John Buccigross made his return Monday, with his weekly column on ESPN.com. For those of you who don’t know who Bucci is, (and I discovered last night that some people don’t), he is one of the few employees who love and promote hockey. He, along with Barry Melrose (you know that name) and Ray Ferraro (that one too, I’m guessing) were on nhl2night, the post game and late night hockey wrap show that was canceled with the lockout and the television contract moving to OLN. Bucci is one of those guys on sports shows who can turn the volume down, be likable, and doesn’t seem to fit in with the mainstream. Like Dennis Miller (without being conceited) , he brings in some obscure references (mostly indie bands, and U2) that you feel cool to catch.
John Buccigross writes an article a week (or so) through the season. He was doing caption contests, making predictions, and this year starts us off with predictions for the Eastern Conference. But first, an extended rant about his Uncle!!! Crap, I’m going to fall asleep. He gets to hockey eventually, telling us how hockey is just the right size of market share for what it is. Whoo – hoo. Thanks for the update. Finally, on to the teams.
From his New York Islanders prediction:
Am I the only guy in the world who doesn’t think the Rick DiPietro signing was outlandish? (Booming, Michael Clarke Duncan voice from above: “Yes, John, you are.”) If DiPietro becomes a top-five goalie, it’s a great deal for the Islanders. If he becomes a top-10 goalie, it’s about right. Goalies can play for a long time.
If you are not jumping up and down on your chair, screaming at this, you have a better grip on life than me (not really surprising). But, come on. Is this for real? Bucci isn’t dumb, and often is allowed (remember, this is ESPN) to say what he wants. But would you put Martin Brodeur a 15 year contract five years after he was drafted? Or Patrick Roy? Or any goalie? Luongo has been traded twice since he came to the league, and is thought of as one of the best around. Goalies can play for a long time? Dude.
After that, I stopped reading. I admit it, I was bored. There are predictions everywhere. After sifting through the first rant, looking for the relation to hockey, I moved on, bored, and lost interest. Why pick on one column? Why point to John Buccigross? Bucci is like a writer in the mist. He is part of the mainstream media, but is loose enough that he doesn’t seem like it. His column coming back marks the start of the season for a lot of hockey fans. And he is a good writer.
But there is so much good writing out there right now. There is so much, I don’t have time to read it all, which I wish I could. If you are here, reading this, you know there is more to it than what ESPN or TSN, or your local newspaper (who half the time just reprints stories of the wire) has to say. I’ve listed a bunch on the right, and am constantly talking about them. And it’s really good writing. Bucci can go to a game with former players and tell you what that is like. I can go to a game, send updates from my seat, and tell you if it was worth the full price for preseason I paid (it was, but just the once). Bucci takes in hundreds of emails, while I take in my ten. I’m no Bucci, and I’m cool with that. But the Bucci column, if this is any indicator, tells me that I’m going to be sticking to the blogs this year.
If you want to find alternative sources for your Bucci like fix:
Caption contest every Friday at Waiting For Stanley
Humor and ranting at American Hockey Fan
Interesting and well written hockey stories at Eyes On The Prize
From the perspective of someone in the media at James Mirtle (his own blog)
Then click around the blogroll over to the right, and find some more you like. Stick with them.
Quick note: I like Bucci. I do. Reread that first paragraph. You’ll see. Good writer, seems nice, loves hockey. I’m not going to rip on him all season.