Saturday, August 06, 2005
"Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in."- Michael Corleone, The Godfather IIII can't help myself. Despite the NHL's best efforts to bore hockey fans to states ranging from indifference to hostility with the lockout, I can't help myself. After a year of falling into a deep sleep, the NHL draft and free agent scramble have hit like a shot of adrenaline to Mia Wallace's breastplate (whether my revived interest will translate to Senator ticket sales is still very uncertain).
It all started with the draft lottery. Despite the NHL's attempt to piss away a great promotional opportunity by keeping it under wraps, the televised announcement of the lottery would have made for riveting television, had it not been on while I was still at work. The Next One went to the Pens, apparently bringing Bill Gates' cheque book with him for the free agent season ($3 mil over 3 yrs for Andre Fricken Roy - I liked him here in Ottawa, but that's way too much for a goon with decent hands and a good slapshot - big bucks for a team that's been on the verge of collapse for the last few years)
The hottest rumour here in Ottawa was the apparently imminent signing of former Bruin Martin Lapointe. Lapointe is the kind of player we need more of, would have been nice pick-up, but not at the 2.4 million per/3 years that the Hawks got him for. Darren McCarty at 800k on the other hand...that would have been a nice pick-up.
There has been much gnashing of teeth about the fact that the Sens have yet to plunge into the market. It's human nature to want to jump into the fun, but if you step back and think about it, the Sens will be fine if they can just take care of their own RFAs. Not all that exciting, but maybe we'll see a few holes plugged after the dust settles.
In other news, the Ray Emery era has begun. While Martin Prusek was generally solid and occasionally spectacular in the backup role, it's time for Emery to make the next step. Having a goalie tandem of a rusty 40-year old and an untested rookie feels a bit like stepping off a cliff, but then again maybe plunging off a cliff may be less painful than the crashing into brick walls that marked the Lalime era. Hasek and Emery might run off the cliff and run right across the gorge a la Roadrunner, or they might plunge to a grisly and gruesome end a la Wile E. Coyote. It's the question that will keep me on the edge of my seat this season.