The Pink Jersey: Vote with your Wallet

There’s been a lot of talk around the web about the new pink jerseys the NHL is putting out in another attempt to get women into the great game (“beautiful” is taken by soccer, and too hard to pronounce through broken teeth). Generally, it seems like people are more amused than anything, but there has been some pissed-offedness (I reserve the right to noun verbs and verb nouns for the sake of entertaining you or myself).

Here’s the JAHL take:

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

That may sound like one thing, or another to various people, just like you can see a penalty call different ways depending on who you are pulling for. But this is what it means.

If there is one thing the league office understands, it’s money. Most GMs may not get the money thing, but the league sure does. They discontinue merch almost as fast as Disney. If it isn’t selling, then they get that. There is no better way to send a message to the league than to leave them with a warehouse full of these things. That’s what happened with the women’s jersey style a year or two ago, and I predict that is what will happen here. You are more than welcome to write the NHL, and tell them you don’t like the jerseys, but your money will go a lot further. If they can sell it (tickets, merch, anything), then it is a success.

What I really don’t get is why this is any different than a pink sweatshirt or t-shirt. If you don’t like pink things aimed at women, where is the rage over that? It’s a color and it’s marketing. Everyone gets marketed to, no one is immune. If it applies to a jersey, it should apply everywhere. Frankly, they don’t market jockstraps to women, so they won’t aim these jerseys at men.

BTW, what if the NHL gave five dollars from every jersey to breast cancer research? Would that change some minds? Of course, that means they would most likely raise the jersey price across the board, but I bet people would think a little differently about the whole mess.

And, Pink Wings? Pink Jackets? Not in this lifetime.
We all know there are better ways to make the game more “attractive to women,” but this isn’t about that. This is about selling some product. And this time, your wallet will speak volumes.

Personally, I reserve judgment until I see them. I’m guessing they are going to be truly ugly, but hey, even the Preds third jersey sells, so who knows?

All I’m Doing Today

Since work ended around 4:30 today, I don’t have a lot to do. My two big things…

Cleaning house.

Reading vancouvercanucksoped. Today, Alanah is blogging for 24 hours straight. About hockey. For charity. Now, that kicks ass.

Sure, its a Canucks blog, but it’s still a good blog. And it’s the blog that made me want to start blogging.

So you can find out about pledging, or just go read, and help keep her awake. There’s some fun stuff, and she makes fun of the Wings, which is worth your time any time.

Trash Talk

If there isn’t scandal, it wouldn’t be hockey. In the NHL, there’s the gambling scandal, which seems to have been swept under the rug. But in the UHL, you have the Danbury Trashers and the organized crime charges. From skirting the salary cap, to no-show jobs for players and maybe wives, the ramifications for the league should be at the least worrisome. But to this point, the league, and President/CEO Richard Brosal, have been quiet about it. They basically have said the problem was with the Trashers, and owner James Galante, and doesn’t affect the league. Strange, since making it to the Colonial Cup Finals with a team who violated the salary cap would be pretty troubling to me, and my team owners. Ask the Muskegon Fury, or the Quad City Mallards, both teams eliminated by the Trashers in the playoffs, how they feel about it. Playoffs for the minors is make or break money. If you make it, you might make your nut for the year, and if not, you may be the latest flop in the cities hockey history. Ask Richmond, who would have made it into the playoffs.

So, today, I popped by Sidearm Delivery, a blog dealing with hockey news from Russia, the Rangers, and (this is why I found it) the Hartford Wolfpack. You should check this blog out, regardless of your feeling about those topics. A few posts back, he was talking about the UHL and these problems, but he brought up something else. Galante (Trashers owner) was brought up on charges of assault for punching a linesman in a game that got pretty out of hand. The game was back on Dec. 1, 2004, and I don’t know where to find the scoresheet. I’m sure it would be a fun read. The punching seemed to happen in the penalty box, which is a strange place for a team owner to be in the first place. I’d guess it’s true, because it’s all too dumb to make up.

What really pissed me off was listening to the FBI taped phone calls that the Danbury NewsTimes has posted on their website. The last two are of Galante and an employee (who is under federal indictment) and the employee and President Brosal, talking about getting the linesman to change his statement. The ironic part is how often the callers say the phone calls never happened.

