Some league-wide links and grumpy responses about Dany Heatley, Jim Balsillie, Ray Emery and a couple of Islanders fan mock drafts...
Item: Dan(n)y Heatley wants out. Two years after signing a six-year, $45-million extension with a no-trade clause. Not pleased? Sens fans, naturally, at Silver Seven and Scarlett Ice.
Grumpy Comment: You've got to be kidding me. I'm among many who have given this no-longer-kid the benefit of the doubt before, but ... um, pampered much? Essentially: "I want top-dollar, a no-trade, and the ability to get out whenever things are rough." Obviously, no deal would involve the Isles, but at that price mixed with that degree of wanderlust, I'd pass even if there were a fit. [2nd-thought caveat: Unless it involves the occasionally rumored toxic atmosphere in Ottawa; but for fans, bailing on the ship rarely plays well.]
Item: The Great, Honorable, Smart & Savvy Legend Jim Balsillie hath decreed for all the land that June 19 shall be "Make It Seven Day" in Canada.
Grumpy Comment: I like one thing about this attention seeker's end-around move: It has aired the NHL's dirty laundry. But the amount with which this guy wraps himself in the flag is patently offensive. (Nice to see some Canadians feel the same.) His "campaign" has everything to do with his own self-inflating quest for an NHL team in a very lucrative market -- and nothing to do with some divinely inspired need to put a 7th franchise in Canada (which extends well beyond southern Ontario in three directions, if maps are to be believed). And of course everyone in Canada just wants to share the love.
"It's incredible to think that 155,000 have ... signed up to the Web site," he says. No, no it's not -- and as a tech maven he knows this. It's a Web site! You know how easy it is to get 155,000 Web-addicted hockey fans and Bettman haters to click "submit" when you have money and opportunity?! Even I signed up just to see how easy it is! Touting this claim as a sign of anything meaninful sounds like a PR ploy directed at Web-virgin execs or gullible children (or both). Although I've no problem with seven (or eight! or nine!) teams in Canada if there are markets to support them, misdirection hyperbole like this gives me pause as to whether I would appreciate his presence as an owner.
Item: Ray Emery joins the Flyers. Martin Biron sees the writing on the wall.
Grumpy Comment: Man, are we going on two decades since the Flyers entered a season feeling secure about who they had in goal?
Item: Two more mock drafts from Islanders fans for ya': Our buddy Doug has the Islanders taking Lumbergh, I mean Lundergaard, I mean Rundblad at #26. Meanwhile, Jon Jordan proposes the Isles trade with St. Louis for the #17 pick, taking Kassian while the Blues take Son of Ferraro. (Personally, with a stocked system now, I don't see the Blues trading down for quantity at this point.)
Grumpy Comment: My head is spinning. When does Tavares arrive?