It's not that I have a problem with Craig Hartsburg challenging Jason Spezza to be a better player, it's just that it gives the whackjobs a reason to come out of the woodwork with their predictable "Trade Spezza" rants that clog up the sports radio airwaves.
Spezza is now in a position with the fans where he has to be perfect in order to avoid being thrown under the bus night after night.
Hartsburg is simply trying to antagonize that top line to play better with so many "4 point" games coming up against the Habs and the Rangers. It's a tactic to get Dany Heatley and Antoine Vermette going just as much as it is about Spezza.
People forget that it wasn't that long ago when Hartsburg was heaping praise on Spezza for being the hardest working player on the team at a time when he needed a confidence boost after the fans were after him for a bad giveaway at the start of the season.
But now Hartsburg's ploy opens the door for "commentators" like Glen Kulka to call him "soft" and not his "type of player" live on the air to his similarly reactive audience.
It's simply a stereotype of Spezza and one that is not based in reality. But in lieu of a more sophisticated knowledge of the game, the overplayed cliches will have to do for lazy fans and media personalities.
Someone else is taking up the worthy cause of getting Pavel Bure into the Hall Of Fame. It's a crime that Bure was not inducted today alongside Igor Larionov and Glen Anderson, especially when there were two player slots still open.
I wrote a couple of times about the Bure snub which you can read here if you like.
How long until the shit hits the fan in Florida? As Panther beat writer George Richards puts it, the team is miserable and defeated from years and years of losing and this season is no better.
"This team, for lack of a better term, is a mess. You can see it in their faces when they come into the rink. They are a beaten bunch. You can't help but feel bad for their rookie coach, a guy who has to deal with this and try and figure a way out. This team almost has to play perfect hockey for 60 minutes -- and even then they may not win."
If Jacques Martin can't convince franchise player Jay Bouwmeester to re-sign in Miami, how long until his job is in jeopardy?
Marian Hossa is still taking some heat for leaving Pittsburgh and it's one of his ex-teammates, Max Talbot, who can't seem to drop the issue.
"Oh, yeah," Talbot said. "There's [anger]. You can't forget about something like that because everybody in the organization and [the players], we expected him to come back. We thought he was comfortable here, and he was really good with [Sidney Crosby as his center], and stuff.
"The way he left was kind of, [a blow] to the heart, but you have to live with that. ... You have to respect his decision, but, for us, it's not the best thing that could have happened."
For the record, almost everyone else quoted in the article thought Hossa was a great teammate.