Archive for July 2012

Big blockbusters blanket WCHL landscape

Luongo; Yandle; Carter just a few of the big names changing jerseys
 
 
Luongo is ready to star for the Nashville Predators while Yandle reacts to news of his trade to the Boston Bruins. Jeff Carter meanwhile is still in shock after being dealt from the Flyers.
 
It didn't take long for Season 15 to get hot as a volcano on the trade front, as a multitude of massive deals have shaken the WCHL landscape like a level 8.8 earthquake, or when Precious gets out of bed in the morning.
 
From Carolina to Nashville to Philadelphia, the moves have drastically altered the fabric of the WCHL, with teams not deemed as contenders by most experts looking hard to become one.
 
The first deal of prominence occurred just over a week ago, with the New Jersey Devils bolstering their line up with tha dditions of Jarome Iginla and Kari Lehtonen from the New York Islanders. The biggest pieces heading back the other way were T.J. Oshie and netminder Devin Dubnyk.
 

 
Kari Lehtonen has always had a unique of stopping the puck, but so far it's worked.
 
"We needed to dump some salary so we did that here," said Islanders General Manager Jimmi Bornstrom.
 
"Yippee!" proclaimed Devils GM Trevor O'Neill. "What a steal. The last time I got something so good for so little, I ended up handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser with Patrick (Matthews, Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager). He was there already, not really sure why. Something to do with indecent exposure."
 
 
 
Iginla has always been a lock for hardware in his career. The Islanders hope Oshie will one day be the same.
 
Indeed the deal does seem to favor the Devils, especially if they can lock up Iginla who will be a UFA after this season.
 
"We'll see if I want to resign here. I mean the place is a swamp. Literally, a swamp. They call it the Garden State, but I think that's just false advertising to make people think this place doesn't smell like ass," said Iginla, clearly not a an of New Jersey. "I guess if you're into ass play, come to the Garden State and you can eat all the tossed salad you want."
 
About a week later, the fireworks really began. With the Carolina Hurricanes rumoured to be shopping netminder Roberto Luongo for weeks, the Nashville Predators stepped up and made the move to acquire the multi-year All-Star, sending a pair of high picks to the Hurricanes.
 
"Glad to have him gone. $10 million for what? So he could suck balls all day long? To hell with that booyyyyyyyy, the Cornrow Kid don't play that way and da foo should know that too. He's lucky he got moved when he did, I'da bust a cap in his ass yo," said Hurricanes GM Mike "Trader" McFarland.
 
"Naturally we are pleased to have a netminder of his caliber," said Nashville GM Trent Allen. "After being subjected to the white gangsters mental abuse in Carolina, we'll have to fix him up mentally a bit, but he should be able to rebound. We're just glad we could save him when we did, before he turned savage or something. I swear they run a sweat shop in Carolina sometimes."
 
Nashville immediately proceeded to flip defenseman Keith Yandle off to Boston shortly after, landing a pair of forwards in Alexander Steen and Patric Hornqvist, as well as two draft picks and a prospect as well.
 

 
When they aren't saving animals, Alexander Steen and Patrick Hornqvist hope to save the Predators season.
 
"We needed to upgrade our forwards, we have for a long-time now, and this deal helped us with that. Hated giving up Yandle, but you have to pay to play," proclaimd Allen.
 
"We got a surefire Norris trophy guy in Yandle, so we are happy. We can build off this deal for a decade to come," said new Bruins GM Nolan Evans.
 
The following night, Carolina and the Philadelphia Flyers ignited the trade discussions again, those time pulling off a four player blockbuster with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds going to Philadelphia for Jeff Carter and James Van Reimsdyk.
 
"We get younger and stronger, this deal will make us bad ass," said Flyers GM Doug Van Strepen. "No one wants to play Philly, we will (expletative deleted) you up, and that's the way it should be."
 

 
Brayden Scheen and Wayne Simmonds will make Phialdelphia "bad ass" according to their GM.
 
