Monday, July 28, 2008

Clowe Watch Continues

original image credit The Hockey News. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Day 28:

Concerns are starting to mount.

No sign of Clowe in weeks.

We have seen a new team enter the building. Three men, claiming to be "assistant coaches" have breeched the walls of the Tank and have not been heard from since. We have heard of other teams impersonating employees to gain enterance, only to disappear and never been heard from again.

The brownies Mr. Plank brought have run out.

The situtation looks grim.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It Might Haunt Your Dreams

My entry for Puck Daddy's Bettman as a hero contest is below. After some thought, I came to the conclusion that if Gary Bettman were a superhero the city he kept safe would have a problem with goblins. They'd be the equivalent of mice in this town. Mice with horns and pointy teeth. Scary.
Bettman in spandex?

Not as bad as you might think. Apparently, he works out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Sirens Are Calling

Oh man. Puck Daddy has a Bettman art contest. I already have more than enough distractions without having this little gem tempting me.


If I come up with a brillant idea that can be well executed in a very short period of time, I'll enter.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dark Rumors

Day 18: I found this article in today's paper. Perhaps it's related to mysterious disappearance of the first few expeditions we sent in search of Ryane Clowe.

2008-2009 Schedule Released

The schedule for the upcoming season was released yesterday and there are some changes that I am really looking forward to. This year, the Sharks will play every team in the league at least once and only play the teams in their division 6 times. I have been hoping the league would make that change pretty much since they changed the schedule to have 8 division games. I understand the importance of having important division games decide who makes the playoffs, but there was a good deal of unfairness with teams in the Pacific are beating up on each other and teams like Detroit slide though by feasting on inferior competition (though to be fair, last season both Chicago and Columbus were noticeably better). There are several games in the season that I am looking forward to including:

* October 9th - Sharks vs. Anaheim. Home opener against the Ducks? Hell yes! Ducks games are fantastic fun to go to and it will be all kinds of fun to raise the Pacific Championship banner with the Ducks and their fans in the house. Come hell or high water, Gray and I will be at this game. I just hope the power stays on this time.

* October 18th - Sharks vs. Philly - Last time the Flyers were in town, I was on a date with a Flyers fan and we went to see "The Departed" (I have a history of seeing odd movies on dates. See also: American Gangster) because we couldn't get tickets. The Flyers are a rough, physical team so this will be a nice test for the new Sharks and how they match up against physical teams, something that has been an Achilles Heel during the playoffs.

* October 28th - Sharks vs. the Pens - I was working last time Sydney Crosby and co came to town. I won't be this time. It'll be my chance to send a national anthem picture into pensblog. And maybe a few Air Shark photos.

* November 22nd - Sharks vs. Washington - The only Sharks road game I ever saw was in Washington DC when the Sharks beat the Caps 5-2. This is another must attend game if for no other reason than it's right before Christmas and my brother is a huge Ovechkin (OVECHKIN!!) fan. One Christmas present taken care of right there.

* December 2nd - Sharks vs. Toronto - Last season, there was a group of people at the Leafs game with Crosby Team Canada sweaters and a stuffed penguin. I'm curious to see what other crazies will be at next seasons version of that game. Plus it's the return of Vesa and Ron Wilson. Plus, as my ex the Sens fan always said, Toronto sucks.

* December 23rd - Sharks vs. Vancouver - The first opportunity of the season to mock my friend Rob. Or get paid back for all the mocking I did last year. Either way it'll be a good time. Plus, Steve Bernier comes back. Yay!

* January 3rd - Sharks vs. Islanders - A nice Barry Melrose Rocks/Couch Tarts show down. Plus I have a huge crush on Rick DiPietro. Meaning he won't play this game.

* January 13th - Sharks vs. Tampa Bay - I also have a huge crush on Martin St. Louis. I can't help it.

* January 31st - Sharks vs. Chicago - It's not the first game with Brian Campbell coming back, but it is another oppertunity for me to try to kill him with evil looks. Or I could be over losing Steve Bernier to a rental player who didn't have enough guts to admit he didn't want to play in San Jose for any amount of money. My bet is on still bitter.

