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

Monday, November 17, 2008

Something Nice To Say

1) The majority of the time when we at FAUXRUMORS have discussed the franchise located on Long Island NY it has been unfortunately for their fans a negative story. Usually deservedly so with the significant amount of front office/coaching turn over, the bizarre 'round table' of hockey advisers, and the VERY long term contracts to Alex Yashin and Rick DiPietro, etc.

2) However we read a story last week that we wanted to share with our readers. Written by the team's former longtime media relations VP.(now independent blogger), Chris Botta. (Linked above) In his story he rightly points out how since Charles Wang Islanders in April of 2000 (8 1/2 years already?!) he has steadfastly refused to play political hardball with regard to getting a new arena. In that time he has never spoken or leaked through a spokesperson a direct or even veiled threat to move the team if he doesn't get concessions.

3) We want to give credit where it rightly belongs, and Wang deserves credit for retaining a great deal of public patience on this matter. Few would have predicted that after 8 1/2 years the team would still not have at least a new building under construction. Since Wang purchased the team the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets and Devils have all either built or are in the process of building new facilities. Meanwhile the Isles remain in limbo, playing in the second worst arena in the NHL (The worst-Igloo in Pittsburgh, has its replacement under construction). Yet, not even subtle mention that "if a deal for the new arena does not get done soon, the Islanders are left with no alternatives but to start looking elsewhere.”

4) There is no doubt that despite a very lucrative TV deal (this is probably the thing that saved the franchise prior to Wang taking over) that Wang is losing money. Its speculative as to the amount, but with lagging attendance, few of the revenue generating boxes the team can not be in the black, yet Wang continues to publicly avoid confrontation. We may not be huge fans of Mr. Wang for other already discussed issues, but on this very important topic, he deserves praise!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Week 6: Results

1) The Results are in for week 6. We definitely came down to Earth with a thud. Going a miserable 4-6 on the night. Bringing our season total to 48-27 or a .640 winning %. We lost our first Lock of the week reducing that to a still strong 5-1 on the season. Look for us to get back on the winning ways next Saturday for week 7. As always keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Picks: Week 6

1) We come into Week 6 of our Hockey Picks with a season high winning % of .677 with a record of 44-21. We take that into this week's relatively light Saturday night schedule of 10 games.

Philadelphia vs-Montreal - Habitants

Ottawa vs-NY Islanders - Senators

Toronto vs-Vancouver - Canuck

Colorado vs-Edmonton- Oiler

Boston vs-NY Rangers Ranger

Buffalo vs-Pittsburgh Penguin

Dallas vs-Phoenix Coyote

Nashville vs-Los Angeles King (Lock of The Week)

Lightning Gamble on Tochett?

1) In a move that didn't shock the hockey world, Barry Melrose became the second coaching casualty of the relatively young 2008-09 NHL season. Of course we have to send out a Thank You to FR 2 who only 24 hours earlier had predicted that the axe was ready to fall on the man they call' The Mullet'. Referring to Barry's long past out of style hair-do.

2) We tried to contact FR2 to get their reaction, but we're told that they are out of the country.(again!) So we asked around to our sources to see what the reactions/reasons were to this decision. The one thing that was surprising to hear was that Barry apparently took the news very well. One source tells Fauxrumors, that "Barry almost appeared relieved to get fired". The source went on: "He hadn't coached in over a decade, and was living the TV personality life its not a shock that he didn't have the commitment needed to have this work".

3) The players also appeared to not be disappointed with this change. The most happy? Vinny Lecavalier, the team captain. There was NO love lost between the coach and captain. He wouldn't say so publicly, but Vinny's talk with co-owner Oren Koules last week is what 'greased the skids' toward this move. When the star isn't happy, the team isn't going to thrive. Barry must have forgotten that. After all he was the coach to the biggest NHL star, ever, Wayne Gretzky.

