Puck Sight (Sept. 4th)
Todays column starts off with a look at the status of two careers, one that has ended too early, and one that may have run for too long. I’ll also touch on a waiver draft opinion and some thoughts about uniforms.
Doug Gilmour’s much anticipated return to Toronto has apparently been quashed. The Toronto Star has quoted Leaf GM Pat Quinn as saying “He has not been a part of our plans, let’s say that.” After coming off a very disappointing season, Gilmour has been rumored to be going to a handful of teams. Perhaps now however, “Killer’s” career is finally dead.
In Edmonton, just as one Comrie career is about to take off, the other’s has ended prematurely. Paul Comrie announced his retirement late last week citing lingering effects from a concusion he suffered 19 months ago. The elder Comrie brother saw action in only 15 NHL games before being sent down to Hamilton of the AHL. Shortly thereafter he took the injury which has now claimed his dream. Paul asks that no one feels sympathetic for him, “I’m very fortunate. Not only did I make the NHL but I got to do it in my home town.” The 21 year old’s only regret is that he will not get the chance to play professionally with his younger brother Mike, Edmonton’s top prospect.
The waiver draft is usually considered a waste of time, if it’s considered at all. Most teams don’t take part in the annual auction of players. This year though I expect more teams than normal may be jumping into the draft. With the sudden interest in role players and experienced players, the waiver draft seems well stocked. Also this season, more teams than normal might be looking for goaltending depth. Sometimes, not often but sometimes, a diamond in the rough comes through the waiver route. Two names that come to mind: Steve Sullivan and Ray Whitney. Sullivan was nabbed by the Hawks from the Leafs while Florida robbed the Oilers of Whitney.
A 6 team tournament is about to get underway in Traverse City, MI. Atlanta, Columbus, Detroit, Nashville, Minnesota and St. Louis have all rookie teams going head to head this week. Atlanta will be watching Ilya Kovalchuk to see how he measures up against other team’s prospects. Minnesota will be eyeing Kyle Wanvig, Nick Schultz and Dan Cavanagh while the Blue Jackets will get to see Pascal Leclaire in net for them.
Philadelphia has changed their road uniforms from the established orange and black to their old 3rd jersey. Now predominately black and white with some orange trim, it would seem another team has turned it’s back on tradition. Kudos to the Red Wings and the Canadiens for not changing a thing, seemingly almost since time began.
Worst uniforms in the league: The 3rd jersey of the Phoenix Coyotes , all green with a Picasso style dog!?! sheesh! Runner up prize might go to the Bruins’ salute to Winnie the Pooh.
Potential to replace Phoenix on the list of worst dressed: Edmonton who will unveil a 3rd jersey this year designed by Todd McFarlane. If that name sounds familiar it’s likely for two things; One, he’s the guy who paid a million bucks for Mark McGwire’s home run balls a couple years ago. Two, he’s an awesome artist, known for his revolutionary work on Spiderman and as the creator of the comic book “Spawn”. As one member of the ownership group of the Oilers, he has insider influence on the new look for the team. I’d bet against a traditional look on this one.
There should be a rule against more than one team having the exact same colour schemes. Chicago had the black, red and white first. Then Ottawa came in, and that was annoying but acceptable to a point because you could argue that they had it first (some 70 years earlier). But then New Jersey swithced from their red and green, and then the Sabres from their old blue and gold. There are enough colour combinations out there that there should be no need to be so similar to another team.
Maybe colours should be city coordinated like they seem to be in Pittsburgh. The Penguins, Pirates and Steelers are all black and gold. I think the Stars would look great in the colours of the Dallas Cowboys. The Coyotes in the Arizona Cardinals brick-red and gold. The Kings/LA Raiders again. Just a thought, I think you’d have a hard time convincing the Anaheim Angels to wear the colours of the Mighty Ducks.
writer for the Oilers, 2002 Olympics and Puck Sight.