Thursday, April 19, 2007

Around the Rink 04.19.07

People in Columbus can rejoice, Doug MacLean's era of tyranny has ended. After the ownership group met last night, the Blue Jackets only GM and President was shown the door after a very unimpressive six-year stint in the organization.

The question is now who will fill the void. Names like Steve Tambellini, Neil Smith, Pat Quinn and Craig Button have been thrown out, but in my opinion, guys like Tambellini and Smith should have the inside edge when dealing with a salary cap formula. This will be a developing story for a while now, but at least there is some closure for some fans when it comes to MacLean.

In other ownership news, Phoenix Coyotes CEO Jeff Shumway made it clear that the Coyotes won't have a "country club mentality" for next season. Meaning, those who want to play on the Coyotes will actually want to play hockey instead of soaking up the sun and hitting the links.

As we stated last night, the one thing they need to take care of is who's behind the bench. Gretzky can still be a part of the day-to-day operations of the team, but to be the coach where you're untouchable-- that's not a place any GM would want to be in. It's just not that feasible to have. However, it was good of Shumway to come out and make this known to everyone that they are serious about winning. Whether that translate into actual winning, we'll see.

The 2006 #1 Overall Pick, Erik Johnson, will forego his last three season in the NCAA with the University of Minnesota to sign with the St. Louis Blues. Johnson had four goals and 19 assists in 39 games as a Gopher. Johnson was invited by Team USA to take part in the World Championships happening over in Moscow.

The big question is whether or not this is the right move for Johnson. Many feel that he's ready to make the jump to the pro, even after one year of college. The good thing about Johnson signing is that he'll have guys like Barret Jackman and Bryce Salvador to help him through the transitioning period he may endure.

In a crazy story out of Russia, Alexander Semin was thrown off the Russian World Championship team because he arrived three hours late to the team's first meeting and practice. The finger pointing has begun with Semin's agent Mark Gandler and Russian GM Sergei Nemchinov.

The story itself is quite bizarre with so many twist and turns, but check out the TSN story in its entirety.

The NHL came down on Brad May hard, handing him a deserved three-game suspension for hitting Wild defenseman Kim Johnsson from behind during a fracas at the end of Game Four. May will miss the last games of this series and maybe some of next series. Johnsson won't appear for Game Five.

Imagine Brad May getting caught for this?? The thing is that the Ducks are trying to bring in a hard-hitting expose in the playoffs, which is fine. The thing they have to worry about is getting too out of control and then losing focus at the task at hand. Sure, it's good to bring a little rough stuff into the playoffs to jazz it up a bit, but you have to wonder now if the refs are going to keep a closer eye on all the Ducks from here on out.

That's all for now, but check out the Show live every Wednesday and always on the Podcast. For more hilarity, check out the Message Boards and get in on the discussion.

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