Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New year Everyone!

1) Just a quickie note to wish all our readers the very best this New Years! 2009 will be the fourth calendar year we at FAUXRUMORS have been blogging.
2) We are excited to begin the year where we left off; Providing hard hitting, unique commentary, rumors and rumor evaluation, and of course always with irreverent humor. Thanks to all of you for making this venture so much fun! As always, keep it here for all the latest in 2009 and beyond!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Week 12 Results

1) Another very solid week of picks for us. Going 8-3 on the night, which brings our season totals to 89-57 for an impressive .610 winning percentage! Additionally we squeaked by on our Lock of The Week to bring that impressive stat to 10-2 on the season! We will be back at it this next Saturday. Meanwhile we're told by FR2 that they are planning an interesting post on some 'out of the box' ideas on a new salary structure/ways to improve the NHL's regular season. Look for it sometime this week!
As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Week 12 Picks

1) Wow, its week 12 already! Where does the time go? After a brief Christmas hiatus we at FAUXRUMORS are back to business with tonight's picks of games. We take our 81-54 or a .600 winning % to the 11 games. Also we add that we are 9-2 in Locks thus far. For those keeping score at home (and we know you are) that's an impressive .812 winning percentage

NY Islanders vs-Buffalo: Sabres (Lock of the Week)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Break!

1) Firstly we here at FAUXRUMORS want to thank each and every one of our many loyal readers. We wouldn't be here without you!

2) During this hockey hiatus, we at the FAUXRUMORS group, along with the entire NHL, will also be taking a 24-48 hour break. We want to wish all of you and yours the best this holiday season!

Monday, December 22, 2008


1) Its been about 6 weeks since we last ranked the 30 NHL squads. We intentionally avoid doing too regularly as other publications/sites do. As before we will list all 30 from best to worst, taking into account their record, recent trends and quality of competition, with last rankings position in parentheses.

1) San Jose- (1) The Sharks maintain their top spot overall with a continuing of their excellent all around play. Great PP/PK and undefeated at home. Quickest team to reach 50 points in league history. That all said, it won't mean a lick if they are knocked out early (again) from the post season!

2) Detroit- (3) A modest 'jump' from the 3rd spot. If not for the Sharks they would be fighting Boston for the top spot. Biggest problem though remains in net. They are winning despite getting mediocre goaltending. Also chelios is back! Identical road and home records is a good indication that the Champs are still a team to be reckoned with.

3) Boston- (8) It was a tough call to place the B's in 3rd behind the Wings, but with the loss of forward Patrice Bergeron can Phil Kessel continue to carry the offensive load? They have lost but once in their past 10 (To Washington) and appear to have a strangle hold on their grip on the NE division with a 10 point bulge.

4) Chicago- (12) Since their early struggles the Hawks have been one of the best teams in the NHL. Moving up 8 slots in our poll. The Jan 1 game at Wrigley is shaping up to be a classic battle! The special teams for Quenville's boys are performing at a high level and they are getting solid goaltending from both Huet and Khabibulin. The ladder stifling temporarily trade talk. Nice to see the rebirth of hockey in The Windy City!

5) Philadelphia- (18) The Broad Street bullies rocketed up our chart with a very solid 6 weeks, especially their last 10 when they have dropped but once in regulation to move within 3 pts of the division leading Rangers (with 3 games in hand). Highly regarded prospects Carter/Richards are now stars to go along with one of the best slate of forwards in the NHL. Imagine if Briere were healthy?

6) New Jersey- (10) Who saw this coming? We apparently sure didn't!devils-done. Not only have they maintained their playoff position since Brodeur got hurt, but they actually have improved. Going 7-2-1 in their past 10 as previous AHL-er Scott Clemmensson has grabbed the #1 goalie position with Brodeur-like stats. Zac Parise is showing he is a legit NHL star! Brent Sutter adding Adams Trophy votes by the day!

7) Washington- (17) Have moved up 10 spots with a very solid 6 weeks solidifying their grasp on the still pathetic se-division even with an incredible slew of injuries that at one point claimed 4 of their 6 starting defensemen. After a pedestrian start, MVP Ovechkin has been looking like last year. Still questions remain, especially with regard to their goaltending and under performing Nylander eating up valuable cap space.

8) NY Rangers- (6) Drop slightly with lack luster play of late. If not for the extra session heroics the Rangers would be even lower. They have only won 4 games in regulation since our last poll, but are lights out in OT/SO's! Their PP is horrendous, but have the best PK in the league thanks in large part to Lundqvist who is having another Vezina quality season. The Rangers will need to step up their scoring to be considered a true threat

9) Calgary- (9) The Flames stay put at 9. Playing overall solidly, but unspectacular. Going 5-2-3 in their past 10. Still expectations are high in Cow-town and Iron Mike isn't happy despite being in first in the tough/even NW Division

10) Montreal- (2) The Habs have come back to Earth the past few weeks. Not in small part from several injuries depleting them. Also Alex Kovalev is having a bad season at a bad time for himself as a UFA after this season. They are now 10 big points from Boston. They also need to address an uncharacteristically weak PP.

11) Anaheim- (5) The Ducks drop 6 spots in our latest rankings. Not looking like an elite team, but staying very much in the thick of the playoff race. Four of their recent losses have been road defeats at the hands of Detroit, Chicago and San Jose. Still, if you're going to be a Cup threat those are the teams Randy Carlyle's team will have to beat. That said enforcer George Parros is having a 'monster season' with 3 goals/8 points!

12) Carolina- (11) Pretty much stay put from last poll. New coach for the Canes since then, but their play hasn't worsened or improved with the switch. Going an unimpressive 4-3-3 in their last 10. Rod Brind'Amour leads the league in faceoff win percentage but he's last with a minus-21 rating. Not good Rod!

13) Pittsburgh- (14) Had a brief surge, but have fallen back again recently going a very poor 4-5-1 in their past 10. Its too bad they can't play the Islanders more often. Injuries have been a problem, but Marc-Andre Fleury is back now so we should see the pens return to form. On the positive side Geno Malkin has continued his torrid MVP type pace he had the second 1/2 of last season

14) Vancouver- (20) The Canucks are still within 1 point of first which is remarkable since they have been without all star goalie Roberto Luongo fir the past few weeks, which included a long road trip. If they can weather that storm, and the addition of Mats Sundin the Canucks should be able to stay in the mix all season

15) Phoenix- (26) Gretzky's crew have rebounded nicely from their perennial bad start and are now back among the top 8 in the very tough West. Going 6-2-2 in their past 10 contests. Ed Jovanovski in particular is having a renaissance season of sorts. Hopefully for their fans they can stay right in it.

