Sorry for the one-day delay in posting; it’s thanksgiving up here in Canada, and I was at the cottage! That said, to the biggest news of the past week…
Wilson Reams Toronto
After the Leafs lost to Ottawa 2-1 on Tuesday, Ron Wilson publicly lashed the team for its poor start to the year, highlighting an anemic offense and the poor play of Luke Schenn in particular, who hauled down Michalek for the game-winning penalty shot from Alfredsson. Not exactly known for his cuddly-bear soft-spoken nature, Wilson seems to be covering his own behind by calling out the team for playing poorly (always a reflection on the coach, one way or another). The Leafs have lost the last two games since then, and are currently down 3-2 to New York after 2 periods as I write this; can’t imagine Wilson’s too much happier now. Expectations for the Leafs were raised, however imperceptibly, before the start of the season, and the team seems to be reacting by folding like a house of cards. Story link.
Heatley Hits A Home Hat Trick
If there’s any team in the NHL that comes close to representing every single reader’s stacked teams from NHL video games, its gotta be this season’s San Jose Sharks. And pouty Heatley scored a hat trick in his home debut, putting to rest any doubts about his regular-season ability (not that there were any). The kicker? As of October 11, Cheecheeo and Michalek have a combined ONE point. This could be a horse and pony show of a season for San Jose, but when the chips are down, I doubt there’ll be too many hat tricks in Heater’s future. Story link.
In what’s undoubtedly the warmest & fuzziest (albeit likely eventually disappointing) story of the weekend, news has emerged that the NHL and various figures in Quebec City have had preliminary pie-in-the-sky chats about relocating an NHL franchise to the city. What’s good about this is that the NHL is at least digging its head out of the sand in realizing that hockey is absolutely tanking in certain markets, and is actually looking at multiple Canadian options for teams in trouble. Whether it’s Winnipeg, Quebec City, Hamilton or any other city, this is the strongest indication I’ve heard yet that the league is actually listening to logic (or the bank) in looking back to Canada. Story Link.
Old Man Winter
Gordie Who? Chris Chelois skated with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL this week and it seems imminent that he will sign a contract to play for the Thrashers affiliate. Howe last played a full season of top-level pro hockey at age 51, leaving Chelios with only five more years to go (if he eventually makes it to the Thrashers) to kick that record to the curb. The best part about this story? The coach of the Wolves is Don Granato, brother of NHLer Tony. Tony’s NHL career started in 1989, five years AFTER Chris started playing, and ended in 2001, 8 years ago. Ridiculous!