See Ya Burke!

If you haven’t heard today, Brian Burke has been sacked as GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yes, the Brian Burke, the same guy who’s refusal to wear a tie normally was both endearing yet comical, was relieved of his job just earlier today as reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie on twitter.

When Burke was hired in 08, he was hailed as a savior for his track record of building the 07 Stanley Cup Anaheim Ducks. It also helped when the previous two GM’s were Cliff Fletcher (on his second run and really was a flag barrier) and John Ferguson Jr (not well received in the city) weren’t exactly raising the bar. He’s made some great deals in the past (the hijacking of Dion Phaneuf), some controversial trades (basically turned 2 high draft picks into Phil Kessel) and some crap free agent decisions/trades during his time (hello Colby Armstrong, Komisarek, Connolly,). His decision to fire Ron Wilson was well awkward, his insistence on not circumventing the cap was stupid, and his feud with Kevin Lowe was one of the best front offices feuds in sports during 06-08. It also doesn’t help that the Leafs finished  24th, 29th, 22nd, and 26th during his time.

To say that this firing was odd is saying it lightly. Training Camps open this weekend, we can assume that David Nonis will be the interm/long term GM for the rest of the season, and something tells me that an incident happened in the front office/ownership brass that made there decision a whole lot easier. Was it his style as a GM? was it his unrighteousness towards RFA’s? Was it his defiance against ties? What Gives?

What we know now is that with Burke gone from Toronto, he can now enjoy the simpler things in life, like maybe making up with Don Cherry. Could you imagine a second intermission roundtable with Ron Maclean, Burke, the immortal PJ Stock and Glenn Healy?

Wait, why am I imagining this. Hire him now CBC, do it!   

 
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Is The NHL Coming Back?

According to TSN’s Darren Dregger, an unnamed player told TSN that the NHL has proposed a new deal to the NHLPA (how many times have we heard that before) that includes a movement on contract limits, a possible amnesty cause, and more.

With the Spengler Cup (yes I said the Spengler Cup), and the World Junior Championships taking center stage right now, this is the perfect time for season saving meetings by the two sides. The quicker the NHL can come back, the better for most fans here in Canada, although we’re going to be treated to the worst season in terms of quality since 94-95, when the New Jersey Devils ruined hockey with “the trap”

Kudos to the NHL (Not Really)

So I’ve been trying to apply for various sports blogs lately and I got an email from one of the blogs (I won’t say names just for confidentiality sakes) and here’s what they said after I relentlessly begged to write some hockey articles for them (fine, I might have not begged as much as just gave an email saying why I should write for them, but saying that wouldn’t be as powerful), “Sure, we would be happy to publish your articles, just send them ready”

As soon as that happen, I thought to myself “shit, there’s a lockout, Gary and Donald are going to cancel the season and ruin whatever momentum the NHL has garnered, what the fuck am I going to write about now?” Then I thought to myself “Retro-Diary Time!” And so we’re here right now. What’s the occasion you might ask? Well, a couple of days ago, I found the 2011 and 2012 NHL Fantasy Draft on YouTube and it was as if angels were singing to me. How can I not write about one of the most awkward sports related things I ever watched? It would be a crime if nobody wrote about how an idea which seemed plausible turned out to be a terrible move by the NHL. Any ways, get the popcorn, soda and couch all ready, this is a dozy. This is the 2011 Fantasy Draft!! Feel the excitement! (By the way, since this is a YouTube video, the times will be corresponded to what point of the video it is. Glad we got that cleared up)

1:34 (in progress): Excitedly, I watched the intro to TSN’s coverage of the Fantasy Draft. I say excitedly because nothing is more hilarious than watching stars basically read out of a prompter saying they should be the first overall pick in the draft. Trust me; it was amusement at its best. By the way, in case you didn’t know, the NHL is trying to do this fantasy shtick in hoping that guys would not back out of the all star game. In the past, some of the best players would just skip the event all together and rest for the second half of the year. Here’s the lowdown for what’s going to happen:

  • Two teams, each team has a captain and two assistants.
  • It’s basically the same format as any fantasy draft out there. One team picks, the other team follows.
  • I won’t tell you who’ll go last, but just know that he’s going to get mocked like no other.

