So what did I miss?
A lot can happen in 77 days - the last time I wrote anything of consequence on this blog. I've had to catch up on a few stories, including:
- The Rangers make their third consecutive playoff appearance. This is the same team I had to take a break writing about because I thought I was going to slit my wrists. After I bid adieu to Rangers Watch, New York went on a 21-7-7 run to finish the season and take the 5th seed in the East.
- Long term contracts = return of the franchise player? You don't need a Rick DiPietro, Alexander Ovechkin or Mike Richards-length contract to be unmovable. If your guy signs a big deal and then bites it the first year in, good luck getting another team to bet a "change of scenery" will make the remaining years on an over-paid deal worthwhile. Hope you like Dustin Penner, Oilers fans. He's not going anywhere soon.
- The trade deadline is the new all-star game...boring. Sure there were a lot of deals, but only three headline grabbing moves: Bruce Campbell to San Jose, Marian Hossa to Pittsburgh, and Brad Richards to Dallas. See above if you're wondering why. Of the three, only Richards is under contract for next season. It's not just the potential RFAs who are getting multi-year contracts. Last summer's UFA crop were walking away long-term pacts as well. The pool for rentals getting slim, which makes for a pretty unexciting trade deadline day. Just ask TSN.
- Bobby Orr turned 60. We may never see another defenseman like him. But thanks to YouTube, we'll never forget his legacy. If you've got some time on your hands, check it out.
- The NHL instituted the Sean Avery Rule. Did the NHL really need to amend the rule book to stop behavior that would otherwise be corrected with one slap shot to the back of the head? Richard Zednick gets his neck slashed with a skate and no one in the league (or NHLPA) rushes to make neck guards mandatory. Avery plays "I'm not touching you!" with Martin Brodeur and there's a new interpretation for unsportsmanlike conduct in a matter of hours. Apparently, falling on top of Brodeur every chance he gets is still OK with the NHL.
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