4) The biggest surprise is the man who replaces Melrose. Rick Tocchet. Many may recall that Tocchet was suspended by the NHL for gambling allegations. Tocchet partnered with a New Jersey state trooper and another man, became public in February 2006. He was sentenced to two years' probation in August 2007 after pleading guilty in the investigation into the sports betting ring. Tocchet said he never bet on NHL games. (Didn't Pete Rose say something similar?) Tocchet rejoined Phoenix's coaching staff in February 2008 after a two-year absence that included a suspension by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

5) We believe you know someone based upon the company they keep. In that case Tocchet was mixed up with some very bad people who had ties to the Tony Soprano types in Jersey. We are told that Tocchet wasn't clean with respect to gambling LONG before this incident. One source told us then: "How do you think Rick met those 2 troopers?" WE hope for the sake of the game that Rick's proclivity to put a few bucks (and take the bets of others) are done. We wouldn't have ever allowed him back, but hey maybe Gary Bettman is a gambling man? Or put another way, whats the over/under on how long Tocchet lasts? ; )

Friday, November 14, 2008

Second Team in Toronto?

1) First lets get past the joke: "When will Toronto get its FIRST NHL team?" Seriously though according to a local Toronto paper the subject has apparently been raised by the league owners at their most recent meetings. The simple question(s) should be "Why not, and What has taken so long"?

2) Toronto, hockey crazy Canada's biggest city, has but one single team. Meanwhile in the less than hockey crazy LA vicinity there are two (Kings and Ducks). The NY metro area has 3(Devils in nearby Newark, NJ, Rangers, and Islanders-20 miles to their East) So certainly the Toronto metro area can support more than one franchise. Its pretty much a no brainer, but can/would it happen?

3) There are significant barriers.
  • The issue of expansion versus relocation? Will the NHL move one of the weak teams(Nashville/Atlanta/Florida) or expand to Las Vegas and a Canadian city?

  • A building where they can play. Would the Leafs allow a rival to share their building? It would make them money, but the ACC is already a very busy venue

  • Compensation to the Leafs for giving up their territory Of these concerns we believe the ladder is the biggest stumbling block. In our opinion the leafs organization will have this over their dead body. Two teams means less demand for hockey which equates into lowering ticket prices.

4) So we decided to ask around to our sources north of the border to hear what they knew if anything on this issue. Here's what we were told: "That story is total bullshit, (a second team in) Toronto has never been discussed with the board, the executive committee or any other league committee". This view would seem to make sense. Bettman already was told by the Sabres and Leafs that they wouldn't allow a team in Hamilton, so why would the Leafs allow a team to literally eliminate their monopoly on hockey in Toronto? The issue is mute. It ain't happening! Perhaps in Hamilton or another western Ontario city, but NEVER in Toronto! Sorry Mr. Balsillie.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Mullet About To Be Cut?

1) Sources within Tampa Bay Lightning front office have told FR2 that the team is getting "VERY Impatient", and that this might soon translate into an another impulsive move by new owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie. The move that is most likely to take place we are told is the dismissal of new coach/TV personality Barry (the Mullet) Melrose.

2) From what we have been told Barry hasn't 'lost the team', but NEVER had it in the first place. Our source tells us that from almost day 1 Barry has been aloof from his players. Allowing his assistant coaches to do most of the communication with players. Even to the point where Barry would leave practice early (or skip practice entirely). Veteran players are perplexed, and the younger guys, specifically new phenom Steve Stamkos are without direction, and thats the biggest problem we're told.

3) One player even was over heard asking "why the fuck do we need a coach anyway"? WE surmise that if the team were performing better these issues wouldn't be as important, but with last night's embarrassment to cross state rival Florida (shut out!) the heat is definitely on the coach to alter course else he will quickly be looking for a new TV gig to reestablish his acting(hockey commentating) career.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lame Duck!

1) In a move that was a surprise to almost no one The Ducks of Anaheim are set to announce that GM Brian Burke will be stepping down and BOB MURRAY will take over effective immediately. Many who are regulars to this blog might recall we wrote about this back in July.

2) Of course we expect the 'other shoe' to drop sometime in the spring after Fletcher has further eliminated more unwanted players from the roster so Burke can take over fresh an less encumbered by unwanted salary cap anchors. As we also wrote then this is entirely an ego trip for Burke. He had the ultimate job in California. Low expectations. He already won a Cup. Not to mention the weather! In Toronto he becomes the ring leader in the middle tent of the biggest hockey circus in the world. Good luck Brian! They'll love you until loss #1!

Congratulations Peter!

1) Last week in a very quiet manner, Carolina Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette set the N.H.L. record for most victories by a United States-born coach. Laviolette surpassed John Tortorella, the former Tampa Bay coach, by collecting his 240th career victory. No word if Torts went on a homicidal rampage upon receiving word his record was toast. ; )

2) Said a modest Laviolette “If you stay around long enough, something will happen, and I’ve been fortunate and lucky to stay around long enough in this game.”

