Thursday, May 27, 2010

The ASG Has a Suitor

According to TSN, Stephen Rollins, a Hollywood writer/producer and Atlanta native has contacted Bruce Levinson to talk about buying a majority share of the Thrashers.

A quick perusal of his IMDB page gives rise to questions about how he would afford a majority share of an NHL franchise. I have heard estimates that a similar share of the Carolina Hurricanes would cost an investor upwards of $85 million. The fact that I've never heard of the two films Mr. Rollins has produced in the past ten years leads me to believe that kind of cash may be a bit out of his reach.

He is the CEO of Lightning Pictures, LLC which apparently stole its logo from Jerry Bruckheimer. While "American Identity" looks like an admirable short film about honoring our soldiers (something Hollywood does far too little of), the website doesn't contain much to inspire faith in the financial future of the company or its CEO.

Then of course there are the concerns about Hollywood types owning NHL teams. I think that was tried somewhere South of us and it didn't go too well.

On the other hand, I like Rollins' passion for the Thrashers, Atlanta, and hockey in general. Like Shooter and I, he was a huge Knights fan. He was involved in the petition campaign to convince the NHL to bring hockey back to Atlanta. He believes in Atlanta as a hockey market, and is a fan first and foremost. Apparently he wears his Thrashers jersey to "work" on game days.

If he were to be able to raise the capital to buy and maintain the team, there would be no more question about the interest of ownership in the hockey side of things.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We COULD Have Gotten Tallon...

So let's get this straight.

First, the Florida Panthers hire Dale Tallon to be their new GM.

And now: the Tampa Bay Lightning have hired Steve Yzerman to be their new GM.

Let's widen the scope a bit, and survey the entire GM scene here in the Southeast Division.

Tallon for the Panthers, Yzerman for the Lightning, George McPhee for the Washington Capitals, and Jim Rutherford for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Did I leave anyone out?

Oh yes. Rick Dudley for the Atlanta Thrashers.

Now, don't get me wrong. I do think Dudley will be marginally better than Waddell. But that's not setting the bar particularly high. Point is: the Thrashers will continue to be themselves.


Your Chronicle will be on absolute, total hiatus until after Memorial Day. No Internet for any of us, sirs and mesdames, because we're headed to some exotic locales. First up is our nation's capital, Ovechkingrad, and then on to an exotic desert isle for Razor Catch Prey's bachelor party. If you miss us, there's plenty of Ten Gallon Dick around here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"I'm a goner..." Scene 16

Scene 16

(Night. Stars overhead. The sky is an otherworldly dark blue. Pavel Kubina and Maxim Afinogenov are playing chess on a table outside Marty’s.)


Which one is the bear again?


Your Russians and your bears. Always interested in the bears.


You’ve never seen dignity until you’ve seen a dancing bear do a peasant two-step from Moscow to Vladivostock, across miles of Siberian snow.


You’ve seen that?


No. Checkmate. (Maxim has unmanned Pavel’s last line of chessboard defense and his knight and bishop have the king cornered.)


Damn. The bear surrounds the Big Dipper. Or, the Big Dipper is actually part of the bear. Ursa major.


Ah, Latin. They probably taught you that in sorcerer’s school. You people need to know it for your spells and whatnot, right?


We have company.

(Deputy Colby approaches.)


So you empyreans gonna help us with the case of the missin’ John-Anderson-killin’ good-fer-nothin’ lamer trash-wheezin’ psychopath or are you just too damned pig-satisfied with yourselves and that fancypants piss-checkers you’re a-playin’? I want answers now, DAMMIT. WE GOTTA FIND THE KILLER. (The deputy’s voice becomes noticeably different at the end of that last sentence. He begins to sob, and falls to his knees next to the chess table. He weeps.)


Let it out, son. I didn’t know you were that close to the old blacksmith.


I wasn’t. It’s’s just (sob)


Deputy, I assure you I’ll do everything I can to find this killer. I’ve already spoken to Sheriff Peverley, and---


I can’t go on like this, Mr. Russian Feller, I just can’t.

(Maxim and Pavel exchange confused looks.)


What do you mean, Deputy?


