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NHL fans are getting a healthy dose of all possible camera angles this off season as the league takes every possible step to ensure that goals are rewarded properly. By and large, I have to say, they have done a good job. With apologies to Mike Ross of XM Radio, Thomas Vanek's disallowed goal was so blatantly obvious a call that Mick McGeough would have made it-and even...
Well, I haven't posted a Flyers off-season thoughts blog, yet, so I figured to combat my insomnia, I'd offer my two cents. Right now, in goal, things seem pretty much set. Martin Biron is the starter. I expect him to play as many as 60 games. Antero Niittymaki, coming off a brutal season, will be the back-up. Biron was a breath of fresh air, on and off the ice, after co...
Well, we had an exciting playoff game, heading to overtime. Good game featuring two skilled teams, that were very evenly matched. However, NBC also owns the TV rights to a horse race, so a brief graphic and one time announcement at the end of regulation sent NHL fans scrambling to Versus. The problem is, Versus is not available throughout the US. In a brilliant move com...
Well, considering the Anaheim Ducks are now 2-0 in the 2007 playoffs without stud defenseman and Mensa candidate Chris Pronger, my guess is that we can officially scratch him off the short list of Conn Smythe trophy contenders. Pronger's hotly debated second suspension was weathered by the Ducks' remaining defensemen and especially goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who was...
From the team's website: http://flyers.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=316734&page=NewsPage&service=page John Stevens, who took over for Ken Hitchcock last season, will have some veteran NHL players serving as his assistants next season. Joe Mullen, who until this past season was the all time leading US born goal scorer, and Jack McIllhargy, former Flyer, will be his assi...
I want to say congratulations to the Anaheim Ducks franchise, Brian Burke, Randy Carlyle, the players, staff and fans on their first Stanley Cup championship. Your organization did a fantastic job and proved that "old time hockey" can still be used to hoist that battered old mug. It was awesome to hear the sheer excitement of the Ducks fans, both during and after the ga...
First of all congrats to all the NHL award winners, especially Hart Trophy winner Sidney Crosby. So, Thursday night, after a rough day at work, I get home. I get my mail and I see my wonderful-if ill gotten-HockeyBuzz hat has arrived. Immediately the day is brighter. I am going to have some chicken enchiladas and watch the NHL awards show on Versus. Well, I get my me...
Last night, I was pretty ticked off about not being able to watch the NHL awards show. I find the awards show, with it's awful humor and poor production qualities, a great coda to the NHL season and playoffs. Well, I wrote a blog blaming the NHL and Gary Bettman. Turns out it was a TV truck from the CBC. I still fault Bettman for a great deal of the NHL's issues, howev...
In my analysis, yes it was. The Flyers want to be competitive as quickly as possible. Making this trade and signing these two guys, both of whom fill vital needs, sends a message that this team is going to do what it takes to ice a winner. Philadelphia is suddenly a much better team on paper, and still has $9mm or so in cap space and only one restricted free agent of an...
With rumors of a possible three way deal floating around that would see the Flyers deal away Joni Pitkanen and receive Raffi Torres, supposedly to clear up cap room to sign a UFA center like Scott Gomez or Daniel Briere to a massive free agent contract, I needed to blog and just get this much off my chest after a couple days of contemplation. I still am not a fan of get...
Sunday at noon, the NHL will start an orgy of money tossing. Clubs from New York to Edmonton will be looking to add that big name to sell extra tickets, find that last piece to a hopeful Stanley Cup puzzle or simply upset their fan base, like in the case of Toronto's John Ferguson Jr. That brings me to my point. Paul Holmgren, GM of the Flyers has already added two key ...
Ok, we're only in the very early hours of July 3rd here, so this is very preliminary. I have been messing around with line combinations since the Briere signing was announced, and intensified that following the Lupul and Smith additions. So far, I remain very happy with the maneuvers of Paul Holmgren and Peter Luukko. Here's a quick glance at what could be the opening ...
[b]Le Affaire Du Vanek[/b] As we all know, Thomas Vanek signed a seven year, $50 million offer sheet from the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, which was matched in about 13 second by the Buffalo Sabres. The surprise is not the offer sheet, the player, or even the amount, really. The surprise is the team making the offer and the reaction it elicited from the Sabres front o...
Even though it's still early, and there's still quite a few moves that need to be made-or should I say will be made-here's a quick look at a few guys that I see as being on the spot in Philly, and a few who might be gone.... [b]On The Spot[/b] 5. Joffrey Lupul. Lupul is basically an offensive player. He doesn't play defense, isn't a great skater and doesn't use ...
According to the team's website, the Phantoms have signed veteran goalie Brian Boucher to a contract. No terms were released. “Brian is a good goalie who will add depth to the organization and solidify our goaltending situation,” said GM Paul Holmgren in making the announcement. Boucher is a decent insurance policy should Antero Niittymaki or Martin Biron falter or...
In the "Hockey Hearsay" section of sportsnet.ca Carol Alt attempted to defend her boy toy, Alexei Yashin, calling the bought out former Isles captain "misunderstood" "I think he needs to go where people understood him and where he's looked at like a god," Alt told the [i]Ottawa Citizen[/i]. "He wants to come back (to the NHL), but I just think he needs to clear his hea...
Yeah, this doesn't have anything to do with hockey, but I did wear a Hockeybuzz hat to the theatre, so that will have to qualify. Not only that but BluesFan44 demands a review. After much personal anticipation-I have been a Simpsons junkie since the days of the Tracey Ullman Show shorts-I finally got to see a feature film dedicated to my favorite yellow folks and their ...
I haven't blogged in awhile, but I can't sleep and I figured maybe somebody could get a laugh or groan out of some of this: -Doug MacLean is part of the new ownership group of the Lightning. I hope for Tampa Bay fans that he leaves Jay Feaster alone. Feaster is a good GM, despite getting caught in a numbers issue with the big three. If MacLean forces him out, and replac...
Jsaquella writes...

