Just some hockey and other thoughts on this overcast day in Denver:
- Jagr to the Devils. Who does that sit right with? I haven’t talked to anyone who thinks it’s a good fit. But if there is a team on the verge of an identity change, it’s New Jersey. Martin Brodeur is on his last legs, Kovalchuk is gone, money is suddenly a real thing, and the future is uncertain. Perhaps Jagr is a great fit. I thought he would be a great fit in Ottawa, though. Maybe next year.
- I’m attempting to read Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon for what feels like the hundredth time, and right now I’m reminded of the hardest hockey town I’ve ever been in, Danbury, Connecticut. I’ve never seen a crowd so loud and angry, enough to make the players want to jump in the stands. The invisible line between spectator and participant was the only think keeping things from becoming violent the time I saw the Danbury Trashers play in the ‘old’ UHL. It wasn’t the glass that kept them apart. I had never seen anything like it, and I haven’t since.
I was wearing my Kazen Ak Bars jersey, and a woman who worked at the rinks, obviously in some sort of custodial capacity, asked me if I was from there. I said no, I just liked the Russian jerseys. She said that was her home, and for a brief and awkward moment, I tried to talk to her, but there was a bit of a language barrier, and she had to get back to work. I wonder if she is still in Danbury. I would love to find out what her life is like there.
- Michigan just approved a new arena for Detroit, which will be partially funded with tax dollars. Joe Louis Arena is well past it’s prime, but if there is a city that doesn’t need to spend it’s money on a new arena, it’s Detroit. I’m sure there will be more details coming soon. But can you imagine worse timing?
- The minor leagues are in for a bit of change. There are always teams folding and moving around, new teams sprout up in the ashes of the previous ones. But rarely do you see what the Central Hockey League did. The league was sold to the owners of some of the teams. It’s been hard to find out exactly which teams are involved in the new ownership group, but it’s an interesting development. Perhaps the dying gasp of a league that has seen vast turmoil over the last several years? From losing the majority of their core Texas teams to the junior leagues, to absorbing the UHL/IHL and losing most if it shortly after, this latest development could go either way, but I’m leaning towards disaster. Time will tell.
- It’s late July, so things are slow in the hockey world. So I guess that’s it for the moment. Keep your ears out for a new Avs Hockey Podcast coming soon. Yes, it’s been a while. Life happens, just as it goes on.