickelback in their new video for “Rockstar”. As if this song wasn’t bad enough (don’t they already have a video for this?), now we have to endure one of Canada’s greatest icons being associated with Canada’s biggest musical embarrassment to date, and I’m including Celine Dion and Our Lady Peace.
Other celebrities included in this stinker are Gene Simmons of Kiss, Dale Earnhardt Jr., psychotic right winger and killer of defenseless animals Ted Nugent (the Nuge!), as well as Grant Hill and a few other has beens.
As if being caught up in a mind blowing gambling scandal thanks to his buddy Rick Tochett and coaching the dreadful Phoenix Coyotes wasn’t enough to further devalue the Great One. Now he is on videotape lyp-synching moronic lyrics written by perma-goatee Chad “Rockstar” Kroeger and his band of rich poseurs putting out music that is so produced and compressed with 35 separate guitar tracks that it sounds like it was played by a vending machine computer. But I guess the kids want what the kids want – corny ballads and weak rock anthems.
Please Wayne. I’m begging you. I still have tons of respect for everything you’ve done and the hours of joy I had watching my beloved Oilers in the 80’s. I even tolerated watching you make an ass of yourself on All My Children and watched that Saturday Night Live episode you hosted, not once, but twice! I struggled through your thousands of commercials telling me to buy trucks and take Tylenol and wear Roots. But this! I can’t tolerate it. Nickelback is out to destroy rock and roll as we used to know it. Can’t you see. They pretend to be like Nirvana but they’re really just a weak version of Foreigner with distortion pedals, bad haircuts and goatees and grade 2 poems masquerading as lyrics. Please Wayne! Don’t make me hate you.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
What do you think? Hit the comments section for more feedback.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Of course, these don’t have the colours yet but you can imagine them in red, black and gold fairly easily.
What are my thoughts? I’m not a huge fan of the side profile logo even though it could be much worse. I always thought the original side profile logo was classy and sharp. This new one is a bit too rounded and it looks like the guy has a broom end on his helmet. I do like the fact that the circular logo represents the letter “O” a little better than the original but to me the logo looks too much like something advertising a casino or the official City of Ottawa logo. It may grow on me much like the “3D facing you” logo seen above.
As for my first reaction to the new 3D logo seen on Black Aces a few weeks ago, I initially spit coffee all over my computer screen in disgust but I grew to like the sharpness of it, as well as the flowing cape on his shoulders. Regardless, the logo’s are now more “child-friendly” but they haven’t done a complete butcher job either. I just wonder why the need to have a new logo at all?
Anyways, some dude on the sportsnet forums found this site with a bit of smart detective work. I’m sure Roy Mlakar will be pissed at the Feds once these logo’s make the internet rounds, but relax Roy, we’re all pissed at the feds for one reason or another. But does that Sens logo look a little like Stephen Harper? Hmmm…
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Yes, some key people have left. Actually, two of their most key people left, but the Sabres will still win the division. Why? They have too much to prove after a season where the whole organization thought they were Stanley Cup bound. The Sabres collapse against the Senators sent shock waves through the fan base and iconoclastic general manager Darcy Regier was too stunned to try and work out contracts with Daniel Briere and Chris Drury. But those losses may actually help in the long run. Now instead of having to overpay for the two superstars (Philadelphia and the Rangers took care of that), the Sabres can now give star minutes to players like Thomas Vanek, Maxim Afinogenov (probably the most improved player in the league), Derek Roy, Drew Stafford and the hopefully healthy Tim Connolly. In Connolly’s case in particular, the Sabres have a secret weapon that everyone seems to have forgotten about. Connolly is capable of scoring over a 100 points if his brain isn’t totally destroyed after some nasty concussions.
If anyone can pick up the moping Sabres faithful, it’s coach Lindy Ruff who has somehow avoided being tuned out by his players for almost ten years. The Sabres still have speed and above all, great goaltending in Ryan Miller. They also have over $5 million in cap space for the trade deadline. They will be good. Very good.
This team still has it all in spades but their biggest foe is the dreaded Stanley Cup hangover. Edmonton and Carolina were colossal flops after fighting for the Cup in 2006 and the Senators will have to avoid getting snared in that trap. What they have going for them in this regard is a new voice in the dressing room. New coach John Paddock is in and Bryan Murray is upstairs eating popcorn. Usually in these cases, a new coach can light a fire under a team who might be complacent. It’s almost as if players have to prove themselves again under new eyes although Paddock has been an assistant coach the last two seasons. Not one to crack jokes to the media, Paddock is about as serious as they come. The only person who smiles less is Brian Burke and he is scientifically unable to do so. Look for the Sens to come out strong, coast a bit and then crank it up the last two months. Daniel Alfreddson will be on a mission to win the Cup after coming so close last year. The Sens also have a lot of young players who are bound to improve, like Ray Emery, Patrick Eaves, Chris Kelly, Christoph Schubert, Andrej Meszaros and Antoine Vermette. If Spezza can stay healthy, he’ll cash in a 100 points easily and help Dany Heatley get a third straight 50 goal season.
