Tag-Archive for ◊ Chris Chelios ◊

02 Aug 2010 Hey Hockey Fans — How is Your Summer?

Mike Modano and his Dallas Stars crushed the hearts of Buffalo Sabres fans one summer night in June 1999.

Do you need something to distract you from the stifling heat?

I’ve been enjoying the offering of 35 years of Stanley Cup Finals on the NHL Network. What they’ve done in their Raising the Cup series, is to take the Cup-clinching game of each year and show it in its entirety. True greatness! (Although not shown in Canada.)

We’ve been able to see some of these games before on their Vintage Games series, but the games are always compressed and chopped up. So when I see that they have five hours dedicated on August 6 for the 1999 game, excuse me while I get a little excited. Few, if any, have that entire game on DVD. Now, because of the NHL Network, we’ll have a chance to throw away our deteriorating VHS tapes of that triple-overtime fingerbiter.

I’ve watched bits and parts of most of the games, including the North Stars loss in 1981 to the Islanders and the 1991 loss to the Penguins. Why? Because they are moments of time that my favorite team will never get back. How great was it to see rookie Dino Ciccarelli, or a young Mike Modano weaving his way through defenders? To see Neal Broten as captain still encouraging his clearly outmanned team?

And what Canucks fan wouldn’t want to see the beloved Trevor Linden single-handedly almost beating the Rangers? Or a Blackahawks fan watch Chris Chelios in his full glory almost decapitating Larry Murphy, or the skinny kid Roenick try to get a puck past Barraso? Even though you know your team didn’t win, how great is it to see your favorite players back in their prime? AND… still on your team!

To me, the worst part of this series has been some of the game presentations. Sometimes you get the CBC coverage, but there have been MSG, and Pittsburgh feeds also. Brutal … that’s all I can say about those Pens’ feeds. Especially against the Blackhawks. Blech! Talk about homers! It makes today’s Avs and Ducks guys seem tame in comparison. (oh, and Jack Edwards, I miss the OLD you!)

Tom Mees formerly of ESPN

Tom Mees former ESPN SportsCenter anchor and hockey play-by-play man.

My favorite game so far has been the 1993 Kings/Canadiens game with the ESPN feed. It wasn’t seeing all the Habs players who ended up in Dallas, or seeing Denis Savard’s eyes glistening as he stood behind the bench, or even Barry Melrose’s superior mullet. Nope, it was seeing Tom Mees again.

Who is Tom Mees you might ask? Tom was hockey on ESPN. He was one of the original Sports Center anchors, but when the NHL started on ESPN in 1987, he became their chief play-by-play guy.  He was also instrumental in furthering NCAA hockey coverage, as well as bringing the Frozen Four to national prominence. Unfortunately, Tom died in 1996 of an accidental drowning. During the work stoppage, I often wondered what role his voice could have had in ending that madness sooner.

A few other goodies gleaned from the broadcast?

  • That Patrick Roy was about to become the first $3 million goalie.
  • That ESPN2 was about to be up and running.
  • The interview with Brian Bellows where he talked about how happy he was to win the Cup, but that he wished he could have won it two years earlier for the fans of Minnesota. I may have teared up at that.

So thank you NHL Network for sharing these full game gems with us. I’ll be watching for 1999 and 2000, even though the latter didn’t turn out the way I would have liked.

P.S.  This is a tough week for my old Norris Division heart. Congrats to Marty Turco, and a possible congrats to Modano, who I hear is about to sign a deal with the anti-Christ.  Patrick Kane is going to score a gazillion goals with Marty’s puckhandling skills, and Mike??? Continue being you.

Photos:  Mike Modano from Getty Images; Tom Mees from Wiki Commons.

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01 Jul 2010 Going Loco! Second Season Starts — UFAs Galore!

“Loco del calor!” as David Lee Roth once sang (and as we in the South are experiencing). Plus, I refuse to use the word “frenzy” today. Here comes a blog-along, like NHL Draft Day. So bear with me as things get crazy!

*  Wow!   Dan Hinote an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Guess he’s retired.  Unless he’s going the player-coach “Slap Shot” route!

*  More once it hits noon!

