DG's Hit List
IT’s almost June. The sun is shining, the year is half gone and the Stanley Cup Play-offs are winding down. I’ve also decided, with the year half gone, to compose a list of my picks for the ten best and worst movers and shakers in the hockey world, listed in no particular order. The list is divided in two groups: the “Best”, those hockey figures who have distinguished themselves as elite individuals, while the “Worst” are, predictably, those figures who need to give their heads a shake. For a list of the movers and shakers on a world scale, visit my Web Site at www.theranter.4dw.com or click on the link at the end of the article.
Without further adieu, here’s the list:THE BEST
1. Jose Theodore- The Montreal Canadiens goaltender proved himself as an emerging star by stealing many games for the Habs and steering the Canadiens past the Boston Bruins in the first round of the play-offs. He may or may not be the next Patrick Roy, but he’ll definitely be a good one in future years.
2. Wayne Gretzky- The “Great One” proved at the Olympics that he can both lead on the ice and off it. Congratulations Wayne from all of us at HTR on your first Olympic gold medal. You deserve it.
3. Ron Francis- At 39, he’s two years older than his coach, Paul Maurice, but he’s playing as if he’s 21. In the meantime, the Carolina Hurricanes’ captain is leading a surprising Hurricanes charge and, hey, if the pieces fall in the right place, Tobbacco Road just may bring back something silver later in June…
4. Pat Quinn- After witnessing the Toronto Maple Leafs win two play-off rounds that they shouldn’t have won, you almost can’t stop but notice how good of a coach Quinn really is. He’s practically the only explanation why Toronto/St. John’s can get to the third round, and, after winning the gold medal for Team Canada, Quinn has proven himself as a winner. Whether or not the Leafs win the Cup, it is still Quinn’s best season to date and could be for a long time.
5. Jarome Iginla- The dynamo was electrifying during the Olympics, and managed to win the Art Ross trophy with little help. Not only that, but Iginla also bought a hotel room for a couple of Team Canada “roadies” during the Olympics. Who said star athletes are all self-centred?
1. Gary Betteman- Almost a lock for this list. How many times can the guy take before he finally gets the message?
2. Colin Campbell- Let’s see: plays that should have been suspensions that were never reviewed, erratic suspensions when they do happen, more questions and concerns over the officiating, and, overall, a rather lacklustre performance from the National Hockey League’s disciplinarian. No wonder the NHL misses Brian Burke so much.
3. Markus Naslund- Yes, you’re reading this correctly: Markus Naslund is on the “Worst” list. How, you ask? Simple: as the team captain, Naslund has to be able to rile up his teammates and pull them out of disappointments. What does Naslund have to show for himself? Three straight years of prolonged in-season swoons that cost the Vancouver Canucks valuable play-off positioning, the complete destruction of the Canucks in the play-offs this year against a Detroit Red Wings team that could have been beaten, and only one assist the entire series. He’s got two years to correct himself.
4. Thereon Fluery- Showed so much promise during the Olympics, literally being everywhere for Team Canada, then proceeded to revert back to the whiny, cry-baby self from the start of the season. Frankly, I’m weeping for him only because he had so much potential that he’s letting slip away.
5. Robert Reichel- Barely any play-off production from the Czech centre at a time when the Toronto Maple Leafs need him the most. Would it be too kind to say that he’s an expensive failure?
There you have it: my list for the best and worst movers and shakers in the hockey world. Feel free to comment on this list and/or even provide your own. For a list of the movers and shakers in the world today, click here.