Thursday, June 28, 2007


Inevitable, as it should be,
it was announced today that the one, the only Ronnie Franchise is to be in the 2007 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Class, along with Mark Messier, Al MacInnis, and Scott Stevens.

I was actually starting to barrack for Ron's induction to be next year instead of this year, due to the threat of this year's celebrations being heavily Messier-centric. BUT, I actually got to thinking: Ron will just be happy to come in and be inducted. And afterall, one of the reasons I like the man as much as I do is because he is not a gloryhound type like the other former NHLer mentioned in this paragraph. So yeah, let the gloryhound get the hype and everything...we know who the real class act is.

Many, many congratulations, Mr. Francis. I shall raise a glass of chianti in honor of thee this evening...

Current Music: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper on Little Buddy Radio

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

2007 Hockey Hall of Fame Nominees Announced

I sincerely apologize for the lack of posts over the last week...I have been *very busy* juggling back and forth between working on something that will hopefully revolutionize my Ron Francis trading/collecting hobby AND earning my way towards a little something that will hopefully revolutionize this here blog. Stay tuned...

It's funny that I mention ol' Ronnie, because he is the reason behind my posting this news: Today, the HHOF ballot for 2007 was introduced...among the names were you-know-who, Mark Messier, Al MacInnis, and Scott Stevens.

Very, VERY needless to say, the four aforementioned names should get in, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Ironically enough, after saying that sentence; BUT, if Ronnie somehow gets snubbed by HHOF, I will not be surprised at all, unfortunately. It would be disgusting, yet fitting since the song and dance of the man's NHL playing years has been his being the most underrated AND underappreciated hockey player under the sun.

Current Music: "Connection" by Elastica

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Scott Walker Stays!

here and there, 'cause I really don't feel like doing anymore "jokes" with Walker's name.

I may have ribbed on the guy and his performance from around December to the end of this past season, but doesn't mean I do not appreciate what Walks brought to an overall mediocre Canes team. Just think, if dudeman can be the third best scorer on such a team, just imagine what he might do on a hopefully improved Canes team this upcoming season. Of course, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, Jim Rutherford's gotta do something about that defense...the Class of 2002-03 Reunion certainly did not help either, but that D is my primary blame for a lot of this past season's woes. least for today, we can celebrate the fact that we re-landed Walker AND Ray Whitney for just a combined $6.2 million per opposed to each one being, oh, $4.2 million each season, like Scott Hartnell on the Philly Cheesesteaks. Between that and the rumors of the Buffalo Sabres' Thomas Vanek being offered a $49 million per year contract for six years, good ol' Booby Clarke is my front runner over Lou Lamoriello and Ken Holland for being the GM to break ye olde salary cap.

Current Music: "Rush" by Big Audio Dynamite

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

For those of you who either live under a rock and/or just don't read that many Canes blogs and/or message boards*, today is the one year anniversary of your Carolina Hurricanes winning Lord Stanley's Prize!! (insert a Kermit the Frog "YEEEEEEAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!" here)

As announced a couple of weeks ago by the Canes themselves...there is a celebration and reliving of sorts to be held at the Carolina Ale House tonight. Being a Cool Bars atmosphere and all, it is very much bound to be packed. So needless to say, get there as early as possible in the late afternoon/early evening.

OR, do as I would do, even if I lived nearby as opposed to the Virginny/West Virginny border, and just stay at home. Sometimes, nothing beats being able to lie down on a cozy couch or sit down in a comfy chair (NO!! NOT THE COMFY CHAIR!! Shame on those of you who don't get the reference there...only one of the greatest skits in the history of comedy...), cranking up the DVD player, and beholding last year's golden memories, while sipping a Labatt Blue Light. In my instance, it helps that I happen to possess a DVD copy of the Game Seven coverage by not only NBC, but also CBC...who ended up being rather Canes-centric as opposed to their American brother station's being Oilers-centric. Jealous? C'mon, I know you are... ;P

Current Music: "Feels So Good" by Chuck Mangione

* - With very due apologies to those trying to access the Score Boards message boards via here over the last month or two, I am very sorry about those links being screwed up...just finally fixed them. Now, let's hope they don't attempt to be "search engine accessible" *again*...

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Versus Is Incompetent...Film At Eleven

Just when I begin to feel a little ashamed that I am missing the NHL Awards, I happen upon
the following, and give myself a pat on the shoulder...

"It would have been nice for American fans of the NHL to watch these awards and theoretically the broadcast was supposed to be available on Versus at 7pm, buuuuuuuut….in true NHL on TV there was a snafu and Versus game it’s viewers a boxing match between…well, who the hell cares. Here’s a version of what went wrong from James Mirtle who was blogging the awards for AOLfanhouse:

“Here’s what happened. Versus was using the CBC signal from Toronto. However CBC is tape delaying the awards and showing them at 8pm local time. Apparently Versus just got the schedule from the NHL (which had the whole thing starting at 7) and never looked at the CBC schedule. Because the CBC feed from Toronto was delayed that would push the broadcast past 9 o’clock when Versus is scheduled for a live boxing match. Thus the decision was made to push the already taped award show to 11 and air the live sporting event.”

The reason that Food Network can beat the Stanley Cup Finals game one in the ratings? Because when Food Network says that “Build a Better Burger” is on at 7pm, it’s flippin’ on at 7pm. Versus is clearly run by chimps; chimps with a drinking problem."

*sighs* To paraphase one of my most favorite coffee mugs my family had growing up, which featured a bunch of cartoon orange tabby cats making a HUGE mess in a kitchen: "My league, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT."

Obviously, I love it...otherwise, I wouldn't be here blogging about it whenever something postworthy comes along. But man...not only is Versus run by chimps, but so is the NHL, especially in marketing AND considering that SOMEONE at the home office in Toronto agreed to a deal with the aforementioned network.

And as I post this AND am scouraging the Net for more NHL Awards tidbits, my eyes embrace this...

"11:45 and they (*still*) haven't started handing out the hardware."

Yikes!! Thank ye gods for the Internet AND leaks...thanks to those, I have found out the following...

Rod Brind'Amour wins the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the second season in a row. - Yay for Brindy...and one of the few times I am quite glad to be wrong. I had him pegged for his award coffin being nailed shut by not making the playoffs. BUT, leave it to #17 to be mighty in not only muscle power, but also defying the odds AND media.

Lindy Ruff DOES NOT WIN the Jack Adams Award!! - Not totally official yet...but the moment it becomes that at one of my stomping grounds, you bet your sweet bippy I'll update this post.

Current Music: "That's Entertainment" by The Jam

Edit as of June 15th, 1:35 AM: To quoteth the great John Forslund...hey, hey, hey, what do you say?! The rumors were TRUE!!!

Hart Memorial Trophy, MVP - Sidney Crosby.

Vezina Trophy, goaltender - Martin Brodeur.

James Norris Memorial Trophy, defenseman - Nicklas Lidstrom.

Calder Memorial Trophy, rookie - Evgeni Malkin.

Frank J. Selke Trophy, defensive forward - Rod Brind'Amour.

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, most gentlemanly - Pavel Datsyuk. (aaah)

Jack Adams Award, coach - Alain Vigneault.

King Clancy Trophy, humanitarian contribution to hockey - Saku Koivu.

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, perserverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey - Phil Kessel.


Art Ross Trophy, points scoring leader - Sidney Crosby.

Maurice Richard Trophy, goal-scoring leader - Vincent Lecavalier.

William M. Jennings Trophy, goalies with fewest goals against, minimum 25 games - Nicklas Backstrom & Manny Fernandez.


Lester B. Pearson Award, outstanding player - Sidney Crosby.

All is right with the world...and I'm so happy, I just may not sleep for another couple of hours.

Current Music of the edit: "True" by Spandau Ballet

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"Easy, Breezy, Cover Boy!"

As revealed
out in Canes message board land, 850 The Buzz, and by the Canes' own Mike Sundheim, Eric Staal has been made the cover boy for the 2008 edition of Electronic Arts' NHL series of video/computer games.

