DG's Quick Hits- September 24, 2002

This week:

Jonsson: Not impressed with crackdown

Brian Burke wakes up

On the radar screen: Eddie Belfour, Nordique Imposters, the NHL’s worst team, Alexandre Daigle, Sam Roberts, NHL players slipping through the cracks, and more
JONSSON: NOT IMPRESSED WITH CRACKDOWN

The first dissent- and certainly not the last- of the National Hockey League’s obscruction crackdown spoke out today blasting obstruction. Kenny Jonsson of the New York Islanders declared that the crackdown was “sad” because there are an average of 20 penalties a game. “That’s not what fans want to see,” he said.

True Kenny, but fans want excitement. They don’t want hockey where players are hacking and pulling at each other, making hockey a tug-of-war/wrestling match. He did say that the NHL wants to improve scoring chances and that the crackdown was one way to help, but now that he’s complained, it’s only a matter of time before Don Cherry and other hockey notables complain and bring about the unfortunate end to the NHL’s umpteenth crackdown.

BRAIN BURKE WAKES UP

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Brian Burke woke up from his longest slumber ever and pulled off a trade, obtaining Sami Salo from the Ottawa Senators for holdout Peter Schaefer. After watching two of his core players- Andrew Cassels and Scott Lachance- walk without even an attempt to re-sign both, Burke had to do something, but he’s still not out of the dog house yet.

After a season where the Canucks’ season emulated a roller coaster ride bringing about probably the most successful finish yet, Burke was under fire for allowing the Canucks to worsen with the departures. With so much hope brought about with the two unexpected wins over the Detroit Red Wings, the Canucks’ faitful wanted something big to keep the momentum going, and, while Salo is a good sign, it’s not enough. Burke is still one of the NHL’s best GMs, but I’ve run out of patience with his patient style. Burke needs to learn that free agents can help a team, especially a rising one like the Canucks.

ON THE RADAR SCREEN

Welcome to Toronto: Eddie Belfour smoked for three goals and the Leafs for seven by the Ottawa Senators. Payback was sweet two nights later, though, as the Leafs won 3-1…The National Hockey League outdoors? Even in 30C temperatures? Odd. Soon enough, they’ll be playing beach volleyball in the Arctic with heated stadiums (by the way, if they do get that technology, could they spread it all over Canada so I don’t have to put up with winter?)…The Quebec Nordiques are back. Okay, not quite, but the Colorado Avalanche will be playing the Montreal Canadiens at Le Colisee. Sorry, but no matter how much they’ll hype it as the return of the Nords, I want the real Nords back…The Nashville Predators could be the NHL’s worst team. Then again, so could Toronto. Take your pick…Okay, I’m officially on the watch for the worst player to slip through the cracks and make it to a NHL roster. No, Tie Domi doesn’t count…Alexandre Daigle scored twice to help the Pittsburgh Penguins win their inagural pre-season game. That’s great. Now how long will it be before he gets bored?…Someone told me that someone in Montreal rocker Sam Roberts’ band played professional hockey at one point, but I haven’t been able to verify this rumour. Speaking of Roberts, he’s scruffy enough to have been a hockey player himself…Do the Buffalo Sabres have a chance? Only if Darcy Regier ever gets his act together…If you’re looking for the NHL player with the most hits, you won’t find it in the stats package anymore, as the NHL officially tossed them as official stats. Bryan McCabe applauded the move, saying they were unevenly recorded, but the Players’ Association is steaming because that stat helped arbitration. Sorry guys, but you’ll have to live with it, as the stat was pointless. By the way, Billboard won’t list the stat either…Taking (farmer’s) bets: how long do you think the NHL’s crackdown will last? Anybody for one month? How about two? How many of you are willing to say it will last? Not me…Sickening development: the New York Islanders’ “Ice Girls” and the Dallas Stars’ new version. Yeah, the girls may look nice, but why does the NHL have to resort to sleaze in order to sell? Dear…Finally, just in case any of you are wondering, the Top 100 of 1997-2002 will be up Sept. 30 along with the results of my “Hockey and Music” poll.