To be honest, I have no damn clue how this team will play. On paper, they look like a playoff team but Boston always finds ways to botch their season. They finally got a goaltender in Manny Fernandez but all signs point to him being some kind of a prima-donna. All he did was complain in Minnesota about this and that but he’s going to face more shots in Beantown than he did in Minnesota where Jacques Lemaire literally built a brick wall in front of him. On defence, the Bruins have Zdeno Chara but not much else. The forwards are a little top heavy with not much on the third or fourth lines but what a couple of top lines they do have. New coach Claude Julien will make sure the team plays a boring neutral zone trap game but that will probably help them in the standings. On paper, they’re better than Toronto and Montreal but they make me awful nervous. At least they got nice uniforms again.
The quest for the Cup continues. Yah right. The Leafs have about as much chance of winning the Cup this year as Montreal and that’s not very promising. Jason Blake was a smart pickup but that only pushes Darcy Tucker to the third best forward on the team. If Tucker is your third best forward, you’re in deep shit. Mats Sundin is still a great player but he is being wasted in Toronto. Bryan McCabe continues to be an expensive burden for the blueline along with Pavel Kubina. Tomas Kaberle is decent but is way too overrated by the media machine in Hogtown. John Ferguson Jr. made a nice move in getting Vesa Toskala to take over from Andrew “The new Jim Carey” Raycroft and acquiring the troubled but promising Mark Bell ( the Toronto bars are anticipating his arrival). Other than that, the Leafs have to rely on their heart and grit to make the playoffs which they usually have in spades. Paul Maurice will have his hands full again to make this work.
Montreal has been in a funk for over ten years now and it doesn’t look to be getting any better. Their star players are just ordinary stars and their role players are just average as well. They do not have any outstanding qualities in their lineup and it’s been that way for a long time. In the past, they at least had Sheldon Souray’s canon from the point on the power play but now that is replaced by the timid but reliable Roman Hamrlik. Bringing in Bryan Smolinski for $2 million was a terrible move. He replaces Radek Bonk but Smolinski has nothing left in his game. Bob Gainey failed to get Michael Ryder under contract for any length of time and he might walk out the door after the season. Patrice Brisebois was brought in for what seems like a farewell tour in the arena he was once booed out of. It’s puzzling to me that Montreal can’t acquire good players to build on some of their assets. Mike Komisarek is an excellent defenseman and Christopher Higgins is a rising forward. They do have goalie Carey Price in their system but not much else after him. At least Habs fans know that the hot dogs will be good. That’s about all they can count on this season.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Not much is happening in the NHL except Kevin Lowe pissing everyone and their grandmother off. Now I'm not a big fight guy but I like the odd flare-up, especially when it turns into a gong show. Everyone still has the recent Ottawa -Buffalo brawl in their memories but how about this all out scrap between the Sens and Flyers in 2004. Just to kick things back into shape after a hot long weekend.
Friday, August 3, 2007
1. John Ferguson Jr. – General Manager – Toronto Maple Leafs
No one has been so precariously close to the edge of being fired than JFJR. You have to feel sorry for a guy who is being undercut by ownership in a very public attempt to bring in a “mature hockey advisor” to oversee JF’s work. Talks with ex-Ottawa GM John Muckler seem to have cooled so maybe ownership is scratching the idea for now. But what remains is a very fragile situation where the team is headed nowhere quickly without recourse to rebuild due to some very heavy contracts to the likes of Bryan McCabe and Pavel Kubina. Everyone knows the team needs to rebuild, even Ferguson himself. But he may not be around to help.
2. John Stevens – Head Coach - Philadelphia Flyers
John Stevens seems like a man with no clear personality. He is stoic and icy but not in a Scotty Bowman way. It just doesn’t seem right for him to be in charge of a newly revamped Philly squad with (now) huge expectations. It may be unfair to say, but some guys just seem like career assistant coaches and that’s what strikes me about Stevens. After spending a ton of bucks in the offseason, Flyers fans are going to be frothing at the mouth for a winning team. If they get off to another slow start, look for Paul Holmgren to bring in a more experienced guy. Mike Keenan would have been ideal.
3. Kevin Lowe – General Manager – Edmonton Oilers
He put his ass on the line this summer, enraging the elite cabal of NHL general managers by throwing around ridiculous offer sheets. He did snag Dustin Penner but we must remember that he traded Ryan Smyth because of money and then offered him even more bucks when Smyth was a UFA. It’s a good thing Smyth didn’t end up going to the Flames or there would have been hell to pay. Then he trades the last remaining heart and soul Oiler, captain Jason Smith and pisses off his remaining roster in the process. If, as rumoured, new ownership comes in to Oil country, Lowe could be on his way out, especially if Joni Pitkanen and Dustin Penner tank the way Joffrey Lupul did. Stay tuned.