  • After taking over the New York Islanders, which had suffered seven years of post-season futility prior to his arrival, he led his team to the playoffs in both seasons he was there. His first season in New York resulted in a surprisingly consistent reason in which the Islanders earned 96 points (42–28–8–4 record), nearly winning the Atlantic division, before losing a close playoff series to The Maple Leafs in 7 games

  • The Islanders sneaked into the playoffs the next season, despite just 35 victories, and then lost in 5 games to the Ottawa Senators in the first round. Following this the Isles for reasons never fully disclosed (a rift with team veterans), fired Peter.

  • Following this termination, Laviolette didn't sit long. He joined the Hurricanes in December 2003 when Paul Maurice was let go. He had a respectable record for a re-building Canes. The Bettman lock out season followed

  • The highlight of his career came in 2005-06 when Laviolette then led the Hurricanes to an excellent regular season during his second year at the helm, winning the Southeast Division with 112 points (52–22–8 record). The Hurricanes then went on to win their first (only) Stanley Cup, beating the Oilers in 7 games.

  • He was runner-up in the Jack Adams Award Coach of the Year Award which was awarded to Lindy Ruff in the closest vote ever recorded for this award, 155–154.

3) He is one of only three American-born coaches in the NHL right now, along with Scott Gordon of the Islanders and Tony Granato of the Colorado Avalanche. When we first heard he broke the record we were surprised. We hold Laviolette in high regard, but didn't realize that there weren't more successful US-born coaches through the years. Here are the top 6. Of course John Tortorella is likely not done quite yet so this record might go back and forth between the 43 year old Laviolette and the 50 yr old Tortorella.

  • Peter Laviolette- 240
  • John Tortorella-239
  • Bob Johnson-234
  • Robbie Ftorek-229
  • Herb Brooks- 219
  • Paul Holmgren-161

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Free To Blog? Thank a Vet!

1) As we like to remind readers: "Besides:

  • Ending Communism

  • Ending Slavery

  • Saving the world from Totalitarianism Fascism and Terrorism

War never solved a thing?!?"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ghoulish Rangers?

1) An amazing story we uncovered a few days ago. Evidently the NY Rangers have inquired to the NHL if they could receive "Compensation" for the loss of the recent death of 2006 1st round draft pick Alexei Cherepanov. According to the NY Post's Larry Brooks, Rangers GM, Glen Sather is submitting that the team should receive the 17th selection in the second round of June's draft as compensation for losing Cherepanov, the 17th overall selection in the 2006 Draft who died in Russia on Oct. 13 while playing for Omsk.

2) Evidently Glen Sather raised the issue at the general managers' meeting in Chicago three weeks ago, citing CBA Article 8.3 (b) that stipulates that "compensatory picks be awarded to teams unable to sign first-round draft picks". "The question is with the one parenthetical phrase in Article 8.3 (b) that refers compensation for an unsigned first-round draft pick who is '… again eligible for the Entry Draft or becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent …'.....he is technically eligible to be drafted again next year." said Rangers assistant GM Cam Hope. Hey Cam the guy is Fucking dead! He's not a free agent!

3) So what words come to mind here? Ridiculously lame, heartless, classless, soulless, and stupid, etc. We of course can understand hockey is a business, but this is just sickening on so many levels. For sure if the Rangers win this appeal we wouldn't want to be the player picked with that choice!! Our legal wing of Fauxrumors tell us that they doubt the team will win the argument, that "its a stretch" based upon the verbiage of the CBA. The Rangers certainly must have their own in-house legal eagles to assist them and its doubtful they are saying anything much different. Which brings us to ask Why even frickin' inquire!?!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Results: Week 5

1) Another dozen games in the books. Just when we thought we couldn't possibly do any better than last week's 10-2, we DID! An astounding 11-1 for week 5. That brings our season total to an impressive 44-21, or a .677 winning %. Additionally we continue perfection with "Locks of the Week, now at 5 for 5!