* February 10th - Sharks at Boston - Hopefully Joe will get to play a full game in his 2nd game back in Boston since being traded. Look for him to stay away from running guys into the boards until at least the 2nd period. It's nice though that Boston still has one of the 3 guys we traded them for Joe. Just sayin'.

* February 26th - Sharks at Ottawa - I got to see the Sharks beat the Sens from the sixth row last season. This is one of several games that I really do not want the Sharks to lose.

* The Entire Month of March - March is full of solid looking games. Minnesota, Dallas, Nashville, Colorado. I'm less than optimistic for a repeat of last March, but I know it will be good hockey.

* April 9th - Sharks vs. Phoenix - I always love the last game of the season even if I can almost guarantee the Sharks will lose it. I will be there hoping to reverse my bad luck with the sweaters-off-the-back giveaways. This season I will get on the ice to get a sweater. Even if it ends up being an Erhoff one.


One thing I know by looking at the schedule is that I will be spending more money than I should going to Sharks games. I plan to attempt a road trip to see the Sharks play either the Kings or the Ducks. Strangely, there is no road trip this year where they play both teams. Maybe I can convince Gray to come with me and we can meet up with the BoC boys.

I also would love to see a home game when we can have a We Bleed Teal/Couch Tarts meet-up blogging spectacular. I cannot foresee any way that fun and mayhem would not ensue. What say you Mr. Plank?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's Officially On

original image credit The Hockey News. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Day 17:
Our investigation into Ryane Clowe's whereabouts began on July 1st. We've heard rumors here and there, but nothing can be confirmed.

Parties were dispatched to find the elusive Clowe. They disappeared shortly there after. It is assumed that they became lost in the maze of hallways that fill the area commonly known as "The Tank." All new attempts to breach the walls of 525 W. Santa Clara Street have failed.

All radio communication has been lost.

Concerns are starting to mount.

A search party may be in order.

Monday, July 14, 2008

With Bated Breath

We await news on the fate of Ryane Clowe. When we have it we will report it to you, along with everyone else in the known hockey universe.

No crying in hockey.

All good highlights, but the money shot is 24 seconds in.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Small Celebrations

Still waiting to hear that the Sharks have secured the assistance of Ryane Clowe for at least another season, but the universe has seen fit to give me something else hockey related to be happy about. My JR jersey arrived in the mail, despite the best attempts by the person who typed up the label to make sure it never got anywhere remotely near where it was supposed to be going.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Signings and Rumors of Impending Glee

As originally reported a day or so ago by Mr. Plank at We Bleed Teal, Spector's Hockey now confirms that Ehrhoff has been resigned to a 3 year deal worth 9.3 mil. I have thoughts on this, and most of them involve a 10 foot tall net surrounded by neon lights with a big arrow that flashes "puck goes here."

Also mentioned is a deal with Clowe that may be finished soon. Thank you, DW. If you didn't resign him I was going to be one saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadddddddd panda.

Semenov is also mentioned. I'm not sure how I feel about Semenov, but Clowe, sign now!

I'll leave it at that.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Girl Can Dream

So much for the hope I had that no one would sign Bertuzzi.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Craig Rivet

I feel dirty using a Boyz II Men song title, but it's true. I usually let the season decide which moves are good and which moves are bad, but in this case I really don't like the fact that the Sharks traded away Rivet. I'm not saying he's better than Boyle or Blake or Lukowich, and I do understand why he had to go, but it doesn't feel right.

Here's a guy who played hard, showed great leadership, and was willing to punch a guy in the face every now and then. Plus, he loved being here. As we have seen, San Jose isn't every man's hockey market, and not all players can adjust. Rivet did, and now he's back in the crazy whirlwind of media madness and it feels a little bit dirty. Almost like he was betrayed.

I understand, hockey is a business, and sometimes guys need to be moved for various reasons. It's how the game works. It's nothing personal.

I don't have to like it though.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

No, those aren't UFOs in the sky, those are fireworks. Our Sharkies seem to be enjoying the show despite these strange, globular jellyfish in the sky behind them.
Enjoy your 4th, everyone!

