Saturday, September 27

DEFINITELY MAYBE

Forgive me for getting all MOR and AOR on you, but I still think the best way to describe the Leafs youth movement is a couplet from international rock band Survivor. Let me set the scene: The year is 1982, it's a time in rock history where a group can make a video with a lead singer in a beret standing in front of a backdrop of wind-blown garbage bags, and go to #1. Yes, it's "Eye of the Tiger":

Face to face, out in the heat
Hangin' tough, stayin' hungry
They stack the odds 'til we take to the street
For we kill with the skill to survive...
...except if your name is Darryl Boyce, Tim Stapleton, Brent Aubin, Stefano Giliati, Kyle Rogers, Dan Rudisuela, Greg Scott, Scott Langdon, Phil Oreskovic, Juha Uotila, Adam Munro, Michael Ouzas and James Reimer.

These guys, their NHL dreams squashed OHL-penny-on-the-train-tracks flat, these misfits, overagers, not strong enoughs, old enoughs, and not foot-speeds enoughs can drown their collective sorrows in the knowledge that the Marlies team bus now has heat.

I had the game against the Pens on the other night and couldn't recognize who had the puck at a glance. Which is something I have always been able to do. Within picoseconds of seeing the screen I could identify Darcy skating or Mats taking a pass or McCabe trying to give-away the puck or McCabe not being able to clear the front of the net or McCabe thinking he'll get away with the can opener this time or ....wait, wait, wait, he's gone right? And the names of the players?
It was like roll call on Hill Street Blues.

Do you remember the last time we had a who in the hell is that guy team? 1997 - 98 I believe, when we finished the season with a paltry 69 points. Just in case your math is as bad as mine, that's missing the playoffs by 21 points. Not 1 or 2 or even 10. 21. That's blackjack for chrissakes.
The previous 2 seasons of 68 points and 80 points (respectively) meant that the rebuild came in the form of change of coach, system, and philosophy. (Sound familiar?) We played who in the hell is that guy(s); Alyn McCauley, Sergei Berezin, Steve Sullivan and Mike Johnson. Had 2 unproven rookies named Danny Markov and Thomas Kaberle in our top 6 D who nobody expected to play above expectations as they did. All that bottom feeding garnered us nothing more than 24th pick where we chose Swiss never-ran Luca Cereda. It makes my brain, whatcha-ma-call-it...itchy. Cos I know we don't have that team of "Who In The Hell Is That Guy(s)?!" this year. I'm excited about them, but then again, maybe not.

Thankfully I have this blog because back in the iron age, in the before time, when there was no avenue like the computer to allow us to rage against the machine, angry Leafs fans could only assuage their fury with gay bashing.

MY OWN PRIVATE TANENBAUM
Recently I read comments made by Larry Tanenbaum. That he and MLSE weren't interested in just winning one Stanley Cup, but wanted years of "competitive" teams based on slow, intelligent and steady growth. Considering that this is the man and the regime that squandered our first-round draft picks and prospects for what amounted to a bunch of lottery tickets, this new 180 degrees from the quick fix seems suspect. His words actually made me sad that a hockey brain as shoddy as his was in charge of decisions that impacted on my life so greatly.

But we've all known people like Larry Tanenbaum. They're our high school principals and bank managers, our girlfriend's fathers.
Local news anchormen; authortative and arrogant...douchebags basically. And douchbaggery is part of their schematic like single malt breath and a taste for human blood.
My own Larry Tanenbaum is a relative that once bragged to me about the cost of his suit; I was 8. He also wore loafers with tassels on them. Which is still so pretentious and gross that it makes me yak a little in my own mouth to this day.

The problem is that The Larry Tanenbaum's of the universe control the universe and just like our very own Larry Tanenbaum, peach-coloured asshole; Larry Tanenbaum, they're fucking it up. The Larry Tanenbaums of the Universe are the living embodiment of that scorpion/frog story - the one that's supposed to learn you something when you hear it. The moral being Larry Tenenbaums sting, cos it's what Larry Tenenbaums do.

