FIRST INTERMISSION             

 

Well, here we go, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the NHL regular season and I’ve already got a couple of rants up my sleeve!  So hurry back from the concession stand and let’s go!

Bonehead of the Month

Our friend “uLAr” alluded to this a little bit at the end of our season preview article, and I need to say this right here and now: Allan Walsh is an idiot.

Sure, he is only one player agent out of many, but he certainly isn’t earning any respect from me.

Not only did he give John Muckler of the Ottawa Senators fits while they tried to secure a contract for Martin Havlat, but now he’d like everybody in Minnesota to believe Marian Gaborik is worth cabbage of Shaquille O’ Neal proportions!  The last straw for Gaborik came when the Wild put a three year, $9 million deal on the table, and Walsh blatantly refused it.

What?  Did I miss something here?  The Wild are in their fourth year of operations, Gaborik is an up and coming superstar who has signed just his second contract, and somehow or another this moron thinks he’s the six million dollar man?  Somebody take a hockey stick and whack this guy in the head, please, then give him a five minute major and a game misconduct for putting the puck in his own net!  Perhaps it will knock some sense into him. 

Thankfully, Gaborik did the right thing and fired this turkey of an agent, which is why we can now finally look forward to seeing him back in a Minnesota uniform.  The word is out, if you want a deal done, don’t call Walsh, he’ll call you.  Oh, and by the way, pigs can fly. 

Adding insult to injury, recently Walsh had his car broken into and guess what was sitting on the passenger seat?  A briefcase chock full of confidential player information.  Stuff like contract proposals, statistics, letters to a few undisclosed teams stating their latest offer is not considered to be serious enough.  Luckily, a nice old lady from Montreal found this briefcase at the side of the road and turned in the goods to the local authorities.  I can’t even begin to imagine what may have happened had this briefcase fallen into the wrong hands.

At a time where NHL owners are trying to make some financial sense of the game before so called armageddon hits in 2004, here’s a guy who thinks he’s living a scene from “Jerry Maguire”.  The only thing I’ve heard coming from his camp is “Show me the money”.  Well I’ve got news for him, we can do without arrogant agents such as this jerk.  Allan Walsh, we here at Puckin’ Around would like to present you with the October “Bonehead Of The Month” award, along with a middle finger salute where the sun doesn’t shine.  Schwing!

2 Minutes for what?

So let me get this straight.  Slashing was a penalty last week, but this week it’s only a penalty if the stick explodes all over the ice?  Spearing apparently is not a penalty, but when the player speared can’t make it back to the bench before the line change is completed, now all of a sudden it’s a bench minor for too many men on the ice? 

No wonder players are going back to wooden sticks, they don’t break as easily and they knock out teeth better.

Did I miss something or do they now require three referees on the ice and four linesmen when Detroit and Nashville hook up next?  Maybe they should put Bryan Berard out there in zebra stripes, he can probably see what’s happening better than Mr. Magoo or whatever his name is.  There’s only one problem, they’ll have to convince him to stop being a Chicago Blackhawk.

Perhaps the next memo to go out to teams around the league should be a reminder to goaltenders: if you accidentally throw your stick towards the corner boards, there will be an automatic penalty shot called, and chirping about it will get you an additional two minutes in the sin bin.  Another memo which needs to go out there is to remind all NHL referees of a refresher course on the rules of the game, although attendance probably won’t be mandatory given the way the game is called (or not) today.

Milestones

Enough ranting for one day, time now to recognize some of the good things we’ve seen this past month.

When I predicted Atlanta will make the playoffs this year, little did I know it wouldn’t turn out to be such a bold statement.  Not only are they off to a great start, they’re looking to challenge for home ice advantage, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  Let’s see how the Thrashers do in November and December.  I’m still sticking with my prediction 100%, regardless of what happens.  While we’re on the topic, Ilya Kovalchuk (that’s Koval”chuck” this year, not Koval”chook” as it was last year) could score 82 goals this season if his current pace is any indication.  I’ll go so far as to say he should be good for 50 goals and at least 82 points.  It’s a good thing I picked him in my hockey pool.

Last season Brett Hull scored his 700th goal, this season he has passed Phil Esposito on the all-time goals scored list and can realistically climb into third all time if he can beat Marcel Dionne who sits with 731.  As of this writing, Hull has 721 and is on pace to end the season in third behind only Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894).  If we have hockey next year he could even move into second place, but there’s no way he’ll beat Wayne.

And finally, congratulations to all players, builders and media figures inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year.  Inductees this year include goaltender Grant Fuhr, forward Pat LaFontaine, general manager Mike Illitch, and coach Brian Kilrea.  Receiving the Foster Hewitt Memorial award is the “Voice of the Oilers” Rod Phillips, and receiving the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in journalism is none other than Sports Illustrated hockey writer Michael Farber.

Hand in hand with all the induction ceremonies come the debates as to who should be there versus who shouldn’t.  It would be pretty hard to argue this year’s inductees, but other names out there such as Glenn Anderson, Cam Neely, Andy Moog, Mike Richter and more are still awaiting a call from hockey’s ultimate shrine.  One thing I do know, all of the above will be inducted into the hall long before I will. 

That’s all I have for this time folks, stay tuned for more right here.

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