Tag Archives: ECHL

Gomer Update

It seems there’s only one thing to say – Scott Gomez belongs only several notches down from the NHL.

Gomer scored a goal and added an assist in helping his Alaska Aces beat the Utah Grizzlies 4-2 in Anchorage, thus giving the Mexican/American 3 goals and 4 assists in six games. Of course he could slump and never score again, but for now things are fine except for that recent bout of food poisoning in California.

And incredibly, it’s possible that only one of his three goals bounced in off his ass, and maybe the other two were normal types. It’s just difficult for me to imagine that Gomer would fire in three good goals. Don’t forget – those ECHL goalies are tough. Usually only a couple of notches down from the NHL.

 

Gomer-Watch #3 – Bakersfield Blues

Gomer didn’t play in Bakersfield. Apparently he got food poisoning.

Tonight (Sat.), the Alaska Aces are in Ontario, a city just outside of L.A., and there’s no guarantee Gomer will suit up. Thousands upon thousands may be disappointed. Ontario is birthplace of overweight Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder. Fielder doesn’t even come close to looking like an athlete. He looks more like the guy who guards the front door at a Hell’s Angel clubhouse.

But I’m getting off the subject. Gomer is ill and didn’t dress for the Bakersfield game. At least he says he was ill.

Gomer-Watch #2

Yes, I know. You’re waiting impatiently. Sorry but I had to sleep. And then there was that 40 minutes on the toilet.

It was a rainy and sort of mild 12 celsius (53 F)  in Stockton during Gomer and his Alaska Aces’ big visit to Northern California on Wednesday night, and the good news for Aces fans was a solid 6-2 win over the hometown Thunder.

But alas, it’s not good news for the 14 Habs fans in the world who love Mr. Gomez. I must break the news here and now that he had no goals, no assists, no shots, 4 penalty minutes, and was minus 1.

What can I say? He couldn’t get it done on this night, even falling short during the Aces’ three power play chances. But I’ll bet he tried hard. In Gomezian fashion.

I’m just so sorry for this bad news.

Gomer and the gang make their way south to Bakersfield, birthplace of Merle Haggard and boxer Jerry Quarry, for a clash with the Condors on Friday night (game time 6 pm), and hopefully better news is on the horizon. Is he in a slump? I hope not. He’s not used to that.

Random Notes:

I’ve been to Bakersfield and I can tell you that there’s quite a lot of oil pumps working hard in the area. Maybe Gomer, if he has a few hours to kill in the afternoon, can buy an oil well when he’s there!

 

We Are The Champions Of The World

Forget for awhile about signings and non-signings and Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev. It’s all too much on this lovely weekend. Now is the time to celebrate. Because in one area of Habsdom, we are champions of the world!

Okay, so it’s not the Montreal Canadiens winning the Stanley Cup, or any of the Habs players winning an award, or even the AHL affiliate Hamilton Bulldogs winning something. But a good, solid Montreal Canadiens fan should celebrate that at least the Cincinnati Cyclones, who are a joint affiliate of Montreal and Nashville, won something. They won TICKET DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR!!!!

Congratulations to the Cincinnati Cyclones ticket department.

 

June 27, 2009PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced that the Cincinnati Cyclones are the 2008-09 recipient of the Ticket Department of the Year award.The Cyclones raised their attendance by 44 percent which was the second-highest in professional hockey in 2008-09 after ranking first in 2008-09 with an increase of 36.8 percent. Since returning to the ice in 2006-07, Cincinnati has increased its attendance 68 percent and had the largest crowd in ECHL playoff history with 12,722 for its Kelly Cup clinching game against Las Vegas on June 5, 2008. The Cyclones had four of their Top 10 crowds in 2008-09 including 11,417 on Apr. 4 to eclipse the club record of 9,615 on Mar. 28, 2008 and the third-largest regular season crowd ever with 8,508 on Jan. 24.Led by director of game and ticket operations Joe Stills, the staff is comprised of Josh Burdine, Michael Cox, Drew Curtis, Matt Piening and Andrew Rowland.ECHL Ticket Department of the YearYear Team
2008-09 Cincinnati Cyclones
2007-08 Reading Royals and Victoria Salmon Kings
2006-07 Florida Everblades and Alaska Aces
2005-06 Las Vegas Wranglers and Stockton Thunder
2004-05 Bakersfield Condors and Long Beach Ice Dogs
2003-04 Alaska Aces
2002-03 Reading Royals

Higgins For Gomez. The Habs Just Got Smaller (But Craftier)

Scott Gomez isn’t exactly the big centreman most of us had in mind. In fact, the team just got smaller by dealing 6′, 203 lb. Chris Higgins and minor leaguers defencemen Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko to the New York Rangers for 5’11, 200 lb Gomez, plus AHL’er Tom Pyatt and ECHL defenceman Mike Busto.

