Even More Rumblings and Grumblings from Around the League

Another week has passed and we are now passing the one quarter-mark of this 2002-03 season. As always, there are lots of issues to discuss and I’m sure everyone out there in HTR land has an opinion about one or all of them. Trades, rumors, firings, and off-ice happenings are the meat and potatoes of this website, and I am all to happy to throw some scraps out to the starving poor – especially on a slow day like today.


If there is one coach in the League who had better start working on his resume, it is Greg Gilbert of the Calgary Flames. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been growing sentiment that Gilbert would be the first of the coaching fraternity to get the boot. After Thursday’s sixth consecutive loss, it seems like the countdown to his tenure’s demise has begun. While it’s easy to say that a coach should be fired, hiring a new one is another problem in and of itself. Bob McKenzie of TSN speculates that the new man in Horse Town could be none other than current Dallas Stars executive (also former coach and GM) Bob Gainey. McKenzie thinks that Gainey is tiring of his desk job in Texas, and could be ready for another challenge. There is a connection, as Flames GM Craig Button worked under Gainey in Dallas. Other candidates available include Ron Wilson, Alain Vigneault, and the most heard from the vox populi, Ted Nolan.

My take: I agree with McKenzie on this one. The Flames are in desperate need of a swift kick in the ass, and a big name like Gainey, with a world of experience behind him, could be just the tonic for what ails the Calgary franchise. Gilbert seems to have just lost the team. It would have been interesting to see how someone like Gainey would have handled Marc Savard.


Bolt your doors, put the kids to bed, and tell the wife to go sew something because another NHL star player is criticizing the officiating. If you need extra incentive to do those things, it’s Chris Chelios who has opened his mouth – yet again. In an interview published in yesterday’s Detroit Free Press (which you can’t just take off the news stand, they actually want you to pay for it – what’s up with that?) the Methuselan blueliner went on one of his patented tirades about the state of the game and the rule changes – sorry, rule ENFORCEMENTS – that went into effect this season. In classic Chelios style, he opined that “prima donna” players are “crying about hooking and holding.” He also echoed similar statements about the officials that players like Brett Hull, Eric Lindros, Marc Bergevin, and Mark Recchi had already made public. Saying that it was not the fault of the referees, but the league itself: “You don’t know what they’re calling, and they don’t know what they’re calling.” He also went on to say that the game is being ruined “no matter what Mario says.” Seeing as how a not-so-well-known player like Bergevin can be fined a grand for comments of that ilk, it is logical to assume that Chelios will be getting a payroll deduction in the coming week.

My take: What can I say, it is Chris Chelios. This is, after all, the man who flew into a fit of unbridled rage after a Barca lounger looked at him the wrong way. That being said, I am not going to agree with him completely, but his comments do have a hint of merit. I think the players need to have some degree of patience, as the referees are still working out what has to be called and what doesn’t. Also, we would do well to remember that Chelios himself embodies the clutching-and-grabbing style that the league so despises. His thinly veiled insult at Lemieux was un-called for, as Damien Cox so eloquently put it: “The question seems straightforward. Do we want a game preferred by Chris Chelios, or one preferred by Mario Lemieux? Let’s just say a lot more people buy tickets to watch Lemieux and leave it at that.”


Chicago Blackhawks winger Theoren Fleury has been cleared to resume practicing with his team, although there is no indication as to when he will actually return to the lineup. Fleury was suspended indefinitely on October 8 for violation of his NHL-mandated substance abuse aftercare program. The diminutive winger’s problems are well-documented, both on and off the ice, and it remains to be seen whether or not he can resume his playing career and stay sober AND sane at the same time. ‘Hawks general manager Mike Smith has gone on the record as saying: “It would be completely illogical to keep him out for seven weeks, and in two days, you go from sitting at home to playing in a game.” Fleury will join the Blackhawks tonight in Phoenix, where he will begin full workouts with the team.

My take: I think this is way too soon. Alcoholism/addiction isn’t the kind of thing that ever fully goes away. Yes, it must have been nice for him to relax for a couple months, but shouldn’t he have done that in the off-season? Or just call it quits altogether to play it safe for his own health? Smith is right, he’s not going to come back and be a 30 goal man after his relapse and treatment. Time heals all wounds, and Fleury seems like the type who likes to pick his scabs. This isn’t a good thing.


With the kind of season the Tampa Bay Lightning are having, is it to early to think about the playoffs? Evidently not. Reports out of the erstwhile Ice Palace indicate that the team may be in the market for a goaltender to take some of the workload off of Nikolai Khabibulin’s shoulders. The braintrust obviously does not want to over-work the brilliant ‘Bulin Wall, as they have seen what effect that can have on a netminder when the post-season rolls around (see Brodeur, Martin). Fragile forward Fredrik Modin and inconsistent blueliner Pavel Kubina are thought to be on the block as this team looks to gear up for a playoff run.

