Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Blackhawks’

Jay Feaster’s Playoff-Bound Calgary Flames?

October 9th, 2011

As I sat watching the Calgary Flames home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, I kept asking myself what the hell Jay Feaster was talking about. Context: Earlier this summer Feaster was quoted saying his Flames will make the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Several. Times.

“We’ll make the playoffs this year”
Jay Feaster, Calgary Flames General Manager | Source

Yeah, for realz.

Look, no one’s putting a gun to the man’s head. Maybe Feaster is trying to light a fire under the asses of the entire Flames roster. Or maybe he truly believes what he’s saying. Frankly it doesn’t matter. He’s wrong.

» Read more: Jay Feaster’s Playoff-Bound Calgary Flames?

Super Playoff Weigh-In

May 10th, 2011

It’s about time I weigh in with some playoff thoughts. But first one quick thing to mention:

OK. These playoffs have been great. The first round was absolutely killer. Easily the best first round I can recall. For me, some highlights included watching game seven of the Blackhawks-Canucks series in a downtown Chicago bar. You could hear a pin drop in that packed bar for the majority of the third period. That is, until Jonathan Toews did something amazing. Then things got nuts. Unfortunately for the Hawks, Chris Campoli made the biggest error of his career by assisting on Alex Burrows series winning goal.

» Read more: Super Playoff Weigh-In

Some Random Hockey Thoughts

November 20th, 2010

Good evening.

I’m not very good at remembering to post links to my other (less ridiculous) work. So instead I’m going to post several links below with the hope that you read them, as well as the promise that I’ll try to update these links daily on Stayclassy. Anyways…

I’d like to bring your attention to some random hockey thoughts I recently wrote. The thoughts concern Carey Price’s strong play this year and how I think it’s masking how badly the Montreal Candiens screwed up the Jaroslav Halak trade, in addition to whether Steve Stamkos can hit the 70 goal plateau this year (for the record, I put this up before everyone else started the 50-50 club talk… followers!) and the sweet, sweet irony of Marc Savard’s eventual return to Boston (hint: it’s going to affect both Greg and Colin Campbell).

Read the whole thing here.

As well, I wrote about the former 2007 2nd overall pick James van Riemsdyk and why I think he could be the odd man out in Philadelphia sooner than later. There doesn’t seem to be room for him, considering the strong group of forwards the Flyers have (in addition to the emergence of Claude Giroux). If (and that’s a big if) the Flyers traded JVR, I believe they could get some salary cap relief, in addition to a mid-late 1st round draft pick.

Read “James van Riems-Trade” here.

Lastly, when you think of teams who sign their core players to long-term contracts, you think of the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. Obviously the Penguins and Blackhawks are recent Stanley Cup Champions, while the Flyers came pretty close too. And then you have the Vancouver Canucks who have locked up their core players, minus the same kind of results as the teams I mentioned. Interesting. And then you see “buzz teams” like the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings doing the same thing, with even less results than the Canucks. NHL General Managers are in a tough place these days.

Read “Long-Term Faith” here.

And one final note today… RIP Pat Burns. Burns was a terrific coach who made such a huge impact wherever he went. The hockey world lost an amazing ambassador yesterday.

Stay classy, Pat Burns.

Things NHL.com stats didn’t tell me

November 15th, 2010

Sometimes when I get bored I look up stats of NHL stars or young up-and-comers to see how they progressed through their minor league careers and into the NHL. In some cases NHL.com has stats going as far back as Bantam and Midget for some players. For example, take a look at Taylor Hall’s minor hockey stats:

Taylor Hall's minor league stats. How hilarious is that top year in Kingston? 85 points in 29 games? Bahaha!

I find it amusing to see how dominant players like this were in very good AA and AAA leagues, prior to hitting Juniors. And that’s when it hit me. Looking at stats like this, it doesn’t give you the full picture of a player. It doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s almost like there’s a need for advanced information… or better yet, advanced stats!!! (Dun-dun-dunnnn).

And thus, here’s some examples of things NHL.com stats didn’t tell me:

