Saturday, January 17, 2009

Let's Take a Trip Out West:

STOP THE PRESSES: The Pittsburgh Penguins have just traded Dany Sabourin to the Edmonton Oil Cans, with Ryan Stone and a fourth round pick in the '11 draft for Mathieu Garon. Garon has played for a rash of teams since he was drafted in '96 and has a career save% of 90.04. He won one of the three stars for the Oil Cans last year, and his numbers this year haven't been that great. He's 6-8-0 with a GA of 3.17 and a S% of 8.95. These aren't too far off Sabu's 6-8-2, 2.85 GA and .898 S%. Stone was a disappointing non-factor in the games he played for the Pens, never reaching his projected potential. This is either going to be a 'Shero is a Genius' move, or a non-factor. Although Marc Andre Fleury did seem to play better with a Veteran Back-up last year. (Conklin). If you're kind of curious to see Garon in action (I was, I went looking for stuff) here's a highlight save from his 3-2 win last night in Colorado:
That must suck, win a game against a tough team and then be told the next day, "Pack your shit, you're moving to Pittsburgh." Well, the Pittsburgh thing wouldn't suck, but you get my meaning. If you actually want to see what Garon looks/sounds like check about :40 into this clip.
I don't know how this is going to work into Sabu's plan to become a #1 goalie, because the Oils have 3 with him there. But I wish him the best of luck... as long as it isn't against us.

And now on to our regularly scheduled program:
I have something of a confession to make. No, I don't know where Jimmy Hoffa is, I didn't kill the Lindbergh baby, I wasn't on the Grassy Knoll,(all waaaay before my time) and I don't know the cause of Global Warming. (although I do have a theory, and a book coming out... just like everyone else) I was born and raised just north of Kansas City Missouri/Kansas. (this is called background, you've just got to work your way through it) Hockey is sometimes tough to get in the Mo-Kan area as there are no major teams closer than St. Louis, and they mostly suck. So if you want hockey (and who doesn't?) you've got to get the dribs and drabbles online or buy some pretty expensive Center Ice package like thing, since there hasn't been NHL hockey in KC since 74-76 when the Scouts ( who became the Col. Rockies, then the NJ Devils) played in the Kemper Arena. (you know, the one that the roof fell in after the KISS concert)

A few years ago, the Hockey Gods looked down, and saw that this was bad, so they caused the City Council of KCMO (Kansas City Missouri) to build a brand new arena that looks like a UFO. Kind of a 'if you build it, they will come' sort of thing. But this is how screwed up Midwestern Hockey is. The guy they sold the hockey rights to (William 'Boots' Del Baggio) actually bought into a team (Nashville Predators) when he couldn't buy it outright and bring it to KC, but then went broke in a big scandal leaving KC without a team and the Prey (who, let's face it, have enough problems) without a minority owner, and in an ever worsening financial death spiral. Somewhere in the middle of this steps Le Manifique', Mario Lemieux, who uses the brand new Sprint Center arena and a sweet deal from the hockey hungry hicks as a ploy to get Pennsylvania politicians of their graft-ridden butts and build him a new Igloo like they promised so many times. (I'm not blaming Mario, it was a good tactic and it worked. But if they'd actually left, I'd have moved back to the Homeland in a stolen semi-truck and been unpacked before the team was)

Now (ok, the background is over) there's another team that can't seem to get a new arena built. The NY Islanders are going to be playing in a pre-season game at the Sprint Center next September against the LA Kinks. So, since they can't think up anything for themselves they seem to be encouraging Mario-like rumors that a move to KC could be in order for the team. Since the Isles have sucked for a number of years, and everyone in New Yack is bitching about them anyway why not let people think they're going to move? It's been months since I've heard any real bitching coming from north of the border about how Americans don't really appreciate hockey and how inappropriate it is to have the game in places where you don't actually freeze a testicle off to play it. Ahh those were the days.

Lost somewhere in the midst of these rumors is the curious fact that the Kinks have played in the Sprint Center at least once a year for at least the last three years. Where are the rumors that LA is coming to KC in some strange sort of letter trade deal? (ok that was a stretch)

As sacrilegious as it sounds, the Pens would have been a perfect fit for KC, a popular young team on the rise with no real financial woes, but a lack of political support. The Predators would have been a good second choice, a team with a lot of potential, and a cool logo who were merely suffering from a lack of area support. The Isles would be a tougher fit. (I think they're blackmailing, not moving, btw) They've been in the cellar for a number of years, their young team doesn't have the same potential, and their 'stars' are either injured frequently (DePietro) or are getting a bit long in the tooth to continue much longer. The one thing that KC fans have going for them is patience. They've waited 40 years since the last Super Bowl win, 24 since a World Series, and they've been waiting 32 years for Hockey to come back, so any new team probably wouldn't be asked to win the SCF the first year. Even more than Pittsburgh fans, KC fans are used to being on 'The outside looking in', maybe someday they'll be doing it with an actual NHL team in their UFO arena.

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