When asked why Philadelphia is deadlast in the Eastern Conference, Van Strepen got more than upset.
 
"I outta beat all your asses in here. You all think you're so tough, with your media credentials. To (expletative deleted) with you. I'll fight every one of you. Old school boxing boys, put up your dukes," said Van Strepen.
 
When it was explained most of the reporters had no idea what dukes were or even if they had any, Van Strepen proceeded to toss a chair into the crowd before moonsaulting onto Pierre LeBrun from TSN. LeBrun was reported to have suffered a severe concussion and only has vague recollections of "an ass flying at me."
 
These deals overshadowed many other significant deals that seen the likes of Saku Koivu, Tim Connolly, Brandon Dubinsky, Hal Gill, Brian Elliott, Tyler Ennis and Mike Fisher on the move. Matthew Carle and Jakub Kindl were also dealt twice, as was Simmonds, who was acquired by Carolina earlier for Blake Wheeler.
 
"It's been a busy time and I doubt we have seen it all finished yet. There are several other teams out there still pushing to make a move," said WCHL insider Phil McGroin. "Expect Nashville to be doing at least one or two more moves, and the same goes for Dallas and Ottawa. Philaldephia and Toronto are also kicking tires, and of course you know Carolina will do about one trade a day between now and eternity."

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Winless in the Windy City; Music City

Chicago and Nashville signing the blues after tough starts
 

 
After the first week of the WCHL season, most teams have charged out of the gate. Not so for the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks.
 
The two teams, both bottom of the standings last year, look to be maintaining that standard again this year, posting a combined 1-9-1 record so far, being outscored 41-22 in the process.
 
Both teams are the only clubs still left without a regulation win this season. Nashville picked up the only win between the two teams, but needed a five round shootout to knockoff the New York Rangers to do it.
 
Understandably so, both teams rank in the bottom of the standings, joined by the St. Louis Blues who are also 1-5 so far.
 
"This is terrible," said Martin St. louis, who signed a $52.5-million deal with the Blackhawks in the off-season. "We expected to be better than this. It would help if Matt Frattin could get off the bench."
 
Indeed, in a puzzling move by head coach "Iron" Mike Keenan, the young forward has had the best seat in the house, quite literally. Through six games, Frattin has dressed and sat on the bench but not seen one minute of ice time yet.
 

Until Matt Frattin touches the ice, Blackhawks fans will have to see Frattin in a Leafs jersey on the internet if they are seeking an action photo of him.
 
"I don't know man, it's tough. I'd like to play by coach doesn't seem to like me much," said Frattin.
 
"He's a young man that needs to learn the maturity level it takes to both succeed and thrive in the WCHL. In layman's terms, he's a punk," said the colorful Keenan.
 
While Maxim Afinogenov leads the team in scoring with two goals and four points through six games, he also sports a club-worst plus-minus of -3.
 
In Nashville meanwhile, the teams pop-gun offense has held true to form, scoring just 11 times in five games, Defense was expected to be the forte of this club, but after allowing 19 goals in five games, that doesn't seem to be the case.
 
"I don't get it really. We should be winning and lossing games 3-2 and 2-1. not losing 6-2 and 5-2," said Predators GM Trent Allen. "This team is better than this."
 
Netminder Evgeni Nabokov is making a case otherwise though. The biggest free agent pick up by the Predators this season, Nabokov has a 4.47 goals against average and a .849 save percentage and has been pulled three times in just five starts. Drew Doughty meanwhile, the top pick in the 2008 WCHL Entry Draft, is pointless so far with a plus-minus of -2.
 
More troublesome, four of the teams 11 goals come from just one player, Jiri Hudler.
 

 
Jiri Hudler soaks in a tub, one of the few Predators this season who has earned his keep.
 
"We're working and doing all we can, but we just suck I guess. I mean Trent even said we suck before the season began, so i guess we are just living up to expectations. Guess I'll f&*k off to the bench," said veteran defender Henrik Tallinder.
 