4. Tom Renney – Head Coach – New York Rangers
At first this choice may seem stupid but things can change awful fast in the Big Apple. Glen Sather is not one to sit and wait out a crisis. The Rangers have been built to win this year with both Scott Gomez and Chris Drury coming on board. Sather will be super sensitive to the notion that high priced free agents always flop in NYC and he will not hesitate to dispatch Renney back to the pile if things don’t work out.
Mac T is a good coach but he might fall victim to the whirlwind that Kevin Lowe has created. Lowe could fire Mac T if the Oil fail coming out of the gate (to save his own ass) or more likely, exit along with Lowe in an ownership change.
6. Ron Wilson – Head Coach – San Jose Sharks
Ron Wilson has a history of burning out the teams he coaches. He gets good results in his first few years but diminishing returns thereafter. Witness Anaheim and Washington in the 90’s. Unfortunately, the Sharks have underachieved in the playoffs and there are now hints of a sour relationship between Wilson and once-franchise player Patrick Marleau. This does not bode well despite the fact that Wilson got an extension on his contract. He might get one more year but he had better win in the playoffs or it will be obvious that his players have tuned him out.
7. Jacques Martin – General Manager/Head Coach – Florida Panthers
Mike Keenan was shown the door because he did not see eye to eye with his coach Martin. That’s not surprising since both men are stubborn to the point of self-destruction. Keenan engulfs the castle in flames with his antics but Martin does it in a more sly way. He doesn’t change, no matter the circumstances. Much like Roger Nielson before him, he’d rather lose 2-1 than win 6-5. Now that he is running the whole organization, he has stocked up on his favourite hockey players - defensively responsible Europeans – and has shown no willingness to let his players free from the neutral zone trap system. Jay Bouwmeester would be getting way more points on any other team but now he’s turning into Charlie Huddy with faster legs. Martin must make a push for the playoffs or he could be looking for work very soon.
8. Doug Risebrough – General Manager – Minnesota Wild
It is now time for the Minnesota organization to reward its fans with some high-calibre, exciting and winning hockey. It’s not Doug’s fault that his best player, Marion Gaborik, has a wonky groin but he still has to take responsibility for the Wild being an average team in the same time frame that the Nashville Predators turned into a contender. How long can he keep his job? Honestly. Him and Jacques Lemaire have been there forever and all they have created is a lesser version of the New Jersey Devils. Maybe the Wild need some fresh ideas.
9. Wayne Gretzky – Head Coach – Phoenix Coyotes
I know, I know. Nobody is going to fire Wayne Gretzky. But he might decide to step down if the Coyotes go into the tank once again. Everybody wants him to do well, including myself. But maybe it’s not in the cards. He might be more suited to management.
10. Nashville Predators
Now that William “Boots” Del Biaggio has a huge slice of the team, the Predators are still in danger of relocation. Granted the fans have shown a huge willingness to buy tickets during a crisis situation but what happens when the fear goes away. Boots has an arena in Kansas City ready to go and he has the money to buy out the other investors at any moments notice. I like the fact that Gary Bettman stuck up for the city of Nashville and their hockey team because a league should stick by its franchises, even in the midst of a shiticane like the Preds just went through. But too many people have been trying to rip them from Music City. Until further notice, the Preds are skating on thin ice.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
1. Kimmo Timonen - Philadelphia: 07-08 - $8 mill. (Cap Hit $6.333 mill.)
2. Robert Lang – Chicago: 07-08 - $4 mill. (Cap Hit $4 mill.)
4. Roman Hamrlik - Montreal: 07-08 - $5.500 mill. (Cap Hit $5.5 mill.)
5. Daniel Briere - Philadelphia: 07-08 - $10 mill. (Cap Hit $6.5 mill.)
6. Scott Gomez – New York Rangers: 07-08 - $10 mill. (Cap Hit $7.357 mill.)
7. Craig Rivet – San Jose Sharks: 07-08 - $3.5 mill. (Cap Hit $3.5 mill.)
8. Jose Theodore – Colorado Avalanche: 07-08 - $6 mill. (Cap Hit $5.333 mill.)
9. Markus Naslund – Vancouver Canucks: 07-08 - $6 mill. (Cap Hit $6 mill.)
10. Ruslan Fedotenko – New York Islanders: 07-08 - $2.9 mill. (Cap Hit $2.9 mill.)
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
The Blue Jackets jersey's also look great.
The Kings on the other hand ... horrific.