Bye-Bye Byng, Dallas Deterioration, Jersey Originality FAIL, and the PIM Ploy.
Is it just me, or did the Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, and Colorado Avalanche all get lazy when it came to 3rd jersey design time? Maybe they just had nothing at the deadline, and blindly approved blue uniforms; when blue isn’t even one of their official team colors? Did the Predators just rip off a Maple Leafs symbol and stitch on that stupid prehistoric cat with the major incisor issue? Did Florida not notice that Chicago, Minnesota, St Louis, and Pittsburgh all already did the emblem with the symbol in the middle and team name circled around it, and that the Blues and Pens already did it with the same colors? How many people in the NHL were asleep at the wheel here?
If I were the type of person who was looking for players to make my team better, why in the world would I want to be on the lookout for a player with a lot of PIM’s? Isn’t getting penalties, sitting in the box for varying periods of time, and making your team play with a man down because of your error, and increasing the likelihood of being scored on, a bad thing? It boggles my mind that players will get chosen over others based on this stat, because the player with high PIM’s is supposed to make the team “tougher”. There are lots of players who play a physical style that can make a team tougher and don’t have to sit in the penalty box to show it. I just saw a sidebar on TV that said Keith Tkachuk moved into the top 5 all-time PIM leaders with just shy of 2200. Errm… congrats, Keith, you sat in the penalty box for 36 games worth of time. Thanks for helping out…
Now that Wayne Gretzky and Joe Sakic have both retired, and Pavel Datsyuk has won the trophy three years in a row, is it time to do away with the Lady Byng Award for the NHL’s most gentlemanly player? Does anyone in the league care, or aspire to win it anymore (did they ever?)? Like WWE did with the European and Light Heavyweight championship belts; maybe the NHL should slowly stop talking about it, never show it on camera, and very sneakily just phase it out. In the era of the Sean Avery’s, Steve Downie’s, and Dan Carcillo’s, maybe the NHL should in contrast introduce the Johnny Knoxville Award for biggest jackass of the year; as hockey tips slightly closer to “entertainment” for the sake of selling the game in an American market, and is certainly not dissuading the behaviour.
Marty Turco is the most over-rated goalie in the NHL. For a guy considered for Team Canada a few times, he really doesn’t ever get it done, does he?
Speaking of Dallas Stars, Mike Modano seems to be just hanging on to that spot of his (and a few other classics in the league, I might add) in Dallas, doesn’t he? He’s earning his keep, but as that era of players seems to be drawing to a close, it’s enough to wonder how much longer he can keep from going the way of the dinosaur. He’s always been a really good player; recently I heard him described as “the best skater I ever saw” by a former NHL’er. For some reason, he could never keep that Captain’s “C” on his jersey. I always secretly liked him as a player (it helped that he wears my number); but as an American, my Canadian pride refused to allow it.