I've had a number of people email me over these last few days as the situation surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes nears the boiling point. I've said it before and I'll say it again right here: I'm not going to comment on any team moving to any other city without seeing the moving trucks heading out of town. Could I make comments? Of course. However, it's far better to not let speculation, innuendo, and rumour whip people into a frenzy when nothing may come of it. Besides, I still have a team that I'm passionately following, and I think that the AHL's Manitoba Moose are perfect for a city of Winnipeg's size. So let's tone down the Phoenix-to-Winnipeg chatter for the next few weeks, and let's focus on some more important hockey news.
First, some great news out of Toronto where the efforts to raise funds for the Pat Burns Arena has now broken through the seven-figure mark! The Stanstead, Quebec arena should not only wear Burns' name as a tribute to the NHL coaching legend, but all that he embodied should be a part of that arena. There still is some work to be done, though, as the city of Stanstead has to raise the remaining $1.2 million to reach the goal needed to put this arena on the map. Good job in getting halfway there! You're almost there!
Next, I received an email with a very impressive link in it, and I want to give some credit to Mr. Mark Divver for his work in researching Alton White's career at Providence as a member of the AHL's Reds. As you may remember from my January 29 article last year, Alton White was the first black player to record a hat trick in professional hockey and the first black player to record a 20-goal season as part of the WHA! Mr. Divver has taken a small part of Mr. White's hockey career and expanded on it wonderfully in his article. Thank you, Mark, for sending me a link to your excellent work!
Lastly, there was a very scary hit in the NHL tonight, and one player looks like he may not return until next season. Let's go back to January 8, 2011 where Montreal's Max Pacioretty and Boston's Zdeno Chara appear to be developing quite the rivalry.
Wow. Listen to what NESN's Andy Brickley says in his commentary on the play:
"You cannot finish your check. You gotta release him... when that puck is chipped by. Chara's gotta let him go there. And not only does he ride him into the boards, he puts him into that dangerous spot and that is a defenceless position for Pacioretty."I fully agree with Brickley's assessment on this one. Pacioretty was trying to go wide, and Chara was trying to slow him up. That's a textbook case of interference, but the fact that he was destroyed by the stanchion only makes this look a lot worse.
The good news is that Pacioretty was awake when they finally got him off the ice on a stretcher, so that's positive. He did spend approximately five minutes on the ice, so there is certainly some concern as to his long-term health. It's a scary situation, but I'm not sure that anything can be done in this situation in regards to punishing Chara. This is the kind of hockey play that coaches teach everywhere.
Personally, I'd like to see a game or two for Chara just for the NHL to send a message to the players that this kind of play, while a normal hockey play 99 out of 100 times, needs to be controlled. Thoughts on this one, readers?
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!