Random Thoughts Hit The Road

Posted Saturday | Comments 12
This evening, I find myself in Medford NJ. T-minus 10 hours until Van Halen tickets go on sale for Philadelphia. I will be going with fellow HockeyBuzzard Number23 and my brother. Look for us, we'll be the two fat guys standing next to the drunk guy in really good shape. -Rick Tocchet got two years probation, which is pretty much what first offenders in the state of New...
The past few weeks have been a bit rough for me. I fell and gave myself a nice little concussion. My youngest kid turned one and for some reason we decided to hold the party at our house. Work has been like an avalanche. My Xbox died and took 3 weeks to get repaired by Microsoft. The wife and I had been butting heads a bit over these and other stressers. I don't go into...
Jsaquella writes...

Random Thoughts

Posted Tuesday | Comments 11
On a hot humid day, whilst workmen tear apart the house, I have some random thoughts..... -Forsberg and Holmgren go golfing? Didn't talk about a return? C'mon Paulie, I love ya big guy, but if you didn't discuss Forsberg's intentions for next year, then I am the Tooth Fairy. -There's nothing worse than having an umkempt house when people arrive. With two kids and bot...
I usually do the random thougts blogs, but today I had a bug up my bum about something else-how lucky we hockey fans are that our sport is played at it's highest levels by men who are good guys, as well as great athletes. For every NHLer that has off-ice issues-Rick Tocchet, John Kordic, Theo Fleury, Bob Probert-there's probably a hundred or so that are excellent role m...
Happy long weekend puckheads!!! -I have been playing NHL08's demo almost non stop since it became available. The skating engine is unreal, as is the AI for the computer controlled players. It's a free download on XBox Live, for your 360 console. Well worth a DL and play for free. -Speaking of the NHL games this year, the date for NHL 2K8 was bumped up to September 1...
Well almost a week since the Gods brought us NHL08, and I still play it way too much. I will be getting the online league going very shortly-it's already just about set to roll. I can't say enough good things about this game, I really feel like I am a shill for the site sponsor, but it's true. I have played maybe two hours of other games since the package arrived with Eric...
Getting right into the Downie thing: -Yes, dirty hit -Yes, deserves a suspension of at [b]LEAST[/b] five games -Should Downie be banned for life or even 20 games? No. Look at the replay closely. He doesn't lead with the elbow and honestly it's really borderline if he leaves his feet [b]BEFORE[/b] the contact. Based on Downie's past he deserves to not be treated...
Jsaquella writes...