My take: Not a bad idea. It at least shows that the team is serious about making the post-season. Although who is available and would take Modin or Kubina? Jamie Storr might be an option, and Modin actually could help out the struggling LA power play. Craig Billington could be made available as well, especially if the Capitals don’t right themselves by season’s end. Modin could also be a replacement for the bust that Dainius Zubrus has become.


For the first time since last spring’s playoffs, Byron Dafoe will see live action in an NHL game. Dafoe, who last faced the Montreal Canadiens back in April, faces that team again as he returns to the league with the Atlanta Thrashers tonight. He replaces Pasi Nurminen and Milan Hnilicka, who combined for a 3.80 GAA and a 5-13-1-1 record. Dafoe won 35 games for the Boston Bruins last year while posting a 2.21 GAA. His opposition is a struggling Jose Theodore, who back in April was standing on his head en route to dispatching Dafoe and the Bruins to an early playoff exit, but has struggled through the first quarter of this season with a 4-6-2 record and a 3.61 GAA.

My take: Good to see Dafoe back at work, and it is only fitting that he seek redemption against the team that saw fit to end his Bruin career. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ll be pulling for him tonight, and if there is such a thing as poetic justice, Lord Byron will score a goal in the closing seconds of tonight’s contest. I don’t expect him to be a savior for the Thrashers, but he makes this team instantly better. He will see a lot of shots and needs to get out the WD-40 early to get rid of all his rustiness, because the porous Atlanta defense won’t be of much help.

That’s it for now – Release the hounds!

Adding some salt and pepper to this:


(Nov. 26th) According to published reports, the Edmonton Oilers are speaking with the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres in regards to forward Todd Marchant.

(Nov. 26th) Bruins general manager Mike O’Connell said yesterday that none of the recent trade rumors regarding recalcitrant defenseman Kyle McLaren are true, reports the Boston Herald. He also said he hasn’t shut the door on the holdout restricted free agent defenseman returning to the Bruins, although that seems highly unlikely. The rumor mill has been working overtime the last few days with speculation that McLaren, and possibly teammate Martin Lapointe, could wind up in Colorado or New York. O’Connell said there have been a number of teams who contacted him recently about McLaren as the rumors circulated. “Everyone’s calling because I’m sure the press is asking them if they’re involved in the McLaren situation,” O’Connell said. “If a deal is made, they want to be sure they get in on it. People are still kicking tires.”

(Nov. 26th) Since February 20th, 2001 (when Felix Potvin was traded to Los Angeles), the 31-year-old goalie has posted the 3rd most amount of wins amongst NHL goalies, and only four other netminders have compiled lower goals-against averages. However, according to the LA Times, the Kings seem reluctant to commit to Potvin. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent when his contract runs out at midnight June 30. GM Dave Taylor has said he would like to sign Potvin to a multi-year deal, but no offer has been forthcoming. “We just haven’t had any talks,” Taylor said Monday. “We’ve just been focused on the games.”

86 Responses to Even More Rumblings and Grumblings from Around the League

  1. big_booty says:

    It does indeed. I use Brazilian coffee myself, in a french press. Best in the free world, if you ask me.

  2. big_booty says:

    What can I say? I’m taking it to Thanksgiving dinner for my mother. She likes that “Arbor Mist” fruit-flavored crap, as do most of the women in my family.

    Speaking of wine, there was an interesting article in Sports Illustrated a while back about hockey players who are wine conniseurs. Scott Stevens, Joe Juneau, Steve Konowalchuk, all these guys have extensive cellars and really know their stuff. I found it interesting that people who go out and rough each other up on the ice are civilized enough to enjoy the finer things like a nice glass of vino. Kind of goes against the stereotypical case of Molson after a game.

    Didn’t mean to go of on a tangent, just trying to get back to hockey talk.

  3. Aetherial says:

    Suggestions are great but they have to have some reasonablility attached.

    Of all the players the Leafs seem willing to get rid of there are few that would even get picked up off of waivers.

    The only trade bait the Leafs have is:






    *maybe* Antropov

    *maybe* Renberg



    I don’t think anyone wants:








    So, I doubt they will trade anyone from the top list and the bottom list would pretty much clear waivers.

    They are in real trouble. If not t his year. then next. Look for them to sign some UFA or even an RFA but that won’t be until the summer.