Larry Tanenbaums are bad tippers. Larry Tanenbaums are terrible dancers. Larry Tanenbaums sit with their legs uncomfortably wide open. Larry Tanenbaums like wall to wall, 4 car, 9 iron. Larry Tanenbaums like the organ, probably. Larry Tanenbaums will give you more lip service than Greener working his way backstage at a Skid Row/Poison concert (last summer), maybe, and that's an alarming amount.

And its always the same rhetoric isn't it? Whether they're selling you a car, looking for weapons of mass destruction or dismissing
Steve Yzerman like he was a bad smell. Which our personal Tanenbaum, Tanenbaum, did when asked about Stevie Y as a candidate for the vacant Leafs GM job recently. Tanenbaum had just come from killing some baby birds he found in a nest when the question made him visibly bristle. "Steve Yzerman," he began, his eyebrow raising a late period Roger Moore, his posture resembling a patient with Scoliosis or some other spinal deformity, "Oh God," he blasphemed, "not another rookie GM?" Besides then making the temperature in the room drop a few degrees by suddenly laughing maniacally a full three minutes, Tanenbaum then proceeded to bring out a a puppet crafted to resemble John Ferguson Jr. and dumped his bottle of water over its head.

I once read that the guys at MLSE like to think of new ways to use the word retard and always order lots of take-out and then not answer the door when it comes. Someone once told me that MLSE had a slumber party where our Larry Tanenbaum forced Jim Leech and Robert Bertram (both of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan) to hold hands and kiss just to make Ivan Fecan and Richard Peddie laugh. And our Larry Tanenbaum is that Larry Tanenbaum: and he's exactly like you've heard.

Tuesday, September 23

Kyle Wellwood Finishes Dinner, NHL Career

There's a popular- I don't know what it is- saying, phrase, feeling, that we as Leafs fans have when we banish someone from the paradisaical planes of Leafs Kingdom. It's based in part upon wise experience, and part in self-hating fantasy. It goes something, but only something, like this: "He'll for sure come back to haunt us." Sound familiar? Of course it does.

This is something of a birthright for Leafs fans. We've earned the ability to utter something so entirely self-defeating. The Leafs are a team well known for squandering assets based on any number of criteria: From the necessary (Bryan McCabe trade), to the desperate (Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft), to the heinously stupid (The entire Ballard regime). It's partly the fear that your team has made a terrible mistake, and partly a basic insecurity in all of us, like when you don't want your ex to find anyone better than you. Although that's never happened to me. Am I right, ladies? Ladies? Ladies!?

I believe western Canadian scientists have found the antidote to this common Leaf-based affliction, and its name is Kyle Wellwood.

As reported on CBC, TSN and a Jenny Craig location near you, the former apple pie of my eye has done the unthinkable, and by unthinkable, I mean everything I predicted for Kyle since last year: he's shown up to another NHL training camp fat, out-of-shape, and as one Canucks executive said while dry-heaving into a garbage pail, "Oh my God... our second line center!"

Kyle, seen here doing his off-season training, saved his father from throwing him under the bus this year, instead replacing him with Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. Vigneault went public with his concerns about Wellwood's lack of fitness and commitment to being a pro hockey player, in an attempt to light a fire under Kyle. Let me tell you something, Kyle Wellwood sitting on top of a solid rocket booster, is not enough fire under this guy to get him motivated.

When asked for a comment after news of Vigneault's unhappiness leaked, Kyle simply stated that he knows he'll have to improve his conditioning, adding, "Is 48% body fat really too much?"

However, there are those in the Canucks organization not unhappy with Wellwood in the blue and green. The ladies who provide the team with all their meals and snacks think he's a real delight:

"What a darling..." said one. "...he said he loves the way I do me celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins on top! He told me he keeps some in his glove during practices."
"Same thing Elvis did!" said her friend.