Don’t you fellers get it? I’m a goner! Whoever killed Anderson is a-gonna kill me.


What makes you say that?


There ain’t no time to explain. Might as well take matters into my own hands.



(Deputy Colby pulls his revolver from his holster and raises it to his temple.)



(Pavel and Maxim lunge for Deputy Colby. Maxim manages to grab the gun, Pavel wrestles the Deputy to the ground and pins him there.)


What are you thinking? You can’t kill yourself now.


I’m a goner either way fellas! I’m done for, toast, finito, Armstrong absconditus, yesterday’s man, yesterday’s meal, night light readin’ material for the fishes, vulture food, scenic bones by the highway, the way of the dodo, the way of the dead samurai, the hangman’s livelihood, the hooded owl’s drink of choice, the choicest steak for vultures wheeling over this godforsaken cactus land---


You’d already mentioned something about vultures.

(At that moment Ronnie Haines walks outside Marty’s. He’s playing a jaunty tune on an accordion.)


(still playing his song, which may or may not be “The Yellow Rose of Texas”) Hey fellas, what’s goin’ on? Why so sore, Mr. Deputy?


I’m a goner, that’s why! You musicians ain’t never have to worry about gettin’ gunned down, but I’m afraid I ain’t got much choice in the matter!


Oh, come on now, Deputy, cheer up! Here, let me play you a tune. What would you like to hear?


“She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain?”


Sounds good. Here we go. (Ronnie launches, once again, into “The Yellow Rose of Texas”)


Hey, that ain’t the song!


(still playing, while a Blue Crew girl pours a whiskey into his mouth) Wh-wh (gargle) whut?


Keep this gun away from him. (hands gun to Pavel) Alright Deputy, is there something that I, as a detective, should know? Why are you convinced that someone’s trying to kill you?


(starts making unintelligible screaming/choking noises)


He’s hysterical.


Reckon he needs a doctor?


Drink. Get the poor man a drink and calm him down that way. I’ve heard of hypochondriacs, but never of murder-chrondriacs.


(still playing “The Yellow Rose of Texas” on the accordion) Myself, I hear it’s a common condition now, in this age of the Pony Express. Everyone sendin’ ponies hither and yon...(he pauses, thoughtfully, for dramatic effect)



(Into this confused and confusing discussion rides a man clad entirely in black. His horse is black. It is now too dark out to see his face.)


(to the tune of “Yellow Rose of Texas”) Come out into the light my son/ You’re givin’ us a fright/ I’ll have to see your handgun/ Where you are ain’t too bright.


You really do like that song.

(In one quick move the mysterious horseman reaches into his holster and flashes a derringer. He fires once. And again. Our heroes scatter and hit the deck. Screams from inside Marty’s saloon. The shooter’s horse rears up and he gallops into the night. Our heroes slowly raise their heads)


Who’s hurt?


Accordion took a bullet. (He squeezes his beloved instrument. It makes an unhandsome caterwauling sound.)


Pity. Kubina, are you alive?


Alive, cowboy. Can’t say the same for the deputy though.

(Deputy Colby is crumpled on the ground, leaning against a wooden post. He doesn’t look too good.)


Tarnation alive! He’s dead! He thought they was gonna shoot him and by jeepers they did!

(Maxim and Pavel rush over to the deputy. Maxim is just beginning to check his pulse when Deputy Colby suddenly groans, opens his eyes, and raises his head.)


You’re alive!


What? What just happened?


I think he passed out before our armed horseman friend even arrived. A little too much anxiety.


Then where did the other shot end up? He fired twice, did he not?


I think so.


There ain’t another bullet in the accordion.

(Maxim and Pavel look around anxiously. They inspect themselves for bullet wounds. Deputy Colby sits on the ground, dazed.)


Isn’t it a little strange that we were just fired at and no one’s come outside to see what’s the matter?

(Maxim and Pavel look at one another. Then at Marty’s front windows. One of them is fractured by cracks, radiating outward from a bullet hole. They run inside the saloon. A crowd of people is gathered around a poker table.)


(elbowing people out of the way) Excuse me, excuse me, I’m a detective.

