Monday, July 2, 2007

NHL Makes Big Splash!

The NHL signings kicked off yesterday and what a fury of activity it was. The first deal of the day was Daniel Briere signing with the Philadelphia Flyers for eight years and $52 million. Chris Drury and Scott Gomez signed mega-dollar deals with the NY Rangers and Ryan Smith, "Captain Canada" is no longer in Canada, signing with the Avs.

My Leafs dipped into the pool and signed Jason Blake to a five year-20 million dollar deal. This should be good news for leaf's fans because Blake was a 40 goal scorer last season. He has grit, he's speedy and he can put the puck in the net. I realize his age is a bit of a concern but I think Blake was a late bloomer. He has at least 3-4 good years left in him and ANY player can falter after a year in this league. For that price it's worth the gamble. Did you know he was the ONLY 40 goal scorer in this year's FA pool? Given the deals people like Gomez and Briere are getting, I honestly think this could is a steal.

He probably won't score 40 goals this season either but I think 30 is a reasonable number with 60-70 points for the Blue and White. Nothing wrong with that especially given it'll make Mats a better player. Finally a goal scorer on the wing, which is something they desperately lacked for many years. Seriously I think Vesa and Blake added to an already improving Leafs team is a great start. Vesa will SURELY sign a large multi-year deal with Toronto in the next few weeks making Raycroft an expensive substitute from the bench. Hopefully this will work in TO's favor much like the Kipper deal for Calgary did a few years back. It was almost the exact same situation, San Jose trades their backup finnish goaltender to Calgary for a bunch of draft picks. Numbers were pretty similar (lets face it, Vesa could have easily been the starter going into the playoffs, he played incredible) and Calgary ended up benefiting pretty good from the deal. I think the Leafs are gonna see if Lightning strikes twice.

In other NHL news, a few more teams are back in business... or it appears that way. St. Louis signed Captain Keith back to a 2 year-8 million dollar deal. Kariya also signed with the Blues, who look to be making a push for the playoffs after many years of being picked on in a very tough western conference. The New York Rangers, who at this time are making the biggest splash signing 2 of the top 3 centers in the UFA market.

The Oilers made a different splash, sending longtime captain Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul to the Flyers for Joni Pitkanen and Geoff Sanderson (Plus a 3rd rounder next year). This COULD be a steal underneath the face of Edmonton loosing MORE players who are the heart and soul of the team (loosing Ryan Smyth was tough enough) with Pitkanen a former number 4 pick overall, and just entering his prime. He really could be the new Chris Pronger if he pans out to his potential and that is something Edmonton really needs. They are building from the ground up and you can't blame Kevin Lowe for that.

That's all the news for today, love to hear your comments on these deals!

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

WWE Great Benoit Found Dead with Wife and Kid

Wow, I am absolutely in complete shock. Chris Benoit, fellow Canadian and WWE Superstar was found dead in his home just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Along with him are is wife and 7 year old son, both dead in an apparent murder-suicide. I really didn't expect to her this today when I woke up!

I really believe sometimes the pressure of stardom really gets to a person. Benoit I am sure had a pretty good life, at least on the outside. Wife and kid, WWE superstar, lots of money, but inside it has to be all different for some of these guys. To take out his wife and kid along with himself, I just don't really understand. I am sure there will be plenty more details next week when the autopsy is performed but as of now this is really bizarre.

Ill keep you posted as the new info comes along, in the meantime would love to hear your comments on this. I was a huge Benoit fan back in the day... although I don't follow WWE right now I did when he was first introduced into the WWE. I love the whole history with the Hart family, the fact he's a Canadian who really made it big in a tough market and I really feel its a such a sad loss... :(

Until Next time,

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My outlook on the future of the Miami Dolphins

With a new year comes new changes. The Dolphins have a new coach in Cam Cameron, and although their GM is returning, Mueller had very little power in the Nick Saban Era. The new coach and regime has decided to take the Dolphins into another direction, releasing many players and old school Dolphins and bringing in their own talent to work with.

We saw the likes of Randy McMichael being cut. Culpepper, although is still officially with the team is on his way out the door one way or another! Wes Welker is now a New England Patriot and it appears Cameron has no interest in keeping locker room Cancer Ricky Williams in the fold. Yes, the dolphins will look FAR different this season compared to last.

So what does all this mean for us fans?? Miami elected to take WR Ted Ginn Jr with the first round of the draft, absolutely SHOCKING the Miami fan base in thinking the Dolphins had Brady Quinn ready for the taking and passed... Miami instead elected to take John Beck as the quarterback of the future with a solid WR threat to throw the ball to. So far, many fans are already calling for Cameron's head.

Still, let's be fair and give these guys the benefit of the doubt. Cameron has a history with great quarterbacks. He coached two pro-bowlers the past two seasons in Brees and Rivers. He is sold by the fact Beck can win the big games, has the numbers, has the composure and most important is the best fit for his team.