Oh, and if you live here in California and plan to set off your own fireworks, try not to set the state on fire again, ok?

Sweet Dreams are Made of These

Last night I had a dream where Boyle got traded to San Jose for Matt Carle. I woke up and discovered it may have actually happened.

I also had a dream where it was pouring outside. I woke up and discovered a sprinkler had exploded.

[I am Gray's lack of edit] So the deal has been finalized. It's time to say goodbye to Matt Carle and Ty Wishart, (before we could know him better), and the Sharks 1st round pick from next year and 4th round pick in 2010. Goodbye friends, and hello to Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich. I don't know anything about Lukowhich, or Boyle to be honest. The mob seems to like Boyle, so I'll leave the analysis of the trade to better qualified indivduals for now and reserve final judgment until I see him on the ice. I do wonder if Carle will suddenly blossom into a defensive explosion in the next few seasons, but there's no sense in worrying about it as he has moved on to muggy, Disney filled lands.

In other news, Bernier is now a Canuck. I know he's not a Shark, but we like him here, so we will continue to follow him through the ups and downs of his career. I can't help but feel a little bad for him with all the moving around he's been doing lately. Here's to a steady and solid career from now on, sir.

Craig Rivet, know around these parts as CFR has been traded to Buffalo, along with a 7th round pick in 2010 in exchange for second round picks from the Sabres in 2009 and 2010 respectively. This came as a bit of a shock to me, as I had already prepared myself for the likely departure of Kyle McLaren. Rivet liked it here and we're sad to see him go. Good luck in Buffalo, CFR.

Mr. Blake goes to San Jose or the Night that the BoC asploded

(A few asides first: 1) I'm going out of town for a week on a baseball park tour which will put the number of parks I have seen games in at 15. Gray will be around in case something exciting like trading for Dan Boyle happens. And I will get around to finishing my free agency extravaganza when I get back. 2) I know that there are more people reading the site, which is super awesome. We'd love to hear from you in the comments or in an e-mail. I can't speak for Gray, but I'm a super attention whore and want to hear from the people who are reading my crazy writing. Comment nicely and we'll sing your praises. Comment meanly and we might mock you a little, mostly privately and only if you say something stupid. Alert us to your blog and we'll add you to our links. It's one big group hug. Moving on...)

After years of trying to pry Rob Blake from LA and being unsuccessful (Thank God the Nabby for Blake trade never happened. Sorry Kings fans), Rob Blake signed a 1 year $5 mil contract with the Sharks. On the surface it looks like a lot of money for an old guy who screwed his old team over royally. And realistically, that is what it is. I can't say it's a terrible deal because Blake hasn't played any games for the Sharks and I'm the girl who keeps giving Barry Zito a chance with the Giants. 31 points and a -19 +/- isn't super shiny, but I have a hard time imagining him being worse then Seminov and Ozolish. It's not quite to no lose situation like the Sharks had with Roenick last year, but if he sucks, it's a 1 year contract and it'll give fans another reason to call for a different Wilson's head on a stake. So overall, I am cautiously optimistic about the deal and very willing to give Blake a chance.

And at the same time, I can't help feeling annoyed with how he left LA. I am by no means a Southern California fan, but I know that emotional attachment that people can have to certain players (one of the reasons my old roommate isn't speaking to me now is because Barry Zito went from her A's to my Giants). I pretend that Jerry Rice was never on the Raiders and that Joe Montana only played for one team. I am a big Steve Bernier fan and when Campbell came over for Bernier (and a pick that turned into a guy with my last name), I was accepting because it was for the better of the team. My reaction to him signing with Chicago is very similar to the one I had when he signed which was "Goodbye Brian Campbell. Thanks for taking a 1st round pick and my favorite Shark with you. Thanks for a great end of the regular season and one highlight reel goal. Wish I'd seen you during the playoffs. Best of luck and burn in hell. /bitter."