16) Buffalo- (4) The boys from up-state NY have fallen considerably from when we last ranked all the teams. Their special teams have been fine, but 5-5 the sabres have been very poor. Surprising since they have a lot of team speed. Thomas Vanek is on pace to score 65 goals, but Maxim Afinogenov is on pace for 3. Not good. Playing only 1 game above .500 at HSBC

17) Nashville- (15) The Preds staying right in the mix despite playing at or near .500 the past 2-3 weeks. Talent-wise, the Preds maybe in the bottom third of the league, but nobody competes harder than a Barry Trotz team. Shea Weber playing Norris calibre defense; Leading defenders in goals AND points and a +12

18) Florida- (25) The Panthers have rebounded the past 2 weeks from the dump heap. Going a solid 7-2-1 in the past 10 to salvage their playoff hopes (3 pts out). The most impressive is that most of those W's have come on the road. Jay Bouwmeester has been red hot finally earning the preseason praise we gave and increasing the trade rumours. When did Craig Anderson become good?

19) Colorado- (21) The Avalanche have been much better than they were in our first poll, but treading water recently. Going 5-4-1 in their past 10. Playing quite a few of those games on the road. The Sakic freak injury hurts. A mere 2 points from the playoffs. Right where we expected them to be in out preseason predictions

20) Minnesota- (7) One of the biggest declines in our rankings. The Wild have been in virtual free fall going 2-7-1 and falling from 1st to out of the playoffs in a short 2-3 weeks. They can't score (unless they play the Islanders) and Gaborik continues to be in and out with an assortment of injuries. Are the gum chewers (Lemaire) days numbered?

21) Toronto- (16) The Maple Leafs (so far) have refused to give up and die as their media expected. Going a respectable 6-4 in their past 10 to hang around the playoff race. However if Toskala is out for any length of time all bets are off as CuJo is looking every bit like a goalie over 40. The trade rumours of everyone will likely commence in earnest soon!

22) Dallas- (23) Was Sean Avery really the problem there? It would seem so as the Avery-less Stars have climbed back into playoff contention (4 pts out) with a 6-3-1 run. Marty Turco's success or failure is the real team barometer for them! With Sean gone who/what will next be the excuse if they fail?

23) Columbus- (27) A bit of a jump from 27th last time around. A mere 3 points from the playoffs right now, but have not played all that great recently. They haven't won or lost more than three in a row all season. Steve Mason continues his strong play in net, but the team's inability to hold on to leads has to be troubling for coach Hitchcock

24) Los Angeles- (29) Have avoided any long losing streaks to stay respectable, but their 3-8 road record needs improving before we'd say they are real playoff threat. They also have to stop giving up the first goal (The Kings have the worst winning percentage (.071) in the NHL when the opposition scores first 1-9-4). Bright spot is Anze Kopitar who has had a nice few weeks

25) Edmonton- (13) Another team that has taken a precipitous fall from our previous ranking. So much so that there is now a 'McTavish watch'. Only 4 points from playoff position, but the Oil have been anything but impressive recently, and nothing like what was expected in preseason polls. Of course they have been on the road for almost the past month. Going a reasonable 10-9. Lets see if home cooking changes their fate.

26) Ottawa- (22) Another team that might have a new coach before long. Craig Hartsberg's squad is falling into obscurity in the East. 8 big points from the 8th spot and falling. 3-8-2 road record is one problem. Absolutely ZERO secondary scoring is another. Amazingly their goaltending has not been an issue.

27) St. Louis- (24) Already thin on talent, injuries have hampered the Blues to the point that they have won but 3 of their past 10 games and now in dead last in the West. Andy Murray appears to be on very thin ice blasting his team publicly. Their specialty teams are actually good. Its 5-5 where the Blues, well sing the blues. Sorry.

28) Atlanta- (30) The best of the bottom feeders. The Thrashers have won 3 of their past 10 to fall 11 points from a playoff spot(out of it) The Kovolchuk rumours won't go away. Unfortunately we have yet to read a rumour that inept GM Don Waddell is on the way out. If Ilya is traded the franchise should be forced to either fold or relocate as they'll have no fans left!

29) Tampa Bay- (19) The Lightning should thank the NY Islanders. Without them they'd still be the worst team. Since our last rankings they have fallen like a rock. Little did they know that Melrose wasn't the problem, just a symptom. They have won but 1 game in their last 10. They continue to be snake bit(or suck) in OT/SO. Losing an incredible 9 games that way. If they won all of them, they'd be a mere 5 points from #8, not 14.

30) NY Islanders- (28) With the fewest points of any other NHL team (3) in their past 10 games the Isles find themselves in the basement of the NHL and our poll. Like St. Louis an already thin on talent team has sustained more than their fair share of injuries. Starting with All star goalie DiPietro who is still gone from their lineup. To add injury to that insult their best player Doug Weight was recently lost to an undisclosed injury. A lottery(bottom 5) pick is all but assured

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jot These Down: 'Save The Dates'

1) With today's Holiday Freeze now in effect there we figured we would publish the important dates to jot down for the upcoming/remainder of the season.

Dec. 19 - 27: Holiday roster freeze - no waivers or trades

Dec. 26 - Jan. 5: World Junior Championship in Ottawa

Jan. 1: NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago (Blackhawks-vs-Red Wings)

Jan. 25: 57th NHL All-Star Game in Montreal

Mar. 4: NHL Trade Deadline at 3pm et/Noon pt

Apr. 12: End of Regular(Pre) Season

Apr. 15: Stanley Cup Playoffs begin (Real Season)

Apr. 24 - May 10: IIHF World Championship in Switzerland (In case your team is not still in it)

June 26 - 27: NHL Entry Draft in Montreal

July 1: Free agency signing period begins

Week 11 Results

1) Another 12 NHL contests are in the books and we had one of our better weeks going an impressive 9-3 on the day to elevate our season total to 81-54 or a .600 winning %. We also improved our Locks to 9-2 on the year. We're told the Holiday Power Rankings will be out early ts week as our likely last post until X-mas. As always keep it here for all the latest

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mrs Gretzky Likes? Week 11

1) Its week 11 of our weekly Hockey Picks. This week we are "inspired' by Mrs Gretzky. Janet Jones who was implicated (sort of) in the Tocchet NJ trooper betting scandal 2 years ago.

2) We bring our 72-51/ .585 winning percentage into this week's slate of

Carolina vs-Boston: Bruins

Los Angeles vs-Detroit RedWings (Lock of The Week)

Dallas vs-Ottawa Star

Tampa Bay vs-Atlanta Thrasher

Minnesota vs-St. Louis Blue

Chicago vs-Vancouver Canuck

Washington vs-Philadelphia Flyers

Buffalo vs-Montreal Habitants

Toronto vs-Pittsburgh Penguin

NY Islanders vs-Nashville Predator

Columbus vs-Phoenix Coyote

NY Rangers vs-San Jose Shark

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mats Goes West

1) To the surprise of NO One (who read this blog regularly) Mats Sundin is headed to Vancouver to play for the Canucks. As we have LONG maintained that was really his only choice from day one. Our most recent posts. Here: and here: The other rumours that have been widely circulated (especially by the idiot Eklund) is that he was imminently going to sign with the Rangers. Our sources NEVER had that deal even on our radar so we never discussed it as a possibility here. At very most we're told that the Sundin camp used the Ranger rumours to inflate his price and allow Mats to stretch this whole process out an extra couple of weeks.

