Thursday, April 29, 2010

Head Coach search underway

According to the Dispatch, Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson will begin interviewing this weekend for a new, permanent (well, as permanent as the National Hockey League gets) head coach for the Boys in Union Blue.

Outside of what I've seen of Claude Noel - and he's a good enough coach to warrant serious consideration - I don't know anything about these folks.  So I assembled lists of names - confirmed (with the Dispatch) and rumored - and matched names, faces and biographical information from both Wikipedia and the teams' websites.  I'll find it interesting to check back in on this as we await the plume of white smoke from Nationwide Arena.  Hopefully, you will as well!

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 28, 2010

For one night at least, all hail the Habs.

And everything I said after the Blue Jackets played the Capitals...I stand behind every last word of it.  Here's a brief snippet:
So farewell, Capitals. Thanks to the many of your fans for joining us at Nationwide last night. Congrats on getting your 51st win - the most you've ever won in a season. And good luck in the playoffs...if what I saw last night was any indication, you're going to need a lot of luck if you're going to win the Stanley Cup. And ask the San Jose Sharks how satisfying that President's Trophy is.
(Hopefully R.J. Umberger stands behind what he said, too.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 27 edition

You tell me with a straight face that you would have expected this scene at the beginning of the season.  Think about it:

1. Moyes (old owner) files bankruptcy
2. Moyes tries selling the team to Balsillie, who wants to move the team to Hamilton, Ontario
3. NHL takes over the team
4. Bankruptcy court hearings to determine who can take possession of the team results in all offers getting thrown out
5. Ice Edge thinks they bought the team - and wants to play a handful of home games in Saskatoon (!)
6. Jerry Reinsdorf tries to buy the team
7. The City of Glendale plays tough with the arena lease
8. The Goldwater Institute raises hell over the whole process

And that's just the back office side.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 26, 2010

I'm loving how these Moments pick themselves.  Take last night.  Can anyone REALLY say that the Montreal Canadiens' Jaraslav Halak's 53 saves in 54 shots in regulation was not just amazing?

On a non-Moment point, take a look at Alexander Ovechkin's box score: 25:34 TOI, 8 shots, plus/minus of -1 and no goals or assists.  Hear me now and believe me later: When the Capitals finally depart the playoffs, it will come out that Ovechkin was playing hurt.  (If it doesn't, I will really, REALLY question number 8's desire.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 24 edition (w/ Darren Pang!)

Pardon the non-game Moment, but I got a Tweet from Darren Pang!

Too cool.  I Tweeted about how it was wrong that Darren Pang, one of the best hockey broadcasters on Planet Earth, was not on NBC or Versus during this Stanley Cup Playoff season.

Panger actually Tweeted me back to tell me that all was good, that he was hanging with the TSN studio crew during the playoffs this year.  While it's good that Darren's in the mix, he 1) needs to be on TV in America and 2) should really be calling games, either from the analyst's chair or in-between the benches.

Regardless, I'm pretty elated that one of my favorite hockey announcers (Bill Clement and Gary Thorne being the others) deemed fit to Tweet the DBJ.  I guess you could say that I got my hockey fan(-boy) on.

Now, let's just get him to call Jackets games on Fox Sports Ohio!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The McConnell Video: My Take

If you consider yourself anything close to a fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets, you surely have taken a gander at CBJ majority owner John P. McConnell's video summarizing the state of his team, and his thoughts on both the team and the pesky arena situation going forward.

If you want to read a summary of the video (meaning excerpts of McConnell's comments), go check out Puck Rakers.  If you want some reasoned analysis, check out Rick Gethin at The Hockey Writers and Jeff Little at Ten Minute Misconduct.  If you want a little sandpaper in your analysis, Light The Lamp is the place for you.

Without diving into the details of the video, my general take follows after the jump...

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 22, 2010

Is there really any other selection today?

Former Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Pascal Leclaire, relegated to the bench after an injury-riddled season where he never seemed to find his stride, stops 56 of 59 shots and holds on for 3 20-minute overtimes to beat the Penguins. I usually try to find a play or two to post, but here's the whole highlight reel; Ottawa may still go down (I think Pittsburgh was the better team last night), but there's no denying that game 5 was epic.

My friends, that is a moment of greatness for Pazzy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

John P. McConnell offers a State of the CBJ

Posting now, commenting later...

Hat tip to Lee Auer for bringing this to my attention!

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 21 edition

No apologies for including ex-Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jason Chimera in today's Moment...

When he was in Columbus, he was a stand-up guy, a class act and a man who gave it his all on the ice. I sense all the above now in Washington. Much as I really don't care for the Capitals, I'll be thrilled if Jason Chimera hoists the Stanley Cup.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 20 edition

I know I'm diverting from "greatness" in the truest sense of the word with this one, but we have to commemorate former Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Pascal Leclaire getting a chance to play in between the pipes in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time.

