I feel like I didn’t talk enough about Powe and Betts yesterday. For this, I am ashamed.
Stars are fun to watch, but grit wins games. Darroll Powe is gritty. As far as important depth guys, he’s top 5 in the conference (I legitimately have lists of things like this that I’ll break out one day when I have nothing else to talk about.) He plays such a solid two-way game that it’s ridiculous. Plus he went to Princeton. That is flat out nasty. I’m a huge fan of ivy-leaguers-turned-pro (see: Ryan Fitzpatrick)
Blair Betts, most known for being one third of the inspiration behind rapper Sherbs’ song “Briere, Betts and Pronger” is the Flyers’ resident face-off specialist. This is what he does. He wins face-offs. Not to mention his two-way play as well. He and Powe are nasty (in a good way) on the PK. Betts is either right in front of Powe or right behind him in terms of importance (depending on whether you read my list or Murph’s.) He’s been called the most underrated player in the league (he has. look it up.) and I can get into bed with that. I also like the fact that he made the team on a try-out, plus he’s a former Ranger (suck on that Glen Sather.)
HUGE shout out to Jeremy Roenick and Derian Hatcher, as both were inducted to the US hockey hall of fame. This is epic news in Shaggyland. While it seems as though neither player was in Philly long enough for me to blink an eye, they both found a way into my heart.
There aren’t enough things I can say about Derian Hatcher. He’s got to be on my all-time list of favorite defensemen.
1000-plus NHL games
Penalty minutes out the wazoo.
Plus he was our captain for a while. Also, Hatcher’s brother Kevin was inducted as well. Getting inducted into anything with your brother just sounds awesome. Because it is. For those of us keeping track, it’s an 8.5 on the sick(in a good way)-meter.
And Roenick will always be remembered by those of us at Shaggycorp™ for three things (other than the fact that he wore 97.)
One: His beastly stats in NHL ’95
Two: His play in 2004 that helped us get to the Eastern Conference Finals (after shattering his jaw!! HIS JAW!!!)
Three: For being the roster casualty that allowed us to bring in one Peter Forsberg.
Wait, I lied. Four things.. Number four, of course being the fact that he jumped on Chicago’s bandwagon during the 2010 Finals.. that traitorous sack of crap.
A few weeks ago, while walking the city streets, I ran into Murph (who was true to form and standing in a dark alley.) Of course, he said nothing, but handed me his bowler hat. Inside was a folded piece of paper. It read “Of all current NHL players that will never play for the Flyers, which three would fit the best here?” I was skeptical at first, of such a random and specific question. Until Murph opened his trench coat revealing a second piece of paper that read: “Yeah, dude... I might have been drunk when I thought of this question.” And then it all made sense to me. I refined his question somewhat and since he asked for three players, I figured I’d give one on each side of the puck, plus a goalie. Without further ado.. (In no order)
Joe Thornton- Go back a few blogs. The whole bowler hat, trench coat, and lurking thing will make sense to you. Of course that didn’t actually happen, it's an inside joke. The conversation was played out over various texts, the other way just sounded more fun. When I suggested Joe Thornton, there were no words. Murph and I simply texted each other “DUDE.” back and forth for a solid five minutes (its true, check the phone records.) I don’t even think I should have to explain why, either. He’s big, he scores, he passes, he fights, he checks and he does it all with gusto... and i mean, look at his beard. It screams Philly hockey.
Dion Phaneuf- A big, young defenseman who is skilled and hard-hitting? Yeah, I can get down with that. If he’s worthy of the C in Toronto, he’s worthy of a roster spot in Philly. The fans would GLADLY get on board with him and embrace his game. He’s like a young Chris Pronger (but what he lacks in puck-moving savvy, he makes up for with better hair.)
Ryan Miller- I think every American hockey fan has a crush on Ryan Miller. With good reason, too. The man is a beast. Not only would we warmly welcome an Olympic hero to the orange and black, but he’s a solidified starter, and one that we wouldn’t be able to run out of town. Even if he does have one bad year.
Around the League:
Apparently the sale of the Coyotes that would keep them in Phoenix is “falling apart.” Break out Shaggy’s New American Dictionary, 2010 edition and you’ll see this as an example of the word ‘uncouth.’ As a Flyers fan, I could give a sh** less about where the Coyotes play, but as my alter ego, who is an unbiased and objective fan of all hockey, I don’t like this one bit. I understand that Phoenix isn’t your typical hockey mecca, but I also think that if you get in there and run that team right and put a solid product on the ice, the sport will really pick up out there. Bettman, you want to move a team to Winnipeg (sensible), Toronto (interesting) or Hamilton (WHAT?!).. how about moving one of Florida’s teams out there (they don’t need two different sports teams let alone two different teams of the same sport.) For the good of the league, the fans and the sport, we at Shaggycorp™ hope that hockey stays in Phoenix.
Word has come out that Kovalchuk to Russia is seeming more and more likely, which is what I said yesterday. And the day before. And the second news came out that the NHL balked at his 17 year deal. I still say 70-30 he stays in North America though.
It’s been 9320874 days since free agency started and the teams supposedly in the mix for Kaberle have been relatively the same the whole time. I see a solid fit in New Jersey and Buffalo, but I’m not exactly sold on San Jose. Although, I would be a huge fan of that move because I want Niittymaki to have a solid defense in front of him as he takes his second crack at being a starter. (BTW, I might buy his jersey before the season starts.)
We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death.. Life is just a place where we spend time between games.