Archive for February 2012

Rebuilding is painful

So young, they should be illegal
While several teams are ramping up for a WCHL Cup push this year, there are always a handful of teams who have elected to blow things up and retool their teams for next year.
The Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars have done just that, and while the road might be full of riches long-term, right now it contains nothing but heartache.
"This sucks," said Hawks GM Nick Barretta, watching on as his team got beat 3-1 by the San Jose Sharks last night. "It's for a good reason, we will be good down the road, but man does this team friggin blow right now."
Like a Thai hooker offering a two-for-one coupon, the Hawks indeed do blow, long and hard. Losers of their last ten games, Chicago has mustered a league low 15 points so far this season and are already 19 points out of a playoff berth.
"It's hard to get up for the games," said veteran forward Shawn Horcoff. "In fact, it's hard to get up for anything. My wife was complaining about my erectile dysfunction last night. I can't score on the ice or at home."

An artists rendition of the Blackhawks season thus far
While many fans and pundits felt Chicago was overdue for a rebuild, the Dallas Stars implosion this year caught many by surprise. After former GM Darren Mathieu's left to head north to Winnipeg to take over the Jets, new GM Owen Lin took the helm and immediately made it clear he was doing a full rebuild of the Stars.
The result, a club with the league's lowest winning percentage at just .222 who are scoring at a league worst clip of 2.17 goals per game.
"It's been difficult, but we need to stay the course," opined Lin. "I just know Patrick Eaves and Wotjek Wolski are the answer."
The answer to what is the question. The Stars have a bright future with 10 first round picks in the next five drafts, but until then there is precious little to go on. Only three players in the entire organization under the age of 24 are under contract, with only defenseman Justin Schultz expected to amount to anything from that group.
"This team's play stinks like dirty ass on a hot Alabama afternoon in a swamp. I can't believe I have to wrap up my career playing for this shithole of a team. FML," said 40-year-old blueliner Sean O'Donnell who is tied for the second worst plu-sminus on the squad at -22.

Dallas took a clear directional change when they started their rebuild
Not all teams started the rebuild early. Florida has just begun their rebuild under new GM Jason Dupras, who was hired last week.
"We hope to install a new vision for the future. That will come through the draft," explained Dupras.
That doesn't sit well with everyone.
"I'm tired of the motherf$%^ing rebuilds on this motherf%^&ing team," exclaimed Ray Whitney. "All we ever do is trot some new f%^&ing kids in here and go all bat $h!t crazy over them, then let the f^&*ers go in the motherf&^%ing waiver draft. This is hogcum."

The Panthers salute all 17 of their fans after another loss, 5-3 to Montreal on Monday night.

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Power Rankings return

From Philly to failure, the power rankings capture all
As we approach the half way point in the season, I approached Trent about bring back the power rankings. So while I sit here in the airport in Toronto I look at the hottest current teams in the league. In this edition of the new power rankings it will be a short version briefly giving only the top ten and two quick risers and two teams that look to be going in the wrong direction.

1. Philadelphia Flyers, currently sitting in 4th in the eastern conference and quickly shooting up the ladder with 9-0-1 record looks to be challeneging to move up still.

2. San Jose Sharks, have move in to 2nd spot in the west with just a solid performance as the top team with a 9-1 record, this team seems to be rounding in to form simiar to last season.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins are sitting in the top spot in the after a slower start, however this team has plenty of talent to make and continue to hold that spot, with a 8-2 record in their last ten games.

4. Calgary Flames are holding down the top spot in the west and overall lead by a marginal lead over the other leaders in the power rankings, recording 8 wins in their last ten and a 6 point lead on the competition, time will tell if this will hold.

5. Anaheim Ducks, are only a few points behind the leaders despite their recent loss they continue to hold their own in the tough upper half in the west, this team is 6-4 in their last ten. The big question for this team can martin Brodeur hold up over the whole season to lead them to a playoff run like his younger days.

6. Carolina Hurricanes this team looks to begin hitting its stride, with two consectutive wins over the Ott-sens to hold off and be a lead in this weaker division that seems to have built some strenght and move towards competiting

7. New York Rangers, have built up a head of steam to get themselves in to this edition going a strong 8-2. And move into a playoff position.

