Avalanche Bloggers Roundtable

Roundtablelogofullb

It’s that time of year again, where the Avs bloggers get together around the virtual conference table, and hash out what the season is going to look like. There were a ton of bloggers involved this year (I remember when there were 3 Avs blogs, and two were on their way out the door), and they all deserve your patronage. Look for links to all the participants at the bottom of the post (shamelessly lifted from Mile High Hockey).

On to the question I’m hosting.

What Rookie other than Duchene are you most excited to see?

Jay Vean of the excellent Avs Hockey Podcast says:

I’m actually looking forward to seeing two rookies this season. TJ Galiardi showed some promise late in the season last year. It may be fun to see him in an extended stint with the big club. And the big guys that play a power game in front of the net always get my attention, so I’m hoping that Ryan Stoa can prove to be that guy in the future for our Avs.

Past this season, I’m excited to see if David Shattenkirk can effectively make the jump to the NHL as well.

Jori from the Avs Prospects Blog said:

Ryan Stoa and TJ Galiardi are going to be more popular choices, but I’m going to go with Brandon Yip and Justin Mercier. Their paths to the NHL will be more difficult, but both are tenacious forwards who rarely take a shift off. Brandon Yip can get into penalty trouble, but he also scored some clutch goals during his tenure as a Boston University Terrier. Justin Mercier is the forgotten piece of the disastrous Tommy Salo trade. Mercier made the shift to left-wing during his college career at Miami and is a great penalty killer.

Neither player will be a star as a pro, but I’ve always been fond of underdogs. Yip may max out as a fourth line NHL forward if he makes it, and Mercier could make it up to the third line, but both are fun players to watch and are easy to root for.

DDC from Mile High Hockey:

Ryan Stoa’s potential as a big winger is tantalizing, but I have to admit I’m really intrigued by Brandon Yip. I haven’t seen him yet, but he sounds like he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch. The way he’s been described reminds me of Dan Hinote. That’s not a bad thing in my book.

Mike from Mile High Hockey:

I’m going with the boutique answers on this one: Either Galiardi or Stoa. Late rumors have Stoa not making the big club at the start of the season. I hope he’s the first forward called up for injury it that’s the case. I’m pulling for Galiardi because the other TJ isn’t in the popular group anymore and I think every hockey team needs a TJ who can contribute. It’s like a karmic rule or something.

Shane from Colorado Avalanche Talk:

Now that he’s signed a contract and it looks like he’ll be with the team for at least the first 10 games, I’m quite excited to watch Ryan O’Reilly play. He snuck in under the radar – that’s right, I went there – but has really opened a few eyes up. By the time this is posted I could look like a fool but I have a feeling that he’s got a shot at the 3rd-line center slot. With the way he works compared to the way Hensick works, I’d give him a shot there to start the season.

As far as I’m concerned, I would like to see Galiardi have the season we expect him to have in the NHL after seeing what he has done in the NHL. With Joe Sacco, his coach from Lake Erie behind the Avs bench, there SHOULDN’T be any reason he can’t perform at this level. Or we are basically looking at another Dan Hinote story. And don’t get me wrong, I love Dan Hinote, but what he was in the AHL and what he was in the NHL were two different things.

But can Tyler Weiman be considered a rookie? If so, I’m totally in the bag for him.

Your Roundtable participants:

Mike and DDC: MHHShane Giroux: Avs TalkJibblescribbits and thedoctor: JibblescribbitsAngelique: Colorado Avalanche ProspectsGEO: Avslova FactorJay: The Avs Hockey PodcastJustin and Zach: Avalanche GuildAdam Hersh: Avalanche of ThoughtsNic Zamora: Avaholics Anonymous Matt Jordan: Mile High MayhemSean Payton: Anyone But DetroitMagnum: Disgruntled Avalanche BloggerGrant: HockeyismBrian Thompson: Colorado ExaminerTapeleg: Jerseys and Hockey Love Aaron Musick:HockeyBuzz
Aaron D’Albey from The Dog and Pony Show

Make sure you visit their blogs, and support the Avalanche blogging community.

