It’s September. I know. I can’t believe it. It’s getting cold out and I go back to school tomorrow (not talking about that) and training camps open soon (woooo!!!). I haven’t blogged in quite some time because nothing’s really been happening. Sorry about that.
Kovalchuk is a Devil. I’m so over that at this point.
I think the Sabres signed some guys. I don’t really remember. I worry about them.
I might be going back to Washington in February (yay!!).
That’s really all I have to say now. I’ll try and come up with something witty to say about the upcoming season. Maybe.
There’s literally nothing going on right now related to hockey.
The NHL won the case and Kovalchuk’s contract was wiped out. Which is awesome, because seriously, that contract was ridiculous.
Now, however, the NHL is going to town investigating all those other ridiculous contracts that have been signed but haven’t kicked in yet (Luongo, Pronger, Savard). And while I a) think the teams should be forced to keep them instead of getting the cap relief that would come with voiding them because it’s their own faults for signing such stupid deals in the first place and b) sincerely hope this doesn’t actually lead to another lockout, I have to admit something: if you take a step back and look at this from afar, it’s hilarious. One victory and the NHL is going crazy investigating suspect contracts and trying to void them all. It’s funny. Go to town, boys!
(And I do realize this might just be a scare tactic. Doesn’t make it any less funny.)
While killing time a few minutes ago I wandered on over to the Sabres website and decided to watch Mo’s interview with Kevin to make sure he was just as goofy and adorable as he was when he was in Washington. If you’ve seen the interview already you can imagine my pleasure around the :15 mark when he mentions all the “fanatical fans” here. Aw, shucks Mo!! I really appreciate you giving me a holler so soon after coming to the Buff!
And, um, what was Kevin thinking asking about the similarities between Washington and Buffalo? I’ve been a Sabres fan my whole life and I’ve been a Caps fan long enough to know that there are absolutely no similarities between these teams. None. Yeesh, Kevin.
It’s still weird seeing Kevin standing there in his Sabres jacket in front of their dressing room interviewing a player I’ve always known as a Cap as a Sabre. This is going to take some getting used to.
(I don’t have anything to say about Tim Kennedy getting bought out because the whole thing is just too weird and I don’t get it at all.)
Shortly before free agency began, I had a sneaking suspicion that the Sabres would go after Shaone Morrisonn. I knew that he was most likely done with Washington and I knew that the chances of the Sabres keeping Lydman and Tallinder were slim. I was never a huge Mo fan but I never disliked him. He wasn’t phenomenal but he wasn’t complete crap; he was just there. Which made me think he would be perfect for Buffalo.
In retrospect I should have written this idea of mine down, because today darling Mo (Mo I after Mo II came to town) signed a two year deal with the Sabres. Reading Twitter immediately following this deal was somewhat amusing because half of my feed was “Goodbye, Mo” and the other half was “How the eff do we spell his name?” Mo was one of those players who I really didn’t mind. I didn’t fawn over him or drool over his play, but I tolerated him. I don’t think he’ll be a standout but I think if the Sabres needed to add another body to the blueline, they could have done worse. He’s not super flashy although that might have just been because he was stuck with Mike Green. I feel like if Fat Mike is your defensive partner, you really can’t risk trying to move the puck into the offensive zone yourself. I really haven’t given any thought to any potential Sabres lines or defensive pairings this year (other than to think about the Sabres defense and shudder) so it will be interesting to see where Lindy ends up putting him. This is all going from memory, but he could handle a fair amount of minutes. One time I particularly warmed to him was against the Rangers in the playoffs last year. I can’t for the life of me remember why, I just remember that he really endeared himself for me.
As for off the ice, two things come to mind as really important. He and Brooks Laich were roommates on the road and whenever the subject of road trips or roommates or hotels came up, the two would wax poetic about their system. I’m sure I’ve written about it on here too. They had this ridiculous system set up that they followed completely on road trips. It always kind of reinforced for me that Brooksie is completely OCD.
The other thing is that Mo must have been pretty desperate if he agreed to play in Buffalo, because let me tell you something: Buffalo is not his favorite place. While my memory was slightly foggy in regards to this video and it’s actually Schultzie who names a Buffalo restaurant and not Mo, I’m 99.9% positive Mo also lists Buffalo since all the guys say Buffalo.
Regardless, I’m just glad that for once I was right. Welcome to Buffalo, Mo! I’m afraid the arena here isn’t always quite as loud as the Verizon Center, but hey, at least I’ll be there a few times!
As I was applying liberal amounts of toothpaste to my face just moments ago (The Wedding that has occupied my family’s thoughts for years since my cousin got engaged is finally this weekend and I’m not taking any chances if another heat wave rolls through and I break out) it occurred to me: it’s July. Which means, amongst 80,000 other things, that this here little blog has turned two.
Wow. Just, holy cow. I can’t believe I managed to actually write a blog for two whole years. Sure, the first (many) months weren’t my best work, and at times I feel as though I haven’t written as often as I should, but it’s still here and I’m still here (unfortunately for you).
(As it turns out, this blog’s actual birthday falls on Bastille Day. God, I’m a history geek even when I don’t want to be.)
Seriously, though, this has been so much fun. Even when I’m putting utter garbage on here, I’ve always managed a few hits. So thank you for anyone who’s ever read. You guys really are the best!
The NHLPA has until today to file a grievance about the voiding of the Kovalchuk contract or take it to arbitration or whatever the exact terminology is for it. And while this whole situation is fascinating to me, there is literally nothing else going on right now. So even if I wasn’t fascinated by it, I’d still have to pay attention because there’s nothing else to distract me.
