Mediocre Monday: Peter Popovic, Jim Kyte, Enrico Ciccone

The late 80’s, early 90’s were arguably a rough time for hockey. After Gretzky took off for Los Angeles it seemed everything went slightly down hill. Although the league was trying to expand it’s talent pool, they let in some dandys. On Mediocre Monday, we take a look at some of those!

1. Peter Popovic: Montreal Canadians, NY Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins. 

Thanks for making my hockey card collection awesome though.
Chara: eat your heart out.

Popovic was a Swedish defenceman who was drafted in the 5th round of the 1988 Draft to Montreal. After playing 5 seasons in Sweden, he made his NHL debut in the 1993-94 season. For the next 5 years, he played in 485 games with the teams I stated above and accumulated a dimal 73 point. 73 POINTS IN 485 GAMES. At 6’5 he did cover a lot of ground though and did his job in front of the crease. He’s currently an Assistant Coach with the Swedish Men’s National Team.

2. Jim Kyte: Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, San Joe Sharks   63045_1472045483339_3084179_n

Big Jim Kyte started his junior career out with my hometown Cornwall Royals and actually didn’t fair out too badly. His stats though are a little more depressive then Popovic’s. Kyte played in 598 games and tallied 66 points. Although he’s ranked here for being mediocre, you have to commend the guy. Kyte holds the record for being the first (and only) legally deaf player to play professional hockey. In that regard, he is indeed an inspiration.

3. Enrico Ciccone, Minnesota North Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadians.
Enrico Ciccone

Saving the best for last. A career long minus player, Ciccone was drafted by Minnesota in the 5th round in 1990. He never played a full season anywhere. 374 NHL games amassed with 28 points. One stat he was a leader in was penalty minutes. Over his career he punched up a total of 1,469. Not bad for an Italian Canadian.

LA Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs Exchange Backups

Dave Nonis is getting a head start on the rest of the field this summer and creates the first big trade of the offseason.

Bernier. (Photo: puckme_1. flickr.)
Bernier. (Photo: puckme_1. flickr.)

Toronto sent back up Ben Scrivens and forward Matt Frattin, plus a second round draft pick to Los Angeles in exchange for Bernier. The Maple Leafs finally made a trade in their favour.

Bernier has been back up to Jonathan Quick the past four years and his playing time got dismal as Quick got hotter. Not to outdo Toronto’s young James Reimer, Bernier is a hint of added depth to the position and also has a shot at being the Leafs number 1 netminder. Bernier is set to become a restricted free agent but I don’t not see any doubt in why that contract will not take place.

In LA’s case, Scrivens could turn out to be a solid backup for Quick; not that Bernier wasn’t. Matty Frattin a speedy forward is definitely a great addition as well.

In any case, it’s a great day for Leaf fans. Bernier has been looked at being a franchise goaltender for years now. Let’s just see if he holds up to it.

Goalie Mask Sunday: Antti Niemi’s New 2013 Lid

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What a true work of art this mask is.

The San Jose Sharks netminder has detailed the great Finnish Winter War of World War 2. The Winter War was a battle between the Finnish forces and Stalin’s Red Army. The Finns were outnumbered by three times the amount of their own forces.

8614655764_73c29aea57As a tribute to his native land for their valiant and noble effort, Antti Niemi called upon the services of Swedish mask designer Dave Gunarsson who has also handcrafted masks for Ben Bishop and Henrik Lundqvist.

 

Finnish Chief Commander Gustaf Mannerheim can be seen on one side while the map of Finland can be viewed on the top. Soldiers fighting through the cold and snow along with the Winter War Campaign Medal wrap up the remaining side.

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I hope the Finnish people beam with remarkable price at the sight of this mask. A true historical work of art, it keeps the memory alive of those who sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom.

St. Louis Blues Accidental Jersey Leak?

Oh dear. Someone done goofed.

A post has appeared on Reddit of what seems to be a leaked picture of a St. Louis Blues third jersey. And It’s terrible.

image

I don’t understand the deal with NHL teams just wanting plain old text across the front. Same with numbers. Is this Bettman’s way of having more space on the jersey for the inevitable use of advertising?? Sweet lord, I hope not.

This jersey is dismal at most. It’s like the aren’t even trying anymore. Salute to original 6 hockey is most likely what they were going for but come on, you’re not even an original 6 team.

This makes me appreciate Dallas’s new ones SOOO much more.

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

Dumb Arena Names Part 2.

Considering the amount of feedback I got from my first piece on Dumb Arena Names, it’s time for the next installment. I think we all agreed as well that the “Canadian Tire Centre” is one of the dumbest names in the NHL. They better come up with some good promotions to make up for that. ANYWAY, onto some more fun!

1. Jobing.com Arena, Phoenix Coyotes.
Jobing.com? Really? A website dedicated to finding you a job? Jobing isn’t even a word! Ironically the Coyotes might be out of them soon. Better start putting up Job offers in Seattle along the boards.

Only in Seattle.
Only in Seattle.

2. Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence Bruins
“Hey guys, wanna go shoot some crueller’s down at the Dunkin’ Donut Center tonight?!” Restaurants should not be used for area names. Especially fast food.  Period. You think the athletes eat that stuff? There’s a minor league ball team that plays out of Whataburger Field and a soccer team that plays out of Pizza Hut Park. No, just….no.

