Saturday, June 25, 2011

Claude Noel and the Return of the Winnipeg Jets

This is not going be as long as some of my other blogs because its really late but I am just wanted to make a couple quick points on the return of the Winnipeg Jets to the NHL.  First off, I would like to applaud the organization for selecting Claude Noel to coach the team in their first year back.  I was a real fan of his when he was sort of given a chance to coach in Columbus after Hitchcock was fired.  I do not feel it was ever given a real chance in Columbus because he was just an interim coach.  The team seemed to respond well to him getting the interim job but it was too late in the season to do any real damage.  He is a great coach, and I think that if he is given time, he will make Winnipeg into a winning franchise.

The second point I would like to make, is that I applaud the organization for not choosing some other name than the Jets.  Seriously, what would have been the point to bring back a popular team from NHL past if you are not going to have the same name.  I am very glad they did not pick some goofy name that the fans of Winnipeg would have hated, its nice to see the NHL finally give something back to some of its fans.  We just need to get a team into Hartford again and we will be all set.

Thirdly, the NHL fans in Atlanta really need to be addressed.  When Gary Bettman came out and said, "we will fight to keep teams in their cities," clearly that did not apply to Atlanta.  There is a reason why Bettman is booed worse then any other commissioner and this is exactly why, he flat out lied.  Shout out to the people at great website, and its too bad that your attempts did not succeed.  This is the second time Atlanta has lost a team to Canada (they lost the Flames to Calgary in the 1980s).  I think this is the end of the road for the NHL in hot Atlanta.

In conclusion, I think that this is great that the NHL is going back to a traditional hockey market.  I think cities like Quebec City and Hartford can only gain optimism from this move.  I think there are still teams like Phoenix with uncertain futures that might be moving back north once again.  I think this is great for the fans of Winnipeg, because seriously what else is there to do in Winnipeg besides maybe ice fishing.  I do feel for the Thrasher fans because they were lied to, but get over it, the team is gone, you still have the Braves and the Hawks or the Falcons if you like football.  All in all, great move for the NHL, we need to get more teams back North were they should be.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On the Last Day of the Chicago Black Hawks Championship Reign.

Tonight is Game 7 between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks, so someone will be drinking from Lord Stanley's Cup.  Thus ending the one year reign of the Chicago Black Hawks.  I clearly hope that the Boston Bruins can pull off the unthinkable, because everyone has been picking the Vancouver Canucks since the beginning of the season.  The only problem that I have with the Canucks, is well I have many more problems with them then just one, lets just start with their dirty play.  Burrows bit one of the Boston Bruins earlier in the series.  There was that hit on Thorton by Rome, and both players have not played since.  Rome was suspended for 4 games.

Not only has their dirty play been apparent in this series.  They also targeted Seabrook in the first round against the Chicago Black Hawks.  I have a serious problem with teams and coach that go out and target star players on the opposing team.  I am not sure why the Canucks felt like they had to use this approach because they clearly had a deeper and better team then Chicago this year.  Seabrook was never the same after the hit and I think this type of nonsense needs to be taken out of the game.  I do not think that NHL is doing enough about it because it seems like it is happening more and more.

Another problem I have is with Luongo the goalie for the Canucks, last year he told Patrick Kane he would see him in the playoffs at the Olympics.  The Black Hawks destroyed the Canucks last year in route to winning the cup.  Clearly, it took an under manned Chicago team for the Canucks to get past in 7 games.  I think Luongo is arrogant, hell he called out Tim Thomas during the series saying that he could of made the save in game 6.  This is coming from a man that has given up around 15 goals in 3 games at Boston.  I think someone needs to shut this guy up because I am sick of him.

Just so that I am not getting all enraged about how much I dislike the way that the Canucks are playing, I am going to make some comments on the Chicago Black Hawks season.  They far exceeded my expectations of this season.  They barely made it into the playoffs, but they did lose many players from the team that won the cup.  As you know many of the players were sent to the Atlanta Thrashers, sadly they are now moving to Winnipeg.  While, it would have been nice to keep the players like Niemi, other players like Crawford in goal, stepped up and played very well.

I had mentioned to in last paragraph that the Thrashers have moved to Winnipeg.  This is beyond ridiculous, because the fearless leader Gary Bettman (the worst commissioner in any sport, in any time) said the NHL would fight to keep teams from moving, guess that does not apply to Atlanta.  Way to go Bettman, just straight out lie to the fans.  They became the only franchise in the NHL to lose 2 franchises (They lost the Flames to Calgary).  This comes on the heels of the NHL's two year fight to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix.   It just really sad that the NHL cannot be truthful to their fans.

So, with that said, just like last year when the Cup was brought out in Philly, and Gary Bettman comes onto the ice he will be again met by a chorus of boo's.  He is the only commissioner that is constantly boo'd.  If I was him, I would entertain the idea of stepping down.  That or I would take a step back, and think to myself gee why are they booing me all the time?  Clearly because you are a liar, stop lying and we will stop booing.  Fans just want the truth and they do not want to be taken for a ride.  I am a fan of and there is now much hate for the NHL in Atlanta, I do not see a team ever coming back.

On a final note, the whole Thrashers situation makes me nervous about the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Both the Jackets and the Thrashers have similar stories, only been to the playoffs once, both teams were swept out of the first round.  The Jackets just never have been able to get serious pieces around Rick Nash, one of the best players in the NHL.  If they do not start winning I would give this team about 5 years in Columbus because the stadium is always full of opposing fans.  I have also never sat in my assigned seats once, I have always moved down.

I hope you all have enjoyed the Stanley Cup finals, and I hope you will be rooting for Boston tonight!