  • Nazem Kadri – As you would expect, Kadri’s stats are impressive. While it’s hard to be critical of a guy who regularly scores more points than games played, I’m not seeing any numerical figures for how many times Kadri will say he believes he’s ready for the NHL after no visible change in attitude, demeanor or play.
  • Taylor Hall – Looking at Hall’s stats (see the image above), you’ll see this kid is a star. He’s been a star at every level he’s ever played at. What the stats don’t say is how good of an impersonator he is. Taylor’s stats this season show a damn good Shawn Horcoff impression, but I’m ready to see Hall play himself.
  • Garth Snow – Everything about Snow’s stats reveal he’s an independent thinker who comes to conclusions and decisions on his own. However, the stats don’t say that the Islanders are being run any differently with him “managing the club” then before he was part of the organization…
  • Drew Doughty – I think Doughty’s stats are great, but to be honest, I can’t be certain. Every time I try to view his stats, this annoying pop up comes on my screen and says “You are limited to 2 views of this player per year because of local blackout restrictions.”
  • Brett Sutter – The weirdest thing happened when I looked at Brett Sutter’s stats. I actually thought GP stood for “glasses purchased,” A for “assaultings,” P for “pints” and PIM for “punching incidents (while) messed up.”
  • Marc Savard – According to his stats, Marc Savard has been a point-per-game player at virtually every level he’s ever played at. Unfortunately, there appears to be no evidence that he was ever “not a pussy.” **
    ** Quote from the NHL’s Wheel of Justice guy.
  • Andrei Markov – OK. I looked pretty hard in Markov’s stats for any kind of injury warnings, but I didn’t find anything beyond “skates very well for a guy who’s right knee is made of glass and silly putty.”
  • Gregory Campbell – While stats tell me Campbell is a secondary/checking scorer who takes the odd penalty here and there, there was no count on how many times his father complained and sent nasty emails about minor stick infractions on Greg’s behalf.

And there you have it! Perhaps there is a need for advanced stats in hockey. Hmmmm. Even after I just finished saying otherwise. Damn me!

Stay classy, advanced hockey stats.

P.S – To read a serious blog I wrote earlier today (I’m on a tear, I know), check out “Long-Term Faith” on The Score. It’s an article about locking up core players far earlier than teams want to and the differences between teams like the Blackhawks and Penguins, and the Vancouver Canucks. It’s probably the best thing you’ll read today. Well, maybe. Thanks!

Making sure Ondrej Pavelec is OK

October 12th, 2010

With all the concern around NHL players who’ve recently sustained serious concussions, players like Marc Savard and Ian Laperriere, it’s important the Atlanta Thrashers take their time with goalie Ondrej Pavelec.

Pavelec suffered a fainting spell during the Thrashers Friday night game against the Washington Capitals. As a result of fainting, Pavelec sustained a concussion too. Pavelec has since been released from the hospital, but he hasn’t been cleared to return to the ice.

I have no doubt the Thrashers will do the right thing and ensure Pavelec is 100% healthy before letting him play again. The Thrashers can’t be cautious enough, especially since no one fully understands the effects of brain injuries.

I’m not a doctor or anything, but I think there are several quick ways we can determine if Pavelec’s concussion is still troubling him.

Critical Thinking
Ask Pavelec to watch the TV show Lost. If the ending doesn’t make sense to him, he’s fine. If he claims the show makes sense, put him on the long term injury list and never let him play hockey again.

Spatial Reasoning
Ask Pavelec how many hockey players should dress for each NHL game. If his answer is closer to 18 than Lou Lamoriello’s answer of 15, we’ll know he’s well enough to manage the New Jersey Devils. If Pavelec’s answer is closer than Lamoriello’s, the Devils might want to make sure Lou hasn’t suffered any head injuries since… last year’s trade deadline.

Reactions
Give Pavelec a mild shove while standing up. If he does not respond with an oral sex gesture, everything is fine. If that is his response, he may need to seek further help and have a conversation with a man by the name of “Colon.”

Problem Solving
Ask Pavelec what Anaheim Ducks statistic is higher between penalty minutes and shots against. There is no right answer here, but if he says anything to the extent of “they’re screwed,” chances are he’s well on his way to recovery and could act as an advisor to Ducks GM Bob Murray.

Cognitive Skills
Ask Pavelec to list, in sequential order, the steps required to mail letters and important documents. Assuming he answers correctly, inform him that he is capable of managing the Chicago Blackhawks and the Florida Panthers.

Stay classy, Ondrej Pavelec. In all seriousness, best of luck with the recovery.

The Vancouver Canucks. Wait, who???

October 4th, 2010

Recently I was asked to write an article about the Vancouver Canucks. I figured “why not,” I’m always up for a challenge. Trouble is, I really didn’t (and still don’t) know much about the Canucks, beyond the fact they are easily Canada’s best shot at a Stanley Cup.

Obviously that doesn’t say much since everyone knows Canada’s next best hockey team might not make the playoffs. Despite my embarrassingly poor knowledge of the Canucks, I’m reasonably comfortable stating the Canucks are the best team in the Western Conference with identical twins.

Image of the Vancouver Canucks

I’m a bit of an optimist (well not really, but still), so maybe this will be one of those “fun” posts where I do research and learn something new about the team. OK, I’m totally in for doing a Canucks article. I’ve convinced myself! *Begins research*

Researching and learning about Vancouver’s hockey team started out well, too. For example, I just read the team cut Brendan Morrison from his pro tryout. Instantly, I’ve learned the difference between the Canucks and the Calgary Flames. But that was the only “easy” information to learn. I started reading more about the on-ice tendencies of all Canucks players and got really confused. The article described how hockey goalies often dive and flop around on the ice. I found this weird and confusing because I didn’t think Alex Burrows was a goalie. What the hell???

