I'm going to be brutally honest here for a few seconds. I am running out of time more often than not at the pace I am moving at. I cannot seem to find enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want to get done, yet everything that needs to be done is completed. It's the "want" that seems to get sacrificed, and I'm not sure I like that. By the time September 10 rolls around and I leave for my vacation, I'm almost certain the first day will be spent lying on a hotel room bed catching up on some sleep. Which is exactly what a vacation is not supposed to be in my books. Vacations are all about seeing the sights and exploring new locations, not crashing in a hotel room and trying to recover from the chaos one just left.
Ok, enough belly-aching. Let's get to the major stories from the hockey world. I apologize that my writing time has been occupied with other more pressing events, but that's life. Curveballs, sliders, and the occasional knuckler to throw you off kilter. I just want to focus on hockey.
- News out of Toronto today has the Maple Leafs offering a tryout spot to MIA NHL star Jason Allison. Allison hasn't played since the 2005-06 season, and the 34 year-old wants to resume his career with the team that last employed him. Personally, I'm not sure why GM Brian Burke would want him aside from some scoring and, perhaps, some leadership, but it appears that the Leafs will give him an opportunity. Good luck to Mr. Allison!
- RDS is reporting that free agent Alex Tanguay has decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning. It has been reported that contact from Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis was enough to convince the winger to sign in Tampa. While injuries slowed his season with Montreal last year, having a capabale centerman and a healthy Tanguay could see him produce like he did in Colorado. The jury is out on this signing.
- The Vancouver Canucks transfomed their blueline in one day from "maybe good enough" to "significantly better" yesterday. We'll start with the trade. San Jose opened up over $4 million in cap room when they dealt defencemen Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich for defenceman Daniel Rahimi and forward Patrick White, the Canucks 2007 Entry Draft first-round pick. Shortly thereafter, the Canucks signed veteran blueliner Mathieu Schneider to a one-year, $1.55 million deal. I like these deals by the Canucks as Rahimi's time with the AHL Manitoba Moose had seen him make steps forward, but was still a longshot to crack an NHL lineup. White is still green, and would have started the season in the NCAA or ECHL most likely. The Canucks pick up three very capable defencemen, and two that have won Stanley Cups in their careers.
- The Peter Forsberg watch is back on as he suited up for Modo of the Swedish Elite League in a pre-season game in Switzerland. Wearing #7, he played on the first line in a 2-1 win by Modo over Geneva. He has also been included on Sweden's list of players they are considering for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Here's a quick note to NHL teams: don't waste the time or money looking at this guy. He still has boatloads of talent, but until he gets a clean bill of health? I'd pass on even mentioning his name.
- With the ongoing saga in Phoenix, now we find out that the NHLPA has some problems. NHLPA boss Paul Kelly will reportedly face some intense questioning from members of the NHLPA on Sunday and Monday when the 'PA convenes for a meeting. According to TSN, "NHLPA interim ombudsman, Buzz Hargrove is expected to make a presentation to the committee identifying concerns within the association about Kelly's leadership". Just when you think that everything is good in the players' camp, more shockwaves are levelled. Sometimes, no news isn't good news.
- Closing down the Patrick Kane idiocy, Kane was ordered to write an apology to the cab driver after he pleaded guilty to the non-criminal charge of disorderly conduct on Thursday. The good news? He can resume his hockey career without any sort of cross-border trouble or a having a criminal record. The bad news? His reputation has taken a beating, and he'll need at least a year to scrub the tarnish off. He's still a fantastic hockey player, and I can't fault him for that. He just needs to lay low for a while when it comes to bad situations.
- In one of the best feel-good stories to come out of hockey in a while, former head coach Jacques Demers was named to the Canadian Senate on Thursday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Demers, as you may recall, had one heckuva tough upbringing, and revealed in 2005 that he was mostly illiterate. He had dropped out of school in the eighth-grade to drive a soft drink truck after his father, an alcoholic, verbally abused him to the point of being convinced that he was "dumb". In 1987 and 1988, Demers became the first man to win consecutive Jack Adams Trophies. In 1993, he coached the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup. All while being unable to read more than a few odd words. Congratulations on your appointment, Mr. Demers! Your passion for life should be an inspiration for the Senate, and please push hard for education while in office. Our childrens' futures can use your experience to help them do so much more.
- Greener, from the always comical He Score, He Shoot blog, needs to you see your doctor if you are suffering from DDoSS - Dog Days of Summer Syndrome. Hilarious take on what be ailing you while hockey is not being played.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!