Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Midweek Stuff

Lots of quick hitters today:

-Aaron Palushaj and Matt Rust were named to the USA World Junior team, so we'll be without their services for the GLI as they try to bring a gold back to the US. Rust will wear #9 and Palushaj will be #7. Louie Caporusso was not one of the players invited to the Canada try-out camp. Bad news for Louie, but good news for the Wolverines who need to get two wins at the GLI.

-Steve Kampfer is skating with the team, and he's not even wearing a red "no contact" jersey. He continues his remarkable comeback from a well-publicized off-ice incident. It's been reported he could possibly return for the GLI, but with twelve days between the annual holiday tournament and our return to CCHA action, it wouldn't be a shocker to see them be on the safe side. Still, I don't think anyone expected that he might return this soon. Having him back should be a huge boost to the team, and might even allow Summers to take another crack at forward. God knows our offense could use another scorer.

-David Wohlberg is going to get a shot with the top line. It's well deserved. Apart from Carl Hagelin, Wohlberg might have been Michigan's best player last weekend. He's been consistently great for over a month now. He'll get a chance to skate with Palushaj and Caporusso. I like it. Nothing against the guys he was playing with before--as the whole line was really great against Minnesota--but he's earned the opportunity to play with two of the best players in the country. I'm curious to see what he can do.

-TV for this weekend: Friday's game will be aired on FSN Plus in Metro Detroit. It's basically Fox Sports Detroit's overflow channel. Normally that would mean that those of us out of state (or with a dish) are out of luck, but for some reason, Fox Sports Arizona and Fox Sports Rocky Mountain are showing the game as well. I believe FSNA is showing it live and FSNRM is showing it on an hour tape delay. Maybe the people in Phoenix want to see Chris Summers play? Maybe Kevin Porter is that influential? I don't know. But I'm happy about it.

Saturday's game will be shown live on Comcast 900 (and the NHL Network in Canada) and then the NHL Network in the US on Sunday morning.

-If you're not doing anything on Saturday, I've read that there are a ton of tickets available for the game at Munn. As of two days ago, you could buy a block of 10 together. I can't imagine the Sparties have been falling over themselves to snap them up. Paint that arena maize!

-Michigan has (finally) launched an official photo store. This was a long time coming. It's a work in progress but there's already some great stuff up there. Some favorites:
If they get a photo of Desmond doing the Heisman pose or Woodson's "Hail Yes" up there, you know they're selling a TON. Pretty reasonable pricing too. The framed ones are kind of expensive but 14 x 17 (I assume) for $30 ain't bad at all.

-Lastly, I have to comment on Sean Avery. The dude is a complete boob, but to get suspended for that? Come on. It was funny! Off-color, totally unnecessary, but funny! You think guys don't say worse than that every game on the ice? If the NHL only suspended McLennan for the goon-fest that Calgary laid on Detroit in the playoffs a couple years back, it's absurd to suspend a guy for multiple games for saying that Dion Phaneuf is getting his sloppy seconds. (Tenuous Michigan connection: Mike Komisarek would have been getting his sloppy seconds as well...allegedly.)

I mean, isn't 2 games what Claude The Fraud ultimately got for breaking Kris Draper's face? (Granted they were games in the Stanley Cup Finals) Now we're suspending guys for being immature. The wussification of the NHL continues. He didn't even say anything that bad! Do you think Avery would get offended if Rod Stewart called him up and said, "You know Sean, you were getting my sloppy seconds too." (Thanks Scotty.) He didn't even go Adam Levine and talk about how so-and-so sucked in bed. This is up there with Nascar docking guys points for swearing on TV but allowing them to intentionally cause accidents with no penalty (::cough::DaleJarrettRichmond::cough::).

The NHL can claim he's bringing bad publicity to the sport, but I'm sorry, suspending Avery just drew more attention to his comments. Ignore it and it might get mentioned in the last minute of PTI and that's it. Suspend him and it's the top story on PTI, the top story on ESPN.com, and the sports world is talking about it. The only way they could have brought more attention to a nothing story would have been for Gary Bettman to yell out "I'M A MAN! I'M 40!"

