Daily Blog 2.0
Talking Sports
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: MLIB MLB NHL FIFA


 

Greetings Gabbers from the rocky coast of Maine.

Is there anything better than an afternoon baseball game especially when you have a few vacation days to kill before the new fiscal year starts? As was the case yesterday. The other day I was scanning the Portland Sea Dog schedule and noticed they had a noon time start on Wednesday.  So me and the Lil Lanz’s ventured to Portland watch the Sea Dogs take on the New Britian Rock Cats. The game was a Little Cat and Dog anyway. The Seadogs pulled out in the bottom of the 9thwith the first batter hitting a walk off home run over the Maine Monsah.

They have a 37.5 foot wall just like Fenway including a fake Citgo Sign.  The best part of it was I and 3 kids’ four rows off the field including parking $45 bucks total. I can’t even park at Fenway for that. The kids got a couple of autographs and butterfingers Lanz dropped a ball and some kid got it. A great day up at Hadlock Field yesterday.

Now that Los Angeles has decided to leave the United States and is now part of Mexico. Of course they should conduct a victory celebration entirely in Spanish after a gold cup win by Mexico .I first heard this story on the John Kincaid show on Sunday. He was ticked off and so wasn’t I. here is the deal the event was conducted in the good ole USofA and the spoken language is still English the last time I checked. This event celebration should have been in English. I don’t care if there was 100,000 soccer crazed Mexicans in the stands. I don’t blame Mexico or Mexicans; I blame the PC event organizers. If the game was in Mexico and the U.S. wins the celebration would be in Spanish same for if it was in Spain, or in Italy it would have been in an Italian as it should be. In England it would have been in English, in France it would have been in French.  I wouldn’t even have had a problem if it was in both English and Spanish to accommodate the Spanish speaking folks in attendance. The omission of English is what was wrong.

In French speaking Montreal at every Canadians game everything is done in both French and English even the vendors in the stands use both. You will hear the Ice cream guy say (pardon my French) Un Glacier followed by Ice Cream.  Speaking about Montreal the Montreal PD brought Zdeno Chara in for questioning what a waste of tax payers’ money for the Pacoretty hit in the first round of the playoffs. We are just finishing out investigation by the way bring the cup we haven’t seen it here in a while and we would just like to see Rocket Richards name on it again.

The Red Sox aren’t happy with inter league play has they have been beat 2-1 by the Pirates, the Padres, and the Phillies (who are up2-0 in a three game set), They had Adrian Gonzalez play right field last night and David Ortiz at first. It didn’t help to have the power in the lineup still losing 2-0. I watched Cliff Lee just embarrass the Sox on Wednesday the guy has awesome stuff. He is a pleasure to watch.

Happy fourth to you all and God Bless America. Happy Birthday USA.

Buzz from the Bleachers
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

Well Gabbers, it's almost time for the fourth. That means watching dummies (actual department store dummies) have their hands blown off on the evening news, big booms in the neighborhood, back yard bbqs, and the coming of the mid-summer classic. Now many people say the game doesn't have the same draw due to Selig's This One Counts idea that we all love so much and interleague play. I agree whole heartedly on the game deciding who gets home field advantage, but I still get a kick out of interleauge play and the all star game.

In my opinion, the MLB all star game is the last all star game I can still stomach. The Pro Bowl has never been a good game. Let's call it what it is, a nice excuse for NFL players to meet and greet in Hawaii and play a few holes of golf. The NHL game is still kinda fun, but unfortunately it's losing ground. I still love the skills competition there. The NBA all star game resembles the real games too much: no defense, too much hot doging, and no genuine intensity.

The MLB game has a rich history. Though games between the best players in the country had been going on for some time, the first MLB game was held on July 6, 1933 at Comiskey Park. The National League still holds the edge with a 41-36-2 record. Baseballalmanac.com provides an interesting look at the games history, especially a look at how the teams were chosen.