Not surprisingly, there are a few crying "Curses!" at this news...
and for semi-good "reason", as featured in Mike Chen's blog:

"The first game to feature just one player on the cover was NHL 97. Previously, the other games just had action shots of several players. This game was coming off of Florida's rat-tastic run to the Cup Final, so naturally, they put the John Vanbiesbrouck on the cover. While the Beezer actually had a pretty good season, his Panthers did not, bowing out in five games to Wayne Gretzky and the New York Rangers. Curse? Probably not, though his stats went way down hill the next season. But one thing to keep in mind -- a few years later, the Beezer he went nuts on a crazy racist tirade to junior players and he had to quit his job and sell his part of the team. More on this later.

The next season was NHL 98 (1997-1998) with Peter Forsberg on the cover. Forsberg actually had a great year that year -- 91 points in 72 games. However, keep in mind that a few years later, his spleen exploded and he missed an entire regular season doing some soul searching/rehabbing in Sweden.

NHL 99 (1998-1999) was the infamous Year of the Cyber Athlete with Cyber-Lindros on the cover (accompanied by Rock You Like A Hurricane on the commercials). In April 99, Lindros had a collapsed lung; the following year, he was riddled with concussions and other injuries.

NHL 2000 (1999-2000), besides being the coolest sounding hockey video game title of all time, had towering defenseman Chris Pronger on the cover. A few seasons later, Pronger missed all but five games with injuries.

NHL 2001 (2000-2001) featured one of my least favorite players Owen Nolan on the cover. Not only did Nolan miss the majority of the 2003-2004 season with a variety of injuries (in addition to the chronic back and groin issues that slowed him down post-EA Sports), he was entangled in a lengthy legal battle with the Maple Leafs.

NHL 2002 (2001-2002) came right after Mario Lemieux's amazing comeback season, so of course, it was natural to put Le Magnifique on the cover. In three of the next four seasons, various ailments -- from back problems to hip problems -- limited him to less than 30 games each. Finally, a heart condition caused him to retire for good. You see where I'm going with this?

NHL 2003 (2002-2003) featured Jarome Iginla after his breakout 52-goal season. Iginla hasn't suffered any devastating injuries yet, though his post-EA Sports total hasn't come close to his 52-goal campaign (he was pretty amazing, though, during the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs).

NHL 2004 (2003-2004) had current NHL golden boy Dany Heatley on the cover. Shortly after the games release, Heatley was involved in the horrific car accident that claimed Dan Snyder's life. Heatley came back late in the season after serious knee injuries related to the crash, though the emotional damage caused him to request a trade.

NHL 2005 (2004-2005) was the lockout season. A game was still produced with Markus Naslund on the cover. Like Iginla, Naslund's one post-EA Sports campaign was disappointing to say the least, but at least he hasn't been hit with a freak injury.

NHL 2006 (2005-2006) put defending Stanley Cup Champion/World Cup MVP Vincent Lecavalier on the cover. Lecavalier had a disappointing season, but no crazy injuries to report."

Good news to those who are getting ready to jump on me for posting all of that: My personal take on a good chunk of the above is that a lot of it is *really* a stretch. To me, a "curse" would be solidified by the bad things happening to the cover boys in the season that their respective EA game is supposed to represent, NOT a few seasons later.

Therefore, the only ones who have actually fallen victim to the "curse", according to my rule, are Eric Lindros in 1998-99, Mario Lemieux in 2001-02, and Dany Heatley in 2003-04. And the former two of the three are *really* no shock AND should not be counted as part of the "curse", given their injury track record and all. Making the only truly freakish incident in the history of the "curse" be the infamous and life-theatening auto accident into which Heatley got himself.

So if anything comes out what turns out to be a bit a hogwash for Eric, it will most likely be another mediocre season in point production...something that will not surprise me, unfortunately, given how the Canes' lineup is currently looking at the moment. Of course, the off-season is still young...

Current Music: "Johnny, Let's Dance" - World Heroes 2 Image Album

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

*channels her inner Rockapella* Where In the World Is Cuba Gooding Jr.?

