Saturday, September 15

Just Ducky

At the start of each season we invariably have to hear about the Stanley Cup hangover. A theory invented by lazy journalists (fucking Howard Berger) that's supposed to explain why the teams that made it to the Stanley Cup Finals the year before have a tough time recapturing that form. Well, having lived through 'the season after,' I can assure you it has nothing to do with motivation, or "thinking it will be easy" or even the lame "now teams are gunning for us" excuse. It has to do with injury and fatigue.

The Oilers and Hurricanes played until the middle of June in '06. They played three weeks to two months longer than 28 other teams, in some of the most physical, punishing games of their lives. During the '07 season, many of the Oilers and Hurricanes spoke about the fact that injuries sustained in the playoffs were carried into last season because their bodies never had time to heal.

Which leads me to the Selanne/Niedermayer situation. Will they or won't they? Living in Los Angeles, I've grown tired of the local sports pages talking about this quasi-soap opera, which is greatly detracting from coverage of O.J's home-grown Vegas sting operation. Genius.

As a fan of a team playing in the Western Conference, I hope these guys hang it up. But my gut tells me they'll both be back by mid-season. They're bruised, beat-up and just want a break. I think that was the plan since the day they won the Cup. Would they have signed Schneider to a big contract before knowing if these guys were gonna retire? They knew they would have cap trouble. Plus, when you have the resumes that those two have you get to do shit like this. Think big, cuddly Burkie Bear would have held a roster spot open if Joe DiPenta came knocking on his door? Hell no...he would have traded him to Edmonton for Ales Hemsky and two #1 picks.

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