"All-Star teams were originally selected by the managers and the fans for the 1933 and 1934 games. From 1935 through 1946, managers selected the entire team for each league. From 1947 to 1957, fans chose the team's starters and the manager chose the pitchers and the remaining players. From 1958 through 1969, managers, players, and coaches made the All-Star Team selections. In 1970, the vote again returned to the fans for the selection of the starters for each team and remains there today."

I gotta say, I like the method used from '58-'69.

The 2002 game was also not the only tie in the game's history. In 1961, the game was held at Fenway and was stopped in the 9th due to rain. Of course the 2002 tie is more infamous due to the fact that the game was ruled a tie due to gross mismanagement on both sides.

Still, every year I vote a time or two and I like to share my picks and encourage anyone who wishes to to share theirs as well. Voting ends Thursday at midnight, so if the mood strikes you remember you're on the clock here.

American League

Catcher

current leader: Russel Martin NY

my pick: Alex Avila DET

Ok, call me a homer if you will, but Avila is putting up some good numers here in Detroit. He's currently ranked in the top three in all the offensive categories for catcher in both leagues. He's hitting .295 with 9 homers and 41 RBIs. Martin started off in a big way, but has cooled. He's hitting .230 with 9 homers and 30 RBIs. Added detraction: he's a Yankee.

1B

current leader: Adrian Gonzalez BOS

my pick: Adrian Gonzalez BOS

I was close to picking Cabrerra, but Gonzalez is proving that he's worth the money. He may have had a slowish start, but he's been making up for it hitting .360 with 15 HRs and 69 RBIs. Miggy is currently hitting .327 with 15 HRs and 50 RBIs. Teixeira is currently second in voting. Paul Konerko desrves much more consideration and will hopefully make it as a sub.

2B

current leader: Robinson Cano NYY

my pick: Cano NYY

Sure the Yankee factor helps, but Cano is putting up good numbers again even if they're down compared to his production last year. He's currently hitting .295 with 14 homers. Dustin Pedroia is close at Cano's heels.

SS

current leader: Derek Jeter NYY

my pick: Asdrubal Cabrerra CLE

Jeter's lead over Asdrubal is falling off (it's currently 400,000), but it's still absurd. Jeter will get plenty of lifetime achievement awards, he doesn't need one here. This is a great arguement against fan voting. Also, he's hurt and has no timetable for a return. Cabrerra, however, seems to be getting the hose in my opinion. His .295 average blows away Jeter's .260. He has 13 homers to Jeters 2 and his glove work has been spectacular. He's the catalyst of one of the biggest surprise teams of the year. Not too shabby.

3B

current leader: A-Roid NYY

my pick: Adrian Beltre TEX

Damnit fans. Really? The Roid? Let's have a look: .300 avg, 13 Hr, and 51 RBI. Both Youkolis and Beltre are at his heels currently. Youk is hitting .275 with 11 HR and 55 RBI. Beltre has fallen to .263 with 14 Hr and 56 RBI. I give him the nod for his power numbers and the teams standing.

DH

Umm...aren't we doing this in Arizona? Where did the DH category come from? Ortiz is running away with the vote and he got mine too. He's got almost double the votes of Michael Young, who is currently second in voting.

OF

current leaders: Jose Bautista TOR, Curtis Granderson NYY, Josh Hamilton TEX

my picks: Jose Bautista TOR, Curtis Granderson NYY, Nelson Cruz TEX

Bautista and Granderson are one and two in the voting respectively, an honor which I see as well deserved. Bautista is hitting .328 with 23 HR and 49 RBI and has become one of the game's premier power hitters seemingly over night. Granderson is an od favorite of mine and has had a solid year with a .276 avg, 21 HR, and 55 RBI. Jacoby Ellsbury is definately deserving of a spot as is former Tiger Matt Joyce and current slugger Brennan Boesch. I'm seriously rethinking my Cruz pick, but he had an amazing start though he's cooled of late. His .240 avg is suspect, but 18 HR and 42 RBIs help his case.