Then I discovered there’s a small controversy over who the new team captain will be. I even talked to several Canucks fans about the issue. It seems the consensus choice is either Ryan Kesler or Henrik Sedin. Both seem like great choices to me, especially since neither of them will require a bilingual stepping stool in order to jump over the boards for each shift.

Throughout my research, it was clear the Vancouver Canucks are considered a top contending team for this year’s Stanley Cup. No one has declared this an “all or nothing” season (although typically that’s something you do to justify signing a checking center to a $7.5 Million contract, or something like that…), but this year probably stands as the year the Canucks Stanley Cup window begins to close. I’m told this window will shut far quicker since it doesn’t have to close over top of Shane O’Brien and Kyle Wellwood. Wellwood is apparently going to the KHL. O’Brien, well, I’m guessing he’ll just hibernate over the winter months after being placed on waviers.

Perhaps the biggest reason many see this year as Vancouver’s chance to win the Stanley Cup is because the arch-rival Chicago Blackhawks lost some of their depth and skilled players during the off-season. Of course, Dustin Byfuglien’s trade to the Eastern Conference means Roberto Luongo will only have to worry about his own teammates trying to kill him.

It also means Luongo has one less person to blame during the four or five times he fakes an injury each game…

After doing all this research, I’ve concluded this will be an interesting year for the Vancouver Canucks. The pressure is on to win, but the players and management should be used to that since Canucks fans have expected a Stanley Cup win for the better part of the last decade. Even if they don’t win, the Canucks can take comfort knowing they still have their first round pick in 2011′s Entry Draft.

Stay classy, Vancouver Canucks.

Unseen NHL Center Ice Press Release

September 9th, 2010

Recently the NHL issued a press release for the 2010-2011 Center Ice TV package. The actual news release seems pretty normal but it’s definitely a polished and more refined version.

Like any other press release, several drafts were probably written before any such polishing could happen. Somehow I’ve managed to get my hands on a draft version of this press release… check it out below. It’s probably a good thing they changed it.

NHL Center Ice Press Release | Stayclassy.net

If you would like to download a hi-res/totally awesome version of the image above, click here.

What do you think? Did the NHL do the right thing by changing it? Were they onto something with the draft? Who knows…

Stay classy, NHL Center Ice.

NHL’s 2010 Off-Season with Google Maps and Insight

September 1st, 2010

Alright web-savvy readers, I have a question for you. I’m certain the majority of you have heard of Google Maps and Google Insight. But have you heard of Google’s new web tool, “Google Maps with Insight?”

It’s not yet available to the general public but somehow I got an advanced peek the other day. Since I have no life, the first thing I did was Google the NHL’s 2010 off-season.

First impressions? This thing is pretty in depth. The insight was pretty sharp and I found the geo-placements of various NHL personalities bang on too! I managed to take a screenshot of this new tool for you all to see. Check it out:

Stayclassy.net's funny Google Maps image of the NHL's 2010 Off-Season

Pro tip: You may want to click on the image for a larger view! Click here for hi-res, downloadable version of this image.

Stay classy, NHL 2010 off-season.

Why drinking beer at a hockey game is good for you

August 9th, 2010

The last few times I managed to get myself to an NHL hockey game, it was one of these mad dash drive-home-from-work-grab-tickets-rush-to-the-rink affairs. No big deal, I thought. I’ll just grab some food at the arena.

Not so fast.

A comprehensive study released by ESPN found some pretty bizarre (read: scary) food violations that would make anyone think twice when ordering anything that doesn’t come pre-packaged in several sports arenas. Some NHL highlights (or lowlights):

Jobing.com Arena – Phoenix Coyotes
“Inspectors reports mention a server scooping ice with his bare hands instead of using scoops.”
When asked asked why he didn’t use the scoops provided by Arena and team owners, the server replied “the new scoops Ice Edge gave us have way too many holes in them.”

Joe Louis Arena – Detroit Red Wings
“Inspectors noted cockroaches below a soda dispenser.”
Must be a neat promotion the Red Wings are doing to welcome Chris Chelios back to Detroit. Just like cockroaches, you can’t kill Chelios either!

RBC Center – Carolina Hurricanes
“Inspectors saw employees handle raw, breaded chicken and then handling cooked food without changing gloves or washing hands. The employees placed cooked chicken back in the same container used to hold raw chicken.”
The Hurricanes have finally found an area star Jiri Tlusty can help the organization.

