Sorry for the sparse and link-heavy posting of late. Been under the weather, feel like a hundred dollars. I'll have a brief slightly unconventional look at John Tavares and the Calder race later today. (I know he's not a finalist, but...)
- Another good Q&A on the official site: Mark Flood on his call-up and first NHL game. The mentor he references in the final paragraph is surely Mark Streit. (Don't call Mark "Shirley.")
- The Russian guy who bought the Nets says he's not looking at the Islanders. [Newsday, sub.] Which I believe ... to the extent I believe any sports mogul, Russian or otherwise.
- With Travis Hamonic doing a lot of the rough stuff, his Wheat Kings were beaten soundly by Calgary to complete round-robin play at the Memorial Cup. The rematch, in the semifinal, is Friday. Calgary has had their number, quite often, so that could be even more chippy.
- Scott Gordon said he's proud of his Team USA players, which might strike you as odd given their relegation-round finish. But Bruce Peter at Puck Worlds explains why it's wrong to pin this short tourney on the Islanders coach.
- Bobby Nystrom: 1980 Cup hero, wearer of classic flowing hockey mane, Albany lobbyist.
Hockey Random Topics
- It's about a Ranger, but this translated interview with Russian Artem Anisimov is simply a must-read. Great stuff.
- Hockey fans, we have arrived: They bumped another sport's programming for hockey, and Lance Armstrong is pissed.
- Steve Yzerman hasn't ruled himself out for the Lightning job. Or rather, he hasn't said squat, but this is supposed to mean he's still a candidate. ... Meanwhile, deposed Panthers GM Randy Sexton is still interested in anything Dale Tallon throws his way.
- Finally, the big IIHF PR guy's rant about players declining the WC -- comparing them to miners(!) -- prompted some rebuttals. The fool even questions Streit:
"Why is the only Swiss superstar, defenceman Mark Streit, tired, despite not having played one single playoff game in two seasons?"
... Gee, I don't know -- maybe because Streit has played 112 games in every possible tournament for Switzerland since 1995, including this year's Olympics and an injury in last year's WC, while logging the most minutes for the Islanders two years running? Just a thought.
Hockey federations are great, but they're also self-interested: They exist to make the country's hockey program look good, not as some altruistic mission to shepherd young souls to hockey stardom (by the way, do they do something special for the many who do not become millionaires?). The entity every hockey player owes his career to is the mother or father who took him to a thousand practices at 4:45 a.m.
I'm gonna go nuke my sinuses now.