8. Vancouver Canucks this team may not be at the top but with a solid GA this team finds it self in a play off position, and if they contiue to get solid goaltending, should able to move up.

Well I had good intentions of going further but vacation calls so 9. Boston Bruins 10. Montreal Canadiens.
Two hot teams 1.Phoenix Coyotes. 2. Buffalo Sabres these could continue to push the competition and move up.
Now two teams that are looking forward to the draft, and could use a win Florida Panthers and also the Chicago Blackhawks. Well first call to vacation, have a good week hope you enjoy this short rushed version. 
-Noel Harrison
Ottawa Senators General Manager      

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Valentine's Day madness in the WCHL

Plenty of puckster puckering up
It's Valentine's Day today and despite what some may think, the league filled with some of the manliest men in the world does indeed have a soft side for those they love.
"I'm going to get him, ah, shit, um, yeah I meant her, I'm going to get her some chocolates, and roses, and tickets to the opera," said Winnipeg Jets General Manager Darren Mathieu of his plans on what some dub the most romantic day of the year.
Others started early, as two St. Louis Blues players were caught sharing their feeling on the bench during game action earlier this week.
(Left) Marian Gaborik and Tomas Kopecky, friends with benefits? (Right) Ville Leino kisses Mikhail Grabovski after the two combined for a goal
Is all this man love normal? According to the Toronto Maple Leafs Drew Doughty, it' shockingly normal, at least in Toronto.
"Like totally," said Doughty. "It's just a great bonding experience, nothing can replace it. It's totally awesome, OMG. Seriously, you have to try it, it's like candy. Is that why they call gay guys fudge packers?"
The Maple Leafs in fact were the first time in the history of life to announce they were drafting only gay players. Their farm club has adopted the unofficial name "Toronto Love Tunnelers" and each time a player scores, he is serenaded with a chorus of "Hey, big fella," from the crowd. The team has even gone as far as to hold a leather and whips night, with anyone wearing assless pants getting in free.

The Toronto "Love Tunnelers" gather for a team photo following a 6-1 loss.
It's not always this easy to express your love for a hockey player on St. Valentine's Day.
"Sometimes you got to be a bit secret about it," admitted Habs GM Marco Castillo. "I mean, you an't just go out and French kiss a guy at centre ice. One time, this guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew me needed some help. He was all in love with one of former players Clarke MacArthur, like big time crush. It was really sickening, ball gags and ass beads. Really messed up stuff. So we traded Clarke to Philadelphia where this guy lives. You know Philadelphia, city of brotherly love and all. I figured if anyone knew who to settle some man-lovin, it'd be Doug Van Strepen in Philly."
Van Strepen celcined comment on the issue, and MacArthur is no longer with the team. Van Strepen did say that "ass play" isn't tolerated in the locker room though.
"We play like ass most of the time anyways, they want to get into the hanky-panky, they can do it on their own time," said Van Strepen.
The rumours of man-love aren't limited to the liberal east either. Out in Calgary, the Flames are quietly being nicknamed the 'Flamers" after a series of rumours came out about nude wrestling during practice.
"We were practicing fighting technique, that's all," said Lawson Cham, Flames GM. "Doing it nude is normal, that's what my peewee coach taught me."

Artists rendition of a fight in Calgary
"Only steers and queers come from Calgary, and none of those hockey players have horns so that kind of narrows it down," said the San Jose Sharks Zdeno Chara. "I bet they could suck a golf ball through a garden hose," he added, stealing a line from Full Metal Jacket.
However Valentine's Day is celebrated around the WCHL, the man love is sure to keep going well beyond that. And that's ok to the league brass.
"I don't give a crap, really," said New York Rangers GM and Player Agent Andrew Don. "Those mofos can do whatever they want, just don't come callin around this baller. My poop chute is a one way street yo, I ain't never going to be into that shiznit. For real, dog."

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Shocking faces rise in the East

Canes; B's rule roost at quarter-mark

When predictions for the top teams in the Eastern Conference came about, the usual names surfaced. Pittsburgh, who won the Season 12 WCHL Cup and the always great in the regular season New York Rangers were most common, but the defending Eastern Conference Champion New York Islanders also had their supporters. Even the annually playoff struggling Philadelphia Flyers were given a nod or two as possible regular season champions for the Eastern Conference title.

But the Bruins and Hurricanes?