That's not as catchy as "Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego?"*, is it?

But, ol' Cuba *was* in a Southern California location last night...specifically, the locker room celebration held by the Anaheim Ducks after their much coveted AND
maligned Stanley Cup win.

Per Yahoo/Associated Press: "Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. sipped beer in the victorious dressing room."

Y'know, when I did my Stanley Cup picture book thing last year (which I'd link to, but unfortunately, a lot of the pictures are now gone...including the one of Cuba and Ray Whitney... (sighs) ), I thought I was kidding about Gooding Jr. being there for the Bud Light. o_O

Unfortunately, I could not find any picture proof of the said actor being I'll post the following, making us wonder whether the dude on the left was there too or not...

Current Music: "Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addiction

* - One of my latest geek trips has been rediscovering a precious gem from my childhood in the greatest kids game show ever, EVER made: Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, which was based on a just as brilliant computer game series (before The Learning Company came along and messed it up).

To check it out for yourself, just click here to access my YouTube Favorites, where you'll see that my most recent favorited videos are from the aforementioned show. Simply a paradise for not only geography geeks, but also music and entertainment ones too...god, I love Rockapella. At least their 90's incarnation, anyway.

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Kaiton, Forslund, Tripp & Tracy. Ltd.

From the No Surprise Department (at least to moi) comes the news of Chuck Kaiton, John Forslund, and Tripp Tracy having been re-signed for their respective announcing jobs, as of last night.

Actually, if there is any sort of surprise in that news, it's the fact that Tripp Tracy is somehow sticking around. I was amazed upon reading that myself, though I was/still am also glad too 'cause I would miss having ol' Tripper around to rib on. Even though, unfortunately, he wasn't as much fun to rib on last season with all of his notorious food and groin talk having been toned down. Me thinks Mr. Forslund or someone else from FSN South had a talk with the Trippster about that...why it took at least five or more years for that talk to happen, we'll probably never know.

But anyways, I much rather have Tripp Tracy than Terry Crisp...while I highly respect Crisp for the fact that he coached Ronnie Francis as a Soo Greyhound, I don't think there is a more boring color announcer out there. But, you dear readers of mine are more than free to enlighten me...

Current Music: "Remedy" by The Black Crowes

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Big Joe Goes

A week or two ago, I had mentioned over in the 850 The Buzz blog that I was way more than willing to bet that the Canes would keep Josef Vasicek because of his "untapped potential", among other things. Folks, as of yesterday, I would have lost such a bet.

And that would have been one of the rare few times where I would not have minded doing such a thing. I said what I did because of having the fear that the Canes would keep Josef due to the occasional blather about all the "untapped potential" he supposedly has. The only "untapped potential" I remember from the dude is his sweet pass to Martin Gelinas to win the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals. Five years is a long time to keep someone who doesn't do diddly around...even if part of those five years was spent in Nashville...

That said, why Jim Rutherford decided to bring the guy back this past season will always be quite a perplexer...on up there with the forming of Stonehenge, that face on Mars, and whatever the heck happened to Chuck Cunningham...

Current Music: "Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth..." by Primitive Radio Gods

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Congrats to the Ducks...who, with their winning good ol' Lord Stanley, have completed an interesting coincidence. Like the Canes making up for their 2002 loss with their 2006 win, the Ducks made up for their 2003 loss with tonight's win.

Oh, Senators...maybe, MAYBE I would have pity for you if it weren't for a certain shot that your Captain did in Game Four. Tsk, tsk, tsk...

Current Music: "Phantom Lord" by Metallica

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Congratulations, Music Choice.

If you've been trying to give me nightmares, I think you may have finally succeeded.

So I'm sitting here, getting my nighty Adventure Quest dose, and listening to the MC's Smooth Jazz station...when all of a sudden, I glance up at the TV to see what song is playing, and
THIS embraces my eyes and mind. o_O

Between that, and
"Thelonious Moog's" interesting rendition of Focus' "Hocus Pocus" somehow passing for Smooth Jazz*, AND Talking Book being considered Smooth Jazz**, it's a freakin' miracle that I have not totally quit on Music Choice, period. ESPECIALLY ever since I've made Stanley, my Gigabeat digital music player, a practical radio station on my stereo, thanks to my discovery of RockBox a couple of months ago.

