Archive for June, 2009

If you’re not reading Down Goes Brown, you really should start. Besides watching Nik Hagman for signs of being traded back to the Stars, I have no interest in the Maple Leafs (sic). Still, this guy makes them fascinating.

Here, he lets us in on some Brian Burke conversations at the Draft.

(Dallas draft table.)

Burke: Hey Joe, got a second?

Joe Nieuwendyk: Sure Brian, what’s up?

Burke: I need a coffee. Two cream, no sugar.

Nieuwendyk: Um…

Burke: Stat.

Nieuwendyk: I’m not actually your assistant any more.

Burke: …

Nieuwendyk: Remember, I resigned two weeks ago?

Burke: …

Nieuwendyk: I’m the GM of the Stars now.

Burke: And an apple fritter.

Nieuwendyk: Right away sir.


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Once again, Mike Heika tells us everything we need to know. One of the reasons I don’t get into out-and-out news on this blog is because it will always pale in comparison to Mike Heika’s work. I hope he never leaves us.

Just from an extremely high level, I think the draft went pretty well. The Stars bulked up on forwards after years of drafting defensemen and goalies. We have lots of defense prospects and now we’ll have lots of prospects at forward. They also picked several right-handed shots, too. Right-handed shots are rare, in general, not just in this organization, so they’ll be handy no matter how many they get. They can always trade any spares.

Scott Glennie was our first-round pick at 8th overall. Personally, I had only vaguely heard of him before that, but after reading a little about him, I’m thrilled. He sounds like a guy that is a good playmaker and a scorer while also being willing to be the guy that goes in to get the puck for his linemates.

He’s one of the right-handers, and it sounds like he and linemate (and #5 pick for the Kings) Brayden Schenn tore up their league last year. He’s fast, he’s talented, and he’ll have time to mature. I think it’s a good pick.

Alex Chiasson was picked by the Stars in the second round. Like Louis Leblanc, he’s from Quebec, but has been playing in the US Hockey League and plans to take the NCAA route instead of Juniors. He’s committed to Boston University. He’s also a right-handed right-wing.


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8:25 I think I’ll move over to Twitter for a while, if my hand doesn’t seize up. Thanks for dropping by the live-blog, Myra. And anybody else that did!

8:19 I think that’s all I can live-blog. It’s been 2 1/2 hours and it’s only the first half of the picks. Maybe I’ll just slow down a little. Maybe Minnesota at #16 goes up there and says that they pick Pierre to be co-GM!

8:16 Ducks are next. I wonder if I’m going to hate them as much now that they don’t have Pronger.
They pick Peter Holland. Hm. Maybe I should run over to dallasstars.com and see how that’s going.

8:12 I guess Buffalo was #13, because Florida just picked Kulikov at #14. I guess they couldn’t get anything for Bouwmeester yet. (Please, Stars, don’t get Bouwmeester.)

8:03 Awww. Ray Ferraro with his little boy! How sweet! (I like Ray Ferraro.)

Buffalo picks Zack Kassian. Ooh! A comparison to Lucic.

8:00 Buffalo’s up next. I hope they pick somebody good, for the sake of all my Buffalo fan friends. Is this #14?

You know, last year, when I was there in person, the Stars didn’t have a pick at all in the first round. It’s weird that we’ve already picked. I think a lot of Stars fans have probably left this show and are over on the Stars site learning about our new guy. I should do that, too, but I like the whole thing.

7:56 Interview with Pronger. I think they should ask him what his wife thinks of Philly. Duthie jokingly asks if he’s the missing piece in Philly and he basically says yes. He’s a peach. If he were anybody else, I’d feel sorry for him for the way Niedermayer strung the team along and got him traded by agreeing to come back to the Ducks for another year. But since he’s Chris Pronger, who cares.

7:53 TRADE! Oh, it’s a pick to the Islanders for picks the Islanders just got earlier. Yawn. The Islanders are up now. They selected Calvin DeHaan. Never heard of him.

7:49 The Stars are putting up Glennie links like crazy, and Ralph interviewed him already. I want to watch the rest of the draft! I want to go see this Glennie kid! I don’t have enough eyes.

7:46 Minnesota is up at #12. Are you SURE you don’t want Pierre to be your GM, Minny? He’s right over there! You can go talk to him right now!

7:44 Preds are up at #11. They pick Ryan Ellis. From Otter’s old team, the Windsor Spitfires! Hi, Otter!

7:37 Kevin Lowe. I couldn’t think of the Oilers’ GM’s name. It’s Kevin Lowe. The guy that makes fun of little children.

