Friday, April 29, 2005

Bertuzzi Overload

Unless you have been in a coma or living under a mountain, you should have heard that the circus which is the Todd Bertuzzi v. Steve Moore saga came to a stop in New York this past week, in hopes that the NHL will reinstate Bertuzzi.

Now, the fact of the matter is that Steve Moore is still in traction suffering from Post Concussion Syndrome. His agent is saying that it's too soon to reinstate Bertuzzi because his client is still far off from attempting a comeback. I think the fact he's suing for monetary damages against most of the Canucks organization blackballs him for life, but that's another story entirely.

The vast majority of people would like to see Bertuzzi stay out until Moore is able to come back. That is not only absurd, but horribly out of the question. The NHL doesn't want to this to continue to be open-ended, for the fact it could look bad on them because they can't make a decision on an amount of time something like this should entail. The fact of the matter is that the NHL probably wants this black eye to heal as much as the people involved.

But what's going to happen to Todd Bertuzzi??

Many have said he has paid his dues and should be reinstated. Other, like I said above, do not think the same way. The reality of the thing is that the NHL will have to cover all it's bases when it comes to making people happy. I would not in the least be surprised if the NHL suspended the Canucks forward for at least 10 more games, but no more than 20 games once the NHL starts playing their games again. That way-- Bertuzzi is allowed to get in shape to play again and maybe seek employment in Europe and Moore's camp is happy because they see that the NHL is punishing the combatant for the crime; though they are out for blood.

But why is everyone feeling sorry for Steve Moore in all this?? Here's a guy who is a victim of the laws of Karma. He gave a head-shot to Markus Naslund (which sparked this whole debacle) and then, not long after that, he cross-checks Martin St. Louis into the boards from behind, and skates around like he's king of the world. This is why the NHL needs to relook the whole Instigator rule. If someone like a Dave Semenko-type player would have been able to get his; then I do believe this whole ugliness would have not happened.

Face it, when you have a guy like Steve Moore, a fringe player at best (let's not joke here, folks; facts are fact), who is going after star players like Naslund and St. Louis-- you know things have gone too far.

Then, Bertuzzi takes Moore up and down the ice, chirping at Moore, hooking him for a good 30 seconds waiting for him to turn around and go-at-them, but then Moore doesn't "cowboy-up" to the challenge. Moore is no angel-- he's a scrappy player. Why didn't he decide to go?? Why now, out of all the times he has before, does he decide not to drop them and at least turtle to get this whole situation behind them?? I mean, it was their last meeting of the season and if they tried to do something like this in the playoffs, it would have been too risky to even attempt.

I'm not condoning what Bertuzzi did-- but Karma sucks. You live by the cheap-shot and you die by it too. Bertuzzi will have his come-upping, too when he comes back. It's the ways of life in the world today-- you do something wrong, then you get it back to you.

In the end, this whole situation is going to leave an even bigger black mark on the sport the longer it goes on without knowing what the final decision is going to be. That is where we are at in this juncture. We're waiting for the end of the great unknown. Will things be better when all is said and done?? No, probably not. You can't make everyone happy. You'll see all the people who support one side or the other complaining that the penalty is too harsh, not harsh enough, or something they are too angry to talk about.

This has been ScottyWazz. Take care of yourself and someone else. PEACE!!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

No New Keanu Reeves' Movie....Yet

Well, the NHL's Board of Governors meeting in New York on Wednesday produced the result that some people are confused by. The NHL has gone on record saying the League would not put a product on the ice if they did not have an agreement with the NHLPA. Now, that put to rest, at least for now, the idea of replacement players for the NHL.

Now, the big question is-- who has the leverage??

The NHL is committed to having a deal with the PA, but did they show all their cards too early. I mean, let's face it-- without the threat of replacement players, you have to think that the NHLPA has a reason to stall on getting a new deal done. Now that they don't have to worry about scabs taking their jobs-- they can wait all they want because they won't get a cheque until October. Granted-- the PR idea is a great move for the NHL and they should be commended for showing they want to get something done with the players' union.

On the flip side, there are some people who think that the NHLPA is now behind the 8-ball. I don't see how that is possible, but one can guess how they can be considered it. Many think the "trump card" Bob Goodenow held is now gone with the thought of the replacement players. The Players have been told to wait out the replacement players and the NHL will be back bargaining. Since that's the case no longer, one can think that the NHLPA has the upperhand.