National League

Catcher

current leader: Brian McCann ATL

my pick: Yadier Molina STL

McCann has the superior numbers here, I'll admit. He's hitting .307 with 14 HR and 44 RBIs. He's a great pick and will make the team either way, but I went with Molina because no one dares to run on the guy. He's thrown out about 17 runners this year. He's the reigning gold glover at his spot.

1B

current leader: Joey Votto CIN

my pick: Joey Votto CIN

Right now Votto, Prince Fielder, and ALbert Pujols are all pretty close to being voted in. Votto has nothing on Fielder in the power department, but Votto has the superior average. I give Votto the edge due to his leadership and his average. Pujols is third and should hopefully loose ground. Todd Helton is putting together a decent year himself.

2B

current leader: Brandon Phillips CIN

my pick: Rickie Weeks MIL

This race is very close and could easily change with a fan base surge. Phillips is a fan favorite in Cincy and has decent numbers with a .299 avg and 43 RBIs. Weeks is putting up some good numbers himself with a .290 avg, 14 HR, and 33 RBIs. The Dodgers Jamey Carrol has put up a good average, but has poor power numbers.

SS

current leader: Troy Tulowitzki COL

my pick: Jose Reyes NYM

This was a tough call for me, so I can see how the vote is kinda close here. Honestly either man is a good choice here. Reyes is having a great year and fighting for a big contract. He's hitting .341 with 28 steals, 14 tripels, and 33 RBIs. Tulowitzki is hitting .276 with 14 HR and 50 RBI. I give Reyes the edge as he is having a career year and is the one bright spot for the Mets. Both men ought to make this roster.

3B

current leader: Placido Polanco PHI

my pick: Aramis Ramierez CHC

Right now Polanco is leading over Chipper Jones despite Jones splitting time this season. Polanco is having a good year hitting .289 with 4 HR and 39 RBI. Ramierez is having a nearly identical year with a .289 avg, 8 HR, and 37 RBI. I give Ramierez the edge because he's doing it for the Cubbies. San Diego has a kid named Chase Headley hitting .300 who should get some consideration.

OF

current leaders: Ryan Braun MIL, Lance Berkman STL, Matt Holiday STL

my picks: Matt Holiday STL, Matt Kemp LAD, Jay Bruce CIN

Braun is putting up good numbers again with a .308 avg, 16 HR, 59 RBI, and 17 steals. Berkman is having a resurgent year, but despite missing some time Holiday got the nod on my ballot. Kemp is having a spectacular year so far hitting .336 with 21 steals, 22 HR, and 62 RBIs. Bruce had a great start to the year with 17 Hr and 50 RBIs, though his .274 avg has no doubt hurt him in voting.

There's my picks, how about yours?

The hockey hall of fame has announced this years class: Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk, Doug Gilmour, and Mark Howe. Great class there. I especially like Belfour. He played for a lot of the teams I loved to hate and his strict enforcement of the crease made him a love to hate guy for me. I still remember watching him test cups against the Wings.

That's all I wrote for the week. Here's your weekly vocab.

aarping, verb/noun

When an elderly person, such as your grandfather, complains incessantly about nothing.

Grandpa ruined another family dinner by aarping the whole time about his bunions.

 

Musings From the Hoodwood 6-28
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NBA MLB NHL

Greetings from the Hoodwood, your humble scribe is trying not to go broke spending on the Princesses.

How do you start a quiet week off??? With a conspiracy theory

Your humble scribe does have a day job (Shaddap!) I was arguing with a co-worker over a topic that gives me much pleasure in arguing and given that with the looming labor situation in the NBA, I figure its as good a time as any to bring it up. Im usually not one for conspiracy theories, though I like to say that the reason that the New York Knicks were able to obtain the rights to Patrick Ewing was that the Mafioso commish of the NBA David Stern looked for a creased or cold envelope to assure the star poor Knicks would get the #1 pick in the 1985 NBA draft. When  asked about it Stern usually gives a wry chuckle and shrugs with a “well you know” look on his face, but no one is really that salty about it. No dis to the Pacers but I don’t think that the NBA would have liked to see a superstar of Ewing’s ilk be in Indy (a town I love now, but was still kind of backwaterish) But that’s not the argument. The argument is what I think that David Stern did eight years later and if asked he changes the subject quickly with a frown. My theory is this…

David Stern in light of damning evidence linking Michael Jordan to extensive and pervasive gambling suspended the uber star for no shorter than a full season.