If you were watching the draft unfold, you probably were enraged the same as everyone else. Why in the world would you take John Beck over Brady Quinn... and more important, who the hell is John Beck anyways? Without getting into too much detail and making my column a novel (not to mention beating a dead horse) I think after waiting, hearing about this fine QB and seeing his videos that the most fans have since changed their stance and is ready to give this new Era a chance in Miami!

Personally, I could not be more thrilled by the way our off season has come. Yes we missed out on overpaying underachievers, whether thats on the offensive line or WR. We did miss out on Stallworth, who never even had a 1000 yard season in his career, and didn't try to sign the big names but I will ask you fans WHY? Why over pay for guys who can't give you the championship anyways? In this league you must win through the draft and that is exactly what we are doing. We took our WR we desperately needed, now we have a core of Hagan, Chambers and Ginn. All with talent, and if Hagan plays to his potential, LOOK OUT for the Dolphins in the next few years. We no longer have Culpepper and Lemon as our QB's, we now have Trent Green with John Beck waiting in the wings.... how is this not good news??? Many people think Green is injury prone but I ask... without mentioning names, who would you rather have at the helm? A quarterback who hasn't played in basically two years, that needed to get his knee completely re-pieced and put back together? Or a QB who had a concussion and missed 1/2 a season? When you put it like that I think it's an easy decision.

Miami's future looks bright indeed. I am completely sold on this kid Beck. Look at his videos, look at his numbers, his shocking similarities to people like Steve Young. This guy will make us a championship. This TEAM will get us a championship. Our defense is set in stone and it looks good... our offense just got completely retooled, using the first 4 picks of the draft completely on offense. We have our core of WR's, we now have our QB situation set for the next at least 5 years (whether Beck is hero or bust - gotta give him a chance to prove himself), and I think we are poised to make a huge push for the playoffs.

Yes Miami Fans, the future looks bright indeed!! Let's bring on the pre-season!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Jags show interest in Culpepper

Well apparently the Jaguars are interesting to Daunte Culpepper, according to a report by ESPN.

Both quarterbacks on the Jags roster admitted that management has talked to them and Culpepper in on their radar.

It remains to be seen if the Jags will give up a draft pick for Culpepper, given he could force the Dolphins hand and be released to become a free agent.

Jacksonville already has Leftwich and Gerrard as QB's on their depth chart but both have been inconsistent.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Green in, Culpepper Out!

Wow, my apologies for not writing as often as usual. Work has just been incredibly busy so I only get the time to write 4-5 times a week (which is about half my usual). Still, Ill do my very best to give you an entertaining read every time out :)

As we all know by now, Trent Green is now a Miami Dolphin, and Culpepper is on his way out. There is no way Cameron is going to keep his 5.5 million dollar salary with Green and Beck on the roster. Not to mention Lemon who has shown signs of improvement. Nope, one way or another, Culpepper is not going to take another snap in a Miami uniform again.

So this has obviously sparked some debate.... give Culpepper a chance, let them fight it out they say. Honestly, I don`t really understand why! Culpepper has been injured for 2 years and although I figure personally he IS healed, I do not think he fits Cameron`s offense. Culpepper needs to air it out, like the days with the Vikings, so places like St. Louis, and Jacksonville makes a lot of sense. Green knows Cameron and his offense very well as it is, and getting him now means he won`t be late learning the new system with his teammates.

I also hear arguments about how Trent is always injured but in fact last year was the first time he was injured for a good number of years. He has always been healthy and on the field. Plus, a concussion isn`t something that puts you on the shelf for the long haul and the fact that it was the first game of the season, no wonder he struggled when he came back.

Nope, I really have a feeling that Miami will surprise some people this year. With a smart, healthy Trent Green throwing the ball (the same former pro-bowler who threw for 4000 yards 3 years in a row). Beck is waiting in the wings and will be the future star once Green is done, likely at the end of this season unless Miami is really struggling. September can`t come fast enough!

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Senators are on the Ropes

The Anaheim Ducks are one win away from Lord Stanley. The Senators are one loss away to be still considered Hockey's "can't win in the playoffs" team.

The Senators had promise this year... they looked unbeatable after breezing to the finals. The Ducks proved why the West looks better this year and after another stellar game they only need to win once in the final 3 games to bring it all home.

What does this mean for our Ottawa team? Not good things Im afraid. Ottawa has been notorious for their choking ability in the playoffs. With plenty of first round exits for this young Senators team, this year was the surprise year they went very deep into the playoffs. This was their year!

Well Ottawa, lucky for you, there still is time. It isn't unheard of for a team to come back 3 games to 1 and win a series. As unlikely as it is, and the way the Ducks are playing you would think it's out of reach... still, you have to realize Ottawa will be digging DEEP, playing for their hockey lives to try to make this a series.

