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?
I already had a semi-rant about LeBron last night and I don’t want to say anything else. But my heart broke for Cleveland fans last night. Those poor people. Can you imagine if Ryan Miller had never signed his contract extension and instead went on TSN or Versus to tell the world that he wasn’t signing with Buffalo and instead was bolting for somewhere else? I would probably be borderline suicidal. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Twilight vs. Harry Potter update: Eclipse sucked balls but I stood up and cheered after the Deathly Hallows tailer (OH MY GOD THE VERY FIRST THING THEY SHOWED WAS HARRY GOING TO DIE AAAHHHH CAN’T HANDLE IT SO EXCITED!!). And now I’m reminded of why I don’t talk about Harry Potter on this blog, because besides the fact that this is a hockey blog, when I get started I can’t stop. And I already had a deep discussion earlier today about Snape’s memories and wanting to look in Harry’s eyes before he died.
Oh. Um, spoiler alert for the stuff above if you haven’t read the last book yet.
A few signing updates: The Sabres are keeping Patty Lala around for another year and the Caps re-signed Jeff Schultz and Eric Fehr. Woo!! Yay!! It’s not like Lindy’s ever going to play Lalime anyway and Ryan likes him so that signing makes sense, although I really did think for a second that Theo had a shot here. Because I am delusional.
Jeff Schultz and I have had our differences in the past but after this year I’ve been working on it. I still maintain that the Caps need someone big and scary, but we shall see. The Fehric signing, on the other hand, is fantastic. I adore Fehric. I can’t explain it. I just love him and what he does for the team and I can’t imagine them without him. Yay for Fehric!
I don’t recommend taking long uphill bike rides at eight in the morning if it’s already 80 degrees. Not fun. I do, however, recommend lying around on the deck reading. It’s a good time.
I’m going to see “Eclipse” tonight with my friends but I was given permission to wear a Harry Potter scarf. (Gryffindor colors) I used to be a big fan of Twilight. I read the books back before they were very popular and even if I didn’t think they were as well written as Harry Potter, I found them highly entertaining. I was Team Edward for about five minutes before I became firmly Team Jacob. Then girls began reading them and becoming obsessed with them, and then they started making truly horrific movies, and now I’m somewhat fed up with all this vampire craziness. While I love me some Taylor Lautner, I assure you I was Team Jacob before he was cast in the role. I plan on making a big scene either before or after the movie during which I proclaim my undying love for Harry Potter. I don’t usually talk about it here on this blog, but I’m one of those people who are just completely obsessed with/in love with the Harry Potter books. JK Rowling is, amongst other things, a bloody genius. I also feel as though Twilight has been copying HP. This makes me angry. Harry Potter is better and I will fight you to the death over it and I will win. This is even coming from a hopeless romantic. Edward needs to just back off a little bit and I can’t stand Kristen Stewart. The Harry Potter books are just so good and even though I’m not crazy about the movies, they’re better made and better acted than Twilight. So there.
The Sabres, to the surprise of everyone, signed someone today!! And not just anyone. They agreed to a one year deal with Niedermayer!!
Yeah, Rob Niedermayer. I know. Bad joke. I couldn’t help it.
The Sabres definitely needed a center and definitely needed a tough veteran. I wouldn’t have minded one with a few more points, but hey, this is the Sabres. Baby steps. And who knows. Maybe I’ll grow to love him as I have grown to love Mike Knuble.
So yesterday I returned home from my Canadian adventure, ready to start my usual summertime activities (sleeping, reading, walking the dog, lying around, doing nothing). It was actually a really nice time. Canada, you’re quite beautiful. Totally weird and wacko, but beautiful nonetheless. I consider Washington, D.C. to be one of my favorite cities on the planet (and did so before I gave a crap about their hockey team, thank you very much) so it was cool seeing Ottawa since it’s another capital city. Even though it creeped me out that all the natives walking by me probably liked the Senators. Montreal was gorgeous, all the Halak graffiti around the Bell Centre cracked me up, and I did a lot of uphill walking. Quebec City reminded me of when I was in Europe which means A+ for Quebec City!! Hearing all the French outside of a classroom setting was cool and the Chateau was breathtaking.
I legit died laughing when I saw the “Slapshot”-related shirts and I ended up buying a Nordiques shirt. Hopefully one day it will be relevant again.
There are quite a few pictures involving me and food from last week. Fear not, I ate well.
While I was away, NHL Free Agency began. Kovalchuk hasn’t signed anywhere yet (I bet he does it today just to screw with America), Volchenkov doesn’t play for the Caps, Alex Semin still does, and the Sabres signed Jordan Leopold. Um, woo? Whatever. I knew the chances of Hank and Toni sticking around were slim but now the Sabres still really do need to add a little something to the blue line. Tyler Myers aside, it’s looking a little frightening.
The Caps, on the other hand, have done pretty much nothing. If they’ve got something up their sleeve, well, that’s exciting. But if they honestly think this lineup is going to cut it, I’m concerned. HELLO. It is NOT WORKING. You need to add a few more pieces before you go out and win that Cup.
That’s all I’m going to say for now. Time to go celebrate the birth of our wonderful country. To all you Americans out there, enjoy your day!!
If you told me at twelve when we turned on NHL Home Ice in the far as we drove from Montreal to Quebec City that when I finally got the Internet connection to work I would discover that on today, July 1, Free Agency Day, Darcy would have already signed someone but GMGM wouldn’t, I would have thought you were crazy. Is this some sort of alternate universe?
And while I realize that many people will miss Hank and Toni (one of my close friends was very emotionally invested in Lydman staying) I find their new deals with their new teams highly amusing.