2010 Archives http://www.jibblescribbits.com/table/2010-articles/july/ Wed, 24 May 2017 09:48:46 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb July Sucks http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2010-articles/july/july-sucks.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2010-articles/july/july-sucks.html I have the will to write something and.... nothing.

 

I could write about the Avs off-season moves... oh, right.

 

I could write about Kovi... umm done to death?

 

I could get uneccesarily angry over some perceived slight, but I'll save that for the professionals.

 

So umm... is it October yet?

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jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Tue, 27 Jul 2010 04:45:07 +0000
NHL calls Shenanigans on Kovalchuk contract http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2010-articles/july/nhl-adept-at-making-asses-of-themselves.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2010-articles/july/nhl-adept-at-making-asses-of-themselves.html If there is one thing the NHL is consistent on, it's their inconsistent enforcement of rules. Whether it's headshots, suspensions, contracts or just plain ol hooking and holding the NHL is consistently maddeningly inconsitent in their rule enforcement. It has lead to some unnecessarily embarrassment for the league. Other leagues can have backed themselves into corners (see MLB: Steroids) but the NHL has turned it into an artform. The NHL is the Picassos of corner-painting, the Cezannes of self-infliction. Hell if the NHL did any more damage to themselves they'd be emo.

If you haven't heard by now, the league rejected Ilya Kovalchuk's 17 year $102M contract, on the grounds of salary cap circumvention. In a vacuum this is a no brainer decision, as the last 6 years of this 17 year contract pay less than $1M/year, which is nothing but ridiculous tomfoolery. It's as obvious an attempt to circumvent the cap as you can get. Rejecting the contract isn't what makes the NHL look foolish.

What makes the NHL look foolish is that they stood by and let contracts get to the point where they had to wait until a ridiculous contract was written before stepping in. On January 28th 2009, a year and a half ago, the Detroit Red Wings signed Henrik Zetterberg to a 12 year $73M contract that takes him to his 40th birthday, and keeps his cap hit a $6.08M. Taking one look at his contract and it was obvious that his contract was structured clearly to circumvent the salary cap, and give the Red Wings cap room to sign guys like Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk. Since then at least 1/2 a dozen contracts were signed that actively go out of the way to circumvent the salary cap. The most frustrating part was that any idiot could see that this contract was just the beginning in a long line of increasingly daring contracts where the inevitable conclusion was a contract so ridiculous that the NHL had to reject it or be seen as a farce.

Which brings us to the Ilya Kovalchuk New Jersey Devils contract. I don't know how the NHL can justify cancelling this contract, but letting Marion Hossa's stand.

The most frustrating part of this whole debacle is that it is typical of the NHL. The NHL's problem is that they are reactionary to the point of lunacy. Players can get blindsided and concussed ad nauseum (literally) but the NHL has to wait until a 95+ point forward gets his brains scrambled by noted cheap shot artist before deciding to institute a blindside hit ban. The NHL waited until the games became a wrestling match before cracking down on clutching and grabbing. And the NHL waited until goalies looked like Bibendum before instituting goalie pad limits.

My father has a theory about life, in that we all get taps on the shoulder. You make a small mistake, and there's a little tap on your shoulder in the form of some small consequence. As you continue to make the same mistake over and over the taps/consequences get stronger and stronger until one day they get to a point where they smack you upside the head. You can avoid this by recognizing the taps and changing your behavior. You have to wonder how many black eyes the NHL needs to get before they start looking for those taps a little earlier.

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jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Wed, 21 Jul 2010 04:29:12 +0000
Top Ten of '09-'10: #5 O'Reilly scores first NHL goal, GWG against Canadiens http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2010-articles/july/top-ten-of-09-10-5-oreilly-scores-first-nhl-goal-gwg-against-canadiens.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2010-articles/july/top-ten-of-09-10-5-oreilly-scores-first-nhl-goal-gwg-against-canadiens.html So I said I'd get around to doing a Top 10 of '09-10 and here it is, more than a month after the season ended for the Avs. I'll be counting down all 10 of the top 10 Avs moments of the season. I thought about breaking this into 2 posts, but then realized I could easily milk it for 10. Without further adieu, here we go:

Recaps: Mile High HockeyAnyone but Detroit,

MONTREAL- OCTOBER 15:  Brian Gionta #21 of the Montreal Canadiens mixes it up with Kyle Quincey #27, T.J. Galiardi #39 and Scott Hannan #22 of the Colorado Avalanche during the NHL game on October 15, 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Avalanche defeated the Canadiens 3-2.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Before this game, odds were that this game would be remembered as the Montreal Canadiens home opener. As the game wore on, it was almost assuredly going to be remembered as the poster-child for poor officiating. But with 6:13 left in the game changed and now will forever be known as the game of Ryan O'Reilly's first goal, a game winner.

