PATTEN: Jaromir Jagr, The Traveling Man

Just checking in after a very uneventful day at the American Embassy. However The LA Kings made California’s Highlight reel in a tourism video of “must see” things to do….not all bad right?!

I was looking at things to complain about.

So I thought I’d touch on the subject of Jaromir Jagr.

As much as I don’t really have any sort of personal or hockey bias toward the man at all, intact I’m quite fond of him, I can’t help but dislike what may be transpiring in his new deal with the New Jersey Devils.

I’m not debating that Jags doesn’t have playoff hockey in him anymore (others may do..I personally think he’s got something left in the tank) but I just feel like this isn’t a situation where a player has been loyal to his team and without a cup,  looking for winning opportunities at the end of his career. Skirting very much on rent a player hockey? Possibly yes.

Are players in the future going to sign one year deals a with a struggling team, play a some-what easy regular season and then be traded to a cup contender without having to really work to get into the playoffs? Some might not like that thesis, but I feel it maybe a reality that’s slowly coming into the back door of the hockey world.

New Jerseys Standpoint

I’m head scratching right now as to what to write. Of course Jagr will be a great addition to young team that need support and guidance but I’m not sure about the financial cost of the contract for a already cash strapped organization.

My prediction is he will be traded at the trade deadline for the highest pick  they can get.

Over and out.

Worthless Pieces Of Paper: Kovalchuk And Contracts

It’s safe to say that Ilya Kolvachucks’ decision to retire from the NHL was something more premeditated that many thought.

In fact March gave me a heads up via a text message and was like – KOVY IS RETIRING! and the first thing I said was –


(had to add a Queenie reference there!)

Anyway I said – No way, and if he is, he will be playing in the KHL and sooner rather then later.

So, are players just going to be able to ‘Retire’ instead of honouring their contracts? (Although lets face it – his contract was awful..in so many ways!) But retiring and making it official takes you off your employers books. you are essentially free of whatever contractual obligations you had. What if Roberto Luongo, who  is in a very similar contractual position, said he was going to retire? (Doubtful as he has no other credible options, as Kolvachuk does  in the KHL) but you get what I mean.

From the Devils stand point I think they possibly see it as a blessing in disguise. They no longer have to honour is huge ridiculous contract and get out of it pretty much scott free.


I may add that it’s debatable that due to honouring his deal they lost out on a lot of space to accommodate other much needed talent or go after Paraise and others of his quality.

But I digress back to my last point. My concern here is what kind of precedence this sets for contracts in the future. Lets face it here, clubs and players  are one in the same – they are savvy and will be looking for loop holes out of their own stupid decision making and discontent if needed. After the lockout this year and all the meetings, and discussions that came along with  it, it really surprises me they overlooked incidents such as this.

I just hope this doesn’t become a regular occurrence in the NHL for players and teams to void their stupidity!

The Cookie Monster – Matt Cooke

It looks as if Matt Cooke has been heavily reviewing his options for this trade deadline for some time. As it stands there has been very little talk with Pittsburgh, if at all on resigning with the club.

But of course this is all speculative to a degree, as nothing has been made 100% official at this point. Chris Letang being an example where many thought he was on his way out of Pittsburgh, only to be accommodated.

However, this is an entirely different situation all together. Here we have a 34 year old left winger who is now proving he’s more than just capable of concussing other teams star players (yes, I went there!). In all seriousness this year alone and especially over the regular season, Cooke came out of heavy controversy of seasons past and proved many wrong with a hard work ethic and dropped his outlandish moronic behaviour at the door. More importantly he put up some of his best numbers yet.

I’d say It would be very wise for him at this point – to go where the money is and prove he can get the job done else where. This is a simple case where Cookie will probably get the biggest money shot of his career. Regardless of what people say about loyalty and that stuff, as a player you have to think – “Do I go while I’m still hot and have some worth..or hang around here possibly sign some sort 1-2 year deal for less money, my game goes to hell and/or I end up getting traded.”