2) Eklund (covering his ass) is reporting that the Rangers were trying to trade several players to make room but couldn't. Several sources tell us this is simply "bullshit'. Sather made no additional inquiries than GM's do these days anyway. No deal was even close. Our source in Dallas especially found the Rozival for Avery rumor quite laughable. He tells us "if they (the Rangers) wanted to rid themselves of Rozival they could simply send him to Hartford(AHL) We never heard from them".

3) In the end Mats went where he felt most comfortable. He stayed in Canada, which he proclaimed many years ago was his adopted country (more like his native Sweden than the US apparently). The money was right, and the Canucks had the cap space saved for this signing. It was so obvious that we are surprised that so many folks were apparently hoodwinked into thinking he would go anywhere else. Of course some like Eklund put out crap to sell "subscriptions" to his loyal minions. We wonder how they are feeling this morning having been played by Ek for the past 6 months and being WRONG on where Mats would sign. Those sources aren't working for ya buddy! LOL

4) Next the questions are will this deal tip the scales for Vancouver to become a legit contender AND will this spur other teams to deal anytime soon. ('Dominoes' as the idiot from Philly likes to say. To the former, we say NO! Mats will help Vancouver stick around to probably make the post season, but even with this addition the Canucks are merely going to be a one and done playoff team. There are simply too many other clubs out West who are still far superior to Vancouver even after this. One has to also remeber that Sundin has NEVER lifted his teams to win anything in the past. After not playing for 10 months and being 36 yrs old he is a groin injury waiting to happen! As for additional deal. Its the trade freeze until after X-mas so no derals are imminent. Our favourite asst western GM source tells us there is no more "chatter" out there than usual. No big deals are probably going to come down before the All star weekend, if then.
As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Drop Dead Date Needed?

1) With all the recent hoopla concerning the impending decision of UFA Mats Sundin to finally decide that he's returning to play in the NHL we felt perhaps it would spurn on the league to decide if they need to set a "drop dead date" for UFA's to either be signed by an NHL club, or wait until next season.

2) Right now there is a cut off for RFA's. If a RFA remains unsigned beyond December 1st he can not play in the NHL that season. The same termination mark does not exist for UFA's who theoretically can stay sidelined until the start of the playoffs. Which is exactly what we hear Peter Forsberg is thinking of doing. That is, get into shape, and sign with an NHL team in the spring and start late in the season to gear up for a playoff run. Thus bypassing the lion's share of the season that is so taxing, especially for an injury prone vet like Peter.

3) So we decided to look at the Pros and Cons of this current situation:

  • Creates an unfair advantage for an individual team to load up on elite talent at a fraction of the cost.

  • It circumvents the spirit of the salary cap


  • The big names create excitement to both the teams that get them and throughout the entire NHL with the anticipation of the big star's return.

  • Allows older players to play when the games mean the most and less likely to get injured

4) To the ones in favour of a deadline we say, nonsense. Its not like the last 2-3 Cups have been decided by a player who came out of retirement to play in the spring to tip the scales. It simply doesn't happen. We don't think Mats Sundin, Peter Forsberg, Claude Lemieux or even Mario Lemieux returning this spring would make a wits worth of difference. In fact it can be argued that teams adding aging stars can cause detriment to team chemistry. Resentment by players who play all season towards the newbies might happen. Either way, we don't see these aged wonders as being difference makers. As such a deadline is not needed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

KHL In Trouble?

1) As recently as early October the prevailing sentiment around North America was that the KHL was a league that was to be reckoned with. A possible alternative for players, especially European born, and of course for Russians to play or at least use as contract leverage. The sentiment was reinforced by rhetoric used by league officials stating that they would allow players to play in the KHL even if they were already under contract to play in the NHL (Radulov). Many postulated over the summer that the KHL might eventually evolve into a true competitor of the NHL.

2) It seems today only 6 months later from many of those pronouncements that not only is the KHL not even close to being a NHL competitor, but it may significantly shrink or even fold before it 'gives the NHL a run for its money'. As we predicted back in October the KHL was going to have to overcome some major obstacles to not only compete with the NHL, but to remain in business at all. We also discussed the KHL threat in detail back in July-

3) As we mentioned back then, we discussed how the collapse of the price of commodities, specifically oil was going to seriously hurt the Russian economy. We talked about how many of the KHL owners were either directly or indirectly tied to oil. Back then the price for a barrel of crude was $75. Today it has eroded further, trading this morning near $45-50. There is now clear cut evidence that the Russian economy is in recession (along with the rest of the world it seems) and their banking system is on the precipice of collapse.

4) With all that in mind and the fact that the league can NOT be carried by fan attendance (ticket prices) the KHL will likely have to significantly cut back in several areas. Most notably in salary expenditure. We probably won't see too many teams throwing millions at mid/low level (former) NHL players. As importantly, we have been told that a couple of the less well funded teams may have to fold. Currently there are 21 teams. A source in Russia told FR that "if conditions don't improve next season they very well could be down to 15 or fewer teams, and from there it could get worse!". Some of the bigger franchises have too much cash behind them to evaporate anytime soon, but the smaller less funded ones are on the precipice NOW! Add that to the negative PR the league received when one of its young stars Alexei Cherepanov died of what has been declared a "preventable tragedy" and you can see why the NHL isn't exactly shaking in their boots over the KHL.
5) We also have to end this post with caution for the NHL. When we did some research for this post many told us that we would be better served looking into possible problems HERE. That things were far from as rosy as Mr. Bettman wants to portray to the media. WE are working on that and hope to publish that before the holiday. Meanwhile the X-mas trade freeze will commence Friday! As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Week 10 Results

1) Week 10 is in the books. We enjoyed another "plus week" going a respectable 7-5 to bring our season long total to 72-51 for a .585 winning percentage. Additionally we raised our Lock of the Week total to 8-2 with our win in bean Town. Look again for week 11 next Saturday. We should also have an interesting post concerning the KHl out sometime early next week. FR2's annual Holiday edition Power rankings is probably about a week away. Look for it. As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Week 10 Picks

1) In honor of Week 10, we have a nice picture of Bo Derek to share. Anyway, we bring our season totals to 65-46 for a .585 winning % into tonight's action of 12 games. Note, there are two afternoon games today.

Pittsburgh vs-Philadelphia Flyers

Atlanta vs-Boston Bruins (Lock of The Week)

Buffalo vs-New Jersey Devils

Tampa Bay vs-Ottawa Senators

Dallas vs-Nashville Predators

Vancouver vs-Edmonton Oilers

Minnesota vs-Los Angeles Wild

Washington vs-Montreal Habitants

Carolina vs-NY Rangers Hurricane

NY Islanders vs-Columbus Blue Jacket

Detroit vs-Phoenix Coyote

St. Louis vs-San Jose Shark

Friday, December 12, 2008

Does Avery Have Brain Damage?