2) FauxRumors 2 tells us that they have an interesting story they plan to throw out tomorrow morning concerning recently deceased NY Ranger draft pick Alexei Cherepanov. Look for it. As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Picks- Week 5

1) No way will we be able to match last week's amazing 10-2 mark. Another dozen games are up for grabs as we try to improve upon our 33-20 or a .623 winning %. As always we invite everyone to either comment or make your own selections

Buffalo vs-Boston- Bruins

Pittsburgh vs-NY Islanders - Penguins

Montreal vs-Toronto -Maple Leafs

Calgary vs-Columbus -Flames

Florida vs-Phoenix- Coyotes

Minnesota vs-Vancouver- Canucks

New Jerseyvs-Detroit- RedWings

Tampa Bay vs-Philadelphia- Lightning

NY Rangers vs-Washington - Capitals

Nashville vs-Colorado - Avalanche

Dallas vs-San Jose Sharks (Lock of the week)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Devils Done?

1) Certainly the Devils are not out of it so early in the season. Through 12 games they are in 6th in the East with a respectable 7-3-2 record. However, with the recent loss of their MVP, martin Brodeur the land scape for their season has suddenly changed!

2) Before the injury, we surmised that the Devils had a playoff shot. They would be one of the bubble teams, within 5 points of 8th, give or take. With the elimination of Brodeur for as long as 4 months, or about 30-40 games we no longer feel the Devils are a meaningful threat in the East.

3) Earlier this week hockey blogger extraordinaire, Spector listed/discussed what options the Devils had with regard to this situation. He states, and we agree that GM/president Lou Lamarello isn't the type to panic. However we also believe that Lou is realistic to know that without outside help this season may be lost. Discount the rhetoric that he believes Kevin Weekes and Scott Clemmensen can carry the load. Weekes might be OK in the short run,( he has won his first 2 post injury starts) but Lou is going to have to do something IF he believes this season is salvageable. According to several bloggers/writers/our own view here are the options:
  • Trade for a veteran goalie to be a stop gap for the stretch of games Marty will miss. The names Khabibulin and Dwayne Roloson have been floated on many blogs. Both have big issues. The Devils can not fit Khabibulin's salary into their cap, so that option is mute. Roloson is more intriguing. His salary would be tight, but do-able. However right now he is playing very well, and would the Oilers who have playoff aspirations of their own deal away the guy who is carrying them?
  • Trade for a younger goalie to be Brodeur's heir-apparent. This is Spector's concept. He listed several names Ondrej Pavelec -Atlanta. Tuukka Rask-Boston. Josh Harding-Minnesota. Jaroslav Halak- Montreal. Pekka Rinne-Nashville. Cory Schneider- Vancouver. Interesting idea, but one we don't see happening. Especially the Eastern Conference teams would probably be reluctant to help out NJ.
  • Stick with Weekes- This is possible if Lou doesn't find a deal that he can live with. It may not be palatable to their fans, but they may have to ride 'Shady-80' until Marty recovers.

4) One thing is for certain the Devils don't have a replacement of Brodeur waiting in the wings. As Spector rightly points out, this was a foreseeable problem and Lou never addressed it. Perhaps the going wisdom that Lou Lamarello is a genius can be dispensed with? Especially since the salary cap was instituted Lamarello has made some very bone headed moves. He has been able to extricate himself out of some via some clever maneuvering, but can he wiggle himself out of this? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Power Rankings- First Edition

We're baaaack!!! We at FAUXRUMORS2 had been quite silent this off season. After our blog vacation, we were very happy to host in Argentina, we layed low for the most part. Taking a few additional non-blog vacations in the Islands. A You're welcome to FR as well as a Thank you to our always reliable Islander source who we thank for breaking the DiPietro news for us last week!

2) Anyway, we FR again asked us to formulate our Power Rankings for the blog. It seems it has become super popular to do this that almost every other hockey blog now employs some sort of Power rankings. This of course is fine. The more opinion the better we always say. Unlike others we will only do this monthly. Any sooner in our opinion wouldn't give a full view of any possible trends. To that end we will admit that this first edition is a combination of early results with preseason predictions/rankings. Anyway here it is:

1) San Jose- The Sharks are off to a hot/impressive start. No one is surprised to see them do well. They have perennially been one of the best teams in the regular season, but their playoff disappearing act is what got Wilson fired. They won't get any respect until they win a few playoff rounds.

2) Montreal-The Habs start where they left off last year. As we predicted, they have one hell of a team that can skate with anyone. Through 10 games played they have a mere 1 regulation loss. Might the centennial season in Montreal lead to Cup 25? Long way to go, but so far, so good.

