Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Also the ladies, but mostly the Serbians..."

Something hockey-related happened today, blah blah blah, French Open too, so on, congratulations Barcelona, and so forth...

Point is, you should watch this and die of inexpressible joy.


Friday, May 29, 2009

This is America Dude

ZOMG it's Friday.

The Stanley Cup Finals, which have the pig flu, will be starting sometime this weekend, which means the NHL season will be over in a week or so, thank God, because that means we can go back to focusing on Thrashers stuff what with the draft and our imminent signing of Mike Cammalleri. Not to mention Ilya Kovalchuk's extension (haw haw).

And after that, the waste land of August and September. The cruelest months.

Because it's Friday, and because Friday weekly commemorates the end of slavery, and there's no fun or even mildly interesting stories from the Hockey right now (everyone keeps talking about this Hossa business; HELLO I liked Hossa way before all these mainstream poseurs; I saw him open for Animal Collective in 2005, fuckin' crazy as shit it was) here's some cool and/or bizarre things to enliven your day:

YES. Next:

I wouldn't hire any other private detective. Next:

Viva viva viva. Next:

Watch the rest of it. Imagine a prequel to The Departed, because it is, in fact, the prequel to The Departed. Next:

Where in God's name was this filmed? And now for some Just Music No Picture:

Wanted to share the great, great, great scene in Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog where Forest Whitaker is driving around at night listening to this, but the damn YouTube robots won't let me embed it. Ah well, great song even without Ghost Dog. Next:

Unfuckingbelievable. One wonders what it would be like to have Chaucer or Montaigne on film. Next:

Tropicalia. It is summertime for sure. Next, some Soviet propaganda:

And finally:

All of that should clog up your weekend, right? Myself, I'll be spending it watching one of the greatest tests of physical endurance and athletic ability known to man.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

SCF Has The Pig Flu

(very important update below)

Years ago and in another city, while refreshing myself in that famous workers' canteen on the Strand, the Savoy Hotel American Bar, I listened to a rant delivered by my friend Atish about how unfair it is that in the Premier League the teams with the most money (Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal) finish at the top every single year. When you have Russian oligarch wealth to pay for the best players in the world, the other teams (his favorite team was and is the perennially 5th or 6th place-finishing Aston Villa, a quite good but not great team) don't have a chance, and the poor bastards at the bottom of the standings get demoted to another league entirely.

If you take a look at the Premier League standings right now, you'll see the exact same wealthy teams at the top. Just like every other year.

All of which should make you ponder just how well put-together the Detroit Red Wings are. In this era of caps and restrictions, they still manage to put together an excellent team that incinerates even pretty good teams like the Chicago Blackhawks. The Pittsburgh Penguins are really good too, and they have two of the top five players in the NHL today (I should mention that I've been VERY impressed with Sidney Crosby's play in this post-season), but they'll still probably be incinerated by the Red Wings. Detroit is simply too good. We're witnessing a dynasty similar to the Montreal Canadiens in the 70s, the New York Islanders in the early 80s, or the Edmonton Oilers in the mid and late 80s.

And all this without Russian oligarch wealth! What a well-run team. And that game last night was an excellent one. A few impressions:

Darren Helm's performance during that one penalty kill was pretty jaw-dropping. The Thrashers should at least attempt such things next year with Colin Stuart and Marty Reasoner (pen, paper, DW, now please).

When Patrick Kane was streaking down the right wing side near the end of the third period I thought to myself, "My, that teenager's speed and finesse are impressive, but he isn't going to score." And then he did. A fine goal indeed.

And did you see that crazy save Cristobal Huet made?

And finally, have you ever noticed that Chris Osgood is (to put it charitably) a terribly cautious goalie? It seems like he freezes the puck every time it comes near him instead of occasionally playing it or passing it. And why not? As we know, the Red Wings play a "puck possession" game and the way to possess pucks is to win face-offs. All of which means that Osgood is the luckiest goalie of all time.

That said, the Stanley Cup Final totally has pig flu because I don't really like either the Wings or the Penguins. Oh well.


IMPORTANT UPDATE: I wonder why, after the game, Joel Quenneville didn't walk up to Brian Campbell and say "You lost it for me."


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

That's the Story of the Hurricanes


Sorry, Canes and Caniacs. You put up a noble fight and went farther than most people expected. I'm pouring out a 40; R.I.P., homies, R.I.P.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just Off the Wire! Short Handed Mole Reports on Key Thrashers Signing Activity

Just learned from sources in the NHL that Don Waddell had his first off-season meeting with Ilya Kovalchuk this week. By all accounts Kovalchuk, who has been spending some time in Miami and will continue his summer relaxation on the Côte d'Azur, is enthusiastic about signing an extension. A report about this also appeared on CBC radio this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Waddell has inked defenseman Anssi Salmela to a 2-year deal. A busy man, and rightly so.

For the Blueland Chronicle World Service, I'm the Short Handed Mole.

BREAKING: Oilers to Give Up Style, Identity for "Winning"

The Edmonton Journal, TSN, the NHL Network, and Puck Daddy are all reporting (at the same time) that the Edmonton Oilers have hired Pat Quinn and Tom Renney to be their new GM and coach, respectively.

Both Quinn and Renney are known to favor a conservative, defensive style of the Hockey, which means that the Oilers will have to give up the wild up-tempo style they perfected in the 1980s (a style often called "Gretzkyism") and carried on into the 1990s and 2000s ("Gretzkyism without Gretzky"). Sad to see a legendary team with a highly distinct identity change their highly distinct identity, but every sports organization and decent band knows that every now and then you just have to dream it all up again and start over.

BREAKING: I am an actual moron and this post is so wrong it's embarrassing. In actual reality, Pat Quinn will be not assuming the GM post and Tom Renney will not be assuming the position of head coach. In actual reality, Quinn will be head coach and Renney something newfangled and postmodern called "associate coach."

Game Day, Game Day, Game Day / прощание

Hurricanes get eliminated tonight, sadly. Blackhawks to follow.

Meanwhile Sergei Fedorov has high-tailed it back to the Motherland, leaving behind him an illustrious record that includes the most goals ever scored by a Russian NHL player (483). That ranking is sure to change at some point in this age of Kovy and Ovie, but very impressive nonetheless.

Thank you for the memories, Mr. Cosmonaut; we'll miss you, and also take comfort in the fact that your old Russian Five comrade Slava Kozlov is still good.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ovy's Dejection

Puck Daddy interview here.

