Insights & Insults
Alright, now that your boy David Jones just signed a crazy new deal with the Avs (four years, $16 million), the next big free agent to sign might be . . . John Davidson. Reports out of St. Louis say the Blues director of hockey ops took advantage of his own 30-day FA window and interviewed with the Blue Jackets last week. No word on what position might be available for him, but if Columbus can get this done...I mean, forget about Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. This would be the biggest signing of the summer, wouldn't it?
Davidson was the architect behind the Blues' revival, and he would bring instant credibility to a franchise that keeps finding new feet to shoot. More than a reliable goalie, more than a resolution to the Rick Nash situation, this franchise needs to give its fan base a reason to believe. Davidson would provide that. And hey, the Blues did alright snatching Ken Hitchcock from Columbus. Time for the Jackets to return the favor.
As for David Jones, he was one of those fortunate guys with good timing. He only potted 37 points in 72 games last season with Colorado, but 20 of those points were goals. 20 is the new 40 in the NHL. You get 20 goals in this league now, you get paid.
Columbus was a sad situation this season. And you know this as well as I do: their troubles really started the day they gassed Hitchcock -- less than a year after he took them to their one and only playoff appearance. I mean, really? How dumb was that?
I saw a tweet today from someone I thought was bang-on: all forwards do today is "chip the puck up the wall to get it out." What happened? Where did the scoring go all of a sudden? I need explanation for this.
I think Therrien is a good coach, though. I think he'll actually do fine in Montreal.
Maybe if they're looking for a little imagination up front, they could call the Predators, who confirmed this week that they're ending the Alex Radulov experiment. Not a surprising move, all things considered, but this is the first domino falling in what looks to be a very pivotal summer in Nashville.
Pudge is clearly the most offensively gifted player ever to wear that sweater. He's a guy whose return was actively championed by captain Shea Weber, and now he's being cut loose. You have to believe team leadership was consulted on this decision, don't you? After all, David Poile needs to give Ryan Suter and Weber a reason to believe in the future of the franchise. If they signed off on this, then things must have been worse in the room than we've heard. They've decided that this is a guy they don't want to share a trench with.
So maybe Poile tries to trade his rights as an RFA, but he has no leverage. Odds are Rads is going to be playing for Sergei Fedorov and CSKA Moscow next season, so if Poile gets offered a pick or a mid-level prospect, he has to bite. In the end though, that's lousy management of an asset that could have netted so much more if only he'd been left in Russia.
David Poile is the one who brought him in. It's his fault. Poile kind of has one of those charmed lives as a GM, doesn't he? I mean, he seems like a fine GM. But the hard truth is: none of his Nashville teams have ever made it past the second round. In Montreal, that gets you fired. In a place like Nashville, it gets you an extension.
What do you make of Tim Thomas' pledged sabbatical? I think it's a con, sorry. It's calculated. I could be wrong. But money always talks. What, does he think his skills won't erode as a 39-year-old? Does he think teams will be beating down his door after a year out of the game, out of sight, out of mind? I don't think so.
And yet, I do believe Dominik Hasek will get an offer, after saying he wants to return at age 47. Tim Thomas is just a kid!
Will his skills erode if he follows through? No doubt...but he'll Facebook about how hard he's training and some desperate GM will be willing to take a chance on him at 40. And he'll probably make up the $3 million he's losing this year and then some.
On the plus side, good for Tuukka Rask, who has quietly played the good solider and deserves his shot at the job. Also: it's the end of the line for Discover's "You're not Tim Thomas,
But I'm sorry, this is a ploy. It just so happens the Bruins might have been thinking of trading him this fall. So what happens? He says he'll sit out. Now the B's have to pretty much kowtow to his wishes as to what team he might be dealt, under threat of sitting out. It's too suspicious to a conspiracy-minded guy like me.
Let me reiterate how much I like Thomas, though. Did you know that he was a former Avalanche draft pick (Quebec, actually) and was at the Avs' 1997 training camp, and that Patrick Roy saw him play and said. "No no, you must never play like this."
Actually, Thomas might be ahead of the curve here. While he's holed up in Colorado, getting ready to audition for season two of
We know the league wants to follow the NFL and NBA and recapture a larger percentage of hockey-related revenues. We also know that the PA is disinclined to relinquish any ground after making most of the concessions last time around. This has the makings of a very long offseason.
I'm going to get really, really, really, really, really bitter about this if it happens. And I will forever live in spite for the game if they do this again. OK, I'll probably forget everything when the first game resumes. But I really, really am going to get mad about this. Are you serious NHL? You going to shut down the sport AGAIN, right when you had momentum again (Cup Final ratings notwithstanding)?
I'm going to get too worked up if I continue this Allan, and I know you have to get back to your DVR recording of the latest
OK that was too melodramatic maybe. Who am I kidding? I have no innocence left. I will just end up hating all the guys in suits who ruined everything a long time ago. It's incomprehensible to me that there could be another lockout.