  4. Enchilada says:

    Thank you mikster for the additional comments they were helpful to give more clarity to an already well written article. It was alot to read, but very informative piece, one of the best in a while

  5. mikster says:

    Remember this big_booty,

    The finer things in life like wine can always be discussed between other topics.

    Good to know people are starting to learn about wine, especially in North america. Wine is a delicacy, and i am always for the red wine.

    French wine is so popular for no reason. Their wine is not natural and they add sugar, yuk. Italian wine….mostly the northern wine (above tuscany) are much better, ALL NATURAL. Chianti is as cheap as it tastes, since it’s from Tuscany. If the boys in your family (dad for the most part) are interested in wines, heck i’ll name you some good ones so you can show off! And no, i won’t give you expensive name, actually there is this really good one that ranges from 10 to 15 bucks.

    Ok, i am getting way off the topic here. Tonight i’ll have some cheese and red wine.

    And, by the way…

    Did the “adding some salt and pepper” phrase made you think that it meant for your article to ‘taste’ better? If that’s the reason, then….that is not what i meant at all. If that’s not it, well then you misunderstood why i just added the extra rumors/notes.

    I really did not try to make your article better. I did not change any wording or phrasing, nor did i add the extras as part of your article. I just did it completely different, on purpose, to let people know it was not yours.

  6. mikster says:

    Thanks, but all i did was copy and paste! Big_booty wrote the main article.

  7. MantaRay says:

    Your right on target Minnie Driver and a very young Helen Mirron (for those of you who have seen the epic “Caligula).

    Betty Rubble is ok, but if your going to dig in the archives: Melody from Josie and the Pussycats……gggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrwwwwwwllllllllll!

  8. MantaRay says:

    Yes, yes, yeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssss!!!

    Liv Tyler and Natalie Portmen!!!!

  9. Tradedude says:

    no i rather not read stuff about rangers coaching job in jepeordy or whatever.

  10. Avalanche114 says:

    i have got the answer..soccer nets!!

  11. leafsrule31 says:

    ohhh man.. there gonna rip you apart

  12. leafsrule31 says:

    you leaf fans?.. ive said since the end of the playoffs that they should trade him for picks while he has any value at all.

    assclown.. not all leaf fans think the same things at the exact same time.

  13. leafsrule31 says:

    easy on your typical leaf fan this and that there napolean. just because one crackpot leaf fan comes up with a brutal rumor for the first time in like 6 months doesnt mean every single leaf fan shares the thoughts. french dumbass

  14. leafsrule31 says:

    whaaaaa… who needs to grow up?.. you freaking child

  15. leafsrule31 says:

    thus.. proving that NONE of you.. have ANY lives. and the only reason you come on HTR is for a little reading material while the porn loads. losers..

  16. Freeze says:

    Right On!!! This guy’s a pompous and hateful asshole. If he was such a talented and knowledgeable hockey writer, wouldn’t he be doing it professionally????

  17. OldTimeHockey_28 says:

    Listen here fat a$$. Although Corson is worth nothing more than a used jock strap. Tucker does have a ton of value. And would be snatched up in a second if offered. He’s just one of those players that everyone hates until he’s on their team.

  18. OldTimeHockey_28 says:

    I’ll add a couple more to your wanted list

    Pilar–talented dman. as good as kaberle in a couple years

    Antropov–definitely. Has been the cornerstone in many of Toronto’s trades that went sour

    McCauley–Although not the marquee player in the trade would fit in nicely with a multi player deal

    Roberts when healthy would be an incredible leader on a team like Florida or Atlanta.

    Plus they have 3 young talented goalies in the minors. Telqvist, Centemo and that other guy from Quebec. Can’t remember his name.

    But they are dead in the water if they don’t figure out what they are going to do. Either rebuild or empty the bank and go all out. Stop being happy selling seats and try to put a winner out there.

  19. beckfan says:

    Chelios is right people. This league has turned into pond hockey and it all started when Gretzky started to bitch about fighting. When the league steped in and started ti give insitgators and game misconducts, the game lost some of its lust. Tell me, wasnt it graet to see two rivals beat the snot outta each other in a bench clearing brawl?! Well after all those crackdowns, Lemieux bitched about the clutching and grabbing. Well the league has really cracked down on that this season and its gotten ridiculos. One game this season Lindros was called for a penalty when he and another player skated into each other and the other player was smaller and got knocked down. FOR WHAT?! Pussy ass Lemeiux has gotten his way this time and now the league is shit just so this ass can save his sorry ass team and try and break some of Gretzkys records. It was probably better off if he never came out of retirement .

  20. OldTimeHockey_28 says:

    First of all the leafs wouldn’t let Pilar go. Too Much Promise!