And in that way I can understand Rudy Kelly's response to Blake going to San Jose. If you come up to San Jose and boo Rob Blake, I won't stop you. Hell, I did the same thing to Jerry Rice.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

When GM's Go Wild

I know I promised the Mina version of the "exciting" free agent "frenzy" (don't mind me, two days of no Teal Sharks might have clouded my opinion of Hockey Christmas) and I totally intend to do that. But when I was checking TSN to see if there was any news, I found the most wonderful article in the world. The whole wide world.

Brian "Nostradamus" Burke is blaming Kevin Lowe for all of the inflated salaries being tossed around during this free agency period. Awesome. Burke told the LA Times "You go right now from entry-level to what used to be the third contract, thanks to two offer sheets from Kevin Lowe." For those of you who were asleep in the back of the class, last season Lowe rolled the dice on giving a gigantic offer sheet to Thomas Vanek, which the Sabres eventually matched, keeping Vanek away from the clutches of Snidely Lowe. Thwarted in that evil plan, Lowe then turned his greedy eyes to the Anaheim Ducks and stole Dustin Penner with another gigantic offer sheet. (Thanks to AOL NHL Fanhouse for making these links easier to find.)

By taking Penner, Lowe launched a war of the words between himself and Burke that was downright hilarious to read. These are GMs who used to be very close friends and started behaving like elementary schoolers. My favorite line was "We're going to take the three picks, and given Kevin's recent (managerial) performance, we expect them to be excellent picks." Brian Burke: a modern day Shakespeare.

It is no real surprise to NHL fans that Kevin Lowe is a little free spending. I think the pensblog boys put it best with this comic. But in looking at the contracts that came across the wire over the last two days, it looks like more GMs are drinking the same Kool-aid. Brian Burke seems to think so. "They're all being re-signed at inflated prices....Everything I said a year ago has come true. Every single word." Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Brian Burke can tell the future. The terrible, horrible, MLB-like future. Rumor has it Sidney Crosby is thinking A Rod like number for his next contract.*

Kevin Lowe has been getting some wet kisses for his work this off-season and deservedly so. Visnovsky will be solid pick-up (and still a good deal for the Kings) and Erik Cole is another awesome trade. I think my favorite move is getting rid of Raffe Torres, but that is just because I can never forgive.
And I can tell you one thing for sure: I look forward to the Sharks playing Edmonton this year a whole lot less than usual.

But Burke has a good point. When GMs are worried that they are going to be outbid in some way, they are more likely to over pay. This comes from a some one who knows the meaning of overpayment. Burke is completly right in his assessment that one inflated salary affects every team in the league. There is a lot of pressure on GMs to get their team the Stanley Cup RIGHTNAONAONAOOMG!!! Gray spent the last two days reading over the frustration of Sharks fans concerning their GMs track record and I know they aren't unique. And if those GMs have to worry more about having their players or the ones they are interested in stolen by someone with a bigger pocket, they might make a deal they would later regret.

As much as it pains me to agree with the GM of the Ducks, I'm finding it impossible not to like a guy who says "If I had run my team into the sewer like that I wouldn't throw a grenade at the other 29 teams and my own indirectly," in print. Where real people can read it. Damn. I think I have a little crush growing.

* That rumor only hold true in my head. The wonderful place where hockey players make better money than baseball players and teachers get paid like they deserve. It as a wonderful, wonderful place.

** If being a history major taught me nothing, it taught me to cite my sources. Case in point: the one million links in this post. I like to think of it as investigative journalism. Cause it makes me feel better.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Equitable Fan's Guide To Free Agency, Day 2, or, Why I Think The Red Wings Will Be Even More Annoying Next Year

Detroit Red Wings sign UFA forward Marian Hossa to a one-year contract worth $7.4 million. The only way I would like this less is if he went to a team in the Pacific Division. I can only guess how Pens fans feel.

Avery went to Dallas. That will be annoying for Sharks fans, though it remains to be seen how well that arrangement will work for Dallas.

I don't have much to say about the other signings that went on today. The two listed above are the obvious standouts, everything else is just free agency filler.

