Monday, February 4


“Maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves."
-Fight Club

Clearly the first rule of quoting Fight Club is there is no quoting Fight Club. OR something. Look, I want to talk hockey, not Fight Club. Stop bringing up Fight Club, what’s with you and that movie? Jesus….you’re always talking about that movie. Fight Club, Fight Club, Fight Club….enough with the Fight Club…Jesus.

And scene.

This morning I woke up in a cold sweat. I was having a terrible dream, the same terrible dream most of the night. There I was, Norte: bons viveurs, goalie, blogger, looking as handsome as ever, swept up in what can only be described as trade fever. I was like an animal in my dream. Some terrible clawed and fanged creature, in an ironic t-shirt, googling things like Stamkos, Taveres, Edler instead of the usual cotillion of boobs, Asian, horny.
There I was, blood shot eyes (which admittedly isn’t that abnormal) with a ‘why Grandma what big teeth you have’ smile reading about the demise of the Edmonton Oilers. Laughing, howling at the moon if you will, at the news of Shawn Horcoff and his shoulder. Forgive me Moose and Wash, but I'm enjoying the potential of your teams L's almost as much as my own team’s.
The words Is he or isn’t he? Will he or won’t he? Flashing past me like whistle stops in bad film noir. No Trade Clause blinking on and off like broken neon. It was a terrible dream…and it was one of those dreams that you keep having every time you fall back asleep. Problem was….I’m that episode of Dallas…cos, guess what, I'm not asleep. I’m Bobby Ewing and I’m in the shower.

Hello, my name is Norte and I am addicted to reading about the upcoming trade deadline.
I don’t particularly like how much interest I am investing in trade speculation….but this is the most fun I have had regarding the Leafs this year. Admittedly it’s a little horrifying to realize that the trade has to be like that Beatles couplet about the love you give equaling the love you get back: you want Stamkos or an Edler then you have to be both really shitty and open to trading a Sundin and a Kaberle. And sadly I am not talking Ronnie or Frantisek.
Do I want to see Kaberle go? Of course not. Absolutely not actually. I don’t want him to go. I had always hoped he would be sort of like the Leafs version of Lidstrom: (one crest, Norris mainstay)…but the big picture, the big picture…with that contract of his to boot. I believe he would garner as much attention as Sundin (on contract and age alone).
My fear is that the trade that (will) happen(s) will already have been posted on a thousand different blogs…so when it does finally happen…it’ll be like…oh that deal.
I like the Ducks potential best because as I said above the Oilers are pretty shitty this year too. My fingers are crossed for that one. Secondly…with Mats? Can you imagine? Mats and Teemu? Cos you know Teemu will finally be hitting mid-season stride around April too. And Kaberle is only 30….Christ I could shed a tear thinking about it.
The anticipation of the where and the when and for what….is kind of thrilling. You get to imagine. Shit…hmmm…how about Kubina to Chicago for Cam Barker. Darcy to Calgary for Dustin Boyd. Yeah, you think, over ride trade rejection. Mats to the Ducks for Bobby Ryan, Edmonton’s first round this year. That sounds good…..but wait…suddenly it hits me…Wait a minute….Taveres isn’t eligible for this years draft cos he was born three days before the eternal equinox in a leap year…so that means he would be available in 2009 right?
This is exactly like eating at a Chinese food buffet. There are two ways to approach it. You can pile it on right away, eyes bigger than your stomach, no regard for the Kung Po as you dump on the Mu Shu, practically drowning your Ling Mung Gai in Wu Lo Yuk.
And there are people who go up…and come back with a soup.
I hear that next year’s draft is gonna be another good one and I ask, hypothetically of course, what would I rather have? Jonathon Toews or Jonathon Toews and Patrick Kane? Crosby or Crosby/Malkin? Clearly rebuilding is a faster process these days but this may be the time, the perfect time to open with the soup.

This Is Your Captain...Prepare To Dive!

Well, maybe the hockey gods aren't quite done grinding their heels into our neck just yet. News today that Shawn Horcoff is done for the year with shoulder surgery. There's three players this team can't afford to be without for any prolonged stretch: Hemsky, Moreau and Horcoff. The offensively challenged Oilers will now head into the homestretch without their leading scorer and best all-around player.

This team still has more quality than last years' injury riddled version that limped home, losing 18 of their final 20 games, but you get the sense that a similar slide is only a Robyn Regher bodycheck away (keep your head up, Ales). Much of this team is still very young, and the veterans haven't found any way to produce on a consistent basis. With team confidence teetering on the rim of the toilet, the last thing they needed was to lose Horcoff and bury their slim playoff hopes. If you've read any of my posts this season, you know my opinion of Shawn Horcoff. There aren't many players in the NHL that do more things to help their team win than #10. It's a tough, tough blow. All that said, I'm actually glad Calgary is coming to town tonight. After getting kicked in the gut, you want to see what this team is made of, especially the kids. Time to stand up and be counted.

Of course the injury also impacts the Oilers at the draft table. With the Oil already sitting 14th in the Western Conference, it's safe to say Brian Burke's ego isn't getting any smaller these days. I can only hope he's stupid enough to trade the pick at the deadline. Hey Mats, Orange County is beautiful this time of year! Folks, the kid to the left is Steve Stamkos, and he's going to look absolutely wretched in an Anaheim Ducks uniform. Make no mistake, there are a lot of scouts who say Stamkos would be the first pick even if John Tavares was in this draft. He's that good. How does Dustin Penner for Steve Stamkos, plus, plus, sound? In the big picture, Horcoff's injury might just cost Kevin Lowe his job.