Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend's events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.
Oh, for the days when the rumor mill regarding Boston getting the Winter Classic was still just starting up. They were fun times, full of joy and expectation that this, like the other Winter Classics, would only do the NHL good.
But nature's first green being its hardest hue to hold (I believe I've heard that somewhere before), we had to know that an organization as mind-bogglingly thick as the National Hockey League would indeed find a way to screw up perhaps the freest lunch in sports.
So imagine my total lack of surprise when I saw this tweet from Joe Haggerty, Bruins reporter for WEEI.com and all-around swell guy, this morning:
"Heard today that Bruins and Flyers are going to have to share same Red Sox home clubhouse between two teams during the Winter Classic. Yikes"
Yikes indeed. Granted, Fenway is the oldest park in baseball, and the unfortunate accommodations are, most likely, because the park is the oldest in baseball and as such has an objectively terrible set-up. I've been in the Red Sox clubhouse and it's barely big enough to hold the Red Sox' 25-man roster on a given night, and even then with limited comfort.
Now imagine 40 hockey players squeezed into it like sardines. And factor in that, because of that whole Patrice Bergeron(notes)/Randy Jones incident (two players, I should note, that are still with these respective teams), these teams seem to really not like each other at all, how cozy that Red Sox clubhouse is going to feel. Good work, NHL.
We should have been worried from the start, of course.
(Coming Up: Nobody beats the Wiz in Anaheim; the Kings of hockey sabermetrics; Georges Laraque(notes) goes vegetarian and goes to KFC; Thing of the Week; and several preposterous trade proposals involving Montreal that will anger everyone from Vancouver to Manhattan.)
The rumors of a Calgary-based game, for example, made everyone kind of step back and say, "Well, I like outdoor hockey as much as the next guy, but TWO outdoor games?" and the NHL, to its infinite credit, heard that concern and said, "Well maybe we'll do that one later," as a way of assuaging the Canadian fans that, rightly, feel a bit hard done by in not even getting consideration for a Winter Classic before places like Las Vegas or the Rose Bowl.
And then, of course, there's the fact that this was originally rumored to be a Bruins/Montreal Canadiens game. "Too interesting to Canadian fans," scoffed the NHL, no doubt knowing that those dumb canuck idiots will watch anything played on ice (including curling for the love of Pete!) and thus believe the league need do little more than exist to win their hearts, minds and, most important, loonies.
So instead the rumors began swirling that the Washington Capitals would be coming to town. And while no one in Boston cares about the Capitals in a substantive way, at least they'd all get to see Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green(notes), etc. so that was all well and good.
But then it came out that, for whatever reason, it was against the Flyers instead, news that was met with a resounding, "Oh, who cares about the Flyers?" Certainly people in Philadelphia, I'm sure. And even Pittsburgh, at least in the way Boston fans care about the Yankees.
So what's next from the NHL? News that the teams also have to share a bench and play half-ice because the league sold time to a senior league for its championship game? I can't wait.
What We Learned SVE (Summer Vacation Edition)
Because it's summer and hockey is a sport typically played on ice and toward which the media is typically apathetic, there's not a ton of actual news on every team floating around out there (shocking I know!). So here's a shortened version of WWL, where if I couldn't find a decent story within three blogs or news sites, I stopped looking. I'm on vacation too, dammit.
Anaheim Ducks: James Wisniewski's(notes) real close to signing a one-year extension with the Ducks worth $2.75 million. Good news for him, and for the Ducks, who can continue to stock up on all sorts of stylish design from Wiz Wear (and I'll be expecting that check any day now, Wiz).
Boston Bruins: Undrafted college free agent Scott Campbell participated in Bruins rookie camp over the course of the past week and blogged about it on UMass Lowell's athletics website. In the past I have mentioned that I am a Lowell fan, so to see Soup getting invites to camp between his sophomore and junior years is pretty cool. I just hope this week of intense training preps him to carry the River Hawks to a Hockey East title next year.
Buffalo Sabres: The good(?) news is that they signed Joe DiPenta(notes). The bad news is that they're pretty much done signing people. Don't worry though, Lindy Ruff's fine with it, and shouldn't that be enough for a punk like you?
Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets recently offered Jason Chimera(notes) for Christian Ehrhoff(notes) and were shut down by Doug Wilson. What Wilson perhaps doesn't know is that Christian Ehrhoff is, despite what the last few years of EA's NHL games would have you believe, not especially good.
Montreal Canadiens: You know it's a bad time of year to be a hockey fan when getting Kyle Chipchura(notes) signed up for another year is the closest the freaking Montreal Canadiens come to actually doing something noteworthy.
Phoenix Coyotes: And because the situation with this team wasn't nearly messy enough, now Wayne Gretzky is being dragged into court because he won't turn over his tax information. Maybe he just doesn't want Janet's sports gambling losses being available to the public.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Antero Niittymaki(notes) insists his hip is "good." And then comes the chucklefest: "I'm not going to lie to anybody. It's not like a normal, healthy hip, but it's as good as it can be." He says that means he can play for years. More likely, it means it will hold up for like three games and then crumble to dust.
A remarkably important announcement
All those WWL-y things you love so much, like Play of the Week and Gold Star and Minus of the Week and so forth, are, like my writing ability (LOL!), taking the summer off for obvious reasons. Commence your handwringing anticipation of autumn.
Thing of the Week
On Saturday, I eschewed my chance to watch the US men's soccer team draw Haiti 2-2, instead opting to go see Wilco in a minor league baseball park. As you can tell from these shockingly high-quality videos (they're not mine, copyright police!), they tore the goddamn house down for just under two hours until a rainstorm forced an early end to the show.
Perfect HFBoards trade proposal of the week
Just because there's almost literally nothing to talk about in the world of hockey -- and what a struggle the above something-thousand words were -- doesn't mean the morons armchair GMs on HFBoards aren't hard at work, churning out dozens of terrible trade proposals for your enjoyment.
This week's beauty, as suggested by WWL buddy colonel korn, comes to us from user "Jesus Price31," which should've told you everything you needed to know about his mental capacity (read: limited).
first off habs should dump salary to offer kessel an offer sheet.
To Montreal: Bernier & Kesler
To Vancouver: Kostitsyn Brothers, 4th round draft pick
To Montreal: M.Staal
To NewYork R: Gorges, 2nd round draft pick
To Montreal: A.Vermette, Brassard
To Columbus: Kostitsyn Brothers
To Montreal: Scotty Hartnell
To Phillidelphia: Plekanec, 2nd
im gunna say alot of ppl arent gunna like these so flame away
And wouldn't you know it...
I might take next week off. You can't stop me, Wyshynski!
- Red Sox