Saturday, July 2, 2011

Friday . . .

You have to think that things are out of control in the NHL when teams like the Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets are driving the free-agent market.
And when some teams are spending like drunken sailors just to get to the salary cap floor you only can shake your head and wonder how we will react a year from now when owners are involved in CBA negotiations and pleading poverty.
Bizarre, or what?
Sheesh, the Dallas Stars, who don’t even have an owner, signed five players, spending almost US$20 million in the process.
All told, teams spent more than $260 million and, you’re right, F Brad Richards has yet to sign. When he does, likely this morning, that will take the total to more than $300 million; in fact, more than $320 million.
If major junior players need motivation, all they have to do is remember that 20 goals and 50 points in the same season now will get you at last $4 million per season in The Show.
I didn’t follow the free-agent frenzy on TV; instead, I kept pace, or tried to, via Twitter.
Here, then, are some of my favourite tweets (the last one features the day's best statistics):
From: @Proteautype
Sent: Jul 1, 2011 4:13p
Some say NHLers are overpaid; compared to the real world, of course they are. But Gary Bettman makes $7+ million a yr. Perspective, people.
From: @Russostrib
Sent: Jul 1, 2011 4:02p
Christian Ehrhoff makes $1.3 million more than Sidney Crosby next year. These next labor talks should be a doozy
From: @DamoSpin
Sent: Jul 1, 2011 3:06p
RT @yyzsportsmedia: Panthers prez sounds pretty giddy today.  Guarantee he will site to today as a key reason when he eventually fires talon years from now
From: @DarrenDreger
Kris Versteeg doesn't have a twitter acct, so he asked me to post this quote," I'm takin my toe drag to south beach". Not much else to say.
From: @dshoalts
Sent: Jul 1, 2011 3:21p
Serious problem with priorities here. RT @darrenrovell: Avg US consumer drank 476 cans of soda and 243 bottles of beer in 2010.
Colin O’Hara is expected to be named the new head coach of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm SilverBacks. He was the club’s associate coach last season. Prior to that, he was the GM/head coach of the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks until resigning on Feb. 10, 2010 with the club in last place in the Bauer Conference. O’Hara, who had a year left on his contract when he left Nipawin, will replace Tim Kehler, who resigned earlier this week with two years left on a three-year contract signed July 1, 2010.
JUST NOTES: In the middle of Friday’s free-agent silliness, the St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed F Cody Beach of the Moose Jaw Warriors to a three-year contract. He was a fifth-round pick by the Blues in the NHL’s 2010 draft. . . . The Tampa Bay Lightning announced the signing of Prince George Cougars F Brett Connolly, something that you read about here a couple of weeks back. Connolly was the sixth overall selection in the 2010 NHL draft. For details on Connolly's contract or, for that matter, any of the other myriad of deals that were signed on Friday, head on over to . . . F Colin Smith of the Kamloops Blazers, another player who wasn’t selected in the NHL draft, will attend the Edmonton Oilers’ prospect camp next week. He is from Edmonton. . . . D Benn Olson (Kamloops, Seattle, 2004-08) has signed a one-year deal with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Last season, Olson, 24, played with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones (43-1-3—4-153), the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals (1-0-0—0-0) and Bridgeport (17-0-3—3-78).
Former WHL D Victor Bartley continues to chase the NHL dream. Check out this story by Robert Mangelsdorf of the Maple Ridge News.
It looks as though the U.S. college hockey scene is in for a seismic change. The Big Ten Hockey Conference is scheduled to begin play in 2013-14 and a lot of schools with big-time hockey programs now are exploring their options.
Brad Elliott Scholssman of the Grand Forks Herald has more right here.
Taking Note on Twitter

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