For those of you that read this post or listen to the Backhand Shelf Podcast on a regular basis, you may have noticed that I had fallen off the face of the earth over the last 4 days (and if you didn’t notice, thanks for hurting my feelings) . Ordinarily when I get sick, give me 24 hours of bed and meds and I’m good to go. Not this time.  Starting Friday at about 4pm until late last night, I got hit with something I never have before (I blame the water in Philadelphia because chaperone Derek Snider seemed to have the same thing).  In typical fashion, when I am dead to the world, a whole bunch of interesting stuff happened in the world of hockey. The best part of my job is that I actually get paid to give my opinions on these exacts stories. I did my best on twitter, but that was in between med-induced comas. So because I get to do this post every morning, I’m going to use it to catch up on some of those stories that emerged over the last 5 days.

When I was sick: The NHLPA rejected the league’s realignment plan.

I thought this thing was done deal , at least the NHL made it seem that way. They gave us the impression that the PA was on board and just had to sign on the dotted line. Was it a bully tactic to make them do so? Is this the PA’s way of not being pushed around in time where CBA negotiations are right around the corner? I will just say this, the NHL was FURIOUS when Jim Balsillie went ahead with plans before getting the necessary approvals didn’t they? Sound familiar Gary?

When I was sick: Scott Arniel was fired by Columbus

Was Scott Howson cleaning out his desk drawer and found a “to-do” list from late October? How is Arniel the SEVENTH coach to be fired this season? I guess Howson wanted them to reach new levels of sucking before finally pulling the trigger

When I was sick: Brad Marchand low balls Sami Salo.

The hit in my opinion was pretty cut and dry: Dirty. You can’t attack someone’s knees like that and I like the five game suspension.  I didn’t buy his explanation on ESPN or the fact the I keep hearing that he was trying to “protect himself”. Oh and by the way, ESPN needs to stop calling what he does for their site a “diary”. I keep picturing Marchand laying on a bed with his hair wrapped in a towel writing in a little white book. He then locks it before sliding it under his mattress and going to bed.

When I was sick: Jarome Iginla scores his 500th goal.

Never met, interviewed, or dealt with Iginla in any way shape or form, but for some reason I smiled when I saw this. Some players just do that to you and he is one of them. You just love their passion and the way they play the game and you find yourself happy for them when they accomplish something. Congrats Mr Iginla.

When I was sick: Shane Doan scored his first career hat trick

Remember the first time you heard that Gordie Howe only had TWO career “Gordie Howe Hat Tricks”? I had that same feeling when I heard this was Doan’s FIRST hatty. Congrats to you too Mr Doan.

When I was sick: Dustin Penner injured his back eating pancakes

The only thing that would have been better was if this was Kyle Wellwood, but I’m not greedy. This is one of those “tell the media you were eating salad” moments, but I am SO GLAD he didn’t. Put it this way, on one of my sick days my wife came home and asked me two questions

1) Are you feeling any better?

2) Did you hear about that hockey player that hurt his back eating pancakes?

Thank you Dustin


Let’s head to the links

Stop me if you have heard this one: A Buffalo Sabre is hurt (Pro Hockey Talk)

Guess what two teams are in dangers of missing the playoffs? HINT: last year’s HBO 24/7 (Dirty Dangle)

Sticking with the Pens for a minute, if this isn’t a metaphor, I don’t know what is (The Pens blog)

#1 on David Poile’s To-Do list: Sign Ryan Suter (The Fourth Period)

Remember when I talked about Gordie Howe Hat Tricks? Well Devils rookie Adam Henrique is now one behind Mr Hockey (Fire and Ice)

Anaheim Calling has some fire sale proposals for the Ducks (although I think the first one is CRAZY)

Speaking of the Ducks, Blue Chip Prospects does not think Ryan Getzlaf is the answer for the Leafs

Blue Shirt Banter takes a look at some Rangers that could be suiting up for the Whale soon

This just in: Down Goes Brown is funny (ok, we have known this for a LONG time, but here is more proof)

and finally……OH MY GOD