Love him or hate him, we shall see what happens in the coming days. We all could be wrong but I think the Cookie Monster will be spreading his crumbs somewhere else this coming year.

Patten’s Take On Jokerit And The KHL

The Finnish team has decided to cut ties with SM-Liiga and join the KHL.

I feel this is possibly bigger news than it is being downplayed as the KHL will be in nine or ten different countries across eastern Europe.

NHL beware?

Many would consider a move like this a concern for the NHL. Finland and Scandinavia have been some what of an NHL hotbed, seeing as they have opened their season every year since 08 (baring the this years late start due to the lock out).

Although again one can argue that their slower, spread out game is not as attractive as the NHLs. In addition to this they have done very little and seem to have no interest in attracting non-Russian speaking markets. Perhaps that is an intentional move there.

Jokerit have had a fair history of success; winning SM-Liigas Kanada-malja trophy several times over the 90s and early 2000s.
They also have accommodated players such as Jari Kurri, Teemu Selanne and Several of the Ruutu family to name a few.

This move will definitely turn a few heads in Scandinavia the K’s way this coming season, and Its clear the KHL expansion is not slowing down. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out!!

The View Of The Draft From The Peanut Gallery

As the draft rolls on before our eyes I would like to point some what of an observation…

What strikes me as odd is that for many of these kids and their families, this is the happiest day of their lives and some of these GMs are skulking up to the podiums and just nonchalantly announcing names..Washington’s seemed outright rude.

Is it their intention to make it seem as if they don’t give a crap about these kids..? Cause it certainly comes across that way.

Anyway its great to see these young kids and their families looking so proud and excited. The coming years will be pivotal for all them, some will join the elite and others may disappear into obscurity. However this has to be the proudest day of their lives.

Moving Parts – Players to watch over the next few days

A short summary of some of the names rumoured to be hitting the trade/free agency block the next few days. There of plenty of names hitting free agency on July 1st, but here are a few names already hitting the headlines recently.

Big Vinny

Vincent LecavalierLecavalier WILL be picked up. The Dallas Stars seem to be going after him pretty hard but i’ts early days right now. But a guy like this will a huge aid to any hockey club he chooses to join. It’s a no brainer for those GMs out there!

Tanger 

(Photo: Dan4th. flickr)
(Photo: Dan4th. flickr)

Kris Letang is also someone who seems to be heading for the trading block right now. After rejecting a Pittsburgh Penguin offer, and the Penguins then rejecting his more costly counter offer, Letang may well be made available to teams in the coming days. After his questionable play this year it will be interesting to see what teams will take an interest, he still has a heck of a lot to contribute.

Nate

Nathan Horton has decided to move on from the B’s. He will also aid plenty of clubs out there wanting to add size to their bench.

Danny Briere 

Danny Briere. (Photo: Jai Agnish. Flickr.)
Danny Briere. (Photo: Jai Agnish. Flickr.)

After disappointing Philadelphia again, Briere was bought out by the Flyers recently. Although I dont see many teams going hard for him – he deserves a mention.. he is a stand up guy, March and all Flyer fans will be cheering for this guy wherever he goes.

 

Seguin 

Another one hitting the rumour mill this week on a possible trade. He is a young skilled player with a Stanley Cup in his rookie year, and deep playoffs experience. He is also a no brainer for many clubs looking to add some depth.

Ranger Brad

The Rangers are currently denying any movement on Brad Richards as of now..will keep an eye on that.

 

The Current State Of Officiating

I have read a lot of talk on the inter webs this year from fans the league about poor officiating.  Many point out unfair or just flat out stupid penalties being called. I’m not sure if I’m inclined to support that statement entirely..

I do think officiating has slipped in recent seasons. My argument has been more the fact that games are not allowed to flow as they should at times. Every game before a face off, players are kicked out for arbitrary infraction reasons, sometimes two or three guys are thrown out in a row.

troy

DROP THE FREAKIN’ PUCK ALREADY !

