Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm So Hoppy for the Portland Winterhawks I Could Cry.

The distraction: The "gone camping" feature on with Portland's own "El Nino" mic'd up.

Why I chose it: Because I was waiting for another "I shoot the puck, the puck go in" vintage soundbite. Alas, the best was "I'm so happy here. The ice is really soft." Although with his very lovely Swiss accent, it sounded like "I'm so hoppy here." Love it. One of the many reasons we love Nino and wish him all the best.

I thought Brett playing golf on draft day was insane: Portland Winterhawk Luke Walker found out he'd been drafted by Colorado via text message in an airport. Welcome to the 21st Century.

The rule: Section 5, Penalties. Other Penalties. Rule 554h, Late Line Up.

554h: If a team, after the end of an intermission, does not line up on the ice surface the required number of players to start a period (overtime) the team shall be assessed a bench minor penalty.

First: I need a late line up rule for my life. If I lay in bed until I'm too far past my allotted extra snooze alarm minutes to get ready in time for the bus and therefore end up driving in gridlock, being late for work and spending extra money on parking...a bench minor in the form of decaf coffee, being in line behind the person who buys the last chocolate croissant in Kobos and getting a day old croissant instead shall be applied.

And more importantly:

A word (or two) on the free agent frenzy: If you took all the money, ego, Stanley Cups, the trade deadline, free agency day, no-trade clauses, etc. away, NHL wheeling and dealing really comes down to one thing: what is a player worth? Ten million and three years? 8 million and two years? Three players from another team? $100 million? Two conditional draft picks and $25 million?

We all sit here on our high horses deciding who we think should be traded where, and what they should be paid. But what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if, every two to three years your employer, instead of giving you a small raise and a pat on the back, they put you out to bid to other employers, who would then decide, what, if anything, you were worth? Are you too old to be worth anything at all? Are you too young and inexperienced to consider taking seriously? Do you really have what they want or just what they need? Are you worth the asking price? That's what happens to players when contracts are up, trade deadlines loom and general managers are hunkered down in backrooms of four-star hotels in Toronto.

Before we go judging NHL players at this critical time of year, perhaps we should stop and think, what if the rest of the world decided what we're worth? What would they think? Would it be the same as what we think of ourselves? The painful truth for most of us is no. Either it would be way better than we give ourselves credit for or far worse than we can even imagine. Next time you find yourself growling at the latest trade deal, think about what it must do to a player just past his prime who's already been traded two or three times. Fear can do dangerous things to people, even the NHL's best.

Next up: Section 5, Penalties. Other Penalties. Rule 555, Illegal or Dangerous Equipment.

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