Summer Smoke

While it's still slow around these parts, some of the dominoes of the free agency/hot stove period have begun to fall...or not. But here are some thoughts floating around on this gooch-sweat inducing Wednesday morning:

  • In the wake of Ilya Kovalchuk signing with the Devils for a fucktarded 17 years, $102 million, the Flyers promptly traded their longest tenured player, the perpetually injured fan-favorite Simon Gagne to the Lightning for Matt Walker and a 2011 4th rounder. Seems like a very light price to pay for a talent such as Gagne, giving the 'Ning a pretty impressive forward corps, as well as some expiring paper at the end of the year. As for the Flyers, it seems like they could have gotten more, particularly from the Kings who seemed like ideal trade partners given that they had just lost out on the Kovy derby....
  • ...or have they? Late last night, the league rejected Kovalchuk's mega deal with the Devils on the grounds that it circumvents the cap, as the league feels Kovalchuk has no intention on fulfilling the entirety of the deal. While I can certainly understand where the league is coming from, it's curious that it's now where they start rejecting these deals as a matter of making an example, when they could have just as easily done so with the DiPietro, Zetterberg, Hossa, Pronger, or Savard deals. Though, as Killion and I discussed last night, a Lou vs. Bettman scrap in the octagon (which, lets be honest, is invariably where this is headed), is something a lot of people, ourselves included, would pay good money to see. Here's hoping it plays out that way.
  • Stan Bowman came out and said that Patrick Sharp is going nowhere, which is a very good thing, in my opinion, obviously. But there is always the chance that this could fall under the heading of "famous last words" because we haven't seen the results of the Niemi arbitration yet. In the same breath, Bowman also said the Hawks "don't have a solution" to the cap woes, which worsened after having to match an offer sheet extended to Niklas Hjalmarsson by that treacherous twat in San Jose Doug Wilson. Steve Rosenbloom, whom I believe to have the best hockey mind of anyone working for a paper in this town (a title which carries a big asterisk), thinks a) Bowman is looking floundering and lost in the situation, and b) would rather have Niemi over Sharp if it comes to a Sophie's Choice type situation.

    We've all made our stance on this pretty clear on this in the past weeks, so I don't think I need to go into the reasons why that opinion is off-base to me, but it's just surprising to me that such short-sightedness came out of Rosenbloom, though I know the majority of you party people can't stand him.
  • In that same piece, Bowman mentioned the Hawks are close to terms with Bryan Bickell and Jordan Hendry.
  • Also speaking of Sharp, my sister and The Professor waited in line at the Best Buy on North Ave late Monday night on my behalf (unbeknownst to me) to obtain the newly released championship DVD/Blu-Ray signed by Patrick Sharp himself, which was a truly thoughtful gesture. And if the ladies/closeted dudes were wondering, both reports came back that pictures and TV do him zero justice. The content of the film itself is done quite well, and is very Sharp and Burish interview intensive, but with a fair amount from Coach Q as well.

    Highlights include:
    - Dave Bolland's hair
    - Colin Fraser's hair
    - A full segment dedicated to Dave Bolland being "The Rat" during the WCF portion.
    - During the locker room bonus footage, Patrick Sharp yelling at Toews (or somebody) "Hey! You know what Soupy said to me once we knew the puck went in? He said we'll never have to pay for a drink in Chicago again!"
    - In that same batch of footage, a shirtless Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg recruit a shirtless John Madden to take a picture with them holding the up the Cup
    - John Madden's locker room dance party
  • Lastly, once this Niemi nonsense is sorted out and the Hawks finally are able to finish out the roster, we WILL get you fine people a podcast to stuff into your ears.