This week on the Other 29 we look into the big trade, the All Star rosters, clipping vs hip checks and over rated players. If you missed last week you can catch up on our extreme realignment idea before you proceed.
Just a day after Michael Cammaleri voiced his frustration, a deal that had “been in the works for weeks” took place during the first period of both teams respective games. Rene Bourque was the principle player moving from Calgary and was sitting out his fourth game of a five game suspension. Had the deal been closed before the game took place it would not have counted for the suspension.
Cammaleri who was playing had to be pulled from the game in what can only be described as a confusing moment for the Habs fans. While I like this deal for both teams, as it gives both players a fresh start, I have to laugh at the fact that both GM’s said Mike’s comments the day before had no bearing on the trade and it had been in the process for a few weeks now.
While I no doubt believe it had been in the works, you can’t tell me that if they had been close that this didn’t push Gauthier to make the deal happen as soon as possible. I don’t think it was so much the comments Cammaleri made but the fact that he said it in English that bothered the Canadiens.
This could be the start of the trade parade leading up to the trade deadline in the end of February, don’t forget that last year most of the big names got moved earlier and in the salary cap era trades involving big money can take more time to make sure the teams stay under the cap.
A side note since declaring every player but Teemu and Koivu on the market, the Ducks have responded by winning hockey games. Maybe the Jets should try that instead of calling out players and threaten to trade anyone.
So at first glance you have to question how some players were left off the roster. No I’m not talking about Evander Kane and Ondrej Pavelec who both warranted some consideration. No I’m referring to the Nick Lidstrom and Teemu Selanne void. It’s been said that both players asked not to be named, which would explain their absence, but the NHL has to come up with a better solution for the All Star game than what it has.
The draft idea is unique and should stay, but they have to find a better way to get the best players that deserve the recognition to be in the game. The fan vote setup, as much as we pushed voting for Jets players, is flawed in every way. Sure the Senators are having a good year but do Speeza, Alfredson, Michalek and Karlson all deserve to be at the game? The fan vote should allow for fans to only vote for one player regardless of position. Then you’ll still have six starters voted in, but the chance they’d be from the same team will be slim.
The other need to address is the willingness for players to participate in the event. Many would just rather have the five days off instead of going and being pulled in every direction to play a game of shinny. Maybe it’s time to look at an automatic bonus if a player plays in the All Star game. You could take the money that is collected from suspensions and divide that to the players in the game, or maybe only to the winning team.
There needs to be some incentive for the players to show up and compete. The event is fun for fans regardless of who is there, but this game needs to get back to rewarding a players’ strong first half performance, not just about who can go. Why not move the All Star game to the first weekend in January and have it played outside in the same city that hosts the Winter Classic? An outside game is something all players want to be a part of and if it’s gonna be a big game of shinny anyway, it might as well be played outside where shinny first started.
Ever since the Brad Marchand hit on Sami Salo, the hip check has been under intense scrutiny. Is it a clean hit? Is it a clip? What’s the difference and how can we expect referees to tell during the full speed of a game, if a slow motion replay makes it hard to tell? A clip requires a player making the hit to throw themselves into the knees of their opponent. When I was taught how to throw a hip check the principle concept was get as low as possible and undercut them fast.
Was the Marchand hit dirty? Yes. Was it suspendable? Apparently so. Will we see hits like that again that aren’t? Most likely. This hit was blown up because of the rivalry and hatred that has developed between Vancouver and Boston. There was already a hit that could have been a clip that happened in the Nashville game this past week and no suspension or even a penalty on the play.
The way I see it, the hip check is soon to become as scary a thing to throw as any other open ice hit that could be a blow to the head. Give the NHL a few years and I’m sure the only place players will feel comfortable hitting their opponent without fear of suspension will be shoulder to shoulder along the boards. Until then, enjoy the hip check when you see it – it’s like a dying check.
One of the more interesting, yet controversial polls came out this week when NHL players were asked to name the most overrated players. As selected by a handful of their peers Dion Phaneuf was named the most overrated player in the league. Some other names in the top 10 were Alexander Ovechkin and Roberto Luongo. Considering that only 160 some players took this poll, it’s likely that this was more the 4th liners and bubble players that filled it out.
I don’t often agree with Brian Burke, but he has a point in his rant about this poll. This poll is a joke and while some of the players are arguably overrated, is it professional for players to even take it? Not really. And while it was likely done as all in fun, this isn’t like picking Kessel last in the All Star game.
Sure Ovechkin hasn’t had a great year, but isn’t a player like Rick Dipietro the poster child for overrated?
That’s it for the Other 29 this week, there will be no Other 29 next week but we’ll be back the following Sunday.