I could just be reading too much into this, but Ovy seems totally bummed about the season ending sooner than he'd hoped. Not just a sad feeling; it seems like he sleeps with the curtains closed all day. I guess right now I'm used to the season ending early so sympathy is something I can't come up with. Kovy wants the Pens to win though, which is interesting, obviously. It must be because of Malkin and Gonchar. I guess he wants Hossa to regret leaving and come back and win a cup with him. Everybody can dream......

There is a complete feeling of apathy present throughout the interview with obvious quotes like.....

Who do you feel for if the Stanley Cup? Ilya Kovalchuk confessed that he is rooting for the Penguins.

I wouldn't say that I am feeling for the Penguins. I actually don't care who wins the Cup. If it's Detroit, Chicago or Carolina, I won't be upset.

JR Fights Mike Babcock, For Patriotism and the Blackhawks!


The Chronicle's unanimous pick for Greatest Living American, Jeremy Roenick, has just offered the world another example of why he's so great: He accused Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock of hating JR's former Chicago Blackhawks comrade/current Wing Chris Chelios for being American. BECAUSE MIKE BABCOCK HATES ALL AMERICANS! PREVENTIVELY DETAIN HIM!!!

This is probably just JR being completely ridiculous again, but I want to believe it's true. More than likely (actually it's really obvious) Roenick is just hoping for a Blackhawks victory in this series (why wouldn't he?) and is heroically trying to distract the Red Wings.

Not that anything could distract the Red Wings, of course, but at least the man is trying.

Posting for this weekend is doubtful (meaning it's doubtful that I'll post much, not that my posts this weekend will be tortured pensées about God and the Universe), so enjoy the tropical depression winds and occasional sunshine, welcome the summer with a bucket of Pimm's, remember the martyrs of Valley Forge and Iwo Jima, see you next week weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

P.S. Do read the Kovy interview hyper-linked below. And check out Peter Constantine.

Noblesse Oblige

Via the Thrash message boards, a wonderfully engaging Russian interview with the Czar. It's a shame we Thrashers fans have to rely on Google Robots to do translations; can't the Thrashers organization hire an official Russian translator? I hear Peter Constantine is available.


As I already mentioned, yet I do not think about the future. Money for me is not important, just in the "Atlanta" I am satisfied with everything here, my second home, but the team - my second family. I hope that here I will hold all of his career.

A less mechanical translation might be "I hope that I will spend my entire career here."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ben Wright Q&A with Don Waddell

They talk about stuff, here.

News on teh Internetz

(picture copyright Chicago Tribune, yeah yeah, whoa hey, back off dude, come on man it's the Internet)

- Hey, do you know about Glenn Hall, the Chicago Blackhawks goalie who played 502-straight regular-season games over eight seasons, without a mask? LEGENDARY goalie, and human being. If you do know about him, it's reasonable to infer 1) you've wondered if he's still alive, and 2) wondered what his thoughts on the game today might be.

Well, sirs and misses, you're in luck. Because the Chicago Tribune has found the answers to these Important Questions:

Nowadays Hall, "Mr. Goalie" to Hawks fans who remember him from the 1961 Stanley Cup champions, only feels like throwing up while watching a sport he often struggles to recognize. The player who still owns an NHL record considered untouchable -- 502 consecutive games by a goalie, all without a mask -- lamented, "I am not a big hockey fan."

"It's a goon game now," said Hall, 77. "It used to be a skill game, but it's not anymore. It's changed. They don't call penalties for charging, boarding or hitting from behind. You have to question who's educating these officials. So I don't bother to watch much."

-From the Arizona Republic: "The Coyotes, for now, are staying here." YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.

But wait there's more: "Judge Redfield Baum, during a four-hour hearing in downtown Phoenix, ordered the league and owner Jerry Moyes to seek mediation on who controls the bankrupt franchise."


- But whoa whoa whoa, hey ya, look at this:

A potential local buyer has emerged to give Jim Balsillie some competition in his attempt to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton.

A group headed by Coyotes minority owner John Breslow has notified the NHL it plans to submit a bid to buy the financially moribund team from Jerry Moyes and keep it in suburban Glendale. Breslow, whose primary residence is in Las Vegas, will not give interviews on the matter according to his lawyer, Scott Cohen, but he is a “huge hockey fan” who wants to “work with the NHL and the city” to prevent the team from being sold to Balsillie and moved.

- Some playoff or something going on tonight. I think I'm interested in the Canes-Pens series, what with all the Staal-on-Staal violence, but I'm not, really. Perhaps others in the world are. Tuomo Ruutu and Erik Cole won't be there, so why bother?

- Whoa hey remember net-crashing hockey psychopath Kyle Beach, a mean young feller who likes to score goals and antagonize his enemies, from last summer's draft? Your editor wanted us to draft him with our meagre 29th pick, but he knew Beach would probably be gone by then. "Turns out" the Blackhawks got him. And it "just so happens" that they've signed him to a 3-year deal.


There is absolutely nothing else going on in the Hockey right now, and really this is all boring shit until the draft, so here's a picture of Emmanuelle Chiquiri of Entourage fame:

Entourage, when does that start back? Soon, I think. Oh, and True Blood! Can't wait.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Will Both of You Please Go Live in a Space Pod?

OMG did you see the Falconer on the recent Internet war between Bruce Levenson and the AJC?

I won't spoil a thing. Read it. Read it now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Rise, Dip, and Continued Rise of the KHL

Interesting interview in Russia Today with Oleg Saprykin, KHL superstar and big difference-maker in this summer's World Championship.

He answers the inevitable questions about whether the KHL will ever be able to compete with the NHL in terms of drawing talent:

RT: You’ve had a chance to compare. First you played in Russia, then you went to the NHL and now you’re back in Russia playing for CSKA. How would you compare these two leagues, the NHL and the KHL?

Oleg Saprykin: I believe the NHL’s level is at a slightly higher than that of the KHL but I am sure we are getting close to reaching the same level. I think our playing fields are larger compared to the smaller ones in the NHL, which enables them to have more intense games and more supporters; and more active players who take more shots; and more active goalkeepers. I think these two situations are just too different. I think the KHL will reach this level soon and hockey will become more exciting for people who like and support it actively, just like in the NHL.

Elsewhere in the interview Saprykin makes more points about the fact that, while the skill level in the NHL is slightly higher than that in the KHL, he can foresee the KHL eventually evolving into an equally-talented league, so that the hockey world would really have two elite leagues. Given the global economic situation, it's not unthinkable. The economy in Russia is pretty dismal at the moment (worse even than here on our pig flu hobo continent), but if you look at the "long count" of history, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that Central and Southeast Asia are on the rise. China and India will be generating all kinds of wealth in the near future; I'd expect plenty of that money would find its way into the Russian market, and thereby the KHL.