(Maxim reaches the table to find the mysterious horseman’s second victim after Ronnie’s accordion. A man lying face-down in a pool of blood that is still trickling off the table and staining the cards. Maxim motions for everyone to stand back. He raises the poor man’s head, looks into his odd face, and doesn’t recognize him.)


Does anyone know this man? Who is he?

(Nik Antropov and Misha walk over)


That’s Old Man Kozlov.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hope Can Drive a Man Insane

According to Kevin Allen at USA Today, it looks like famed hockey personage Colby "Marian Hossa" Armstrong won't be returning to the Thrashers next year.

Based on what I'm hearing, there appears to be no hope of re-signing Colby Armstrong.

Well, goodbye forever, Colby. I'll never forget our time together.

Meanwhile, the Thrashers seem to believe there is "some hope" of re-signing Maxim Afinogenov and Pavel Kubina. This should be encouraging to each and every fan, because we all know how stellar the Thrashers' record is when they believe there is "some hope."

Finally, it looks like the Thrashers want 19-year-old Carl Klingberg to step in Right Now.

Draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Passing Thought

It is widely believed that most European players view the World Championships as more important than a Stanley Cup. A pretty good case can be made for that when you look at the turnout for the European teams in the WHC as opposed to those for the US and Canada. When a North American player's NHL team is eliminated, he is dejected and doesn't care about playing a "consolation" tournament overseas. On the other hand, even after the second round of the NHL playoffs, Russians and other Europeans rush to put on the flag of their nation and fight for gold.

Now, I'm not going to question the patriotism of North American hockey players like some asshat at the IIHF did yesterday, and I'm not going to question the loyalty to their NHL teams of European players. However, I do wonder if there isn't a subconscious desire among some players to get an early exit from the NHL to go play in the IIHF World Championships?

Look at how much better some players do when they put on that other uniform. Kovy would be case #1. He's amazing in the NHL, but in the IIHF tournament, he's always the best player on a team with true world-class talent.

Correct me if I'm wrong because I'm having trouble finding the rosters, but I believe Nabokov won a gold for Russia two years ago after an embarrassing exit from the NHL playoffs. This year, however, after collapsing in the Olympics, Nabokov was publicly given the cold shoulder in favor of Varlamov. Knowing that he wouldn't get the chance to start in the WHC might be a bit of added motivation for Nabby to get past the first round in San Jose.

Again, I'm not trying to start a conspiracy theory here, and I don't think anyone is tanking games. I just wonder if there's less motivation for Europeans, and Russians in general, to win in the Stanley Cup playoffs when they'd rather be playing for a Gold Medal in the WHC.

Russians and Canadians in WHC Today

At 2pm ET today you can watch the Canadians (Kane, Peverley, Tavares, Stamkos) face the Russians (Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, Semin, Varlamov, Datsuyk) in the world championships.

Go to (not their NHL page) and there should be a link to the live stream of the game (for free). If you don't see it, you may need to go to the "Hockey Canada" tab near the top of the screen.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

As You Were

You will have noticed that things aren't quite as lively around here at the moment, as it's the offseason and honest to God who cares about the Thrashers anyway?


We do, once the Stanley Cup Final Champion Emperor is crowned and we can start caring about the draft and free agency. We'll be a bit sprightlier around then, even if the CIA decides to post me to Constantinople. In fact, I'll be much sprightlier in that situation.


You know who else cares about the Thrashers? Sheriff Richard "Ten Gallon Dick" Peverley.


The Blackhawks-Sharks and Flyers-Canadiens, heengh? Isn't that something? Way I see it, the Thrashers have nothing in common with the Flyers, could learn a lot from the Canadiens, and are actually a lot like the Blackhawks and the Sharks, just much worse.


Anyway. Now, FC Barcelona, there's you a sporting team.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Panthers Hire Dale Tallon

So now the Florida Panthers will be managed by the Blackhawks previous GM and their SouthEast Division rival Atlanta Thrashers will be managed by his assistant, Rick Dudley.

I guess the next three years or so will answer any questions we had about who really deserves the credit for the renaissance of the Chicago Blackhawks. Let's all hope it's Dudley.