This is all small potatoes compared to the big charges pointed at Galante. This is easy to forget, but it shouldn’t be. This is awful, maddening crap. This all pisses me off to no end. It calls into question the league’s integrity. It makes the league President/CEO look like a criminal. It reminds you that hockey has it’s dark side, and can get pretty dark.

Last season, I took a road trip through the UHL, seeing a game in every city. I have some great photos, saw some great games, met interesting people, and the only downside was the shitty hotels I stayed in to keep costs down. I’m happy I took the trip, and it remains one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. I got to see a few games in my favorite place to see games (Glens Falls, NY).

But this is disgusting. Listen to the calls, it’s worth your time.

(Since nobody has been convicted of anything, everything posted here is considered “Alleged.” Because that’s the way things are.)

At Least Someone’s Doing the Math

The Rocky Mountain News have the calculators out, and tell me this:

Assuming Klee and Stastny are on Colorado’s Opening Night roster, the
Avalanche currently has 22 players under contract for close to $42 million.

The NHL salary cap is set at $44 million, leaving the Avalanche a
little room to re-sign free-agent forwards Brett McLean and Marek Svatos.

Of course, The excuses will fly. The bonuses. The amount of free agents. But a few moves are going to keep this team average. Tyler Arnason just shy of a million, Jose Hilton for over 5 million, Brisebois still in for 3 million. Truth is, there is overspending on individuals, not just the excuses.

A $44 million salary cap is going to make your team look different if you can’t live up to the cap. If the Avs are smart (which isn’t likely), they will dump McLean, get Svatos on a one year deal, with options or some way to bring him back for quite a bit more, and kiss the trade deadline goodbye. And next season, show the one year underachievers the door, because we don’t have the time, and we can’t buy a team when things aren’t working out.

This is looking like a team that is going to be in rebuilding mode in a year or two, if they can get honest with themselves.

An Omen????

Two signings came down from the Mountain today.

From TSN:

The Colorado Avalanche have signed defenceman Ken Klee and
forward Paul Stastny.
Stastny was signed to a multi-year contract while no terms were disclosed on the
contract for Klee.

What should this say:
The Avs are still active making moves. They are getting some more depth on the blueline, while working toward the future with some youth up front.

What it does say:
First off, we are not getting Svatos back. Stastny is the next Wolski, while Wols is the next Svatos. The shoulder discount just got spent.
Second, defencemen with more penalty minutes than shots are ok by us. Just make sure they don’t challenge the first line d-men.

If Klee gets more than one year, shoot me now. There is better to be had than this, such as not spending money on the questionable. Building from within was never the way of the Avs. How weak are we in the minors? Why is signing Klee such a good idea?

If Stastny were signed well before, or anytime after, getting Svatos back, I wouldn’t be worried. But now I see the future. Stastny is insurance for Svatos. I just don’t get it.

Next thing you know, we’ll be resigning Cummins, and trading Hejduk for Sean Avery.

(shudder…)

Today’s XM Call

Off season hockey talk. Fun, fun, fun. Today’s rant…

Quit questioning the officials to the third degree. Why did it sound like they we’re deciding games? Stop it, let them do the job, and don’t let your cameras decide the integrity.

Americans can love hockey, just make tickets attainable.

Ottawa has a section 218 (the Devils hardcore fan section), but they serve tea, finger sandwiches, and have poetry readings. Buy tickets before August 3rd, and you can join the book club.

With all due luck, I’m establishing a voice on XM, and that seems to be with humor. They laugh, and hopefully, the listeners do to.

Jersey post coming soon.

Happy Birthday to ME!!! (milk it once)

I rarely throw out that it’s my birthday, and this is the only time I plan to do it here (this year at least). Last birthday was spent in the hospital recovering from a scooter accident from the day before, where I broke both arms. So far, this one is going much better.

This has been a hockey filled birthday, with lots of presents that fill my need for the real beautiful game. Such as a Rob Blake signed puck, a DEG Metro Stars puck top Pez dispenser, a Minnesota Moose jersey (that’s right, not Manitoba), a goal scoring puck from the AHL Calder Cup finals Game 5 (which I got to attend, and was the last puck to score in the building that year), silly putty (not sure), hockey cards (3 AUTO cards so far), a book of Modern Pre-Fab housing (which is kick ass, I love this stuff), and a big thick UHL All-Star jersey, of which I have no clue what year it is from (the patch says Jan 18th, in Ft. Worth, but has no year). Wow, what a load!!!