If the whole region doesn't get incinerated in a nuclear Indian-Pakistani-Afghan-American-Iranian-Israeli-Russian-Chinese war, that is.

On a cheerier note (that should make us wary, given the last sentence):

RT: Who do you think, is the most outstanding Russian hockey player in the NHL

Oleg Saprykin: I think that …it depends on the assessment criteria that you choose.

RT: Well who is a team leader, a leader without whom the team is not the same?

Oleg Saprykin: I would name two hockey players. It’s Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Ovechkin.

RT: So, are they irreplaceable for their teams?

Oleg Saprykin: I think that they are irreplaceable.

Read the whole thing.

Trade Speculation, TC, and Piedra de Sol

Ha ha heeee, here's a trade rumor that's inflamed the news wires with speculative thought-bubbles. You know, call-out boxes? Like the ones in Mallard Fillmore? 

Anyway, TSN writing person Darren Dreger has declared that Vincent Lecavalier is going to be traded any minute now. He knows this because he spoke to the head coach of SKA St. Petersburg about the possiblity of Jack Johnson playing in the KHL.


The conversations surrounding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier are likely to heat up as we get closer to July 1, when the no-trade clause on his contract kicks in.

The two teams mentioned most when Lecavalier's name comes up seem to be the Montreal Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings. With regards to the Kings, defenceman Jack Johnson is one of the players mentioned as possibly being involved in any deal with Tampa.

There's a slight drag weighing down a potential Vinny-for-Jack trade, though:

I had an interesting chat with Barry Smith, who is the head coach of SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL - and he said Johnson's father, Jack Johnson Sr., contacted St. Petersburg prior to the World Hockey Championship to see if the team would have interest in signing his son to a one-year contract.

Smith said he would have interest in Johnson, and believes he can make the defenceman a better player.

Hmmmm, INCHTRESTING! Why the KHL though? Did Fiery Jack fall in love with a Russian girl, an Anna or a Natasha, while over in Switzerland playing in the World Championship? Does he want to play in Russia to be with her? Surely he does.

There's also the possibility that KHL play could further develop his game, make him even better for NHL play, etc., plus all the mountains and mountains of money he'd be getting for just one year.

But I bet it has to do with Natasha, who he met in Bern. I'll get the Short Handed Mole right on it.

But forget all that. The real question is, "Who do we trade for Lecavalier?" Get your heads a'thinkin,' Thrashtards!


You know, it's funny. In some countries, no matter how pig flu-ridden, they actually put national treasures, real life cultural demi-gods, on the TV machine from time to time in between those awesome Univision soap operas and the Sexo Urbano guide to Guadalajara.

Then again, there haven't been any Americans comparable to Octavio Paz since, I don't know, Top Cat.

What. A. Show.

And yes, I'm finding it very difficult to write about the Hockey right now. Can't think of a damn thing to say, but I'm a slave to my own "must post daily" policy. Meanwhile the Short Handed Mole is traveling the South Pacific and Shooter, Razor, and Monsieur have become blog-degenerates.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Shorter Toronto Star

It would be much easier if every sports article they published from now on went something like this:

"O woe is Toronto. It haz a sporting sad for much of its life. Much at least we iz not Miami or Washington or Atlanta, also. wHAT iz it that makez Miami and Atlanta haz the hockey and not Hamilton? Hamilton can haz Thrashers now? Why can southern Ontario not haz teh Hockley? eVEN Toronto iz better than Atlanta and Miami. Whut iz haz so great in the ATL and South Beach?"

Hockey Around the World! The Short Handed Mole Reports from Hong Kong

HONG KONG- This isn't a wire report so much as a simple travel piece. After covering the Indian elections--mainly the victorious Congress Party's interest in an Indian hockey league-- and arranging a wire report from our Stockholm bureau to the Chronicle offices about the Niclas Havelid signing, I hopped aboard a Cathay Pacific flight from New Delhi to Hong Kong. 5 and a half hours. I spent most of the time polishing off some gin and reading the new Geoff Dyer book.

Hong Kong's architecture and skyline isn't terribly different to that of Atlanta. Same tall blue glass boxes everywhere, but imagine Atlanta as--instead of an endlessly expanding monster with limitless room for "development" and surrounded by shitty suburbs--an insane cramped hothouse island surrounded by glittering sea and green islands with misty hills. I had come here to investigate the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association,

, to see if there were any NHL-calibre players about, and to ascertain just when the Hong Kong national team hopes to return to IIHF competition.

Yesterday I met with sniper Bernard Fung, the Alexander Ovechkin of Hong Kong. I decided to try out my rudimentary Cantonese skills and conduct the interview that way. The HKHL's leading scorer is a mild-mannered but whimsical fellow, not at all unlike Pavel Datsyuk. I asked him if he thought there would ever be a HKHL player drafted into the NHL. Since my Cantonese was horrible and, I was quick to realize, I don't really understand the language at all, I'm not sure he knew what I asked and I'm not sure how he responded.

Oh well. Here he is scoring a game-winning goal:

That evening while taking in a game between the Hong Kong Typhoons and Golden Winter SC I remembered that everyone in Hong Kong speaks English.

For the Blueland Chronicle World Service, I'm the Short Handed Mole.

Penguin in a Hurricane

Frightful, that. I've only seen it once.

So yesterday the entire staff of the Blueland Chronicle--minus only our new reporter the Short Handed Mole, who's been traveling--headed over to TJ's in Alpharetta to watch the first Red Wings-Blackhawks game with Rawhide and his court. A good time was had by all, and I spilled my Heineken.

So tonight begins the Penguins vs. Hurricanes series. This ought to be a good one, I think: evenly matched and all that, though it doesn't have the star power of the last series.

I would do the Bizarre Pictures Game Day Preview thing, but I'm totally bored with that and prefer to watch an episode of Pingu, followed by some Dylan. I'll let you decide who has the funnier voice. Enjoy:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just Off the Wire! Short Handed Mole Reports for the Blueland Chronicle World Service!

NEW DELHI- Short Handed Mole Reports is reporting that the ruling Congress Party's massive victory in today's Indian elections bodes well for hockey on the Subcontinent. If the half-Italian and Catholic Rahul Gandhi assumes the premiership (current prime minister Manmohan Singh is old as hell and probably won't continue in his post for much longer), something observers say is increasingly likely given his pedigree (his great-grandfather being the great Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, his grandmother being Indira Gandhi, and his father being Rajiv Gandhi, who married an Italian chick).