This game cruised along in a brand of hockey that the NHL would like to see. Unfortunately this is a brand of officiating that the NHL would never like to say, because this game easily qualifies as one of the worst five officiated games of the season. The Habs blog: Eyes on the Prize described it as such:

 

During good long stretches of the game, one could envision a time warp matchup between the '77 Habs and the '96 Avs.

The only trouble was, the officiating was vintage 1918 debauchery, and we can all be thankful it didn't hamper the performances more than it already did.

More after the jump

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jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Mon, 19 Jul 2010 03:00:19 +0000
Becoming the next Chicago http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2010-articles/july/becoming-the-next-chicago.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2010-articles/july/becoming-the-next-chicago.html Believe it or not, that phrase has been used around the Avs parts as a bad thing. That somehow emulating the team that just won the Stanley Cup is not the position that the Avs want to be in because they had to trade away (for equal to or greater value) some of their young players (Byfuglien, Versteeg, Sopel) right after they won the cup. Many Avs fans are worried about this fate. Honestly winning the cup and then selling valuable, but replaceable, parts for more than they are worth without destroying the team sounds just fine to me.

Still, I am a little worried about the Avs becoming like the Blackhawks. The Bill Wirtz era Blackhawks. Mile High Hockey has cataloged how there are signs that the Avs have gone on the cheap lately. And lets face it, with the Avs lack of marketing, canceling of development camp, and generally fan-unfriendly attitude; the Avs are just home blackouts away from becoming the Bill Wirtz Blackhawks.

If the Avs don't think Kovi is the right fit for the team, that's ok with me. If I were a CEO of a company I'd have a hard time signing a guy to an $8.5M contract when I've had to let go of good employees because times are tough (As the Avs have had to do), So I can truly understand the philosophy of saving money on contracts, especially with such a young team, until that team matures a little more. And there are some potential free agents in the next few seasons (Alexander Semin anyone?) that probably can have at least a similar impact as Kovi.

But if that's the case then the Avs need to invest that money in other areas. Take 1/2 the $8M that you could have spent for Kovi, and put it into marketing this young team and getting the people excited for this team. At $50k a year the Avs could hire a marketing team of 20 and still have $3M to use on billboards, TV commercials, or fan-friendly activities, and still save $4M that they may have spent on Kovi. (In theory there would be a return on the $4M they spent on marketing/fan relations too).

Instead the Avs marketing this summer consists of statements like these by GM Greg Sherman:

 

Build from within. “The Avalanche organization is about winning, so certainly our expectations are that,” Sherman said on Thursday afternoon. “As we look to the future we feel very confident about the young group that we have and that we’re going to build around.”
There's reasons to be excited about this team. There's some very good players on the roster, and they are young and likely to be Avs for a long time. The Avs have some exciting young talent in the system. After Bill Wirtz died and Rocky Wirtz took over, there were some significant changes made. The oft-cited and critically important piece of the Blackhawks turnaround was the hiring of long-time Cubs marketing guru John McDonough. This started giving the Blackhawks revenue streams (merchandise, TV, tickets) that they hadn't been used to.

The new Blackhawks found a way to get excited about their young players before they started accomplishing anything, and surrounded that young talent with savvy veterans like Martin Havlat. When those young talents matured and the time was right, they went out and got even more free agents. When this happened the city exploded with enthusiasm.

The old Blackhawks spent the minimum necessary, marketed very little, signed very few (if any) free agents, and relied heavily on young (but overvalued) talents like JP Dumont, Eric Daze, Tony Amonte, Alex Zhamnov, Steve Sullivan and Dean McAmmond. Not to be too dramatic, but right now the Avs more closely resemble the old Blackhawks, and are in more danger of becoming them. 

After the jump: (Why wanting a dynasty and not a one-and done cup champion like people assume Chicago will be is a fantasy, and  Why the Avs have the cap space, now and in the future, to sign a Kovi-like contract if they wanted to.)

More after the jump

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jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) July Wed, 07 Jul 2010 14:15:47 +0000