The Sharks haven't made a move yet and I don't believe they will. DW isn't the type to find salvation in free agency. The pros and cons of this belief have been discussed ad nauseam in other blogs or message boards related to the Sharks, so I don't see a need to explore it further. It's said he's looking at some possible trades to help fill the gaps in the Sharks D. Changes have been promised by the start of the season, so expect some trade action later this summer. If he does anything today, I'll be very surprised.

If you're wondering "How can she not be mad?!" please see off season: A's, Oakland and off season: Giants, SF.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gray's Take, or The Equitable Fan's Guide to July 1st

This just in: Players moved around the league today as the sky fell, earth shook and the world ended in San Jose.

Or not.

I'm really amused by the reaction to Campbell leaving. Yes, I know, we gave up a lot, but until he left this whole summer has been “Please don't over pay for Brain Campbell. Please don't over pay for Brain Campbell. Please don't over pay for Brain Campbell.” Now it's “WHY DIDN'T WE RESIGN CAMPBELL?!”

He quite clearly wanted way too much money for way too long and had other, private reasons for not wanting to be here. I applaud DW for letting him go. There's no need for the Sharks to have a player that doesn't want to be here and may under preform because of it.

While you can't please all the people all the time, you can never please Sharks fans. I would hate to be in Doug Wilson's fashionable leather shoes right now.

Do I think DW should have been more outwardly aggressive in his persuit of good D-men? Yes. Do I have any idea how actively he was pursuing available players? No, so I won't entertain any of the more fantastical notions regarding what DW did or didn't do.

No one seemed to want Redden until we didn't get him. I find that interesting.

Rolston would have been nice, but I didn't see it happening so when it didn't, I wasn't surprised.

I was sad to see Rissmiller go even though it was known that he wasn't going to be offered a contract. Best of luck with NYR, Riss.

Goaliepalooza today. Craziness.

Lots of contracts that feel like way too much for way too long. There is a ridiculous amount of money being thrown around. Amazing. If I had known then what I know now, I would have claimed to be a man and gone into hockey. No one would have believed me but, it would have been worth a shot.

Free Agency "Frenzy" Part 2

So I went away from the blogging for a few hour and all hell broke loose somethings happened, probably the biggest being Brian Campbell "shockingly" signing somewhere other than San Jose. I'll get to the official Couch Tarts position on that, but I promised to catch up on all the other signings that happened. So armed with my many, many Firefox tabs, here we go.....

* Tampa signed Radim Vrbata to a 3 year deal for around $9 mil. I saw a lot of the guy with Phoenix and remember him having a lot of upside as a player. $3 mil a year for a guy who put up 56 points last year sounds pretty solid. But as a Giants fan, I know what can happen if the guy has his only good year before getting a big contract *cough* Marvin Benard *cough*

*Boston signs Blake Wheeler to an entry level contract. *shrug* Some development guy from Phoenix. Funny thing is this is pretty much the only time I've seen Boston's name all day. Curious for a team who didn't make it out of the 1st round of the playoffs this year.

* Just when I was happy for the Pens fans in signing Dupuis, Ty Conklin goes to Detroit to backup Osgood for a year for $750,000 (I've heard $700,000 too but I'm going with TSN on this). That's a steal. Conklin was a beast for the Pens when Fleury was out for part of the year. He almost stole a game for the Pens against the Sharks earlier in the season. It boggles my mind how Detroit keeps getting better and better and doesn't seem to spend much money. Sorry pensblog.

* Jose Theodore goes to Washington for 2 years for $9 mil. As starter money this isn't bad, but I think that's a reach given Theodore's recent history. His numbers don't look bad (2.44 GAA and .910%) but he only played in 53 games and has been a hardcore head case. I know it was goalie-palooza out there, but if I were a Caps fan, I'm not sure I'd like this trade.

* After claiming him off waivers from Toronto, Vancouver signed Kyle Wellwood to a 1 year deal for just short of $1 mil. Not a bad pick up for the money. Vancouver didn't have fantastic defense last year and 21 points and a -12 +/- aren't going to help that. Then again he's young so I guess it's a solid call.

