Calgary Flames Fan Tries to Troll Jim Benning, Fails in the Process

Ramblings, Sports

Basically in the above link, some attention whore on Twitter with the username “fake_steinberg” tried to act funny and troll general manager Jim Benning of the Vancouver Canucks. Apparently he is a Calgary Flames fan.

Little does he know that Jim Benning had a great offseason and the whiny, annoying Canucks fans on HFboards.com do not reflect the Canucks fanbase.

Canucks losses this offseason:

-Kevin Bieksa
-Eddie Lack
-Zack Kassian
-Shawn Matthias
-Brad Richardson
-Nick Bonino
-Adam Clendening

The only guys on that list I miss are Clendening (who has yet to put in a full NHL season), Brad Richardson (who was injured for half the year), and Eddie Lack (who has yet to play a full NHL season as a starting goalie).

Who is going to replace these guys:

-Brandon Sutter aka Flat Stanley
-Jakob Markstrom (made a mockery of the AHL last season and has more potential than Eddie Lack has ever had)
-Brandon Prust (one of the best fourth liners in the league, great locker room guy)
-Matt Bartkowski (can’t get any worse than Bieksa and may do well in Willie Desjardins system)
-Sven Baertschi (question mark if this guy puts it together or not)

Basically, a lot of ifs. But I’m confident in the moves.

Who did the Calgary Flames get?

An over rated defenseman who was hated in Boston named Dougie Hamilton and a third liner in Michael Frolik.

Wow, teams are sure shaking in their boots in the pacific division. Especially after you overachieved last year. Bob Hartley also sure has a long shelf life everywhere he’s been (not really).

So I’m sure Jim Benning thanks you for the flowers. The only funnier joke would be an Oilers fan doing the same. That would almost be as funny as the fan of the franchise who overachieved last year and will finish below the Canucks (once again, like the last ten years, that is funny).

I did chuckle at a response that said how Benning sent bigger flowers back and a third round pick. That was witty and accurate.

So long story short?

Fans of teams who haven’t done anything should mind their own damn business.

Who’s Over Rated and Under Rated in the NHL (2015-2016)

Ramblings, Sports

I had to make this post.

Reading online postings, news articles, and the “pundits” opinions, I had to compile a list of who is over rated and under rated in the NHL and explain why. So you may ask, who qualifies? Well, players, teams, general managers, and coaches all do. Prepare to be enraged or smile.

Under Rated

I’ll start off with the positives. Who I believe is under rated in the National Hockey League.

The Vancouver Canucks

Reading online forums and opinions from fans, you would think the Vancouver Canucks will be a lottery team next year. The opposite is true, actually.

The year before fans said they would be a lottery team. What has changed? They have gotten rid of the misfits in their organization. Kevin Bieksa (I love him) with all due respect was terrible last year, Zack Kassian sucked, Eddie Lack was not a starter, and Nick Bonino was too inconsistent. Who is coming in for those guys?

Good guy Brandon Prust, good guy Brandon Sutter, top AHL goalie and prospect Jakob Markstrom, and lots of fast young guys.

No, this team will not suck. They will be decent and finish once again in the playoffs. The only logical reason you could say they miss is solely due to the fact you may believe a lot of their division rivals got better. Yes, the Oilers have gotten better and if they keep making the right moves, they will be a playoff team eventually. The Kings and Sharks are the true question mark.

The Minnesota Wild

A good core? Check. A well run organization? Check.

Fans think this team may also miss the playoffs after the Canucks. The furthest thing from the truth. They are a lock.

And they have a nice young core on the backend that includes names such as Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin.

The only question is if Devan Dubnyk holds up. I feel behind that defense he has a chance to.

Coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning

I heard comments from people saying Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning of the coach sucks.

What?

I would gladly let him coach my Canucks if Willie Desjardins was let go tomorrow. He is a damn good coach.

You take him off the Lightning and tell me how many coaches would get that team into the finals like they did last year. Seriously impressive, and he’s won everywhere he’s gone.

There is no way he sucks as a coach. I’d put him in my top five list of coaches.

Big Jake Virtanen

I have heard from many he is a bust or would be lucky to get in the top twenty this year in the NHL draft.

Wrong. He is the most NHL ready prospect I have seen from the 2014 draft that has yet to play a game.

He ragdolled guys in the AHL. Just because his point totals don’t make you raise your eyes doesn’t mean he is a bust.

He will play in this league and he will be good. Just watch. He will be like Cam Neely. He will be a goal scorer who can hit. He won’t be an elite playmaker but he can play.