Birthday jersey stack
UHL AllStar patch
UHL AllStar jerseyMinnesota Moose
All of this came from my Signifigant Lighting Person (girlfriend), shipped in from all over the world, while she toils away in Philadelphia, PA. I just have to decide which jersey to wear today.

So, if you came here because of the Birthday, well, I wish I could be humble today, but why start now. Thanks for coming by, and leave a comment if you can. Also, check out the “Few Favorites I Did Myself” to the right, maybe you can get a laugh out of them. I will be in the mountains, away from hockey news, just a nice peaceful day. But I’m taking my skates… Just in case…

First Jersey post

Slow news day here, with no good reason to call XM (even though I had some funny stuff, there wasn’t enough to chat about). So finally I’m posting a jersey, which is the first half of the title, so I should get with it.

This is my David Aebischer jersey:

Aebischer Jersey Rear

The black strip through his name is my protest to him being traded. If you get the idea that I think this trade was a good idea, you are not paying attention.

Aebischer jersey front

What’s wrong with this picture? Lots of things, and I don’t mean the couches color scheme. The added patches don’t belong for a few reasons, because the third jersey was introduced to the club for the 2001-2002 season. So the Stanley Cup patch doesn’t belong (even though he won the cup as backup that year), not the 2000-2001 All-Star Game patch, or the NHL 2000 patch. That’s a playoff pin near the collar, but I don’t think it will stay past one washing. The 10th anniversary patch lies in wait.

My first game at the Pepsi Center was after the trade, but I did get to see Abie play in LA and Pittsburgh. Wearing the jersey to Pepsi was fun, hearing people behind me talking about it as I walked the crowded halls. It gets me into more conversations.

Today, I was at a place (name will remain undisclosed until I have a crack at the merch) that had signed Abie jerseys for sale, at quite the discount. $70 for replica, $100 for the authentic. I don’t think I’ll get one, because what could be prettier than mine?

More jerseys to come…

Also, I need to find a better place to take photos. Cracks about the futon will be laughed at if funny, laughed at harder if not.

XM Call

My XM call was about Snow today. I had this to say:

I don’t know if you guys heard the latest rumors here, but it looks like
Francois Giguere is getting fired, and Peter Budaj is getting named as the new
GM. Also, Bryzgalov now says that Brian Burke is grooming J.S. Giguere as his
successor.

They laughed, but I think they may be tired of the topic.

I still felt pretty good. and two different Gigueres in the same call. Beat that, 218 (callers from jersey)

Curb your Appetite

So, the question I hear (read) asked a lot is weather or not a player is worth his contract. The last two I just read are Rob Blake (2 years @ $6 mil each) and Brendan Shanahan (One year @ $4 mil). Well, is Blake a $6 million D-man? For the moment, yes. But that could change, mostly in reflection to the rest of the league. But it’s going to take another Stanley Cup to prove it.

The Carolina Hurricanes won the cup based on a few things, one of which was team make up, but another was how that team was made up towards the rest of the league. In other words, it was the right combination at the right time. But they had a lot of things that other teams will eventually gravitate towards. Such as youth, team spirit (when was the last time you saw that?), speed, and skill. Which also, just makes sense. Of course, they would have been victims a few years ago, and the team was (not this team make up, but the canes).

But for GMs, who still have the sins of the past to shake off, the learning curve isn’t so much about learning as it is about proof. Remember how everyone was praising the Penguins for their off season moves last year (until they got Jocelyn Thibault, I mean, come on)? Then they tanked, and you would think the proof was right there, concrete evidence that spending on names and faces does not a hockey team make (like the Rangers proved pre-cap). And still, the cycle goes round.

Free agent frenzy was just a symptom of fear. Nobody wants to be Chicago, and get left out in the cold, when you have real needs. But smart teams, or smart GMs, can pinpoint what they need, and get it without having to bum rush the stage of free agents. Just get what you need, don’t make too big a splash, and fix only what’s broken.

Fear is what keeps the contracts being handed out from being reasonable. Teams who failed to make the playoffs or had awful showing are doing a lot of large dollar signings. But give it a few years, and, just like the rule changes, things will get under control.

Inactivity is not necessarily a sign of a cool hand, or a level head, But to take a step back, not be too reactionary, and really look at your needs, that may save a team, and the league.

Also, Off Topic, I just heard on XM Radio, don’t let your dog hang his head out the door. It’s unsafe. If dogs had hands, they would shoot themselves.