Best. Protest. Ever.

It certainly beats the “C’mon, Mets” protest of 1968.

Let's Go Pens

Good to see they are all on the same page.

Watch the video clip here

I think they should hold the G20 in Detroit. It would certainly give the participants a look at a third world area, and the protesters could do whatever they wanted, and no one would know the difference afterwards.

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Bad Headlines 521st edition

These posts write themselves sometimes. But hey, it’s all in bad taste, right? This one is so bad, I won’t even reveal the source, author, or even link to the site.

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Mind you, this is from a site that asked me if I wanted to put their ads on this blog. I turned them down before (note: JaHL is ad free, and profit free, for that matter), and I will turn them down any time they come by.

Lame.

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C’mon, NHLPA.

There are two things that happened in the last few weeks that are massive potential game changers in the world of the NHL, and neither one will have (most likely) much impact this coming season. They are:

1) Stephen Walkom, the head of officiating for the NHL, stepped down, and,

2) The NHLPA fired their Executive Director, Paul Kelly.

The officiating will stay the course, but the second item, that needs some fleshing out.

Can we be perfectly honest here? The Players Association is not even close to a real union. For the most part, it is there to negotiate a contract, and then make nicey-nice with the players and public in between bargaining sessions. The membership is more complacent than a bartender working a noon shift, and are happy to tell you so for as long as you will listen. This is a “union” that is OK with it’s membership punching each other in the face. Most places, that sort of thing wouldn’t fly.

I point to this article on Wikipedia (the last bastion for facts in the world) whenever I bring up the NHLPA, because their first executive director was convicted of fraud (read about the charges and conviction here). If you don’t believe that source, read the book. It’s enlightening, and should be hockey history 101 for anyone who follows the business side of hockey.

Even Bob Goodenow wasn’t the best person for the union. From installing his own guy through back door policies as head of the union, to being non-existant in the CBA negotiations following the lockout, Goodenow wasn’t nearly as good for the NHLPA as he was touted to be. Any CBA that ends in a glad-handing “partnership” is basically code for ” You just got your back side handed to you.”

It didn’t shock me that Paul Kelly, the man who was hired after a long search – after the Players Association gave the owners everything the ever wanted (but got their own separate hotel rooms after a certain age), after the PA caved on their unifying cry of “no salary cap,” after the players came back needing a solid labor leader after licking their wounds – was let go. The players have always wanted someone who will handle them with kids gloves, regardless of what they actually need. And what they need is someone who can take care of the business side of things, while the players go do what they care about. It turns out they had that guy. They should have kept him.

Frankly, the NHLPA deserves anything they get. They deserve to have their asses handed to them in the next CBA. They deserve to be paying escrow to the owners for the privilege of playing hockey. They deserve a salary cap. They deserve a new executive director that will roll over for the league, because that is what the players want: ie – To play hockey at the expense of everything else.

Now, even the high and mighty Sidney Crosby wants answers. Hell, I want answers. I want to know what it was that actually pushed the union into letting Kelly go. All we have heard so far is speculation and hearsay. From being too cozy with Bettman and the league (so first you’re a partnership, then you aren’t), to improper email conduct (aka Ted Saskin part two), to conducting an audit of the union that some players didn’t like, we have heard it all, and so far none of it sticks. While we aren’t entitled to know everything, something is going to come out of this mess, and I think it’s going to be ugly.

There has never been a solid Players Association for the NHL. The closest they came was the early Goodenow years, before the crash came after years of prosperity. It’s time for the players to step up and treat their business like they own it. They need to go back and look at the sacrifices the players that came before them made to ensure fair treatment in a time when owners held all the cards.

Ed Lover says it best:

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Sometimes, these blog post write themselves.

