Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Around the Rink 03.27.07

It seems that the fighting debate is starting up after Todd Fedoruk was knocked out cold by Colton Orr last Thursday. NHL Disciplinarian Colin Campbell said that fighting should be looked at, but NHL commish Gary "The Count" Bettman said it's a part of the game and won't change.

Personally, I think some are overreacting to Campbell's statement. Let's not fool anyone here, Campbell knows what would happen if the NHL took out fighting, much more stickwork. All this was is a PR deal to make people think that something is going to happen to fighting in the NHL. If they didn't, more scrutiny would be given to the NHL for not doing something for the safety.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for safety; but it'd be much safer to keep fighting than worry about sticks to the head.

The Phoenix Coyotes announced that they would be inducting long-time Winnipeg Jet Dale Hawerchuk into the Coyotes "ring of honor."

Now, I have no issue with Hawerchuk being inducted because he was a great player. The problem I have is that he has no ties to the Coyotes organization other than the fact that he played for the Jets and the transfer of records and all that jazz came with it.

You can't fault the Coyotes in trying to do this, but let's not do it because you feel obligated to do so. You could probably ask 100 people in Phoenix who Dale Hawerchuk is and I bet 90% of them wouldn't have a clue. Stop trying to be like the Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes-- you'll never get to that cult status.

How bad do you have to feel for the Isles?? They have all this momentum after the trade deadline with Ryan Smyth and M-A Bergeron playing well, then Rick DiPietro goes down not once, but twice with news that he is out indefinitely with post-concussion symptoms.

Right now, it's time for Mike Dunham to earn his paycheck and help lead the Isles into the playoffs. It won't be an easy road as the Isles have to take on teams already locked in the playoffs and those who are fighting with them to get into the playoffs.

Good news for the Flyers, they have a new savior in net. Martin Biron signed a two-year, $6.7M deal with the Flyers. Biron has been fairly consistent with what has been in front of him for the Flyers, though it should get better for next year. Paul Holmgren has put his stamp on this team more so with this move.

The question now is who do you dump?? The obvious choice is Robert Esche mainly due to his craptasticness, but is it likely that the Flyers could dump both Esche and Antero Niittymaki?? Though Niittymaki has tremendous upside, his injuries are what hinders his stock the most and may not be the best option for a rebuilding Flyers team. With cheap back-ups always available, it will be interesting to see the logjam that may occur.

For more of this ranting and raving, including thoughts about Jack and Erik Johnson jumping to the NHL, listen to Face Off Hockey Show this Wednesday at 9 PM ET or whenever the Podcast gets up. Until then, check out the message board for all the randomness there.

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