* Michael Leighton re-signed in Philly. (Two-year deal.)

* Paille re-signs Boston. Savvy can address later!

* It’s noon.  Let the game begin!

*  Sergei Gonchar moves to Ottawa!

* Former Thrasher Braydon Coburn stays with Philly (two year deal, per Craig Custance). Thank you D-Wad for losing him for Alexei Zhitnik! Grrrr…

* COME ON THRASHERS!!!!!

* People who do on-air fonts need to remember the difference between a person who “resigns” and a person who “re-signs.” HUGE difference, loves. /copyeditor rant

* Alex Tanguay (back) to Calgary Flames. Wow.

* Philly VERY busy! They got Andrei Meszaros from Tampa.

* BABCHUCK’S BACK. The ‘Canes pick up their on-again, off-again, sometimes troublesome Slavic baby.

* Wheee! Guillaume Latandresse re-signs with Minnesota Wild. Get WILD!!

* Marty Biron leaves Philly for New York Rangers — will he be the next Kevin Weekes — never able to secure that No. 1 goalie situation. I think he already is the new Kevin Weekes.

* Come on Thrashers — if you can’t get the Moose, get DAN ELLIS! YEAH! Come on!

* Former prime minister Paul Martin to Pittsburgh!? What’s going down with NJ?!

* Does letting Paul Martin go mean a Kovalchuk signing is nigh?!?

* Dying to see where Kovy goes — is he a greedy bastard? Or does he just dislike Atlanta’s direction? Does he go to LA to revive his wife’s singing career?!

* Little Philippe Paradis traded! Awww Mr. Glasses from last year’s draft to Blackhawks. Versteeg going back to Leafs.

* Zybenk Michalek to Pittsburgh. (Five years, 20 mil.)

* COME ON THRASHERS GET SOMEONE GOOD!!!

* Colby Armstrong to Toronto — three years, $9 million. That’s a lot, I think.

* Dan Ellis goes to Atlanta rival Tampa Bay. On the plus side, no more Niitty in Tampa (for those who don’t know, Atlanta has never beaten Niittymaki). On the minus, oh Dan Ellis would have been a fabulous bit of marketing for the Thrashers.

* Olie Jokinen back to the Flames — really? Is that possible? Hard to believe that rumor.

* Jody Shelley to Flyers. Gosh. Excitement today. The Flyers are going wacky today?! No?

* Tough guy-o-rama: Derek Boogaard to New York. Yowza!

* I guess it’s OK to mention here that deep in my heart I still wish for Kovy back in Atlanta.

* Where will Slava Kozlov end up? I am afraid it might be the KHL.

* Surprisingly unsurprising or unsurprisingly surprising. Colby leaving ATL. No surprise. Everyone, myself included, figured he’d go rejoin the Penguins and his bromance-worthy pal Crosby. I wish him all the best in Toronto. He’ll be entertaining to the media if nothing else, because of, you know, who he is. ;-)

* Not all that surprising that Kovy is still unsigned. I am sure he has a million and one options to go through. But, wondering, if at some point he doesn’t start getting into a pickle in which teams keep spending and have less room for him. Therefore, he ends up with fewer choices?

* Chris Viv (@ajcthrashers on Twitter) reports that the Thrashers are “working” on their goaltender situation. Oooooh. I wonder if that just means re-signing The Moose. Or bringing back Michael Garnett?!?! (Whose hockey cards I still collect incidentally, and who has really done well in the KHL.)

* I like the Tampa Bay Lightning re-signing Martin St. Louis. He’s solid. He’s a Thrasher killer, but he just works there. Way to go Tampa on Marty and getting Dan Ellis, whom I coveted for the Thrashers.

* Where will Goddess Sasha fave Paul Kariya go?!?

* So Dan Hamhuis (great last name) to the Canucks. Interesting. I never thought Dan Hamhuis would be an edge-of-your-seat, where-will-he-go?!? kind of guy. No offense to him, but it’s wacky.

