Posts Tagged ‘Mikko Koivu’

Dany Heatley’s Decline Reminds Us We’re All Human

July 4th, 2011

Michael Russo from the Star Tribune wrote a terrific article earlier concerning Dany Heatley, his trade to the Minnesota Wild, and his time with the San Jose Sharks.

As fans it’s easy to get caught up in liking/disliking athletes. Dany Heatley’s “heal turn” in the summer of 2009 represents that better than virtually any other example I can think of.  His departure from Ottawa was well documented here, and by pretty much every other blog and sports outlet in North America.

As Russo points out, Heatley’s time in San Jose will largely be viewed as failure. The Sharks didn’t win any Stanley Cups and twice lost in the Western Conference finals (both times fairly convincingly too). Heatley’s playoff numbers aren’t amazing either. In fact, the former 50-goal scorer managed just 22 points in 32 games over his two post-seasons with the Sharks. Frankly, those stats are somewhat flattering too. Only five of Heatley’s 22 points were goals.

Disappointing stats? Absolutely, but it’s not that simple. While it’s clear the new NHL – the way the game is played, the younger and faster players, and the new rules – don’t bode well for Heatley and his style, he’s still an elite goal scorer at this level. Consecutive injury plagued seasons have certainly played a significant role in Heatley’s decline. From torn groins to broken hands, Heatley has probably seen more trainers and medical rooms in the last two years than most nurses.

» Read more: Dany Heatley’s Decline Reminds Us We’re All Human

Hockey resemblances in my office

July 16th, 2010

Well readers it’s Friday, which probably means you are already at home enjoying the weekend. For the few of you still at the office, I have a treat for you (read: a 5 minute time waster). Lately I’ve noticed a ton of similarities and resemblances of hockey and hockey stories in my office. Maybe I’m sinking to new low’s in this brutally slow off-season. Or maybe it’s because the only hockey news I’m hearing about is Ilya Kovalchuk’s sight-seeing itinerary. Or – and this is a huge possibility – I’m going crazy. At any rate, here are some hockey resemblances in my office:

  • The receptionist in my office is a pest. Everything she does is annoying and she yaps way too much. Each time we speak is like a dagger through my eye. When she talks I see her lips moving but I never truly comprehend what she’s saying. And she repeats herself six or seven times per thought, at minimum. Without a doubt, this must be how Ryan Kelser feels when told his linemate for the year will be Alex Burrows.
  • My boss doesn’t do anything particularly well. In fact, he always gets in the way of projects and tasks. He’s a giant road block at life. And he’s paid quite well too. Basically, he’s Anton Volchenkov.
  • Of course offer sheets don’t exist in my office. Never would competition offer a 200% salary raise to someone for simply being employed. What does exist in my office is an immediate “You’re fired if you don’t perform well” offer. It’s valid at any time.
  • My office has a wonderful design team. They are very creative and combined with the marketing department are excellent at taking silly ideas and keeping them in the news for weeks on end. They were thrilled to hear from Dean Lombardi a few weeks ago about a “top secret July news-blitz project.”
  • A few women in my office are engaged and soon to be married. It’s a very happy time for them. They are enjoying the planning process but admit they are slight divas. They are also very competitive people. Can you imagine how much “Z-Snaping” and weird neck gestures I’m going to see after they find out Carrie Underwood had a secret wedding location located “somewhere” in North America???
  • I started working at this office just before the NHL’s regular season ended. Once the summer officially began I noticed the office hours changed dramatically. In fact, I haven’t seen many of my co-workers for months now. You are probably thinking “OK, this is going to be a Leafs joke because they always miss the playoffs.” Yup! You are correct. Leafs suck!
  • All is quiet in our “cowards who don’t back up their words” department. I guess we let those guys intern at Vogue all summer too.
  • This isn’t at all related to my job but it’s good to see Mike Komisarek in the news again. I’m impressed at how much he’s contributed to the NHLPA’s search for a new leader. I think it speaks to his work ethic. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s done more for the PA this summer than he did for the Leafs all last season.
  • My company lost a terrific salesman last summer named Marian. It’s still affecting our sales numbers for this year and the company has yet to get back on track. But we can’t afford to look at the past any longer. It was an employee we should have kept and didn’t. Instead we decided to double the salary of our next best salesman, Mikko. We figure he’ll eventually become the all time sales leader within our organization, surpassing the totals of Marian’s 7-year tenure with us, even if it takes him the rest of his career. And when that time comes – and it might not, ever – we will celebrate by calling Mikko a “franchise salesman.”

Stay classy, weird hockey office.

If Dany Heatley goes to Minnesota, who’s his center?

August 17th, 2009

First of all, that’s a big if.  We don’t know if Dany Heatley will ever waive his No-Trade-Clause.  I thought the odds of Heatley waiving the NTC were comparable to Tiger Woods actually losing a golf championship when leading by 2 strokes entering Sunday’s final round.  Given Tiger’s collapse yesterday, is that a sign of things to come for Heatley?

That may be pushing it… but if you haven’t heard the rumors, some notable reports suggest the Minnesota Wild are very interested in Heatley and have even tabled an offer to Bryan Murray and the Ottawa Senators for the sniper.

Is Dany Heatley on his way to Minnesota?

Is Dany Heatley on his way to Minnesota?

Who’s reporting the rumor? and, among others.  And they are pretty damn good, too.

There’s a few interesting things to this rumor.  Firstly, of all the teams ever rumored to have interest in Heatley, I believe this is the first one who could legitimately afford his contract without massive and sudden roster changes (or changes that don’t make sense!).  Secondly, this would make for a pretty good offensive combination with the newly acquired Martin Havlat, also an ex-Senator.  Thirdly, Brent Flahr was a part of the Senators upper management until earlier this summer – he is now an Assistant General Manager of the Wild.  Perhaps this rumor has wings afterall…

I may be getting ahead of myself here, but if Heatley did become a Wild … or became Wild …  or joined the Wild (wow that was difficult!), I’m assuming he would play left wing and Havlat would play right wing.  That’s a pretty leathal attack.  But who’d play center?  Havlat’s not the pure sniper Heatley is, but he’s also a legitimate 30-goal scorer.  Right now, Wild center’s include Mikko Koivu and James Sheppard (nevermind the fact they’ve both been mentioned in these trade rumors with Ottawa).  I don’t really think either are true NHL 1st line centers.

No disrespect intended, but looking at Koivu, his career point high is 67 points.  And James Sheppard, although only 21 with two NHL seasons under his belt had a career high of 24 points last year.  Granted, both were in defense-first Jacques Lemaire systems, but can either of these players truly be the piece that plays between Heatley and Havlat?

I’m not sure how that would work.  But maybe Havlat and Heatley would be playing on different lines?  Note to Wild head coach Todd Richards: Don’t put Heatley on the 2nd line. Apparently he doesn’t like that and could ask for a trade as a result.  On the other hand, Havlat may kick you with skates on …  Catch 22.  Or Catch 24.  Or Catch 15.  Wow, bad joke.

Beyond the fact the Wild don’t legitimately have a first line player for Heatley or Havlat, they don’t have a set-up guy for either.  Koivu had 47 assists last year… but to put things into perspective, Ottawa’s Filip Kuba had 37.  And the Minnesota Wild did have more goals for last season than the Senators did.

I’m not saying I don’t want the trade to happen – I do – I just want a resolution.  And the rumored pieces coming back to Ottawa are nice.  But I’m not sure how Minnesota makes Heatley fit with their club.  The weird thing about this one, unlike any other team ever interested in Heatley: it’s not a salary cap problem.

Stay classy, Minnesota Wild.

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