Tag Archives: NHL lockout

Hockey? I’m Not Ready Yet

I woke this morning to the news – that NHL brains have made a sharp u-turn and hockey will begin again, maybe on January 15, maybe on January 19. (Details can be found on 8,537 news and sports sites).

I’m not ready for this. I’m not finished talking about Gary Bettman and rich hockey players yet. It’s too soon. It’s only January and it’s cold. Hockey should be played where it’s hot, like in Phoenix and South Florida. And how am I supposed to blog about actual hockey games forty-eight or fifty times in the next while when I’m out of shape? Players need training camp? So do I.

I just hope Bruins fans and others don’t keep bringing up the shortened season after Montreal wins it all. It’s going to be a nice, handy excuse for them – that they were just getting going and if it was any longer, they would’ve made the Habs look like the German junior team. This is what we’re up against. It’s gonna suck but we have to be ready for it.

I really was in a no-NHL-state of mind. I’d learned to occupy myself other ways on nights when hockey wasn’t being played. Like watching Sportsnet and TSN go on and on and on about hockey not being played. Good, quality entertainment.

I’m worried for some. Scott Gomez was on a roll with his Alaska Aces, notching six goals and seven assists in just eleven games. Now what? Now he has to stop scoring again. You have to feel for the guy. And Brad Marchand is only halfway through his grade seven course and will have to either stop completely or do homework on planes.

Maybe I can help Marchand, with this advice that comes via Eddie Shack. When Shack was playing, one of his teammates in the dressing room asked him how far he got in school, and Eddie said grade eight. When the other player asked how he managed to get so far, Eddie said it was easy, he’d lend the teacher his car.

It’s not just Gomez or Marchand. They all have to go back to work now. I know this feeling. A nice two or three week holiday and then I’m back in the thick of things and it’s hard. The players have been laying around and golfing and traveling to New York for six months now. Imagine what they’re going through. Hopefully they were able to keep busy. David Booth probably had a nice time blowing bears’ brains out, and Evander Kane had a nice picture taken of himself in Las Vegas holding a couple of three inch wads of bills and pretending the money was a phone. Now that’s fine humour. That’s how you keep busy.

I feel for the owners. Now they have to act like nice people when they show up at their private boxes, and that means they’ll have to tip the $9 an hour person who brings them their 20-year old scotch. Hollywood people can act like they’re nice and normal because they’re actors. Owners don’t have this luxury. They have every other luxury, just not this one.

What about Russian fans who’ve been flocking to KHL games this year? My stepson Denis in St. Petersburg says hockey in Russia has never been so exciting and invigorating to fans there. Now these players who took jobs have to come back to North America and not take anybody’s job and fans in the old country will be left with the team that once was. It’ll take some getting used to. And it’ll be nice for the captain of St. Petersburg SKA to get his “C” back now that Ilya Kovalchuk won’t be needing it anymore.

Can Montreal do well this year? It’ll be a sprint instead of a marathon, and who knows? It depends on how many games before Andre Markov gets hurt, and whether the power play can score sometimes. Maybe Alex Galchenyuk will be in the lineup! Let’s just embrace what we’ll have – a short race to the finish line. It’ll be over before we know it. Then we can get back to what we’re used to – no hockey.




Boy Genius

Let’s see, let me check;

Still no hockey — check
NHLPA and NHL will meet again soon — check
It’s now 800 news clips, or maybe 8000, of NHLPA and NHL brass walking into a hotel and out again — check
Gomez has 4 goals and 6 assists in 8 games with the Alaska Aces — check
Galchenyuk has 22 goals and 30 assists in 31 games with Sarnia Sting — check
I’m about to post again as I do every day — check
It’s not about hockey, as I sometimes do — check

I’m sure there’s been times in your life when you’ve thought about someone you haven’t seen in ages and soon after this person shows up in one way or another. Why is that?

Just recently I was thinking about this ten-year old kid I’d read about in a 1965 Life magazine, back when the article first came out. From the beginning it had really intrigued me, the idea that such a young kid would be enrolled in university, in this case Michigan State, and off and on over years I’d think about the little bugger. I don’t know why. Maybe because I was the complete opposite as a student.

Today, in looking through a trunk of old Life magazines, there it was, the story of Michael Grost. I didn’t even know I still had this.

While every other ten-year old kid in the world was adding 25 plus 25 and learning how to spell Mississippi, Michael was in university, studying whatever it is they study. I’ll bet the other students, especially the females, loved him.