Monday, September 22

WOLF...WOLF...WOLF....WOLF

First thing you have to know right off the bat is that I have slept maybe 2 hours in the last 3 or so days. So perhaps tonight you can give old Norte a little leeway on the syntax and grammar of my post (even more than usual.) The past few days have been a roller coaster of emotion that have included both the most wonderful memories of my life and some that were so terrible that at one point I fainted into some shrubbery.


Due to these some of these very circumstances I wasn't able to watch the first game of the season tonight, which is a shame because I love watching the first game of the season. Even though anyone who knows me knows that I feel pre-season games are akin to brushing your teeth with your finger.

This year I wanted to break with tradition, my hockey tradition, and rebuild too. So what I really wanted to do, this year, was base my opinion, the entire judgment of the season, on tonight's game. If only to say once that Finger looked like a monster out there or that Luke Schenn was a minute eater and a warhorse. Or that the powerplay has a new quarterback in Van Ryn and his Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) endorsed wrists.

That Colaiacovo didn't get you-know-what out there and that tonight when Hollweg got into his first Toronto Maple Leaf fight: when Andrew Peter's told him he was going to bust him up..., that Hollweg told him to ...go for it.

And Robbie Earl, the Leafs winner for most Caribbean sounding name award three years running (nowhere near the record set by 1970's Leaf tough guy Livingston Barrington) proving why the team chose him over anyone else in the 6th round.

Not to mention Boyd Devereaux, Matt Stajan, Jiri Tlusty, Ian White, Mark Bell or Ben Ondrus.

And Nikolai Kulemin looking mean in the corners, in the area I am officially calling Kulemin's Korner, begins to make everyone wonder how to spell Kulemin.

And Dominic Moore, the pre-season's leading scorer, scoring in the third to establish a three goal margin. It was the best two goals that Dominic Moore has scored on Jhonas Enroth to establish a three goal margin in a third period all year, and that's something.

Coach Ron Wilson's new program of defensive and disciplined hockey already establishing itself early with the meager 4 goals and a very stingy 29 shots the team allowed.

And kudos to the guys for 300 shots allowed, as initiation, in the 2nd on Pogge...can I hear a huzzah?

Ultimately the whole point of this would be that the referees were #36 Dean Morton and #33 Kevin Pollack and the linesman were #50 Scott Cherrey and #71 Brad Kovachik.








Monday, September 15

99 Seasons, But the Habs Aint One (Hundred)

Well, well, well, look who comes crawling back. Greener. You think I can just waltz back to my blog and post again? Ha! If I don't, who will? Norte? OK, yeah, for sure he will, but will I get any of the credit for it? I thought not. Truth is, with all the hype surrounding Chris Didomenico, I simply had to come back. And thanks to overwhelming support from readers like you, I'm happy to return from my blog sabbatical, where I spent my time in the depths of introspection, and doing amazing anonymous works for charity. I don't really want to say much about it, but take it from me, if you mispronounce "Quidditch" while reading to a blind person, you will get hit.

With training camp now up and running, and so many stories to get hilariously right, I thought I might just talk about something that's been bugging me all week. And no, I don't mean the email I got from Moose that was signed off with "Love always, Moose".

The NHL hype machine -seen above running at peak efficiency- has now started to swirl around the Montreal Canadiens, because, of course who deserves it more? What with all that continued success they've had, uh...ok, what with all those star players who...ok, hold on, let me rethink this. The media is so set on making this the Canadiens year (whether they like it or not) that they are coming up with new standards with which to appraise them. In their new league wide yearbook, The Hockey News gave them an overall team ranking of "A++++++++". Their manly 'D' rated a stout "700 Gold Dubloons", and their potent offense garnered a glowing "6 Angelina Jolie Breasts out of 6".