1) Normally we would gravitate to a player such as Avery. He is a pest on the ice. Creates/agitates and always makes games he's in interesting. We have made mention of him in a positive way in the past. He's also not a bad hockey player when he wants to be. However some recent information that we have been told/read makes us wonder if Avery isn't just an on-ice pest, but a potential menace who has some serious emotional issues.

2) Also normally players such as Avery are favourites in their own dressing room. As loved by the their own team mates as they are hated by the opposition. The difference here though is that Avery seems to be hated by just about everybody. He wore out his welcome in LA forcing a deal that sent him to the Rangers. Avery’s acerbic play on and off the ice initially proved effective on the Great White Way – some Ranger fans were anything but happy at the time of the trade. Most Kings fans saw the deal as "addition by subtraction." The expiration date on Avery had long since passed in Los Angeles. One Kings blog wrote at the time "Lombardi (Kings GM) would have been the winner of the deal if he got back a bag of pucks and two broken sticks for Avery."

3) Once on Broadway Avery appeared to have found a home. He enjoyed considerable success, putting up career highs in goals and points for the Blue shirts. The teams record without him was abysmal. Making it appear that Sean was the second most valuable player (behind King Hank Lundqvist). However behind the scenes things weren't nearly as rosy. Avery was 'tolerated' as one player told us. Never accepted really. Brendan Shanahan couldn't stand him, and as the defacto team captain had more than a few run-ins with the super-pest. You can bet if Avery was a solid citizen Rangers GM Glen Sather would have made every effort to resign Sean.

4) It should be said that the Dallas Stars knew very well who they were getting when they signed Avery to an incredibly short sighted (stupid) 4 year, 16 million dollar contract. As we mentioned earlier, IF Avery were loved by his team mates and not such a distraction he would be worth it. When we hear Stars owner Tom Hicks acting so sanctimonious about Avery we LOL. Tom you're full of shit. You got what you deserved. Its not like NHL owners are a well respected group these days.

5) To reiterate, we disagree whole heartily with the inane suspension given out by Bettman last week for admittedly stupid remarks. We especially find the sending Avery to 'anger management classes' beyond dumb. Did Avery look 'angry' when he made the sloppy seconds statement? LOL However after consulting with a few mental health experts almost all told FAUXRUMORS that they believe Avery may very well suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD). One source told us that Avery has all the appearance of possessing this disorder and would be "seriously at risk to inflict serious physical and psychological harm on others, but more ominously would be at greatly increased risk for incarceration, injury,depression, substance abuse, and death by homicide or suicide." They went on to say that unlike other psychological illnesses APD doesn't have readily successful treatments such as medication.

6) Which leads us to what do the Stars do now? Coach Tippett has come out to say he doesn't want Avery back. Hicks has blasted him publicly. A source tells us its a 100% chance that Avery won't don a Dallas sweater ever again! So now what?

  • To unload Avery's $3.875 salary this season, the Stars could place Avery on waivers and if he clears, send him to the American Hockey League. The Stars have a partial affiliation with the Manitoba Moose and currently have five Dallas players on their AHL roster; however the Moose have made it clear they are not interested in providing a place for Avery to play. Moose owner Mark Chipman has stated, ''We wouldn't take him under any circumstance.''

  • The trade option is available, but who would take him? A rumour floating around these days says the New York Rangers, were interested in dealing defenseman Michal Rozsival and his four-year, $20-million deal to Dallas in exchange for Avery. The source suggested Avery would then be sent to the Rangers' AHL affiliate in Hartford. Of course the Rangers would do this to clear cap space to sign Mats Sundin to add some potency to their anemic offense. This is possible, but far fetched.

  • The Stars are trying to find a loophole in the contract that could make Avery's contract void. If that happens, expect the NHLPA to cause a huge stink about it, and that could get very ugly. A source within the NHLPA tells us that they would have to take this issue on despite the possible PR ramifications. They tell us that the team would have trouble proving the case nonetheless.

  • The also could try to place Avery on LTIR with his 'emotional issues" being the reason. The Stars still have to pay Avery the rest of this season,have him go to 'counseling' with the probable intent of buying out (at 2/3) the remaining money. Of course Avery would have to agree on that option.

7) We believe that Avery has played his last NHL game, and based upon what we heard from mental health experts Sean's future is probably going to from bad to worse! Editors Note: Look for our latest (week 10) of our Weekly Picks. As always keep it here for all the latest!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Move Over Mats....JJ Coming Back?

1) The never ending story of where will Mats Sundin play is ongoing with various reports on where he may end up. This post will not address that issue as we have already discussed it ad-nauseoum. However, Mats might have to scoot over to make room for another possible returnee. None other than Jaromir Jagr.

2) Rumours have been circulating that JJ is none too happy with his KHL arrangement with Omsk Avangard. There are varying reports of the league being in trouble. We have a post on that subject forth coming. However, the 'bloom is off the rose' sort of speak. Not only are conditions far inferior to what Jagr is accustomed to in the NHL, but he is also not happy with the competition. Jagr is a nightly target for players taking cheap shots at the super star.

3) We have read reports but also heard from various sources that Jagr would possibly accept/listen to offers from Eastern Conference only NHL teams to return. With a lack of a transfer agreement in place, nothing would prevent Jaromir from returning, assuming he's not locked into his contract. We're surprised that Eklund hasn't been all over this one already. Certainly Jagr could impact a team as much as Mats? The problem is the potential asking price and lack of cap space for a majority of contending teams that JJ would consider returning to.

4) The obvious destination, Jagr's last NHL stop the NY Rangers, have been rumoured to be in the Sundin sweepstakes, but the problem is they have virtually no cap space and either can't afford to trade away another asset, or those players they want to move are salary cap anchors; not attractive to other teams. Another possible interested team is JJ's original team, the Penguins. They too have cap issues, but the addition of Jagr to their forward lines would make them The Eastern Conference team to beat. A dark horse team that is quietly staying in the race, and could easily arrange to have the available cap space to add Jagr are the NJ Devils. Despite the loss of Brodeur for the past month they have been staying in the top 8 in the East. The addition of Jagr to make their offense more potent could tip the Devils from a marginal playoff bubble team to an instant Eastern contender.

5) Who ever Jagr chooses, or IF he leaves Russia at all at this juncture is anyone's guess. We are NOT saying we have any significant inside information on this issue at this time, but we wanted to alert our readers to its possibility. No doubt other rumor blogs will start to pick up on this as the days go by. Certainly nothing will transpire on this before the New Year. An unrelated note, look for an interesting post FR2 is writing with respect to the Sean Avery situation Its probably going to be out this Friday. As always, keep it here for the latest!

Monday, December 8, 2008


1) AS we have written many times, we HATE the concept of rewarding losing in any sense. We are against the loser point and improved draft position for being sucky. First with regard to the standings. We approve of any idea as an improvement over the current system with regard to rewarding losing in any sense. There are many possible plans we have read to improve the current way the NHL doles out points, but doubt we'll see any change as the current system keeps the standings closer (mediocrity or the PC term of "Parity").