But alas, I have to have a source for discovering new tunes to like...especially since I'm not enamoured with XM/Sirius' fees currently, AND VH1 Classic has become VH1 Crap. I mean, seriously, where have all the videos gone? If I wanted lists, artist/band bios, etcetera, I'd watch the "normal" VH1 instead...that is, whenever they're not showing "Celeb-Reality" and/or "I Love New York". *sighs and rolls her eyes*

Current Music: "Feeling Good" by Randy Crawford and Joe Sample

* - It's not necessarily Thelonious Moog themselves and their material I have a problem with...just the fact that Music Choice has the damned gall to consider said material "Smooth Jazz". Heck, it's not even regular Jazz for that matter. BUT overall, other than that, it's really hard to complain about two guys who have an obvious delightful sense of humor, as demonstrated by their American Standard album's cover sporting the two drawn as cartoons holding toilet implements. Just like why Dave Barry excluded The Rivingtons (makers of such fine, classic, booty-shakin' tunes like "Papa Oom Mow Mow" and "The Bird Is The Word") from
his infamous Bad Song Survey: Thelonious Moog's concept is so bad, it's good.

** - I do like two songs by Talking Book..."Your Soul Baby" and "Now (Instrumental)". The latter is easily the only thing by them that passes for Smooth Jazz. The former is a *very good* song, but is definitely more of a 70's Pop/Soul throwback than Smooth Jazz.

Not to mention that "Story of Life" seriously needs to go...did the world *really* need another bad O-Jays soundalike song? Ugh. Come to think of it, the only O-Jays songs I like are "Love Train", "Back Stabbers", and "For The Love of Money" (a.k.a. the 'Money, Money, Money' song), and those are guilty pleasures at best. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I think I like "FtLoM" because I think I could plink out the first few notes of that song the next time I happen upon a Casio/Yamaha keyboard set up for people to goof around on at a Sam's Warehouse or Wal-Mart. Hey, if I could/can plink out the legendary keyboard sequence backing up Greg Lake's vocals in the first couple of verses of ELP's "Knife Edge", then why not the opening to "$,$,$"?

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Monday, June 04, 2007

No Pictures, Please!

Fighting pictures, that addressed by a fellow reader to the Raleigh News and Observer...

"Jerry Barker of Raleigh wrote a letter to the sports editor, published Sunday, that urged The N&O to not publish photographs of NHL players fighting. Barker wrote: “Do everything you can to help promote good sportsmanship, positive fan behavior, civility and good, clean competition.”..."

I will admit that when I first got into hockey in 2002, I was very mixed about fighting...but that all changed rather rapidly when I noticed how much of a necessary evil it is. Without fighting, you would have crap like what Pronger did to McAmmond in Saturday's game, what Scott Stevens has done to quite a few players in his career, etc. happen way more often than such events have overall. I have been AND still am of complete belief that there is no better way of telling a team and/or certain members on it to "cut the crap" than fighting.

If there is anything in that sentence from Barker's letter that throws me for a loop, it's that bit about "...positive fan behavior...". Bzuh? Has the N&O published pictures of fans fighting that I have somehow missed?! Last time I checked, it's pictures of PLAYERS fighting, NOT FANS.

But overall,
Mr. Barky Von Schnauzer needs to get a, grip. And the following goes for not only him, but also a lot of those trying to soften up hockey by having the fisticuffs removed: It ain't gonna happen, OK?! I have lost count of how many times I have laughed at the nuts who say one of the most beautiful things about "the new NHL" is the "the lack of fighting"...I don't know what games these people are looking at, but I am noticing just as many fights now as when the NHL was "old".

And speaking of "the old NHL" closing, here is a moment from then that proves that even the most sportsman-like of players found/find themselves in a situation where they had/have to put up their dukes...and were/are not afraid to do so.

Current Music: "Don't Forget Those Forgotten" by Nelson Rangell

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