Category Archives: hockey tawk

Vokoun is Vo-GONE, I don’t want to be a doubting Tomas, but is this the second stage of the fire sale?

I’m hearing from reliable sources (104.5 and Paul Nicholson and ESPN.Com) that the Preds have traded fan favorite goalie superb-as Tomas Vokoun to the Florida Panthers for three draft picks, including next year’s first round.

When I heard that Vokoun had a contract clause that was going to kick in to the tune of 5.5 million on July 1st, I had a pretty strong feeling that trading Vokoun was going to be an earnest goal of the current ownership and that little could actually save Tomas from leaving the Preds.

The good news is that Chris Mason was actually the better of the two goalies for most of the last year, thanks to Vokoun’s injuries. The bad news, and here I put on my cynical cap, is that I truly believe that Leipold does not want the Preds to make the magic 14,000 average ticket sold mark so that the team he is trying to sell can be more readily moved to the Kansas City/Winnipeg/Hamilton of choice. Even if the Balsillie dealie doesn’t go through, I don’t think that he believes a serious Gnashville buyer will skate onto the scene.

For some reason I’m reminded of a great old Kinks song: ‘Who’ll be the next in line?’.

Selling off two players who have been with the franchise from the beginning and who are beloved players (Timmonen and Vokoun) is at least the first few characters of writing on the wall. I’d love to be wrong. I have my tix for next year and will support the team.

But will I be supporting a lame duck franchise…when the writing on the wall becomes legible is it gonna read ‘see ya, don’t wanna be ya!’??

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Filed under blows against Nashville, hockey tawk

Open invitation to Jim Balsillie (‘pending’ new owner of the Preds)

I once made this offer to my sister, but I’m going BIG TIME now (sorry, Margaret).  I”m offering the helm of Salem’s Lots for ONE FULL WEEK to Jim Balsillie (the Blackberry dude who is probably going to be the new Preds owner).

I don’t offer the captain’s chair lightly, but, as a hockey ticket purchaser (yes, I’ve renewed for next season), I’m a –buzzword alert- STAKEHOLDER in the future of this team.  I am offering Mr. Balsillie a chance to say HELLO to the citizens of Nashville and a place for him to at least offer up a little lip service on how he wants to make hockey more successful in the Music City, despite the fact that he just took out an option on an arena in Hamilton, Ontario and is formulating plans for season ticket sales for the 2008-2009 season to that very arena.

I want to give HIM the chance (and not his blabby mouthpiece) the opportunity to say that he wants to see some of ‘our’ free agents to stay and play in Sommet’.   I want him to explain why it will no longer be necessary for Pred’s GM David Poile to take to the newspaper bemoaning the fact that no one is telling him how much he can spend on re-signing free agents.  I want him to have the chance to get past this inanity of ‘it’s still Craig’s team’ and he gets to make the decisions.  For the love of Gordie Howe, Leipold is SELLING the team.  His stake-holding days are numbered.  You, Mr. Balsillie are THE MAN.

And, because YOU are the man, YOU have THIS opportunity to take over Salem’s Lots for ONE complete week to explain your intentions.   If you try to reach me and I’m not available it’s because I’m attending Ludye’s neighborhood meeting.   Best of luck to ya.

Btw..I’m guessing you could author the blog with your Blackberry.  The user ID is Hutchmo.  The password is BITEME.

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Filed under hockey tawk, irony may be the shackle of youth but I love it

Keeping abreast of the hockey news..sometimes its TooToo much

With all the talk about the impending sale of the Preds to Mr. Blackberry, I missed an equally massive story. It seems that American Idol also-ran Kellie Pickler has further enhanced her career by becoming the girlfriend of ‘an Eskimo’ (her words).

Our own (or should that be ‘Hamilton/Kansas City/Winnipeg/Waterloo’s own), Jordin Tootoo, the worlds most famous Inuit, has been dating Pickler since January.

Somehow, this doesn’t assuage the pain…

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Filed under acute discomfort, apocalypse now, hockey tawk

Can a lame duck be a Predator?, or, Apparently Leipold does change his spots, or, does Balsillie give you the willies?

The theme music for today’s post is from Jethro Tull. ‘Skating away..skating away…’

I read the news today, oh boy. A lucky* man apparently made the grade. The man behind the technology behind your Blackberry is about to buy what is soon going to be our ‘former’ Predators. The poor guy, Jim Balsillie, is apparently only the 186th richest person in the world.

Predator’s current owner Craig Leipold has long committed to keeping the team in Nashville, taking out full page ads to assure us hockey fans that the Preds would be skating in Nashville for years and years to come.

Sadly, he must have literally meant two years. Mr. Balsillie isn’t buying the team to keep the Preds in our city. He wants a team for Hamilton, Ontario. He may give us some lip (service) about keeping the team in Music City, but truthfully, he’ll be singing a different song to his peeps in Maple-land.

I’ve enjoyed the Preds and been a partial-season-ticket holder for several years. Unfortunately, the ratio of people like me, is way too high in comparison to corporate sponsorship. I’d love to be part of a fandom that could convince Mr. Balsillie that we’d stand on guard for the future of ice hockey in Nashville, but honestly…Balsillie to Nashville will soon have the ring of ‘Bud Adams’ to the follks down in Houston.