I have heard the hockey media say things like ‘Well referees have a way of evening things out..’ I do not like these statements at all. It’s something soccer commentators talk about. Being someone who has watched soccer my whole life, I know how flat out appalling refereeing can be. My hope is that it will never slip to that degree . These guys aren’t machines, mistakes will be made. Apart from a few big games such as Dallas’s Brett Hull 1999 goal, (which was more because of a poor rule than poor officiating), the NHL still fairs as being some of the best in sports. In my opinion anyway.

One can also argue that views on officiating are often where your allegiances lie. Which I can honestly say is true. I mean if referees call an awful penalty on the Penguins for example are Philidelphia fans really going to care? Then again Flyers/Pens games are like a bar brawl down in southwest Philly. So what do you expect?!

I sense myself starting to ramble here so I’m going to cut this short.

In closing, if people have issues with officiating. Easy solution. Bring this man back.

bill

Nuff Said.

x

Dallas Is Liking It Ruff

The Dallas Stars announced former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff has signed on as  their new coach this Friday.

First off, this is historical irony.

crease

BOOM, apologies..but it had to be done! Anyway continuing on…

I don’t think this signing needs to be analyzed too much, Lindy Ruff has proven himself as a coach. He has his doubters; which I have read online, that he hasn’t won the Stanley Cup, and was very hit and miss in Buffalo over the years.

My argument to these type of comments is this: The ownership and management structure in Buffalo over the years as been little to be desired. I respect the man for working with what he had, under the constraints he was under.

Ruff is a no nonsense old school coach.

swanson

Arguably the Stars need to improve their toughness, and almost definitely need a culture shake up in the locker room and system changes.

Dump and chase hockey is just not going to do it anymore. Many Games in Texas over the last 4 or 5 years have failed to draw fans and hopefully all these changes are going to bring hockey back to some kind of forefront.

All in all its a win for the Dallas Stars. They are a team that are willing to splash the cash and intent on being an elite competitive team. The future is seeming much brighter in Texas. Apart from….. in this writers opinion just awful new jerseys!

Follow me on Twitter! @pattenMH

Counterfeit Jerseys And You

I was reading an article posted by NBC Chicago about counterfeit jerseys and felt I should put my two cents in.

Common Sense Rule #1: Do not be this guy.
Common Sense Rule #1: Do not be this guy.

It’s an interesting topic because I am an Avid jersey collector.. I’m not going to lie. I do actually own a few fake NHL jerseys. One of which I was duped and bought under the pretence that it was real. I then bought a few out of morbid curiosity as to how they fair up against NHL official merchandise.

Counterfeiting is an issue surrounding any business with intellectual or financial property. However there will always be a market especially with these people praying on those of us with less money or low incomes.

So I thought I’d enlighten anyone who isn’t aware how to spot a fake one by a mile. I may have missed a few things, but here’s some basics.

1) Player ID tags. The grey ID patch in the bottom right hand corner (if you are a looking at a photo of it.) I have NEVER seen one of these patches on an counterfeit jersey. Possibly because they are too hard to counterfeit, but in my experience I’ve never seen one on a fake jersey.

Real deal:real

Counterfeit: fake

2) The weight. Most of these jerseys are modified CCM overstock. The Fabric from top to bottom is extremely heavy in comparison to the official Reebok merchandise. The badges and patches including the NHL logo at the collar are all thicker and less detailed when inspected a little more.

3) Sizing.. Another obvious sign..Official Reebok jersey merchandise is sized as S, M, L, XL etc.
– CCM sizes are numbered. 42,54 etc. As I said before most fake jerseys are Modified CCM jerseys.  clear sign of a fake!

4) Common sense. If a named jersey is for sale cheaper than 100 dollars from a store or seller frequent on something like ebay….beware. Especially if its from China or somewhere in south east Asia. You do however get private sellers who take real photos and are just selling a jersey, unwanted gifts etc. Then you got yourself a pretty sweet deal!

Basic Rule of Thumb – Anything cheap comes at a price my friends..if its too good to be true – it probably is.

If anyone has any tips of their own Tweet me with yours !

@pattenMH