Monday, August 22, 2005

Carnival of the NHL #6

Well, it’s 12:30 a.m. Monday morning, and I’m fresh off a shift on the news desk. If that’s not time for the sixth Carnival of the NHL, I haven’t the foggiest what is.

Feel free to indulge in some carnie music to put you in the mood while you read.

And, let us begin…

Spector, AKA Lyle Richardson, that wily veteran from P.E.I., serves as our bearded lady as our star attraction. Lyle talks about how the league’s lowered unrestricted free agency age has some GMs in a giant pickle (not literally):

But under the new CBA, teams now face the prospect of losing players after only seven years of service. That's going to be of particular concern for teams whose best players have been active with them since they were under the age of twenty. Three notable examples include the Atlanta Thrashers (Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk), Minnesota Wild (Marian Gaborik) and Columbus Blue Jackets (Rick Nash).
Now if only we can do something about the beard, he can be assimilated back into society. Ah, yes, right... hockey.

Another new and talented blogger (there seem to be a lot of them scampering around with hockey set to return), Tom at Sabre Rattling takes a shot at the Etroit Re Wings… who are suddenly D-less with their pickup of Andy Delmore. (I’m not sure if I should laugh or punch the poor guy for that one. How many D’s did James Patrick formerly have in his name anyway?) Check out another of Tom’s posts here.

Canuckite Jez Golbez has been post-for-post one of the best hockey bloggers since the silly free agent season began, and he jumps into the carnie fray here with predictions for next season.

Now, this man knows his hockey, so I won’t question what he says. That said, the Islanders making the playoffs, Jes?! Let’s recall, the last man who endorsed Mike Milbury’s ravings was beaten with his own shoe. In the 1970s.

Wouldn’t that make a fitting carnival entry.

In any event, I’ll let the Leafs fans chew up and spit out Mr. Golbez for predicting them out of the postseason. Be thankful you’re 4,000 kilometres away from “God’s Country” my friend.

If I am your ringmaster, Matt Saler of On the Wings can be our guy-who-flies-out-of-a-cannon guy. He helps us start off with a lament on how his Detroit Red Wings look in the salary-cap era:

This shouldn't make Wings fans feel very positive about the coming year, that's for sure, but it does give us something to look forward to in a year's time. I already have doubts about the team's ability to even make the playoffs, let alone play through them, after seeing the moves other teams, both in our division and throughout the conference, have made.

Ho ho, only in Hockeytown. I, for one, think Detroit will be one of the few big powers to retain their lofty position. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Lang, Shanahan, Schneider, Draper… boo hoo. All they need is Dennis Vial, and they’ll be the 14-win 1993-94 Ottawa Senators.

Not to say
Detroit fans are spoiled.


Boltsmag’s John Fontana requests that, for the carnival (I think?), he be able to play the calliope, and, considering I have no idea what the hell that is, sure, why not. Fontana drops a three ring circus of sorts on the carnies, with three posts, each more detailed than the last.

His last post is aimed at lovable blogging curmudgeon Tom Benjamin, and I couldn’t help but laugh at the words of one of Fontana’s comment monkeys:

Get me a one way ticket off of Tom Benjamin Fantasy Island!!

Make that two.

Steve Ovadia from Puckupdate brings a refrain about the New Jersey Devils I’ve been hearing a lot lately.

How crazy is it that the fiscally conservative Devils are way over the cap already? What does that say about the new NHL system? This isn't the Rangers or the Red Wings going over. This is the freaking Devils.

Hey, I know why Lamoriello is over the salary cap. Have a read of the Hepatitis Blog… and, no I’m not making it up. If your superstar was on his deathbed, you’d be spending his salary — which won't count against the cap until he plays — on a replacement too.

Moving on... What would a carnival be without a detour into oddball territory? In carnie terms, Sidearm Delivery delivers the freakshow as he opines on the Rangers’ signing of Tom Poti:

When the Massachusetts-born Poti … entered the league with the Edmonton Oilers, Bobby Orr (his agent at the time) claimed that Poti would eventually become a Norris Trophy winner. Not unless it's the John Norris Trophy, for being as useless as a turd in a punch bowl.

Hay, Sidearm Dave, it’s OK — we’re not above potty (or is that Poti?) humour around here. Pot, Poti, turds… it’s all gold. (For the record, however, there hasn’t been a hockey player named John Norris. Just so you know Dave.)

’s Chris McMurtry gets jiggy with his line-up for Team Canada, the 2006 gold medalists in Turin, Italy. Now, I know it’s six months from February, but with behemoth Todd Bertuzzi in the mix, Canada’s already got it in the bag. (Neck-breaking is, after all, only a two-minute minor penalty in international play.) brings us something we haven’t seen yet — an actual free agent rumour! This one has Teemu Selanne, the Finnish Flash, joining Les Habitants.