Over Rated

Now here comes the boos. Prepare to be annoyed if you are a fan of any of these teams, players, or personnel.

The Buffalo Sabres (Tim Murray, their prospect pool, and shitty moves)

An easy choice quite frankly. And the top choice.

You would think reading forums that the Sabres were going to contend for the stanley cup or win multiple cups within five years.

Wrong.

The move for Ryan O’ Reilly was fucking stupid. Eight million for a guy who gets sixty points and does what else? At the expense of one of their youngest defensemen as well as top prospect Grigorenko?

The owner himself Mr. Terry Pegula said the last two seasons have been the most successful in Sabres history. What!?

And their starting goalie who they gave up a first round pick for Robin Lehner. Wow.

Watching Tim Murray whine about missing the first overall pick was great TV. Jack Eichel must be happy as hell to play for the next Edmonton Oilers organization.

This team is going to be a trainwreck, just watch.

Ted Nolan will be laughing his ass off when they do. He sure should have been fired (in a sarcastic tone I say that).

Tanking is never rewarded in the league, Tim. We should rename him and Terry Pegula to tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

The poor fans think they have a chance at the playoffs next year. Laugh my ass off.

The Winnipeg Jets (And their stupid prospect pool)

You would think reading comments from fans of the NHL that the Jets, just like the Sabres, will be champions in five years due to “the depth of their prospect pool”.

That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

One glance at their prospect pool will show you how that is a bold lie. There is not one player from their “prospect pool” I could say that “I want that guy on my team”.

Little Nik Ehlers who the Canucks passed on for a reason will be walloped when he reaches the big leagues. After that they have a slew of AHL players and fourth line players.

Congrats guys, you are well on your way to a few eighth seeds and first round exits for the next five years.

I love the fans of this team and I’m also a fan of the team, but seriously, a prospect pool full of depth doesn’t make a team a contender for the next ten years.

The Calgary Flames Offseason Moves (and somwhat…their potential)

I didn’t want to throw gasoline on the Flames and say their whole organization is over rated. I just find the moves they made this offseason…over rated.

Dougie Hamilton, Frolik from the Jets. Okay. Frolik will be an elite third liner. But claiming Dougie Hamilton is the answer to pushing them over the top could not be further from the truth.

Bruins fans hated this guy. He was a turnover machine last year. He is what this topic is about. He’s not a future Norris winner. He is average. A second pairing defenseman at best.

I also think Gaudreau and Monahan will not repeat the success they had last year. But that’s just me. Sam Bennett is coming in, though?

I can’t act bitter about this team since they owned my Canucks in the playoffs this last season. But there is something about them I can’t put my finger on. I really do see them as another Colorado. A lot of young talent that peaked one year and regressed the next. No way do they get as many come from behind wins as they did this last year.

Predicting the 2015-2016 NHL Standings and Playoffs

Sports

Well another decent season for the National Hockey League was put into the history books.

If you read my post last year, I called most of the right dark horses. I said the Canucks will make the playoffs as a wild card. They didn’t even need to be a wild card they had such a successful year. I also said the Predators would make it in but as a wild card. They soared through the rankings in the regular season last year.

Of course it is somewhat of a crap shoot but it is fun. The standings next year no doubt will not emulate last years NHL standings; there will be some teams who I feel will get in once again and others who will go down a bit. Fanbases will be happy when I stroke their team, some will be upset when I speak what I feel is the truth.

Atlantic Division Predictions

1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Detroit Red Wings
3. Florida Panthers
4. Ottawa Senators
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Montreal Canadiens
7. Boston Bruins
8. Buffalo Sabres

So your first reaction is probably: “what kind of shit are you smoking that made you rank the Toronto Maple Leafs so high?”

I call it…the fallacy of Mike Babcock.

This is where the Maple Leafs will have a coach that is so good he will make them at least competitive no matter how bad they look on paper. In turn, this will piss off Toronto fans when they may barely miss the playoffs; they as fans will want a lottery pick. I really have this exact feeling. I may be dead wrong, but I call it the “Babcock effect”. Count me as one of the fans who feels a decent coach can turn a team around no matter how bad they look on paper.

So with that said you probably notice the Canadiens low after a decent season last year. Yeah, I believe they are trending downwards. I admittedly don’t follow them often but only hear from fans how bad of a job Michelle Therrien is doing. Carey Price is the force behind that team and I simply don’t believe a team can keep up in the ranks with their goalie playing their heart out. Just look at the New York Rangers with Tortorella. They kept trending downwards even though Lundqvist played his ass off.

