Happy Friday, folks. Here’s what I’m thinking about today in the world of hockey.
– Is the NHL starting to feel like a bubble industry? $500 million expansion fees to put teams in questionable locations, meteoric revenue growth being tempered by a currency drop, and more and more luxury being added for the higher paying patrons. On top of that, they try to exacerbate parity between the have and the have-not teams, and the have-nots struggle to keep the doors open. Coaches getting $50 million contracts, players getting $10 million contracts. It all feels very bubbly right now.
– I’ve written two posts about Patrick Kane and not published them. That’s a good thing. Whenever I write one, I know I’m not expressing myself in the way I want to, so I sit on it. A day or two later, something happens that makes me happy I didn’t.
It would be nice if this were playing out behind closed doors. For fans of the game, it’s a roller coaster ride of emotions. Patience remains a virtue.
– I could copy and paste this from previous notes: Zdeno Chara is out with an injury. I feel bad for the guy. He’s very tall, and like a great dane, you marvel at his size and beauty, knowing there is something fragile under all that.
– Phil Kessel seems to be gelling on his new team. It’s still the preseason, but all indicators sound positive. Since he’s no longer with the Leafs, I haven’t heard word one from him in the media. That has to feel good for him.
But for the Penguins, it isn’t about Kessel and the forwards. They can suffer a player or two not scoring and be fine. Malkin had his slumps, Crosby dropped off for periods of time. It happens. The Pens success will depend much more on the defense. How will Letang be this season, after suffering a stroke last season? What will the revamped blue line look like when it hits the ice? And as important, which Marc-Andre Fleury will show up this season?
Kessel is an easy whipping boy of the media. Fans love to point at him and blame and speculate. But he shouldn’t be a concern. Keep your eyes elsewhere on this team.
– Please, put your hands together and welcome #SadPanthersFan!
– I had dinner last night with @donholio, who I met on twitter and have chatted with for years. I had a great time. The funny thing is, he didn’t realize until recently that I had a blog. He followed me primarily because I had a podcast. Funny, since I’ve had this thing for 9 years. Mind you, I’ve ignored it quite a bit.
That is the one thing I miss about twitter: all the good people I met there. But as I said to Don last night, the price is still too high. Not tweeting, I am actually turning back to my platform of choice, my blog. I actually want to write on it again. Needless to say, I’m enjoying my time away from the tweet.