8. Buying a bad website
Darryl Katz just made another Kris Russell-level investment hahaha.
7. The Penguins’ trade prospects
Saw something the other day where the Penguins are looking for a No. 3 center.
Hmm, I feel like I heard about this a while ago, don’t you? Maybe around like September when they didn’t have a No. 3 center? Or maybe in late October when they traded Scott Wilson for Riley Sheahan? Or maybe any time since then, because Riley Sheahan isn’t a No. 3 center or anything close to it?
I guess the good news is that No. 3 centers are probably easy to come by around the deadline and therefore probably don’t even cost you all that much. But man, this was a foreseeable problem and, man, it’s not like it’s hard to find a competent No. 3 at literally any point in the offseason, and for cheap.
The fact that the Penguins are where they are without a No. 3 basically all season is a pretty good indication of their quality overall, but this isn’t a discussion they should be having now, it’s a four-months-ago discussion. Not that you don’t need to have it now, still, but let’s not act surprised here.
6. Being Seth Jones
So Seth Jones is caught up in the latest kerfuffle about the All-Star attendance rules.
This time, he was allowed to play on Tuesday despite missing the ASG with an illness because the league told him not to come. Bruce Boudreau is (understandably) pissed that his opponent will have an elite No. 2 defenseman in the lineup despite the fact that despite the league’s own rules, it should not.
The league, for its part, says the issue is that it told Jones to stay home, which puts Jones in an awkward position where people are mad at him but he didn’t do anything wrong. Just did what the league said to do, and then he’s getting shouted at. Everyone’s goal in life should be to not-get-yelled-at. I just want to shout “Seth is only nice!!!” so everyone leaves him alone.
Wow isn’t it so crazy that the league is doing something that pissed a bunch of people off because it applied some unforeseeable and ineffable double standard without explanation? Very unlike the NHL to do something like that.
5. All-Star weekend
Maybe it’s just me but it seems like everything was kinda dull at All-Star Weekend. Nothing memorable happened except for maybe Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman dressing as pirates. And that wasn’t the NHL’s doing. Skills competition very meh, and the All-Star tournament itself was vaguely entertaining at times I guess.
People weren’t even really that mad about Kid Rock after all the understandable hubbub. Maybe everyone was just looking forward to the Royal Rumble.
4. Hurricanes fans
On the one hand, it’s pretty cool that you’ll be able to sit basically anywhere you want if you bought a last-row-balcony ticket. On the other hand, the game you’re closer to is Hurricanes/Senators.
No but okay, no joke, this is the kind of once-in-a-while thing every team in a struggling market should do. You can’t do it all the time because everyone would just buy last-row-balcony tickets then get the upgrade, but if you’re not gonna draw anyway, occasionally mentioning the offer day-of seems like good business, does it not? Get people to show up to a game they otherwise would have avoided, etc.
I know people in Canada were probably like, “Oh that’s classic, no one goes to the games down there, so they’re doing a big gimmick here,” but: a) that’s not really any of their business, and b) maybe the Senators could try it. Just something to think about.
3. The Predators
Here’s something crazy about the Preds, who currently sit pretty high in the league’s elite teams: They haven’t had a fully healthy roster at any point this season.
They played basically the first 35 games without Ryan Ellis (an elite second-pair guy) and, right around the time Ellis was supposed to come back, Filip Forsbgerg went down with an injury and has been out for a month. Nick Bonino has missed time as well. Now, Forsberg is pretty close to a return and, unless someone throws a spear through Roman Josi’s chest, it looks like this team could finally be fully powered up for a good chunk of the second half.
And by the way, they entered last night three points out of first in the West with a game in hand on Vegas and three in hand on Winnipeg. I think they’ll be fine.
2. A new playoff format?
Apparently there is an appetite swirling in the NHL to change the current playoff format, which is good because the current playoff format is very dumb.
Ideally they eventually just go 1v16, 2v15, etc. league-wide but for logistical reasons and “not wanting the playoffs to take into mid-July” that probably won’t happen. Still, even just going back to the old “every divisional winner gets home-ice but it’s 1v8 by conference” would be preferable to this nonsense.
I’m glad everyone hates it. Restores my faith in the league a little bit. Not too much, but a little.
1. Jaromir Jagr
The fact that he’s not gonna break the games-played record is a bummer, to be honest.
I still think he can help a team if he’s healthy and they put him in a third- or fourth-line role (or at the very least, help sell tickets and jerseys), but the fact that it didn’t work out in Calgary seemed predestined given all the reticence to sign him in the first place, league-wide. That the Flames are technically keeping him on their reserve list so they can maybe pull him back for a playoff run or something isn’t a bad idea.
My big conspiracy theory here is that the old guys in the league didn’t want Jagr breaking Howe’s games-played record or closing in on 2,000 points (he’s 79 away and wouldn’t have gotten there this season, but y’know.
But anyway, so long you big-assed Czech weirdo. We all love you.
(Not ranked this week: Making pitches to trade targets.
A lot was made of the Capitals trying to convince Mike Green to come back to Washington over the All-Star weekend and it’s like, “I mean I guess.” But it’s not really up to Mike Green in all this, except to say he has a full no-trade for some reason.
And look, I’m all for NHL players being more like NBA players and forcing trades to preferred destinations, but this ain’t exactly Erik Karlsson. Mike Green is fine and he’s kinda-sorta what the Caps need, but the urgency seems, uhh, overstated.)
(All statistics via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)