I’ve got a riddle for my readers: How do you know when the NHL’s free agency barrage is over?

Right around when the big news is Peter Bondra maybe, sorta, almost, kinda signing with
Atlanta. Stick a fork in it people… what we’ve got right now for rosters is pretty much how it’ll end up (sorry Sabres fans).

A few weeks ago, Matt Fenwick, the man behind Jerry Aldini who hails from Lethbridge, Alta. — ever so close to my homeland — did some number crunching and makes a prediction that the NHL will have 20 teams in the playoffs come 2006-07.

Let’s hope not.

Ben Wright, from a redesigned and ever-so-pretty The Net Files, talks about shootouts, which everyone seems to have forgotten during the free agency debauchery lately.

Kukla’s Korner has been going berserk lately, linking to inanimate objects, UFOs and people’s house pets, in ways I didn’t know was possible. (I don’t know what it means either.) But here, he talks about his sweet, sweet love for hockey. Amen KK!

Phil Pilmar is keeping it real in NYC by opining on the off-season coming to a close.

Up next, he’s a new blogger, but he’s been busy. J.J. at Canucks Hockey Blog is wondering where his club is going to find its veteran presence now that players like Bray May have moved on.

The big news this week was OLN nabbing the NHL’s national TV contract, and In The Crease weighs in here. As a Sabres fan, ITC’s Lindsey doesn’t have a ton to get excited about, but at least she’s still got Jochen Hecht. Oh, Jochen… my sweet love.


Oddly enough, Captain E Macaroni, king of all that is blogging and lord of hockey nerdom, sat this round out, and for that, we shall link to him. And worship his strange, indescribable silence. (I hope he’s OK… he normally lives for these things.)

Alright, this post is already horribly and incorrigibly long and for that, I do not apologize. Now, onto the predictions…

I think perhaps old man Benji (who shunned this week’s carnival
) scared off more than a few bloggers from my prediction game. For those few who partook in the carnie event, I thank you for indulging me. Here are the pundits’ predictions:


Canucks Hockey: 1. Philadelphia, 2. Boston, 3. Vancouver
Jerry Aldini: 1. Calgary, 2. Ottawa, 3. San Jose
Spector: 1. San Jose, 2. Calgary, 3. Montreal
Sabre Rattling: 1. San Jose, 2. Philly, 3. Atlanta
James Mirtle: 1. Detroit, 2. Ottawa, 3. New Jersey
Jez Golbez: 1. Calgary, 2. Boston, 3. Tampa Bay
Sharkspage: 1. Philadelphia, 2. Calgary, 3. San Jose
The Ice Block: 1. Philadelphia, 2. Calgary, 3. Florida
Man Bites Dog: 1. Calgary, 2. Philadelphia, 3. Ottawa
Colby Cosh: 1. Philadelphia, 2. Calgary, 3. Vancouver

These are the only folks in the running for whatever lame thing I buy at the G&M gift shop. For the next carnival hoster, I recommend not straying from the formula.

Two fellows posted predictions for the entire league divided by conference, and their efforts are entered here: Jez Golbez and The Net Files

1,400 words later, I know only this: Carnies make me tired.

The End.



At 10:40 a.m., August 22, 2005, Blogger Tom L said...


I do know that Jeep was a fair site better defensemen than Elmore was last year... so were other NHL stalwarts like Rory Fitzpatrick and Brian Campbell. So, while Jeep might not have any D's in his name, he certainly had some D in his game. Zhitnik was lost on the ice without him in 2003-04. What does that tell you?

This is in no way an endorsement of our current roster, Kalinin and Numinnen excepted. And, yes, I am secretly weeping about the upcoming season.


At 11:18 a.m., August 22, 2005, Blogger mike said...

I demand you remove the God's country link immediately. I never signed the release.

At 1:51 p.m., August 22, 2005, Blogger Unknown said...

Well, if I am going to pick a Top 3 overall...

Tampa Bay

At 3:39 p.m., August 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your work is much apprciated from this fellow blogger. Good work!!!

At 3:50 p.m., August 22, 2005, Blogger PJ Swenson said...

Great job on the Carnival. Here is my top three prediction:

1. Philadelphia, 2. Calgary, 3. San Jose.

And here is why.

At 5:49 p.m., August 22, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Any bloggers who still want to get a Top 3 prediction in (there have been quite a few made today), I'll extend the deadline till the end of this week. Feels silly to have only four people eligible.

At 7:55 p.m., August 22, 2005, Blogger J.J. Guerrero said...

Great work on the Carnival, James! Very interesting read as usual.

At 11:29 a.m., August 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going with 1 - Calgary 2 - Philly and 3 - Ottawa. Because I have no imagination. And I change my mind on these things every day. Dark horses? San Jose and Vancouver.

At 11:52 a.m., August 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philadelphia, Calgary, Vancouver. (With Edmonton fourth, goddammit.)


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