3) Detroit- No surprise to see the Cup champs in the top 3. They were in this territory for almost all of last season(deservedly so!) 8-2-2, with 8 of their first 12 games started away from the Joe the Wings are proving they're the team to beat once again

4) Buffalo- The boys from upstate NY are looking a lot like the 06-07 edition that was 'scary good'. As we figured, with the pressure of his contract reduced Vanek would flourish, and he has, big time. Miller is playing goal as good as he has in his young career. We don't see them continuing this torrid pace, but a playoff spot is certainly a possibility now.

5) Anaheim- The Ducks got off to a horrendous start, but since going winless in their first handful of games they have been the hottest team in the NHL(a majority of those games away from the Pond). Sellanne is looking like he drank from the fountain of youth. No doubt/surprise that the Ducks will be a Cup contender!

6) NY Rangers- Had we done this ranking a week ago the Blueshirts may have been in the top 2-3. However the Rangers have been quite ordinary (5-4-1) in the last 10 games. Coming back to Earth after a blazing start that began with 2 European wins. They will continue to win more than they lose and be in contention for the Atlantic all season

7) Minnesota- Despite the distractions of Gaborik (rumors of trades and his annual injury issues) the Wild have been playing good hockey. No surprise that their PK has been light's out, but can they maintain a 93% kill ratio all year? W didn't have them as a playoff team, but if they can perform this way without their best player we may have to reevaluate them

8) Boston-Like Detroit, has played 8 of their first 12 games on the road, and they have handled this quite well so far. If they play as well at home the B's will give the Habs a run for the division.

9) Calgary-It appears that after a down season Miikka Kiprusoff is back on his game and ready to carry the Flames as he has done in the past. Also reports are that Dion Phaneuf is playing the best hockey of his young career, and as important staying out of the penalty box. The Flames PP has been a big weapon and the resurgence of Bertuzzi has been a pleasant surprise

10) New Jersey- Like their counterparts across the Hudson the Devils have come back a bit and with the loss of their MVP, Marty Brodeur for as long as 4 months, they are poised to continue that descent. They were a playoff bubble team in our opinion PRIOR to that, now we don't see them as a playoff team.

11) Carolina- Injuries have ravished this team, yet they are winning! Another of the teams that has started a majority of their first dozen games on the road. The Canes have handled this robustly, going a very solid 5-1-2 away from Raleigh. If they can improve a .500 home record they might surprise some and regain the division that Washington stole last season

12) Chicago- After getting off to a slow start (one which inexplicably cost Savard his job) the Hawks are back in the mix and where most of us believed they would be. Cristobal Huet and Khabibulin have played better and the team has responded, only losing once in regulation in their last 10 contests.

13) Edmonton- The Oilers are a hard to team to assess. They look pretty dam good one night, and pretty dam bad the next. Which explains their placement here in the middle 10. Dwayne Roloson is rumored to be on the block, but the way he is playing can they afford to deal him now?. They did a respectable .500 on a long road trip and if they can run up some W's at Rexall they will rise in our poll next month.

14) Pittsburgh- Not unexpectedly the Pens have treaded water with all the injuries to key personnel. Despite those they are over .500 on the road and in the Igloo. The injuries might cost them a division crown, but if they can weather the early season storm of injuries the Pens should be just fine by spring.

15) Nashville- Barry Trotz continues to impress us with the job he is doing with a roster that many (including us) didn't see as good enough to compete for a playoff spot again. If they can improve their poor road record they will be even more likely to win a spot. Their excellent home record though has not resulted in good attendance which might mean this is the last season of hockey in The Music City

16) Toronto- Kuddos to Ron Wilson to have his team compete every night. Their recent 5 goal comeback win against the rangers(albeit against their backup goalie) was impressive. If we were Cliff Fletcher we'd pass on Sundin (if he asked to come back) and allow this team to sink or swim with the players who have been there from the start.

17) Washington- One of the early season's biggest disappointments. A horrible 2-4-1 road record will not win a playoff spot, let alone a division. Reigning MVP Alex Ovechkin and Calder runner up Backstrom have largely been MIA. Picking up the slack has been the 'other Alex', Semin. The top line best get going else this could be a big let down year in DC

18) Philadelphia- We should have seen this coming, but combined with injuries to their defense and goaltending an issue once again in Philly the Flyers are off to a poor start. They appeared to be ready to right the ship with 4 consecutive wins last week, but can they maintain this momentum with mediocre goaltending? Without a stellar PP, things could even be worse!