2:07: By the way I forgot to mention this, but the draft is taking place in Carolina, all the players who are about to be picked are wearing suits (I don’t get why but whatever), and our host is James Duthie from TSN. I feel as if a joke should be inserted, but I can’t think of one. Ohh s***, we’re not off to a good start.

3:15: The teams are named Team Lidstrom and Team Staal in reference to Erik Staal and Nick Lidstrom being team captains. Their assistant captains are Mike Green, Ryan Kesler for Team Staal, and Martin St. Louis, Patrick Kane for Team Lidstrom. It’s just over three minutes in and yet I feel as if this is a contrived, melodramatic event. Really, this is the armada that the NHL drew up in the board room. Only Kane has some sense of personality, and he currently looks as if he smoked a fatty before this thing started. This isn’t going well.

4:32: According to James, goalies and defenceman have to be picked by the 10th and 15th round respectively as away of promoting drama at the end. Unless OJ comes out and says he murdered Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, this is going to lack drama.

4:37: By the way, there are 18 rounds in this draft tonight. I just might turn into an alcoholic by the end of the diary, stay tuned for further developments.

5:37: I must admit, Rick Nash right now is rocking the whole “spiked hair, no hygiene” look right now. To the right of him is Steven Stamkos, who looks as if he’s in grade 10 right now.

6:13: Team Staal just picked Cam Ward with the first overall pick in the draft. He and Staal are teammates in Carolina currently. Anybody who says that the all star game is an accurate description of who matters in the league obviously didn’t get the memo when it came to this.

7:02:  I believe that we might just have our first fake laugh of the day, and it’s courtesy of James Duthie asking Cam whether threatening Erik was a way of picking him as the first overall pick. Theirs is no amount of money you can pay me to do this crap. OK I lied, but still.

7:49: Is it bad that I’m thinking if the NBA did it how it turned out? By the way, it would be better than this, and if I ran it, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith would be the captains. Ohh god, David Stern, please do this!

8:44: Boy, we might just break the record for most “medium length, spiked hair” hairdos in the draft. Stamkos is rocking one, so is Cam, James is also, Mike Green as well.

9:11: God bless Nick Lidstrom, he’s one of the most consistent stars in the history of the NHL, but he isn’t exactly Carrot Top when it comes to his answers. I feel as if blocking him from speaking might be the way to go going further.

9:52:  No Joke, the following conversation just happened between me and a friend of mine:

Friend: So you’re really going to watch the NHL Fantasy Draft instead of going out to eat wings with us?

Me: Ya

Friend: Are you currently taken hostage right now?

Me: No

Friend: Too bad, I was hoping that I could explain to the guys that you just passed up wings so you could watch hockey players with no charisma talk to a Canadian host.

 

 10:25: Even Ovechkin is giving “hockey player” like answers to James regarding the draft. Somebody has to wake Patrick Kane up right now, this draft needs him. Somebody!!

10:56: Jonathan Toews had an “I’m going to screw you over in practice tomorrow” look on his face when Duncan Keith (teammate of both Kane and Toews) was picked ahead of him. I like that, maybe this draft finally picked some stream.

11:45: I was joking earlier, but Toews just might screw Patrick over when they go back to Chicago. Hopefully, we can revisit this later on. Keep an eye out for it.

12:37: So right now as we speak, every time a player gets picked, one of two females takes the jacket off and takes it with them and the other hands over their jersey. By the way, these chicks look like they weigh a combined 135 pounds. I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but I found it amusing.