* Minnesota re-signed Andrew Brunette for 3 years and $7 mil. Man, that is one of those guys I would have liked the Sharks to get (this will be a continuing theme for today). 34 is a little old, but for a how put up 63, 83, and 59 points in the last three year respectively, a little over $2 mil a year isn't a lot. The Sharks could use a solid winger, but I didn't really think he would leave Minnesota.

Edit to add: I have a hockey game in a bit, but when I get back I'll give more commentary on today's signing tonight and tomorrow. Stay tuned for Gray's responses. Should be interesting.

Let the Madness Begin

Merry Christmas hockey fans! It's that day we've all been waiting for: the first day of Free Agency! What does your GM have in your stocking this morning? Is it a brand new awesome defensemen or did you get coal? All I am hoping is that today will be full of interesting signings that help the Sharks and not hurt them. You'll have to forgive me for being a little slow at first, but 9.00 am is a little early for my summer vacation brain. I'm going to try to catch up with some of the signings that happened in the last few days while still searching the ESPN Free Agency tracker for interesting names. Seriously, it's days like this I wish I lived in a country that cared more about hockey. Here we go.....

* So while I was sleeping, the Washington Capitals signed my Eastern Conference Hockey Boyfriend Matt Green to a 4 year $21 mil contract. Yay! I'm glad that Washington showed the love to Matt with this contract. Although I think I would have liked to have him. 56 points for a defensemen. Man. That would be nice. Congrats Eastern Conference Hockey Boyfriend.

* Correy Perry signed a 5 year $26.6 mil deal. As a hockey fan, I think it's a nice contract for a guy who had a nice season despite being hurt for a while. As a Sharks fan, I'm a little bitter mostly cause I have no desire to have him in the line up against my team for 8 games a season. My other disappointment is that the signing makes Earl Sleek happy and I've always found him funnier to read when he is bitter.

* I've never made a secret of my dislike for Raffe Torres. His hit on Milan Michalek was a series changer and he was just generally dirty during those playoff series. Imagine my surprise to see him traded from Edmonton to the Blue Jackets for Gilbert Brule, who I have honestly never heard of. Plus they got Erik Cole from Carolina for Joni Pitkanen. Those are 2 names I am happy not to have to hear during Edmonton games ever again. Although I thin Erik Cole will be a nice new piece for Edmonton.

* It's almost 10 and still no Sharks news.

* Bryce Salvador and Jay Pandolfo re-signed with New Jersey. Ummm.....yay? They both look like they had solid numbers for the Devils last year. So good for a team that I don't have to see very often.

* Pascal Dupuis signed a 3 year deal that pensblog says is for $1.4 a year. And there are rumors floating around that they are close to a deal with Malkin for an extension. With the rough off-season the Pens have had, it's nice to see somethings going well for them. Check out their live blog too. Good thorough stuff.

* The slow pace of the signings so far is giving me chance to catch up. Thanks NHL!

* Brad Stuart signed with the Wings, 4 years for $3.75 a year. Kid sure has come far since being part of the trade that got us Joe Thornton. I agree with Rudy Kelly in that I'm not sure he was worth that kind of money, but then again he's not being expected to be the same kind of player with Detroit that he was in San Jose or LA. In Detroit, there are other solid defensemen around him. With the Sharks, he was expected to be a #1 or #2 and I just don't think he's that guy. But good on you Stuey for cashing in.

* And Cujo is out of the Western Conference!! Thank god! He always seemed to have fantastic games against the Sharks. He's expected to get $700,000 to be Vesa Toskala's backup in Toronto. I think that's a nice move for them especially since Cujo has the ability to be a very solid backup.

* I swear I'm not ignoring things. It's just that things are rather slow and so far none of the moves have really blown me out of the water. I'll be back in a bit to recap what has happened so far.

Gray chimes in: This just in! JR to co-host The Best Damn Sport Show tonight and tomorrow. That's all the Sharks news so far. Exciting, isn't it? Now back to your regularly scheduled Mina coverage of the 2008 slowest ever Free Agency Freak Out.