Rarely do I talk about what I would like to see from hockey on this site. I try to report the news, and I like to discuss controversial topics such as mandatory visors and ridiculous alternate jerseys. However, I've decided to go a different route this Friday, and actually look at things that I want to see in the world of hockey this year. This will cover a number of leagues and topics, so be prepared for a lot of jumping around. The reason for this? I just miss some of the things that we used to see in hockey, and I'm hoping a few players and teams can bring back a little of that good ol' hockey magic. Remember - these are things I would like to see, so they may not necessarily happen. Ready? Here we go.
- I want to see someone hit the 70-goal mark in the NHL again. I'm guessing that Alexander Ovechkin of the Capitals is probably the best candidate to accomplish this feat, but maybe someone else will catch fire. Maybe we could skip back to 1996 when two players hit 60+ goals? Ovechkin hit 65 in 82 games last season, so it's not out of his reach whatsoever.
- I'd like to see someone go on a tear and pull off a 50 goals-50 games feat too. Again, Ovechkin has to be the odds-on favorite, but you never know who will click. Brett Hull was the last guy to accomplish this feat, doing it in 1991-92 when he scored 50 in the Blues' 50th game.
- I'd like to see someone absolutely destroy Dallas' Sean Avery. The guy simply needs to learn when to shut up. I'm not putting a bounty out on him, but if a guy like Derek Boogaard destroyed him, I'd buy a Boogaard Minnesota Wild jersey the next day. Guaranteed.
- I would love to see the Chicago Blackhawks wear this jersey to the Winter Classic in Chicago this year when they play Detroit. And if the Red Wings wore these jerseys, it would literally be a feast for the eyes.
- I would appreciate Hockey Night In Canada limiting Mike Mulbury's total time on TV to three seconds. He was a terrible GM, an even worse coach, and now he's stinking up a Canadian institution. Seriously, he should be the Ollie Williams of Hockey Night In Canada.
- I'd appreciate Pierre McGuire retiring his "McGuire's Monster" segment on TSN. Honestly, McGuire is the only guy I know who gets overly excited when talking about another male's physicality. And his "McGuire to the Max" clips are absolute crap. Andy Sutton as a monster? Are you kidding me? McGuire and Milbury are in the running for the worst hockey personality on Canadian TV by far. Brutal.
- I'd like to see Canada win gold at the World Junior Championships. Canada winning on home soil in Ottawa would be huge for this country in so many ways. We're already hockey-mad in Canada, but having the kids win at home is so much more gratifying.
- I'd like to see the Canadian men win at the World Hockey Championships in April 2009. If the Canadian squad can get a solid goaltender who misses the playoffs, they'll have a good foundation to build on. Canadian goaltenders have meant so much in their recent international experiences, and this year will be no different.
- I'd like to see the Canadian women win a World Championship this year as well, completing the Canadian trifecta. With some of the Canadian women nearing or in their 30s, this team has a good mix of solid veterans and youngsters, and winning the World Championships would be a solid start to Olympic gold in 2010.
- I'd like to see some kids in the AHL make huge strides in their attempts to make an NHL club this year or next season. Guys like Max Pacioretty, Ondrej Pavelec, Karl Alzner, Teddy Purcell, Nikita Filatov, and Jason Krog should represent their respective teams at the AHL All-Star game in Worcester, Massachusetts this season, and it would go a long way in helping them make the big club next season.
- I'd like to see Mike Babcock be named as the coach of the Canadian men's Olympic team for 2010. Along with Babcock, I'd like to see Ken Hitchcock and Guy Carbonneau behind the bench for Team Canada at the Olympics. Those three men should be able to make the players selected work hard on every shift.
- I'd like to see the Tri-City Americans win the WHL Championship this year. Why Tri-City, you ask? They currently have 14 Manitobans on their roster, including goaltender Chet Pickard. Since Brandon is wallowing at the bottom of the East Division, it would be nice to have one team from Manitoba in the WHL finals. Of course, I kid about the Americans being from Manitoba, but when 14 of 26 guys are from Manitoba, the Keystone Province is well-represented.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!