Rahul Gandhi has indicated several times, sources tell Short Mole Handed Mole Reports, that he wants to use both subsidies and business incentives to encourage the development of men's and women's hockey in India. In fact, the development of hockey will likely be the first initiative on his agenda when he officially accepts the PM position. The Congress Party's interest in this matter stems from a realpolitik drive to keep India strong and competitive among its neighbors and in the global economy. As the Russian economy collapses and the Chinese become ever-more-inscrutable, and as old enemy Pakistan descends into Nuclear Religious Hell Feces, the Congress Party figures it wise to establish a nation-wide hockey league to compete directly with Russia's KHL, thereby shoring up India's economy against the instability of its region.

The encouragement of a popular imported sport might also be meant as an Up Yours to the defeated parties, the religio-nationalist BJP (heroes of fascist clowns everywhere) and the communist-filled Third Front, which has recently blocked an Indian Hockey League and other economic reforms. 

During the election campaign the Congress Party even used a poster bearing the image of a women's hockey team as a sign that they were Dead Serious about this Hockey stuff.

Oh, they mean FIELD hockey! Forget everything I just said.


STOCKHOLM- Former Atlanta Thrasher Niclas Havelid has just signed a contract with Linkopings of the Swedish Elite League. Your reporter used to cover Linkopings for his independent wire service, and he thinks Havelid should fit in just fine there, the end.

For the Blueland Chronicle World Service, I'm the Short Handed Mole.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Vivlamore Speaks

He apparently has spoken with DW and will have an article about Kovy in the upcoming Sunday paper. The one part of the post that excited me was this....

Marty Reasoner: Expect him to be signed soon. Waddell said he is confident it will happen. Some details to work out, but it looks like he will be back.

Thank God for that. I love the Party, and I want him to continue to Party here. Also, it appears that some moves have to be made to satisfy the Czar's resigning. People are calling for the end of the world over DW's statements about Kovy, which are:

At this point I can tell you, I’ve discussed it with the ownership, with the coaches, we have no intentions, regardless of what happens this summer with signing him, we have no intentions of trading him. If you trade every player that is going to come up to be an unrestricted free agent, the way the league is set up you are going to be a free agent at 25 [years old], so we are going to be doing this all the time. You have to look at the big picture and say this year is more important to us than years from now. Florida went through it with [Jay] Bouwmeester. They didn’t trade their big guy, but they missed the playoffs. You are going to see that more and more. Where a player is 25 and he’s going to get a home run deal, but it’s more important right now to keep him and keep the franchise moving in the right direction.

I'll let you infer what's going to happen.

City of Morons: A Children's Treasury of Dumb Responses to Mark Bradley's Weird Piece in the AJC

Many of you, I realize, took part in the in-depth "Would you haz a sad if the Thrashers were purchased by fur-traders in Canada?" survey recently conducted by Mark Bradley. Good for anyone who responded; it expresses a passion for and commitment to the team, to hockey, to Hockey in Atlanta, etc.

But I have to admit I found the whole enterprise a little strange. Mark Bradley, a fine enough sports-writing feller when covering other sports, rarely writes anything about the Thrashers. And when he finally decides to cover the Hockey, he just asks a bunch of other people to write his piece for him, which on his Twitter account he pretty much admits is exactly what he did. I'm not saying Bradley shouldn't write about the Thrashers; I'm just saying it's fine if he doesn't. Because he, like, really doesn't have anything to say about them.

But what I really wanted to talk about are some of the comments on his piece. Some of them are really beyond belief, and it's Friday, so let's have some dangerous fun:


Dearest Bradley:

I hope Don Waddell slugs both you and Jeff Schultz in your sissy mouths for all the THRASHERS bashing you goofballs do in this town.

The THRASHERS are an integral part of the Atlanta Sports Scene and have been for a decade now. Unfortunately, no one with any authority at the America-hating, Christian-bashing, Obama-kissing, hockey-averse AJC seems to have picked up on that yet.

It is bad enough that this sub-standard “newspaper” gives the THRASHERS such paltry positive coverage, but it actually seems like this rag has an Obama-caliber, NON-objective agenda to run the NHL out of this town.

Aside from the lack of objectivity, the anti-THRASHERS coverage is why I stopped subscribing to this nonsense.


Kill Yourself, Bradley.

Hm. As a nationalism-and-theocracy-hating libtard who routinely attacks the "America-hating, Christian-bashing, Obama-kissing, hockey-averse" AJC, allow me just one question here: what do political opinions have to do with enjoying or not enjoying, much less covering or not covering, a particular sport? Just wondering.

One more thing, because I know you're all dying to know, and this sub-retarded wingnut brought politics into the discussion: The likes of my colleague Razor Catch Prey will be pleased to know that I think Nancy Pelosi is a hypocritical shitbag and that Barack Obama is totally full-of-shit. I think these things for different reasons than right-wingers, of course, but I'm hugely disappointed in President Change and I've always hated Pelosi.  As Lewis Black once said: "You see, in our two-party system, the Democrats are the party of no ideas and the Republicans are the party of bad ideas. It usually goes something like this. A Republican will stand up in Congress and say, 'I've got a really bad idea.' And a Democrat will immediately jump to his feet and declare, 'And I can make it shittier!'"

Indeed. Oh, and the CIA should be outlawed and disbanded. They almost always get things wrong, and they've never achieved anything aside from installing dictators and murdering people.

Moving on...


hmmmmmm…maybe the Flames could move back to GA. i thought the NHL was still on strike.

Murf murf gurgle it's cool to not know things murf.


I for one, could care less. Being a thoroughbred hillbilly/redneck, the only place I wanna see ice is my cooler. To err on the side of honesty, I must admit that I do watch Ice Road Truckers, but I think that’s now a universal requirement for rednecks. Have to check my guide….

That one isn't dumb so much as anthropologically awesome.


We have a hockey team? Who’da thunk it!


Hockey Smockey…when does little league baseball start?


I was in DC during the Caps Inaugural Season… a complete disaster. They had a black skater who couldn’t skate (affirmative action in action or is it “inaction”). I have been here since the beginning of the Thrashers (yes and Ted got them here and made sure they would be downtown near MARTA). Now that Ted is gone and they have struggled… keep the faith… Wadell has made mistakes but there is light at the end of the tunnel! To hell with the “non-owners”.. we have a program now in place… three years too late. As for the “Knight Fans” during the National Anthem… get real… less than 2% ever went to their games (they need to beat their boots due to my original Knight’s jersey). Get gone Knights along with the Flames… hopefully we’ll have our Thrashers here and get back into the playoffs! On another more important money making note… who is going to win the Preakness?