Cap's Cap- And Slava Kozlov News

EDIT- A rumor has surfaced that Slava Kozlov is close to signing a contract with CSKA Moscow of the Russian Premier League (not KHL). Good luck, Slava!

The Washington Capitals have signed Nicklas Backstrom to an extension. According to DChesnekov's Twitter, the deal is for 10 years at about a 6.5mil/year cap hit.

Taking a quick look at NHL Numbers, we can see that they estimate the current cap at $56.8 million and they have the Caps this season with a hit of 55.53 million. They will be paying Michael Nylander only 3 million to not play next season as opposed to the 5.5 they paid him not to play this season. It remains to be seen what they do about their goaltending situation with Jose Theodore's 4.5 million contract expiring and Varlamov down for one more year at less than 800k. They could give V the reigns, bid adieu to Jose and bring in a cheap backup to save some cash there.

The Caps will be looking to upgrade their defense, which means spending a good bit of money. After sending Brian Pothier to the Canes, the Caps only had two Dmen making more than 2 million, and most of those cheaper guys are up for new contracts. They will either get raises or get replaced with pricier, more reliable talent.

It has been speculated by many since the Caps' early playoff exit that Alexander Semin may have played his last game with the team. He has one year left at 6 million dollars, then will be a UFA next July. Between a lack of headroom under the cap and a need to shift money into the D corps, it certainly does look like he'll be looking for a new home. He will probably be the #2 Russian left winger on the market this Summer behind Kovy. Kovy is available for cash alone and a team doesn't have to give anything up to acquire him unless they have to shed salary. However, it is looking more and more like the Czar is packing his bags for Mother Russia. Any team looking to trade for Semin has to also be wary that he might opt for the homeland over re-signing with his new team next July. After all, Semin stayed in the Russian leagues for two or three years longer than the Caps would have liked after drafting him, so what confidence can anyone have that he's now content playing in North America?

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Bounce Here, a Bounce There, Everywhere a Bounce Bounce

"I just think that it just goes to show how close we really were and how in the league there's a lot of parity," Anderson said before boarding a flight to Toronto, where he is doing work for Canadian sports network TSN. "A goal here, a bounce there, a referee's call here or there can make a difference between winning a series and maybe even making it into the playoffs."

Glad to see John Anderson has found work still talking about all those bad bounces. I mean, good gravy, JUST GIVE IT UP ALREADY!!!!

On a side note, I have now decided that I would prefer us to trade our #8 pick, if the right opportunity comes along. I think we are at the right time in our franchise history to make this move and lets face it... that is going to be by far the easiest way to get another prime player in here. It ain't gonna happen in free agency. Hey, lookie here.... Calgary needs a new start and they don't have a 1st round pick (or 2nd or 3rd, I don't think). Hmmm. Could it be true? Dudley has talked about bringing in maybe one guy that is a little older for leadership purposes. Package the #8 pick along with something else for the guy, who in my opinion, that is the best Captain currently in the NHL. Pure BS (Big Shooter) speculation here. Nothing more. I would do this in a heartbeat. How about you? Hmmm?


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard

First the Sharks see off the Red Wings.

Then the Canadiens bring down the Penguins.

This is almost as fascinating and as refreshing as the Cameron-Clegg alliance. The era of dull-as-dishwater two-team hegemony in the Stanley Cup Final has come to an end. Finally.

Vive la résistance!

Also: a Boston-Montreal series would be pretty cool, though with the current Boston-Philly score who knows what will happen.

Elimination Quotes

**NOTE- for Thrashers related news, see my post below about the Wolves being eliminated in game 7 by Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars.**

A couple of gems from the last couple of days. First from Jim Playfair, head coach of the Abbotsford Heat who were eliminated by the Hamilton Bulldogs:

"Ask the players, they're the ones that lost."

Classy. Way to take responsibility. What are the odds he comes back as head coach of this team? By the way, this is the same guy from this gem of a video earlier this year (also against the Hamilton Bulldogs, by the way):

Next, from Roberto Luongo after being eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks:

"I don't think they're a better team than us, but maybe a smarter team that knows how to win."