I must say this is a delightful sideways change from the past say, 5 or six years, in which The Hockey News, the entire Sun Media chain and the credibility-free, gastric by-pass failure Bruce Garrioch have all colluded to force us to drink the "Ottawa Senators will win it all" dog-shit Kool-aid. Yeah, I love fantasy too. The moral of that story is that you have to actually have a spine for someone to be able to pat you on the back.

But wait, like any senior citizen, the Canadiens deserve our respect. I mean, it's their 100th anniversary, right? Wrong. This is not the Habs' 100th year, it is, in fact their 99th. The Canadiens were birthed on December 4th, 1909. That, my lovelies, was 99 years ago. The o8/09 season is quite a bit different from the 09/10 season. Like, say, 1 year different. This annoying little fact seems to bother no one in the NHL or the hockey media that much, and they're rushing to prove their ignorance.

Like hey, in honor of the Habs 100th year, how about we gift wrap the annual outdoor game for them! Yeah, great! What? They've already been involved in one? Who cares, that was years ago, they weren't 100 then! We'll play it in Olympic Stadium! What? You say that the place is a decrepit death trap that everyone hates? That even Montrealers don't want the game? No, no, I hear you...but you didn't hear me: THEY'RE 100!!!!

Also on the Habs front, has anyone ever seen a man more miserable than Patrick Roy when he was crowbarred into his old red, white and blue #33 the other day? I mean, I don't know how to say, "I beg you, don't make me put that on!" in French, but I bet it sounds like "...something something something Tabarnack!!"
I'm assuming Roy is religious, because only someone who's made a deal with the Devil could appear so unhappy at the news of his jersey retirement.

"OK, I put on da sweater. NOW can I be da coach??"

The Canadiens are desperate to milk all this free goodwill, that they will raise Roy's number to the Bell Center rafters, along with other Montreal greats who don't despise the team. The Habs are too late on this one, as forever, Patrick Roy is an Avalanche. The same way that Mark Messier will always be remembered as a Ranger, and not an Oiler. The Rangers ingeniously branded Messier a Ranger seconds after his retirement, and the tears he cried at Rexall Place when the Oilers finally got around to honoring him years later, looked quaintly similar to his mawkish "Long Live the King" ceremony on the ice at Madison Square Garden.

A guy like Roy has a long memory. A lot longer than the Habs', who conveniently forget how they chased their last franchise player out of town, straight to the jewelers for fittings on two more Stanley Cup rings.
"Tank you, Satan!"

THE 2008-09 EDMONTON OILERS: NOW WITH 40% MORE HYPE!

We're back! Wait, I'M back! For those inquiring minds, Greener will be back as soon as he's done "penning his thesis on Richard Nixon's foreign policy." Which is perhaps the greatest euphemism for MILF porn he's ever come up with. In the meantime, our excellent friends at Melt Your Face Off asked me to "write an Edmonton Oilers Season Preview." Which you can also read below. It's finally hockey season!


Last Season: 41-35-6 88 points (9th in the Western Conference)

Owing to a late season surge that saw them go 14-5-1 in their last 20 games and a bevy of young talent performing beyond all expectations, the 2007-08 Edmonton Oilers conjured up stirring memories of glory days past. I'm talkin' Charles Pelissier in 1930 Tour de France, Greg Touney in 1999 National Spelling Bee, you know, the greatest mutha fuckin' 9th place finishers ever! Normally that kind of hype is the domain of my Maple Leafs-praising brethren here at HS/HS, but I honestly can't remember so much excitement surrounding a non-playoff team. To be fair, some of the hype is justified, as a lot of arrows seem pointed in the right direction for this team. Let's take a look:

THE SEXY

Daryl Katz: Since the end of the dynasty years (1984-90), Edmonton Oilers fans have lived under the rule of a kind of hockey fascism. Management would constantly preach that no individual was bigger than the team, as economic factors necessitated a steady export of the games best players out of Edmonton. Despite a spirit of collectivism and devotion, it still couldn't make up for the dearth of talent. No Oiler has ever been a bigger company man than Il Duce himself, Kevin Lowe. While he always towed the party line, he also lamented the plight of the proud franchise he helped build. But no more.