I have literally no idea what any of this means. Given the references to teh Blaques and affirmative action and Ted Turner and MARTA and downtown, I can only assume it's a grueling discipline for some of these people not to scream the word "nigger."


why is bradley relevant? Married to the prez? You’re paper is less than toilet paper.


Burn in Hell, AJC!


I grew up with the old Atlanta Flames and was a diehard fan. It made me sick when they moved to Calgary. As for the Thrashers, I just never got into this team. I moved to another NHL city, so at least I get to see playoff hockey every year. I would love to see the Thrashers fold. They are a joke!


There is no way I could possibly care LESS if Atlanta (or any other city, for that matter) has a hockey team or not.


I don’t care. I went a couple of times with free tickets. I would never pay for a game. I’ll never pay for Braves, Falcons or Hawks tickets either. Once you get free club level seats you never go back.


What the hell is the matter with you, Bradley?

Of course I’d miss hockey! But I sure wouldn’t miss you and your dumb articles!!


Ah, the ritual confusion in these people's minds as to exactly who they're mad at.


Atlanta has a hockey team?!


I would surely miss the Thrashers if they left town. I even created a character named Atlanta Thrasher that I use for online play in the video game Rock Band 2. As you could probably guess, Atlanta Thrasher plays lead guitar.

Jesus Christ...


John Kincade is the only one in Atlanta that cares about hockey, hell when do the NHL playoffs start? no one watch hockey so if they leave so what!

Surely this is courtesy of John Kincade himself.







I would be fine with discarding the Thrashers in favor of focusing on the Hawks. Atlanta will never be a hockey town and it seems rather pointless to force the issue. It has been proven time and again that this city can be a basketball town. I say let the Canadians and snow birds have the Thrashers. I bet if all of the snow birds left, our traffic situation would clear up immediately.

So, Go Thrashers…and take the traffic with you.

Teh traffic! Teh Yanquees!


Atlanta is not a hockey city therefore a city that embraces hockey more should get the team especially in Canada where hockey is king. I would suggest if the thrashers were to move to another American city they should move to Seattle.


Do they need any help packing? They take up way too much of the media time/space so good riddance!

From the Parallel Universe Department.


Hockey can’t survive in the South!!

Thrashers to Houston LOLOLOL!!!


This commenter calls itself "Mouth Breather." I'm not kidding.


Okay that's quite enough. There's plenty more, but I feel like I need to go purge and wash my brain.

It's Carolina!

Our great enemy! Playing the evil Pens! Who do I cheer for?

Surely the Canes, because let's be real: this is great for hockey in the Southeast, and if we ultimately see a re-match of the 2002 Stanley Cup it will make the Canadian Baby Jeebus cry.

Eat it, Canucknuckle-draggers!

Also: I'm down with a Detroit-Chicago series. This is going to be mighty interesting.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What's So Great About Hockey, Anyway?

- Well, that game last night certainly was a boring end to a thrilling series. I like the Caps a lot more than I like the Pens, of course, but I could have easily lived with a Pittsburgh victory if Game 7 had been a good one. Little did I know it wouldn't even be a GAME, much less a good game. I fear Big Shooter might have hanged himself with his Dale Hunter jersey.

If you haven't already read the Pensblog's recap, do so now. It's unspeakably brilliant.

Just to give you a preview:

(yeah, yeah, copyright the Pensblog and everything; easy, lawyer people)

Poor Capitals. Poor red-clad arena crowd of drunken and vulgar lobbyists and interns. Poor Bruce Boudreau; his Fat Bald Man bounce-and-jig has vanished. Poor Ovie, Semin, and Fedorov, none of whom will have either the satisfaction of a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals or a 2nd consecutive gold medal in the World Championship.


- Two Game 7s tonight: Boston vs. Carolina and Detroit vs. Anaheim. But you knew that, didn't you?

(Sort of) interesting goings-on at Apparently an editor over there asked whimsical columnist Joel Stein to stop writing about hockey. In my youth, I would follow Stein's columns on the back page of SPIN Magazine (when it was still good; before it started putting Fall Out Boy and the like on their cover), but I haven't read him since he sold his soul to TIME-Warner. I had literally no idea that he was a huge hockey fan and wrote about it every now and then.

Not that any of that should be interesting to you. What IS interesting is he was pretty much ordered to stop writing about it. His editor, apparently, told him that he could write one more column about hockey, specifically one that attempts to make a case for its excellence and why people should watch it, and then the readers of could vote on whether or not he could ever even mention the sport again. Thankfully, the overwhelming majority are voting No on the proposition "Should Joel be barred from writing about hockey?"

It's not often that hockey fans are outright confronted with the philosophical question "What's so great about the Hockey?" Joel Stein simply e-mailed certain hockey fans to get their take on why he should be allowed to write about this magnificent sport:

Now, I'm not actually going to ask you to watch hockey. I'm just asking you, as an educated, curious person, to be aware of its excellence. To support my case, I sought out testimonials from the busiest and most important people in the game, some of whom took more than an hour to get back to me.

Wayne Gretzky e-mailed that "TIME readers are much like hockey fans: affluent, passionate people. Why would anyone described that way want to be deprived of Joel's wisdom and wit? Joel's not an expert on much — let's at least give him his hockey!!!" I did not know the Great One was such a trash talker, or that he uses exclamation points like a 15-year-old girl. See, in hockey you can even make fun of one of the greatest players ever! Try that on Mike Tyson.

That really ought to leave any unconverted soul stunned and speechless.

Also: Did Wayne just call me "affluent" and "passionate?" Why, YES, that does describe me, in great detail. Have I told all of you about how we've hired a wire reporter? He's a polyglot mole!

UPDATE: Blueland Outsider proprietor Aaron just alerted me to this Kevin Smith cri de coeur, a kind of parallel to the Joel Stein column, with more references to poop and stuff. I have no problem with giving meager platforms to passionate hockey fans like Stein and the man who gave us Clerks and Chasing Amy, but clicking through the boring white deathland of I remembered just how much I hate TIME Magazine. It's the news equivalent to a stucco house in a particularly egregious sub-division on a really humid day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Introducing the Newest Member of Our Staff

For a while now, ladies and gents, the Chronicle has been tiring of the "Link to an Article and Ramble Semi-Coherently About It" model of blogging that we've adhered to for most of our existence. Oh sure, we've landed some first-hand scoops in our time, like our report on the blogging summit with John Anderson, or on various season ticket holders' town-hall meetings, or all those games we attend (in person), not to mention that time Jason Smith's agent left a message on my phone (I could have called him back and scored an Important Interview, but I terrified myself with fantasies of tongue-tiedness and stood in my small kitchen urinating myself instead).