Few predicted that after 20 games, these two teams would rank one-two in the conference, but that's what has happened. Boston is riding a six game winning streak to a 17-3 record, including a perfect 5-0 record in extra time. Bruins General Manager Brett Hudson couldn't be happier.

"It's awesome. I knew we'd kick ass, but this is kicking the ass of the ass kicking I thought we'd give everyone. It's like a double ass-kicking adventure," wooted Hudson, before proceeding to punt a midget dressed as a leprechaun. "It's good luck to kick a leprechaun," stated Hudson, adding he wants to "get those lucky charms."
This little guy went for quite the ride after Bruins GM Brett Hudson celebrated another victory by kicking him across the room.

The charge shouldn't come as a big shock given Boston was up 3-2 in the first round over the Islanders before falling in seven games. They came the closest of any Eastern Conference team to beating the Islanders in the post-season.

"We're suffering from PPS -Post Playoff Syndrome - and there's no cure baby other kicking some ass. So it's boots out boys," exclaimed Hudson.

Mike "Pedro can pump my gas" McFarland was just as excited about his team's performance.

"I told Blake Wheeler he better start to use his 6'6 asthmatic ass to score some Mother%*&^ing points or he's out on his ear to Gnome, Alaska by dogsled, and he'd be the dog," said McFarland, gripping a picture of Sam Pollack in one hand, clearly smudged by the lipstick McFarland was wearing earlier in the day. "He did. Like Sammy said, sometimes the best trades you make are the ones you don't make. Right, Sammy? Sammy says I'm right. Sammy's good to me. I love Sammy."

The Canes are 11-6-2, but thanks to being the best in the weak Adams Division, they sit second in the Eastern Conference, despite holding fewer points than four teams below them.

"If those teams don't like it they can, in the words of Sean Connery on Saturday Night Live, suck it long, and suck it hard. Just like Trebek's mom," uttered McFarland, before emphatically crotch-chopping the throng of reports around him, climbing to the top of Roberto Luongo's locker, cracking open a beer, pouring it in his mouth and then spewing it all over the crowd of reporters and photographers below.

"It's time to open some cans of whoop-ass yo boyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy," shouted McFarland before taking a pic and hammering into a keg in the midle of the locker room.

Time will tell if this is a matter of fact for the Bruins and Canes, or if it's just a short term burst of energy and the real leaders of the East will emerge. Until then, Boston and Carolina can stand in the spotlight for a while longer at last.



Full court press

League stocked in GM's once more 

After a mini-shuffle and one new face, the WCHL is moving forward with a full slate of General Managers one again.

"It's always good to have all the teams filled," said WCHL Commissioner Trent Allen. "It makes things more enjoyable for everyone and opens up trade talks and communication lines that otherwise wouldn't be there.

The Chicago Blackhawks filled their temporary shortage at GM Thursday night, announcing the hiring of Nick Barretta as the clubs first new lead hand in several years. Former GM Will Englesby left the club and relocated to Detroit last week to take over as General Manager with the Red Wings.

"I'm excited to be here and I think I can make this team epically awesome," said Barretta in Japanese for some reason. "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto."

Fans celebrate the hiring of Nick Barretta as new Red Wings GM by breaking out in an impromptu mass robot dance
Barretta is already rumoured to have placed the Hawks best player, Lubomir Visnovsky, on the trading block. Clearly unafraid to make changes, the new GM is eager to make changes to a Chicago franchise which only two seasons ago were one win away from a WCHL Cup.

In Detroit meanwhile, Englesby hasn't made any definitive plans yet, preferring to stay the course with his roster.
"What??? Speak into my good ear dang it," was all Englesby would say when repeatedly asked what his plans were with the Wings, before going into a tirade, yelling about "young whippersnappers being on his lawn." Eventually Englesby nodded off into a slumped over sleep, allowing his false teeth to dangle precariously from his mouth before landing on the floor where his 28-year-old dog, named Skelly after the 1950's TV icon Red Skelton, picked them up.

Yes, another memorable Will Englesby moment for sure.

Will Englesby and Flyers GM Doug VanStrepen seen discussing a possible trade at last years GM meetings.


2010 Draft Rankings

Here are the updated 2010 draft rankings, guys.  There are as of Feb 1/2012:

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