The Sabres, yeah, they suck. I am not a believer in Tim Murray at all. Dan Bylsma is a wild card but I truly feel with the losing culture they had in place last year, it’s going to backfire. They are going to become the next Edmonton Oilers. Let’s not forget the idiotic trade and signing of Ryan O’ Reilly. Their two decent prospects in Grigorenko and Nikita Zadorov for him? Tim Murray is going to ruin this team.

I feel the Panthers are going up. A nice young core, some decent depth, and a decent coach. Keep an eye on this team. Dale Tallon did a fine job in Chicago before putting them in cap hell. But hey, I’d prefer the cup if it means my team goes in cap hell for a few years after.

And the Lightning, yeah, no brainer. Called them in first last year. Look for them to be a threat once again this year.

One team I am honestly not sure of is the Boston Bruins. I feel Lucic was the identity of that team and I’m banking on Don Sweeney looking like a fool this offseason. Not sure if Julien is being tuned out by the roster either.

Detroit will be an interesting team to watch. I feel like Blashill will just pick up where Babcock left off. Holland will also continue his brilliance as general manager. I can’t see Detroit falling anytime soon.

Metropolitan Division Predictions

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Washington Capitals
3. New York Rangers
4. New York Islanders
5. Columbus Blue Jackets
6. New Jersey Devils
7. Phiadelphia Flyers
8. Carolina Hurricanes

This is an interesting division. More interesting than the rest.

I truly feel the Rangers reign of dominance may come to an end. I’m familiar with Vigneault. He usually has a few good years until teams start to tune him out just like the Vancouver Canucks did.

I can’t help but think the Penguins were doing well with coach Mike Johnston until they got decimated with injuries. And with the addition of Phil Kessel, I see them playing lights out on offense while Johnston keeps them playing decent on defense. His system had Marc Andre-Fleury looking great. I just can’t see Pittsburgh trending downwards and feel last year was an anomaly.

The Capitals will be up there for sure. I’m not sure if they will rank as high as second but they will be a playoff team. And when they get in, they will be dangerous with game seven legend Justin Williams. I love that pickup. Barry has them playing good hockey. I was wrong about him as a coach. He has done a solid job in Washington.

The Blue Jackets and Islanders could rotate. I feel the Islanders may be slightly ahead. But both teams both have solid, young talent. Like I said, don’t be shocked if one or the other gets in as a bottom seed.

The Devils, not a bad team. But also not great on the forward side of things. I am not sure how their new coach from Wilkes-Barre will do either.

The Flyers I feel may trend a bit down but be good in the future. Their defense core is still the worst in the league and I believe it will take some time to fix. The other teams I ranked ahead of them I just feel are simply better teams than the Flyers, who are pretty much Giroux, Voracek, and maybe Provorov as of now. Not to forget Couturier.

The Hurricanes, yeah, no brainer for me here. Nothing screams cup contender or on the rise from that squad to me. But then again, they could prove me wrong. If they get into the playoffs that means I have a chance with Salma Hayek.

Central Division Predictions

1. St. Louis Blues
2. Nashville Predators
3. Chicago Blackhawks
4. Minnesota Wild
5. Dallas Stars
6. Colorado Avalanche
7. Winnipeg Jets

This is hands down the toughest division in hockey. All the teams in this division are good and could be considered playoff teams. I feel I will be dead wrong in my predictions for this division.

You could rotate the Jets with the Wild, the Blackhawks with the Stars. Here is my reasoning for why I ranked it how I did here:

-The Blackhawks are always going to be a playoff team as long as Toews, Kane, and Keith are there. Along with Coach Q. Sharp and Oduya are big losses but do not mean no playoffs

-The Blues are the kings of the regular season. How they do in the playoffs is the bigger concern.

-The Wild have a nice core. People thought they would trend downwards this year and coach Yeo was in trouble. Misjudgment there. Their goaltending is the biggest concern but they haven’t missed the playoffs in years with Suter and Parise at the helm.

-The Predators have the best defensive core in the league and Laviolette usually stays decent as head coach (until year three or so usually).

I can’t see these four teams missing for those reasons. The Stars are the wildcard for me. I feel they may either be able to sneak in as a lower seed, or pass the Predators or Wild. They have a nice young core and elite offensive prowess.

The Avalanche are still a big question mark but again have a nice young core. They too are speedy as hell. They are too inconsistent. One year they finish high, the next, quite low. I’m not too sure if that inconsistency means they are as good as the five I listed above them.

The Jets, I’m sorry to their fans. I really do think last year was an anomaly and I’m not buying them as an elite team. The six teams I ranked ahead of them I feel are flat out better. Of course I ranked the Jets in the bottom of the division last year, and they finished fifth in reality.