But generally, we do what most bloggers do: link to second-hand sources and comment on them. For original material, we mostly just fantasize about trades and acquisitions and write commentaries on Truck Nutz.

Well, sirs and mesdames, that ends today.

Actually, it doesn't end. We'll still do what we've always done, with the linking and commenting and second-hand sources, but today marks the start of a new era: We've hired a wire service!

Yes indeed, the Blueland Chronicle has added the proprietor and sole reporter for Short-Handed Mole Reports, the Short-Handed Mole, to its staff. From now on we'll be getting our hockey reports fresh from our star reporter, right off the wire, and we'll often be the very first publication ANYWHERE to comment on certain hockey news stories.

In addition to the direct reporting and wire service Mr. Mole will provide, he'll add another huge innovation to both the Chronicle and the hockey blogosphere as a whole: he happens to be, to my knowledge, the very first Animal American to write about hockey online or in print. The Blueland Chronicle is proud to be advancing the causes and careers of an often-excluded minority like Animal Hockey Writers.

Without further ado, I hand the proceedings over to the Short Handed Mole.

Mortimer J. Peacock


Well, that was quite an introduction. I'm pleased to be writing for such a distinguished hockey blog! My reports will appear fairly regularly, though perhaps not quite with the same frequency as Mortimer's fan fiction about Ilya Kovalchuk and Joe Thornton. The Chronicle's readers can expect first-hand, I-was-there reports from all around the war zones of the hockey world, including but not limited to Sweden, Russia, the Balkans, Canada, and Gary Bettman's office in New York.

Perhaps I should tell you just a bit about my background. I was born in the heavily-forested mountains on the Croatian-Serbian border. During the Balkan wars of the 1990s, I fled my home burrow and moved to Zurich, where I learned French and German (my first two human languages) and found a low-level reporting job at a rodent-specific business journal. They were seeking out moles in those days, so I managed to squeak in with very little training or credentials. Eventually this journal assigned me to cover the Zurich Jaguars hockey club, where I came to be quite interested in the sport. I became so enamored of hockey that I eventually moved to Stockholm and started my own news agency/wire service, Short-Handed Mole Reports, which in those days specialized in reports on young Swedish players with NHL potential. I had only recently mastered English (I learned it by reading British tabloids), but NHL scouts found these reports quite useful, as it often meant their clubs didn't have to spend money on transatlantic flights.

Two years later I moved to Toronto and ran the Stockholm bureau from there while also writing and reporting on North American hockey. At some point I got an email from Blueland Chronicle editor Mortimer Peacock, telling me he'd just received a large tax refund from the new American President and intended to spend it on glamorous things like a wire service. He made a handsome offer; I accepted; now I'm an employee of Blueland Chronicle LLC! My American citizenship just came through (it's expedited for moles), so I suppose that makes me an Animal American, and I'm proud to be the first non-human creature to write about hockey.

I look forward to reporting for you. I can promise some interesting stories that you'll read here long before anyone else picks them up. Cheers!

Hedberg Studying His Moose-Viking Forebears

Oh, the serendipities and ironies of life.

I complain all the time about how bland and unimpressive and just all-around Full of Fail the AJC is, but they pull out a rare Epic Win with this article, which might feature the greatest headline in the newspaper's history:

History and crime engross Thrashers goalie Hedberg

Oh YEAH! Clicking most eagerly and expecting a Dashiell Hammett-esque tale of Moose wrangling with gangsters, crooked cops and femme fatales in search of some lost priceless artifact, possibly a golden sheepherder's staff from tenth century Iceland, I was only slightly let down by the actual article. Only slightly because it turned out to be a reasonably interesting interview with our favorite Moose-Human about what he's been reading lately. As Mike Knobler (R.I.P.) reported long ago, Hedberg is quite the reader, especially on road trips. My favorite part of the interview:

Do the other Thrashers read much?

A few guys are reading, but a lot of guys are playing video games and cards. The reading bunch is a minority right now.

Educate them, Moose! If you can, that is. Some of your colleagues might be past the point of no return. Surely Enstrom is salvageable.

Reading on. I wonder why I find his answer to this question so interesting:

Do you ever read to unwind after a tough game?

Yeah, I do. Sometimes it’s the first thing I do when I get home or back to the hotel.

The idea of Johan Hedberg relaxing in a plush hotel room with a good book is the most comforting thing I can imagine. What does this mean?

One final note: Did you know there was such a thing as the Swedish Mafia? We can all learn something from erudite mooses.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Atlanta Spirit Only FOURTH Worst Owners in NHL?

What do we have here? Sports Illustrated appears to have published its rankings of the Best and Worst owners of NHL teams (the owners of the Red Wings, the Devils, and the Sharks are in the top 5, as they should be) and our own Atlanta Spirit are only ranked 4th Worst.

Outrage! We all know we can do better than this! Why only 4th Worst? Surely the ATL Spirit are the #1 Worst Owners in the league; Sports Illustrated is clearly biased towards the Leafs.

Flaming Thrashers from Hell!

Our friend Rawhide has written a wonderful piece about conversations he's had recently with former Atlanta Flames player Tim Ecclestone (now the proprietor of TJ's Sports Bar & Grill in Alpharetta), mostly about the history of hockey in Atlanta and the sad fact that the Thrashers organization doesn't make much of an effort to include Flamers players in its operations or in its ceremonies.

Obviously, Atlanta isn't Chicago, and we can't have the likes of Bobby Hull and Tony Esposito drop the puck before important games, but wouldn't it be nice if the organization DID try to involve Flames players like, say, Pat Quinn?


Anyway, read the article. Your editor must confess, in the third person, that he hadn't yet entered the world when the Flames relocated to Calgary. He vaguely remembers the Knights and their success, but the first NHL team he was conscious of were the Los Angeles Kings, 'cause of that Gretzky fella.* But he would love it if former Flames (and former Thrashers! How does Scott Mellanby not have a job here?) could be involved, professionally and ceremonially, in the Thrashers organization.

*Which should tell you just how foreign any "hockey belongs in Canada and Canada only" or "hockey only belongs in cold miserable places" viewpoints are to me. I never had any serious knowledge of the Original Six until relatively recently; growing up as a casual and non-obsessed spectator (in contrast to today), hockey for me was the Los Angeles Kings, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (I know, I know) and for some reason the Washington Capitals.