Below is Michael now, and this is his website – Mike Grost.com
He’s doing all kinds of neat things.

In a 2002 interview with The State News, the now gown-up Grost described his life in college as similar to having “40,000 brothers and sisters.”

Grost held his first job on campus working with computers his freshman year, which propelled him into
software design after his 13-year college career – five of which were spent at MSU. He also attended
Yale University and U-M, earning a doctorate degree in mathematics at age 23. Grost currently is a
system architect at a computer company in Detroit.

“I really owe (MSU) a lot for the huge chance they took on me as a kid,” Grost said in the 2002

(thanks to Weird Universe/Child Prodigies)

No More Lockouts. Just Move The League

Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney has been given the big job across the pond of Bank of England governor, and Blue Bayou (Donal) in London wants to know which team the guy cheers for. BB also thinks the NHL (20 teams) should move to England and play for the Cup there instead. Here’s his letter:


I am writing to you in a state of high agitation.

I have just read that the next Governor of The Bank Of England is to be a Canadian. Yes a Canadian, you heard it right. The country that built the world, is the cradle of civilization and has more wankers, sorry I mean bankers per square foot than any other part of the world is unable to supply its own Governor and is giving the keys to the money box to a Canadian.

On the plus side Mark Carney appears to have played back up goalie for the Harvard Crimson or some such, so it’s safe to say he’s a hockey man.

But Dennis, who does he support? He appears to come from Fort Smith which is out where the buses don’t turn, but is near Alberta. Is he an Oilers man? Get on the case Dennis. Because if he’s a Leafs man by any crazy chance I’m getting down to Parliament and there’ll be a ruck over this. And going to Harvard? I’ve been there once. It’s close to Boston. But there’s no way is there?

Subject to him being sensible in who he supports I’m prepared to give him a chance. But it’s important that he doesn’t get too bogged down in financial detail, quantitative easing and all that. If we’re going to give Canadians our key jobs then we need something back from them.

He has to set about getting a proper Elite League going here. Not the one we have now but a really, really big one, so we can basically offer the NHPLA a lock stock and barrel move to Blighty. 20 teams spread around the country. Money no object. After all, he just has to tell the Royal Mint to print more pound notes.

I’ll talk to Molson. There isn’t a London team and won’t be. That slot is reserved for the Canadiens, who will still be the Montreal Canadiens. We’ll rename a part of London, Montreal just so it all fits together. Subsidized travel funded by the B of E for Habs fans, with free hotels etc. and beer money for the trip.

The new Leafs and Bruins can go and dwell up North somewhere cold and dismal.

It’s tough on you guys I know. But you had your chance. You let all that expansion nonsense go on and you’ve had too many lockouts. Time to bury the NHL and let the English have a go. The Bank of England League. Playing for the Lord Stanley Cup. Has a proper ring to it I think you’ll agree.

Cheers for now


Coming Clean

Whenever I read a story from CBC’s Elliotte Freidman or Bob McKenzie at TSN or any of the other hockey guys telling us about the lockout and how it’s going, I always notice a bunch of comments that basically say the same thing; Who cares. I’ve moved on. Yawn.

So I’m hesitant to talk about it because lots of people don’t care.

Okay, I’ll be honest. It’s a great excuse to stay away because frankly, most of the time I don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t forget, I was the guy who used to get 10 out of a 100 on my math exams. If I managed 40 out of 100, I felt like Einstein. These words – “fixed targets, make-whole provisions” and the rest is all Greek to me. The only words I know are “He shoots, he scores, Gomez misses the net, Marchand goes for the knees, and Bugsy McSwain takes a dump at centre ice.”

It does seem like the two sides are getting closer though, and it’s possible that hockey will be back in December. If they can figure out that “make-whole” thingy.

Oh, oh. I hear a bunch of “who cares.”


Cave Paintings

I’m taking a break today, unless something big happens, like maybe an end to the lockout, or Scott Gomez scores a goal at his nephew’s peewee house league scrimmage.

Today, I’m going to go for a big walk (I’ve lost 22 pounds in three months), and I might even stop in at the local pub and gain a couple back again.

For now, some artwork from when I was in grade two, including a Habs portrait which I’ve shown before, and which a guy at the Montreal Gazette said I should frame. And along with the Habs portrait, I’m also including two Elvis Presleys (Elive Prisie) and baseball great Jackie Robinson. I gave Robinson white skin in this, but I think in grade two there was no such difference as black or white skin. Maybe we should all think like second graders.

