The blog has been pretty quiet as of late. A little writers block, plus a desire to take a break for a couple of weeks had me hanging up the digital closed sign for a little while, but with so much going on in sports, time for a few musings.
NHL DRAFT 2012
Damien Cox pens an interesting article talking about how precious draft picks are in the salary cap era. In an era in which owners still cannot resist splashing big dollars for commodities do not necessarily yield the required production, young inexpensive talent helps both the team, and balance the bottom line. Those teams who care to dabble in the Rick Nash sweepstakes may want to remember that as it is certain that the Columbus power forward will likely come at a price tag of a couple of NHL ready young prospects and a first round pick. If you are Brian Burke, the gruff burly Irishman would likely have to part with his 1st rounder (5th overall), a 2nd rounder, Jake Gardner and Joe Colborne. Is that a price worth paying? It is one of many questions that will play out as Friday night in Pittsburgh approaches. Nail Yakupov, the exciting but somewhat enigmatic Russian likely is the first pick overall, be it by Edmonton or whomever can entice the Oilers to move down. Conventional wisdom says that the Oilers need defensemen but I just cannot see the steady, reliable Ryan Murray as a first overall pick. The two most intriguing prospects are Sarnia's Alex Galchenyuk and Quebec's Mikhail Gregorenko. Galchenyuk offers a tremendous upside but played only a few games last year after a serious knee injury, while Gregorenko's attitude and work ethic have been questioned. Galchenyuk, knee injury aside, offers up tremendous growth and potential and will not make out of the top five. Gregorenko could prove to be the most valuable prospect. Teams, I think, might trade down trying to grab another asset while thinking that Gregorenko will remain on the table. Either way Friday night will offer must see viewing.
You can find Damien Cox's article here
ICE DOGS AND THE 2012 DRAFT
Last year at this time Ice Dog fans were salivating at the prospect of seeing two of their own go in the top 10 as Ryan Strome went 5th overall to the Islanders and Dougie Hamilton went #9 to Boston. This years mood is a little tempered, but all fans will be watching to see when Jesse Graham, Luke Mercer and Joel Wigle will be drafted on Saturday, the 2nd day of the draft. Good luck to all three.
Story lines around the tournament have centred around racism and fan violence in Poland and the Ukraine, which is sad but not altogether unexpected. Fortunately there has been enough surprise, intrigue and brilliant football to overshadow the off-field ugliness. Russia and Holland, two pre-tournament favourites have been eliminated while Greece is trying to rewrite their 2004 success under the spectre of political turmoil and financial disaster. This tournament offers better, more free-flowing football than the World Cup and arguably is a more difficult trophy to win. Before the tournament the three favourites were Spain, Holland Germany. I said that I would gladly take the field against those three teams and I'm holding true to that word. As for personal pride, I have worn a wonderful array of England wear and proudly fly the St. George's cross and the Three Lions on my car! Vindaloo everyone!
- My soccer hero Paul Mariner is new coach at Toronto FC and I sure hope he does not tarnish his legendary status with this mess of a team. Only a week into the job and the team lost 2-0 to Sporting KC and then three players got arrested in Houston for public intoxication and resisting arrest. Nice...
- Love the golf pundits and media who were touting Tiger Woods and then quickly had to back-track when old Eldrick tanked late 3rd and early 4th round. I do wonder what Tiger had done to the guy who interrupted Webb Simpson's victory interview with bird calls.
- By the way Roger Clemens, and his fans. Not Guilty is a whole lot different than Innocent. Clemens was found Not Guilty, which means the prosecution could not meet it's lofty burden of proof. In this case if the needle fits....
Go England! and Sing Along to this one!