Ilya Kovalchuk, you successfully killed the summer. Thanks a million.
Yesterday Ilya Kovalchuk finally agreed to a new deal with New Jersey, one that is supposedly going to be 17 years long. And I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about that just doesn’t sit well with me.
I want to say it’s the part where he’ll make $11.5 million, but if a team wants to overpay a guy, that’s their prerogative. (But still. $11.5 million? For a guy that has won exactly ONE playoff game and hasn’t figured out what the equivalent of “defense” is in Russia?) People are whipping themselves into frenzies over the cap circumvention and the fact that it utilizes that loophole to keep the cap hit manageable isn’t what bothers me. I think the part of the deal that bothers me is the way in which it uses the term of the deal to keep the cap hit low.
I actually usually like long-term deals. Nicky Backstrom signed a ten year extension in Washington? Heck yes, keep that guy around. Ryan Miller got himself a five year deal? He’s a goalie, he actually wants to be in Buffalo, I support it 100%. And when Tyler Myers signs his twenty year extension* next summer I’ll wear my Myers shirt around town with pride. But these are all deals that (God willing) will be played out. In ten years Backstrom will be 32, Miller will be in his mid-thirties, and I’d like to think Tyler has twenty years* in him (all with Buffalo, of course). Kovalchuk is already 27. Even if he plays until he’s 40, that’s only thirteen years. What I don’t like about this deal is that by making it long enough to keep the cap hit reasonable, it got up to 17 years. For a guy who’s 27. Even if he was a 21 year old signing his first contract after the rookie one it would be different.
It’s not even the fact that the deal is front-loaded. If you want to give the guy the cash up front, fine. But giving him the money up front in a way that makes it easy for you to buy out his last few years, years he’s most likely not going to play, seems to be taking cap evasion a little too far.
I don’t know what the solution to this problem is when they start renegotiating the CBA and I don’t pretend to know. I don’t mind long term deals for players who are bigger names (because regardless of whether or not he can win, I personally consider Kovy to be a big name). For the fans, it gives them security that players they like and players they want to root for and keep in town will stay there. For the team, it gives them a way to pay the player money he wants while not completely screwing over their team for years to come. I just feel like something should be done to prevent deals that no one expects to end with the player still playing. There’s a reason Kovalchuk’s money goes down in the end and I feel like that reason just might rhyme with “shmyout.”
I don’t know. Maybe I’m being completely unreasonable and probably maybe this post doesn’t even make any sense. I just don’t like that guy signed a contract he’ll never play the duration of.
Whether or not the Devils actually win now is an entirely different story and I’m not going to even get into that. (Hint: I don’t see it happening.)
And props to the Kings for not caving in and throwing at him what he wants. You guys showed him not going above 15 years. I think you made the smart choice.
*I’m exaggerating here. A little.
(But first, happy birthday, Ryan Miller!! The big 3-0!)
As you know if you’ve ever read this blog before, Alexander Ovechkin is my favorite player. If you’re new around here, well, Alexander Ovechkin is my favorite player. As was, always is, and always will be. I think he’s the best player in the world and I will fight you to the death over it. I also apparently share the opinion of the entire NHL, because hey, they voted him MVP this year for the third time in a row. (And let me tell you, I still chuckle when I remember that after everything that he did and everything Sedin did, they still voted him. He just won’t go away.)
So this year he had an unfortunately early start to the offseason and hit the World Championships. He got in lots of shenanigans in Vegas. He became a godfather (that’s a leap of faith) and has been enjoying the company of lots of women. He hung out on a boat and wore a speedo, which was not one of his best ideas. His new “girlfriend” has the most outrageously long hair I’ve ever seen. I seriously don’t understand. Where does she put it when she does stuff? Does she move it out of the way when she sits down?
And then, dear readers, he got a job. And not just any job. He is now the advisor to the president of Moscow Dynamo, a KHL club.
Like, where to I even begin? I guess for such a famous athlete to work with a club from his home is a good idea. But, he’s not just an “advisor.” He’s a paid employee. That is so awesome on so many levels. What does he even advise him on? Drills to run with the team? Players to go after? Which tie looks good with that suit?
Is he secretly acting as a spy, giving NHL secrets to the KHL? Is this like the Cold War all over again? Does he get vacation days and sick days? It’s all a lot to consider. I think it’s very cool that he’s doing this and is having a “productive summer.” (The previous term, by the way, is a dirty, dirty term. Why would I want my summer to be productive, various adults?) And even though he’s getting paid, supposedly the salary is small. But still. This guy is a professional athlete who makes like $9 million a year, and he’s a salaried employee this summer anyway.
“What did you do this summer, Mike Green?”
“I got a lot of tattoos and worked on my man boobs.”
“What did you do this summer, Alex Ovechkin?”
“I was advisor to the president of a KHL hockey club.”
I really don’t have much of anything to say because there’s really not much of anything going on. Kovalchuk still hasn’t signed anywhere and I honestly have no idea if this means he’s more or less likely to end up in LA or the KHL or who knows where. Personally, I want him to end up back in Atlanta for less than the original contract they offered him. But that’s just me.
Chicago continues to have HILARIOUS cap issues. Like, I’m happy for their fans that they won and all, but I certainly wouldn’t want a team I cheer for to go through this. However, if they want to send Patrick Sharp to Buffalo or even Washington (SECOND LINE CENTER) I’m sure the fans would be happy to adopt him and love as one of their own.
Is it just me, or is this offseason more dead than usual?