My personal prediction, Ottawa gives it all in game 5 and takes one on the road, only to loose game 6 in heartbreaking fashion. It is such a shame that 3 Canadian hockey teams (Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa) have been in the finals the past 3 NHL seasons and yet neither of them can pull it off. I always thought the third time's a charm and this was Ottawa's year.... maybe they will prove everyone wrong right now and pull it off. Looking forward to the next game!

Until next time,

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Lind goes from Goat to Hero in Jays Win

Adam Lind went from the village Idiot to Toronto`s Hero in the span of one single inning today. After taking an early jump on Vernon Well`s Sac fly that scored Clayton, Lind took off from second before the ball was caught and was doubled off on second base to end the inning. The Jays had the bases loaded with only 1 out and only scored a single run.

The next inning Lind got his chance to strike back. After the first two Jays were set down in order the hitting started. 3 straight hits, the bases are juiced (still with 2 outs) and Adam Lind comes up to bat. After a superb at-bat, Lind did something that made every Jay fan watching forget all about the mishap. Lind smacks a pitch straight away center into the gap, clearing the bases and giving the Jays a 4-3 lead.

This was all the Blue Jays needed with their bullpen being incredible. Marcum left early with what appeared to be back strain, and Lyle Overbay got hit on the hand and had to leave the game. So although it wasn`t all great news, the was still some cheer for the Jays. The first is Lind`s sign of greatness as he matures into a fantastic hitter and the second is the Jays taking 3 out of 4 from a very good White Sox team and battling through, still coming out with a hard earned win.

Maybe the Jays` fortunes will turn. They have more injuries than most teams but the young kids are really starting to step up. Even if the injury bug bites them this year, there`s no reason to think they aren`t moving in the right direction. Let`s make a year out of it guys!

Until next time

Friday, June 1, 2007

Kobe Wants out of LA

According to ESPN, Kobe Bryant wants out of Los Angeles and so far we don't know how serious his threats are.

Kobe is very upset with management, thinking that they aren't doing enough to win NOW. A lot of people think he's selfish but really, I think the man just wants to win. Yes he makes like a gazillion dollars but he is arguably the best player in the NBA and the Lakers would be bottom feeders without Kobe.

The biggest question is, who would take him? Kobe has a very high priced salary, and not a lot of teams can a) Afford him with their cap space b) have the resources to get him or c) even want him at all. The price for someone of Kobe's caliber is exceptionally high, a lot of teams simply won't part with their young stars for a guy like Kobe no matter how good he is.

So where could he end up? I think the best chance would be a place like Chicago or perhaps Boston... both has enough to pull the trigger if need be.

Still, when the dust settles I think Kobe will end up staying... still, we know how more often than not when a player isn't happy he usually gets his wish. Lets see if Kobe gets his.

Until next time

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A-Rod is a JOKE!!!

WOW! I don't even know what to say about this man. What a JOKE he is.

For those of you who didn't see the Blue Jays game, there was an easy pop-up that was easily caught by Howie Clark. There was 2 outs in the inning. As A-Rod was running by the shortstop he screamed something (most likely "CALL") and Clark backed off at the last second thinking McDonald was making the play. The ball drops right in front of Clark, everyone is safe, the run scores and the inning continues. This isn't Clark's fault because the shortstop always has priority in cases like this. So he simply thought Johnny Mac was calling him off.

The Jays bench almost erupted. Gibbons was out trying to convince the umpire, A-Rod had this dirty smirk on his face I'd love to smack off and everyone is just steaming. The Fans boo and the chants begin "A-Rod Sucks, A-Rod Sucks". Yes Toronto, A-Rod does suck. No matter if you love or hate the Jays, or any team for that matter, this is just poor, poor sportsmanship.

So I will say this again. A-Rod is a joke! He is the biggest, sorry excuse for a player I've ever seen. The Jays were only down by 1 run, A-Rod got scared that they may blow a short lead and the yankees blew it open in the 9th because he can't keep his big fat trap shut. This coming only one day after the New York Post reported A-Rod was seen in Toronto with some random blonde who was definitely NOT his wife. Way to go winner... so much talent and such a waste of space. I can guarantee you, the New York Post will be relentless tomorrow on this. Watch for it, I am caling it now!

Until next time,
One sincerely pissed Blue Jay Fan

Monday, May 28, 2007

Ducks Draw First Blood

The Senators may have been up 2-1 at the end of the 2nd and they looked like they were in control, but at the end of the day none of that mattered.

Anaheim scored early in the 3rd and then scored the game winner with about 3 minutes to go in the game, and even held off a 6 on 4 to preserve the win.

If this game was any indication on the series, we are really in for a treat. These teams played great hockey. Gigere and Emery were both excellent, Emery was even dazzling. Both definitely deserved to win but as we know this ain't how the sport works.

I am very excited to see the final 6 games (ya I think 7 is pretty reasonable) of this series... let's see if Canada can break the curse!

Until next time,