Grueling Days

NHL owners and the NHLPA need a big break. They’ve been working nearly six hours a day for two days now. SIX HOURS. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I’ll bet they’re losing weight from this brutal schedule.This must be why Gary Bettman is shrinking.

No wonder they’re not punching in for today’s meetings until the afternoon. They need to sleep in. Regroup. Catch their breath. Drink some lattes. Read the newspaper. Tip the butler. Pat the wife on the head. Nap. Choose the right tie. Dream about the day when everything gets settled and they don’t have to work such long hours anymore. Never forget, these folks must have put in a ghastly 50 hours or so since last June, struggling to have an agreement in place so fans can watch hockey again. They’re practically saints in my book.

The NHL should raise ticket prices and charge fifteen bucks for a glass of beer to ease the burden. We’ll work more hours at our own jobs so they can be contented and happy. We’ll do anything to see Rene Bourque put the hammer down and Scott Gomez bulge the twine. And I personally can’t wait to witness Tomas Kaberle once again crush all comers as they streak down his side of the ice.

I sure hope this third day of meetings doesn’t go six hours like the other days. We need all concerned to be healthy and happy so they can bless us with so much.




Hard Times

I’ve had a hard time lately. I can’t seem to find my 8×10 Scott Gomez picture that Darth sent me. I’ve looked in quite a few places – the kitchen cupboards, under the bed, the hair brush drawer, the compost heap, between toilet paper rolls, the cat food bag, in the fireplace, under the basement steps, everywhere, but it’s just not showing up.

Darth, if you’re reading this, don’t worry. I’ll find it.

Also, I was driving my car the other day around 4:30 PM and I looked at my radio clock and it said 4:30 AM, and I thought, how could this be? I must have bumped it by mistake and changed the setting. I drove for awhile longer and it bothered me, so finally I stopped, even though I was in a rush, and tried to make it PM again. I even got out the manual but nowhere in there did it explain how to adjust AM and PM. So I left it and decided to ask around.

The next day I noticed the clock was fine, and it was then that I realized that the AM was for AM radio.

For Halloween we bought a bunch of those little chocolate bars (candy bars in the states), but hardly anyone showed up so we’re left with a whole bunch. But my wife hid them on me. Is this cause for divorce? Does it say anywhere in law books that along with infidelity, different kinds of abuse, abandonment, mental instability etc, there’s also the hiding of chocolate bars? I’d like to know.


Certain Suds

Below is a partial list of Molson beer products that maybe you could hold off buying to show your displeasure regarding this unspeakable NHL lockout. Hell, I’ll even go as far as suggesting you stop buying those ten buck beers at the games once they do get going. You’ll be saving money, sending a message, and by not having to pee all the time, you won’t miss any Gomez goals or Markov’s next injury.

Don’t forget, it’s up to the owners to tell Buttman the facts of life, so you hit ’em where it hurts – in the wallet.

On my blacklist – Coors, Coors Light, Molson Brador, Canadian, Ice, Dry, Ex, Golden, Exel, Kick, Stock Ale, XXX, Black Ice, Old Style Pilsner, Carling Black Label, the various Rickard’s products, and Molson partnered brands in Canada which include Corona, Heineken, Fosters, and Miller Genuine Draft. There’s a lot more too. Just check the labels.

I go to a bar and I order Labatt’s Blue, not Molson Canadian, which are the two usual choices here. It’s my little way of showing my displeasure for the NHL lockout. Plus, I think Labatt’s tastes better.

The following is a brief bio, courtesy of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader,¬†of John Molson, founder, of course, of Molson Brewery, which makes the beer that I’m boycotting.

In 1782 John Molson left England and arrived in Montreal, which was, at that time, a small British Colony. He formed a partnership with fellow immigrant British John Lloyd and started a brewery together.

Their first year was a disaster. The beer didn’t sell well. Lloyd wanted to quit so Molson bought him out, which was good timing for Molson. After the American Revolution, thousands of British loyalists moved to Montreal and brought their thirst of beer with them. The 22-year-old Molson made 4000 gallons of beer that year and sold it all. With the profits, he expanded the brewery, and by 1791 Molson Brewery was turning out 30,000 gallons a year.

Molson himself became one Canada’s wealthiest men, investing in steamships, railroads, and banks. But today he’s best known for the beer that still bears his name. It’s one of Canada’s bestselling beers and North America’s oldest brand, with annual sales exceeding $7 billion. (2007 figures).