  21. OldTimeHockey_28 says:

    I left this place a year because of a$$holes like big fat a$$. I come back and it seems worst. But only because this ignorant, immature, idiotic, child chooses to read every article in here and instead of posting something worth while in response, or atleast a counter argument about HOCKEY, he choose to insult every member in here, their children, and their dog, which i’m sure is just his way of bringing forth his sick fantasy…..

    How does it go big booty…


    Your a child now bugger off!

  22. OldTimeHockey_28 says:

    Does that make any sense????

    The goalies are better now, so we want to take something away from them so they are worst.

    Come on dude.

    When Gretzky scored 200 points did we say…oh come on, take him down a notch. Make him play with a stick 2 feet too short, or one skate. NO WE DIDN”T. We enjoyed his skill. Now the most talked about players in the league are the tenders. And for good reason.

    Goalies like Pat Roy, Dominick Hasek and Martin Brodeur have revolutionized the game and how it is played today. They should be commended on their skill not penalized.

    Hell here’s an idea. Let’s het ya some smaller pads and a smaller glove(less pocket i’m assuming is what you mean)

    Ok Al Macinnis. Line it up FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BROKEN HAND because instead of going into the now smaller pocket it hit the palm of your hand.

    This time keep it down Al, aaron’s hand is broken…Ok ready..FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WHACK!!!!! Damn that is going to be the worst charlie horse ever. Probably some eternal bleeding. Oh don’t cry. I’ll go get a doctor…

    Hurts doesn’t it?

    For your info. Until they stop making sticks better so every player can fire a howitzer at the goalie, tenders should not even have to think about reducing their equipment size.

  23. leafsrule31 says:

    mike minard.. and jamie hodson to your list of young talented goalies. id even put josh holden.. paul healey and alexi ponikarovsky on the list of trade bait

  24. titans says:

    the porn downloading slows down my computer too much to post comments.

  25. Tony says:

    His team is third in the western conference without Yzerman in the lineup. I think they are performing fine.

  26. Aetherial says:

    Healy, Holden and Ponikarovsky are 3rd liners at best.

    It is not that they *couldn’t* trade these guys, just that they won’t get anything but equal value in return… certainly nothing that would make any significant impact.

  27. Aetherial says:

    Oh Yeah I’d take a run at the 70’s show redhead.

    Marge Simpson? Sure!

    Two of my faves… Judge Judy and The Weakest Link chick… now THAT is wierd! I dunno they are both real smart and kinda bitchy… I like that 🙂

  28. Aetherial says:

    Rene Zellweger is also a hottie.

    Katherine Bell (from Jag I think?) yum!

  29. BayStBullies says:

    I agree as well,but by calling him names it doesn’t do anything.I don’t know but ,big_booty seems to have self esteem issues or something.He likes making snide remarks about other articles but when someone makes a remark about his article he get’s all defensive.He should get the boot if he continues ,but we could always ignore him.

  30. YingYan says:

    at least i can agree with that. I HATE divers except when i dive my ‘Minnie’ me in Liv Tyler or Nathalie Portman.

  31. YingYan says:

    Jealousy, denial, cognitive distortion. GET A LIFE da game is as physical as ever LOSER. ;oD

  32. NYIchooch75 says:

    I was hoping that the Islanders could trade Kvasha and Eric Manlow for LaPointe and McLaren, then trade Lapointe to Toronto for McAuley and Sundin!

    Gee, then they could trade McLaren to the Av’s for Sakic and Forsberg. Oh, they would toss in Sven Butenschon and we can get Tanguay.

  33. BayStBullies says:

    What have you’ve been watching?.Mario is indeed a great talent ,no doubt,but his constant whining and bitching is getting old.Can’t recall what game it was ..anyways some player checked him and he raised his hands like someone just stole his purse.

  34. jammer21 says:

    well, Tucker does have some value, but he is not worth even HALF of Shane Doan. Doan is a scorer hitter and leader. Tucker is a pest, with a bit of a scoring touch who happens to be chickensh*t.

  35. Avalanche114 says:

    Ok, hockey was in bad shape last year, ratings sucked, the top scorer only had 51 goals, i found myself thinking..were have all the goal-scorers gone? They were all stuck in “the trap”. Last year was one of the most boring hockey seasons i can remember. The new rules speed up the tempo of the game, and make is so retards like Chris Chelios can’t slow it down, hockey is a high-paced highly skilled game, it is also very physical, but i think the new rules make it more balanced. And as for the crappy penalty calling, its early, give the damn refs a break, they are still figuring out what should be what, it will bet better as time goes on..

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