02 October, 2007

"May he among you without sin be the first to condemn"

The following blog is being posted to get my opinion out there, because I always have people bring it up to me.
To me, Heatley is an amazing hockey player who has achieved so much in his six years with the NHL. He has had back to back 50 goal seasons with the senators and has played in every game since being traded to Ottawa. That being said...many NHL fans' minds go another route when you mention Dany Heatley.
In September of 2003 Heatley and his teammate (and bestfriend) Dan Snyder were in Heatley's ferrari driving at excessive speeds when the car hit a wall and was split in half; both Heatley and Snyder were ejected on impact. Heatley suffered a broken jaw, concussion, bruised lung and kidney, and three torn ligaments in his knee. Snyder's injuries were more serious, he had a skull fracture and subsequently fell in to a coma. After having surgery (which was, I assume, to repair the fracture) Snyder contracted an infected and died on October 5th.
After facing various charges Heatley was given 3 years probation. He must also give 150 speeches about the dangers of speeding and cannot drive except for work, medical purposes, going to the grocery store or when he goes to deliver his speeches. He also has restrictions on the the type of car he is allowed to drive (it must not exceed 6 cylinders and has a governor which prevents his car from going over 70mph) Heatley avoided jail time because Dan Snyder's parents asked that he not be sent to jail (and made it clear that they have forgiven Heatley for what he did) and the fact that Snyder and Heatley were friends was taken into consideration as well.

Now...you think this would be enough for people to let go of it but it's not. One of the biggest signs of this was a brawl in 2007 that took place between the Senators and the Sabres. It started when Chris Drury got a hit from behind by Chris Neil during one of the games. Drury had to be assisted off the ice because he was bleeding and was out for the rest of the game. During the next play, the "tough guys" of the Sabres were sent out to "run 'em down." Adam Mair, apparently made a comment to Heatley about the incident and called him a murderer. Jason Spezza went after Mair when he heard this, which is when the brawl ensued.
At other times I have heard people call him a murderer and ask how he could live with that every day.
Actually, I am not sure how he does. I am sure he wakes up every morning and the accident is one of the first things he thinks about. It was his best friend. It has to be hard to lose a close friend in the first place, and when it was at your hand it must be unbearable. Yet no one thinks about that when they say ignorant things about him. This one action seems to trump any good that he does at all for some fans which makes no sense to me.
My second point is, who are any of us to judge him? There are few people who can say they haven't done something stupid, such as speeding. For most of us we escape without consequence, only a "That was close." Dany wasn't that lucky and it cost him the life of his friend. In a legal sense he has paid for, or is paying for what he did wrong. Morally, I am sure it kills him every day and he will have to live with that for the rest of his life. There is no need for "throwing stones" by those people who have probably done wrong in their life too.

I am going to end my rant there. This probably won't change anyone's mind if they really dislike Dany Heatley but I am glad to have my opinon out there. Good luck to Heatley this season! (except for when he is playing the Canes of course)

16 July, 2007

How about Cole for....?

Eklund keeps posting that so and so is eyeing Cole, which is starting people on ideas of their trades.

Cole for a Canuck dman? Umm yeah we are going to need a few extra dmen when we don't have a 1st or 2nd line left winger.

Cole for Vermette? How about not. Vermette would only fit in our 4th line and we are pretty much set there and again we don't have an extra winger to put in Cole's spot.

Cole for Corvo? Or how about we give you Cole for a bag of pucks.....once again BAD idea.

I don't understand why people start with the Cole rumours ALL THE TIME! JR obviously doesn't want to get rid of Cole and he has said so himself. These people are telling us we should give them Cole for junk and yet if he isn't worth more to them, why try so hard to get him?????


07 July, 2007

Ek's top 20

Here is Eklund's top 20 UFAs that are left. I have drawn attention to a few things.
1. Peter Forsberg-not returning until December
(Vancouver, Ottawa, Detroit, Philadelphia)
2. Teemu Selanne (Philadelphia)
3. Brendan Shanahan (NY Rangers, Buffalo, Montreal, Detroit)
4. Sheldon Souray (Buffalo, NJ, NY Islanders, Montreal, San Jose)
5. Danny Markov (Buffalo, Islanders)
6. Mike Peca (Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, NY Islander)
7. David Tanabe (Florida, NY Islanders)
8. Brian Berard (NY Islanders, Toronto, Dallas, Atlanta)
9. Eric Lindros (Dallas, Boston, Columbus, Anaheim, NY Islanders)
10. Joey McDonald (Anaheim, NY Islanders, Buffalo)
11. Eric Boulton (Chicago, Montreal, Boston, Atlanta)
12. Brian Boucher (Columbus, NJ, Buffalo)
13. Brent Sopel (Colorado, NJ, San Jose, Atlanta)
14. Martin Gelinas (Florida, Edmonton, Atlanta, Ottawa)
15. Robert Esche (Tampa, San Jose, Columbus)
16. Jeff Friesen (Anaheim, NY Islanders, Pittsburgh)
17. Sean Burke (Tampa, Columbus)
18. Josef Vasicek (Dallas, San Jose, Phoenix)
19 Eric Goddard (Vancouver, Philadelphia, Buffalo)
20. Darren McCarty (NJ, NYI, Montreal)

Obviously, I am trying to draw attention to Tanabe...WOOT! He FINALLY made the top 20 on someone's list. I am not so happy about who Ek says he is looking at especially Florida. They are one of my least favorite teams, so I would hate to see him there.

