Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The NHL's Gifts & Lumps of Coal

It's December, the holiday season is upon us, and soon the book will close on the year 2008. The NHL season is in full swing and even though we are not even half way through, the NHL has produced many highs and lows already that has had all of us talking in one form or another. Here is my quick look at what gifts and lumps of coal NHL hockey has brought me so far.

The Coal:

Mat Sundin.

Some of you will be pissed I even brought the name up again, but I have to say why the situation falls under coal for me as it's not the typical answer that many have for hating this subject. When Sundin wouldn't wave his no trade clause last year, so the Leafs could get some sort of return for him, he stated it was because he wanted to be with a team from October when the seasons started. Yet here we are, two and half months into the NHL season and Sundin still hasn't picked a hockey team. I could care less that he hasn't picked a hockey team, he is a UFA and earned that right, I just can't stand it when people can't keep their own word.

Dallas Stars.

What the hell happened? For a team with the likes of Richards, Morrow, Riberiro, Zubov, and Turco on it you just expect more. Yes, I know injuries have really hurt this team, but even when the team was healthy to start the season things didn't play out well at all. As par normal things got worse, before they got better, with the whole Sean Avery debacle. Thankfully for Stars fans I do think the bottom was Sean Avery and the only way to go from here is up.

The Gifts:

Rookie Race.

For the first time in what seems like a long time, the favorite picks are getting owned by players no one saw coming, not that anyone picked on paper anyway. I love it. The bet was Stamkos and although I wish him no ill will, I'm glad guys like Brassard and Versteeg are running away with things. The thought of having a young defensemen win the trophy also perks my interest to new levels.

The Boston Bruins & Chicago Blackhawks.

Hockey in the United States is put on the map by hockey cities in the United States being excited about hockey. Two of the biggest sleeping giants in the US market have finally been woken up and the result will be nothing short of monumental for the NHL in the long haul. The ripple affect of these two franchises being front and center in the NHL standings could be felt almost immediately. If you don't believe me, just ask about how NBC feels about the upcoming Winter Classic, it's quickly looking like it's going to be a major draw for that network and they know it. When NBC cares about a hockey game, that's a good thing.

Thankfully, even though I went with two lumps of coal VS two gifts, my take on the NHL hockey season so far has been more positive then negative, I hope you can say the same.

Then again, this is just a damned opinion.

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