* So Thrashers free agents: Maxim Afinogenov, Pavel Kubina, Eric Boulton, Evgeny Artyukin, (my dear and beloved) Vyacheslav Kozlov, Chrisoph Schubert, Chris Chelios (LOL), Marc Popovic and Johan Hedberg. NONE of these guys is signed. Yowza! Maybe Goddess Thorkhild has some scoop from Russia about Afinogenov, Kozlov or Artyukin (??).

* D-Men in hot demand today.

* Some of these deals just don’t thrill: Jeff Tambellini to Vancouver. Maybe if it was my team. Hmph.

* Chris Mason signs with Thrash — wow. I am going to need a few seconds/minutes/days to think about this, particularly the loss of fan-fave Hedberg, which this certainly means.

* Yowza — Chicago South for the Thrashers with Andrew Ladd coming to the ATL for a pick. Go Dudley??

* I haven’t mentioned Volchenkov. I guess I am lazy. Volchenkov to New Jersey. Blah, blah, blah.

* So from the Bizarro World Olie Jokinen goes back to the Calgary Flames. Interesting. Anyone have any thoughts?!

* As an aside, the Bizarro World is a place in DC comic book land where the inhabitants do the opposite. Of course anyone who watched “Seinfeld” is somewhat familiar with this world.

* Ivan Vishnevskiy we hardly knew thee. He goes back to Chicago in the Andrew Ladd deal. Weird.

* The dismantling of the Blackhawks begins. The Blackhawks do stock up in so doing. Goddess Savvy foresaw this in a wonderful post just days after the big victory.

* I am a bit sad that Thrashers pretty much ended up with nada for Kari Lehtonen, a former first-round draft choice, going second overall (after Rick Nash!!!).

* Two-year deal for Chris Mason from Atlanta Thrashers. I am not as excited about this as I might have been about Dan Ellis, though, it might turn out better? Thoughts anyone?

* If Olie Jokinen can go back to Calgary, how ’bout the Thrashers bring back Marc Savard! (Just kidding, Goddess Savvy.)

* @benthrashers tweets: “Chris Mason was 13th in the NHL in wins and GAA and finished all 61 games he started.” NICE!

* @craigcustance reports Johan Hedberg is likely headed to New Jersey. I feel a bit sad, despite the post above.

* If you made it this far in the post, thank you for reading. How about giving me a shout out? Leave a comment and say, “I read this post and I didn’t even get a stinking T-shirt.”

* Hey! The Sabres are going to sign brave, brave Jordan Leopold. And there was much rejoicing. (Later, they will eat Sir Robin’s minstrels.)

* Curious about Garnet Exelby — a former Thrasher and huge fan favorite in Atlanta. Also wondering about Manny Legace and Jose Theodore.

* We need some more bloggers — are you reading this? Interested? Message Goddess Kaatiya.

* If “frenzy” didn’t start with an “F” would it always be a “frenzy” on free agent day?

* Now that the Thrashers have raided the Blackhawks’ closet, when are they going to nab John Torchetti?!?

* It’s been uncannily quiet on the Kovalchuk front. KHL rumors — no? Any rumors? Only the tired LA one. Let’s hear something on Kovy!

* Selfishly, I want Kovy either back in ATL (not gonna happen, I know) or in the K. That way I can still cheer for him.

* Turco? Nabokov? Theodore? Toskala? What’s up boys?

* As a Thrasher fan I am thrilled that Thrasher killer Antero Niittymaki is OUT OF THE EASTERN CONFERENCE! Yes! (As I mentioned above, the Thrashers have never beaten Niitty.)

* Awww … the Ducks re-signed Saku Koivu. Now I can continue to never see him anymore (alas).

* Saw that people call Dustin Byfuglien “Buff Daddy.” Now this I love. Perfect for ATL, yo.

* A source is reporting that the Los Angeles Kings are now the only suitors left for Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils are out — he’s too rich for their blood. I still have an inkling that the KHL could be calling. But maybe Kovalchuk’s wife wants to renew (?), rejuvenate (?), or in the eyes of some start a career in L.A. Hmmm…

* Where might a personal favorite of mine — Darcy Tucker — go?

* Gotta give props to @TSNBobMcKenzie — that dude’s got sources and sources and more sources.

* Well, that about wraps this up for me. What are you thoughts on the NHL’s free agent day? Share ‘em with us!

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