Enter an Edmonton-born, Oiler-loving, pharmaceutical giant, named Daryl Katz. Think Mark Cuban with a fist full of Demerol. His purchase of the Oilers and vision for their future has Lowe and fans alike creaming their jeans. (Because really, when was the last time you had a mental image of your GM creaming his jeans? You're welcome). While his economic clout may not be felt for a few years (signing big-name free agents, building a new arena, etc.), Katz's energy has given the organization, and the city, a sense that they are now the big kids on the block, instead of being, say, Calgary. It's an image make-over that almost resulted in them landing Marian Hossa this summer. Free agents that have long ignored Edmonton might now change their tune, which can only be good news when it comes time to show Kent Huskins and Mathieu Darche the big coin next summer.

Scoring: At this time last year the Oilers were so desperate for scoring they were tossing out offer sheets and scouring the Quebec Penal League for top-six forwards. A year later the question is now: Which of their seven top-six forwards is gonna have to play with Marc Pouliot? Only three teams in the West scored more goals than the Oilers (235) last year, and two of those (Detroit and Dallas) went to the Conference Finals. With the additions of Erik Cole and Lubomir Visnovsky there's the prospect of a much improved PP and transition game, and with Horcoff, Hemsky, Cole, Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson and Penner all capable of scoring 20+ goals, there's no reason why the Oilers can't have an even more potent attack this year. Except for the fact that I just said that. Cue disaster.

The Shootout: The Oilers went an astonishing 15-4 in shootouts last season, an NHL record which may just last a while. A big reason for that was Mathieu Garon, who went 10-for-10, stopping 30 of 32 shots. If you combine that with Ales Hemsky's hands and Sam Gagner's filthy shootout move(s), the Oilers are well positioned to pick-up those crucial bonus points on most nights. 

MEH, NOT THAT SEXY

Team Toughness: I was talking to my friend (a Buffalo Sabres fan) at work the other day, and he says, "When I look at your roster there's nobody that puts the fear of Kimbo Slice into me." So I said, "Yeah? Fuck You." Then I waited until he left and Googled "Kimbo Slice". Turns out he might be right. The only thing the Oilers did this off-season to address their lack of toughness was sign heavyweight Louie DeBrusk...to be their TV Color Commentator. Raffi Torres is gone, while Ethan Moreau and Sheldon Souray are under mommies orders not to fight after injuring themselves in brawls, which leaves the burden on Zach Stortini (a.k.a "Huggy Bear") and newly signed utility player Jason Strudwick. While Stortini is willing, he's more of a light heavyweight, and the fact that Oilers tried to re-sign Georges Laraque is a sign that they recognize the deficiency.


Faceoffs: When asked about the importance of faceoffs, Wayne Gretzky once famously said "Faceoffs are just a way to start the game." Wayne Gretzky is an idiot. I suppose when you have six or seven Hall of Famers on your team and you're handing out 8-2 nut thumpings every night, that may be true. But clearly in today's game that just isn't the case, especially for a team trying to mould themselves into a skilled puck-possession squad like the Oilers. With the trade of Jarret Stoll, one of the leagues best face-off men, and Marty Reasoner walking via free agency, that leaves Shawn Horcoff as the only proven, reliable guy on the dot. One of Brodziak (51%), Pouliot (47%), Gagner (41%) or Cogliano (39%) must pick up the slack.

The Defense: The flip-side to the Oilers dynamic offense was their, uh, shitty(?), defense. They ranked 26th overall in goals against, and only the Kings were worse in the West. Admittedly, they were a young group that is now a year older/more experienced, and they played the majority of the second half without veterans Sheldon Souray and Steve Staios. The development of puck movers Tom Gilbert and Denis Grebeshkov plus the addition of Visnovsky's transition game should mean less time spent in their own zone, but the unit still lacks a true shutdown guy to play against other teams top unit. When I say, "Cory" you say, "Cross". CORY!...Too soon?

