In an odd pre-trade deadline move the Toronto Maple Leafs moved under-performing and grossly overpaid winger, David Clarkson and his $5.25 million a year contract that still has 5 years left, to the Columbus Bluejackets...Clarkson had just one 40 point + season before signing the deal...Give the guy credit for cashing in, but it was just another in what has been long line of horrible moves by the Leafs...
In return, the Leafs got...Wow, this one is great....
Nathan Horton and his $5.3 million a year deal...I believe it has 4 years left on it...That said, since signing that 7 year deal with the Jackets, Horton has barely sniffed the ice...And it was announced this year that Horton is suffering form a degenerative back injury and it's likely he'll never play hockey again...Now he'll get put on the Long-term Injured Reserved list, so he won't be a giant waste of cap space...
But seriously...Toronto blows and wants to dump salaries...And rebuild, again...Why not just say, 'Here, take Clarkson and give us some pucks and water bottles, maybe throw in a7th round pick...No, okay just the pucks!'
Normally with trades everyone talks winners and losers...I guess this clunker is a wash!
Me? I fucking loved it. Every last second of it. If you thought that there is no place in the game for these types of behaviours, stop reading now and go back to whatever you were doing before. That doilie isn't going to crochet itself.
The comments coming out of Toronto right now are absolutely ridiculous and stupid. My favorite has to be this one coming from Phil Kessel, regarding John Scott challenging him to a fight. "What are you going to do? He's a big boy so if he's coming after me, what are you going to do?" Yup...that is Kessels defence for giving John Scott a pair of 2 handers and a spear. What are you going to do? Yes, Scott is bigger. But let's first explore why Scott was sent out, even though you will never hear any coach or player admit this. Anyone who has played the game, knows what I am going to say next. If you fuck with our smaller players, we are going to fuck with yours.
The incident that led up to this brawl was a fight between Corey Tropp of Buffalo and Jamie Devane of Toronto. Let's explore the difference in size for a second. Tropp is 6'0' tall and 185 lbs. Devane is 6'5" and 217 lbs. Not exactly a fair matchup. But did Tropp go crying to the media after? No. He stood in there as best he could. Phil Kessel is 6'0" 202 lbs and Scott, well, Scott is a beast. 6'7" and 270 lbs.
Even though it was a neutral site game for both teams, Toronto was the home team and had last change. Carlyle had to have known after one of his larger players drilling out a Buffalo player, that John Scott didn't hop the boards for peace talks. John Scott was there to send a message. Fuck with our smaller players, and I am going to fuck with yours. Message sent. It is an age old belief in the game. Even Tony Twist breaks it down for you. Skip ahead to 1:48 if it doesn't do it automatically for you.
Even some Toronto players, such as 6'0" 188 lbs Nazem Kadri. He said Lupul stopped him from going on the ice to get involved. Are you fucking kidding me? Who the fuck is this kid? Lupul should've said, "have at it kid...learn your fucking lesson." Even if it did happen, don't go looking for the first microphone to make it look like you are a tough guy who isn't to be trifled with.
I fucking loved it. Now we have the Toronto media claiming that Scott broke the code. That is part of the code. If your bigger players are going to fuck around our smaller players, I'm going to fuck your smaller players over. Bottom line. That is how the policeman is utilized. The enforcer role has come under scrutiny lately, with smaller players being able to fly under the radar, free from punishment. Nah. That is not the way it should be played out. If you are skating around, flapping your gums, expect someone to shut you up.
Personally, I love that Clarkson will serve the first ten games of the regular season under suspension. From the start, I have always stated that he is highly overrated and the majority of his penalties are because of his stupidity. Chalk this one up for another stupid mistake by Clarkson. And all the blame needs to fall directly on the Leafs. Carlyle should have fucking known better to put Kessel out there when he saw Scott stretching his gargantuan fucking legs.
With seconds left I had my well-thought-out epitaph for Boston all ready to commit to electrons. Bye bye Claude! So long Jagr, nice seeing half of you. So long Milan, maybe you can play there next year. Why can't we get a good scorer like Kessel?
