There’s so much to talk about in the hockey world today that you’re getting a bonus edition of “One-Touch Passes.” Today’s kinda doubles as a links post, so congratulations, you’ve found your hockey-based morning newspaper for the day. Herrrrre we go (say that like they do in “Whoomp There It Is” in your head):
Adam Oates is being inducted into the NHL Hall-of-Fame this weekend, which is pretty rad considering the guy has 1,420 NHL points, over 1,000 of which are assists. Even if he was never the biggest name on his respective teams, he’s straight-up “famous” for his ability to find open teammates and up their goal totals. Only five NHLers in the history of hockey have more assists than him.
But that’s not why we’re here! No no, I bring this up because holy shit he looks like Ray Liotta, right? (Lioates?) I can’t get over it. I cannot look at Adam Oates and not think of Liotta.
Scott Gomez is making a return to the ECHL, but like, for reals this time you guys. He’s signed a standard players contract, and will suit up alongside Dubinsky, Crabb and Thompson on November 14th against the Colorado Eagles.
This is A) cool and B) not cool. Let me explain:
A) It’s cool because now the majority of Alaskans that are currently in the NHL have returned to play in front of their home fans (who are we missing, just Matt Carle?). It’s cool because I was going to University in Alaska the last time Gomez was there, and it’s a thrill to watch a guy like that against minor leaguers, and it’ll be even better to watch the Aces basically be the Harlem Globetrotters for awhile. It’s just sorta cool.
B) It’s not cool because every pro team can old hold so many players, which means Gomez likely took someone’s job (I’m looking into whose as we speak). It also puts the Aces further over the veteran limit (you qualify as a veteran after you’ve played over 260 pro games), and you can only dress four a night. That means that other veterans on the team (there are seven total) will have to be scratched. So my old Aces teammate who’s still playing there basically won’t get to play until one of the other “vets” gets hurt.
The NHL and NHLPA are meeting for a third straight day today, and neither side has had much to say, publicly, about their progress. Sticking with the theme of every other writer out there, I’m in the camp that no news is good news.
Everything you need to know can be found at Spector’s Hockey, who’s compiled all the important lockout info.
The Canucks are retiring Pavel Bure’s number, which is pretty crazy given how polarizing a figure he is in Vancouver. He definitely lit it up there, and I’m cool with him getting inducted into the NHL Hall-of-Fame, but I’m not sure you retire the number of a guy who isn’t exactly beloved by the fans, and barely cares to be associated with your franchise. Most have forgiven the way his time there ended, but still – you just never got the impression Bure loved the Canucks back.
Personally, I don’t think they should retire his number.
I ran into Jeremy Roenick in the Starbucks in our building today. And by “ran into” I mean “saw him going into Starbucks, decided to occupy the spot in line behind him and talk to him, bailed out and bought a coffee I didn’t want.” I should’ve pretended to be his Twitter harrasser, hey? I really effed up this morning.
Anyway, it got us taking about JR in the office today, specifically about his huge OT winner against the Leafs in 2004, and wanted to remind you of the hit Sami Kapanen took from Darcy Tucker on the same play. Now that we know how serious concussions are his Bambi-legged skate-off isn’t funny (I remember thinking it was at the time), but I just wanted to run this video as a reminder of how tough and awesome Kapanen was on this play for trying to get off. Roenick has used the play to counter the stigma of playing like a “Euro.” I mean, man, in other sports, that guy stays down for a week. AND it helped his team get the win.
The QMJHL All-Stars got their first win over the Russian juniors in a looong time yesterday after losing to them in the first game. I was blown away by the bounce back of the Q’s big stars, Jonathan Huberdeau, Jonathan Druin and Nathan MacKinnon, who were dash four in the first game, then combined for ten points in the second contest. That’s a decent recovery.
Henrik Lundqvist isn’t super-impressed with the Swedish Elite League’s general avoidance of NHL players during the lockout. The league thinks it’s a sign of strength – “We don’t need NHLers to be a great league” – and Lundqvist sees it as a weakness (keeping out good players doesn’t make your league stronger).
Here’s his three pack of tweets from yesterday:
“Trying to understand why the Swedish hockey league is the only league in the world which doesn’t want to see NHL players give back to the clubs which raised them.”
“Seeing many of our best players all around Europe and not in Sweden is for me personally a sign of weakness, not strength.”
“Is the NHL strike really a problem for the Elite League or should it be viewed as a glorious opportunity instead?”
I gotta side with Henrik here, and honestly, I’m surprised some team hasn’t said “to hell with it” and snapped up every player they could.