 

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Season 15 underway

Avs aim to three-peat while upstarts aim to take big steps
 

Martin St. Louis and Alexander Ovechkin are two of the big names who have moved this summer.
 
After a hectic off-season which included the 2010 WCHL Entry Draft, teams are now off and ready for Season 15 in the WCHL.
 
What this season has in store, not to many people know just yet. Last years cellar dwellers, the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars, both made moves in the off-season to try and bolster a weak roster. Most notible of that was the Dallas Stars, who added plenty of depth to their blueline with Rob Scuderi, Eric Gudbrandson and Justin Faulk, while igniting their offense as well with the addition of Marian Hossa from the Ottawa Senators.
 
"We had to trade that guy, it was the only options avilable," explained Senators GM Noel Harrison. "I mean, the dude hit on Matt Duchene's woman. You just don't do that. He was making obscene gestures, doing pelvic thrusts, he even tossed Patrick Matthews book '1,003 ways to tickle a G-spot' at her. We worrid Douchie was going to hit Hossa Torres-style in practice so we made the move."
 

 
Matt Duchene's anger towards Marian Hossa led the way for Hossa to end up in Dallas.
 
"I likea tapa da ass," was all Hossa would offer in explanation.
 
Chicago meanwhile went out and landed the biggest free agent on the market, Martin St. Louis, surprising many who thought the long-time punitive point producer would elect to go to a cup contender.
 
"This team is bad ass," said St. Louis. "I mean, they are Blackhawks. Those things are wicked helicopters man. They can dish out a lot of (expletative deleted) like a bad ass (expletative deleted)."
 
On the flip side, the President's Trophy winning Pittsburgh Penguins didn't make an huge moves of their own, while the San Jose Sharks elected to let winger Alexander Ovechkin go to Florida for a pair of first round draft choices after the Russian wanted more than the cap-tight Sharks could afford.
 
"Typical potato-booze drinking Commy sonofabitch, I tell you what," said Sharks GM Kurt Fulmore. "I tell you what I told that Ruskie bastard, next time he finds himself in San Jose, he better where some damn good gear because Douglas Murray and his 250 lbs. assmatic ass will combine with Chara's 6'9 size to turn him into a piece of the (expletative deleted) advertising around her. We will (expletative deleted) him up old school. What a punk ass mofo. He's greedier than Doug (van Strephen, Flyers GM).
 
When told of the comments, Van Strephen replied that Fulmore should "get off his knees," and refrain from "being a pussy for more than two minutes." Not surprisingly, the two teams are now embroiled in a rivalry situation.
 

Lubomir Visnovsky is back in Colorado after testing the free agent waters.
 
The shuffle of talent continued elsewhere, with the New York Islanders trying to find a way out of their now annual cap purgatory, while the Colorado Avalanche showed supreme cap amangement skills, resigning Lubomir Visnovsky to help bring back most of the two-time defending cup championship line up.
 
"What can I say, I'm pretty bad ass. I know how to work that (expletative deleted)," said Ryan McClanahan, Avs' GM.
 
What will Season 15 hold in store for some teams? Hard to soay, but it's not hard to make predictions. As such, Commissioner Trent Allen has some strong ideas who is going to do what this year.
 
"We will finish dead last, book it," said Allen, with the entire team watching on, shocked. "We have a very good defense, but our goaltending is like the hull of the Titanic and our forwards score about as often as a nun. We will lose a lot of games 3-2 this year."
 
True to form, the Predators kicked off the season with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Wild.
 
So who will win it all?
 
"I'm going to say the Rangers," said Allen. "They have a good team that's young and hungry and this is the second time they've reached the finals but not won. They must be as hungry as Patrick Matthews after a weekend of his usual sexcapades."
 

Nashville GM Trent Allen has already proclaimed his team as being out of the playoffs, but figures the Rangers could win it all.

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