Pacific Division Predictions

1. Anaheim Ducks
2. Vancouver Canucks
3. Los Angeles Kings
4. San Jose Sharks
5. Edmonton Oilers
6. Calgary Flames
7. Arizona Coyotes

Here is when my homerism comes in and big time.

I also follow this division more than the other divisions in hockey besides maybe the central division (since that one is so competitive and fun to watch).

I don’t even know if the Anaheim Ducks are a safe bet to finish first. Bruce Boudreau has always been a regular season coach though, so they are the logical choice. Look out Ducks fans about Bieksa though. Don’t complain if he manages to bring your defense down by himself. But like I said, the logical choice for first is the Ducks.

Here is where I will be crucified; I think the Canucks will be a better team this year than last. I follow this team more than any other team. I know Willie Desjardins is a winner. I predicted wild card last year and they instead came in fifth in the western conference and had 101 points. Willie will keep the good times rolling.

Ryan Miller needs to emulate what he did last year. 28-15 as a starter and solid for the most part before he got hurt. I couldn’t ask for more from him. If Jakob Markstrom breaks out like he did in the AHL last year, this could be an awesome goaltending duo.

Bieksa, Matthias, Kassian. All misfits that are gone and replaced by better guys. I truly believe Matt Bartkowski and Clendening will be good on defense. Clendening was solid for us when we had an injury bug in January-March. Little do Canucks fans forget that Sbisa was as well.

Sven Baertschi will be coming in to play on the second line. I can’t see him playing worse than Higgins or Burrows did offensively on the second line. He will put up better numbers. I am a believer.

Horvat and especially Linden Vey will have better years. If Vey doesn’t have a better year he will be gone. I’m rooting for him as he seems like a solid kid. Brandon Prust will be a hellraiser just like Derek Dorsett was on the fourth line. And enter in big Jake Virtanen and Ron Kenins.

Call me a homer, but that’s how I see things. The sky is not falling for me. We aren’t cup contenders but we will be fine.

The Sharks are a wild card to me. Will new coach Peter Deboer be the spark needed for this team? I always felt he was a good coach in New Jersey who was just brutal on the young kids like Adam Larsson. Paul Martin and Joel Ward are also coming in. I’m not sure about Martin but I know Joel Ward is good…for the postseason at least if the Sharks do make it.

The Kings might improve or they might bust. I really don’t know. I do feel Stoll, Richards, Voynov, and Williams all gone is a huge hit to their identity and core. Yeah they now have Lucic but he doesn’t make up for four guys. They will be a team to watch this year.

The Oilers have made all the right moves this offseason. Better moves than any offseason they have had in five or so years. But they are like that dirtbag boyfriend the girl you liked in high school had. They do all the right things but then screw over their fans once the regular season starts. I can’t see how they don’t improve with the changes they made. But if they still suck, the city of Edmonton may be cursed just like Cleveland is.

As for the Calgary Flames, yeah, call me a hater. I wasn’t impressed by them at all last year even though they knocked out my Canucks. It was a giant “whatever” feeling. Bob Hartley usually gets tuned out by his team and I feel that happens anytime with this Flames squad if they keep playing the way they are. Believe it or not, I think Dougie Hamilton will be a bomb in Calgary. He certainly was when I watched him in Boston which is part of the reason why he got dealt. There also is something there that simply does not add up. Boston got rid of him for a low return, meaning not only was he a turnover machine, he may have had character issues. I do however like their addition of Frolik. But I can’t for the life of me see Monahan and Gaudreau replicating the seasons they had last year.

So there you have it. Let the hate mail commence!

Here is what I am predicting the 2015-2016 post season to look like:

Lightning .vs. Senators/Islanders/Blue Jackets (two of these three make it)
Red Wings .vs. Panthers

Penguins .vs. Senators/Islanders/Blue Jackets (two of these three make it)
Capitals .vs. Rangers

Blues .vs. Wild
Blackhawks .vs. Predators

Ducks .vs. Stars/Sharks (most likely Stars)
Canucks .vs. Kings

My Thoughts on the Canucks Offseason

Ramblings

So the Canucks have made quite a lot of significant moves this offseason.

I have followed along, analyzed, and thought about a lot of these moves. I unfortunately also had to listen to the fans who in typical Vancouver attitude bitched, whined, and trashed every move.

Let’s recap what happened:

-The Canucks get eliminated by the Calgary Flames in six games in the NHL quarter finals

Let me start off by saying the Canucks had a successful season all things aside. No one in Vancouver or on the NHL pundit side picked as high of a finish as fifth in the western conference WITH 101 points. They finished the year before with around 80 points and picked sixth overall. I don’t care what anyone says or how they did it, that is a success.