BURNING QUESTIONS

Heading into camp, here are some of the questions on the frontal lobe of every Oilers fan:

Is it time to cut Rob Schremp yet?

A couple years ago, I played on a team with an outrageously skilled guy who would spend the first half of warm-ups doing all sorts of crazy lacrosse-style stick handling moves, then the other half clearing girls panties off the ice. Problem is, when it came time to actually play in real game situations, the dude froze like Walt Disney. My point is, that circus shit isn't hockey. Yet a large faction of Oiler fans go absolutely mental when this guy gets cut every year. The guy is barely an impact player at the AHL level, yet somehow people feel he's going to set the NHL alight if only that curmudgeon, Craig MacTavish, wouldn't suppress his All-YouTube skillz. Granted, Schremp has worked hard this off-season to get stronger, faster and become a better player, but he's not gonna make a significant impact on this team, this year. Let's just give it a rest. Every time a reporter asks MacTavish or Lowe about Schremp, that's 30 seconds of their lives they can't get back. These men are husbands and fathers. Do it for them. Do it for the children.


Moose, can you get all serious and give us a "Player To Watch" for this season?:

Sure, Dustin Penner. Despite leading the team with 23 goals, Penner was somewhat of a disappointment for many. He struggled early on with his fitness (due to playing more minutes than he did in Anaheim), and playing tougher competition than he had previously. The addition of Erik Cole, and MacT's stated desire to keep the "Kid Line" (Cogliano-Gagner-Nilsson) together to start the season, will likely push him down the depth chart and back to playing against softer competition. If he still gets his PP time, 30 goals is attainable.

Finally...

What is Robert Nilsson wearing?

As you can see, the Ro-Bear has been spending a lot of time browsing The Hives MySpace page for fashion tips. That's the classic t-shirt, silk tie, and sweater look, and it really does say, "I'm pulling so much ass that I can STILL wear this." To borrow a sports term, that outfit is a "game" breaker. I don't advise you to try this at home, but if you must, check to make sure you're a young, millionaire athlete before you leave the house.

PROJECTIONS: There's no doubt the '08-09 Oilers are better on paper, and owing as much to the rest of the teams in the division taking a step backwards, the Northwest title is well within reach. More realistically, this is still a young team that will go through growing pains. I mean did you see what Robert Nilsson was wearing? I expect they'll finish with something between 92 and 96 points, and 7th in West. Until next time, kids!

Friday, September 12

RHODES SCHOLAR'S APPLY WITH RESUME and PHOTO


Uh oh.


I am reminded of something from my youth. When I was about 17 I had to go see a doctor. I'd rather not get into the nitty gritty of the why I went, suffice to say that I was forced to, and even then I didn't leave with the script for Percodan that I'd requested. I did however leave with this: During the visit and in the course of why I was there (still none of your beeswax) the Dr. said to me, "Okay this is going to hurt", at which point I responded, '"something very bad is going to happen", at which point something (very bad) indeed did.

You don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to know there's going to be rocky days ahead Yesterday as I read Fletch's comments I was reminded of that doctor's visit. Fletch as usual looked dashing in his casual elegance. The Silver Fox, candid as his grandfatherly eyes, all soft and gooey like a grilled cheese, warned those gathered around him not to expect much from the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. That there were rocky roads not to mention tough games and tough stretches ahead. Again I thought to myself, uh-oh, something very bad is going to happen.

It's like being told your blind date doesn't have a good personality either.

It's amazing what can happen in a year. It was but a year ago (or thereabouts) that the old regime, Paul Maurice in particular, in an interview with Bill Watters stated, "We will make the playoffs." And now in a mere 365 days (or thereabouts), we've been warned by the GM that not only are the Leafs not a playoff team, but they may also be kinda shitty.