All Kinds of Stuff afoot in the hockey world, isn't it? You'll all have to forgive my lack of posting yesterday, and apparently you'll also have to forgive the other Chronicle contributors for not picking up my slack. But I'm still not dead, happily! Just (by my standards) busy, and having Internet mishaps.

MEANWHILE the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing, like, the most entertaining playoff series I've ever seen, and those Junge Falken in Chicago have eliminated your editor's pick to win the Stanley Cup this year, Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks. Fortuna is a cruel goddess, when it comes to gambling and betting and most other things...

MEANWHILE my prediction that the Boston Bruins would defeat the Carolina Hurricanes in 5 games is looking dumber by the day, and good for the Canes. That's been a wildly entertaining series too, and your editor has realized something in the last week or so: he loves Paul Maurice.

MEANWHILE how awesome would a Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings series be?

MEANWHILE another gold medal and a World MVP trophy will be joining the previous gold medal and the Rocket Richard trophy on Ilya Kovalchuk's bookshelf. By the end of next season: the Rocket Richard, the Art Ross, and the Hart. You heard it here first!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Craig Custance Nails It

Sometimes I'm not sure who I miss more, him or Marian Hossa.

One paragraph. That's all he needs to encapsulate everything that's wrong with this Balsillie nonsense:

This situation is another reason why it's so important that the league wins its current battle in Phoenix. If Jim Balsillie and the Coyotes ownership discover that the blueprint to move teams is to file bankruptcy, completely overpay for it then move it when you can't find a buyer to match that price, it would set a horrible precedent. Sure, you might think a team in Hamilton is a good idea, but what if some rich person in, Athens, Georgia, thinks its a good idea to pay $300 million for the Thrashers, have the team put in bankruptcy to make it happen, and then move the Thrashers to the Athens Clarke County Civic Center, I'm guessing we could all agree that's not good for the NHL. Unless you live in Athens, then you love this scenario.

Kovy Leads Russians to Gold for 2nd Year in a Row, Army Earns Silver (hooray!)

Team USA was in contention for the bronze medal at the World Championship earlier today, but sadly not even the magnetic looks of Ronald SASG Hainsey could prevent a Swedish victory. Damn.

A few minutes ago, Russia beat Canada in the gold medal game. I don't believe Kovy had a point in this game, but he was the team's leading scorer and probably the best player of the entire tournament. In short: Russia wouldn't have won without him. Hopefully two gold medals in two years will put the Czar in a magnanimous mood...

THIS JUST IN: The Czar named Tournament MVP. Congrats, Your Excellence.

Kovalchuk again

Now sign the contract. And ask Nikulin and Radulov to come to Atlanta.

UPDATE: Apparently Dany Heatley just can't help this thing he does:

Kovalchuk was left screaming at the referees after having a tooth knocked out by an inadvertent high-stick from Dany Heatley. There was no call on the play.

Good thing that the Czar-Mom is a dentist.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Question to Ponder This Warm Saturday Evening

Why is it that every time someone attempts to argue with a (almost always Canadian) Sunbelt-hater about the value or potential of NHL Sunbelt teams, they almost always respond with something along the lines of these charmers in the Puck Daddy comments section?

how about screw the thrashers, coyotes and all those teams.

That almost convinces me.

Let's Be Clear

...about exactly what TSN published today. 

According to The Hamilton Spectator, city mayor Fred Eisenberger will meet with a Vancouver-based group on Monday to discuss a proposed lease for Copps Coliseum.

Which has what to do with the Thrashers?

Eisenberger would not disclose any details of the second group, but a source confirmed to The Spectator that Vancouver developer Tom Gaglardi is leading the charge.

There are so many things to love here. First of all, the total lack of details, apparently acceptable in the Respectable Press. Vague, general assertions do just fine; minimal concrete details are beyond their grasp. Secondly, TSN indulges in a growing trend in journalism (and not just hockey journalism): anonymous sources. There are a few reasons I absolutely loathe this trend, but the bottom line is that it deprives any article in which the anonymous source appears of accountability. A nameless source can tell a journalists more or less whatever they want, and there's no serious way to fact-check the article. Apparently Respectable Serious Media outlets like TSN can get away with this, because they're not a blog, or something...

''By next Tuesday we will have a clearer picture of where we are'' Eisenberger told The Spectator. ''We're in the middle of discussions with Mr. Balsillie and his group and I will be meeting with the second group. We need to understand their intentions. It's fair to say I will be talking to that second group," Eisenberger said.

Gaglardi's group is Hamilton's second NHL suitor. City staff is currently working on a proposed lease with Balsillie, who hopes to buy and relocate the Coyotes to Hamilton for the 2009 season.

Gaglardi is reportedly interested in having the Thrashers in Hamilton in time for the 2010 season.

Umm, what the fuck? Can I email TSN and say that I'm interested in buying the Toronto Maple Leafs and relocating them to, say, San Juan (I really have always dreamed of a team called the San Juan Cocks)? I could, but that doesn't mean it has even the remotest chance in hell of happening. How does this idle talk find its way into a serious publication?

Let's also be clear about the original source of all this speculation, the Toronto Star inside hockey source told the Spectator that Gaglardi is interested in moving the Thrashers to Hamilton, possibly in time for the 2010 season.

And that's it in a nutshell. Again, the anonymous source. Again, the lack of specifics. And even if the source were reliable, that STILL wouldn't mean this has anywhere close to a realistic chance of happening. The buzz around the Phoenix Coyotes has simply sent the Canadian media, the Respectable Serious Non-Blog Canadian Media, into an orgy of baseless speculation. They don't seem aware that an anonymous source isn't a guarantee of sound information, or that a national wet dream isn't the same thing as a fact.

TSN Should Be Ashamed

As we all know the Toronto Star put this article out today. First, I typically don't like papers that have "star" or "sun" in their name; it seems a little yellow to me, yellow journalism that is. Then TSN, which I tend to respect, puts this article up relaying the same information.

Now for a clear look into why this is all absurd I'd tell you to go to the Falconer's post, here. He gives good analysis on why the deal for our team to move would just not work. People who know anything about the Thrashers know that both the Hawks and Thrashers are tied to the lease of Philips and so on. Basically the financial losses involved if they moved would not be worth it.

You know last night I watched Citizen Kane for the millionth time, which obviously deals with sensational yellow journalism that doesn't have much backing of its sources. It's journalism filled with ideas but no legitimacy. I didn't know that I'd wake up today to see the hockey media, especially TSN, put up such a sourceless article. Sure the guys that want to move the team spoke, but there is no Atlanta side to this article. Nor do they mention the naming rights situation. In these situations there our side of the situation is hardly ever included. The Canadian media always latches on to these ideas and never does their research to see how bogus certain assertions might actually be. In the end I just don't see Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby in Hamilton because that seems more plausible than just the Thrashers going. Psh....

