Postgame Spread
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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Puttin' On The Foils...    

Get the puck back on the ice!!!

Normally, news of the agreement between NHL players and owners on a six-year player-hosted Anal Foreign Body (they're calling it a CBA, but we all know better) would have made me livid. I'm generally a pro-union pinko, especially when it comes to stupid shit like pro sports, so I don't like watching large organizations set out to break a union. But this time the NHLPA leadership was about as inept as I've seen in my life, so screw 'em all. I'm definitely not on the owners' side on this, as this was clearly the most irresponsible ownership position of all the post-1980 sports labor stoppages. But the NHLPA knew the owners wouldn't cave on the salary cap issue. There was absolutely nothing they could do about it, so they should have just settled it a year ago without losing a single game or a single dollar. Instead, they did what I would have done in their shoes, which is stand by their principles, and ultimately get screwed in the end. Honorable, justifiable, and utterly futile. So now the players have to concede not only a salary cap, but a 24% rollback of their salaries as well! It's pretty sickening when you look at it, that you can totally mismanage your finances, and then have everyone but you bail you out. Justice could not have been served out any more innacurately. But as I said, they knew it was coming, so I'm not about to hold any grudges against the owners... well, I'm not about to hold my pre-existing ones any tighter. I'm good at grudges.

Which returns me to my original point... I'm happy!!! This is awesome news. I'll withhold certain levels of joy until I see how low the MCI Center's prices drop, but for now I'm just glad to be able to think about what the hell the Bruins are gonna do about their roster again. In case you haven't looked in the last, ohhhh, 18 months... it is in complete shambles. They have a whopping FOUR players under contract. Marty "What Stupid Penalty Can I Take To Clinch This Playoff Game For Montreal?" Lapointe is their first-line right wing. AAAAAAAAAAA!!!! But hey, they're under the cap, right? I'm a little worried about what kind of product we're going to end up seeing, since pretty much everyone who's any good (Sergei Gonchar, Glen Murray, Mike Knuble, Andrew Raycroft, Joey Bananas, Brian Rolston) either signed elsewhere before the lockout or is about to sign elsewhere. Joey Bananas wants out of town, and I don't blame him. I don't much care whether he comes back (under the Bledsoe Act of 2001, I have the right to tell him to screw himself) so bon voyage. They have lots of young talent that they can hold onto affordably (Nick Boynton, Patrice Bergeron) but I have no idea how they're going to sign all of those other guys and stay under the cap. Especially when they need to sign at least another 20 people in the next two months. Whatever happens, it's gonna be interesting.

As an aside, one huge problem for me right now is that I filled the work stoppage with video game hockey. So I'm way more connected to my Playstation roster (which is in the 2010-2011 season and has won six Cups in a row) than the actual roster. Naturally I had to break some eggs to make a six-Cup omelette, so I jettisoned some of the underwhelming Bruins to make room for talented draftees. As a result, I only just now remembered that P.J. Axelsson existed. This is actually gonna be a fun year, to be reunited with all these players that I totally forgot about. Just like a class reunion. Yes.

Ooooooh, I just realized something else... I get to go back to hating the Canadiens and Rangers! KOVALEV IS TEH SUCK. Oh, and Mike Ribeiro, that whiny diving motherf@&*#r. Screw that guy. He's gonna pay in blood for that shit he pulled in the playoffs last year. "Ohhh, my face! Oh God (pfft, snicker), oh I'm in such pain!" What a pussy. He's gonna get crushed by somebody... real bad.

All this got me looking into NHL suckerpunch history, reminding me of two delicious incidents found here during a discussion of the infamously overblown Todd Bertuzzi fiasco:

In 1999, Tie Domi received an eight game suspension for sucker punching Ulf Samuelsson, which knocked him out and gave him a concussion. Now I've never liked Samuelsson after what he did to Cam Neely, but still — eight games. In 1998, Matt Johnson received a 12 game suspension for punching Jeff Beukeboom in the back of the head in a retaliatory move, giving him a concussion and ending his career.

...You know Eddie Shore? Toe Blake? God did those two pricks deserve those concussions. And God, I love hockey.

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