Plus they denied me the sure 5 PIMs my fantasy team would have gotten when Phaneuf threw down with Avery.

12 comments:

Becky said...

Okay, I don't know much about fantasy hockey (as opposed to fantasy baseball or football), but are PIMs really a good thing in fantasy hockey? That's awesome.

SyracuseWolvrine said...

Bettman's only 40? Wow, the years have not been kind to the commish.

streaker said...

buttman did the right thing, tim. Avery's words were gonna set up a huge brawl, and.. maybe a repeat of the Bertuzzi incident. If that happens.. and remember, Buttman is a lawyer... the NHL would be liable for not taking any action to pre-empt this. he didn't do this to save public face, he did it to keep the NHL from being sued.

Craig said...

Becky,
In virtually every fantasy league I have played in with, PIMs mean something, not as much as a goal or assist or +/-, but something.

The Michigan photo store is great and I will mention that I also want that Yost photo as well.

MGoBlue93 said...

The wussification of the NHL continues.

Wait a second... I'm about as un-PC as they come but what he said was degrading. I bet if you had a daughter you'd feel the same way.

You think guys don't say worse than that every game on the ice?

Excellent point... then keep it on the ice Sean!

Go read the Detroit News today. Some Wings comment about Sean. Cheli even let him live with him for 3 weeks before he had to toss Avery out. Interesting perspective.

One of the things I like about the NHL is there aren't any TOs, Ocho Cincos, or Seam Kemps. With Burke and Avery constantly in the media, I don't even have that anymore.

It's not about being a wussy. It's about having some class. Grown-ups would know that!

Packer487 said...

PIMs is one of the categories in my league. They're a good thing...which is why Carcillo was awesome for me last year!

@ Streaker: I think they're starting down a really slippery slope if they start suspending guys to avoid possible on-ice revenge.

I mean, if someone goes knee-to-knee with another player (like Steve Moore did with Naslund) are they going to suspend him for a future game against that opponent or toss him out of the current game?

These guys say way worse during games (I'm sure) so I don't know that a relatively minor comment like that would set off a major incident. And if you're that worried about it, call both teams and tell them that any intent to injure and the player is sitting the rest of the season. Done.

@MGoBlue93: I really wouldn't find it degrading. My gf previously dated one of my friends. If he called me up and was like "You're getting my sloppy seconds" I would laugh about it and probably make some snarky comment back. You call her a whore or something, we're having words. But what Avery said was FUNNY! Classy? No. But it was funny. And minor as far as "insults" go....

What does "Sloppy seconds" mean anyway? It means she's had sex with another male. Most women Cuthbert's age have. If he said "Sogging Seven Hundreths" then that's degrading.

He's been suspended for longer than guys who cross-check opponents in the face. For a comment to the media about something not hockey related. It's stupid.

streaker said...

Tim,

I didn't say that Butman is a genius. I said he is doing this to prevent liability. If the NHLPA bitches about it, then let them handle this ass. Sounds like the Stars have had enough of him, too, considering how bad they have been this season. It also sounds like Turco is about ready to take his blocker to him.

The guy staged a press conference, ala Slapshot. He needed to be neutered before someone tooled him.

Packer487 said...

I hear ya Streaker--and I agree that they need to find a way to get Avery under control (and he needs to realize that he needs to get under control if he wants to stay in the league)--I just think this is a dangerous precedent to set. Let the team suspend him if they want to (though I think that would've been silly as well). I just don't think the league had any business stepping in.

It's like they were looking to send a message ("The next time Avery does something...") and they took the opportunity when it arose. I just don't think his comment was offensive enough (or detremental to the league enough) to warrant a suspension longer than a lot of guys who attempt to injure another player.

