Admittedly taking a lazy "All-Star Break" weekend for myself. But my own lack of enthusiasm notwithstanding, it's nice to see how well the exhibition weekend is going over in Montreal.
Meanwhile, 21st-century star Alex Ovechkin is going all interactive, Twittering away with updates.
The Islanders' own Mark Streit is feeding updates and Q&A answers for Isles fans at Chris Botta's blog. Streit was very gracious about his reception in Montreal:
“The ovation I received from the Montreal fans was really great. It tells me there are no hard feelings and they appreciated my time with the Canadiens. I know some people wondered what the reaction would be, but the fans were amazing. It’s kind of funny how they still boo Kaberle from Toronto and they boo the Boston guys, but I thank them for being so kind to me."
Really, I mean who could hate or even boo Streit, anyway? He comes across as all heart, hard work and sincerity. A great hockey ambassador for Switzerland, whose hockey fans must be proud.
And since the AS weekend is time for league-related rumors and NHL economic scuttlebutt, JayBo speculation in Florida is hot. And everyone's
favorite recognized columnist Larry Brooks amusingly rips into the Rangers' Glen "money buckets" Sather and suggests a hideous thing: Acquiring Bill Guerin from the Islanders.
To me, dealing your captain to an immediate rival still qualifies as the ultimate taboo -- is nothing sacred anymore? But Botta takes up the idea and at least proposes reasonable compensation (Prucha and a 3rd rounder) -- compensation that is still not worth the psychological hit in my book. I'd sooner see Guerin return to the Devils in a Shanahan-like return to his NHL roots (not that this will happen, but that is higher in Mazarow's Hierarchy of Fan Dreads).
Guerin has a no-trade clause, so if he wanted to force a "either don't deam me, or deal me where I don't have to move" on GM Garth Snow, he could. But if you're taking a PR and fan psyche-hit like that, it would have to be for something where you know, years later, people would think, "But at least we got X in that deal."
Petr Prucha is not an "X" in that equation.
Still, there's a very justifiable business case for dealing whomever the Isles can deal, for whatever they can get for him. So, if you're Garth Snow (if so, I apologize now), would you deal Guerin to the Rangers?