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Archive for May, 2009

Joe Nieuwendyk has been named GM of the Dallas Stars!

Sure, I’m no investigative journalist or anything, but that came out of nowhere! I saw it on Twitter and just skipped right by it, then froze in mid-step and backed up. Just like in cartoons.

I am not sure what to say about it. I don’t think Brett Hull was really working out, but I don’t really know anything about Nieuwy’s personnel tendencies, so I will have to think about it before I decide if I like it. If he’s like Hull and wants to hire players that are just like him, it’s much better when Nieuwy’s doing it than when Hull is doing it. But that’s really all I can come up with.

Don’t do anything crazy, Nieuwy. That’s my advice.

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I hope the photographer, Harry How/Getty Images, won't be too mad that I cropped out the stinky Red Wing.

I hope the photographer, Harry How/Getty Images, won't be too mad that I cropped out the stinky Red Wing.

From Heika’s blog:

Philippe Boucher looked across the dinner table the other night and caught the gleam in teammate Bill Guerin’s eyes.

“Bouch, have you ever had this much fun in your life?” Guerin asked.

Boucher thought for a moment.

“I told him, ‘No, Billy, I honestly haven’t.’ ” Boucher said.

He’s looking good out there. The Penguins are playing seven defensemen instead of the usual six, but I think Bouche has shown that they should leave him in even if they go back to six. He’s making good plays, blocking shots in that way he does, and getting the puck up to the forwards so they can use it.

Last night, in the last minute of the game, with the goalie pulled, he made several nice plays to keep the Wings from getting that empty netter. Just being out there with an empty net behind him is a sign that the coach is comfortable with him.

He really is a damn good defenseman if he can just stay out there. If he can avoid injury (which is tough for him) and ease the coaches’ minds, he can do them some good.

After such a trying season, being scratched in a new city with his wife and kids still in the old one, it’s so great to see him get to this point. I guess I don’t have to worry so much about him. I wish he were still a Dallas Star, but if he can’t be that, being in the Stanley Cup Finals while not being a Red Wing is the next best thing.

Go Pens!

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I’m kind of on a YouTube kick these days, aren’t I? I’m also on a big Sidney Crosby kick. I was on the Reebok site, actually looking for shoes, and I was reminded of their hockey section.

So I wandered over there and found this video. There is a contest going on for the best move and there are some fun videos. Sid’s move is very subtle. It took the slo-mo of it for me to see exactly what he did.

I hate to see Red Wings do anything, of course, but I have to admit Pavel Datsyuk has some nice stick-handling moves.

The off-season is stretching out ahead of me, so I’m going to need fun stuff like this to get me through it.

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Again, I have very little that’s interesting to say. I just had to post this because I so love the Blackhawks’ goal song.

Outside of Boucher and Sid, I think Patrick Sharp might be my favorite player in the playoffs right now. (I hope I didn’t jinx him.)

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First Star.

I knew he could do it.

I knew he could do it. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Penguins won the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals and Boucher got a goal and an assist with just 8 1/2 minutes of ice time.

He was named the first star of the game and even got a media scrum afterwards in the locker room.

It was a great game to watch. I’m pulling for the Pens, but I don’t want them to humiliate the Hurricanes. I hope it goes for six games and they’re all close. And the Pens win.

Update: The Penguins site has Bouche’s post-game comments up. Thanks to Mark at Andrew’s Stars Page for posting it (and to Myra for telling me it was there).

P.S. The Stars could learn a lesson from the Pens official site. They have a TON of video.

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Okay. Now that only one despicable team is left in the playoffs (leave it to the Ducks to fall asleep at the switch), it’s time for the Conference Finals.

It won’t be long before there’s no hockey left and I’m reduced to free-agent rumor obsession. But let’s not think about that right now.

There are four teams left, so there are starting to be gaps in the schedule where nobody is playing. And each night that does have a game is only going to have one game.

In the East, we have the Pittsburgh Penguins. Home of the great Sidney Crosby. Temporary (probably) home of the lovely Philippe Boucher. After infuriating me all season by scratching Bouche and foisting Darryl Sydor on us, they have won back my heart by vanquishing the Washington Capitals. Now we can bask in the greatness of Sid without all that pesky talk about Ovechkin all the time.

They’ll be playing the Carolina Hurricanes for the Eastern Conference title. I like the Hurricanes and it’s mainly left over from when they won their Cup back in 2006. (more…)

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As everybody’s probably already heard, Mike Modano is returning to the Dallas Stars to play next season.

I don’t have a ton to say about it, except that I’m glad. I wanted him to play another year, at least, and I expected him to. You can say what you want about Modano, but he doesn’t string people along.

If you compare him to some other players in the last few years, such as Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne of the Ducks, and Mats Sundin of the Canucks, he is so much more considerate of his team and the fans.

Niedermayer and Selanne strung their own team along after their Cup win, leaving everybody hanging while they pondered their next step. Will they play? Will they retire? When, really, they were just taking half a year off. To be fair, Selanne was a free agent at the time, but Niedermayer took it to the extreme when he basically decided not to show up for months even though he was under contract.

After the Leafs decided they were going in another direction this past summer, or Mats Sundin didn’t like their offer (I don’t really remember), he strung the whole league along while he considered his options. The Canucks offered him $10 million for one year right at the beginning of the summer, but he didn’t make a decision until December.

Modano doesn’t work that way. (more…)

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