I thought they had a chance to make it to the second round since the Calgary Flames, no offense, were the worst squad to get into the postseason. At least in the western conference. What happens? Well, six games later, the Canucks lost. I won’t really get into the first four games where they went down three games to one. But they looked like they were getting their act together thereafter. Of course until the second period of game six where they forgot what defense was.

How do you go up 3-0 to losing 7-4? That can’t be on coaching. Willie can only do so much if his squad decides to stop playing defense or playing at all. No wonder Benning made huge decisions on the squad after this sham of a performance. There is completely no excuse, I don’t care where you are playing, to lose in that matter. You also can’t blame it on Ryan Miller. If you put a sad sack of losers who refuse to play defense in front of any goalie, and that goalie is coming off a good game plus an injury-esque season, the blame is not on him. The blame is on the leaders of the team and the defense.

-The 2015 NHL draft happens

So after the embarrassing game six and an early start to golfing season once again for the Canucks, the management team made no moves until after this draft occurred (or at least started).

The draft was by all means not that bad. Brock Boeser will be a future NHL player and looks like he has good character in the videos I’ve seen. Lots of people were saying this was a solid, shrewd pick. Craig Button who is an analyst on TSN was high on him. Who could we have drafted over him that was available and better at the 23rd spot? Pretty much no one. He is young and still playing in the US high school hockey league. But in four years, this may be a great pick.

Guillaume Brisebois with the third round pick we got in the Eddie Lack trade (I will talk about this next), looks like a good pick. Too bad he’s in a rough spot with the fans. They will ask for his head whenever he doesn’t perform well because “we got rid of Lack for him”. Typical Vancouver fans once again.

Dmitri Zhukenov was said to be a decent pick in the fourth round as well. Adam Gaudette from Boston College in the fifth round is a player many scouts are said to be high on.

Basically, we will have to wait four years to see how this draft went. But all the positive signs are there. I am a believer in Jim Benning’s ability to draft and develop. The 2014 NHL draft he had the year before was the best draft the Canucks have had in a while.

-Eddie Lack traded to Carolina Hurricanes for a third and seventh round pick

I knew this was going to happen. We were not getting rid of Ryan Miller since he is experienced and will handle the load next year unless he goes down to injury once again.

Therefore it’s a choice between Eddie Lack and Jakob Markstrom.

Let’s be logical here, Canucks fans.

Markstrom was once said to be the number one goalie prospect during his days in Florida. He had an MVP caliber season in Utica the last season in the AHL.

Eddie Lack has never had that potential. He was good in the AHL, no doubt, but not the clear cut best goalie like Markstrom was for Utica last year. And he’s never been talked up to possibly become on the better goalies in the league.

It was a tough decision but what had to be done.

The return? I’m not a fan. Brisebois who we draft in the third round is the wildcard. And Jim Benning is high on him. He has great character and became captain on a QMJHL team at a very young age.

I do believe Benning when he says Carolina will use Eddie Lack as a backup. Cam Ward has never lost the starting job while there. Lack will be a 1B to Ward’s 1A. Lack as a 1B behind Ryan Miller this year was alright. Not outstanding like the fans claim. He didn’t win games like Ryan Miller did. I don’t care about the stats or numbers quite frankly. Miller is ahead of him regardless.

So those are my thoughts on that. Good luck in Carolina, Eddie.

-Zack “unmotivated” Kassian and a fifth round pick to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Brandon Prust

Let me start off by saying that this is a fantastic trade.

I don’t give a shit what people say.

Good riddance to you, Zack Kassian. You have to be delusional as an NHL fan if you think this guy will ever be an all star in the league.

Let me count the amount of coaches who have put this kid in their doghouse. I’ve lost count, quite honestly.

If you don’t give it your all in this league, you will have a path like him and fellow good friend Rene Bourque had. A career of being put in the doghouse of coaches and thrown onto the waiver wire.

You think Michelle Therrien will be all buddy-buddy with this guy and turn him into an all star? You belong in a mental institution. Willie Desjardins is one of the nicer coaches in the league to his players. He’s hard and intense, but if you think Therrien is a nicer guy on younger players, you have another thing coming. The guy demoted Alex Galchenyuk to the third and fourth lines on the Canadiens and Galchenyuk has ten fold more skill than Zack freaking Kassian.

Just mentioning Kassian’s name makes me angry. Whenever I read about Canucks fans discussing him on forums and talking up his potential, I don’t get what they are seeing.

