Saturday, January 29, 2011

The key to succeeding in the NHL: show up

The only NHL game in town: The All Star Game Skills Competition.

In case you're wondering how they got there: The Collective Bargaining Agreement Article 16.14, All Star Game, states that The Club or NHL must provide first-class airline accomodations to any Player selected to play in the All-Star Game.

The only WHL game in town I'm interested in: Seattle Thunderbirds vs. Portland Winterhawks.

You're never too old to be awesome: Nicklas Lidstrom notched his first hat trick this season, at age 40.

It was a new low for mispronunciations of Portland's roster (or high, depending on how you see it): Among the numerous botches of our players' last names by FSN broadcasters last night:

Brendan Leipsic: Leepsic (it's prounounced Lipe-sick, unless there's something Portland doesn't know).

Derrick Pouliot: Pouli-AT. (proper pronunciation: Poo-lee-AHT).

Tyler Wotherspoon: Witherspoon. So many broadcasters and announcers have twerked it, he should just change the spelling of his family name.

Sven Bartschi: Burt-chi. (it's Bear-chee, with a litle rolling R).

Good news: Tayler Jordan returned from injury in the Tri-City Americans vs. Portland Winterhawks game last night.

But it was to no avail/"They're snake bit in this barn": That's what the FSN broadcasters said about Portland's bad luck on the road against the Ams, which continued last night with a 5-2 loss for Portland.

Of course he scored a hat trick, he has a hockey name: Captain Kruise Reddick scored three of Tri-Cities' goals. Adam Hughesman and Connor Rankin joined him on the scoreboard.

Dude, give it up: The Islanders have suspended Evgeni Nabokov for failure to report for duty. This might top the Kovalchuk deal in terms of delusions of grandeur. You're 35, nobody in the NHL thought you were worth your salary, the KHL let you go, you're lucky Detroit and the Islanders wanted you. You're not going to help a team get to the Cup with your whining. Report for duty, man up and you might at least help a struggling team get closer to the dream. And, hey, here's a concept: you get to keep going to the rink and you keep getting paid to do so. How does a player get from Nino Niederreiter, who just wants to make the Islanders' roster next year, to this BS? Somewhere along the way we all get lost, and NHL quasi-superstars are no exception.

Good time to refresh on this rule: Exhibit 1, Standard Player's Contract. The Club may from time to time during the continuance of this SPC establish reasonable rules governing the conduct and condtioning of the Player, and such reasonable rules shall form part of this SPC and the Agreement as fully as if herein written. For violation of any such rules or for any conduct impairing the thorough and faithful discharge of the duties incumbent upon the Player, the Club may impose a reasonable fine upon the Player and deduct the amount thereof from any money due or become due to the Player. The Club may also suspend the Player for any violation of such rules.

Morals of the story:

The game: Get over it. If you are lucky enough to play in the NHL and get paid the accompanying outrageous salary, show up and shut up. The end.

Life: If I failed to report for duty to my job, I'd be toast too. That is why I show up, sometimes I shut up (when called for) and I do what they pay me for. May I suggest NHL players follow my fine example. Because at least they get to do something they love -- even if it is for a losing team -- and that's a privilege most people will never experience.

Next up: Article 16, League Schedule: Playing Rosters: Reserve Lists: Practice Sessions.

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