Monday, July 14, 2008

Nolan Out on Long Island

Newsday reports that the New York Islanders and head coach Ted Nolan have parted ways. The decision was described as "mutual" on the part of Nolan and Islanders general manager Garth Snow.

Apparently, the decision is the result of the dreaded "philosophical differences." Snow was of a mind to develop youth; Nolan disagreed with this approach, according to the Newsday report.

Nolan leaves the Islanders with a curious symmetry in his coaching career:

We don't suspect Nolan is going to have to wait ten years for his next NHL coaching position, but given the nature of the rift between Nolan and Snow, the kind of team Nolan might inherit could be a consideration that narrows his options. He guided a largely veteran, overachieving group to a 40-win season in 2006-2007. Last year though, as the club was trying to work younger players into the lineup (such as: Bruno Gervais, Blake Comeau, and Jeff Tambellini), success was harder to come by, as might be expected from a team trying to retool.

Sittin' at the end of the bar...

The Denver Post is reporting that Colorado forward Peter Forsberg, if he intends to play in the NHL this year, won't be doing so until about Christmas...
"After consulting with more doctors about his troubled right foot in his native Sweden, Forsberg was told he would need several months of rehabilitation if he wanted to have hope of playing again, a source close to the Avs star said."
The Detroit Free Press has the scoop, as it were, on Kamryn Draper. She is the newborn daughter of Red Wing forward Kris Draper. She had her own moment with the Stanley Cup...

"A week after we won it, I had my newborn daughter in there, and she pooped in the Cup...That was something. We had a pretty good laugh. "I still drank out of it that night, so no worries."

The Sports Business Journal (subscription required) took a look at the endorsement potential of young NHLers, including Alex Ovechkin, and likes what it a point:
“'Ovechkin certainly has enthusiasm and personality as his greatest assets,' said Bob Stellick, president of Stellick Marketing Communications Inc., Toronto, a firm specializing in hockey and other sports. 'With the Capitals having some success this year, it has certainly helped his profile. However, his English skills and the fact that Washington is not a major U.S. market team — like New York, Chicago, L.A. or Boston — doesn’t help.'"
On the other hand, Anthony Fisher, senior vice president of marketing for Pro Hockey Life (which is handling exclusive distribution rights to Ovechkin's street wear clothing line in its first year) says...

“Alex’s marketability has the unique capability to transcend team loyalties. If you are a fan of hockey, you are a fan of Ovechkin — period.”
Akim Aliu, who was something of a curiosity in the 2007 entry draft, thought to be a risky pick, might be seeing time with the Chicago Blackhawks this year, if a report in the Chicago Tribune is true. Of Aliu's development camp performance, Hawks GM Dale Tallon said this...

"Akim is really, really impressive. His skating, his puck handling, his intensity, his physicality—all of those things have improved a lot. He's really close."
And, if you are a Ranger fan, be very very afraid. In the New York Times hockey blog, "Slap Shot," there was this...
"According to [Ranger prospect Alexei] Cherepanov’s Russian agent, Sergei Paremuzov, the Rangers’ No. 1 draft choice in 2007 will be staying with Avangard Omsk this year, his second with the high-ranking Siberian club. And although Paremuzov says that Cherepanov wants to play in the NHL, he also says that the 19-year-old will benefit from another year with the Hawks, where he will learn from the newly signed ex-Ranger Jaromir Jagr."
Uh...learn what, exactly?

Rest in Peace, Ms. Riley

Olive Riley was, by many accounts, the world's oldest blogger. Ms. Riley passed away on Saturday at a nursing home in New South Wales, Australia. She was 108 and was still carrying a tune.

And how did you spend YOUR summer?

Getting your degree?

Well, that's what Alex Ovechkin did...check out the video at Alex Ovetjkin (sorry, I can't provide a translation from Russian).

We've got spirit, how 'bout you?!

We’ve got spirit, yes we do!

Well, we will…in the fall. The Capitals announced that they are establishing a “Spirit Squad” and “are seeking energetic, outgoing people who love the game of hockey and want to perform in front of sold-out crowds at Verizon Center!” The exclamation point is theirs. So is the bit about performing in front of sold out crowds…does that mean we don’t see them every night?

But this being July, and the draft and most of the choice pickings of free agents now in our rear-view mirror, calendar-wise, this issue (and only in Washington could this rise to the level of being an “issue") is hot on The Official and in the local blogosphere. While The Peerless is officially indifferent to the whole idea of cheerleaders, spirit squads, or crazy crews – male, female, or other mammal – he is obligated, as an unofficial member of the Washington Capitals Blogging League, to write something about this.

But he really doesn’t want to, so he’s going to turn it over to the boys and girls of The McLaughlin Group, who can bloviate with the best of them when it comes to issues no one outside the beltway cares about…

John McLaughlin…”Issue 1…’Spirit Squad’…good idea or deranged brain cramp?…Mor-TAHN MotherZuckerman…”

Morton Zuckerman…”John, I think…”

J-Mac...”WRONG!...You don’t think on this show, that’s my job…Eleanor Such a Bore Clift…”

Eleanor Clift…”John, you’re always…”


Pat Buchanan…”You certainly are, John…”

J-Mac…”very droll, Pat…the correct answer is, ‘inspired diversion’…Issue 2…’Women only, or coed?’ Patty Melt Buchanan…”

Pat…”John, there are just some roles that are meant only for women, and…”

J-Mac…”WRONG!...there are just some roles that are meant only for gorgeous women …Eleanor…”

Eleanor…”John, you are such a chauvinist dinosaur…”

J-Mac...”WRONG!...I’m an endangered ignoramus!...Issue 3…’professionally designed long-sleeved shirts and pants’ or ‘midriff-baring tops and short skirts?’…Mort…”

Mort…”I’m going to need to go to the gym if I’m going to wear midriff-baring tops, John…”

J-Mac...”WRONG!...No amount of time in the gym can help you with that…Pat…”

Pat…”I’m going to have to shave my legs to wear those short skirts…”


Eleanor…”thank heavens…”

J-Mac…”The correct answer is…’parkas and leggings’…Issue 4…"On a scale of 0 to 10--with 0 representing zero possibility and 10 representing metaphysical certitude--what is the chance of this stunt ‘enhancing the game experience?’ Sporty Morty on the Back Forty…”


J-Mac…”WRONG!...Eleanor Won’t Get No More…


J-Mac…WRONG!...Patrick Thick as a Brick...


J-Mac…”WRONG!...The answer is Jose Theodore’s career save percentage…point nine-oh-nine…Predictions, Mort…”

Mort…”By August 1st, this issue will be overtaken by discussion of whether the Caps will have an alternate jersey with their fruit bat logo.”

J-Mac…”Eleanor (and it’s a ‘weagle,’ Mort)…”

Eleanor…”Caps fans will quickly move on from this tempest in a short skirt and delve into discussions of more important issues, like whether the price of the chicken tenders basket will surpass the $10 mark in another sign of rampant inflation.”

J-Mac…”The chicken tenders will NOT pass the $10 mark, but the nachos will be replaced with veggie snack chips in an effort to provide healthier fare…Pat…”

Pat…”Commissioner Gary Bettman will issue a decree requiring every team to employ scantily-clad females in an effort to secure a TV deal with HBO, with games to be shown after midnight, right after that show in a taxicab…”

J-Mac…”The Peerless will swear off late night pepperoni and double cheese pizzas, but will soon fall off the wagon, claiming that they are a necessary inspiration for his blogging…bye-BYE!”