12:45: By the way, as a fun little side project, we’re going to run the Semin Reference Scoreboard during this diary. Let me explain, I used to listen to this podcast called The Footy Show here in Canada at theScore. Anytime a porn reference would come up, like say “DP”, it would be classified as a Semin Reference. David Seaman was a former goalkeeper who played for England. See? It makes sense right? Just nod and let’s keep going. Right now, we’re currently at one. OK, maybe we won’t actually do this, but I’d like to dedicate the rest of this diary to the once great Footy Show on theScore. Great times!

14:19: Now normally I would rip broadcasters/hosts for fake laughing an enormous amount of times, but I have no problem with James pulling that card. The guy might go into a fetal position if he doesn’t have an outlet for his frustration.

14.52: This must be said, Zdeno Chara scares the crap out of me. He is on the top of my “guy I would want beside me in a dark alley” list, no question about it; and James won’t get him on the mic. Even better, makes him look like a badass. If there was anything you can critique the Brock Lesnar comeback in the WWE, it was that when he spoke on the mic, the badass charm went away. Remember when he first came back after Wrestlemania 28, and he F5’d Cena? (By the way, sorry for the WWE reference, it’s my outlet when things go bad, or in this case, when hockey players talk)!

16:46: Rick Nash, currently in the crowd of not-picked all stars, almost made a humorous attempt at a joke. At this point; I’ll take what I can get.

17:38: Sadly, after being picked by Team Staal, we’re going to have fewer shots of Nash’s beard. Too bad, one of the stars of the show.

19:59: Timeout! Timmeout!! Can I call a timeout on this one? Why in the fuck is there a panel? This is a fantasy draft; you’re telling me that TSN actually coerced these guys to provide f****** analysis. What!!! Wait, Pierre McGuire is on the panel, never mind, I take it all back, great idea TSN. That’s why you are the sports leader.

20:50: I won’t say who, but one guy in the panel just said this quote “I love what Team Lidstrom has done by putting Martin St Louis and Steven Stamkos together. That’s a match made in heaven. Then you think back to last yr’s Olympics when Chicago Blackhawk’s defenceman Duncan Keith and the Nashville Predator defenceman Shea Webber, those guys were the block upon which Canada was built, and it led them to the gold medal.” Factually, he is correct about this, here’s the thing…. It’s a f****** all star game! Are you kidding me? This guy is acting as if this is actually serious! Like this game means something! Huh!!

 

 

22:42: Patrick Kane might be the MVP of this fantasy draft. Either he really doesn’t give two s**** about this thing, or he’s legitimately on weed right now. They just had him mic’d up and when Lidstrom said that you have to have 3 goalies by the end of round 10, quote “ah really?” Great material. He might be the reason why I’m still doing this.

23:03: Damn, I’ve never had a man crush on anybody, but King Henrik looks really good in that suit he’s wearing. Now only if he and Craig Sager can go shopping together, that’d be interesting.

24:10: Marc Stall just called his brother “classless” for not picking him yet. I got to admit, chuckled a little bit.

25:22: Jonathan Toews with a dead-eyed stare after Danny Briere got picked in the sixth round by Team Lidstrom. Whoo.

28:17: Dustin Byfuglien might be the heaviest all star I’ve ever seen in the NHL. He’s might be pushing three bills on his weight. Ohh and another dead-eyed stare at Patrick Kane courtesy of whom else, but Jonathan Toews.

29:42: Sadly, we’ve probably have seen the last of the classic Jonathan Toews’ stares after he got picked by Patrick Kane in the 8th round. It was a great run! I’ll cherish the memories. OK I won’t, but still.

32:32: Another appearance by the skinny twins!

33:05: If I were James, as soon as the draft ends, I would call TSN and demand a raise for going through with this crap. He has to have the patience of a saint. How else can you explain it?

34:47: Jonas Hiller is rocking the “shaggy hair with glasses” look right now, and he’s got turquoise colored pants as well. One of the highlights of the draft for sure.