Now had this happened, the damage would have been extensive to the NBA brand. Remember this was a league that was still reeling from one of its superstars having to retire because he contracted a terminal disease (Happy to say that Magic is still with us nearly 20 years later) and the other cornerstone player retire due to a chronically bad back, losing Jordan to anything less than a retirement would have been devastating to the league. Stern instead of seriously damaging the league with a suspension of its biggest star due to gambling instead offered a face saving way out. Retire

My co-worker has scoffed at this theory saying that Jordan was the untouchable don who even if caught in a gambling scandal would not have been damaged publicly. He notes that there were other gambling scandals that Jordan had been caught in. His trips to Atlantic City in the 1993 playoffs, the fact that a known drug dealer had a $57K check from Jordan to cover gambling losses and that a book was soon to be published chronicling his heavy losses in golf bets. He notes that Jordan was Teflon and that he never had anything in those stick to him proves that he was untouchable and the NBA could and would not suspend him. But instead it’s the very reason why he was suspended

In my theory. David Stern, a lawyer by trade could only look the other way only so many times when rules were being broken. He could only ignore the rumors and reports about Jordan for so long  before he figured that the media whispers (and they were only whispers in mid 1993) would start to become roars. Keep in mind this was still early in the infancy of the news on demand era. News and info could still be squashed quietly; this was before the whole OJ trial and the resulting media blitz that would consume sports reporting for over a year in 1994 and 1995. Stern could play in secret and I think that’s just what he did. Especially after Jordan’s father was murdered that summer (for what some think was retaliation for gambling debts) Stern called Jordan on the carpet and basically told him, yes you are the biggest player in the game but the integrity of the league can never be compromised. My co-worker still scoffs at this notion saying “What would it prove to take Jordan out of the league?” I maintain that suspending Jordan and maintaining that he “retired” was the best move for the pub conscious NBA who had seen the downfall of one of MLB’s biggest names and pointed this out to the equally pub conscious Michael Jordan who might have offered weak denials or excuses. Stern knew that Jordan had to be disciplined but to do so publicly would have hurt his commercial appeal. A retirement offered Jordan an escape hatch. If he wanted to walk away and keep walking he would look like a Jim Brown, retiring at the top of his game as a highly decorated and lauded champion. If he came back after a year he could maintain that he felt that he had something left. But it was all kept quiet, Jordan went to play baseball and the NBA played wide open for the first time in years knowing that the title was truly up for grabs. When the 94-95 started and Jordan was eligible to return, but stayed away many thought that Jordan had indeed retired and that played into Stern’s plan. It would look too suspicious had Jordan came right back and jumped right back on to the Bulls roster. Instead Jordan continued to shag fly balls in the White Sox bush leagues. But once the fact came up that he would not play for the Sox who were in the process of fighting through a messy strike decided it was time to let Stern know that he wanted to come back since he was eligible to play since his year suspension was up. Stern graciously let Jordan play his return the way he wanted to, Jordan notified the press that he was looking to comeback and then after the media (weary of the ongoing OJ trial) was given enough teaser to whet their appetite gave a two word statement announcing his return “I’m Back” Your humble scribe was lucky enough to have seen his first game back through sheer luck of the schedule. Even though Jordan would be a bit rusty on his return and only played in 17 games that year and the Bulls would get bounced from the playoffs by a supposed younger hungrier Magic team, that would in turn fuel him to play at his absolute best (30.4 ppg) in leading the Bulls to a 72 win season in the 1995-96 season, a triple crown MVP (All Star, Regular Season and Finals) and a cake walk to the Bulls 4th title their most dominating season of the six titles. The story as it would look was Jordan refreshed after a year sabbatical after his father was murdered came back to reclaim his throne as pro basketball’s best player, punctuated with winning the title on Father’s day and the iconic scene of him sobbing on the locker room floor clutching the game ball.

