Talking Out Loud!

Gosh darn it, he’s back…

In trying to play “catch-up” after my little vacation, I noticed the inevitable torrential deluge of “The %$#@^ Avalanche are buying the Stanley Cup” comments in the wake of Kariya / Selanne. You didn’t think I was going to let this continue unchecked, did you?

Let’s toss a few facts around and make a “brain salad”:

1.) Kariya – 1.2 million; Selanne – 5.6 million. If that’s “buying” the Cup, they must be getting the K-Tel version of it (where all the hits are not sung by the original artists, but rather by the “Sound Explosion Singers”).

2.) Kariya and Selanne were not pursued or coerced by Le Grand Pierre – they called him up and asked if they could play here, because they felt that Colorado gave them the best shot at fulfilling their dreams of a championship. Is the Avalanche now to be blamed for having a talent-laden organization?

3.) The Avalanche still have specific needs to be addressed, most pressingly in the defensive corps. And if die-hard l’il old me is not crowing that we’re set for a Cup run, then you know it’s not a “lock”.

4.) Not a fact, an observation – I’m pissed about Reinprecht.

So – the Avalanche didn’t “buy” these players, they asked to come here – which speaks volumes about the character of both these players and the Avalanche organization.

I’m sure Mike Ilitch would have cheerfully thrown a ton of money at them (he certainly doesn’t spend it on his baseball team…), but they felt, even with the uncertainty in goal, that Colorado was their best chance for a shot at the Cup.

Btw – really classy move, Anaheim. Sure, maybe the guy disappeared in the playoffs last year, but he’s been the cornerstone of your organization for ten years. Nice reward for all that patience and loyalty.

As for any conjecture regarding the “mercenary” nature of this transaction –

A.) “Rent-A-Player” has become an NHL tradition. It just usually takes place in the last quarter of a season.

B.) I know I’ve been the resident doomsayer, but this will be the last season of hockey in its current incarnation. The players are not idiots (well, maybe Domi, Brashear, and Keith Ca-Chunk), and they realize this as well. “Strike while the iron is hot” (unintentional pun).

C.) The concept of loyalty to a particular team or entity in today’s sociological morass is laughably obsolete. Players are employees paid to perform a service. I’ve worked for the same company for 16 years. If another company came along and guaranteed to triple my salary, while still giving me all my benefits, I’d be gone in a heartbeat.

D.) On the obverse side of that, if you already have more money than you can spend, why not go somewhere that affords you the opportunity to finally win the ultimate prize?

I apologize for the lack of my usual “off-topic” observations and / or requisite sarcasm, but I’m just getting back into “the swing of things”.

Remember – “buying” the Cup never worked for the Rangers…..

Come to Colorado – but if you’re a basketball player, steer clear of Vail……..