Joel Kwiatkowski of the Chicago Wolves kisses the Calder Cup trophy a win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Game 6 of the AHL final. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
A few unrelated musings bouncing around my head in the weeks following the playoffs.
WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING
The Atlanta Thrashers’ playoff experience may be limited to a four-game sweep at the hands of the Rangers last season, but their AHL affiliates’ recent championship has to bode well for the future of the big franchise.
While it was the veteran presence – Jason Krog, Darren Haydar, Joel Kwiatkowski, Steve Martins - who led the way, several youngsters – Bryan Little, Ondrej Pavelec, Brett Sterling, Boris Valabik – played crucial roles as well and should make the jump to the NHL sooner rather than later.
Just like to take a moment to extend my gratitude to Oilers GM Kevin Lowe. If it weren’t for his refusal to toe the unwritten offer sheet line we’d only be talking about which unrestricted free agents will be on the move this summer.
Thanks to the salary cap and the moronic insistence of awarding a loser point, the NHL has achieved a healthy degree of parity across the league. And that parity has apparently extended to the NHL Awards where – beyond the Hart and the Norris – for the first time in years, there is no clear-cut favorite in any of the categories.
Unlike the on-ice production, however, the indiscernible difference in the candidates is a good thing and makes the proceedings worth watching for the drama, rather than what the players’ wives look like.
OF TONE AND TUNE
As much as I personally don’t care about Hockey Night in Canada’s loss of The Hockey Theme, I was touched by the outpouring of emotions from across Canada and the United States.
This story sparked vitriol similar to baseball’s aluminum bat debate and once again demonstrates the depth of love fans of the sport possess.
Just what the hell has William Del Biaggio done to deserve being called “Boots”? And why does the media continue to refer to him as such? Who does he think he is? Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher’s ex-wife?
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