To me, it’s a great snow job that the NBA played out. Were the Bulls the best team in the NBA? No question and they were truly dominant in that 95-96 season. Jordan had come back with a vengeance and led the Bulls to the title, no one questions that either. But David Stern managed to take what would have been a PR disaster and make it a Hollywood ending. Hell, they even got a movie ending out of it upon Jordan’s return in Space Jam. I put this theory out there and people will scoff and there will be those that curse me for committing what some feel is basketball heresy in trying to besmirch the name of a basketball icon. I will have you know that I was a huge Jordan fan from back in his Carolina days. I have the first Sports Illustrated covers that he was on as a collegian (With Sam Perkins as a Tar Heel in the fall of 1983) and as a pro (shooting over Mike Dunleavy Sr. in the fall of 1984) But I will maintain that his first retirement was one of the biggest PR end runs that David Stern has ever pulled on the sporting public.

Righting some wrongs in the NHL

The last two Stanley Cup wins were to a pair of the oldest and more respected teams in the NHL in the Blackhawks and Bruins, three of the last four winners have been original Six teams (Though it might be a while before the other triumvirate of that half dozen in Montreal, New York and Toronto will lift the cup) I think with the Thrashers moving to Winnipeg (See Dap below) the NHL just needs to right a couple wrongs. Since this column is heavy into speculation and conjecture lets just go full tilt and say it out loud. Lets get teams back into Hartford and Quebec City. I don’t want the team that now have these franchises (Raleigh and Denver respectively) to lose their franchises. But Im thinking that two cities that barely pay attention to hockey as in Miami and Phoenix should relinquish these teams and get them back to cold weather climes. You might ask why not move the Stars or Lightning? Both teams are engraved on Lord Stanley’s Cup no team has moved after winning the Cup and only the Flames and Hurricanes have won as transplanted teams. Ill give those teams a break in staying put and I think winning the Cup has endeared these teams to their cities. So you will all have the old schoolers say remember that Cup winning season of… (’99 for Dallas and ’06 for Carolina)  And I have seen cold and snow in Dallas before so they get a pass too. Hotchnuts speculated nicely on renaming the respective divisions back to their unique titles of Patrick, Adams, Norris and Smythe but keeping them geographically close to each other in their respective divisions. And it seems that someone is indeed listening, as multiple outlets are reporting that the NHL is indeed looking to do some major realignment. Lets hope that they were cribbing our notes in realignment…

Phat Dap/Head Slap

Phat Dap

A couple of them this week, to Winnipeg who reached back in its history to rename their NHL team once known as the Atlanta Thrashers to the Winnipeg Jets. While its true that the Jets didn’t have the most sterling of histories before their first incarnation was hijacked to Phoenix. Im glad they stuck with the old school name and not try to get cutesy with a name or worse yet go with the Manitoba Moose.

 

Head Slap

To former Nationals manager Jim Riggleman. The Nats have been playing rather sharply as of late, winning 11 of their last 12 to climb above .500 at the latest point of the season in their time in DC. Riggleman abruptly resigned his position when Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was slow to talk contract extension. Riggleman maintained that he was losing stature with players in the clubhouse because of what he thought was a shaky contract status and figured that if he threatened to resign with the team playing as well as they have been Rizzo would capitulate. Instead Rizzo basically told Riggs to kick rocks and accepted his resignation by basically telling him not to be on the bus to the airport for the teams flight to Chicago. Instead oft-traveled fill in John McLaren filled in over the weekend in Chicago. Not missing a step the Nats named Davey Johnson as the new skipper. Don’t look for the Nats to miss a beat as they are playing more and more respectable and with good young talent in their pipeline, There will be good baseball being played in our nations capital bank on it. Riggs tried to play it off as a principled stand but instead it looks more and more like a real dumb move. Head slap to Riggleman who in trying to play the bluff,  may have walked away from his last big league job.

