No Hockey for You Winnipeg: Franchise Nazi Gary Bettman

Last Wednesday the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Phoenix Coyotes played a pre-season game in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Hockey fans in Winnipeg got a chance to see the two teams the city is probably most interested in, their former Jets, now Coyotes, and the Leafs, who were always a big ticket when they visited Winnipeg in the past.

The NHL also got to see the rabid hockey fans of Manitoba and no doubt wish they could take that spirit and put it into cities in Florida, Tennessee, well heck anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line.

So of course talk of expanding to hockey-mad Winnipeg came about. NHL officials have listed Winnipeg on a short list of four cities as places the NHL would look at if expansion were to come about. The other cities being Las Vegas (I heart gambling), Kansas City (only if they call the team the Scouts) and Seattle (perhaps to fill the void when the Sonics run to Oklahoma).

Continue reading

And Now For Something Completely Different…

R.I.P. Bill Wirtz

Everyone is already well aware that Chicago Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz has died, passing away earlier today after a bout with cancer. As my comrade Raskolnikov put it so well in his post directly preceding to this one,  we here at MYFO offer our condolences to the Wirtz family and do not wish death on anyone.

With that said, fair or not, life does in fact go on. In the spirit of getting on with our lives and moving forward, I thought I would take this time to inform everyone that a movie studio has already optioned the rights to do a remake of a controversial ’70’s horror flick in honor of Mr. Wirtz’s passing (Rob Zombie is rumored to be in talks to take the helm as director – yippee!).  This must have been in development for some time as the promotional movie poster has already been leaked on these here internets:

Continue reading

The Phantom of the United Center

wirtz.jpg

 

 

The Eulogy

 

Bill Wirtz did not exist as a human being to me. I saw his smug grin plastered on anything related to the Blackhawks, but I never knew his opinions. He rarely made public appearances or commented on the sorry state of his hockey team. Business decisions were firmly rooted in the twentieth century. For all I know, he could have died twenty years ago. As the home attendance figures dwindled and apathy increased, that face still smiled confidently, reassuring the pigs that the Battle of the Windmill was a great success. Wirtz became the Blackhawks symbol in place of the Indianhead.

The Aftermath

From a pragmatic standpoint, he will remain the face of the franchise. Bob Pulford, as the Senior Vice President, seems likely to become the interim president. Pully embodies the same principles that Wirtz did, as he has been part of the franchise for 30 years. Peter Wirtz, the heir to the throne, is a mystery. Will he help the Blackhawks evolve into a modern franchise? Will he realize that blacking out home games has a positive correlation to the fan’s lack of interest? Unless the answer to both questions is yes, I see no longterm benefits to Chicago Blackhawks fans.

 

My condolences go out to the Wirtz family. Even though I have an inappropriately named blog, I never wish death on anyone. For God’s sake, my season previews are “written” by animals that belong to my brother.

Update: For a perspective from someone who was one of Wirtz’s greatest critics, please read Steve Rosenbloom’s piece.

Patrice Brisebois And The Case Of The Missing Groin

“The back, the crack and the sack.”

For the uninitiated, that’s the description for a body waxing combination. Or, for our purposes, it’s a two-outta-three list of the ailments afflicting the greatest man to ever strap on skates and throw the puck through the middle of his own end, Patrice Brisebois.

The news of Breeze-By’s return to Stripclubbuffet, Quebec was largely greeted by a stunned silence broken only by the sound of greasy cheese curds falling from agape mouths and striking the floor. What the fuck was Gainey thinking? Why would Brisebois come back? And with the Canadian dollar at par with the US, should we all start throwing out US singles in strip clubs in order to prevent more senseless loonie and twoonie-induced injuries? You probably have no idea how many one-eyed strippers we have as a result of those goddamn coins. And yes, I too find it sexy. Continue reading

Sharks Up the Yangtze

Shark’s Fin Soup. Yum.And you thought the Ducks and Kings had it bad.

In a move that continues a trend to export all hockey out of the state of California, the San Jose Sharks have agreed to send 5 players and 3 coaches to China for the upcoming season in hopes of strengthening the Asia Ice Hockey League (AIHL.)  A collection of squads from China, Korea, and Japan, the ultimate goal of the league is to determine the next Great Richard Park, and apparently some AHL scrubs from the San Jose organization will help.  Why San Jose, you may ask?  Because the AIHL has a team called the China Sharks.  Brilliant work, guys.  (I’m silently hoping the Asian Tackle Football League has a team called the Cowboys.  That would be one way to get rid of T.O.)

As I surmised above, the lucky 5 who will be headed across the Pacific are yet to be determined, but it’s likely that they will not be players currently in San Jose’s immediate plans.  When guys like Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo take the ice for the home opener, these 5 will be waiting outside the HP Pavillion in silence.  They don’t do it for the longing of playing the NHL; they do it because they’re practicing for their next assignment.  We hear standing in front of a Tank is HUGE over there.

And despite our regards to the Battle of California, I don’t feel that the Sharks will have a huge effect on the Flyers’ quest to win the Atlantic.  Therefore, why ship 3rd-class checking liners abroad to promote hockey as a global sport?  Why not give the Central Kingdom some real star power?

MYFO’s suggestions, after the jump. Continue reading

Our Front Office Can Beat Up Your Front Office

None of the St. Louis Blues’ actual hockey players would probably rank among the game’s most feared enforcers. Long gone are the days when opponents would have to stare down both Tony Twist and Kelly Chase if they wanted to take a cheap shot at a skill player. These days, D.J. King is probably the de facto enforcer. King has heart, but was thoroughly manhandled by MYFO’s designated enforcer, Derek Boogaard, in this fight last season:

But cheer up, Blues fans. The team has made some key off-season moves that will ensure that if a fight breaks out in the luxury suites, the opposition is going to take a beating.

Continue reading

Every puzzle has its pieces…

Dan Boyle may have gone too far...As we here at MYFO have covered before, the Tampa Bay Lightning are in the process of being sold to a group of investors including Doug MacLean and one of the producers of the “Saw” series. At the time I wrote that column, the news was less than twelve hours old. I began to wonder since writing that piece what effect Mr. Koules would have on the team, scary doll aside.

Now I know.

I received a video last night in my e-mail from an anonymous source. In the interest of good taste, which is what we strive for here at MYFO, I cannot show you the video. I can, however, provide a transcript of what occurred on Saturday night at the Ice Palace, after everyone went home.

Continue reading