2) One plan which we like because it gives teams more incentive to win in regulation would give a team winning in the requisite 3 periods 3 points. If the games goes the extra session the winning team regardless of an OT or SO win would get two points. The losing team in ANY event gets NOTHING for losing. Yes, we can already hear the cries. "What if a team plays another close for 55 minutes only to lose in a shoot out, they get nothing for that?" Easy answer, Yes, you get nothing. You lost the game, you get nothing. End of story. No more playing it close in the 3rd period hoping to at least come away with something. Teams will be incentivize to not only play for a win, but to win BEFORE OT!

3) As for our other pet peeve. We also hate giving losing teams the chance to pick higher in the draft as this also rewards losing, We hate the current system. Right now the bottom 5 finishers (or lottery teams) have a shot at picking first overall. This was done after the Penguins supposedly tanked the 1983-84 season to pick first to get Mario Lemieux instead of Kirk Muller. (Good idea). The thought was that by not guaranteeing the first pick, teams wouldn't be accused of tanking the end of the season. However recently we have seen teams 'tank it' just to finish in the bottom 5. Our plan would eliminate this system entirely.

4) Our position, though radical and controversial, would eliminate all possible doubt, and no longer reward failure/incompetence. That is do what was done in the 'Crosby sweepstakes' (2005 draft). Have ALL teams' draft order determined equally by a lottery. It would be a great/exciting show, like then, to have every team a chance at the 1st pick, and it eliminates once and for all any chance that teams would be disincentivized from playing their best/best players at all times! It forces GM's/teams to improve by making good decisions, not by tanking a season or two to rebuild and getting good picks. It eliminates ANY notion that teams aren't playing their best each and every night. Also, and as importantly, it stops once and for all the idiotic notion of reward for failure.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Week 9 Results

1) We took another proverbial 'bath last night. Going a poor 5-7 on the night, bringing our season totals to 65-46 for a .585 winning %. We take solace in two things. We got our "Lock of The Week" correct to bring that to an impressive 7-2. Also we have to point out that of our 7 losses, 4 were in OT or SO. We lost ALL games that went the extra session. Conceivably we could have gone 9-3 if all had gone our way. No matter, we will be back at this again for Week 10 next Saturday. We will also of course stay on top of all NHL news. As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Week 9 Picks

1) Welcome to Week 9 of our weekly hockey picks. We take our very respectable 60-39, or a .606 winning percentage into today's 12 games.

Pittsburgh vs-Ottawa : Penguins

Philadelphia vs-Carolina : Hurricane

Atlanta vs-NY Islanders: Islanders

Boston vs-Florida : Bruins (Lock of The Week)

Minnesota vs-Nashville : Wild

Edmonton vs-San Jose : Shark

Chicago vs-Detroit : Black hawks

New Jerseyvs-Montreal : Habitants

Washington vs-Toronto Capitals

Buffalo vs-Tampa Bay : Sabres

Phoenix vs-St. Louis Blues

Columbus vs-Los Angeles Kings

Friday, December 5, 2008

Late Week Rumours

1) We are due for a good old fashioned rumor post today. Just a note of interest to start, The Christmas Trade deadline is December 19th. No trade can occur from that date until December 27th. Therefore the rumours will be fast and furious from the usual rumour mongers out there. Historically speaking there are very few block busters this time of year. Yes, its a deadline of sorts, but in the past it has not caused a big increase in deals like the trade deadline that occurs 6 weeks prior to the end of the season. (March 4th this year).

2) With all that out of the way these are the various rumours we have been hearing recently. First the easy ones; The ones with no chance of happening. Our (former) buddy Eklund put out a very funny post a few days ago. It sounds like he's getting some flack from some of his disciples. This strait from his blog "this rumour site would be great were it not for the rumours". Anyway, his premise is that a whole series of trades are contingent upon Mats Sundin signing somewhere. Once he is signed a number of deals will also magically also transpire within a few hours or days. "Dominos ready to fall" was how he put it. So we asked around to some of our well connected folks through out the NHL and flat out asked if Eklund's rumour held any water. The reaction was universal.....laughter! One of our favourite sources out west told us "If we waited for other teams to make a deal we'd never make a move.... He's (Eklund) a fucking idiot!" We took that as a resounding no to his trade rumours. LOL

3) Anyway, back to reality:

  • Mats Sundin: As we all know, he's a UFA, not a trade rumour, but since he is so often mentioned we had to ask around. The responses were basically the same as last time we inquired. We are being told that Mats is looking toward a post holiday return to a Canadian team although a return to TO is LESS likely now that Burke has been officially hired.

  • Martin Havlat: WE are being told that Chicago desperately wants to deal the 27 year old Czech forward who is in the final year of a deal that pays him 6 million. They would prefer to move him sooner rather than later because his salary cap anchor and his penchant for getting hurt!The team that keeps popping up are the Penguins, but right now they are in no position to take on that kind of salary unless they do some serious wheeling and dealing. If he does go there it wouldn't be until the deadline!

  • Mike Comrie: The NY Islanders center is still recovering from a hip surgery, but we're told will almost assuredly be dealt after the holidays and before the trade deadline. The team is simply looking for either a late 1st rounder (good luck!) or a 2nd/3rd (more possible)

  • Max Afinogenov: The Sabres' patience for the enigmatic Russian has run out. As will his current contract after this season. The Sabres have already offered him to any taker but with his 3.33 cap it and lack of production no serious takers could be found. He may be more late February/early March fodder, then a return to play in the KHL next season a near certainty.

  • Antoine Vermette and Christoph Schubert's names have both been floated throughout the league as possible trade bait. The Blue Jackets are the team we are hearing the most. However its unlikely they will be able to pry what they want (a goalie) away from Columbus with those two! Spezza might help. ; )

  • Michael Nylander: Not a FR exclusive obviously. However we can tell you that there is some validity to some of what was written. From his first day with the team Coach of the year Bruce Boudreau and Nylander have butted heads. Nylander, despite Boudreau's quick success, has never given the new coach any respect and it shows on and off the ice. The rumor that appeared in the paper was from NYLANDER's agent trying to push things along. Michael still has a home in Chicago so a move there would be an easy transition for he and his family. In fact we're told his car still has Illinois plates!

  • Jay Bouwmeester: The Panthers have all but give up trying to sign their star defender. We're told its a combination of Jay repeatedly declining lucrative offers, but also the team is no longer all that high on his play and think they could save the probable 6 million cap hit and spend it on 2 quality players instead. Jacques Martin is fielding offers, but to this point has asked for "way too much" for a deal to get done. Especially if Boumeester isn't first signed to a extension before a deal occurs. The Sharks have made serious overtures and have the young forwards and draft picks the Panthers will demand. The rumours of a Spezza-Bouwmeester swap are nonsense we have been told flat out. Martin knows all about Spezza and doesn't want any part of his lazy play in Florida. Don't expect any movement on this before January, and we've been told that "Martin's job hangs in the balance" based upon how he does here. "If he gets fleeced, he's toast".