Thoughts From the Couch -- 06.27.11
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

What's up everyone? There's not a lot going on in the sports world this week, that is unless you like watching that bullshit of a game called soccer. I'm sorry but I just can't get into it. The only good thing about soccer in the US to me is Hope Solo. (By the way, Hope if you're reading this, just know that you can come play with my light saber any time you want.)

Anyway, back to sports.

The College World Series will come to an end this week, and either the Gamecocks or Gators will take home the title as they square off in a best-of-three series starting tonight in Omaha. South Carolina beat Virginia by the skin of their teeth on Friday night to advance to the championship series, mostly due to an amazing performance by closer Matt Price. Price pitched 5 2/3 innings of relief to keep Virginia from scoring any runs, allowing the Gamecocks to finally push across the game-winning score on a throwing error by Virginia on a bunt attempt in the bottom of the 13th inning. It was an awesome way to win the game, but if I would have had my way they would have won it in 9 innings like Florida did to preserve their energy for the start of the final series. But oh well...shit happens sometimes, and hopefully the Gamecocks can step up to the plate and bring home another trophy.

The NBA Draft took place last week, and I didn't watch it. All I know is Cleveland picked Kyrie Irving #1 overall, and I don't think he's going to help them that much. Hell, they had LeBron James and couldn't win a title, so I doubt they'll do it with a kid from Duke who only played half of his freshman year. But I'm sure when they lose there will be plenty of apologists waiting to tell us that the loss doesn't define the city, that they will overcome, and they're still great because they won a few championships before World War II happened. Sounds like fun...can't wait.

The NHL Draft took place last week too, and I didn't watch it either. I don't even know what channel it was on, but if Gary Bettman was involved I'm sure it was on that channel I don't get that most of the NHL shit is on. (I still haven't figured this out...why put all your stuff on Versus? It just doesn't make sense.) Even if I would have watched it, I still wouldn't have known what was going on. But oh well...

I did see an article on ESPN that stated the NHL is planning a complete realignment now that Winnipeg is getting the Jets back, but the realignment won't take effect until next season. So for this year, Winnipeg gets to play in the Southeast Division...yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

I understand the need to realign, but there's no need to realign the entire league. It seems to me the simple thing to do would be to move Winnipeg to the Western Conference, and move either Columbus or Nashville to the Eastern Conference. That seems much more simple to pull off than to completely realign the league, unless the current alignment isn't working for whatever reason. (Someone with more hockey knowledge can fill me in on this, because I honestly don't have a clue...I only know who's in the Southeast Division because of my semi-fan status with the Hurricanes.)

The NFL is still locked out, but that could be changing soon. The two sides have been meeting for the last week negotiating a deal, and it is rumored that they are very close to coming to an agreement where the league year will officially start on July 15. Hopefully this rumor is true because I'm getting really tired of not having anything football-related to talk about. I'm ready for the season to start so I can brag about how Cam Newton is kicking everyone's ass and shove it down everyone's throat for saying that he wasn't going to be worth a shit. (You know it's coming if he does turn out to be as good as I hope, so be ready for it.)

There's not a lot of Major League Baseball stuff to talk about, but I will point out one thing I've learned over the last few weeks: Justin Verlander is the freaking man. I honestly think he's the best pitcher in baseball right now. Screw Roy Halladay. Screw Cliff Lee. Screw any pitcher for the Yankees or Red Sox. Verlander is the best in the bigs right now, and he proved that the other day when he had yet another dominating performance where he struck out, what, 14 hitters? I lost count after 10. If he's not the starter for the American League in the All-Star game then something is seriously screwed up with how that shit is determined. It should be Verlander and Jair Jurrgens from Atlanta as the two starters, as they are the two best pitchers in their respective leagues at the moment.