Frankly, I don’t know what to think about this. Yes, Higgins underachieved with the Canadiens, never blossoming into the player the organization thought he would become. Same for Gomez in New York. He never became the star on Broadway they thought he’d be, like he was when he was in New Jersey. There, he was an up-and-coming young gun, a two-time Stanley Cups winner over in the swamp.

The problem also remains that Gomez stands to make a silly 8 million this season, which means the bank is perilously close to being broke in Habtown as far as nabbing other players from out there goes. 

It also seems sad that the Habs gave up on McDonagh, who was expected to amount to something in Montreal. Maybe he wasn’t developing the way they thought, or maybe Gainey just really likes Gomez and decided to pay a hefty price.

If this is all the movement Gainey makes, there’s going to be a lot of disappointed Habs fans who understand as much as the brass that the Canadiens aren’t about to set the world on fire with the existing team as is.

Maybe this will all work out. Gomez will shine as a Canadien, and Gainey will end up looking like Sam Pollock. It’s going to be a wait-and-see.

This is what I know about Gomez. I saw him play in Powell River against the home town Kings when he was with the BCHL South Surrey Eagles. He was a huge star in this league, and fans came out to see him. But in Powell River, there were a group of about ten people in the stands who rode him unmercifully, and Gomez got so upset, he started waving his stick and answering back to the hecklers.

When the game began, Gomex was great. He was a beautiful, if somewhat unorthodox skater, and he was great carrying the puck from his end to deep into Powell River’s. But, at about the five minute mark, and maybe because the hecklers had done their job, Gomez was involved in some nasty business on the ice and was promptly thrown out.

So I saw him for five minutes. But I liked the five minutes worth.

Hockey In Vegas Probably Makes Some Sense

When the NHL decides to expand once again, it certainly won’t be Winnipeg, Quebec, Toronto, or Hamilton, or in general, places where people understand that ice is also for skating on, not just putting up noses. It’ll be where Gary Bettman wants it to be, and that means no Canada.

And right now, it seems that the leading contender for new team in the NHL is Las Vegas, which, I think, could be the next best thing if you can’t have a Canadian franchise.

Each year, Sin City attracts 40 million tourists to the bright lights, a million and a half of which are Canadian, and two million from overseas, which indeed includes countries like Russia, Sweden, and Finland – countries who appreciate hockey. And with staggering numbers like that, especially the 40 million part, you’d have to think that 20,000 would be found to go to games each night.

There is a team in the ECHL based now in Vegas, the Wranglers, who pull in about 4000 fans a game. So hockey isn’t exactly foreign there. And there’s lots of people, guys especially, who would prefer to see the Habs or Penguins come to town instead of forking out $150 for Cher or Bette Midler at Caesar’s Palace. 

Hockey would be a nice three-hour break from the Strip. And when they get out of the game, they wouldn’t have to worry about missing anything because this is a city that carries on 24 hours a day. You can lose your money any time of the day or night, no problem.

So it boils down to this. You go on a nice four-day vacation to Las Vegas, spend some time at the hotel pool, check out a bunch of different casinos, stuff yourself at a buffet, go to a hockey game while your wife’s at the Cher show, meet up with her afterward, go back to the casinos and win a couple of bucks, take in a free lounge show, then call it a night because it’s now three in the morning and you had no idea.

Does it get any better than that?

Let’s Start Fresh And Clobber The Columbus Blue Jackets…..Plus…..Habs Ink Future Star

Imagine. It’s almost time for the Habs - Columbus Blue Jackets game. And I’m thinking that I should fill you in on the Blue Jackets a little.

 

RJ Umberger.

 

That’s it. That’s all there is to talk about. RJ Umberger, the rotten bastard who almost single-handedly eliminated the Canadiens last year in the playoffs when he played for the Philadelphia Flyers.

 

That’s it. RJ Umberger. And I suppose Rick Nash.

 

Never been to Columbus. Have no intention of going, unless they want me to judge a Miss America pageant or something. Wikipedia says it’s a city of two million, is the home of Miracle Gro plant fertilizer, Similac baby formula, and the Bruce Lee Legends of Martial Art Hall of Fame Museum. Oh, and also a Jazz and Rib festival.

 

As far as the Canadiens go, they’re making sure they haven’t grown out of their skates since they last played, and are re-introducing themselves to their teammates.

 

They need these two points, as usual. Keep the ball rolling, play better than they have lately because they can only dodge so many bullets, and then roll into Toronto the next night and bring those Leafs back to earth where they belong.

 

Maybe the long break is good for the team. Like I said, they haven’t been playing well lately. They’ve been winning, but they’ve looked confused and out-of-sorts at times. Sometimes good, hard practices are just what the doctor ordered.

 

IN OTHER NEWS:

 

Montreal has signed their high-scoring prospect David Desharnais. Desharnais has posted nine points in eleven games with the Hamilton Bulldogs, and led the ECHL in scoring last year while with the Cincinnati Cyclone with 29 goals and 106 points. He was also the league MVP and Rookie of the Year.