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.
“We see players get hurt or checked weirdly every single game when there’s a rush to the puck on the end boards. While it usually isn’t the team dumping the puck in that ends up with injuries, the chances for penalties go way up when an opponent’s back is facing you and you’re trying to get possession. You just end up with some ugly situations. While I will fully admit that a severe injury or penalty is rare, it’s best not to risk it.”
“At what point do the Kings show concern over Drew Doughty, now nearly two years removed from his 16-goal, 59-point campaign that earned him a Norris Trophy nomination? While his five goals and 25 points this season aren’t awful, his numbers are still off the mark from his 40-point lukewarm effort from a year ago, considering his dynamic ability. It’s not a good sign that someone in the first year of a 56-million dollar contract is likely to see his production fall two consecutive years.”
Now, I’ve been calling for changes all season. I wanted Buff off of the blueline as far back as October. I’ve been critical of the Jets makeup all season long because I believe that we have one top-line player in Evander Kane and about eleven 2nd liners. I cannot believe that we spend so much money on defense yet rely on Pavelec to bail us out constantly due to the free pizzas that we hand out. We don’t have a 4th line, especially when Antro lines up on it like he did the other night.
“Wang’s options are endless — Brooklyn, Queens, Suffolk – and apparently boundless, too. A few Canadian cities want an NHL team and are willing to write blank checks to get one. Wang, who does not have the Islanders on the market and would be foolish to sell after hanging on while sustaining $200 million in losses, will do what he has to. (And to be clear, while there may be one or two wannabe saviors out there with fantasies of buying the Islanders and making it work in Nassau, no one has yet to make an offer. So far, it has been just the kind of all talk and no action the under-financed Bob Gutkowski teased fans with in the 90s). After owning the Islanders for 12 years, Wang does not have to worry about anyone questioning his loyalty to Long Island.”
“Positivity is that there’s enough people in the PacNorthwest to garner the attention and grab a pretty critical market for the NHL, one that would be a little bit more attractive than the Quebec City option, which is another city without a new arena. Whatever the outcome, the fact that there could be another option, one that the NHL would probably LOVE to have over Quebec City and Kansas City–is always good for the league and struggling owners who may want to unload their team.”
But despite a continuing lack of sensation in the leg, Stalock has made a remarkable recovery. After a rehabilitation assignment with the Stockton Thunder, Stalock took another big step this week when he was promoted to the Sharks’ minor league Worcester affiliate.
“This,” general manager Doug Wilson said, “is a special kid.”
(h/t to Puck Daddy)
I laughed (ruefully, I think) and told him my latest theory: That somebody was missing a sure money-making opportunity by failing to register the domain name www.NHLFaketrades.com. Right now, there is so much interest in what happens at the trade deadline; and so much wild speculation about who may or may not change teams that someone may as well create a forum so people who dream up stuff can post it somewhere.
“This team isn’t elite this year, and acquiring an elite talent via the draft would be a great addition in the next couple of years. We’ve got to look at ways to score a noticeable amount of goals more than the other teams to get to that elite mark, so an influx of talent in any form is needed. But the Habs are in tough to keep down with the teams around them… the other teams are just too good at being bad.”
“Begin with the end in mind.’ What a simple concept. Don’t start something until you have a general notion of what you want to achieve. Because without that endgame, you’re just going through process with no guiding principle or strategy. Yet, with that end firmly in the back of your mind, you can work toward a future that you want to see.”
“Has the NHL gone back to its pre-lockout style of officiating games, when defencemen could hold up forwards at will and clutching and grabbing was tolerated, if not expected?
“It depends who you talk to about the issue. But this much is clear: There are demonstrably fewer power plays in today’s game and many in hockey believe referees have gone soft on the obstruction enforcement that was front and centre coming out of the 2004-05 lockout.”
“A far greater concern sits with his employer and more specifically, his employment status in two seasons from now. Quick’s contract, presently an undervalued $1.8 million cap hit, actually pays him less in its final season, graduating down to $1.7 million. The NHL collective bargaining agreement doesn’t allow contract extensions to be signed until the final year of the deal, but there’s already significant concern in the Kings front office that a continuance of his current sterling season will yield to contract demands that will be in the neighborhood of Pekka Rinne’s $ 49 million, 7 year extension with the Nashville Predators.”