Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend Notes

Has there ever been a more brutal and ridiculous pre-season schedule than the one the New York Rangers are being forced to go through right now? As Larry Brooks says:

"The fact is that whoever it is in the hierarchy who decided that it was more important for the team to jam in three home dates - three home gates that is - than spend time on the practice rink developing cohesion before this journey, did the Rangers no favor.

Because after five games in the past six days and six games in eight days beginning last Saturday - two goals in each one of them - the Rangers are nowhere. No line has developed chemistry. No defense pairing has looked good. And none of the players still competing for spots on the third or fourth lines deserves a uniform more than Petr Nedved, who was dismissed from the squad on Friday. "

-New York Post

I think many people, except team owners, agree that the amount of pre-season games being played have been excessive for a long time now but the reality is that it probably won't change.

Under the CBA, the players are guaranteed 54% of league revenues and they put between 10 and 15 percent of every paycheque into escrow. If league revenues attain a certain level, they get the money back. If league revenues plunge and players end up making more than 54 percent, the players lose that money. Hence it's in the best interests of the players pocketbooks to cram as many pre-season games in as possible to plump up the coffers of the league and thereby save their escrow money.

It's sort of a no-win situation for players risking injury in meaningless games but don't look for any changes until a new CBA is negotiated.


- Wade Redden hasn't exactly made a fan out of Larry Brooks either. Brooks brings the hammer down on Wade pretty hard in this excerpt:

"How then to categorize Renney's straight-faced assertion that he has, "liked [Wade Redden's] game?" Maybe it's simply Redden, a veteran, attempting to prepare for the season on his own timetable, but no Rangers played more poorly in the exhibition matches than Redden. "

- New York Post

I've only seen Redden play in one exhibition game and he looked good to me. Obviously he's fallen off and his many critics in Ottawa will probably have a field day with that. I'm still predicting a great season from Redds, but ... sheesh!


- Still massively annoyed that I didn't get to see the Habs-Senators game last night despite having full digital cable as well as NHL Centre Ice. Is it me or do these types of things always seem to happen to the Senators and not any other team in Canada?


Brendan Bell has been sent down but I still can't figure out who is going to play on that last defense pairing. Now that Luke Richardson has signed, the Senators are bringing 8 defenseman to Sweden. They are also bringing 13 forwards and 3 goalies.

But what happens when they get back from Sweden and don't need the extra bodies around in case of injury?

The numbers just don't add up and I think that a trade is almost a certainty at this point. The likely candidate is still Dean McAmmond, simply because the Senators have younger and cheaper options to fill his role. I don't see the team sending Richardson to Binghamton and so that leaves a defenseman vulnerable as well. Is Christoph Schubert's time with this team coming to an end?

Something's got to give.


Sad to see Paul Newman pass away. Slapshot is a great movie but really, in the big scheme of things, it's a minor note in his legendary career. If you haven't yet, check out films like Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Hud, and best of all, The Sting and The Hustler. Not only did Newman make the best hockey movie ever, he made the best pool movie ever. Strange thing was, his passion was car racing.


From Uni Watch... At Shea Stadium, they have seats directly behind the foul pole. An even better view here.

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