19) Tampa Bay- After a poor start to be in this placement is a bit of a victory in of itself. Much was expected of them, but in reality they only have 3 regulation losses in 10 games so they are still right there despite a surprising scoring problem. On the flip side goaltending (Mike Smith) surprisingly has been their strength. Rookie Steven Stamkos seems ready to emerge as the Calder favourite most forecast.

20) Vancouver- As expected Luongo and the Sedins have been the reason the Canucks have won 7 of their first 13 games. Also the threat of being waived and sent to the AHL has apparently (finally) lit a fire under the ass of Kyle Wellwood (6 goals in 8 games played) Can he continue to play well? Still the 'Nucks are as expected a.500 team. The addition of Sundin might help, but he best return soon else it could be too late in the tough West

21) Colorado- The Av's early season stumbles are the result of (as expected) less than stellar goaltending, and (not expected) sub par defense. Budaj's save % of .876 is not gonna cut it. Meanwhile on the bright side Milan Hejduk is having a renaissance of sorts and young Mr. Stastny is picking up where he left off. Ultimately if the Avalanche are to have a shot at the post season they will need to improve in their own end.

22) Ottawa- Inexplicably the Sens are 2-4-1 at home while a respectable 3-1-1 away from Kanata. Resulting in a .500 record. As expected Gerber has been an issue, and Alex Auld is now the defacto #1. We doubt he can carry the team to the playoffs. The big line of Heatley/Spezza/Alfredsson is doing as expected, scoring. Big surprise is Filip Kuba with 13 points on the backline.

23) Dallas- We didn't see this coming. The Stars look totally out of sinc. Tippet's job is certainly at stake if they don't turn things around soon. Problems start in goal where Turco has an amazingly bad .844 save %. They will not win if that continues. Sure injuries to their defense has hurt, but they overcame those last spring. Bright spots are Ribiero and Morrow.

24) St. Louis- To be 5-5 after 10 games is a small victory for the Blues. Few expected them to compete for a playoff spot, especially with the injuries they sustained early on. They did start off very well, only to fall back recently. Vets Tkachuk and Kariya playing for contracts are looking 10 years younger than they are. The real test will be how this group does once it hits the road for a long stretch. 8 of their first 10 have been home.

25) Florida- WE didn't see the Panthers as a playoff team, but we expected more than we're seeing thus far. Perennially they start slowly then miss the post season by a few points. Are they doing this again? If Jay Bowmeester wants big$ he better start playing big! The goaltending has largely been keeping the Panthers in games. Other than Stillman and Booth, few are contributing offensively

26) Phoenix- Seems every year the 'Yotes get off to a bad start and find the hole to great to dig out of. No difference this season, but the difference is that many thought they'd be better. Still being .500 isn't awful. Jovonovski and his -6 need to improve! If they can hang in there, the younger players along with Jokinen/Doan should be OK, but they best not wait too much longer.

27) Columbus- Ken Hitchcock can not be too happy with his team's start. New comer R.J. Umberger has a mere 1 goal and needs to step it up. Even Nash has yet to catch fire. Norrena will have to step up his game in the absence of #1 LeClaire. So far he hasn't been consistent. WE didn't see the Jackets as a playoff team, but their fans/management won't be happy with another cellar dwelling season in mid Ohio!

28) NY Islanders - Two recent impressive victories erase a miserable 4 goal, 3rd period collapse at the hands of the Habs. the wins 'propel' the Isles from being 30th. Without DiPietro, despite surprisingly good goaltending from McDonald, the Isles won't have many winning streaks. Too many injuries and not enough reliable offense.

29) Los Angeles - First the silver lining- Seven of the Kings' 8 losses have been by one goal. Unfortunately, being close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades. We continue to say this team lacks a #1 goalie. LaBarbara is NOT a true #1 and it shows. They aren't getting blown out, but when you have trouble scoring you have to get near perfect net minding. Where is Kopitar? One goal in 11 games? Not good.

30) Atlanta- Seems this is their permanent position. They and LA "fought it out' a lot here last season. Somethings don't change. They are every bit as bad, if not worse than we figured they'd be. Like Nashville, this franchise is in trouble. Problem #1- Waddell still has a freakin job! Newly acquired Matt Schneider a -11, ouch! Guess Brian Burke knew something!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Its The Salary Cap, Stupid!