Random Thoughts

Posted Monday | Comments 8
Thank God the season is here!!!! As I write this, we are 10 hours and 56 minutes from me seeing the Mighty Van Halen at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. Expect me to be somewhat giddy. -Ok, Downie got 20 games. I think that is a bit harsh, considering hits by Colby Armstrong, Darcy Tucker, Brooks Orpik and Chris Pronger got a LOT less in terms of punishment-if an...
Jsaquella writes...

Head Shots

Posted Thursday | Comments 5
In the Vancouver-Philadelphia game, Flyers winger Jesse Boulerice viciously two handed Canucks center Ryan Kesler in the jaw. It was a flagrant, brutal action and Boulerice is certainly deserving of a nice, long suspension. Where it gets interesting is the Flyers have a guy currently suspended. That would be Steve Downie, who was suspended for twenty games for his bruta...
This is going to deal with ways I think the NHL can improve. I am not just talking about the product, but the game. -The current mess of head shots needs to be addressed uniformly. Jesse Boulerice and Steve Downie got deserved long suspensions. But what Of Jordin Tootoo? Or Matt Weller? Or Andy Sutton? It's time to start taking everything into consideration. The NHL ca...
Yeah, I'd like to see Jesse Boulerice waived and gone from the Flyers. Nothing against the guy personally, but when you attack another player in the manner he did, you have no place in my NHL. However, the Flyers now have a bit of a injury crunch, with Ben Eager and Scottie Upshall hurt, and they needed to recall a winger to fill in. Since Boulerice and the also suspend...
One year ago, the governments of the Philadelphia region were discussing adding Prozac to the water supply to keep unhappy Flyers fans from jumping off the Walt Whitman bridge as the team staggered to a 1-8-1 start on the way to a 56 point season. Now a year later, much is good about the Flyers. -Trade Deadline pick up Martin Biron has been providing good to excellen...
Jsaquella writes...

Random Thoughts

Posted Sunday | Comments 10
-Center Ice is the greatest invention in the history of mankind, even ahead of the Polio Vaccine and the internet. OK, maybe not as great as HDTV, but still pretty damned good. -Talk about interesting times to bust out. The Flyers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards are scheduled to be RFA's next summer and both are off to stellar starts. The team will have some cap dancing t...
Jsaquella writes...

Random Thoughts

Posted Tuesday | Comments 15
-Mike Richards is now my favorite NHLer. -Why is there no discussion of Andy Sutton's elbow to the head of Lasse Kukkonen at the buzzer of last night's Flyers-Isles game? It was a dangerous hit that marred a fun game to watch. Sutton now has laid two elbows this year that I found to be borderline dirty and review worthy for suspension. -If Sean Avery did make derogat...
This is a David Letterman-esque list of the best and worst trades in Flyers history-at least in my opinion. I hope you enjoy and have some ideas of your own. Many, many, many thanks to living hockey encyclopedia Bruce "Scoop" Cooper, who provided a lot of the details on these trades. [b]The Best[/b] 10. [i]Traded Serge Bernier, Jimmy Johnson and Bill Lesuk to the ...
By Jsaq and Number23-AKA H&B Olde Tyme Hockey After doing a Flyers trade history review and analysis, I decided to tackle their entry draft record. Needless to say, it was a bit more difficult, so I enlisted the help of fellow Buzzard Number23. We are brothers-in-law, sort of a white trash version of the Gallof boys. Anyhow, we decided to do this a little bit differ...
Jsaquella writes...

Consistency Is Needed

Posted Wednesday | Comments 18
First, off, I am a Flyers fan. In fact, I consider myself to be a die hard Flyers fan. That said, I have no issue with any of the suspensions handed down to the team this season. Steve Downie got 20 games for leaving his feet and delivering a shoulder to the head of Ottawa's Dean McAmmond. The fact that Downie raced in from near the blueline to nail McAmmond is also...
Not too much to say about last night's Flyers-Stars tilt in South Philadelphia, except that rookie Dennis Tolpeko was the only Flyer that seemed willing to give a full effort on every shift. Riley Cote also will likely be the fifth Flyer suspended this year, after leaving his feet to toss a high elbow with three minutes remaining. To his credit, Cote called the hit "st...
Now that the Flyers are officially "on notice", it's time for the team to do one simple thing...circle the wagons and play smart. They have to develop a thick skin, because a lot of asinine things are being said by fans and the media. They have to avoid being goaded into situations that led to things like the Boulerice cross check on Kesler. They have to contain their ...
Last year, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins owned the Flyers. Dennis Lemieux didn't even have to ask Joe McGrath to see that. The Pens won all 8 meetings and Crosby scored almost at will. Well, this season, the story has been different. The Flyers have won the first two meetings, and Crosby has not scored a goal. Crosby has been largely frustrated, especially in the last...
It's great when your team hands out an old fashioned ass-whompin'. It's better when they do it to a division rival. It's even better when that rival is loaded with hypocritical, whining clowns. The Flyers utterly destroyed the Pittsburgh Penguins last night in South Philadelphia. The line of Mike Richards, Joffrey Lupul and RJ Umberger combined for ten even strength po...
Those nine words from Mike Richards caused his agent, Pat Morris, to take a phone call from Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and throw the bruising former winger for a loop. Morris asked Holmgren for a fifteen year deal that would allow Richards to retire as a Flyer. Fans who have watched Richards over his three year career can't help but compare the 5'11 185 lb pivot to Flye...
Jsaquella writes...

Random Thoughts

Posted Monday | Comments 10
'Tis the season to go shopping Fa la la la la la la la la la..... Go and get me something funny Fa la la la la la la la la Buy me now a Flyers jersey Fa la la la la la la la la.... Drink some beer and get real merry Fa la la la la la la la!!! -Steve Downie is out of control and needs to be stopped!!! He had another incident, this one with the AHL's Philadelphia Pha...
Jsaquella writes...

Ugly Loss, Good Trade

Posted Wednesday | Comments 12
Last evening the Flyers dropped a 3-2 decision to the Phoenix Coyotes, after leading 2-0 late in the second. The Flyers had three costly defensive breakdowns that ended up in the back of their net. That is what happened, but it sells the Coyotes short. This is an excellent young team, full of resiliency and they skate like the wind. The most surprising thing was the amo...
Jsaquella writes...

Random Thoughts

Posted Monday | Comments 9
First of all, Happy New Year to everyone whom I haven't "seen" yet. I have been kicking around a lot and haven't had much time to hit the Buzz of late. Now that that little tidbit is out of the way, here's the thoughts: -It's great that the Winter Classic got a stellar TV rating. I am sure that it was Bettman's wet dream-a huge full stadium, interesting weather, and ...
Bob Clarke recently had a few choice comments about the latest Steve Downie tempest in a teapot and, of course controversy followed. Clarke said that he "loved" when Downie punched Leafs forward Jason Blake in the face earlier this week, because Blake ran his mouth about Downie when he was suspended for his hit on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond in the preseason. "Blake was a...
-The MLSE Board is meeting in the wake of a 5-2 loss by the Leafs, with the agenda looking like change. General Manager John Ferguson jr and Head Coach Paul Maurice may both be dumped. It's staggering to see the Leafs playing so poorly. I have to agree with the multitude of Leaf fans that have started calling for the napalm and dynamite. The Leafs have ability and can ...
After work on Saturday, the wife and I headed to New York to see "Mamma Mia" on Broadway. I agreed to this, mainly because I figured I'd get a chance to check out the NHL Store on 47th and 6th in Manhattan. We walked into the store and were greeted by a NHL Chopper, built by the guys from Orange County Choppers. The bike was $100,000, which was just a tad out of my pri...
Jsaquella writes...

Foppa Doppa Doo Dah

Posted Monday | Comments 15
Well, according to the master of all things European hockey, Bill Meltzer, Peter Forsberg will be skating at full tilt within two to three weeks and says this is the last chance for a comeback. Forsberg's name has bounced around a bit, but all indications are that he will rejoin the Philadelphia Flyers if he decides to continue his NHL career. Assuming that comes to fru...
Number23 writes...

A 'Pointless' Proposal

Posted Thursday | Comments 14
The topic of how to best allot points for wins/losses/etc. in the NHL continues to be discussed. I fully put my support behind the idea put forth by the Random Thinker himself, renowned HockeyBuzzard [b]jsaquella[/b]. ([i]the fact he's also my good friend and brother-in-law has little, if anything to do with it. In fact, it probably made me [u]less[/u] likely to listen)...
I have seen two different blogs now exhorting the idea I posted in two different random thoughts blogs. It has been praised and ridiculed. I'd like to explain exactly what my rationale is, and why I suggested the points levels in the manner which I described. The System would be: 2 Standings Points for a regulation or OT win 1 Standings Point for a shoot out win 0 ...
Already Sidney Crosby's unfortunate slide into the boards at the Igloo has been treated by most hockey media outlets as The Titanic, Hindenburg and Kennedy assassination all rolled into one. The NHL Networkwent out of it's way to let us know that Crosby's injury is a league wide issue and not just a Penguins issue. Will Crosby be missed at the All Star game? Sure. But ...
Jsaquella writes...

Random Thoughts

Posted Monday | Comments 9
Well give me a long weekend and I'll have a few odd thoughts. -What the Hell is up with the Rangers. I mean, idiots like me were saying that Sather was just doing things the old Rangers way back this summer. But I never thought it'd actually come to pass. By that I mean just signing big names without a thought of how they'd fit or what the chemistry would be like. He ev...
Last evening, in a Rangers-Thrashers game, Ilya Kovalchuk hit Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival from behind, into the boards, while leaving his feet. It certainly meets all the criteria Colin Campbell listed when he ruled that Steve Downie's hit on Dean McAmmond was worth a 20 game suspension. To remind us all, Campbell said Downie's hit met the four requirements for a...
Here's a quick bit of fluff, as I attempt to pick my choices for major NHL award winners. Hart Trophy Finalists: Jarome Iginla, Calgary; Alexander Ovechkin, Washington; Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa. My Pick: Ovechkin. Ovechkin is the most exciting player in the game and he is the Capitals. Not only is he supremely talented, but he plays the game with a passion an...
Jsaquella writes...

Foppa Doppa Do NOT!!!

Posted Tuesday | Comments 6
Now, one day after his agent, Don Baizley, said he's very unlikely to return this year, Peter Forsberg may be returning after all. That is according to Eklund, the host of the site and Anonymous Hockey Blogger. That is not an invite for lunkheads to trash the guy, just referring the name of the report. Anyhow, I am a Flyers fan, and I kind of was on and off the Fors...
Ok, so I worked for the first time in over a decade on deadline day. Fortunately, I had all the deals sent via text message to me, so I didn't miss anything except the normal glass of Jameson's with one cube and a splash of water and being able to sit around all day in my underwear and not have the wife complain. Anyhow, I am going to offer some thoughts on the trades:...
Well, once again, I have drunk enough tequila to write a blog complaining about the NHL's inability to locate competent on ice officials to run it's games. This past week, two game deciding goals were scored on plays that should have been blown dead by one of the four on-ice officials. The first was San Jose vs Detroit. The Sharks scored a goal that clearly hit the ...
This is a in depth look at what Flyers are signed, which are free agents, who should be back, who should not and who might be trade bait. First a quick look and synopsis of who is signed and under contract for next season-and who have a realistic shot at NHL service with the Flyers in 2008-09. Forwards: Danny Briere, Simon Gagne, Scott Hartnell, Mike Knuble, Sami Ka...
Jsaquella writes...

Random Thoughts

Posted Monday | Comments 16
Playoffs are here, finally. Some tidbits: -Sean Avery's creative screening of Martin Brodeur certainly crossed some kind of line. I heard Ron MacLean call it "dishonorable" on HNIC, but that would assume Avery had any honorable traits in the first place. -As the experts stand stunned at the Stars two games to none lead, remember that Anaheim was an inconsistent team...
Congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings for reaching their respective conference finals. -The job that Flyers coach John Stevens has done in the playoffs is nothing short of spectacular. The guy had a team that was supposed to be road kill in round one and navigated it past two teams whose coaches were finalists for the Jack Adams. Since a 39 p...
The Maple Leafs and Canucks got an early jump on the off-season. Some thoughts: -Toronto did the right thing in firing Paul Maurice. It gives him the whole summer to find a new job, and it also gives the new GM a free hand to name his own bench boss. It appears as if they Leafs will have that new GM in place before the draft. Obviously Dave Nonis is a candidate, but I'd...
I am a fan of a lot of British comedy. Basically, anything from Python, to Fawlty Towers to Eddie Izzard to Benny Hill. I nabbed a copy of "Shaun Of The Dead" on amazon.com for a dollar last week. Great bang for THAT buck. Anyhow.... -Rivalries. They spur the emotions, and get a nice level of blood lust going for fans. One thing I am seeing more and more of is the back ...
I sit here, nursing a bottle of Stella Artois, watching the Belmont, and realize...I wish I had a hockey game to watch. -A lot of coaching vacancies might be waiting on the approval of the sale of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Rumor pipe says Barry Melrose will be hired for a staggering $2mm a year. If a guy who hasn't coached in almost 13 years can demand that kind of coin...
I did a bit of number crunching last evening. The Flyers face an interesting cap situation following day one of the NHL draft. Here's how things stand and what could happen next. Cap hit currently stands at: $50,792,000 Players accounted for: Briere, Richards, Gagne, Hartnell, Knuble, Lupul, Upshall, Giroux, Downie, Timonen, Hatcher, Rathje, Coburn, Parent, Kukkonen,...
I think the Flyers are better now, at least on paper, than they were one year ago. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter coming off of up and down seasons, Joffrey Lupul coming in from a dreadful year in Edmonton, a huge lack of mobility and dependability on the back end, a starting goalie that had never seen a playoff game from the ice.... Now, 12 months later, Richards has...
Jsaquella writes...

Mid-Term Summer Grades

Posted Sunday | Comments 18
Now that we're a full week into free agency, some of the contracts handed out still stagger me. Still, that's not to say that the signings will not help their new teams, just that I feel GM's were fast and loose with the checkbook. Here's a team by team look at the East and How I grade their FA work: Atlanta: [b]D-[/b] Re-signed Johan Hedberg and added Ron Hain...
Jsaquella writes...

Wither Biron...

Posted Friday | Comments 10
Back when the 2008-09 season dawned, I was comfortable with Martin Biron as the Flyers goalie. I was content and hopeful that Biron and the team would come to terms on a contract extension that would lock up the entertaining backstop. Sadly, that position has changed. [img]http://stanleycupplayoffs2008.com/Assets/Photos/Biron%20action%20-%20PHI.jpg[/img] I am not...
Some of the following would obviously require legal work, approval of the NHLPA and other unions and will not be popular with all. So please don't respond with, "The NHLPA would never agree to that"...I know, this is just my own thoughts and what not. [b]First[/b] of all, adios to the shootout. It's a gimmick and a joke that the NHL uses it to settle games that can make...
Well, happy holidays. Just a few ideas, that hopefully will spur a bit of conversation. -I am one of those that don't care for the shootout, and I won't belabor the point, but I really hope if there is any change for next year, I hope that shootout wins are devalued for 2009-10. -Maybe it's me, but why is Atlanta unable to come up with a jersey design that isn't hide...
Maybe I am just getting old, or maybe there's a burr in my saddle, or maybe, I'm just an angry guy. -Gary Bettman talking about how every team has been helped by the CBA that ended the lockout. Has Gary heard of a team called the Phoenix Coyotes? The one that is expected to lose between $30 and $45 million this year? I remember back when Wayne Gretzky's group was attemp...
Jsaquella writes...

Wither Fighting...

Posted Wednesday | Comments 9
I grew up in the late 1970's as a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers. [img]http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/PHO/AAEO021~Gary-Dornhoefer-Dave-Schultz-Reggie-Leach-Broad-Street-Bullies-Posters.jpg[/img] Yep. [i]Those guys[/i]. The ones who fought their way to a couple of Stanley Cups and who still get labeled as goons by lazy journalists today. Some people for...

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