There was a time around 95-2000 where Paul Kariya was a major pick in our pool, maybe a top 5 at one point. A high quality goal scorer, terrific speed, incredibly classy and now it appears his career might be over due to a head injury. I feel kind of sad about it, I felt the same way when Pat Lafontaine went down with head issues, just so much fun to watch but the eggshell helmet couldn't protect him and hockey was poorer for it. We're talking about players that the game and the players themselves should be protecting because the game is richer with them in it. Lafontaine was good in a pool for 45-50 goals a year... that is incredible! Although past his prime it still is a little sad to see a player like Kariya go before he was ready, I hope he makes a speedy recovery and goes out his way.
Khabibulin- this is the new story because we haven't seen this yet. There is a bit of back story to fill you in on though. A cup winning goalie who made a decent run with the Blackhawks in the playoffs after a couple mediocre years shows he still has promise to be the goalie he once was. The Oilers sign him to a contract that would expire when he turns 40 I believe, maybe 39, makes no difference, the point is he'd be old. It was more years than anyone else was offering so he took the deal. In his first season as an Oiler he only played 18 games before getting a back injury. In that time he went 7-9-2 and made an atrocious blunder with the puck against Calgary that Moss capitalized on to win the game and was not holding up his end of the deal generally. Now a lot of players would take that as an insult and try to rehab and prove how good they are. Khabibulin though decided that boozing it up in the offseason and going 30 over in Arizona, a state known for it's strict driving law, was a better rehab decision. The guilty sentence today carries with a mandatory 30 day sentence. It has been reported that his contract could be considered null by the Oilers if he goes to jail... I think Tambelinni has a horse shoe up his oil drop. They could literally walk away from an aging over the hill expensive goalie and go sign a cup winning goalie who isn't even in his prime yet with no problem! Hey, I'll give credit where it's due if the Oilers make that move! Good luck Oiler fans!
I had a premonition that the Flames make a trade this week, SO-5.
Here's the list of guys I will be keying on this year for improvement, they better have better season or suffer my wrath:
Jay Bouwmeester- We forgave his first year because he's so talented but now we need to see him put it together.
Ales Kotalik- If he stays, Hits and scores that is all I ask. Remember with the Flames he was a +1.
Davis Moss- Anything less than a 15 goal and 25 assist season should mean he moves on.
Oli Jokinen- This guys should be able to get 25 Goals and 40 assists with the players he's with.
Alex Tanguay- Again, given the talent on this team anything less than 55-60 points is really disappointing.
Sarich- If he plays like second half of the year Sarich and not first half of the year Sarich he is actually a deal. A whole year would buy him some fan love.
Adam Pardy- Showed promise once and then looked like a new born deer on skates the next season. He needs to show a higher confidence level.