As November ends and the daunting specter of Christmas shopping rises in the oh-so-immediate future, even the NHL is stuck in its “just get it done” phase, with a pretty quiet week of news behind us. Though in “say whaaaat?” news, the Leafs are actually playing well (and getting points for it), and players aren’t falling like flies quite as bad as they have been for the first few months of the season. Of course, as I typed that, I turned on Sportsnet, and one of the announcers called tonight “the zenith” of the year of injuries in hockey. Whoops.
Habs Trade An Underachiever for…Another Underachiever
The only major player move last week was Montreal’s trade of Guillame Latendresse for Minnesota’s Benoit Pouliot. One step short of Gretzky’s trade in terms of major, game-changing impact. Story link.
AHL To Stage An Outdoor Game In Syracuse
I actually like this news: the Syracuse Crunch will host the Binghampton Senators outside on February 20, 2010. While undeniably a gimmick, and questionably expensive to host, the tremendous amount of buzz the NHL’s Winter Classic generates can only trickle down in the smaller cities which the AHL calls its own. While there’s no telling if it’ll be financially viable down the road…hey, it’s cool! Story link.
Pascal Leclaire Royally Screwed by Lady Luck
Pascal Leclaire, already in bad shape with a tweaked back against Washington, got cracked in the face by an errant puck while sitting on the bench. Fractured a cheekbone and he’s out for a month, during one of Ottawa’s busiest times of the year. The Senators don’t have a terrible defense, but they don’t have a stellar one either, so it’s on the shoulders of Brian Elliot and Marty Mike Brodeur to keep the Sens competitive until after Christmas. Story link.
The Elephant in the Closet
I have nothing but tremendous admiration for Brendan Burke for blazing the trail of coming out to hockey world. While I echo Brian Burke’s sentiment that the day will soon come when this isn’t even an issue, I can do nothing but applaud someone who did take that courageous step to come out of the closet while just getting his career (potentially) started. And the best part is, the second after all the journalist’s articles are written and all the soundbites are transcribed, it doesn’t even matter: if he stays in hockey, it’s how well he does his job that matters. Story link.
Le Bleu, Blanc et Rouge
Just a shout out to a quality article on Sportsnet on the multicultural dynamics of the Montreal Canadiens. Story link.