Read between the lines there. Not a better team = our players are just as good or better. A smarter team = better coached. Way to throw your coach under the bus there, Louie. Maybe the Canucks will fire Vigneault and hire Jim Playfair to coach Luongo.

Wolves Eliminated by a Ringer

The Chicago Wolves were eliminated in overtime of game 7 of their series with the Texas Stars last night. The few highlights I've seen make it look like this was a very exciting series.

However, I was surprised to see that the overtime, series clinching goal was scored by Jamie Benn. Why was I surprised by this? Because this is the AHL playoffs and Jamie Benn played 82 games in the NHL this season.

Yes, the guy is a rookie so I can understand Joe Nieuwendyk wanting him to get playoff experience. However, a guy who has played a full NHL season should not be eligible to play in the AHL playoffs in that same season.

This is different from the Capitals reassigning Alzner and Carlson to Hershey once they were eliminated from the NHL playoffs. Those players spent the majority of the regular season in the AHL. Benn didn't play a single game in Austin before the playoffs.

Would folks in the Stars organization be thrilled to see Evander Kane and Nic Bergfors suiting up for the Wolves in the playoffs? How about Ondrej? Hey, Rich Peverley played some AHL games two years ago, why not send him down to ensure a Calder Cup?

Sending NHL regulars to play in the AHL playoffs makes for an un-even playing field and shouldn't be allowed.

To the Wolves players, I say congratulations on a great playoff run. Take a short break then hit the gym hard and come on down to Atlanta for training camp so you can fight for a spot on the Thrashers roster next season. Just keep your head up while Cormier is on the ice.

EDIT- Here are the highlights of game 7. Two good goals by Spencer Machacek and a beautiful backhander by Jason Krog. Unfortunately, Machacek is also the one who had the puck taken from him by Benn for the overtime goal. Notice how quick the Chicago announcers were to point out that Benn "spent the entire season in the NHL."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cormier Facing Criminal Charges

Remember that hit on a Quebec Ramparts player that got Patrice Cormier suspended by the league? Well now Cormier is facing criminal charges for it.

This is all happening in Beaverland, so I don't know how their criminal system approaches battery, but in the US you are generally protected from these kind of criminal charges in a full contact sporting environment. The way that you can become liable is if you intentionally go above and beyond generally acceptable gameplay and attempt to injure. You can easily make an argument that Todd Bertuzzi driving Moore's head into the ice from behind is criminal, as well as McSorley hitting Brashear in the head with his stick.

An elbow to the head is a little more of a grey area. Elbows happen all the time even though they are against the rules and are penalized. They're not outside the normal scope of play. However, an elbow aimed at the head with malicious intent to injure may well be considered outside the scope of play and open to criminal culpability.

No word yet from Rick Dudley as to whether or not he expects Cormier to be a regular contributor in the Quebec Penal League next season.

EDIT- After some brief research into Quebecois laws, it appears that they call battery "assault" there. In our system, assault is an attempted battery where no physical contact is actually made. In Quebec, actual contact is an assault, and when an injury occurred as it did when Cormier hit Tam, that is "assault causing bodily injury."

Quebec's definition of assault: "Any force intentionally applied against another person without his consent is an act of assault. The amount of force involved may be significant or minimal (e.g., punching a person in the face, slapping a person, throwing someone to the ground, spitting at someone, grabbing her arm, etc.). An assault may even occur without any physical contact. For example, simply pouring a glass of water on someone can be considered assault."

So the question in this case will come down to whether or not Tam consented to the act by participating in an ice hockey game.


Watching the playoffs?

We are too, sort of.

Your editor thinks it would be a fine thing if Montreal managed to knock off the Penguins.

Haven't we all been subjected to the goatish lusts of Sidney Crosby for too long?


As you were.

Friday, May 7, 2010

World Championships Start Today

USA and Germany are playing right now. Looks like all games are available on Universal Sports for .99 apiece. I am watching the USA game as I type this and the video quality is impressive.

Team USA is very young and not nearly as stacked as the young Team Canada. Team Russia has Varlamov, Semin, and a couple of nobodys named Ovechkin and Kovalchuk. They will be a pushover.

