Sunday, 20 January 2008

HBIC Turns One!

Hockey Blog In Canada marks January 21, 2008 as its first anniversary of being somewhat-live on your Internet feed. That's right! The old blog has made it through its first 365 days. While there have been both good and bad times seen by this writer over the last year, my passion for hockey still burns like an inferno. That being said, I made mention that I'd have a little essay contest on here, and that's precisely what will go on until the end of January. And yes, there are prizes to be won. I know there are blogs that offer free schwag and stuff, but this is legitimate, and I've already collected a few prizes. All in all, if you want to participate, please keep reading. If writing an essay about hockey over the next ten days or so doesn't interest you, then I'll see you tomorrow.

Still with me? Alright... let's begin.

Here are your essay questions. I've taken some time in researching these, and hopefully they'll make for a little fun on your end. The best part of these essay questions is that you, the reader, will get to play an NHL general manager or executive in these scenarios. You will be able to make a decision based on the info you know and present about how these scenarios will play out.

Unlike the Toronto Maple Leafs and John Ferguson Jr, I will not interfere with your decisions as the person to which you are justifying your decisions. I will simply read your "report" and decide whether the logic and proof you provide adequately supports your decision. In short, I will grade you on your essay based upon the material you provide me.

I now present to you the three options you have as essay questions. You are required to answer ONE (1) question only. However, you may only enter ONE ESSAY PER QUESTION. Why? You only get one shot at these situations.

Secondly, all documents must be sent in via MICROSOFT WORD. That means the only format I want to see is .DOC. If you submit it any other way, I will discard it immediately. There will be no exceptions made on this rule. Please send it to me VIA EMAIL at cdnuniguy-at-gmail-dot-com.

Lastly, please think outside the box. Have a little fun. You're a GM or executive for an NHL team, and you're working to make your team better. After all, when's the last time anyone handed you a team and said, "Have at 'er"? In all questions, please provide as much proof and detail as you can, and make sure you answer all parts of each question!

1. We've seen the long-term contracts handed out to players such as Rick DiPietro (NYI), Mike Richards (PHI), and Alexander Ovechkin (WAS). With the influx of young talent in the league and the limits placed on rookie contracts, there will be opportunities for other long-term contracts to be awarded to deserving players.

(a)If you're a general manager for a hockey team, are long-term contracts good for hockey, and specifically your team? What benefits and/or risks are associated with a long-term contract for your team, and would you sign a young player to a decade-long contract or longer?

(b)Putting yourself into the shoes of a general manager can be tough. Can you justify why you would OR would not re-sign one of the following restricted free agents listed below to a long-term contract if you were the GM of that team? How long would his next contract be, based on your decision regarding long-term contracts, and what dollar amount would you consider a fair market value for the type of player he is? Please consider such variables as injuries, statistics, relationship to the fans and media, and marketability for your team.

- Dion Phaneuf (Calgary Flames)
- Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins)
- Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks)
- Brad Boyes (St. Louis Blues)

2. Sometime in the near future, the NHL has decided that expansion is once again a viable option to grow the game. The powers-that-be have decided that the NHL will expand by two cities, and has come to you as part of the expansion committee to get your thoughts.

(a)What two cities would you select for NHL expansion based on market size, arena size, and hockey culture? Please cite specific examples of why each of these cities would be a viable hockey market.

(b)How would you arrange the divisions with these two new teams involved? Would you make any changes to the six-division setup we currently have? Would you be in favour of making a change to the current playoff system we have that currently allows weaker teams that win a division to be placed ahead of stronger teams?

(c)What would you name the two new teams?

3. There have been several questionable moves by players over the last year, most resulting in suspensions. While some of these suspensions have been for violence, others have been for substance abuse.

(a)In regards to players like Sean Hill who have been caught using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), should the NHL become more proactive in working with the NHLPA to promote additional drug testing? Should the NHL adopt the International Olympic Committee's Drug Testing Policy? What should the NHL do regarding players who have been caught using PEDs? Should there be more punitive results that the NHL can hand down regarding those who use PEDs? How long should the punishment(s) be?

(b) In regards to players like Chris Simon and teams like the Philadelphia Flyers, should the NHL work harder to protect their investments in players by administering harsher penalties on those who attempt to injure another player? In what way can the NHL keep the hits and checks in the game without putting the players at risk?

(c) Propose a system or systems that players can follow regarding suspensions for committing an act of violence and/or being caught with a performance-enhancing drug. This system should backup your statements regarding the above questions. Would you base it on any other system in any other sport or event?

Ok, so that should do it. The contest is now live! You can send in an essay anytime before 11:59PM Central Time on January 31, 2008. The contest officially closes the moment the clock strikes midnight on February 1, 2008.

Finally, I want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by this site in the first year. There were 33,183 visits over that time, and 135,753 page views! Honestly, those numbers humble me, and I want to thank each and every one of you for reading, commenting, and just stopping by.

To the people on my Hockey Blog List, I thank you for making this year incredibly fun, and for your commitment to this amazing game. To the people I have been in contact with via email, I thank you for your continued support. I couldn't have made it this far without you all.

Year One was a blast, and I look forward to kicking off Year Two with some free schwag for you, the readers, as well as some upcoming fun. Teebz's Book Club is still growing. The "You're Wearing That?" articles will have another edition added shortly. And, as always, there will be coverage of all forms of hockey.

Thanks again, everyone, for a wonderful first year. Keep your sticks on the ice!


Kirsten said...

It's on! I wish my profs would take a cue from you and let me write about hockey, I'm sure I'd procrastinate much less about writing my essays if they did....clearly I'm going to have to work harder on these than I do in school, since you are the judge and considering the quality of the posts you write.

Congrats on year one, and here's to another year of awesomeness! Hockey Blog in Canada has become a daily read for me, and my friends at home will probably all start reading too since they found out that you were the source of the awesomeness also known as the Outdoor Classic.

Sean Leahy said...

happy birthday...hopefully your "Terrible Two's" will be enjoyable! :)

Mike said...

Sorry I missed this, but congrats man!

Anonymous said...

Happy belated blog birthday, Teebz. My best wishes to your second year!

Teebz said...

Thanks for all the wishes, guys. I really appreciate it, and I can't say enough about how important you all are to me. Writing about hockey is fun, but this community is amazing in terms of supporting one another, and I can't say "thank you" enough to all of you.

Here's to a second great year! :o)