Of course, when you're inserted for a guy who got pulled, and the final score was 7-4 (not in your favor), then you know what type of highlight I have to show:

To his credit, Leclaire did stop...ummm....20 of 23 shots. .869 save percentage. Yow. ON the bright side, he did register an appearance at The Dance this year - which is better than the CBJ did. Sigh.

For a real moment of Playoff greatness, let's begrudgingly congratulate Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings. "Jimmeh" shut out the Phoenix Coyotes last night, 3-0. While he didn't stand on his head, he did lose his headgear:

While I'm on the subject of Jimmy Howard, I'd like to register an opinion that he's a lousy candidate for the Calder Trophy for NHL Rookie of the Year. Dude is 26 years old. That makes him older than most of the Columbus Blue Jackets. That Jimmy had to toil in Grand Rapids for year after year while the Wings gnashed their teeth over Chris Osgood only made him more of a veteran.

Sure his stats were great this year (almost approaching Steve Mason's Calder-winning rookie year), but the 26-year-old Howard's season was based upon YEARS of professional experience. His Red Wings profile tells the story - prior to this season, he played at the NHL level for the Wings in 4 games in 2005-2006 (getting 3 decisions), 4 in 2007-2008 and 1 in 2008-2009. In addition, he had 216 regular season and playoff appearances for Grand Rapids.

By comparison, a 20-year-old Steve Mason had a whopping 3 AHL-level games and no NHL games prior to being dropped into the fire in Columbus last year. It's hard to get much greener than that.

My point is, Howard was plenty battle-tested prior to getting the full-time job in Detroit. He's no rookie. Perhaps the Calder Trophy needs an age cutoff. Opinions?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Filatov: I want to come back to the NHL

While he's playing coy with American media (the Dispatch guys have repeatedly tried, but he won't go on the record with them), Columbus Blue Jackets' winger-on-loan Nikita Filatov appears to be OK with talking to Russian sportswriters. And what he told the folks at SovSport should offer some encouragement to the Columbus Blue Jackets and their fans. Specifically, he said (and I'm using a Google translation from a Russian-language site):
[You] Shone in the national team again will storm the NHL?

Yes, it is firmly decided. Of course, the salaries in the KHL longer, but the level above the ocean. I'll break through there. In the meantime, try to break into the world championship!
An awkward translation, to be sure. Let's see how Russian Hockey Fans translated it:
I am determined to return to the NHL next year. Surely the salaries are better in the KHL, but overseas the level of play is higher. I'll try to make the first team in the NHL. And I'll try getting on the roster for the World Championships too.
Regardless, it looks like Filatov is going to make another run at the National Hockey League.  As the Columbus Blue Jackets hold Filatov's rights for the foreseeable future, that means that CBJ General Manager Scott Howson apparently has another talented body in camp.  Considering that Filatov's trade value is probably at its lowest due to the perception of him as a flight risk (back to Russia) and hard-to-coach (his experience with Ken Hitchcock combined with his being stripped of the Team Russia captaincy at the Junior World Hockey Championships in Saskatoon this past winter), this is a welcome surprise for Howson and the Jackets.

Over the weekend, I participated in a forthcoming podcast for The Hockey Writers and pontificated that Filatov's behavior since leaving the Blue Jackets led me to believe that he was enjoying life in the (Russian) Kontinental Hockey League enough to think that he might be willing to forego NHL glory for home cooking, income tax-free KHL salaries and being a rather big fish in a comparatively little pond.  Apparently that's not the case.  Shows what I know about the post-pubescent Russian male mind!

Filatov has mentioned in the past that he is driven to emulate his hero, Ilya Kovalchuk, and be a star in the NHL.  If we wants to come back after a season in the life of a sports celebrity in Moscow, I guess he means it.  Go figure.

After the fold, the entire Google translation of the SovSport article...some of which makes sense. If you know Russian and want to try your own translation, go here.

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 19 edition

You can't have a playoffs without our friends in The War Room in Toronto having their say, I suppose.

I don't have an opinion on this call, but those Vancouver fans sure know how to howl. The 'nuck fans on Twitter - along with the Tweeting hockey media - can't stop talking about that call. Shades of Ted Leonsis and his Capitals fans when R.J. Umberger spoke the truth.

More seriously, enjoy this Drew Doughty blast:

Great to see Stanley Cup playoff hockey return to Los Angeles with such gusto - first time since 2002 that a playoff game has been played in L.A.! It looks like the fan base is pleased, too.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 18 edition

How could I have chosen any other?

