The one about off-season odds and ends

Well, the NHL season officially ended last night with the Canucks losing to the Boston Bruins in game seven of the Stanley Cup Final.  It was an exciting and drama filled series, but I’ll leave the analysis to the experts.  I do have a few thoughts though, so here goes:

  1. I thought that Nathan Horton’s actions pre-game last night were quite disrespectful.  After the team made such a huge fuss about the extent of his injuries and how devastating his concussion was, his appearance on the ice in full gear during warm-ups was a slap in the face to the professional athletes like Sidney Crosby who is still hardly able to skate after a concussion he suffered January 1.  Jason King, a former AHLer and Canucks prospect lost almost two seasons to a concussion.  Boston Bruin Marc Savard may never play again after the concussions he’s received on the ice that have resulted in a myriad of health problems, including memory loss.  In this day and age, with concussions such a front and center issue within all sports, and particularly the NHL, I find it horribly offensive that the Bruins made such a stink about Horton’s injury, when clearly the reality is that it was not nearly as extensive as we were led to believe, and their elaborate lies about his condition make a mockery or real injuries and the athletes suffering from them.
  2. On the same subject of Horton and his pre-game antics, I am still frustrated that there was no call, no penalty, no suspension on the Mason Raymond hit during game six.  Three seconds after the puck was anywhere near Raymond, Johnny Boychuck blatantly injured Raymond by spinning him around, jackknifing him with his stick, and slamming him into the boards which resulted in a fractured vertebrae that will keep Raymond sidelined for three to four months.
  3. My dad sent me a text today that he thought Mike Murphy could have stopped more pucks than Luongo did during the finals…. while I was definitely cheering for the Canucks, I thought it was cool of my dad to lend such support to our Checkers goalie!
  4. But on the good news front.  I love the NHL, and the class that games like last night’s held. (No comment on the riots…. I don’t believe they were started by the fans AT the game).  At the end of the game, a heartbroken team of Canucks took the time to salute their fans, which was an incredible gesture.  This was of course followed by a handshake line between teams.  There was no storming off the ice, or temper tantrums in the hallways heading to the dressing rooms like fans witnessed when the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals on Sunday.  The NHL proved to me once again what a top-notch league it is, and how much class and respect our players and teams have, even in times of defeat.
Oh… I almost forgot.  This is a CHECKERS blog… I guess I should have some Checkers/Canes content, right?  So in no particular order:
  • The Hurricanes re-signed a defenseman today.  Jay Harrison agreed to a two year extension worth 650K the first year, and 750K the second.
  • According to CapGeek, the Hurricanes now have five defensemen under contract for 2011-12, meaning they will need to sign at least two more before camp.  Derek Joslin is an RFA and Joni Pitkanen is a UFA.  Most sources believe Pitkanen will prove to be too costly to re-sign (figures have been listed at $5mil plus a year, and a long-term deal.)
  • Qualifying offers are due to the Hurricanes RFA’s in the next few days.  I’ll post when I hear more about who’s received what as far as offers are concerned.  In case you need a reminder, here are my lists of Canes/Checkers UFAs, RFAs and players under contract for 2011-12 and beyond.
  • The NHL Draft is one week from tomorrow!  The Hurricanes have six picks in this years draft (seven rounds).  They traded the fifth-round pick to Florida at the deadline in return for Cory Stillman.  Canes Country blogger Cory Lavalette wrote a Canes draft preview here.
  • If you haven’t voted yet, it’s not too late! You can pick out Jeff Skinner’s suit for the 2011 NHL Awards Banquet which is next Wednesday (June 22) in Las Vegas.
  • This was Chasing Checkers 101 blog post.  I’m not going to try and say all 101 have been amazing works of writing genius, but I think there have been a few gems here and there!  If you have comments or suggestions on things you’d like to see more of, feel free to pass them along!
The countdown is on for the 2011-12 hockey season… in  approximately 107 days is AHL Opening night, and 101 days from now is the pre-season game between the Carolina CheckerCanes and the Winnipeg Thrashers at TWC Arena!  I can’t wait!!!

One thought on “The one about off-season odds and ends

  1. Really nice post. The game was just not a good one for the Vancouver Canucks. I think it showed in the end that the Bruins really deserved the cup more than the Canucks even though Vancouver was supposed to be the better team. If they were the better team they sure didn’t show it by getting shalacked in 4 out of the 7 games. Not being able to score any goals, no matter how good a goalie is playing, is absolutely inexcusable. Canuck fans at Rogers Arena wanted a reason to cheer in game 7 and they didn’t get one. It was a sad way to end an unbelievable season for the Vancouver Canucks. It’s going to be interesting to see how they react in the off-season. Also you think you could check out my blog cuz I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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