Donuts_and_homer_by_mirry92
Sorry Homer, no donut for you. Unless you’ve got a good glove hand.

3. Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville Predators
Thankfully was renamed in 2007. This is just asking for trouble. I know the poor man’s last name is Gaylord, but adding Entertainment right next to it? Yeesh. I hate to think of what he went through growing up.

4. PostFinance Arena, SC Bern, Switzerland
Ok, what exactly is PostFinance? Is it a mix between the mail carriers and accountants?? Or the Finance section in the local paper?? Are they in debt to somebody?? Whatever it is, it’s terrible……and before you have a “post” you gotta gave a “pre”. PreFinance Arena, new home of your Phoenix Coyotes!

5. Mohegan Sun Arena At Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins
My god that’s a mouthful. As you can probably tell it’s named after a racetrack and casino. Nothing like horses and money to promote your hockey team. But I’m probably still bitter that this team is the former Cornwall Aces.

Please Snowman. Come back. :(
Please Snowman. Come back. 😦

Be on the lookout for Dumb Arena Names Part 3. Got some good ones? Drop me a line on twitter and let me know! @MissAMarch

Stanley Cup Finals Game 5 Preview

Aaaaaaaaaand we’re back in Chicago.

After a nail biter in Boston for game 4, we’re all tied up at 2 games a piece. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a playoff series, hell even finals series as close as this one. (I’m talking hockey here, the Miami Heat/San Antonio Spurs final was ridiculously close.)

Jonathan Toews. (Photo: Michael Zampanelli. Flickr.)
Jonathan Toews. (Photo: Michael Zampanelli. Flickr.)

Chicago’s offensive FINALLY lit up and special teams seemed to finally start clicking. Jonathan Toews broke out of his 10 game goalless streak and Sharp and Handzus netted a couple on the powerplay. Corey Crawford should except the Bruins to keep firing at his glove hand as we’ve seen they may have solved him. Marian Hossa should be in the lineup even though he didn’t skate with the team at practice.

Tuukka Rask. (Photo: Gosha Images. Flickr.)
Tuukka Rask. (Photo: Gosha Images. Flickr.)

On Boston’s side of things Tuukka Rask finally had a struggle of a game. I don’t think that should haunt them though, it was bound to happen. Rask should be able to bounce back. The Bruins proved in game 4 that they can keep up and skate with Chicago. Their resilience is something to be measured with. Patrice Bergeron is as hot as ever with 6 goals in his last 7 games. If the Bruins can get past the sloppy play of game 4, we might be in for another close one folks.

Hard to say, but I’m going to give Chicago the hometown advantage.

Fun fact: Most expensive ticket going for tonight’s game 5 is $1,044 according to http://www.seatgeek.com.

Pittsburgh Penguins And The Kris Letang Lunacy

So contract talks with the Penguins and Kris Letang are in the works. I imagine all the little teenage Penguins fan girls Tumblr accounts are blowing up about OMGZ for sure, but I digress.

Letang. (Photo" Dan4th. flickr.)
Letang. (Photo” Dan4th. flickr.)

Anyways, away from being beloved by the young ladies and to be fair to him — he is a popular figure in Pittsburgh, from a hockey stand point Letang did not impress this post season and many of Penguins fans have questioned his play with poor turnovers, defensive play and called for him to move on.

Unfortunately due to signing Mr. Malkin and Mr. Crosby to huge deals, this also may play a factor. Letang will be looking for 7 Million + from Pittsburgh and some how I don’t see Shero going for that; it’s arguable that he isn’t worth that much.

I still would disagree that he is by any means done. In fact I still think he would come to great use to any club. To throw this out there may be odd to some, but Letang shows incredible offensive flair and it is by far the strongest of his game. His defensive play is weak and doesn’t hit as a defenceman should.

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

Who says he needs to persue being a D’man? Could he be the guy to break the mold and possibly change position? Can anyone tell me that would end up badly? This is a guy who pulls huge offensive numbers. It’s not like putting Chris Pronger or Bobby Probert at centre.

It’s going to be hard for Letang to impress defensively in Pittsburgh when they seem to not really acknowledge two-way hockey. My point is if he has more support from pairings? Man…..he would still play amazingly well.

As Stan Lee always says……’Nuff said.

–Leo Patten

2013 Draft Profile: Nathan MacKinnon

If I were the Colorado Avalanche, this would be my first pick.

Nathan MacKinnon, who calls Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia home has been compared by some to be the next Sidney Crosby and not because he’s from the same town. MacKinnon, a strong 17 year old power forward is excepted to go at least in the top 3 in the 2013 NHL entry draft.

Nathan MacKinnon (Photo: puckingopinion.flickr)
Nathan MacKinnon (Photo: puckingopinion.flickr)

Coming off of a Memorial Cup win and named MVP of the tournament, the stars could not be more aligned for him right now. Selected first overall by the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the QMJHL and not being able to speak french, MacKinnon was then traded to the Halifax Mooseheads who he would help head man the team into glory. In his 2 seasons with the Mooseheads, MacKinnon has played a total of 102 games. His goals and assists for both years combine for an astonishing 153 points.

With Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic both  making remarks about not drafting Seth Jones first overall, I have no doubt in my mind MacKinnon is the one they want.