  • Marion Gaborik: First, the latest pile of refuse from Eklund that Gaborik is being pursued by the NY Islanders is even stupid for him. If one is to believe the Islanders are trying to rebuild, then trading for/signing an injury prone player for big bucks and giving up big time draft picks/prospects would be more than a tad hypocritical. Marion is going to kick himself for declining the Wild's summer time offers of 8+ million for 6 years. Another injury plagued season is hurting his chances for big money/security. They will have little trouble finding a trade partner, but they won't get back what they thought they could.

  • Alex Kovalev: The Montreal forward is having a sub par season (for him) coupled with his impending free agency make the Russian star now available. Gainey won't part with him for loose change though. He and Chris Higgins have had their names bandied about recently. Now he IS one player the Islanders may have interest in obtaining. He's young,(25) but as important, he's a native Long Islander! One or both may have to be moved IF Gainey gets the inside track on Sundin.

  • Petr Prucha: Not a revelation to anyone who follows the Rangers that the Czech native will soon be moved. The only question is when and where. Most likely Sather would take back anything more than a 4th round pick, but so far that's the best he's been offered. Prucha's 1.6 million salary hit and lack of production this year is making him a hard sell.

  • Jason Spezza: As we alluded to earlier don't believe any Spezza to Florida rumours. In fact we're told to not listen to ANY Spezza rumours we might read/hear. One eastern conference exec told FR the other day that its [pure fantasy to believe anyone would take on Spezza's contract right now". He explained that with the salary cap to level off or shrink, players who make 7+ million and don't/can't carry their team will become difficult if not impossible to move. With an additional 4 years (after this one) Jason is as immovable as anyone in the NHL!

  • Nikolai Khabibulin: Anyone who has followed hockey for more than 24 hours knew he wasn't going anywhere soon once he cleared waivers and there were no takers even when a team didn't have to give up an assert to acquire him. We were told that even at 1/2 his enormous 6.75 salary he would be difficult to move before the March deadline, and that hasn't changed. The other fly in that ointment is that he has out played Cristobal Huet and his 4 year 5.625 deal signed this summer. Also don't believe for a second that Huet will be involved in any trade. The consensus among most inside hockey folks is that the Hawks will either just retain Khabibulin as insurance or not deal him until the latest possible time (March).

4) So there you have it, the players we have heard about the most recently. We don't expect a huge number of transactions between now and the 19th. Most likely if/when any of these players are dealt it will most likely not be until after the New Year (Like most seasons). Feel free to discuss. Look for our popular Hockey picks, the Week 9 edition tomorrow morning. As always keep it here for all the latest!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Laviolette Axed!

1) In a move that is a surprise to few, the Carolina Hurricanes have apparently dismissed their head coach Peter Laviolette. The surprise is that apparently they are replacing him with former coach Paul Maurice. As you all probably know Maurice was let go from the Maple Leafs last season after failing to make the playoffs, again in Toronto. He was the Canes head coach before Laviolette, taking the team to the Cup Finals in 2002, losing to Detroit in 5 games

2) Laviolette was hired by the Hurricanes in December of 2003 after Maurice was fired just 30 games in to that season. He led them to their first/only Cup in 2006 and earlier this season Laviolette, surpassed John Tortorella to become the winningest American born coach in NHL history with his 240th victory. Carolina has won just 4 of its last 10 games and sits second in the Southeast and eighth in the Eastern Conference. They also missed the post season by a sliver the last 2 seasons

3) As we postulated just recently there will likely be quite a bit of turn over among front office personnel in the crappy SE division. This is probably not the last casualty for this division who is still the door mat of the league. Here's wishing good luck to Peter, who probably needs a change of scenery. he n doubt, like his replacement Maurice, won't be out of work long. His resume is a good one, and a team looking to make a change in coaches would be wise to consider Laviolette. Good luck also to Maurice.

Free Avery!

1) In case anyone missed it the Avery quote is linked below. To give you a little back ground/context on why Avery said this. Sean is being suspended for these disparaging remarks he made in reference to Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf and Phaneuf's girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert, who previously had a relationship with Avery. Cuthbert has also been romantically linked to Canadiens defenceman Mike Komisarek, while Avery also dated model and actress Rachel Hunter, the girlfriend of Kings centre Jarrett Stoll.

2) The official NHL announcement: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, in accordance with the provisions of NHL By-Law 17 and Article 6 of the NHL Constitution for conduct "detrimental to the League or game of hockey," . First the obvious humor: Gary Bettman is really the one who is "detrimental to the League or game of hockey" That said, unlike other bloggers, we do NOT hates Avery. He is what he is, an asshole/agitator. As such Avery's comment was great. He has every right to say what he feels without facing suspension from the NHL. It's up to Pheneuff and every other player he offends to handle it themselves. Dallas knew what they were getting when they signed him to that contract. If Dallas owner Tom Hicks has regrets, they should put him on waivers.

3) We love how Hicks was so embarrassed by the comments. Come on give us a break. We want MORE of these kinds of comments. As the weenie announcers mentioned last night on versus, this is common place in the NHL every night (another reason the players should all be wired so we could listen!) The difference is the comment was public, and in our opinion it was from Sean Avery. His past definitely played a role in this suspension. Its not like he was pulling a Reggie Dunlap and put a bounty on Dion Pheneuf's head. It was dumb trash talk and should have been left at that. Gary Bettman and the NHL is so image conscious that they felt the need to quash this. A mistake in our opinion. Don't go out of your way to promote it like the NBA does, but certainly don't go the other way and restrain it either.

4) What he said was factually true, so what is up with this, how can the league even get involved, he's done way worse before. UNBELIEVABLE, maybe the league should do something useful by getting rid of the elbows to the head, never mind this nonsense. Bottom line opinion on this is Who cares what he said? You should be able to say whatever the hell you want about your ex-girlfriend and another player. He wasn't threatening, graphic or really anything but Avery being Avery. Lets move on.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Loonie Nose Diving=Next Labour War?

1) Amid the recent Bettman denials that the league is worried about its fiscal health with the current economic down turn/recession, one of his owners up North is apparently not drinking the Bettman Kool-ade. That owner is Montreal Canadiens owner Pierre Boivin. In a recent interview given to TSN the owner of one of the premiere franchises in the NHL said that he fears that "the sagging Loonnie could send Canadian NHL teams spiralling back into the dark economic days that preceded the lockout."

2) Before we go further, we want to remind our readers who might have heard such dire predictions recently. Yes, it was here! In that post we detailed what such a correction in the worth of the Canadian currency might mean to the six franchises up north who reportedly garner up to 1/3 of the entire NHL revenue!

