I’m backkkkkkk. Maybe. For at least this post and maybe some more, maybe beyond just hockey. Time will tell. I have thought about this blog a number of times the past two years but started taking online classes which were really time consuming and took all the writing I had in me for all the papers. For now I’ve completed the HR Management certificate, but I have decided I have enough student loan debt to stop for now but I can complete the Masters portion later. Maybe one day the government will help fix the student loan crisis because it truly is awful.
Anyways, since the last post (back in early 2012 at the trade deadline- poor Rick Nash) I’ve made it to Vegas, Jamaica, Canada, and San Diego for trips, been in one wedding as a bridesmaid and I’m getting ready to be the maid of honor in another (1 week!). I have also managed to get to Pittsburgh for a home game at Consol (followed by Toronto for the HHOF which was amazing. Must do if you can), a Ducks games (in Anaheim) versus the Blues the night that Ryan Miller was traded to them (for what turned out to be a loan), a few Norfolk Admirals games, a random Hersey game at the Giant Center, a Charlotte Checkers game at PNC during the NHL lockout and the Canes-Pens game at PNC the week after Crosby broke his jaw. Talk about timing but it’s been fun 2 years in retrospect.
I think that the best part about coming back to this blog is I had to look up the URL of it. Not even kidding. Then I saw the font for the headlines and was very confused since it was a script. Pretty sure I didn’t leave it that way. So sad and yet so funny, all at once. I think maybe a list of highlights to bridge from the last post to today might be needed.
Maybe a surface over of what has happened since the 2012 trade line….
Rick Nash finally left the purgatory that was Columbus for the bright lights of Broadway and hilariously now the Blue Jackets are a competitive team (in the Eastern Metro division). Since the realignment, the Winnipeg Jets no longer play in the comfy confines of the Southeast and the Capitals are no longer kings of the Southeast. The Cap have had a few coaches, and the LA Kings (Philly West- the connections are long and deep) have won themselves 2 cups in 3 years and added Marian Gaborik (who had a quick stop in Columbus, just like Jeff Carter). The defending champs have lost basically no one this offseason. Staying status quo for many teams in the cap era is hard, but when you have won 2 cups in 3 years and have managed the cap well, you can relax for the summer (Cup celebrations included). The Ducks lost to the LA Kings and they haven’t done much this offseason. Someone in Southern California is doing it wrong.
Roberto Luongo finally got someone to take his untradeable contract: his former team the Florida Panthers. They got a new owner who decided to spend some money so they might be the sleeper team to win some random unexpected games this year. They are a long way from cup competitors but they are making strides in the right direction. In fact, their roster is a looking a bit random- like all the leftover parts. Could be good, could be ugly. At least they get to live in the sunshine!
Eddie Lack played the rest of the season out for the Canucks after trading Lu but he was basically put back on the bench the moment they signed the silver medalist from 2010 to back stop them. The biggest potential issue here- Lack is younger and probably has more upside than Ryan Miller. Oh and he might have better numbers. Could there be a potential goalie controversy in Vancouver, again? Something to watch for I’m thinking. Or maybe they will try the infamous 1A and 1B like the Devils did last season, since that clearly worked.
If the Devils could have won a few OT games they might have challenged for a playoff spot. Also not starting Martin Broduer as much might have helped since they had lured Cory Schneider from the Canucks in the 2013 offseason (ya know, the guy that backed up Lu in goalie controversy part I and then when Cory was traded it seemed all good in Canuck land). Schneider was under the impression he was the starter and Martin wasn’t ready to stop being the starter. Mentally he might have had it but he was given more starts than he should have and in many games the Scheider might have been able to win, especially in those close ones. I mean they went to OT enough last season to make us want a new OT.
Another team that has money to spend now is the Buffalo Sabres. Terry Pegula bought them and then starting spending money on players so they stop being the worst team. He loves spending money on athletes so much that he’s buying the Buffalo Bills (approval of the sale pending but no one else really wants to buy them and keep them in Buffalo so he seems to have this locked up). Next on his shopping list- Niagara Falls, US side.
Dan Bylsma channeled Herb Brooks’s “again” mantra that led TJ Oshie to be an American shootout hero but that would be it for the Americans. King Henrik of the Rangers lost in the gold medal game to Sidney Crosby and co and would go on to also lose in the Stanley Cup Finals to the LA Kings. Tough breaks for the King. James Neal was a Star, then a Penguin, he’s now a Predator. Not sure if he’s moving up or down the world. Disco Dan is probably coaching his son’s hockey team for the hell of it since the Pens fired him and still have to pay since he hasn’t taken anoter NHL job, and god knows where in the world Ray Shero is currently. The Penguins have a new coach (Mike Johnston), new GM (Jim Rutherford), and maybe a new look but Geno and Sid are still probably fighting over wingers so some balance has been kept.
Peter Laviolette is now James Neal’s coach in Smashville, Claude Girioux thinks that a team should be built around him (no, really he does), and Barry Trotz has the job coaching Ovie in whichever position he plans to play this year. The Capitals also cleaned house (well, it’s an annual job it seems for the coach) but they also fired GM George McPhee and brought in a new look, style and direction. Expect he was under GMGM and yea…lets see how that works out. They also overpaid for some former Pens, but they are that much closer to winning Bingo for having the monopoly on players with the first name of Brooks (Laich and Orpik). Are there other active NHLer’s with name of Brooks because the Capitals will need to trade for them very soon.
Way more has happened but that’s what I have for now. It kinda brings us up to being prepared for the 2014-2015 season and it ignores that pesky lockout…. Till next time