The Dump and Chase – 06/21/2011

ESPN ranks Maple Leafs among worst sports franchises

They may be a juggernaut in terms of revenue and undying support from their fans, but according to ESPN’s Ultimate Team Rankings the Toronto Maple Leafs belong with the Sacramento Kings and Cincinnati Bengals of the sporting world. In measuring “how much MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL franchises give back to the fans in exchange for all the time, money and emotion the fans invest in them”, ESPN Magazine ranked the Leafs 120 of 122 North American sports teams.

Brian Burke responded to the magazine’s rankings in the manner that you would expect him to:

“I don’t pay any attention to stuff like that. I don’t think ESPN knows a whole hell of a lot about hockey, and I certainly don’t watch them to learn anything about hockey.”

“Obviously the pro teams here — us included — need to do better to shed this kind of a label. But to talk about the marketplace as not being a great sports city, I mean, what does ESPN know about Canada, anyway?”

He’s got a point there, I mean they ranked the Islanders and Panthers ahead of the Maple Leafs. Hell, even the Atlanta Thrashers earned a better ranking and they’re extinct.

Varlamov would prefer to play in the NHL

Semyon Varlamov has drawn some interest from the KHL, but his intention is to remain in North America. Via Capitals Insider:

“I am not in complete agreement with the offer that I have been receiving from Washington in the past several months,” Varlamov said, but “negotiations are still in progress and the club is interested in me.”

“My chances of staying in the NHL are high,” he said. “I would really like to sign a deal in America. Yes, even if it’s for less money than what I am offered in Russia.”

Winnipeg narrows coach search down to two

No name, installing a new general manager just weeks before the draft, and no head coach – Winnipeg is a bit of a mess. At least they’ve narrowed their choices for coach down to Claude Noel and Mike Haviland, I guess.

Even the Grant great ones make mistakes

Deadspin has kept tabs on the errors, the glaring ones at least, that have popped up on Bill Simmons’ Grantland site. I’m not trying to shit on Grantland here, but some of these are pretty funny:

Correction: In his column on being a bandwagon NHL fan, Editor in Chief Bill Simmons wrote that after the Vancouver Canucks lost game seven of the 1994 finals to the New York Rangers, “No Canadian team has come that close again.” The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers both lost game sevens after the Canucks did. The sentence was corrected by rewrite, with no acknowledgment.

In the same column, Simmons wrote about being in the background of a photo of “Patrick Beverley’s first goal.” The name of the player in the photo is Rich Peverley. The sentence was corrected by rewrite, with no acknowledgment.

Making the case for Pekka Rinne to win the Vezina

Dan Greene argues for Pekka Rinne to take home the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender at Pred On The Glass. Timmay will be tough to topple…

10 reasons why it’s good the Canucks didn’t win the Cup

Even in defeat, the Kurtenbloggers have a great sense of humour:

3. Maybe all the negative attention Vancouver received because of the riot will pop the housing bubble and we’ll be able to move out of our parents’ basements.

Zdeno Chara and the Boston Bruins hoisting the Cup makes Max Pacioretty a sad boy

Montreal inked Max Pacioretty to a new two-year deal on Monday. “Patches” later took to the phone and spoke to theScore about consistency in headshot discipline and the Bruins winning the Cup.