3) Boiven pointedly states that "We better not return to a 78-cent Canadian dollar because we'll be in the same position we were before the work stoppage". To that we respond: Its now quite clear that the salary cap did NOT alleviate many of the economic ills as was promised. It seems the recent surge in Canadian revenue was almost all tied to the improved exchange rate, NOT the salary cap (for which we lost a season of hockey). If we calculate it against an 80-cent dollar, we're not any further ahead than we were before the lockout," said Boivin, who believes the 'Loonie' must be at par with the U.S. dollar for Canadian teams to remain competitive. The problem is that a par currency situation is the aberration NOT the norm!

4) Of course Boiven had to say the salary cap is helping (His rhetoric doesn't add up), but he also added that he said there are still aspects of the cap that are "not working well......we need to look at what's working well, what's not working well and get prepared for the next round (of negotiations)." Does that sound as ominous to you as it does us? Yes, another labour war folks is going to happen, the only question that remains is when. The ground work is already being set. WE have long been on record saying what we believe the next owners target will be: guaranteed-contracts-. We have little doubt that the NHL (like the Democrat president/congress) will use the economic situation to attain additional concessions/power. Count on it!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Week 8-The Results

1) Not our best night ever, but an improvement over the previous 2 weeks. We went 7-5 on the night to bring our season total to 60-39, or a solid .606 winning percentage. Additionally we won a tough Lock of The Week to bring that total to 6-2.
Look tomorrow for an important post concerning league fiscal health and the possible labour problems it could cause down the road. As always keep it here for all the latest

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Week 8 Picks: Who Would Rick Choose?

1) We take our respectable, yet diminished
53-34, or a .609 winning % into this week's slate of a dozen games. We hope to improve after two consecutive sub par weeks.
Detroit vs-Boston RedWings

Ottawa vs-NY Islanders Senators
Washington vs-Columbus Blue Jackets
Minnesota vs-Nashville Predators
San Jose vs-Phoenix Shark
Buffalo vs-Montreal Habitants (Lock of The Week)
Philadelphia vs-Toronto Maple Leaf

Tampa Bay vs-Colorado Avalanche

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy ThanksGiving

1) On this, Thanksgiving here in the states we wanted to wish all our readers a great holiday and continue to thank God for all the many blessings bestowed upon us.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SE Division Continues To Suck!

1) With all due respect to our readers who are fans of teams in this division, the lofty pre season expectations for the elevation of the division as the annual door mats of the league has not transpired. In fact it can be argued that it is as bad as ever. We expected so much more. Perhaps we were expecting more than what was possible. As of this writing it appears again that the eventual division winner won't have in excess of 10o points. (Possibly as low as 92)


  • Washington Capitals: The 'First Place' Capitals are the only team in the SE that is above .500 (factoring in OT losses, as losses) The Caps are 11-10 with a mere 25 points, but are coming off a third strait loss. Sure they have injuries, but what team at this point doesn't? They probably will eventually win this dregs of a division, but it won't be pretty. They are the best team here. Scarily, from there it gets MUCH worse.

  • Carolina Hurricanes, who at 11-11 and 4-6 in their last 10 are the next best team. We expected much more from the 2006 Cup champs and thus far we and their fans undoubtedly are very disappointed in what we have seen. Peter Laviolette, despite his recent mark is undoubtedly on the brink unless he turns things around SOON! From there the disappointment is even more clear in the next best team in the SE

  • Tampa Bay Lightning. They, with their colossally bad 6-14 record have already sacrificed their coach, but continue to suck nonetheless. Many of us saw them as a possible playoff bubble team, NOT a 2009 Draft lottery team. They have way too much offensive talent to be struggling in scoring. They could turn it around, but the hole is already very deep!

  • Atlanta Thrashers- probably the only NON-surprise is to see the 'Trash' near the bottom of the heap of the worst division (near the bottom of the entire NHL) They, as mentioned above, are close to being a near certainty to be relocated. They actually have played better 6-4 in last 10, to get to this 'lofty' spot in the standings.

  • Florida Panthers- Not a surprise that they are off to a slow start. (But we didn't think they'd be this bad!) They seem to do this every year. No doubt they'll have a great second half then miss the post season by less than a handful of points. They, along with the aforementioned Thrashers are on the precipice of being sold off and moved. Would you pay money to see them?

3) Melrose will probably not be the last management casualty this season in the SE. We SHOULD finally see Don Waddell let go by Atlanta. As we have frequently mentioned, he is the worst hockey executive since Mike Milbury left the scene. After him Jacques Martin in Florida needs to be fired. He has shown no ability to build a team either. His coach, Peter DeBoer we will give the benefit of the doubt, like we do for John Anderson in Florida. As we alluded to we could also see Mr. Laviolette looking for employment before long if things don't turn around. Only in DC(where they fired their coach about this time last year) would we expect to not see any management turnover before the season ends. When all is said and done the division will probably struggle to place more than its mandatory team in the playoffs. The division winner will again probably not exceed 100 points. We expected more, but alas, we guess some things don't change. The SE Division still sucks!

Monday, November 24, 2008

At The Quarter Pole......

1) With nearly all teams having now played 20% of their schedules we decided to project the finals standings. Obviously there is plenty of time for teams outside of the playoffs to get back in, but some trends are clearly becoming evident.

2) We merely projected an 82 game season point total based upon each teams current point total/games played. These are NOT Predictions, they are Projections! Also we will place teams in the order that is used for playoff seeding.
First in the East:

Montreal- 108
NY Rangers- 106
NJ Devils- 98
Philadelphia- 95
Carolina- 94
Buffalo- 86
NY Islanders- 74
Ottawa- 74
Tampa Bay- 74
Atlanta- 69
Florida- 65

3) Next the West:

San Jose- 136
Detroit- 133
Vancouver- 109
Minnesota- 105
Anaheim- 93
Calgary- 90
Nashville- 86
Columbus- 86
Edmonton- 82
Los Angeles- 82
St. Louis- 82
Colorado- 78
Phoenix- 78
Dallas- 69

4) Also of interest is comparisons with last years post. This time last season the Senators and Islanders were in the top 2 in the East!Compare that with now to see how fast things can change. Also the Caps were dead last overall and yet still made the playoffs with 94 points. We understand that with 3/4 of the games remaining the subtle differences of one point or a game or two in hand are magnified, but those are accurate projections, and teams likely needing 90+ points to qualify for the playoffs consistent with past years. It also shows a VERY close race for the final playoff spots in both Conferences. Again, mirroring what we have seen the last few years.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week 7: Results

1) Another sub par week for us. We went a piss-poor 5-7, to bring our season long totals to 53-34, or a .609 winning %. We lost 3 of the 5 games that went into the extra session. which could have either raised us above .500 for the week, or we could have been even more dreadful. We even suffered our second consecutive "Lock of the Week Loss" bringing that season total down to 5-2.