Mellon Arena – Pittsburgh Penguins
“Inspectors found a live cockroach on top of a soda dispenser holster behind the bar.”
Don’t worry, the Penguins new Consol Energy Center houses state-of-the-art, bigger and better everything. Of course that will include nicer digs for all walks of life including cockroaches and Matt Cooke.

Wachovia Center – Philadelphia Flyers
“Inspectors found evidence of mouse and fruit fly infestations at one bar location.”
Upon further investigation, it was determined the fruit flies weren’t a result of poor sanitation or cleaning. The mouse and fruit flies came directly from Scott Hartnell’s hair.

BankAtlantic Center – Florida Panthers
“Inspectors issued several violations for soiled ice bins and coolers.”
Wait. Where?

Rexall Center – Edmonton Oilers
“At one location, workers used contaminated cleaning items.”
I bet Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini deliberated for months on what to do to before reaching a decision that any one of us “non-hockey people” would make in about two minutes.

American Airlines Arena – Dallas Stars
“Inspectors find expired milk, brown lettuce and employees caught drinking or eating while they were working in the stand accounted for some of the stadium’s critical violations.”
How long has this been happening for? Once the milk, lettuce or bad employees have been with the Stars for 20 years, they’ll be sure to let them go promptly.

Phillips Arena – Atlanta Thrashers
“At a couple of locations, inspectors found food not being protected from contamination.”
I wonder if this was happening in Chicago last season?

I’m still trying to picture the customer’s reaction when he saw the guy scooping the ice cream. Will that be one scoop or two?

Stay classy, hungry hockey fans.

Thoughts on the recent NHL activity

August 2nd, 2010

I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers apologizing for the lack of updates recently citing “a lack of hockey news” as their primary reason. It’s not that I disagree, I just refuse to apologize. Mostly because I’m a jerk. But a pro tip I’ve come to discover: the less you post, the more there is to talk about. It requires less work and minimizes how much of me you – the good reader – have to put up with! So win-win, right?

OK here’s some actual hockey thoughts from recent NHL activity. Things got pretty interesting today!

Who does arbitration hurt more?

Marty Turco - Chicago Blackhawks | Stayclassy.netWhen talking about arbitration, typically it’s looked at in terms of how much it damages a player’s ego. Many have suggested teams taking their players to arbitration fractures the team-player relationship in the eyes of the player. It basically represents the team saying they don’t believe the player is worth what he think’s he’s worth and that gets ugly fast. If we’ve learned anything from the Antti Niemi fiasco, it’s that it can be the other way around too. Niemi rejecting a multi-year deal prior to arbitration forced Stan Bowman’s hand, made such a process a reality and probably pissed off the Hawks enough to ensure a standing contract was made with Marty Turco prior to Niemi’s hearing even starting.

Price with Niemi

I’m so clever. You don’t actually think I meant dollars did you? Of course not! Obviously I meant Carey Price. Contract talks between he and the Montreal Canadiens don’t seem to be going anywhere. Makes you wonder why Montreal would trade Jaroslav Halak without signing Price first. I don’t think Bob Gainey is still running the show in Montreal anymore…  Anyways, with a better and slightly more proven goalie on the market, one has to wonder if Carey get’s his act together and signs with the Canadiens sooner than later. Although if the Habs can swoop in on Niemi, I’d pay big bucks to hear him say (with Finnish accent and all) “The price is wrong bitch” to Carey Price.

Still on Niemi…

It should be interesting to see where Niemi lands. Like everyone else I’m guessing San Jose. Touche Doug Wilson. That was a pretty sly move signing Niklas Hjalmarsson to a slightly high offer sheet last month. Wilson knew this offer sheet would make resigning Hjalmarsson and Niemi nearly impossible for Bowman and the Hawks. It’s my understanding that the Sharks have wanted Niemi all along. I reserve the right to retract that statement if Niemi ends up somewhere else.

Tim Kennedy on waivers… Huh?

Earlier on Monday, the Buffalo Sabres placed Tim Kennedy on waivers with the intention of buying out his $1 Million arbitrator awarded contract. The confusion comes for two reasons. One: why are the Sabres buying him out if they just signed him to the contract awarded by an arbitrator? That answer can be found here (in short, they have no choice). Two: The Sabres have a problem with paying $1 Million/year for a 24 year old hometown kid who scored 26 points in 78 games last season? I’m thinking someone claims him in the next 24 hours.

Marty Turco’s $1.3 Million salary

Congrats to Turco on landing a gig with the Chicago Blackhawks this coming season. I guess turning down the Flyers a few weeks ago wasn’t such a bad decision after all. But it’s not all roses for Turco – New York Rangers star Derek Boogaard makes $350,000 more than him. For three additional years. Ouch. On the plus side, Turco’s name hasn’t been discussed this much since well, ever. Oh and speaking of which, can the Blackhawks drama finally be over soon? I’m kind of sick of talking about them.

Stay classy, slow NHL news stories.