Exclusive Big Shooter Interview With City of Hamilton Mayor

That's right folks. Big Shooter has been away for a while, but don't fret... it was all for work. With news that Mr. Blackberry has resurfaced and trying to move the Yotes to Southern Ontario, I jumped on a plane to get the scoop up in Hamilton. Here is my exclusive interview with Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger:

BS: Fred, thanks for taking time to sit down with me.

FE: Eh.

BS: So, big news about the Coyotes possibly on the move to Southern Ontario. Where does Hamilton stand on this issue?

FE: You betcha we are excited. Balsillie has tried to get a team here before, and we hope he is successful this time around.

BS: The NHL seems dead set on stopping him. That would have to be a big disappointment for the folks of Hamilton to come close and lose out again, would it not?

FE: Eh. But this time we have a back up plan. This Monday I plan on meeting a group of investors from Atlanta that are looking to move the Toronto Maple Leafs to Hamilton.

BS: Wow, that is big news! Although, with the state of the Leafs the last few years, this shouldn't really come as a surprise. Does it make sense though to move a team just one hour south of it's current location?

FE: In this case it does. I overheard a guy saying the Leafs were up for sale because the team has been bad the last few years. And ownership and what not. There are no fans with the lack of history of the Leafs, they haven't won a Cup in like 50 years, eh. Let's face it, teams that don't win the Cup have to move.

BS: What does that mean, "ownership and what not"?

FE: Yes, that's right... exactly.

BS: Eh?

FE: Look, don't argue with what I overheard some guy say.

BS: Well, Fred, thanks so much for your time. Will you keep us updated?

FE: Sure, you betcha. I'm meeting with a third group from Nashville next week that wants to move all six Canadian teams to Hamilton and combine them to one team. I'll let you know how it goes. They even have a website, http://www.makeitone.usa/

BS: Nice, I'll go check it out. Thanks again Fred. Please thank your lovely wife Martha for the homemade Maple Syrup. Talk to you soon.

Well, there you have it kids. Big news out of Hamilton. More on this story to come...

For The Blueland Chronicle, I'm Big Shooter.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Few Things

If I had to grade the different playoff series on their excitement level so far, the report cards would look something like this:

Boston vs. Carolina
The sort-of underdog team is playing extremely well, veterans like Ray Whitney are coming alive and making a serious difference in most games, and the goal-tending match-up is more or less even. GREAT fun to watch, it is.

Washington vs. Pittsburgh
This is obvious. Ovie vs. Sidney (and both of them doing exactly what they're meant to do), two teams that really hate each other, maniacal fans, a young goalie that's come out of the great SIberian wilderness and stolen games for his team...this series has it all.

Chicago vs. Vancouver
I'm trying to get into this series. Really, I am. For some reason it's just not happening, even though it hasn't been a bad one. The game last night was pretty exciting. I was certain Vancouver was going to be the Western Conference winner, but perhaps not...

Detroit vs. Anaheim
This is a snooze-fest, for some reason. BUT watching Hossa score those two goals last night tilted my love-hate relationship with him back towards love. God, I miss him.

Elsewhere in the world, Russia and the U.S. are tied at 2-2 in the World Championship semi-final. Want to watch it LIVE? Here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The World Has Been Waiting Long Enough

Friday May 8, 2009. 

IIHF World Championship Tournament semi-finals.

Russia vs. USA.


May the best Thrasher win.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Kovy Once Again the Difference Between Winning and Losing

Today in Berne:

Ilya Kovalchuk scored the game-winner with 12 minutes, 38 seconds left as Russia overcame a determined Belarus squad, 4-3, in the first-ever quarterfinal meeting between the two neighboring nations.

He also registered an assist, and apparently very nearly scored another goal. 1st star of the game, 1st star of the universe.

Note: We'd better pray that Russia wins the gold again this year. We need the Czar to be in a good mood when contract negotiations begin.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Children's Treasury of Semi-Literate Canuckist Reactions to the Phoenix Coyotes Bankruptcy

As you've all probably heard by now, the Phoenix Coyotes have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and apparently some Canadian dude who helped to unleash the BlackBerry on the world has thrown down $212.5 million (U.S., of course) to buy the team, on one condition: that they relocate to southern Ontario, where there are NO hockey teams.

For analysis of this complex situation you can go elsewhere (my take: Bettman will fight tooth-and-nail to prevent this); we of the Chronicle just want to trawl through the comments at Puck Daddy, TSN, James Mirtle, and elsewhere and share some malice from north of the border:

so much for that globe&mail Canadian conspiracy against the Coyotes eh Wysh? do you ever wonder what it must feel like to be a real sports journalist?

Translation: ZOMG Canadian resentment doesn't exist!!!!1!!!11!!!!one!!!!!

......back home where they belong, now if only the Thrashers would head north to Winnipeg and the Panthers to somewhere in British Columbia the sport of hockey may actually look like there are people in the stands that care more than a whit. No more warm weather expansion please (I guess I could live with Kansas City if it means one of the southern teams depart from their locale). Let's hope Bettman is thinking with the head on his shoulders as opposed to the one that wants to uh 'Blame Canada'.

Translation: Atlanta, Miami, Glendale...they're all in the desert, innit. All probably the same size too.

Gary Bettman is a NY lawyer who doesn't know [Sakic] about hockey.
Does anybody seriously think the other 29 owners would prefer to keep pouring money into the Phoenix Welfare Cases instead of raking it in on the Hamilton Gretzkys?
Next up: Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, Tampa.

Translation: Bettman is a Jew and Jews don't know anything about hockey. Also, Atlanta. Also, Florida and Tampa also. Also.

Bettman probably thought that fixing the Coyotes meant to have them spade or nudered. He doesn't understand that they need to "fix" a failure. Move them back to Winnipeg.

Winnipeg, etc.

Hmmm... A Canadian Billionaire that wants to bring a team to Canada where it will thrive, be profitable, and add excitement where previously they generated nothing... Only an idiot New York lawyer like Bettman could see the wrong in this... Give your head shake Gary...

The "New York lawyer" meme is strong with these folks.

O.K., I thought that we can voted on this. Were can we vote? Let's get our favourite game away from the Phoenix's the Tampa's, the Anaheims and the San Jose's. Bring it back to where hockey is revered. Let us vot GB!

Because Jebus knows San Jose doesn't draw a fan base.