Another note: Ek is convinced that Philly is a top prospect for where Selanne will be headed. Noticed how he doesn't even have the Ducks up there for him?

Lastly, notice how many teams he has up there for Buffalo and the Isles. Either these teams are trying to completely revamp their teams, or Ek has officially lost it!

06 July, 2007

For 19 sweet minutes....

Thomas Vanek was an Oiler today. Then the Sabres kept their promise for once and matched the offer of a 7 year, $50 million dollar contract. The Oilers were just probably trying to make a point, not so much that they were interested in signing Vanek. The Sabres were not giving Vanek a decent offer and now he is signed for an average of over $5mil a year. Yes Lowe is evil for doing that to the Sabres but if the Sabres didn't want to be put in the situation to do that, they should have given Vanek a decent offer.

Of course this has caused many teams to decide to send the players they are negotiating with to arbitration, so other teams can't send offers until arbitration is done.

Too bad so sad. My dream almost came true.

05 July, 2007

Frenzy? Where?

Everyone was expecting some huge rush of trades and signings today, but so far...not much has happened. Aside from Kevin Weekes become Brodeur's new backup no team changing signings have happened.
Speaking of...what are they thinking? Clemmenson did just fine and was VERY cheap. Weekes will be sitting on the bench for all but a few games and making a boatload of money.

Another note for today: Roenick "officially" announced his retirement today....via text message. He sent a text to a reporter that said "I'm retiring; is that still news?"
Very classy Scott, very classy.

The Sabres' situation

I was just discussing with a friend the situation the Sabres have put themselves into. They don't seem to be rushing at the cluster they are in and it is highly amusing to me. Let's just look at some facts that I have organized into some bullet point fun times:
  • They lost not one, but TWO Captains when Briere and Drury moved on to better things.
  • They try to make themselves look better when they said that while they were willing to match any offer Drury got, Drury never gave them a chance. Now it looks like Drury wanted to leave at all costs.
  • They have lost at least one other player who was a UFA and apparently wasn't important enough to sign.
  • They decide that signing Teppo Numminen, who is 38, is an important thing to do.
  • They have RFAs going to arbitration.
  • Thomas Vanek is reportedly been given offer sheets from other teams.
  • They have no left-wingers signed.
  • Out of the 15 who ARE signed 4 are centres, 4 are right-wings, 6 are defensemen.
  • That leaves one goalie...with no backup.

Most of the big names have been signed now, so they are out of the question for Buffalo. My question is, what are they going to do? What will happen if they lose Roy, Vanek, Paille or Peters?
Perhaps they have confidence in their AHLers enough to replace all of their stars.

Written off....already?

Okay maybe not written off, but it seems that many of our fans as well as some fans from other teams are not going to consider the Canes a threat this season. They are all saying how the Canes haven't done anything to make our team better in order to be a contender when opening night rolls around. This is directed more to the Canes fans, because I realize the others will always be quick to dismiss us..I expect it.
Let's realize that that we didn't have as many people headed to FA as several teams did and we re-signed the important guys back in June. Remember when we were thrilled because we re-signed Walker, Whitney, Ward and Welsey? Those were our "big" signings. Another thing that we did was get rid of some depth that wasn't very useful to us. Vasicek and Carter, who were both brought in to try and fill a 3rd line centre role, were allowed to become free agents on July 1st. Tanabe (our puck-moving defenseman) was also allowed to become a free agent because we already have 8 defensemen under contract. Now what are we looking for? A puck-moving defenseman. Ironic, eh?
We did get some new blood on the team. Draft-day brought us a surprise when we traded our 7th round pick for Michael Leighton, who will now be our third goal tender. I found this to be quite a steal. This team brings out the best in players and Leighton will do just fine should he have to play for us this season. We are also trying, yet again, to fill our 3rd line centre role with Jeff Hamilton. All things considered, Hamilton's numbers were really good and he should be a decent fit here. Perhaps our Cullen-syndrome will be taken care of this season?

I am tired of hearing how "If we just brought (insert the name of some player who was with us for the Cup: A. Ward, Recchi, Weight, Cullen, etc.) back, we would be contenders again!"
Really? That's all we have to do?
Our GM is not an idiot and if all we had to do to win the Cup over and over was keep so-and-so I HIGHLY doubt he would have let him go in the first place.
Besides..let's see how many on our current roster were with is for the cup (in bold):
Justin Williams - Glen Wesley
Eric Staal -
Denis Seidenberg
Ray Whitney - Frank Kaberle
Andrew Ladd - Bret Hedican
Rod Brind'amour - Niclas Wallin
Trevor Letowski - Tim Gleason
Scott Walker - Mike Commodore
Erik Cole - Andrew Hutchinson
Craig Adams - Cam Ward
Jeff Hamilton - John Grahame
Chad LaRose - Michael Leighton
Cory Stillman

Over half of our roster is still the same as that in the 2005/2006 year. Perhaps we can't place the blame on us not having the 2005/2006 team? The 2006/2007 year was mediocre because the Canes thought they could slack and still defend their prize.
The Canes were very capable of getting wins last year and got them when the pressure was applied (Game against Anahiem and the last game of the season are perfect examples)

Now...we have our key players and additions that will hopefully help us along the way. We have 2 All-star forwards who will be leading the way. We have a Conn-Smythe winning goalie who now has two backups who will step up when he needs it. We have a team made up of players that other fans would kill to have on their side and we have management and coaches who know what they are doing.
Have some faith and don't be so quick to write your team off before you have seen them on the ice.