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Tuesday, January 10, 2006 

The Winds of Dave

The Dave's I Know

The Tampa Bay Lightning have placed captain Dave Andreychuk on waivers, likely bringing an end to a long and somewhat baffling career. It's not that his numbers over the years weren't impressive. What impresses me is that he managed to have a sucessful, 23-year NHL career without ever bothering to learn how to skate backwards. Literally. I remember one day earlier this season when I pointed out this fact to a friend of mine who was watching a Lightning game with me. The person didn't entirely believe me, but sure enough during that game there was a turnover at the blue line and big Dave was the only man back. The guy started skating in and Dave stood there like a deer in the headlights. Waited for him to get to him, then turned and skated with him. Needless to say, the guy skated around him and scored. And that is what I remember out of Dave's 1,639 game, 640 goal, 1,338 point career. I hope that something gets mentioned about this in his Hall of Fame induction ceremony a few years from now. But an era has officially come to an end. RIP the days of NHLers without the complete package making a major impact on the game like Dave did. It was a good run while it lasted... so long as it wasn't going backwards.

The JF

From the JF's forward mailbag, we have this gem in the "Some things never change" category: http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=150153&hubname
You'd think he'd just be too embarassed that his career has come to this and he'd hang'em up already. But then you wouldn't know the mind of someone like Theo. And you should be damn glad that you don't.

kobe for 45!

How quietly was this done? For those of you who don't know, and I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't, Kobe became the first player since Wilt to score 45 points in 4 straight games. That is 188 points in the last 4 games. To put it in context, at his current pace it would take Araujo more than an entire season to get 188 points (but only one game more, to be fair to Halfa-man). I guess Kobe really has riled his way into the medias bad pages, because 45 in 4 straight games is huge, and I really havent heard an appropriate amount about it. Even on the espn nba page, the headline says "Scratching A 45 Record", but when you click on it you are sent to a page titled "Sorting through the Artest rumors".

This is fine by me, though, because I just traded Tayshaun and Jalen in my fantasy league for Artest. A move I would highly recomend to any of you out there. Artest is a solid player, and he will be back within a month and a half. And when he's back he'll be playing angry. I've already mentioned how i'd personaly feel about playing against him with a chip on his shoulder... and now he's got the entire Frito Lays factory. There are reportedly 18 teams interested in him, and if that number isnt actualy 29 I would be surprised. He is a top 10 player in the league, and does it all at both ends of the court. The fact that I could get him now for an also ran and a bench warmer says a lot about how people are valuing him at the current moment. Get him while you can, because he is cheap. You can do almost as good as Golden State will in the trade that actualy gets made.

Ask the first place nets how it feels to get a superstar for a sack of balls and some Minute Maid. Apaprently the offers are improving, though, as Pacers President Donnie Walsh said "Draft choices and cap space don't equal a good player". Just ask Rob Babcock, he'll agree. Draft choices and no cap space equal a good player. Draft choices and draft space are worth about Kobe, Jordan, Magic and a rocketship for day trips to Mars. I still feel bad for knocking Babcock like that, easy as it is to do. One bad trade and one horrible draft don't make the man. Well, there was the other questionable draft too. And the lack of interest in bringing in a big man. And the players he always misses out on bringing in. And the whole Alston fiasco. But other than that, the team is looking pretty good lately, and with a few more wins I might be convinced enough again to tout them as capable of Chicago Bullsing up a second half. Although my original 6 games out prediction based on their end of 2005 record will likely hold.

McInjury Note

Back on the hockey front, the leagues top scoring defenseman, Bryan McCabe, has picked up a groin injury (hope fully not at a faux hawks only club), that will keep him out of the lineup for at least one game. This is bad news for a Leafs team that has finaly hit it's stride of yet, and will definitely be at a loss on the power play against a strong Vancouver squad. The teams entire power play has been geared around McCabe's game, and without their power play the Leafs aren't even close to being a playoff team this year. If the Leafs are going to have a chance, this needs to be a one game injury, and it absolutely cannot be re-occuring. At least the Canadian Olympic squad isn't too worried about this announcement. Luckily they were smart enough to leave a guy off the roster who not only leads the leagues defenseman in scoring, but literally makes or breaks his entire team. That was great foresight on the part of Gretzky and the boys.

Elias watch: 4 games, 4 wins, 8 points

Mogilny watch: nothing

Koskie watch: still steaming, not ready yet.

Brandon Witt Watch: 150 days since trade demand, surprisingly no takers yet. Will update again in another 150 days.

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  • Kent MacDonald
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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