Brandon Prust, welcome to the team buddy. I love the way this guy plays. No doubt he will give it his all here. The only problem is he may affect big Ron Kenins playing time. I am a Kenins fan as well. Hopefully these two challenge themselves and play well this year.

The way this trade happened? A waiver wire loser and a fifth round pick for great guy Brandon Prust.

Ignore the fans here, Prust. The true fans are happy Kassian is gone and you will be holding the fort on the fourth line with Dorsett.

-Kevin Bieksa traded to the Anaheim Ducks for a second round pick

An excellent trade for Jim Benning, almost a fleece.

The fact we got a somewhat high pick for the worst defenseman on the Canucks all season long is a great trade.

He also accepted the trade since the foolish Anaheim Ducks general manager will extend him. This guy was pure poison in the postseason for the Canucks. Worst player on the squad by a country mile.

He was to Sbisa like that bad kid in high school that you hung out with was to yourself. Your parents hated that bad kid and thought he was a bad influence. Bieksa was the same to Sbisa. He was so bad that Sbisa in turn was bad when they were paired together.

People forget that during the time Bieksa and Hamhuis both went down, Sbisa and Clendening actually played well. They did and I’m not lying. We won games during that injury riddled stretch.

Bieksa returned and the pairing with Sbisa was probably the worst I’ve seen since someone like Eric Weinrich played for the Canucks. The Flames must have scored every time in the series when those two were on the ice.

Let’s not slander Bieksa much though. He was an awesome leader, teammate, and citizen to the city of Vancouver during his time here. A great individual and a great player when we were an elite team in 2011.

I wish him well on the Ducks.

-The management team from the Gillis regime gets canned along with head trainer Mike Burnstein

Okay, this is the one move that took me off guard and was strange. But it sort of makes sense, all things aside.

This is essentially Benning and Linden declaring themselves as the new sherriff’s in charge and wanting to build the organization from the top down.

Gilman was a great assistant general manager but it was clear he had no role on the team anymore. Benning did not go to him before negotiating the Sbisa and Dorsett contracts. That is clear. I doubt Gilman would be advising him to pay that much to both. He’d also maybe want a classic Gillis no trade clause added in.

Lorne Henning was a strange move. He managed the AHL team apparently and they had a great season. I think Benning is taking it over more now as shown by the moves and prospect deals last year.

Eric Crawford I could see why he was let go. The drafting has been shit for years. But if he goes, Ronald Delorme should have gone too. Delorme and Benning did after all used to be team mates on the shitty Canucks squad in the late 1980s. So maybe that friendship still lingers. Crawford did have to go regardless. The scouting needs to be changed immensly. Gillis could not draft worth a damn during his time here. Neither could Dave Nonis.

Mike Burnstein was an odd move. I have no clue why he was let go. Could we speculate and say that maybe he handled the Brad Richardson and Zack Kassian injury situations poorly? Who knows.

Best of luck to them on their future endeavours, I guess.

-Matt Bartkowski free agent signing

A great signing. Love it.

If you hate this move, kiss my ass, Canucks fans. Really. This guy will be solid on the bottom pairing and fit in Willie’s high speed system like a glove fits a hand.

Welcome to Vancouver, Matt.

So there you have it, those are my thoughts. A successful offseason. Jimmy Benning will keep the good times rolling here and will give his middle finger to all the pundits who complain, riot, or whine about every little move.

The next time you complain, think logically Canucks fans. You deserve a team on par with the mid 2000 Edmonton Oilers if you are going to have that attitude.

Watching the 2015 Canucks summer summit video on Youtube where season ticket holders attended and asked the brass questions left me ashamed. The East Indian kid with male titties was among the worst. He should be banned from Rogers arena or following anything Canucks related.

Everyone Eventually Falls

Sports

ken-holland-2011-5-13-1-10-38

This has been on my mind for a while.

I constantly see people (mostly Detroit Red Wings fans) getting upset or in an uproar over Ken Holland’s moves or lack of production lately. The same can be said for general manager Lou Lamoriello in New Jersey. They haven’t seen the playoffs in a few years. At least Detroit has. As an eighth seed.

The case here is that everyone eventually goes down. It does not matter who you are or what you do. Everyone has to fall.

Ken Holland made Detroit years ago the place every top free agent wanted to play in a cap-less environment. They were like Chicago and Los Angeles are now. Even after the cap was put in around the 2005 lockout, they were still a powerhouse. Pavel Datsyuk was chosen in what round? Oh yeah, around the sixth round. Henrik Zetterberg was a seventh round pick. If you ask me those are probably the two best ever sixth and seventh round picks you will ever see.

