Some random notes from the dog days of summer:
The big news the past couple of days has been the Sens 3rd jersey leak from the Icethetics blog which shows a poor quality black and white "photocopy" of the complete uniform design (allegedly). If this is the sweater (and it sounds like we'll find out on Thursday from the Senators themselves during a media event scheduled), then it certainly has my approval. But something seems a little weird about the whole thing. Why would someone go to all the trouble to provide a crummy looking "photocopy" and not a colour version if they were going to all the trouble of leaking it? And if this was an official document handed out to alumni members straight from the team, where's the All-Star logo? Where's the stripes on the hockey pants? And haven't we all seen this template before? Looks like the kind of template anybody with Microsoft Paint could doctor. Now, it's probably a real leak and I'd be willing to bet it's the real deal, but until the Senators throw one on the table, I'll withhold my judgment....And that brings us to the other big mystery, and that's the fate of the new scoreboard for Scotiabank Place that was promised, denied, then promised again, depending on who you believe. The guys over at Sens Town dropped a tidy little scoop last week about that very scoreboard but we still wait for any official word from the team about it and when/if it might be installed. I find it truly bizarre how secretive the organization is about this issue. To be fair, they've put up a blanket denial whenever asked, but maybe Cyril Leeder should let everyone know exactly what's happening at Thursday's press conference just so everyone can stop trying to guess. If they can't put it in for this season, fine. Most season ticket holders will accept that if they know improvements are on the way down the road. If the illustrations provided are accurate, people should be pretty happy with the new look. Hopefully the guys putting it up aren't the same ones who built the Bluesfest stage…....Speaking of which, Cheap Trick just cancelled a show in B.C. because the stage was built by the same company who built the one that crumpled on top of them in Ottawa in July. Now I can understand Cheap Trick's point of view here, but are these guys so wildly popular right now that they can afford to just cancel shows like they were Oasis or Guns N'Roses in their brawling primes? As far as I know, no one had heard the name Cheap Trick for the past twenty years until their stage went el foldo. You don't hear about April Wine cancelling gigs do you? Or Loverboy? No, cuz they got bills to pay. And 17 fans to entertain…..….The NHLPA should help out their future union members and try to force the NHL to ban these pre-draft interviews that have gone completely out of control. Now these kids have to fly to different cities like Ottawa and do on-ice workouts for teams that in all probability won't even be able to draft them. Only a few clubs are doing it right now, but what's to stop every organization from wanting to do the same thing? I realize it's not mandatory and a prospect can decline the invite, but if they do decline, they end up looking bad. It's borderline ridiculous when these guys are already put through the meat grinder at the Draft Combine. And if teams still insist on doing these, maybe they should refrain from dressing them up in official gear. No one wants to see pictures of Gabriel Landeskog wearing Sens equipment and practice jerseys floating around the internet for years. It's the NHL's own version of the "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline (well maybe that's pushing it, but you get my drift)….
…..I find it hard to believe the Edmonton Oilers didn't improve their goaltending over the summer. They have some good kids up front with star potential and some key veterans like Ryan Smyth and Andy Sutton to help them along. But those positives can be quickly cancelled out by terrible goaltending. Nikolai Khabibulin is currently spending 30 days in the slammer and his best years are well behind him in Tampa Bay and Phoenix. Devan Dubnyk is a former first round pick but he hasn't had a winning season since 2007 when he split time between the East Coast league and the AHL. It sounds like the Oilers have total confidence in Dubnyk and maybe they'll be rewarded for their patience like the Red Wings were with Jimmy Howard. Or maybe they sink this year because they can't keep pucks out of their net and guys like Taylor Hall start to get used to losing. Rebuilds are great, but at some point you have to start winning important games or you can start to tread water again. Just ask the St. Louis Blues or the Columbus Blue Jackets, both of whom recently hit the panic button in the midst of their own "rebuilds from hell". Maybe the Oilers have one more year of grace anyways, but losing will get old rather quickly even with the high profile draft picks that come with it…..
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