The Stars knew what they were getting when they signed him. It's not like he hadn't said stupid stuff before--and it's not like he hadn't done the "Can't Get Mad! Not Touching You!" rountine with Brodeur already. If he's annoying guys on his own team, to me, that should be an internal issue that Hull and Co. have to deal with.

I'd still rather have a guy pestering other players with words rather than just being a little chicken **** like Jordin Tootoo or skating around with his stick up in the air and hiding behind his visor like that sissy Kariya. At least Avery isn't afraid to drop the gloves when someone wants a piece of him. He would've gone with Phaneuf if Phaneuf was that offended.

streaker said...

Tim-

The thing is, this isn't just about the latest comments. This is about embarrassing the NHL (again). He has already had a history of racial comments (Laroque), anti-French Canadian comments while with the Kings, and has pulled WWF stunts with Brodeur in the playoffs last season.

I am not so sure isn't Lemieux -esque in starting trouble (as he has done in pre-game warmups several times) and then hiding behind his teammates. When he does fight, he usually doesn't wait until his combatant is fully ready, either, because frankly, he has eaten more fist than most tough guys out there.

Look at it this way, he got a six game suspension,plus the anger management requirement, which tells me the NHL is warning teams that anything MORE flagrant will result in serious time. I hope that is the case for idiots like Pronger and Laperierre in Colorado that should have been suspended for acts during the playoffs. I agree, Tootoo, Jackman (St.Louis) Kariya... are all punks, too.

It will be interesting what Dallas' next move is...whether they will keep him on the roster or send him to the minors.

Either way, Dallas plays Calgary in February, so expect a build up for that.

Calgary has had a history of gooning it up,even St.Jerome, so I still say that the commish was trying to avoid liability.

And why isn't Cuthbert and Hunter being called out for being puck bunnies? Is it fashionable to date professional athletes that look like they have been hit in the face with a bag of nickels? WTF?

Packer487 said...

This is one of those things where if I was still living in Michigan, I'd totally be suggesting that we get together after the game tonight and talk about this over a beer. I'm enjoying this discussion...

I didn't remember that he was one of the guys making racial comments. That would have been the time to suspend him (if they didn't). There's no place for that. But unless the NHL is going to wash their hands of Don Cherry, I won't ding him for anti-French Canadian remarks :)

If the NHL is going to be consistent about ramping up the punishments, then I'm ok with that. But I have a feeling they're just singling out Avery--they were looking to get him for something and they finally did. Puck Fronger can get away with pretty much anything he wants.

I'll be interested to see how the NHL treats that Dallas/Calgary game if Avery is still around. If they put it on national TV or anything, then I find it horribly hypocritical.

That's a good point about Calgary's history of gooning it up--though the time to nip that in the bud would have been when it happened. I guess I just don't believe in suspending a guy to "protect" him. You can't suspend him every time he's going to face Phaneuf, Komisarek, or Stoll...Issue a stern, stern warning that nothing out of the realm of hockey is going to be accepted and if they deviate from that, they won't be playing the rest of the season--and possibly more.

Now, now Streaker....I'm not sure you should call someone a puck bunny. Gary Bettman might freak out and suspend you from my blog :)

streaker said...

I wish you were back to have that conversation... and the beers.

We could also solve all our other problems here!

Go Blue!

Brad said...

Packer, one comment in regards to the above, you asked what does "sloppy seconds" mean anyway? It means a little more than "she had sex with another male", from the wonderful world of Urban Dictionary:

"To engage in sexual intercouse where ejaculation has previously ocurred in the orifice by another male within a short time frame. The sperm and semem is then used as a natural lubrication by the second male."

So yeah, pretty crude and degrading, especially when I've read reports that Avery boasted to his Dallas teammates in the dressing room to the effect of "watch this!" before he went out in front of the cameras. Sounds like Dallas is fed up with him and he might not be back in Stars uniform at all. IMO his disruptive personality is a huge reason why the Stars are off to such a horrible start. Turco has sucked out loud and I think Avery's been getting to him.

And yes, PIMs in fantasy leagues rule. I had Avery for that reason!