On this glorious American holiday known as SuperBowl Sunday, I present: the MantaRay Power-rankings for games ending 1/25/03.
-Stars, Flyers continue hot January.
-Red Wings stumble
-The B’s are back in town again.
Middle of the Pack:
-Roy lifts AV’s
-Ranger$ in move out of bottom dweller status?
Bottom of the Barrel:
-Watch out for the Yotes
-Pred’s alternate with Sabres….again.
-Could be the last time the Thrashers are #30.
You may say it’s just that rush many teams get when a new coach is hired, and you could be right. But this looks like a totally different team under the direction of Hartley, with only one loss in his first six games. They will cool off in time, of course. But his teaching, demand for hard work and defense-first philosophy is rubbing off on the players and they are responding well. Even with this improved play, a top five pick in the entry draft still looks to be the Thrashers fate. However, they are slowly but surely gaining the respect of their opponents.
There are three things that stir much discussion amongst the men in my family.
1) Why did they cancel Baywatch? (Briefly, the synopsis of every show: “Quick, we’ve got to disarm the bomb and make it back in time for the big bikini contest.”)
2) My Aunt Effie’s Jellied Carrot and Raisin Salad. (Is it dessert or a side dish)
3) The officiating in the NHL sucks.
Top Stories in the NHL today include rumors on Kovalev to Leafs, that their fans are taking the Kovie situation too far, and the Pens need immediate help, players that can easily fit in with the Pens. Also, Don Cherry said it all last week as he was a solid boost to putting the STOP sticker on the their helmet that may prevent young hockey players from getting crippled. Bob Boughner from the Flames also had some words for Bryden. Sabres to cough up some cash and other rumors surrounding the NHL lately.
Ok, as most of you know, I posted about the Fantasy Gambling Game on HTR a few days ago.
Before I start the game, and then have a zillion questions and confusions by members, I want to do a Demo Week of the game with a bunch of members. Reason is, so everyone will understand it and follow the right procedures.
So, I will have two Divisions, and I need 12 members to participate.
Kovalev is not going to be a Leaf because Quinn will think about the move till someone else beats him to the punch. The roster has been basically the same for the last few years with the exception of a few free agents to plug holes left by other free agents but Quinn the GM does not make moves or promote young talent and his history shows it. He lets talent rot in the minors and plays stiffs in the NHL. He is too in love with the players he has.
André Savard knew that Jeff Hackett would be going to Boston when he did the trade with the Sharks…
The Forth Period has reported that it’s not a matter of if Alexei Kovalev will become a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, its just when, and what will it cost them. Although there were originally rumored to be five teams in the running for the Penguin’s superstar, the New York Rangers are really the only team that could stand in the way of Kovalev going to Toronto. Dallas owner Tom Hicks, in the midst of selling the club has clearly stated they will not make a move of this magnitude, and the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders simply cannot take on a soon-to-be $9 million/year player. Detroit, one club who could afford Kovalev, is not in the running and is more in need of a defenseman. As has been reported here, the Wings are rumored to be in discussions with Phoenix regarding captain Teppo Numminen, who would likely request a pay raise and a contract extension in order to waive his no-trade clause. Which brings us to the Rangers, a team with a seemingly never-ending warchest. If GM Glen Sather could sell ownership on approving bringing in Boris Mironov and his $3.3 million salary, I’m sure he could get their blessing to bring back former Ranger Kovalev and his impending contract.
This is an interesting idea for a restructured NHL, submitted to the Globe and Mail.
It presents the idea of the NHL as a proper business organization, something that provides some true merit and would solve a lot of the problems existing in the league right now.
Of course, there is no way this would happen, but it is certainly an interesting prospect.
MapleLeafs:The Fourth Period has reported that the Los Angeles Kings are exploring the possibility of trading leading scorer Ziggy Palffy before the deadline, according to Matt McHale of the Los Angeles Daily News. As previously reported by TFP, the Kings owners are not happy with the amount of money the team is losing. Despite satisfactory play, Palffy will earn $7.25 million this year, and has a team option for next year at $7.5 million. He would seem to be the first place to look if ownership wanted to cut costs. The option year of the contract places management in an interesting predicament. If Palffy is not traded before the deadline the team would be faced with either picking up the option after the season, or not exercising the option and let him become a free agent without compensation. Clearly if the Kings have decided that they arent willing to pay $7.5 million for Palffy’s services next year, it would make much more sense to trade him now and get something in return, than to let him walk after the season and receive nothing.
Could Chris Drury be heading back to the avs? Well according to the TFP and CBC Colorado is looking to re-acquire the struggling forward. This means that the avs are admitting that they made a mistake when they traded him. But what do the avs have to send the other way? any ideas? If this went down look for the avs to make a run at the division and make it eight strait.
OK I have heard enough about McLaren, Kovalev and all the other rumors for now. Let’s have a little fun and see who can come up with the best HOCKEY Berman-inspired nicknames.
(Jan. 22) As the Islanders embark on a two-game road trip starting Friday night in Philadelphia, the news of a pair of key injuries came down on Wednesday. Defenseman Eric Cairns will be out up to six weeks with a dislocated shoulder. Chris Osgood is out 3-4 weeks with a sprained ankle.
Rick DiPietro and Ray Schultz have been recalled from AHL Bridgeport.
This is in addition to having top 2 defenseman Adrian Aucoin on IR as well.
It will be interesting to see what Milbury does now. Obviously holding onto DiPietro looks good now, but with 2 of the top 6 defensemen on the shelf for extended periods of time, I wonder if Milbury will look again at the McLaren move now that Isbister is back in the lineup.
Yesterday the Philadelphia Flyers landed Jamie Wright from the Calgery Flames Organization. I was unable to find much on Mr. Wright but for what it’s worth (not to much if you ask me) here is what I know….
Ok, I was talking to Trademan last night, and we were talking about the site’s progress (now reached another milestone 4500 members). I mentioned, “it has been a while since I have not come up with an idea.” And he replied “oh….yes…..yes it has.” Kind of like a Brittish movie. “Oh…hello…I was just visiting…”. “Oh…ok..I was just…setting up these matches.” “Oh…well….I think I am going to leave now….” “…Yes…I think you better have.”
Ever notice how in the dead of winter, the greatest sport on earth is played on ice indoors? My fiancee posed that little Seinfeldism to me last night as I tried (yet again) to explain the nuances of the sport. Trying to define “butterfly style” to an architechture student proved to be an interesting philosophical discussion. Her favorite question of the night was: “Who’s the cute hockey player in that Toyota commercial?” Nevertheless, here we are in the dead of winter, and there’s lots to discuss – trade winds blowing, great games being played, coaches on the hot seat, etc. No time for love, Dr. Jones.
Blackhawks officials are investigating the circumstances of an altercation at an Ohio strip club that allegedly involved Theo Fleury and two other players, team sources said Tuesday.
Last Night “The Detroit Sports Report” (Fox Sports) reported that the Wings captain is ready for action. They went on to say not to get too excited yet though, because Yzerman doesn’t know yet how effective he would be come game time. “I’m participating in just about everything in practice, but I dont know how well that would carry over to the game” Yzerman said.
Expect Stevie to return to action sometime in the next month.
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I’m just giving an update to the fans that aren’t aware of the trade plans the Leafs have this season:
Clarke had a few comments for the Philly Inquirere today regarding future moves and big named players who may be available: