Latest posts by Beerguyrob (see all)
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Hi, I’m Beerguyrob. As I am Canadian, I am more than qualified to rant about the upcoming NHL season. Y’know, that sport which occupies the dead zone between NFL broadcasts which isn’t basketball. I’ll leave it to Forbes to argue about the relative valuation of each team.
The NHL has been an active sports league since the 1917-18 campaign. If you don’t count the whole year lost to the labour dispute (the 2004-05 season), the League is the longest active professional sports organization in North America.
It’s president is a diminutive megalomaniac named Gary Bettman, who used to be NBA commissioner David Stern’s right-hand until he was picked to run the NHL, starting in February 1993. He was selected because he helped introduce & implement the salary cap in the NBA, something NHL owners wanted to bring in to curb their spiraling costs. His unfortunately-monikered “southern strategy” was designed to introduce & popularize the game in the US Southwest & Southeast; aside from Tampa, it hasn’t worked. It also helps that he hates hockey players and fans, so he has no problem representing the interests of owners. Please enjoy Puck Daddy‘s retrospective of how beloved he is amongst the fans:
The Eastern Conference was geographically designed so that all teams are in the Eastern time zone, for media rights & ease of travel. If any team **cough Florida were to relocate based on attendance **cough Carolina they would likely stay in the East in order to maintain the current alignment. That was one reason Gary Bettman fought so hard to keep the former Blackberry chairman from buying the Nashville franchise & relocating them to Hamilton. Atlanta was allowed to move to Winnipeg because they were about to fold.
Unless a guest author has gone in-depth, I have chosen only the pithiest of rejoinders to preview teams, because it’s hard to have emotions for some of these teams. There’s 31 teams, and I don’t care about half of them. Of the half that remain, I feel nothing but burning, seething hatred. Try to figure out which is which!
The Atlantic Division:
- Everyone hates Brad Marchand, and I’m convinced 1/3 of their viewers are fans of other teams hoping to watch him get injured.
- Also, I get a “Gronk” vibe off him, like he’d rather retire than play somewhere else if he was traded.
- Their coach is Bruce Cassidy. Two things I learned about him:
- His nickname is not “Butch”. Seems like a real marketing faux pas.
- He was the Capitals coach to start the 2003-04 season, but was fired 25 games in. The team finished so badly they were able to end up drafting Alexander Ovechkin.
- Once you’re past Jack Eichel & Sam Reinhart, you have a team that understandably will finish last again in the East. Buffalo is destined again to an arena filled with fans from southern Ontario who refuse to pay the high prices to attend Leafs games.
- Plus, the new USMCA trade agreement means visiting fans can now bring back $150 in goods duty-free, up from the $20 under NAFTA. That should really help their attendance, or at least the East Tonawanda mall-based economy.
Detroit Red Wings
- Your 2018-19 Red Wings: Like a person you remember being hot for a long time ago, but you forgot about them for a while. So, years later, you decided to check in, and have found out they are old & bloated, and the best parts of them left a long time ago.
- Should’ve moved to Quebec years ago.
- More people speak French in that arena than English or Spanish between December-March.
- They are the second-worst franchise in terms of value, according to Forbes.
- They make more money than the worst – Arizona – but have the lowest revenue per fan – $10.
- The pay must be worth it, because they play in front of fewer fans than the Swift Current Broncos.
Florida – BB&T Center; averaged 13, 851 fans/game Swift Current – Credit Union iPlex; averaged 2890 fans/game
- Beaucoup plus mauvais.
- All the Maudite in the world won’t be able to help Habs fans get through this season.
- I know their fans hoped the only casualty from the tornado was Eugene Melnyk, but he lives to drive this team further out of town day by day.
- They may finally get their downtown arena, if no other interest group gets in their way. That would greatly help attendance, because no one wants to drive to Kanata in the middle of winter.
I asked The Maestro for a contribution, and all I got was,
**sobs quietly waiting for Erik Karlsson to come back home, and for Eugene Melnyk to go broke and die of cirrhosis for a second time**
So, he’s taking it well.
Tampa Bay Lightning
- The most interesting part of their team has been the annual off-season chaos surrounding who might leave versus how much it’ll cost to keep them.
- Last year, it was Steven Stamkos, possibly to the Leafs. Tampa paid $8 million to keep him.
- This year, it was Steve Yzerman, who resigned as GM. It’s widely assumed that he will be joining the Red Wings next season as their GM.
Toronto Maple Leafs
- Now, as always & forever, Fuck the Leafs.
The Metropolitan Division:
- Pro: They’re bringing back “Brass Bonanza”, albeit as a marketing ploy.
- Con: They’re still in Carolina, and play for people who bought Groupons.
Columbus Blue Jackets
- A team full of players their parents could barely identify, dragged into the 2018 playoffs by a raging asshole of a coach.
**** NOTE TO ROB….THE FOLLOWING CONVERSATION TOOK PLACE TONIGHT VIA EMAIL. FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ALL, SOME OR NONE OF IT IN HERE. THE OTHER PERSON HAS GIVEN PERMISSION TO ALLOW IT TO BE PUBLISHED (AND WILL BE LURKING, SHE ALWAYS DOES) SO NO WORRIES THERE.
tWBS: Hey there. My friends and I on our blog are getting revved up for the start of the regular season. I was hoping maybe you’d weigh in on the Jackets since you’re a fan.
tWBS’ Female Friend: Why would I want to do that?
tWBS: Well, I was hoping you might see it as fun and maybe even get involved with the site. Even if just for hockey and maybe entertainment. I don’t think we have a resident Jackets fan, and we do have at least one other Bungles fan. It could be fun.
tWBS’ Female Friend: You know the Jackets are just going to win 40+ games again, and then lose in the first round again, right? Do you realize that they are the only NHL franchise to never win a post-season series?
tWBS: Ummmmmm….no, I did not realize that. But I did try to pull you onto the Caps’ bandwagon a coupla years ago if you recall.
tWBS’ Female Friend: Fuck you.
End of conversation.
New Jersey Devils
- They absolutely fleeced the Oilers when they traded for Taylor Hall, and now they’ve found him more pieces to play with. They could be a sleeper Conference finalist.
New York Islanders
- Their last season in Brooklyn before they head back to Nassau County full-time.
- John Tavares decided to leave a year early & relocated to Toronto.
New York Rangers
- I am geographically predisposed to hate the Rangers, after they essentially stole Vancouver’s best chance for a Cup in 1994, but this version I don’t mind so much, because they are more substance than style.
- They always seem to be good. It makes me both sad and angry.
- Phil Kessel finally seems to be playing in his appropriate weight class.
The Caps have taken the Metro Division three straight years. Two out of three of those years they also took the President’s Trophy….
….and then as expected, as always, bowed out to the Pens in the second round. This is life as a Caps fan. We get it.
Last year, they finally managed to not fold like a cheap suit.
When last seen, Alex Ovechkin and Ivanka Trump were partying with the cup. Like no shit, I’m not kidding. Check this out…
Would I party with Ivanka Trump? Yes, I would. So no hate from me on this one.
But if the Caps manage to repeat, it won’t be because of Ovechkin more than likely. I’m not kidding. Dude’s prime is past. He’s got his ring now. He’s probably done after this year. Two at most, at least as an effective scorer. He’ll probably be dealt to some other desperate club after this season, either way.
But if the Caps manage to repeat, it will still be a Russian connection. Evgeny Kuznetzov. Remember that name, trust me.
Dude has all the skills Ovie has (had?), is 8 yrs younger, and his salary is about 1/5th as much. Cap space (no pun intended).
Speaking of salaries, Barry Trotz didn’t like the initial contract offer/extension that was made to him, apparently. So 11 days after winning the cup he quit. Fuck you, asshole. And best of luck Islanders, you get what you pay for.
The Caps are unlikely to repeat. Not this year, at least. Ovie is aged and I expect him to regress this year and then get dealt while he still has some worth. But the Caps do have some young talent and are maybe a year or two away from rising back to the top for a few years.
We’ll see. Hockey is a fickle mistress.
But for now, the cup is ours you sumbitches!!!!! So suck it!!!!!
The Cup champion is likely to come from the Eastern Conference. The tight schedule & bitter rivalries should make this conference the more-fun to watch this season, and the survivor from the East will be able to use their experience to have a leg-up on whomever they play from the West. Gun to my head, the final-four from this conference should be the Pens, Caps, Lightning & Bruins, with – ugh – the Leafs having a shot to squeak in.