Since then though the game has changed. His players have gotten older. Detroit is simply not the powerhouse it used to be and he’s clinging on to Zetterberg and Datsyuk really. Along with coach Babcock. I would say the move that crippled Holland’s team the most was Lidstrom retiring. He still had a few years left in him. They were around a fifth place team in the west with him there. Now they would be lucky to even be in eighth in the eastern conference. A player like Lidstrom is simply irreplaceable. Picture the Los Angeles Kings without Drew Doughty in the playoffs or Chicago without Duncan Keith. They would lose that fire on the blue line. It doesn’t matter who plays up front when you lose an anchor like that.

The same can be said for Lou Lamoriello. He was the best general manager in hockey in the late 90s along with Ken Holland. Brian Burke once claimed the Devils were the most well run organization in hockey. Now look at them. They cling on to more past their prime players than the Detroit Red Wings do. They passed the torch to Los Angeles and Chicago as well. They have no prospect pool or depth to speak of and the only thing going for them is getting Cory Schneider. I will admit as a Vancouver fan that that guy can play his ass off in net. He will be a top five goalie in the league soon enough. Getting rid of him was hard to take. But outside of him their roster is puke worthy.

This all shows no one stays on top forever. Coaches come and go and so do general managers. In ten years from now we may be complaining about Peter Chiarelli (Boston’s general manager) hanging on to past their prime players.

Predicting the 2014-2015 NHL Standings

Sports

Season starts in October. Of course these will most likely not be perfect or right. As John Tortorella would say, I am just throwing shit on a wall and hoping it sticks.

Atlantic Division (Eastern Conference)
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Boston Bruins
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Ottawa Senators
7. Florida Panthers
8. Buffalo Sabres

A bit of a bold prediction here. I think the Lightning step up from the previous year. Coach Jon Cooper is a great coach. They have Stamkos coming back for a full year this time (most likely, let’s hope he doesn’t get injured as he’s great to watch). If Ben Bishop performs well and they step up from last year (which I think they will), they could take over the division. The Bruins are still a good team but I just think they will regress eventually. Montreal definitely has a playoff team on paper and with Price in net they are a no brainer. Detroit and Toronto will be interesting. Both are quite evenly matched. Detroit however was faced with huge, huge injuries last season and they have been trending downwards. I think they will battle Toronto for around a seventh-eighth seed spot. The bottom three teams are easy to predict. Buffalo is looking like a lottery team and their fans know it. If Ron Rolston was there for the whole season last year as coach they may have had the worst record for an NHL team since the 1995 lockout. The Florida Panthers made all these high picks and signed a bunch of guys but it’s not good enough to overtake the six teams I have ranked ahead of them. They suck and will continue to suck. Poor Luongo. The Senators have an awful roster on paper and could be a lottery team too. But with Karlsson still there, decent goaltending, and a great coach in Paul MacLean will make them not a lottery team but short of a playoff spot.

Metropolitan Division (Eastern Conference)

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. New York Rangers
3. Philadelphia Flyers
4. New Jersey Devils
5. New York Islanders
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
7. Washington Capitals
8. Carolina Hurricanes

This is actually quite a tough division to predict. When taking a look at things no doubt the Penguins, Rangers, and Flyers are the three best teams in the division. After them you can rotate the bottom five teams. When looking at last year the Devils lost thirteen shootouts. I highly doubt that happens again. Their roster looks quite awful but I think with Cory Schneider in net as the starter and no Brodeur they can be a playoff team or fall just short. Columbus has not impressed me much. I don’t think they repeat what they did last year. They played with a lot of heart and energy in the post season and to get there. I just don’t see it happening again this year. They might make me eat my words, who knows. I believe you could rotate them with the Devils but I’m going with the Devils this year. The Washington Capitals are a team I could see becoming a disaster by hiring Barry Trotz as a coach. He does not fit as a coach for that offensive styled team. He coaches an awful style. I see him lasting not long at all there. He coached some of the most boring hockey I have ever seen when he was in Nashville. As for Carolina, I’m not really sure if they will finish last in the division. I admittedly don’t follow them much to make a solid prediction. But I really don’t see them cracking the top eight in the conference either. They should realistically finish ahead of teams such as the Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres, and maybe Senators but not good enough to get into the postseason.

