Around View From My Seats, we enjoy great writing almost as much as we enjoy the sport we cover. Each week, there are excellent writers doing their thing all over the hockey blogosphere—so many, in fact, that it’s easy to miss some of the good stuff that gets published each week. Each week throughout the season, we shoot to bring you some of the best writing from around the web. Some will be from the mainstream media and some will be from talented bloggers doing it for the love of the game. Some entries will come from beat writers around North America and still others will come from national writers bringing a “big picture” perspective. We don’t care. We’re just looking for great hockey writing. Everything else can go to hell.
If you find anything that catches your eye and you think should be included, feel free to contact us and we’ll consider it for next week’s installment!
Without further ado, here is our weekly trip around the hockey blogosphere bringing you some of the best articles that you may have missed.
“Let me get into the numbers a little bit. The industry in terms of hockey-related revenue was at right about $2 billion before the lockout and the first year after the lockout. We expect it to be a little over $3 billion this year. I’ve heard rumors, of course, that the owners are going to be asking for significant concessions or major concessions or enormous concessions, and whether that will prove to be true remains to be seen. I’ve been in this business long enough to be satisfied that their positions will become clear when the time comes, and we don’t need to invent imaginary horribles until we get there.”
“When it comes to collective bargaining, Fehr doesn’t want only the executive board or the negotiating committee involved. He wants the rank-and-file involved, too. Each team will have its own mini negotiating committee – “four or five guys getting all the information, reading it, talking about it,” according to Schultz. Fehr will make a point to schedule bargaining sessions with the league so players can attend. If a session is held during the season, he wants it in a place where teams will be, at a time when players from both teams can attend.”
“Bottom line, the Penguins desperately needed a player like Neal and they knew how to get the most out of him. That’s huge for them, because the guess is that Neal couldn’t produce those power play minutes or numbers in Dallas. It just wasn’t possible this season. Conversely, the Stars are still learning how to use Goligoski.
So, in retrospect, both sides have reasons to have made the trade, both sides seem happy with what they got, and that should be enough, right?”
“Is the game better off with Ovechkin involved? Absolutely but why should he go when he’s on the suspended list? If he can’t play in a regular game should he even be allowed to play in the ASG? I’m curious what Brendan Shanahan would have done if he was still an active player?”
“The added aggravation of a concussion is that it’s impossible to project how long a player will be out.
“I’ve stopped asking the doctor and trainer,” Burke said. “I just wait until I get a report that he is riding the bike.”
“In the same way that pitchers in baseball have the Cy Young Award, goalies have the Vezina Trophy that is awarded annually, and since there is already recognition given to the best goalie for every season, goalies normally get excluded from consideration for the Hart Trophy. However, Lundqvist’s season puts him into consideration for the Hart Trophy. Entering the all-star break, he is the only goaltender to be in the top 5 in the league in wins, goals against average, save percentage, and shutouts. More importantly, although the Rangers are 2nd in the NHL in points, they are only 11th in the league in goals, which reflects how important Lundqvist’s play has been to his team’s success.”
“Two team sources think Thomas’s decision won’t have a negative effect inside the dressing room because it reflects no deviation from his character. Separately, the sources both said Thomas’s actions merely revealed what his teammates have known since 2006-07, his first full season with the Bruins: that he is a solitary, me-against-the-world figure who often puts himself in front of the team.”
“While my father knew enough people for me to get to a lot of Washington Capitals games, the minor league experience started for me when Baltimore got hockey back in the form of the Baltimore Bandits, in which we were season ticket holders for their first season. It was closer to home, easier to get to, and a chance to see different players than what I’ve been seeing at the old Capital Centre. Sad to say, that didn’t last long as the Bandits only stayed two season before departing to Cincinnati because the city didn’t support the team, thanks to lack of advertising about the team.”
Via Baltimore, bandits, and life in the locker room – Shooting for the Show (guest post by Scotty Wazz)
“Personally, I was optimistic that the NHL had thought this through, and could make good on its promise to make the schedule more efficient. Gone would be the days of an East Coast team flying out to California for two games against the Ducks and Kings, only to return later in the season to play the Sharks and the Stars. Not to mention a third trip out west to swing through Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. Not to mention those Western teams coming East.
Players around the league shake their heads at this type of thing every year.
Maybe, we thought, the new travel schedule wouldn’t be that bad if we could have fewer, longer, better organized road trips. I assumed, also, that the travel burden would be eased on teams such as the Wild, the Red Wings, the Jets and the Stars.
After all, wasn’t that what prompted the realignment discussion to begin with?”
“The corner of Portage Avenue and Main Street is known to be the coldest spot in North America,” says native son Monty Hall. (Yes, that Monty Hall.) It’s an oft-repeated claim, but there is something almost supernaturally frigid about the iconic downtown intersection a few blocks from the Jets’ home ice at the MTS Centre. Former Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice remembers his first visit. He called a friend on a pay phone from the corner but had to hang up early. “My hand was freezing to the phone,” he says.
“I think sometimes our league forgets about people like that,” Tortorella said. “That restores a little faith for me, that the league stepped up and when it was clear it was deserved, and gave it to him. It’s not just pedigree, it’s what he’s done on the ice. I couldn’t be happier.”
“He’s a big reason why I’m here and can talk with you today,” Tortorella said of Girardi. “That’s the highest compliment you can give him. He has turned himself into a pro.”