Then... whoosh. Three goals in a couple of minutes, two with a Raskless 6-on-5 from the team that couldn't put a power play together if Fidel Castro were team captain.
Was this cream rising? Was this a young Leaf squad with no playoff experience finally cracking? Was this just the law of averages as Boston's shots started missing the goalie instead of drilling him?
Whatever it was, suddenly Boston rises like Lazarus and has a series against the Rangers. Will that be a rout for the powerful New Yorkers, or will this grueling series supercharge the Bruins much as a grueling series against another age-old rival from Montreal did two seasons ago? Mere minutes ago I had all the answers. Now all I have are questions.
The Leafs ought to be back. It appears Boston has a newly fierce rival in the Northeast... oops. Just in time for the NHL to do a reorg. Ain't it always the way? Toronto shouldn't let this ruin their rebuild like the Indians let the Red Sox' comeback ruin theirs in 2007. They've got a future.
Boston's future is less clear. One thing is sure. The Rangers are a monster team, but the Capitals have been Boston's opposite number. Whether they've dodged a bullet or stepped out of the pan into the fire remains to be seen.
I have to tell you...sometimes writing a blog sucks. I wrote my blog and thankfully copied to word, because when I went to publish, I was told that I must be logged in. So, I will try for the third time...
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. March is gone and we enter deeper into the quarter of 2012 known as spring. This is a great time of year (except for the looming tax deadline) and I love the warming trend that has begun to take a firmer foothold. The cold snaps common in March, begin to lose much of their bite in April. April is known for showers, but in Austin, the flowers have begun to dominate the landscape.
Lady Bird Johnson was crazy about wild flowers and the Texas roads bear witness to this each spring.
Not everything in the flowers is pretty. Warmer weather brings the rattlesnakes out as well...
Damn...that is a really big snake. Notice how the guy has to use two hands to hold him up. This is a very heavy snake. Did you know they taste like chicken?
area and he told me the above storm was about 20 minutes from him. Mother Nature can be a beast when she wants to...
Flowers and snakes are not the only thing that April brings to Texas. The warmer weather has a tendency to cause "issues" when it runs into cooler weather. Texas is famous for thunderstorms and often these storms bring us tornadoes. Tuesday was a crazy day in the Dallas/Ft.Worh area. Many tornadoes were sighted with one funnel being on the ground for an estimated 30 minutes. I have a good friend that lives in the Dallas area and he told me the above storm was about 20 miles from him. Mother Nature can be a beast when she wants to...
Monday was the end of college hoops. As many of us predicted, Kentucky was the champion. Congratulations to the Wildcats for a great season. So how did you bracket work out? Although Missouri hurt, I managed to get three of my final four correct. I think I might have taken the brass ring in the Gab bracket. I will split my winnings with everyone that comments on my blog today!
Did you happen to read about the guy that was shot during the celebration in Lexington? How does it happen that you would take a gun to celebrate your team winning? Apparently, 31 year old Harold Calloway and friends exchanged words with "fans" on the sidewalk. When Calloway exited the car to further discuss the celebration, he was shot in the foot. You would think that was not such a bad thing, right? Turns out that Calloway's foot was so badly damaged that doctors had to amputate his foot. Wow, it is hard to imagine that things could get much worse for Calloway, right? Wrong...Calloway has outstanding warrants on drug related charges in Indiana and will be extradited once he recovers. That is a really bad week...
Congratulations must be given to the Lady Bears from Baylor for outlasting the ladies from Notre Dame. If truth be told, this game was determined by the tallest player on the court. 6'8" is a truly a big advantage in the women's game. But, when you cap off an undefeated season with a championship, it is time to celebrate. I will bet money that there will be no shootings in Waco. Have you ever been to Waco? It is the smallest big town I have ever visited. I guess for celebrations; that is a good thing.
