Thursday, September 17, 2009
Hockey Inches Closer
It's been almost two months since my epic Crosby/Malkin/Ovechkin post that, thanks to Cam, was linked to by Puck Daddy and garnered the most exposure ever to something I've blogged. I appreciate all the feedback and I hope you'll stick around. I haven't written much here because I haven't had much to say about the NHL since July. Summer is a time for baseball and other things that don't involve sitting around and writing.
But the NHL is back, and the B's already have two preseason wins in the books. Two weeks from today, the Bruins will begin their season with an epic match-up in Boston against the Capitals on (sort of) national TV. It's hard to believe it's already time for our favorite ice heroes and villains to lace 'em up for another great year. I'm excited to share my thoughts with you for a full season.
There's been quite a bit of activity recently, none bigger than Dany Heatley finally getting traded to the Sharks in exchange for Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo's rotting, decomposing corpse and a second-round pick. Thus ended a long, arduous summer of back-and-forth between the player, the team and the media about where exactly Heatley wanted to go.
Heatley didn't exactly endear himself to either Ottawa or Edmonton when he refused a trade to the Oilers that probably would have netted the Senators more than what they got from the Sharks. Michalek is an up-and-comer, but Cheechoo is the deadest of dead weight. In fact, as I intimated above, he may actually be dead.
Regardless, the Sharks lost some depth but they couldn't pass up the opportunity to pair Heatley with Joe Thornton, and along with Devin Setoguchi, present one of the most fearsome first lines in the league. Does Heatley get them over the hump and eventually lead them to postseason success? Well, they still have Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Evgeni Nabokov, right? Then the answer is still "no."
There's also been plenty of Phil Kessel talk recently, and it appears the still-unsigned RFA has played his final game in a Bruins' uniform. The Maple Leafs want him, as do the Predators, Rangers, and some mystery teams out west, but there appears to be too much animosity between Kessel's camp and the Bruins' camp for him to appear in the Spoked B again.
I'll have much more to say on Kessel, and his soon-to-be former teammates, next week. I'm planning on doing a full-out Bruins preview early in the week, followed by a preview of the rest of the league later on. I'm not sure how I'm going to structure either of them, or how in-depth my preview of the rest of the league will be. I'll take the weekend to ponder it.
I'll leave you with the first fight video of the year, Byron Bitz taking on Jay Rosehill in last night's contest in Toronto. Sure, Bitzy got his ass beat, but I'm so pumped to see what he'll do in a full season as this team's workhorse fourth-line star. Enjoy. See you next week.