When you already know something is shitty and are then subsequently warned (that it's shitty) you know you have something of supernal shittyness on your hands.

With essentially a new team- Mats gone, Tucker gone, McCabe gone, Wellwood gone, and coach Paul Maurice, himself a few months removed from winning Miss Congeniality in the New York Islanders pageant- now making his playoff predictions in front of the Hakim Optical at the corner of Yonge and Bloor. (He goes on right after the guy with the guitar who always runs for mayor. )

I know this is a bold prediction and Paul Maurice be damned but I don't think we're gonna make the playoffs.
One can only hope that Fletch saying the Leafs have but 1 top six forward on the team is his way of motivating the other 5 that might be to prove that they are. Their time really is now.

What did confuse from old Cliff were his comments on the upcoming draft. Did I miss something? Wasn't next years draft super stacked? Tavares, Hedman, Cowen, Schenn, Duchene, Svennson-Paajarvi all can't miss. For a moment Fletch had me spinning like he had just asked me if a train travelling south leaves the station at 3 pm going 60km/hr and a train heading North at 80km/hour...

If the top 6 I just mentioned aren't a Crosby or an Ovechkin or a Malkin or even a Staal - then who exactly are they?


Friday, September 5

GOING, GOING, GONE

Reminiscing is dangerous. Besides being habit forming, it also leaves you at risk for the romantic. And the romantic, like being drunk, clouds your vision with glasses so rosey, that they once starred in a movie with Ray Milland. It’s like being drunk, but with less making out with fat chicks (whom I happen to adore). Reminiscing is what makes your first apartment cozy and full of charm, instead of the cramped, cockroach infested expensive anus that it was. (Remind me one day to tell you the story of the paper thin walls and my next door neighbor, the hustler.) Reminiscing is what makes all the crazy women who ever left you emotionally battered and bruised, lovely, eccentric and misunderstood. In other words, reminiscing can really fuck with you.

As this version of the Toronto Maple Leafs lost another piece of its longtime puzzle, the Captain, I have heard, of that country club atmo which stunk up the dressing room like Eau de Home Permanent parfume. The trade with the Panthers, the worst kept secret in hockey since that one about Daniel Alfredson and the gerbil, also included perpetually limp-wristed Mike Van Ryn and a 4th rounder (that Fletch sent with McCabe) that was hopefully no more than compensation for Chad "I don’t want to take my medication" Kilger.

I know that McCabe told Kypreos that there was no interest in him at trade deadline last year but Florida seems an odd choice with which to waive his NMC. What's worse is that Martin couldn't have been swindled in the deal somehow.

I don’t want to toot my own horn (not yet, but the yoga helps) but I predicted McCabe being run out of town Larry Murphy style in a post last year. Okay truth be told, I could be making that up as I am too lazy to find the actual post I wrote it in. Hopefully He Score/He Shoot's very own J. Jonah Jameson, Greener, will and surgically implant the link here (in brackets) thus making it look like I did all the work and sort of making the whole last part of this paragraph pretty moot.
Does anyone else notice the alarming rate with which Fletch is giving away our drafts? Not to backseat GM but isn't this the 9th or 10th he's given away?
Regardless, it's a sad end for a warhorse like Brian. No matter how terrible some of his gaffs were. In a way he's being punished for JFJ and the alarmingly terrible job he did. Which reminds me of a teacher I once had named Mr. Owen. Mr Owen was that special kind of teacher-cunty that makes you want to set upon them with a pillowcase full of doorknobs. Mr Owen hated me even before I stepped foot in his class because he once taught my brother.

I think everyone agreed Brian had to move down the couch as it were, that his time here was finished and he was wanted as piles. And as I reminisce (which, as I have already stated, is never a good idea) and wonder what Brian McCabe could've/would've gotten at the trade deadline 2 years ago my head already hurts. So I ask you readers - had we traded Brian 2 years ago when his asking rate was at a premium - who do you think we could've/would've had for him? Ow, my brain.