Presented Without Comment


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Important Things

Exactly two things are happening on Planet Hockey today:

1) My realization that I somehow missed Evander Kane's "Puck Tracks" feature over at Puck Daddy yesterday. His hip-hop is not my hip-hop (he really should sample at least one offering of the local fare), but everyone has different tastes and hey, it's Evander Kane!

2) The Red Wings might, might, get swept tonight. Does that count as "happening?"

In other news, the hobbits over in Britland are having themselves an election today, to determine who will become the next Queen (Hugh Grant). Here's a real life documentary about what British politics (including the special relationship with U.S. America) is actually like:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


This means the Thrashers can't sign him this summer!*

*Thank God.

P.S. I do feel bad for Jokinen, in a way. He was never lucky with the teams he ended up on...teams upon which he ended? But actually I don't feel bad for him at all, as I'm sure he'll now have enough money to finally create Oily Olli's Oleaginous Hockey League (OOOHL), in which he'll play for the champion team every year.

Jeff Schultz (and probably lots of other people) Enjoy Vicarious Tasering

Jeff Schultz has written a mildly amusing piece about the dumb kid who ran out onto the Phillies' baseball field and got tasered by a policeman who was too fat and slow to catch up with him and tackle him.

He spends most of the piece talking about the general awfulness of Philadelphia sports fans---something I can't disagree with---and at the end proposes this:

Personally, I don’t have a problem with fans being Tasered. In fact, I believe there should be a contest each game for one fan to actually administer the Taser to any other fan who does something stupid.

Ho ho. Since this blog is known for its stolid humorlessness, let me use Schultz's joke as an opportunity to ask a poker-faced question: why does everyone take such delight in watching their fellow human beings get electrocuted by the police? Clearly, goofy teenagers who run onto sports fields---something that happens all over the world, all the time, and has for decades--- are a terrifying and lethal threat. No dispute from me. I even understand that sometimes a trained police officer just doesn't feel like exerting any physical energy (BORING) and that electric torture guns are simply easier. I know that the Tasering Approval Ship sailed a long time ago, and that most people think tasering is hilarious fun.

But why is it hilarious fun?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Sometimes you're better off dead." Scenes 14 and 15

Scene 14

(A bare, whitewashed chapel with simple Shaker pews, chairs, and pulpit. Most of Thrasherville’s more prominent citizens have crammed themselves inside to attend the funeral of the old blacksmith, Johnny Anderson. The town preacher, who looks suspiciously like Dam Kamal, is delivering some kind of farewell speech.)


...and, you know, we’ll miss him. He ran an uptempo blacksmithing shop. It wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but he was a good blacksmith. I’ll always remember the time---

(camera pans to Ten Gallon Dick, Little Little, and Deputy Colby. They’re sitting next to Mayor Waddell.)


(leaning over to whisper in Ten Gallon’s ear) What’s it looking like? What Anderson poisoned or did he just have a heart attack?


Ain’t no doubt he was poisoned. Now show some respect and listen to the Reverend.


(leaning forward) Did you fellas say something about poisoning?

(Deputy Colby makes shushing gesture, the Mayor leans back into the pew. He looks distressed.)


And that’s why Blacksmith Anderson is in a happier place. One with charbroiled hamburgers galore. He belongs to the Lord now.


The Lord of hamburgers?

(Deputy Colby elbows Little Little. Whitey the Accountant throws himself on the flower-decked coffin and starts screaming “Why? WHY?!!” Ten Gallon rises from the pew and pulls him back.)

(cut to the townsfolk exiting the church. Ten Gallon finds Detective Afinogenov.)


Detective Finner. Let’s take a walk. (they break with the crowd and set off down the main street of Thrasherville.) What ya got?


Managed to squeeze in a final look this morning. The nature of the fatal drink is still a bit...obscure.




He did indeed perish of poison, but what kind? How did it find its way into the drinks he normally imbibes?


Any chance it was a suicide, you think?


I highly doubt it. I was there when he died, remember. He went down cursing the very name of Thrasherville, and he looked genuinely surprised to find himself poisoned. No, John Anderson, blacksmith to all Thrasherville, is not a suicide. He is rather a murderee.




Anderson was the murderee. It’s up to your department to find the murderer.