7:33 Oilers are up next. I saw a behind-the-scenes show about a previous draft and the Oilers GM pulled aside an innocent little kid wearing a Leafs jersey and made fun of him. I don’t like that guy.

The Oilers take ol’ Control-V!

7:28 I don’t have a problem with the Stars picking Glennie, mainly because I don’t follow it that closely. I don’t assume that mock drafts have all the answers. He was close to that rank, so that’s fine with me. If they’re drafting skilled guys, that’s fine. I don’t think drafting for what we need right now over the best player is a good idea, because it’ll be a year or two before he gets to town.


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Nice hair.

Congratulations go out to our very own Brett Hull for being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Hull had three seasons of 70 or more goals. In the 1990-91 season, he scored 86. As a post-wild-puck-era fan, I find 86 goals in one season completely incomprehensible. By the end of his career, he had scored 741 goals, to come in third all-time, behind Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe.

“It’s a great honor, it’s really unfathomable,” Hull said. “I mean, when you’re a kid, you dream about someday playing in the NHL or someday winning the Stanley Cup, but you just don’t think about this, so it’s hard to prepare yourself.”

Congratulations to the other inductees, Steve Yzerman, Luc Robitaille, Brian Leetch and Lou Lamoriello, too.

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Ah, memories.

Nice watch!

Nice watch!

I totally whiffed on my chance to do a nice post about the 10th Anniversary of the Dallas Stars’ Stanley Cup win! I missed the date, but I have really been enjoying the video and photo galleries and stories that the Stars have had up on their official site.

They have been posting highlights and post-games shows and photo galleries and links to newspaper articles for each game that the Stars won on their way to the Championship. It’s really been fascinating.

The latest batch of videos and pictures is especially fun. They have video from the locker-room from the CBC, and an especially cool bit of footage from the charter flight that night. Most of it doesn’t have sound (unless it’s just me), which makes me think they just decided to bleep that whole section.

I was a big Stars fan back then. I watched the entire playoffs. I stayed up all night that night watching three different local news channels trying to catch as much locker-room celebration as I could. The thing is, my memory of a lot of it is sketchy.

I remember Brett Hull sitting on top of the lockers with a big cigar, just grinning like mad. I remember Modano in tears most of the time. I remember everybody drinking from the Cup. I remember that I was grinning like mad the whole time.

I don’t remember the names of all the players, though. Some of them I don’t recognize watching them climb the stairs onto the plane. It’s not that it was so long ago, although it was. It’s mostly that I had no idea what was going on.


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NHL Awards

The NHL Awards were held several days ago. Thursday, I think. It’s a mile marker on the course of the hockey season, but I have less and less interest in it every year.

First of all, I am not really into the awards myself. Every award is too fraught with debate. The Hart Trophy for the League MVP is just like all MVPs. Before you can even debate who deserves it, you have to debate what it means. Is it the best player in the league? The most important player to his team? The most important player in the league? Should a guy win it if his team doesn’t make the playoffs? What if they would have been much worse without him?

So then, even if you decide on a meaning, you have to pick a winner.

I think the awards are voted on by fairly lazy voters. But the thing is, there’s no way even a dedicated and careful student of the game and its players can watch all the players in every game.

That’s why the same players get nominated and win several years in a row. Lidstrom wins every year, but I bet a lot of voters this year picked Chara because they got tired of picking Lidstrom. They probably assume Lidstrom was great but just picked somebody else that seemed reasonable. Not that Chara didn’t deserve it. For all I know.

No Stars were nominated for anything this year, and this year is probably not a good example, but in the last few years we’ve had players we thought deserved a nomination. I would argue (to myself) that we get screwed because we don’t get the kind of attention other teams get. They don’t see Sergei Zubov night in and night out. On the other hand, I don’t see Nik Lidstrom play night in and night out. If I did, I might not be as offended that he wins it every year.

That’s why the same players get nominated and win several years in a row. Lidstrom wins every year, but I bet a lot of voters this year picked Chara because they got tired of picking Lidstrom. They probably assume Lidstrom was great but just picked somebody else that seemed reasonable. Not that Chara didn’t deserve it. For all I know.

My point is, I find it mildly interesting who wins, but I don’t actually care. When Lehtinen won his last Selke I was happy. But I was more disappointed that he wasn’t there.

Let’s talk about the show, though. It is AWFUL. Awful awful awful.


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Empty Netters is the best.

Okay, now I’m done.

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