Without hockey, no one has the upper hand. The NHL loses out on sponsorship that was there and the revenue that could have been coming in. The Players lose out on the fact that they would have to go across the world to get a job to play the game they are skilled at playing.

All that aside-- would have people seen replacement hockey?? I'm sure if the price was right and the curiousity grew enough that you just sat in your house and screamed to yourself, "ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT-- I'LL GO SEE A BLOODY GAME!!" Granted, after an outburst like that you could be put into somekind of home.

I think replacement hockey would have been enjoyable to see. Sure, it wouldn't have been the NHL and wouldn't have been the same as having the "real" NHL on the ice, but it would have been fun to watch. With hockey, they have a great minor league system with players talented enough to make the replacement league an exciting one to watch and something people would be curious to go see.

Would it have worked in the long run??

No, not at all. But it would have been fun to see how it went. It could have gone one of two ways: (1) It worked brilliantly and the NHL actually wins out on it or (2) It would have failed horribly and the game would have been destroyed for the future. Either way, it would have been more exciting that what's going on in the boardroom.

So, we just wait out moreso and see what they can do. They can elect a Pope in three days, but can't sort a CBA out in 7 months-- go figure.

This has been ScottyWazz. Take care of yourself and someone else. PEACE!!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Is Bigger Necessarily Better??

The great debate in hockey right now is whether or not the nets should be bigger to compensate for the lack of scoring in the NHL. Forget the truth that the NHL hasn't iced a game since June of '04, move past the fact that the Collective Bargaining talks have gotten nowhere since September of '04-- we need to fix the scoring on the ice now when no one is on the ice.

Aside from that, the debate started when the Buffalo Sabres brass developed this net pictured below:
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The idea was to make the nets bigger because the goalies have been getting bigger. Sports Illustrated super-imposed Roberto Luongo with a goalie from the past whose name escapes me, and Luongo took up 26% more of the net than goalie TBA. Now, that could be a cause of concern. With the NHL down an average of two-goals-a-game in about 20 season, that could be chalked up to the fact that it's more of a defensive game and the talent pool has thinned out. Not only that, but the NHL officials haven't been calling the clutch-and-grab as much as they should have. Of course, in defense of the officials, they are damned if they do call them and damned if they don't.

Back to the matter at hand though, the NHL took the "Buffalo Net" and decided to bring that to the Players and GM meeting on April 8th and 9th, as well as two of their own. This will be examined, talked about, and probably voted upon on the meeting on the 8th. Now, this idea has already been shot down by the goalies, surprise, but some others don't seem to have a big deal with the idea.

Is this idea all this bad?? Probably not. If you don't evolve, you die. It's as simple as that. With more space-aged technology and more advancement in equipment, we have seem before our eyes that this evolution is coming to a head. The big nets are just a compensations for the goalies pads and the goalies themselves are getting bigger and bigger. The goalies are also getting better. While the hard-core fans can appreciate the idea of a 2-1 game or a 2-0 game, the NHL doesn't need the hard-core fans approval because they have it. It's the casual fan who doesn't know any better that cannot enjoy the defensive NHL and wants more scoring. While it'll probably bite the NHL in the rear if it happens, they need to get new money in the business because they are losing the old money.

The fact of the matter is that people complained with the goalies started to wear a facemask, they complained with sticked started to be made out of anything but wood, and they died a little inside when all the expansion teams and some floundering Canadian teams went into non-traditional markets. There's always going to be someone to complain about the changes that go into hockey. No matter how little it is, no matter how much it won't effect the actual game play; they will still bicker. They were bitter when the useless "Rover" was taken out of the game, but that's neither here nor there.

I would say that they should try it out in the minors, but the AHL has been a guinea pig enough for the the NHL. They NHL needs to hold some exhibitions with the nets, if indeed they do vote it into law, then decide from there whether or not to use it. Then, and only then, will we see if there is more scoring chances, scoring, and better play all around. Until then, it's just a bunch of rhetoric, which is a welcome change from the rhetoric coming from the CBA debacle.

This has been ScottyWazz. Take care of yourself and someone else. PEACE!!