Saturday, October 23, 2010

Greetings From Portland, Home of the NHL's Future

The game: Portland Winterhawks vs. Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL).

Score: Portland 2, Seattle 1 in a shootout. Both shootout goals and even the one that didn't quite make it were all the handiwork of players who will be coming to an NHL draft near you: Ty Rattie, Sven Bartschi and Brendan Leipsic.

And if that wasn't enough: We have a total of 9 NHL draftees on our active roster, including the number 4 and 5 overall picks this year (Ryan Johansen, Nino Niederreiter). Luke Walker, who was never chosen in the WHL Bantam Draft or any of the previous two NHL drafts for which he was eligible, was drafted 139th by Colorado. He scored for Colorado in the pre-season and is currently playing for their AHL team, the Lake Erie Monsters. Speaking of which:

Portland Winterhawk AHL/ECHL, whatever-HL watch: Winterhawks who "aged out" of junior last year are all over the minor leagues:

-- Stefan Schneider, also not taken in the Bantam or NHL drafts, was signed by Vancouver last spring. He is currently assigned to the Manitoba Moose and has already scored his first career AHL goal.

-- Chris Francis is one of three Winterhawks in the Columbus Blue Jackets' system. He was signed to their AHL team, the Springfield Falcons, over the summer. Last night, he scored his first career AHL goal against the Portland Pirates.

-- Eric Doyle joined the Winterhawks mid-season, spent part of it on the bench with a concussion and rallied back to help us get into the second round of the playoffs, is playing with the ECHL's Ontario Reign. He has racked up two points and has a +3 rating.

But meanwhile, back on home turf: The Hawks pulled off yet another Dash for Cash dazzler, as Ty Rattie continued his streak with the game tying goal, and one of the shootout goals. And Brendan brought the crowd to its feet with the game winning stunner when he went backhand-top shelf to outsmart Calvin Pickard.

Oh right, back to the rules: Article 11, Rules and Procedures Governing a Standard Player's Contract.

11.9. General: If I'm reading this right, this rule basically says that there's nothing preventing a Club from not paying a player, paying a player bonuses or individually negotiating with a player, as long as they follow the rules when doing so.

Morals of the story:

The game: I'm confused. They spend the previous 10 rules saying do this, don't do that, you can't do that, heretofore, notwithstanding, blah, blah, blah. And then they basically tell you, oh yeah, you can, as long as it's within the rules? It hurts the head.

Life: This article is exactly why I hate rules: they make things more complicated than they need to be.

Things to know about Sam: I don't like cats, I hate cliches, I despise shopping, and I could care less about talking on cell phones and texting on a Crackberry to show important I think I am. But above all things, I hate rules. Not the kind that keep us safe, mind, like laws that keep crazies off the roads and out of our homes. I'm talking about the rules of life, such as:

1) If you are a woman in your 40s, you should be married, have at least one kid, a dog, a minivan, and wear sweatshirts with gingham teddy bears ironed onto them. I'd rather die.

2) If you must remain single, you should walk around at all times on a cell phone or texting on a Crackberry to ensure that other people don't think you're a loser. I have friends, but I like doing a lot of things alone and unimpeded by "I don't know, what do you want to do?" Life is short; not a second of it should be wasted pretending to be something other than who and what you are.

3) I should love to shop until I drop, watch movies on Lifetime when I'm home alone on a Friday, and own a cat or two just to have something warm and fuzzy to keep me company in my sad little singleton apartment. Not gonna happen:

a) I hate shopping. I'm 5'9" with huge shoulders and tiny ankles and wide feet and big hips. Nothing fits me, and when it does I just buy 10 copies of it in different colors.

b) I'm allergic to cats and if I buy one, I'll buy 12 and there goes the neighborhood.

c) If ever a day comes when I announce that I will be changing the station from NHL Network or Center Ice to watch a cheesy "disease of the week" TV movie from the 80s, you are hereby permitted to clock me upside the head with a large blunt instrument with no fear of punishment from the law.

Next up: Skipping ahead to 11.12, Minimum Paragraph 1 Salary.

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