April also brings a golf tournament that I will actually watch. The Masters is this weekend and I will be watching. I am not sure why Augusta National resonates so strongly with me, but it does. I suspect because this is a major tournament that is played on the same course each year has something to do with my attraction. After visiting Atlanta last year, I can tell you that it is just a beautifully green in person as it is on TV. There is a tradition about Augusta that rivals anything that Europe has to offer. Bobby Jones and friends did a remarkable job creating this course and establishing the tournament as a player and fan favorite.
For some, last weekend's win by Tiger Woods was ignored. I promise you that the players understand what the win represented...Woods is getting close with his new swing. This will be the third time that Tiger has reinvented himself and if my hunch is correct, he is preparing to remind the world just how damn good he is. Like him or not, when he is done, you will have to acknowledge that you have seen the best. For millions of viewers, this will be the reason that they tune in this weekend; is Tiger back? A few years back the bet was do you take Tiger or the field? My money is on Tiger this week. In fact, it would not surprise me at all to seem him take the slam this year. Of course, he needs to win this week first.
It is no secret that Ryan Leaf is the poster child for the biggest of all time NFL busts. This is old news. I have read in the past few years that Leaf had turned his life around. He wrote a book about his time at Washington State and things appeared good for Leaf. This week, the ugly truth was revealed. Ryan Leaf's life decisions are no better than his NFL decisions. Arrested on March 31st for burglary, he made the statement that he was "not going to make excuses, but use the experience to move forward with his life." So much for that...Leaf was arrested two days later for again stealing prescription drugs from a residence. What in the Nate Newton was Leaf thinking? Failing on the football field is sad. Failing in life is tragic. Obviously, Leaf has an addiction to oxycodone or whatever pain killers he is able to find. There is no doubt that Leaf is in trouble. It is also certain that Leaf faces a long stretch of prison time. The forced entry charges he faces are serious, not to mention the probation in West Texas that will undoubtedly be revoked. Nate Newton said prison saved his life, hopefully Leaf will be able to say the same sometime in the future. I do wonder though...does everyone in Montana use pain killers? Did Leaf hang out at Walgreens and follow the folks home? Strange deal...
Did you buy any mega millions lottery tickets last week? Did you really want to win? Chris Singleton did...so, he bought $10,000 worth of tickets. The Washington Wizards rookie has no regrets for forking over the money for the potential pay out. As he shared with his followers on Twitter: He felt he made a wise investment, even though he didn't win. "[It was either] that or blow it in the club," Singleton said. Chris, to each his own, but spending $10,000 on lottery tickets does not qualify as an investment in my book. Best of luck with that strategy. I have a hunch that you will be where Dennis Rodman is now in a few years.
I was never a great test taker, but I suspect that I could beat a 4 on a Wonderlic test. Vince Young got a 6. Terry Bradshaw got a 13. Former LSU's cornerback Morris Claiborne got a 4. Much will be made about this low score, but I have a question. How is the test score on a confidential test made public? There is something seriously wrong with not only leaking the information, but reporting the information once it is leaked. How is it that the media is allowed to report this? One day, an athlete will hire a good attorney and sue the hell out of a bunch of people and I will sit back and laugh.
Baseball season starts for real today. Hell yeah! I am ready for this season to kick off...I have been pondering my picks and I am leaning toward a Rangers vs Giants in the WS...There will be many surprises this year, maybe your team will be the big surprise? Play ball...
Things have picked up for Westwood baseball. We won again Tuesday night 6 to 5. We have now won 4 straight. In the bottom of the 7th in a tie game, Westwood led off the inning with a base hit to left field. Our three hitter walked and Blake drove a solid single by the third baseman for the game winner. Westwood 6 McNeil 5. It was a tough win as I have coached half of the kids on the McNeil team. We have a double header with them at Dell Diamond Thursday and I am sure that they will be anxious for some pay back. If Westwood can take one of two, we have a pretty fair shot to make the playoffs, something we have not done in forever..
That is all I have for today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey to take with you
"If I ever become a mummy, I'm going to have it so when somebody opens my lid, a boxing glove on a spring shoots out."
"I hope they never find out that lightning has a lot of vitamins in it, because do you hide from it or not?"