While we're on the All-Star Game, if you haven't seen it, they're having a tournament of the greatest moments in All-Star history at the moment, and the fans have already screwed up by not voting for the moment that should have won the whole thing: the 1999 All-Star Game in Fenway Park when all the greats from the previous century were on the field at the same time, and all the current All-Stars surrounded Ted Williams as he rode into the infield on a golf cart. I don't see how any other "moment" can live up to this one, because it had everything you'd want in a true "moment" in baseball history. But oh well...shit happens sometimes.

Well that's all I've got for this week. If you have anything you'd like to add, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Have a great week everyone!

Until next Monday...

Jets are back!
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: nhl winnipeg jets flyers bettman


 

Well, it is now official.  The Winnipeg relocation team is resurrecting the "Jets" team name.  Makes sense to me...now they don't have to spend money on "vintage" jerseys since the old logo is still in rotation.  But what will the new logo look like?  Who knows, but there are tons of suggested ideas floating around on the net right now.  With their first draft pick, the Jets chose Mark Scheifele  from the Barrie Colts.  What makes this pick special?  Scheifele's coach in Barrie is none other than Jets legend Dale Hawerchuk.  Lets just hope that Scheifele doesn't turn out to be another Jimmy Mann.  Yup, that's right.  I went old school for that joke.  Not sure who Jimmy Mann is?  He was Winnipeg's first draft pick when they joined the NHL.  Why Mann was chosen?  Who knows, but they passed on someone by the name of Kevin Lowe for him.

With the addition of the Jets, the NHL is going to have to realign their current division and conference set up.  Bettman made a suggestion at the Board of Governers meeting and he suggested going with Pacific, Midwest, East and South divisions.  Okay...if this is the perfect time to go back to four divisions, go back to the original four; Adams, Norris, Patrick and Smythe divisions.  Go back to the Campbell and Wales Conferences as well, and here's what you can do.  Realign all the teams in the division according to geographic proximity to the other teams.  Here is what I suggest:

Adams Division:                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Boston Bruins       

Buffalo Sabres

Montreal Canadiens

Ottawa Senators

Toronto Maple Leafs

New York Islanders

New York Rangers

Patrick Division:

Carolina Hurricanes

Florida Panthers

Philadelphia Flyers

PIttsburgh Penguins

New Jersey Devils 

Tampa Bay Lightning

Washington Capitals

    

Norris Division:

Chicago Blackhawks

Columbus Blue Jackets

Colorado Avalanche

Detroit Red Wings

Minnesota Wild

Nashville Predators

St Louis Blues

Winnipeg Jets

Smythe Division:

Anaheim Ducks

Calgary Flames

Dallas Stars

Edmonton Oilers

Los Angeles Kings

Phoenix Coyotes

San Jose Sharks

Vancouver Canucks

Keep in mind, I am just some moron sitting here in Northwestern Ontario trying to come up with a new realignment scenario.  The good thing is, it isn't my job to create one and implement it.  One thing that will always be a problem in the Western Conference is travel.  The teams in the Western Conference are spread farther apart than they are in the Eastern Conference.  As well, which team from the west would be moved into the East?  Detroit makes the most sense, but the hard part will be creating divisions with the same amount of teams.  I couldn't do that for this, but then again, remember that the fool proof plans are for the NHL to create and implement, and then up to us to pick them apart and mock their decisions.

Well, Philly may finally have found their goalie.  Unfortunately, Bryzgalov came at a large cost.  Bryzgalov dropped his old agent and picked up Rich Winter to handle the new contract.  Who is Rich Winter?  Winters was the guy that managed to get Hasek his big money deal, so you would think that Bryz was going after the same type of money.  Here's the problem; Bryzgalov is NOT Hasek.  The second that Bryzgalov starts to struggle, the fans in Philly are going to be all over him.  In order to sign Bryz, the Flyers had to move Richards and Carter...the fans aren't going to forget how much he cost them.  If things start to go bad for him, Bryz will realize that playing in Philly is nothing like playing in Phoenix the second he gets hit with his first trailer hitch.  But the thing is, the Flyers now have some cap room to pick up some more scorers.  Lots is going to be expected from the younger players like VanRiemsdyk and Giroux this year in Philly.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Hotchnuts

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