-DG


9 Responses to DG's Quick Hits- September 24, 2002

  1. freshprince says:

    Nice Post, but Brian Burke didn’t just wake up! Brian was a busy GM last season with the trades of Brashear, Pederson, Berehowsky and getting Letowski, Hlavac, Bouck and Warriner (he one both trades hands down).

    In the off-season he has made two minor trades with Toronto and signed minor players and Nolan Baumgartner, Jaroslav Obsut, Tyler Moss and Zarley Zalapski(bigger names).

    Burke has also been very busy negociating with Shaefer, Lachance and Cassels. He didn’t want to lose any of those players, he worked his butt of to try and help them stay.

    So to say that Burke has been sleeping the whole summer is not true, he has just been waiting for the right deal to come along (although i thought we could of got more for Shaefer).

  2. DG says:

    I understand where you’re coming from, but every summer Brian Burke makes a promise to improve the club and every summer he falls flat. I really think the Vancouver Canucks could have kept Andrew Cassels and Scott Lachance- they went for $100,000 (combined) less to the Columbus Blue Jackets than what they received in Vancouver. Then seeing other clubs pile up free agents at the Canucks’ expense and it became obvious to me that Burke wasn’t doing enough this summer, thus, he was asleep. I’m tired of him waiting- it’s about time the man made some snap moves, just how every other team ahead of them had done.

    -DG

  3. freshprince says:

    Brian Burke made a promise to his team. That promise was that if the team made the playoffs he won’t trade any of his core away.

    Cassels and Lachance went to find friends and money. Cassels went so he could get more playing time and to play with friend Geoff Sanderson (had his best season playing with Geoff in Hartford). Lachance left for money. Columbus offered more money than Vancouver.

    The fact that the Canucks are a Canadian based team means less money, less star players.

    Brian Burke has done a great job locking up his start players, Naslund, Bertuzzi, Ohlund and Jovo. He locked up those guys before they broke out. He locked Bertuzzi before the season started, wasn’t that smart.

    Brian Burke has done his best to improve the club without taking anything away from it.

  4. DG says:

    Still, the fact Brian Burke didn’t even try to replace Andrew Cassels and Scott Lachance- until now- is an unsettling one for me. As a Canuck fan, I keep hearing of players the Canucks go after but Vancouver never lands them. I’m not expecting them to haul in fifty free agents, but at least one would be nice, especially when I keep hearing of the Canucks’ “active” tactics to land one. I’m not disputing Burke wanting to keep the team together- hey, that’s great, chemistry is always good- or am I severely criticizing his patient approach. However, the sad reality is this year’s Canuck team is worse than last year’s only because Burke never tried to re-sign either player or tried replacing them (until now, of course) and the more patient he is, the less effective his stars will be because their “primes” won’t gel with when the team will be ready for a real run.

    As for Scott Lachance: well, he went for $500,000 more over two years, chimp change as far as anyone- Vancouver included- is concerned. Like I said, the Canucks could have easily re-signed both because they left for $100,000 yearly less than what they made in Vancouver, and the Canucks, no matter how much cash-strapped they may be, are easily Canada’s third wealthiest team ahead of Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa, so more can be expected of them.

    -DG

  5. freshprince says:

    I do believe they can and could spend a little more money. I am also pretty sure that during this “sleeping period” you say Brian Burke was in after he let Andrew Cassels go, i’m sure he was looking for a player that could possibly fill this role. He is also trying to improve this team.

    I like how you think though, your right in a lot of the sense but i just don’t agree with you saying that Brian Burke has been sleeping because i know he has been doing a lot for this team.

  6. DG says:

    Thanks, though understand I’m a frustrated Vancouver Canucks fan whose patience with the team is getting thinner as we speak. Perhaps I’m an impatient follower but so are so many Toronto Maple Leaf and Philadelphia Flyer fans. Yeah, Brian Burke may have done a lot, but I can’t get over this notion that he could have done more (almost like my opinion of Moby, by the way).

    -DG

  7. freshprince says:

    I know where your coming from, i am also a long time Canucks fan, i know what you mean.

  8. YingYan says:

    Jonsson is a jerk and players will eventually adapt or get out of the NHL if their only hope is playing dirty talentless pathetic pseudo-hockey.

  9. DG says:

    “Pseudo-hockey”- good one.:)

    -DG

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