kevin burgundy

kevin burgundy

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Organizational Credibility

Loyalty is a funny thing in today’s sports landscape. Of course by funny thing, I mean a virtually non-existent thing. Unfortunately it applies to players, organizations and even fans. With reports over the weekend of players part of trade proposals or being shopped to other teams, I thought it would be interesting to look at how certain trades, or non trades, can impact an organization’s credibility.

Let’s start with Chris Phillips of the Ottawa Senators. During Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada Pierre LeBrun suggested Bryan Murray and the Senators are listening to offers for the 34-year old veteran, but aren’t actively shopping him. Phillips is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. Let’s take the rumours at face value (a cardinal sin I know, but bare with me). Suppose the Senators don’t see Phillips in their future and make him available for a 2nd/3rd round draft pick or a decent prospect (or whatever the return is).

Is it really worth it?

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Burgundy here. In addition to being without Jaden Schwartz (fractured ankle) and Zach Kassian (suspension), Canada were also without Sean Tomlinson Friday evening. Tomlinson, who presumably has better New Years plans than me, was a late scratch for this preliminary game against Sweden. It’s expected Tomlinson will draw back into the line up on Sunday (read: write World Junior reviews for Houses of The Hockey) for Canada’s quarter-final game.

Quarter-finals? What the puck?

Yeah, Canada lost. And honestly, this was a bit of a weird game. It featured lots of goals, big hits, questionable goaltending, hell, it pretty much had everything. Except a Canadian win. Perhaps this Sweden victory, in a dramatic shootout no less, will provide a bit more motivation for Canada and maybe a lesson in playing a full, complete game.

Canada’s game bounced between furious and too laid back. Canada’s failure to play 60 hard and aggressive minutes ultimately cost them the game. Oh, and some weak goaltending by Edmonton Oilers prospect Olivier Roy. As a result, Sweden skip ahead to the tournament Semi-finals while Canada will play in the Quarter-finals. A costly loss for the Canadians as they probably could have used the extra few days off to heal several nagging injuries.

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The Holiday season can be unforgiving. After limping your way through Christmas dinner’s with in-laws, family and co-workers you’d never normally have dinner with, you are subjected to Best Of and Year In Review Specials for nearly two weeks – All of which declaring something you probably already knew: Sidney Crosby isn’t bad at hockey and Jonathan Toews had a pretty good year.

Because you haven’t suffered enough, and because a ton of cool stuff happened in the online hockey world this year, here’s our (kind of, but not fully) complete retrospective look at 2010 in the hockey blogosphere:

(Please note this is a list of things that happened online on Twitter, blogs and more. Just because it happened in the NHL world or on TV, doesn’t mean it applies to this online list. Thanks!)

February

The O-Leon-MPICS
Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis ripped the Olympics for how little they catered to the NHL and NHL owners on his blog, TedsTake.com. It’s only kind of ironic that a Billionaire is balking at jersey prices.

April

#ThrowTheSnake
One of the top Coyotes hockey stories of the year. #ThrowTheSnake started on Twitter but soon became bigger than all of us. Jeff Marek even broke it down on Hockey Night in Canada’s iDesk. That, and the insane buzz that collected, forced the ‘Yotes to issue warnings to fans not to throw any snakes. Good thing someone didn’t listen. I don’t use “epic” lightly… but this campaign was epicly epic. It’s all your fault (read: nice job) @TravisHair and @Chemmy.

Kyle Wellwood & Shane O’Brien’s Pizza Crawl Hoax
HockeyIndependent.com ran a great satire detailing plans for a Chicago Pizza Crawl with several NHL players including (at the time) Vancouver Canucks teammates Kyle Wellwood and Shane O’Brien. Because fact checking is overrated and kind of a pain, NBC Chicago ran the story not understanding it wasn’t real. They’ve since admitted they fell for the joke. Nice.

Kyle Wellwood and Shane O'Brien of the Vancouver Canucks

June

Bob McKenzie Actually Gave Credit To Eklund
In the same month the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, they were forced to trade nearly a third of their roster to fit under the 2010-2011 salary cap. Rumours were swirling about trades the Blackhawks were going to make. One of the 300,000 trade predictions Eklund made actually came true and saw the Blackhawks pull the trigger on a 9-player trade with the Atlanta Thrashers. Bob McKenzie then credited Eklund with reporting the trade first. Great. That acknowledgment alone means we’re stuck with Eklund for at least another year.

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Canadian Arrogance

Ahhh, Christmas holidays. A time filled with joy, tradition, freakishly cold weather, World Junior Championships and hockey arrogance.

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Trading For Alex Kovalev?

Alex Kovalev - Ottawa Senators

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun let out a rather juicy rumour during Hockey Night In Canada’s Hotstove segment Saturday.

The rumour? The St. Louis Blues are interested in Ottawa’s Alex Kovalev. No big deal.

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Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks draft pick at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft

You might have recently thought “Hey, that Logan Couture guy is pretty good. The Sharks are lucky to have him.” I know I’ve thought this on many occasions over the last few weeks.

Then for some reason, you get this bizarre urge to find out Couture’s draft year. You eventually determine he was the ninth overall selection during the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in Columbus. In an effort to look smart (read: not stupid), you nod your head in approval thinking ninth overall sounds about right.

But hold on for one second!

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Blaming Cory Clouston

Cory Clouston, coach of the Ottawa Senators

When a professional sports team struggles, virtually every part of the organization is put under a microscope. That’s certainly the case with the under-performing Ottawa Senators right now.

The Senators have lost nine of their last 12 games and have only scored 17 goals in that stretch. There are a lot of people fans and media can point blame at. While I’m not convinced this isn’t all Spartacat’s fault, one of the more popular people to blame in the Nation’s Capital is Senators coach Cory Clouston.

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