1) With Election Day Here in the U.S. set for tomorrow we figured we'd use political rhetoric to make our point today. With deference to James (Cue-ball) Carville's famous/oft used line during the 1992 presidential election, we felt we would weigh in on the various trade rumours that have been thrown out there the past couple of weeks, and why in 99% of the cases they will NOT happen. At least not any time soon.

2) As the recent past has shown, few, if any meaningful trades occur in the first month of an NHL season. Teams are still trying to assess what they have, and what they might need from within their own organizations before they start to look to other teams for a missing piece or two.

3) However, since 2005 the dreaded salary cap has all but stifled any potential block buster trades from occurring pretty much until the trade deadline or draft day. So when you read about a trade rumor from Eklund or an actual writer (Is their really a difference?) like Garrioch, etc, the first thing you need to do is look at the salary cap of all the rumoured teams.

4) Right now about 20 teams have 3 or less million in remaining cap space. A source connected to a Western Conference 'capologist' tells Fauxrumors that his team wants to keep at least 2 million in cushion in case of injury. (Only long term injuries get an exemption so a series of minor injuries can cause 'cap issues') So with that in mind here is a run down on some of the rumoured trade bait:

  • Jason Spezza- As FR2 eloquently wrote last week, the kid is untradeable for multiple reasons, not the least of which is his 7 million cap hit for another 7 years! This kind of deal would only get done in the off season when GM's have more flexibility.

  • Nikolai Khabibulin- The writing is on the wall that no team really wants this guy. He could have been picked up for free when he was on waivers. Why would anyone pick him up and have to give up an asset. Eklund put out a nice whopper that a team (like the Isles) would trade for the Bulin wall just to trade him away at the deadline. Hey Eck, thats dumb! The Hawks may end up dealing Nicolai (he's playing well enough to attract interest) but probably not until after the start of the New Year when half his contract is already paid.
  • Mats Sundin- Is a UFA so technically wouldn't be a trade, but almost all rumours have the big Swede signing with a team shortly. Eklund has him going to NY. Hey idiot, the Rangers have like ZERO cap space. Not to mention that the are playing well, so why upset that chemistry? No way do they acquire him! As we have said on several occasions, we believe that Mats will end up somewhere in Canada. (Either Toronto or Vancouver) Probably whichever is FURTHER from playoff contention. Matts appears to not want to win a Cup!

    5) Bottom line folks, read/enjoy all the rumour sites all you want. Much like politicians who feed their constituents what they want to hear; they are there to make you get excited, generate hits (revenue), not to be accurate. On the flip side, this site has ZERO revenue enticements. Its merely for entertainment. Ours and whoever decides to read. Therefore we have no reason to put out fictitious rumours! (Trash). In the end you don't have to be closely connected/super-hockey knowledgeable to understand why big trades don't happen this time of year, Its simple: Its the Salary Cap, Stupid!

    Post script: Nice job FR2 on nailing the DiPietro issue cold. You guys mentioned last week that he had a torn meniscus in his knee (what ever that is?) that would require surgery. Well, sure enough the isles released word that indeed their goalie did indeed have that exact injury and would require additional surgery. Nice going FR2!

    As always, keep it here for the latest!

    Sunday, November 2, 2008

    Week 4 Results:

    1) Another week is in the books: 12 games last night. We did an incredible 10-2!! Bringing our season total to 33-20 or a .623 winning %. We also easily got our 'Lock of the Week(NJ) correct, to bring that total to 4-0 on the young season.

    2) Considering where we started, that's pretty dam good. We doubt we'll ever be able to match last night the rest of the way, but stay tuned for next weeks picks! Look tomorrow for our trade rumour analysis! As always, keep it here for all the latest!

    Saturday, November 1, 2008

    Picks- Week 4

    1) We take our best shot in week 4. Our season record to 23-18, or a .561 winning % into tonight's 12 contests:

    Edmonton vs-Carolina - Oiler

    Chicago vs-Columbus BlackHawk

    Dallas vs-Boston Bruin

    Atlanta vs-New Jersey Devil (This weeks Lock)

    NY Rangers vs-Toronto MapleLeaf

    Ottawa vs-Tampa Bay Lightning

    Minnesota vs-Phoenix Coyote
    Contact the Media