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own...
What does all of this mean? Probably not much to many of you, but it means $100 to me. Earlier this year when the leafs were in first place in the Northeast Division, Flyer Fanatic was confident that the leafs would make the playoffs. He was so confident in that fact that he decided a $100 bet would backup his assertion that the leafs were a playoff team. I was adamant that they were not, stating that the maple leafs defense was not strong enough and they did not have enough secondary scoring, or heart for that matter, to make a difference in the post season. As of Tuesday, the leafs were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. As a result, I am now $100 richer. Well, that all depends on if Flyer Fanatic is a man of his word and doesn’t back out on his wager.
So, Flyer Fanatic, get in touch with me and I will provide you with my paypal address so that we can complete this pleasant transaction. I think this will clarify my viewpoint from the start of the season.
So now, we will see the lack of mettle of this current batch of leafs on display. I don’t think the leafs will go out of their way to win another game this season. Not to say that they are going to intentionally tank the season for a better draft pick; I would hope pro athletes would have some pride. It is kind of ironic that all of a sudden, James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson are out with injuries. As a result, the leafs are turning to Jussi Rynnas to finish the season for them. Yup…that is how deep they are in the nets Flyer Fanatic. If they are planning on tanking the season, I hope they get a draft pick like Alexandre Daigle that shits the bed. It’ll look good on them. The leafs have 2 games left against Buffalo, 1 against Tampa Bay, and they finish up the season with the last place team in the Eastern Conference, the Montreal Canadiens. Folks, I wouldn’t turn into that game if I was you. I would much rather slam my balls in a dresser drawer for three periods than watch that shit.
With the trade deadline passed, teams are struggling to find a suitable replacement for injured starters. The New York Islanders recently felt this pinch after having Nabakov go down. As a result, the Islanders are going to ride Al Montoya into the sunset this season with a recently signed John Grahame as a backup. Bruins, Lightning, Hurricanes, River Rats, Omsk and Monsters fans should remember him. The Islanders must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel to sign the goalie coach for the USHL Sioux City Musketeers. The NHL lockout did one thing for hockey fans; allowed the game to pass by players like Robert Esche and John Grahame. Don’t get me wrong, Grahame did a good job backing up Dafoe to start his career, but then an injury and difficulty returning to his previous form marked the beginning of the end for his time in Boston. If anyone is interested in watching the Islanders play out the string, it should interest you that you can watch Matt Martin build on his record breaking 357+ hit season. Martin is a solid, in your face type of player. You could say I’m a Matt Martin fan, since I enjoy the way he plays the game.
There have been a few teams that have clinched playoff spots so far, and as I am working on this on Saturday afternoon, the Rangers, Penguins, Bruins and Flyers have clinched in the East, and the Blues, Canucks, Predators and Red Wings have clinched in the West. In the East, there is an interesting race for the 8th and final playoff spot between the Sabres and the Capitals. Buffalo has been going on a tear lately, and are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. They are tied with Washington at 86 points, and both teams have 4 games left. However, tonight Washington will be getting a boost from the return of Nicklas Backstrom after he missed 40 games after taking a high elbow from Rene Bourque.
In the West, San Jose is on the outside looking in. They have gotten progressively worse the past few seasons, and are currently 1 point out of the final playoff spot. With 2 games left against division rivals Dallas, and 2 games left against division rival Kings, these games are a must win for the Sharks. That being said, that top 3 positions in that division are ridiculously close. The division leaders are the Kings with 90 points, the Stars and Coyotes have 89, and the Sharks have 88. This division finish is going to be great. The knock against the Sharks in seasons past has been their lack of ability to get up for a big game. Well, they have 4 games left to prove to their fans that they have that now. With no significant injuries, the Sharks should have the tools to make their push. But do they have the will? We will have to watch and see.
Jordan Carver yoga pose of the week:
Fight of the week:
Erik Gudbranson vs Ryan White; always nice to see a 3rd overall draft pick take on a regular occupant of the sin bin and do okay.