Thumbs up for Burke

Sunday, January 31, 2010 · 0 comments

This post has nothing to do with the merits of the actual trades themselves, but rather the buzz Leafs GM Brian Burke created on a quiet Sunday in the dog days of an NHL season.

Remember how much you talked about the Pouliot-Latendresse trade? Nice to see it's working out for both sides, but it was a gross underachiever for a gross underachiever. The amount of coverage it garnered was as if Lafleur had been dealt for Dionne. But it's not our fault. That's what hardcore NHL fans have been reduced to. Breaking down problem for problem trades as if they're blockbusters.

Thank you Brian Burke! You actually made me remember a big part of the reason I became such a big NHL fan as a kid. Trades. Huge ones. Ones with stones. Ones that have enormous up and down sides. Ones that can actually occur during the dog days of a season and not just within 48 hours of a trade deadline or in the summer.

Big in-season deals are what we all like to talk about but don't see happen much anymore. It's to the point where when the haves and have nots of any given season start to separate, we don't even expect trades anymore. Rather, we all partake in death watches. Once the first coach is fired we move onto the next one on death row, heck we even see goalie coaches get the axe mid season these days!

Rumours of any significant trades are also prefaced with talk of how teams must get rid of a salary on waivers, or bury one in the minors. Inspiring stuff indeed. If there was a cap on coaches and managers there would be no point in paying attention at all for some fans. "It's November and my team sucks so far this year, oh well, guess I'll check back in at the deadline".

Losing an NHL season might have provided some financial stability(though some would call BS and point to Phoenix, Tampa, Florida etc..)and the rule changes signalled the end of the dead puck era, but it also ushered in the dead trade era. So once again, thank you Brian Burke for letting NHL fans have a dog day in the sun. Let's hope your idea to let teams retain some salary to facilitate in season trades finally gains some traction, because I miss the fan I used to be. Watching the waiver wire and waiting for coaches to get fired isn't exactly inspiring stuff.

Hockey for Haiti Day

Friday, January 29, 2010 · 0 comments

Tomorrow is Hockey Day In Canada but the Carleton Place Minor Hockey Association is also making it "Hockey for Haiti Day". Check out the link to see how you can help the kids make a difference in Haiti.

Separated at Birth?

Thursday, January 28, 2010 · 0 comments

Courtesy of e-mailer Man Stretch Lou. Had to pass this along. Describing it on air doesn't do it justice. Cory Clouston is a remorseless coaching machine. The T-1000 of the NHL's coaching fraternity.

What should Murray do?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 · 0 comments

So the Ottawa Senators have turned a mid season free fall into a rebound that even most ardent fans couldn't have seen coming. The question Bryan Murray needs to ask himself is is this team suddenly really that good, or just hot? Is this year's edition of the Sens worth stepping off the curb to sacrifice some future for the present? For an organisation that is still busy replenishing the prospect cupboard I doubt it, but that doesn't mean the G-M won't try to be creative in trying to acquire another immediate asset or two.

Murray has indicated that now that team is healthy he's pretty happy with the roster, and due to cap constraints, any deal would have have to be of the dollar for dollar variety. That is unless Murray decides to free salary in another way, like the Penguins did last year when they sent an underachieving Miro Satan to the minors and brought in Bill Guerin. The obvious candidate on this roster is Jonathon Cheechoo. If being a hard worker, good teammate and even better person were worth something on the score sheet we wouldn't even be having this conversation. However, this is a results oriented business and this is a team that has a passionate owner that has said he will do whatever it takes to help bring a Stanley Cup to the nation's capital.

The fact is the former Rocket Richard Trophy winner is eating up 3 million dollars in cap space to not score, not be a playmaker and not be a checker. If Bryan Murray truly believes this team is a move or two away from legitimately going deep in the playoffs, clearing this salary off the cap books has to at least cross his mind. Unfortunately for Cheechoo , he is a likely candidate for a buyout this summer. If, and that's IF that's the case, why not start that process at the deadline to help this year's team?

Kiss and make up


The bitter feud between the Corp and the Canucks appears to be over. Which is good news for CBC since Hockey Day in Canada is just days away. How would it look if Canucks players were once again unavailable following a pasting of the Leafs on national television this Saturday?

About this blog

Welcome to my Healthy Scratches blog. You can hear Jason York and myself weekdays from 3-6 on Team 1200. I use this blog to expand upon some of the things we talk about on the show, and anything else that really pops into my ample head.