Central Division (Western Conference)
1. St. Louis Blues
2. Chicago Blackhawks
3. Minnesota Wild
4. Dallas Stars
5. Nashville Predators
6. Colorado Avalanche
7. Winnipeg Jets

Ah, the beauty as well as the hard times of being the western conference. Only 14 teams and 8 get to make it into the playoffs. But then most of those 14 teams are actually very good. Especially in the central division. That is going to be a tough division to play in. Perhaps the toughest in the league, tougher than the pacific division was last year. The Blues should remain as the top seed. They have been good in the regular season for years. They dumped Ryan Miller who was not working out for them and got Paul Statsny from Colorado, a solid addition to their team. Look for Tarasenko and Schwartz to be even better this year. The only problem is they have proven they can not win in the post season. That is outside the point. They will make it in as a high seed once again. The Blackhawks and Wild definitely will as well. As for the Dallas Stars, I really like what they are doing. They just added point per game player Jason Spezza to an already great offensive roster. They will be even better me thinks. Nashville has hired Peter Laviolette and left defensive minded loser Barry Trotz stranded in the desert. Great move. Laviolette has won everywhere he’s gone. He could make Nashville an exciting team to watch as well as a playoff team unlike doofus Trotz. He should go talk to John Tortorella in a steam bath about how to ruin a hockey team by playing dump and chase. End rant. The Avalanche were good last year but I just have a feeling they won’t be as good as the five teams I mentioned above them. There was a feeling as if they over achieved last year. They got off to a wickedly hot start and kept it up throughout the season. I just feel if there’s one team that won’t repeat what they did last year it is them. I hope they make me eat my words because they play an exciting brand of hockey and they are easy to root for. I just don’t have high hopes. The Jets as the worst team in this division is a no brainer. I’d be shocked if they get above seventh seed. Their roster lacks the talent the other teams in their division have.

Pacific Division (Western Conference)

1. Anaheim Ducks
2. San Jose Sharks
3. Los Angeles Kings
4. Vancouver Canucks
5. Calgary Flames
6. Arizona Coyotes
7. Edmonton Oilers

I said in a previous post on here of my most bold predictions for the year that the Canucks will make the playoffs. Of course I am sticking to that. I say they get in as a seventh or eighth seed. They will surprise people. The Kings are historically or lately not a dominant team in the season but they could care less. They’ve won two cups in three years, once as an eighth seed the other as a sixth seed. The Sharks were good in the regular season last year and have not really downgraded or anything like that. I think they could be in the same position they were in last year. They are a good team in the regular season but chokers in the post season. That’s again outside the point. They will make it to the playoffs. The Ducks are president trophy favourites this year and I think they will realistically win it. Getzlaf and Perry are still there and Boudreau is the right coach for this team…in the regular season that is. Not the playoffs where he’s never done anything. They also added Kesler and Clayton Stoner. They will be a good team in the season no question about it. Perhaps one of the most shocking picks one would see here is that I have Calgary ranked higher than Arizona. Arizona is well managed and coached but they do not have much talent at all to be a playoff team. I like what Calgary is doing. Hartley is a great coach and has them busting their asses off every game. This is coming from someone that hates Calgary as a whole. I think they will be rivals with Vancouver this season and both battling each other for that final playoff spot perhaps or a low seeded spot. The Oilers will never improve as long as Kevin Lowe is there, don’t think otherwise. Until he’s gone and out, they will continue to suck. A poorly managed organization from top to bottom.

To summarize the post season should look like:

Atlantic:
1. Tampa Bay Lightning .vs. 4. Detroit Red Wings/Toronto Maple Leafs/New York Islanders (dark horse pick)
2. Boston Bruins .vs. 3. Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan:
1. Pittsburgh Penguins .vs. 4. New Jersey Devils
2. New York Rangers .vs .3. Philadelphia Flyers

Central:
1. St. Louis Blues .vs. 4. Dallas Stars
2. Chicago Blackhawks .vs. 3. Minnesota Wild

Pacific:
1. Anaheim Ducks .vs. 4. Vancouver Canucks/Nashville Predators (dark horse picks)
2. San Jose Sharks .vs. 3. Los Angeles Kings

There May Never Be Another Eric Lindros

Sports

4ed3848f28755.image_

A question was recently brought up on if there are any NHL prospects that resemble the Big E.

There are not, no question about it.

His combination of size, speed, and skill may never be seen in the NHL again. Before the 2000-2001 season he was quite easily the best player in the league for a number of years.

How he never won a cup is beyond me. It’s a shame his career was cut short with injuries.

Although the game is getting a lot bigger and more gritty since the 2004-2005 lockout, I highly doubt we see someone with Eric Lindros’ physical attributes and talents ever again. There will be another Crosby but there most likely won’t be another Lindros.

A lot of pundits always complain about the Philadelphia-Quebec trade but looking back at it it was a good tradeoff.