Some hockey notes after the first day of the NHL regular season:
– Well, that was fun.
– Tommy Wingels got two goals last night, and nary a mention of his efforts. His second goal was quite nice. But he’s Tommy Wingels, so he won’t get the credit he deserves. Still, the Sharks got their “revenge” last night, if you can call one game, even if it is a shutout, revenge.
– If you watched NBC Sports Net for both games last night, the Bruins – Flyers game was crisp and tight compared to the Kings – Sharks game. Neither west coast team could complete a pass to save their life. I’m sure this will clean up soon enough.
– During a commercial break, NBCSN ran an ad for (insert forgotten sponsor here) that was 30 seconds of explaining hockey. It was hockey 101, and as awful as it was for those of us who get what icing and offsides are, it must have been soul-crushing for Mike Milbury. I’m not a fan of his blustering, but even he doesn’t deserve that kind of punishment. Explaining hockey to the masses isn’t his job, and yes, I know he is a media guy explaining hockey to the masses. We, as fans, don’t deserve this either. Please, turn it off. Frog. Fraud.
– Milbury also said there needs to be an end to fighting. Of all the things you wouldn’t have expected from opening night, this was maybe top of the list. He said the injuries are too much, that too many guys are getting concussions. I wonder, given his previous comments, if this opinion sticks. I think it’s great that he has changed his mind. It shows he’s thinking about things. Malcolm Gladwell would be proud.
– Greg Wyshynski wrote a post addressing what is seen as a conflict of interest in the “Chris Pronger to the NHL Player Safety Department” rumor. According to Greg, it’s not a conflict of interest because Pronger isn’t really a player, even though he is still paid as a player. He doesn’t play, so no problem. Also, this:
Q. OK, so let me proffer this: What if I don’t want Chris Pronger in Player Safety because I think he’s an insufferable [expletive]?
Now you’re making sense.
OK, that might be a wee bit of a factor shaping opinions on this. Wysh make a few arguments that make sense and one involving Marc Savard that makes no sense. There is some other stuff thrown in as well of little consequence.
All of this is cheap window dressing to state my own opinion. Simply put, taking a paycheck from a team and the league simultaneously is wrong. It is a conflict of interest to take a paycheck from both sides of a collective bargaining agreement. Pick a side of the table. Change sides of the table. But you can’t sit on both sides. No matter how I feel about Pronger, this is a situation that shouldn’t happen. There are other people who could do the job. If he wants to when he is off the Flyer’s payroll, great. Until then, no.
– I’m off to Wheeling, WV for a Wheeling Nailers game. The Nailers just surpassed the Johnstown Chiefs, who moved out of Johnstown a few years ago, as the longest operating ECHL franchise with 23 years. In the business of minor league hockey, that’s a good run. Also on the docket this month, Dayton, OH, Toledo, OH, and maybe some Ft. Wayne Comets. If you are in the area, let me know.