Surely you’ll help us out, now.


(stops walking, keeps hands folded behind his back, stares hard at the Sheriff.) Sheriff Peverley, I came to this city to work under the illustrious Sheriff Kovalchuk. I have to admit that his departure is still a bit...disorienting.


It is. But we got a serious damn murder case on our hands now, and I for one intend to solve it. Does it really matter if Sheriff Kovalchuk is around or not? Thrasherville police need you, Finner. I don’t trust that Mayor Waddell, and Lord knows the Committee is hardly interested in much of anything that goes on round here.


Everything you say is true. That’s why I want to help you solve this case.


Excellent. I reckon we’ll have to find you a badge. Your trial period’s over, Mr. Fins!


Happy to be on the force.

(they resume walking. They’re nearly on the very edge of town now. They press on along the desert highway, cacti and joshua trees rolling before them, red mountains on the horizon.)


Now, I reckon that if someone wants to bump off Blacksmith Anderson, they’re gonna wanna bump off some other folks too. Do you think this is isolated or part of some great big ol’ prairie dog of a conspiracy? I s’pose I’m askin’ if there’s more to come.


It’s very hard to say at this point. As a precaution I’d keep the Mayor in a safe place, or tell him to get out of the town for a while.


Get out of town.




Over here we say “get out of town,” not “get out of the town.”




Lord knows I wouldn’t be good with the colloquialisms in Russia!


A very beautiful and flexible language, the language of Pushkin and Turgenev. At any rate, Sheriff, perhaps we should turn around and go have a look at Anderson’s blacksmith shop.


Reckon we should.

(they turn around and head back towards town.)

Scene 15

(Slava Lazy Eyes’s ranch outside town. Kozlov is in his wine vineyard, looking at a grape through a monocular telescope. Nik Antropov, on horseback, and Misha, on foot, appear. Without looking away from his detailed grape examination, Slava begins to speak.)


Was it a good service?


I suppose so. I liked the preacher...what’s his name, Kamal?




Did you know the blacksmith?


Of course I did. Small town. (he moves on to another grape)


Would it be rude to ask why you didn’t go to the service?


(still examining this grape) Never did care for the man.


Ah, I see. (Nik and Misha exchange quizzical looks. This Kozlov fellow is unusually forthright.)


And you actually saw the poor man’s demise?


Afraid I did. It looks like he was murdered. Poisoned.

(Slava Lazy Eyes lowers the monocular telescope and the grape. He looks directly into Nik’s eyes.)


You don’t say.


Well...the new detective in town, Mr. Afinogenov, he thinks so. The Sheriff Peverley seems to agree.


Is it impossible that he just...choked on something, maybe?


Don’t think so. Afinogenov did an autopsy. He was definitely poisoned, he says.


And these policemen?


(growing uneasy) Well, yes.

(Slava continues to stare at Nik out of one of his eyes. This goes on an uncomfortably long time before Slava breaks the silence.)


Good! You should. They seem like honest men.

(Misha takes a few steps back)


So, what kind of cow railroad work needs to be done this afternoon?


(pointing to some cattle in a pen behind his house) These cows will need some help with their ironwork.


Of course. Say, did you ever consider using Anderson for some blacksmithing work on your grand project?


Please, Mr. Antropov, no more talk of Mr. Anderson around here.


(rolling himself a cigarette, and another one for the coyote, and nodding) Of course. (A wary look in his eyes that seems to say, “Remember to tell Afinogenov about this.”)


(walking deep into his desert vineyard, muttering to himself) Sometimes you’re better off dead.

Scuttley Biddledutt

Part II of the famous Ben Wright interview.

Insightful stuff, indeed. Dudley seems to know exactly what he is looking for.

We shall see.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rick Dudley Talks About Things

Oh hey, remember the Thrashers? Looks like Rick Dudley's talking about them, and other things (he plays guitar! he has mixed feelings about Road to Perdition!) in Part I of this in-depth interview with Ben Wright. It's like an oil spill, but of Hockey Talk and not oil. Which is no bad thing.

There is literally nothing else to talk about right now, so here's a picture of a pensive otter.

(via the Daily Otter)