*lucky as defined by Thomas Edison. 90% perspiration, 10% inspiration.

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Filed under blows against Nashville, hockey tawk, Predators

A somewhat pithy account of last night’s Preds game..

Sharks preyed on Preds who were more prey-like than predator.  Felt a little too much like 2006 play-offs last night.

If Preds go one and out, is it curtains for Trotzie?  Here’s to the return of Radulov rejuvenating the team!

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Occasionally a hockey game broke out, and boyeeee, it was a good one

There was a brawl last night at the Nashville Arena. And yeah, there was some damn fine hockey in between. To say that there was some bad blood between the Preds and the Sharks coming into the game is kind of like saying that the Sunni folk and the Shiite folk have their differences.

I have some advice for Predator Scottie Hartnell. Save us all time and skate directly from the bench to the penalty box. He’s borrowed the mantle of ‘i skate therefore I foul’ from the Inuit instigator, Jordin Tootoo. The very sight of Hartnell climbing over the wall from the bench engenders a Pavlovian response from the striped shirt brigade.

I guess the refs were trying to keep the game under control, but at least some of the freaking 87 minutes of penalties called against the Preds were not worthy of a foul in a geriatric league. Considering the game, sans overtimes, lasts 60 minutes, 87 minutes of penalties might have been appropriate for the 70s Philadelphia Flyers, but overkill for the much-smaller Predator squad.

I now have two 2007 happy place memories: Florida getting thumped by the Commodores in b’ball and J.P. Dumont’s short-handed goal against the Sharks after we held off a 5-3 man disadvantage. When the sharkish refs called the second penalty to give the giant Sharks a two-man advantage, I have to admit that it felt like the Preds were going to leave Nashville down two games to nil. The Predators stand may not have the historical weight of the Spartans in the movie 300, but I’m here to tell you that the Pred’s penalty killing squad are titans (sorry, Bud) and that Dumont’s goal was heroic.

Our budding superstar Radulov scored a big early goal and then preceded to being thrown out of the game for a little-too-rambunctious hip-check. Forsberg, who may be the greatest passer since the days of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, scored two goals of his own. Duuuuumont bagged a pair.

Despite the game-ending fisticuffs, the game last night was as much fun as I’ve had in a crowd since the Music City Miracle. Strangers high-fiving folks they’d never seen before, crowds chanting and singing as they left the arena, and noise unparalleled since Husker Du played 328 Performance Hall.

Note: To the girl in section 331, Row N, Seat 7. Girl, you are an artist with those hand-clapper deals we were given in the previous game. The rest of us used them to substitute for actual hand-clapping or for percussive effect. You played lead. You were born to (wo)man the hand-clappers.

Note to hungry Predator fans: The food at the Arena absolutely sucks*. The moisture-ridden meat-stuff passed off as barbecue should be investigated by the U.S.D.A. or at least the Channel 2 Action Team.

On the other hand, the coffee kiosk by the Demombreun street entrance gives good java. Jack, the proprietor will give an extra shot or two if you are a regular.**

*I’ve given up on my campaign against the word ‘suck’. It’s much akin to arguing against the regularity of the tides. I’m sick of suck, but I have to admit, at times last night the refs were more than SUCKY.

**Another in a immature series of superstitions related to sports: The coffee kiosk has two lines. Jack always works the right side. A variety of females always work the left. My friend, Freddy and I always get coffee between periods 2 and 3. If we get coffee from Jack, the Predators win. If we get coffee from the ‘left’ side, the Preds lose. On Wednesday night there were 8 people in line on Jack’s side and only 1 on the left (apparently other people share my superstition). Of course, we got in line on the right side. You don’t throttle the gods of luck. Sadly, I made eye contact with the ‘left’ barista-person. She beckoned me over mouthing the words: no wait. Freddy and I trudged over and got coffee from the ‘lefty’. You know what happened. It was our fault. Last night, we were as staunch as the Rock of Gibraltar. The right line was longer, but, by God, we stood in that line. I made sure to not even glance leftward. We won, didn’t we???

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Filed under derring-do, hockey tawk, Predators

Predators play great for 24 minutes, sadly game lasts 60..

It was a packed house tonight at the arena for the Preds highly anticipated ice-off with the Detroit Red Wings. Oddly, for a game this important, the crowd didn’t seem to be all that excited (except for a few odd  scattered minutes and when we scored). The Predators came out firing and played a brilliant most of the first period, but managed to only score one goal while giving up one in exchange.

The second period was pretty much a complete buzzkill, at least for Predator fans. Maybe it’s the cumulative effect of injuries: Sullivan, Hartnell and the mysterious upper body woes of the Swede-ex-machina, Forsberg. I don’t know, but you’d think a Detroit game would bring out the best, but it just didn’t happen tonight.

Tootoo was whoohooo for most of the night, and young A-Rad (Radulov) finally scored another goal, but not much else brought the fans into the game. All in all, a disappointing evening..and to think I missed American Idol. Oh yeah, Detroit won 5-2 and are now a single point behind their prey. Here’s to becoming predator again tomorrow night!

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