Puck Sight (Aug.29)
Another round of quick notes for everybody to chew on and digest. Some interesting stats I noticed when looking at last season, as well as a few contract battles going on.
Ever notice how the same people who condemn Detroit, Philly, New York, St. Louis, Dallas and Colorado for spending way to much money are the same people who criticize Ted Turner and Disney for not doing the same with the Thrashers and the Ducks?
The Chicago Sun-Times quotes Tony Amonte’s agent, Michael Gillis, as saying that it is highly unlikely that his client will be a Blackhawk after this season. Apparently the new deadline for an extension is now September 10th, the day training camp opens. Can the Hawks possibly afford to lose Amonte and still hope to keep any fans? GM Smith sites Los Angeles’ dealings with Rob Blake as his proof that it can be done.
3 high profile Senators could be sitting out when camp opens in two weeks. The Ottawa Citizen says that Daniel Alfredsson and the team are a million bucks apart on a 2 year deal. Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara also are at odds with the Sens management.
A quick look at last year’s stats show that of the top 12 hitters in the league, only two are forwards. Carolina’s Jeff O’Neill ranked 6th and, new Bruin, Martin Laponite placed 7th.
The three players who rank at the top of the “give away” list are all from one team. Sergei Zubov led the way with a whopping 145 turnovers. He was followed by Mike Modano and Derian Hatcher, each had 132.
On the other side of the coin, Brian Leetch had the most steals with 106. Unfortunately for him and the Rangers, he fumbled the puck 131 times.
The most underated enforcer-who-can-play-too: Edmonton’s Georges Laraque. He scored 29 points, almost half of which were goals, and anchored the Oiler’s 4th line while even making PP appearances. He took a lot of heat in the local papers because he wasn’t getting into fights as he did the previous year but, truth of the matter is that few players will go with him. Georges pounding out a name for himself as the leagues toughest enforcer two season ago. The most obvious claim to the title came with his brutal dismantling of Buffalo’s Rob Ray. Now, a lot of goons won’t drop the gloves with him, such as Vancouver’s “tough guy” Donald Brashear.
And since we’re talking about Brashear… can he ,and all the other showboats, knock it off with the theatrics after they fight? The “dusting of the hands” thing has gotten really lame and makes for poor sportsmanship.
Finally, I’m not so sure Colorado should be considered the top team in the west anymore. They lost Bourque, haven’t replaced him or Jon Klemm or Dave Reid. Detroit and Dallas have improved significantly. Some would say that San Jose and St. Louis have too.
writer for the Oilers, the Olympics and Puck Sight