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That’s Not Nice: Theo Fleury Edition

Number one in an ongoing sporadic series. This is a screen cap from my RSS reader:

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Yeah. Ever wonder why the players only talk to the media in cliche and sound bytes?

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Mock Coyotes Auction: Final Verdict

First off, let me state that this was not an easy decision to come to. Not everyone is going to be satisfied with the decision. While a bankruptcy court may only have the creditors to consider, a MOCK court is not beholden to such things. Therefor, there were many factors to take into consideration:

  • Creditors
  • Ownership
  • The League
  • The Fans (yes, both of them)
  • The Sport

Let us consider some of these bids:

@scottywazz had perhaps one of the most intriguing bids (a buck-three-eighty, some poutine, and the rights to the RTB bio-pic, Added Sega Saturn gaming system, three games (all Sonic the Hedgehog), and some Beaver Buzz energy drink), but his desire to move the team to Barrow, Alaska doesn’t show a sustainable line of income to satisfy the creditors. Barrow, in case you did not know, was the scene of the movie “30 Days of Night,” in which vampires took over the entire town, and killed most of the population. This does not show a continual availability of fans to support a team, as they would all be killed and eaten every year.

@dchesnokov had a bid of one Russian Ruble, and while enticing, had some questions surrounding the location of the team (moved to the KHL?).

@bzarcher had a bid of one timex digital watch, one unused prophylactic, one black suit jacket, one hat, $23.07, and one pair sunglasses. While he may have acquired the items by mugging a Blues Brother, his statement of “I’m thinking of just running the team into the ground as-is and claiming it against my taxes. Stay the course!” while spoken like a true Columbus Blue Jackets fan, was a bit of a slip. It would be irresponsible if the court to turn over ownership to him.

The battle between @shellieshel and @voteforgrant was admirable in it’s ferociousness, but lacked solid structure. The ownership of a 1990 Ford Probe that was submitted by @voteforgrant was in dispute from the beginning. @shellieshel wished for the team to be relocated to her basement, and while flaunting and disputing the ownership rules of the NHL is certainly acceptable, the rules as to rink size is not up for debate. There is no way a 200′ X 85′ rink would fit in her basement. It would be impossible to fit the entire team into that location, and the lawsuits that could arise from the dressing room behavior alone would bring the league to it’s knees.

@Yotesgurl offered her first born child and her right arm to keep the team in Arizona. Um, awkward.

@tKWE (the Kyle Wellwood Experience) made a compelling argument, but had to lower his offer to a box of timbits (cruller and chocolate), large double-double and a sausage biscuit. This doesn’t speak well of his resources to float a team in it’s bad times, and could herald in a new era of depression and starvation to the Portland, OR area, where he wishes to move the team.

@BluelandOutsidr must have thought this was The Price is Right, because he placed a bid of one dollar. One. Once he realized the folly of his ways, he added to his bid a vintage Admiral Ackbar action figure & a singing dancing James Brown doll. Also, this was the most reasonable relocation bid yet (“we feel Atlanta is a market that deserves an NHL team”). It was difficult to turn away such an offer, but the unwillingness to deal with a relocation fee was less than dazzling. I would call this the runner-up bid.

@Lighthousehockey offered up “One Rick DiPietro Contract.” Enticing, but something that has a depreciating value over time (and by time, I mean the next season). Also, he was going to keep the team in his back pocket in case anything happened to the Islanders. This court believes that John Tavares should be enough for an Islanders fan right now.

The winning bid, while not setting the world on fire, was the RCOM, a dual ownership of @ryanclassic and @OdinMercer. Their initial offer of One (1) turkey sandwich and a pudding cup (brand unspecified) was underwhelming, but with the addition of Rob Schremp and “a dozen from DD since there are no TIms here. As well as a In-n-Out Double Double,” this started to make sense. Also, this offer was one of the few that was designed to keep the team in Phoenix, and also has secured corporate sponsorship (ACME, who will be providing the new arena name and sandwiches), which seems to be one more sponsor than the Coyotes currently have.

While this may seem like this is a complete victory for the RCOM team, it is not. The court orders RCOM to submit paperwork to the court showing that they have made a profit within two years time, or the team will be auctioned off again. They should not be protected from the same process that they participated in to acquire the team. If they are not able to sustain the team on their own, the team should be set back into the auction process.

Also, since this is a mock court, and not beholden to the rules of bankruptcy court, I order the NHL to expand their league next year, into two new markets, one in Hamilton, and one in a western conference market to be determined. In one years time, there will be a mock expansion draft held in this very courtroom (twitter). Ownership of the two franchises will be determined at a later date.

While this decision will not satisfy all the parties involved, the ruling had to go in favor of the best possible outcome for the creditors, hockey and the fans of the great sport. It must be a great sport, to survive the people who sue each other over it.

Thank you all for your time. You all battled well.

Final bids can be found here

You can see the process carried out on twitter here.

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Coyotes Mock Auction

Sure, the NHL is fighting the epic battle of Goliath vs. Poorly Run Goliath today in court, and Gary Bettman is on the stand (where he has to tell the truth, so that should be fun). All eyes will be on the courts in Arizona.

But there is another court in session today, with the bidding for the Coyotes already taking place. The twitter mock draft is currently taking place, with the bids coming in fast and furious.

@ryanclassic and @OdinMercer have submitted a bid of one turkey sandwich and a pudding cup to keep the team in Glendale

The KYLE WELLWOOD EXPERIENCE has placed a bid of one Tim Horton’s gift card, valued at $40. I’m not sure where the money is coming from for that.

@voteforgrant has submitted a bid of $27.50 in cash (CDN) and a 30 pack of Molson.

@scottywazz has a bid of “a buck-three-eighty, some poutine, and the rights to the RTB bio-pic.” His east coast charm was not part of the bid.

@bzarcher has a bid that sounds like he mugged a Blues Brother. “one timex digital watch, one unused prophylactic, one black suit jacket, one hat, $23.07, and one pair sunglasses.”

Oh, and I’m the presiding judge in the MOCK case. Will my head explode? Will I go mad with power? Only one way to find out.

Create-Your-Own-Bid

If you want to get involved in the fun, go on twitter and use the hashtag #yotesale. The presiding judge’s twitter is @Tapeleg All bids submitted to the court between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Pacific will be considered, with a ruling at 5:30 PM Pacific.

Good luck, and happy hunting.

UPDATE: More bids are coming in from all corners of the hockey world.

@Yotesgurl submitted her first born child and her right arm. No word yet on if the child is a defenseman.

@Lighthousehocky bid one Rick DiPietro contract. It doesn’t look good for the future of hockey.

@shellieshel entered “2 nights stay in a fab Park Hill home, unlimited doggie cuddle, 1 bag of Craisins, a photo op w/me & open 12 pk of PBR”  Ulterior motives seem likely.

@dchesnokov put in a bid of One Russian Ruble. The exchange rate doesn’t favor his bid.

@BluelandOutsidr added a bid of one dollar. This may not be The Price is Right, but he does have one good point. In his relocation filing, he states Atlanta as the new home of the Coyotes: “We feel Atlanta is a market that deserves an NHL team.” Buddy, you ain’t alone.

Schedule of the proceedings (all times pacific):

1:00 PM – Relocation fee debate

3:00 – 4:00 PM: Open cross examination by counsel. Keep it civil, and use the hashtag to be entered into the record.

4:30 PM: Closing arguments

5:30 PM: Judgement rendered

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That’s What I Get

I had a quick thought about the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, and wanted to see if there was a quick answer to my question.

And while I can handle ESPN busting on hockey, Google is taking things a little far:

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That’s just mean. Shame on you google.

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