 35:17: James Duthie with the following quote, “all right, let’s us once again review the picks for everybody keeping score at home. I know a lot of people did mock drafts.” Of course I did, because I had nothing better to do than make a mock draft for an NHL all star game.

37:22: James Duthie just asked Patrick Sharp to do his best Pierre McGuire/Bob McKenzie/ Darren Dregger impersonation. Unless he starts breaking this draft down like Mel Kiper Jr. I won’t be impressed.

39:25: Apparently, if David Backes is the last pick of the fantasy draft, he’s going to dish out some punishment at the all star game. Finally, a badass among a group of hockey players. I knew I’d find one. TSN’s also showing some of the fights that David Backes has had on some of these all stars. Great highlight package.

40:58: I swear Jeff Skinner looks like he’s 13 years old. I don’t why that deserved mentioning, but anybody who looks younger than Stamkos deserves some credit.

 

      

43:59: I got to admit, I’m really digging these hockey names. Kris Letang, Keith Yandle, Patrick Sharp. It as if Vince McMahon came up with these names himself.

44:45: By the way, smart move by TSN to not alienate the viewers by bringing on that f***** panel once again. I swear, I’m actually being serious.

47:22: James Duthie just called Corey Perry” One of the most skilled agitators to ever play in the NHL”, Claude Lemieux and Dale hunter are rolling over in their graves right now.

48.14: Remind me to never ever do another retro-diary on a fantasy draft again. One is excruciating enough. Thanks

 48:55: Crap, I spoke too soon, the panel is back. Fuck!

56:26: We are down to the final 5 all stars, or as I like to call it, the Pu Pu platter of all stars remaining

56:47: Out of the remaining 5 guys, Phil Kessel is the only guy that I would recognize if I hit him with my car, and the only reason why is that Brian Burke grossly overpaid to get Phil to my Leafs. Ohh ya, I’m a Leafs supporter. Sorry to drop that on you so quickly, but I figure that if you’re still reading, I thought it would be OK.

59:55: So we’re down to our final two, the incomparable Paul Stastny and Phil Kessel. This might be the lowest moment in my life: I’m actually excited to see who’s going last.

100:44: Ovechkin is taking pictures of Kessel all alone in the waiting area. I’m kind of glad that I stuck around to finish this draft.

101:52: With the final pick in the draft, Team Lidstrom selects Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs. A new low to the team commonly referred to as “god’s team”.

With that, I bid adieu to the 2011 NHL Fantasy Draft. Here’s hoping I won’t do the 2012 Draft.     

  

My CloseUp

Hello. I’m kind of the new kid on the blog (pun alert), and I’m supposed to talk to you about who I am, what I can offer to this blog and all that good stuff. So here it goes. My name is Mohamed Mohamed (as far as I know). I’m 18, live in Edmonton Alberta (City of Champions not really) and I’m currently doing pharmacy courses in university, but you don’t really give two s**** about that, you’re wondering how I got this job, and what I’ll contribute to this blog. First off, I’m just as surprised as you are that I got the gig here. Ask anybody I know and they’ll tell you that responsibility and me go as well as soccer players not cheating on their wives. Trust me though, I will try to keep it in my pants, and try to give you, the audience, entertainment to the fullest of my capabilities.

 

What I’ll contribute to this blog? That’s a good question, and to be honest, I’m not exactly sure what I’ll do. I might do some Retro Diaries where I would just examine random games from the past with as much humour as I can muster. For example, I’ll probably do a Diary on the disaster that was the 2012 NHL All Star Draft. I might do some columns on being a Leafs fan and how crappy it is to be one. When the NHL presumably comes back, I’ll do articles on stuff that’s being talked about with some satirical humour, and there’s a bunch of other stuff that I’ll do to keep you on your toes.

 

Any ways, well that’s me in a nutshell. Hopefully, you can come and join me on a great ride here at Not Your Average Hockey Blog. And if this bombs, well….