The NHL week that was, a few survival tips for disgruntled Canadiens fans, calming down Bruins fans after their team’s (gasp!) second straight regulation loss, wondering if the Senators won the Heatley trade after all, giving thanks to the salary cap, some thoughts on the sale of the Maple Leafs, musing over whether or not the Ducks should trade Bobby Ryan, and observations over the Stars recent struggles.
GRANTLAND: Katie Baker has a look at the past week in the NHL, including the NHL’s “fighting problem”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Baker’s work is one of the reason I regularly visit “Grantland.com”.
PUCK DADDY: Harrison Mooney suggests the play of forward Milan Michalek, who’s on pace for his first 50-goal season could mean the Ottawa Senators may have won the Dany Heatley trade. Michalek was part of the return for Heatley, dealt to the San Jose Sharks in 2009.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Michalek can remain healthy, score 40 or more goals over the next three seasons, then I’ll agree the Senators won the trade in the long run. Right now, I’d call it a draw, but leaning in the Senators favor, now that the Sharks dealt a fading Heatley to Minnesota for an injury-prone Martin Havlat.
PUCK DRUNK LOVE: Giving thanks for the NHL salary cap for various reasons, including the claim Edmonton would be the official farm team of the NHL without it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The salary cap has its pros and cons, but claiming the salary cap saved Edmonton is flat-out wrong. Edmonton, and other “small market” Canadian teams, were saved by the rising value of the Canadian dollar, which for most of the past three years have been around par with the Yankee greenback. That’s why they can afford to spend up to the cap. If the “loonie” were still worth what it was ten years ago (between .62-.67 cents US), the salary cap wouldn’t have helped Edmonton, or Calgary, or Ottawa. And you can bet your bottom dollar – Canadian or American – there wouldn’t be an NHL franchise in Winnipeg today.
BITTER LEAF FAN PAGE: Some thoughts on the sale of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and what it could mean for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
ANAHEIM CALLING: Should the Ducks reconsider moving Bobby Ryan?
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If they show no real improvement by the trade deadline, or over the rest of the season, it’s a possibility.
DEFENDING BIG D: As the Stars struggles continue, perhaps it’s time to give call-up backup goalie Richard Bachman a start?
DAYS OF Y’ORR: Greg Ezell reminds Boston Bruins fans ticked over their team’s second regulation loss in as many games, coming on the heels of their 14-0-1 streak, that sometimes, y’know, teams lose, even great teams, so don’t over-react when the Bruins drop a game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Could be worse, you could be a fan of another team in the Northeast Division.
THE ACTIVE STICK: Some advice to disgruntled Montreal Canadiens fans, courtesy of tips to Leafs fans from various Leafs bloggers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Habs fans will need it after hearing today’s news of the Canadien swapping Jaroslav Spacek for Tomas Kaberle.