2) Look for week 8 next Saturday when another dozen contests will be up for grabs. Also look tomorrow for out "Quarter pole" post and see where your favourite might end up come April! As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Picks- Week 7

1) We come into Week 7 of our Hockey Picks with our season total of 48-27 or a .640 winning % on the line with tonight's dozen contests. (Note, there are two afternoon games today)

Vancouver vs-Pittsburgh: Canucks

NY Islanders vs-Buffalo : Sabres

Chicago vs-Toronto : Maple leafs

Boston vs-Montreal: Habitants

St. Louis vs-Minnesota: Wild (Lock of the week)

Colorado vs-Los Angeles : Avalanche

NY Rangers vs-Ottawa : Rangers

Phoenix vs-Philadelphia : Flyers

Columbus vs-Atlanta Thrasher

Anaheim vs-Dallas : Star

Detroit vs-Calgary : Red Wing

Washington vs-San Jose : Shark

Friday, November 21, 2008

Do We Need Increased Goal Scoring?

1) Recently hockey mainstream media/blogger James Mirtle wrote an interesting piece on this very question. We'll link it so you can look at all his interesting graphics as it pertains to scoring the past 70 or so years. This led many among us to ask; Does the NHL NEED more goalscoring?

2) After the last Bettman lockout it seemed to be one of the league goals (no pun) to increase scoring. Several good and some dumb new rules were instituted to try to enhance the ability of teams to score. After some initial mild increase, mostly due to a huge increase in PP opportunities the previous decline in scoring has resumed. The dirt little secret is that even strength scoring did not significantly increase after the lockout. After 3 post-Bettman lockout seasons scoring has again started to decline. Coaches/players have evidently adjusted accordingly to the new rules. So the next question that should be asked is what to do now (if anything). Does more goal scoring equate into a better overall product? If the answer is no, then end of discussion. If the answer is even a partial yes, then that leads to a whole host of other questions. How do we increase scoring further? How is it done with maintaining the integrity/history of the game?

3) We won't get into the many possible reasons why scoring spiked in the 80's. Having 2 of the best players of all time didn't hurt (Lemieux/Gretzky), but in those days scoring 50/100 pts wasn't a Hart season like it is now. It was what was expected of a top line forward. Today the numbers touted would be closer to 30 goals/75 pts to be considered a top forward. Having games of 8-10 goals total was commonplace back then. Today those are the aberration with an average of a tad over 5 goals scored/game. So where should it be? Should it be changed, and if so, how? We at Fauxrumors believe it WOULD be a good thing to see more goal scoring. Perhaps not at the 1980's level, but certainly that wouldn't be a bad thing, but definitely more than we see today. Coupling that with fighting levels back to where they were in the 80's, and we believe we'd see a significantly measurable increase in NHL popularity. So how? Just a few ideas. We understand not all would get the job done alone, but a few together and we'd see scoring back to where it should be.

  • Here's a novel idea. Instead of making total goals as a seldom used tie breaker, make it the FIRST. So teams would not let up trying to score in games because total goals would mean something
  • Either reduce goalie equipment to 1980 levels (we are told this is possible without compromising safety) OR increase the goal size to correspond to the increased pad size. We say the 'purist' argument is bunk. If pads can increase without a cry, why cry over larger cages? We say you can't 'compensate' for additional space to shoot at.
  • Another novel/controversial idea: Perhaps try 4-4 the whole game? OT sometimes is the most exciting time of a game when scoring chances occur more often. Why? More room! Shorten the bench to 12-14 players. No more defensive scrubs.
  • Allow PP's go the full 2 minutes! No reason not to do this immediately. It was the rule before the Habs of the 1950's.
  • Allow players to 'curve' their blades all they want. Goalies/players wear more protection than the 1960's when that archaic rule was written.

4) Through nearly a quarter of the 2008-09 season it appears that scoring IS up from last season. Most put the increase at about .33 of a gaol/game. Not an insignificant increase. Also goalie save percentages are significantly lower than in previous seasons, which seems to indicate that the reductions in equipment size MAY be helping, but the thing that should NOT be lost on this increase is the fact that like the initial increase after the lockout, a majority of the 'new goals' are from special teams. Will that again slacken as the officials let up on calling everything. Then the big question is: 'What's Next'?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Re-runs: Return of Sundin, Shanahan...... And Lemieux?

1) Firstly the 2 players most likely to see time in an NHL uniform this season. What we hear about Brenden Shanahan is that he wants to stay in the Eastern Conference. When the Rangers didn't work out he got a call from St. Louis, but he declined the offer, hoping instead to either hook on with his old team, The Devils, or perhaps in Philly. After the Brodeur injury Lamarello was cool to bringing yet another older forward (they already added Holik and Rolston in the off season) so that option seems to have fizzled. The Philly option remains viable and we could see movement in that direction before the month is over.

2) As for the other wayward son, Mats Sundin there does seem to be some real news (finally). The big Swede appears ready to resume play in the "next 2-3 weeks". The biggest question mark is where. Here is what we know for sure. Sundin will NOT be coming to NY. The Rangers have no interest, and would have to redo their roster to accommodate Sundin even at a reduced cost. The rumours we continue to hear is that Vancouver is the most likely destination for Mats. Their offer is still on the table, and they are one of only a few who have the available cap space available. Long shots remain the Leafs, and in a real surprise, the Lightning have recently inquired about Mats joining the circus in Tampa Bay!

3) In a bizarre turn of events apparently Claude Lemieux the four-time Stanley Cup Champion and former Conn Smythe Trophy winner has joined the Central Hockey League's Arizona Sundogs for formal on-ice workouts in late October. Since September, Lemieux expressed interest in making a return to the National Hockey League. Lemieux now 43, won four Stanley Cup Championships with three different teams (Montreal in 1986, New Jersey in 1995, Colorado in 1996, and again in New Jersey in 2000) during his 20 seasons in the NHL. A veteran of nearly 1,200 NHL games, Lemieux won the Conn Smythe trophy while with New Jersey in 1995, In 1197 regular season NHL contests, the Buckingham, Quebec, native registered 379 goals, 406 assists and 1756 penalty minutes (PIM).

4) Known best for his postseason heroics, Lemieux added 80 goals, 78 assists and 529 PIM in 233 playoff appearances and ranks among the league’s all-time best in several playoff categories. His 233 playoff appearances rank tied for fourth all-time and his 80 career playoff goals rank ninth all-time. Lemieux also ranks third all-time in career playoff game-winning goals (19) and career PIM (529). So the question is, does he have anything left in the tank to make an NHL team? Based upon what we saw of him when he last played in 2002-03 splitting his final season with the Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars He won't make it!! Sorry Claude.
5) So what do we make out of all this discussion? Firstly Sundin Might have an effect in the right situation. Maybe not a deal breaker, but he could compliment a team in need of offensive depth. The other two, especially Lemieux have long passed their primes. Its time for Shanny (a certain Hall of Famer) to hang em' up. He had a decent season last year, but mainly on the PP. At 5-5 he was a detriment. As for Claude. The game passed him by 5 years ago. To turn back the clock a decade is unrealistic/difficult enough for the best players, but near impossible for someone who got the most of his ability when he was younger, let alone at age 43! By the way, any recent Jason Allison rumours from Eklund? LOL
Contact the Media