You have to love the playoffs. Even the mistakes are magnified. But will Dan Boyle be able to live this down? That was a soul-crushing move.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 17, 2010

Anze Kopitar finally busts one past Roberto Luongo in overtime, and the LA Kings party like it's 1999:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 16 edition

"Five goals in four minutes":

The Dark Blue Jacket's 2009-2010 CBJ Most Valuable Player: Fedor Tyutin

In a year of incredible frustration and disappointment for the Columbus Blue Jackets, it was strangely easy for me to pick out a Most Valuable Player for 2009-2010.  My choice for MVP is defenseman Fedor Tyutin.  

There's always a discussion about what the MVP really means.  Is the MVP the best player on the team?  If so, that would be the Most Outstanding Player - an award in some tournaments.  For the Blue Jackets, the MOP is Rick Nash, hands down.  He's the straw that stirs the drink in Columbus, scoring goals and setting up the ones he doesn't put in the back of the net himself.  He's the Gold Medal Olympian, the Captain, the Face of the Franchise.  He's Captain Columbus - and he had a decent year considering the mess that his team had to suffer through.  He still scored 33 goals, 34 assists and 67 points over 76 games.  None too shabby.

But this isn't a blog about the Most Outstanding Player.  It's about the Most Valuable Player.  It's about the player whose presence, whose participation was simply invaluable to the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. And that player was Fedor Tyutin.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The season that had to happen: My thoughts on the CBJ, 2009-2010

To recap the Columbus Blue Jackets' season with a proper perspective, I have to go back to the 2006-2007 season.  Gerard Gallant was the coach, Doug MacLean was strangling the franchise as General Manager and President.  All was lost.  Gallant was fired in November 2006, and Gary Agnew was the interim coach.  I attended my first CBJ games in that period with Mrs. DBJ, and we were both amazed at the inability of the team to do much of anything on the ice.  For that team, with the likes of Sergei Federov and Adam Foote on the roster, getting the puck past center ice against the Red Wings was considered a moral victory.  It was downright painful.

In retrospect, I'm not sure how that experience could have led to me becoming a Blue Jackets fan.  Maybe I'm just a masochist.

Bear with me, good readers, this story has a point.

Moment of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness, April 15 edition

As the mood strikes, I hope to post an occasional play or plays that show how great the Stanley Cup Playoffs can be. Of course, they would be exponentially better if the Columbus Blue Jackets were in the mix, but - Hey, we've got the #4 pick!

Anyhoo, enjoy Jonathan Quick's save on Henrik Sedin from Vancouver-Los Angeles, Game 1:

A very, very pretty save by the young goalie.

Home ice advantage

From Vancouver: These guys sit next to the visitor's penalty box for every game...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mike Commodore's post-mortem

Columbus Blue Jacket defenseman Mike Commodore was in New York today, making the rounds of NHL media properties, and he answered the question, "What went wrong?" with the Columbus Blue Jackets' season:
"We just had too many guys, myself included, that didn't have very good years," Blue Jackets veteran defenseman Mike Commodore said. "We have a very young team in Columbus. Last year, it was these guys' first years, and they had great years. And this year it was a learning experience. This year I think a lot of us, a lot of the young guys, found out it's not easy playing in the NHL. It's the best league in the world for a reason. I think a lot of them needed to learn how to be a pro. And then for some of us older guys, for me, for example, I went through an injury-plagued year until after the Olympic break and for me, it was a learning experience for me too, learning how to deal with that stuff, and I didn't deal with it in the greatest manner, and I wasn't the only one as far as injuries go."
"It's easy to think maybe you're better than you are. You kind of take things for granted," Commodore said. "We got off to a good start and then started tanking it. For this year, maybe for the first time -- I've only been there two years -- people weren't taking the Columbus Blue Jackets for granted, especially for the first three-quarters of the year. We weren't seeing the backup goalies. We were getting the others team's best, and we couldn't handle it this year."
As frustrating as Commie's year was, he was open and honest about it all along.  No sugar-coating with this guy - which probably is good for the Blue Jackets.  Facing the facts is generally a good policy in a wins-and-losses business like professional sports.  

Monday, April 12, 2010

Something special going on

While I have yet to jot down my still-jumbled thoughts about the recently-concluded Columbus Blue Jackets season (and I'm waiting for the draft lottery as that, in my mind is the end of the season), I've seen a couple of season wrap-up blog posts that warrant attention.

The Blue Jackets online fan community that's growing through Twitter and its ubiquitous (to us) #CBJ "hashtag" has blossomed over the course of the season.  And it's a community in the fullest sense of the word.  A couple Tweeters put their feelings on this into their blogs, something you all might want to check out.

Here's Kaitlin (aka @IEatMousetraps), from her blog iTouch Your Heart (by the way, the photo is hers - nice work to signify the end of the season!):
I’ve made some amazing friends on Twitter because of The BlueJackets too. Most of us live tweet about the games and talk to some of the sports writers who have blogs. I’ve also stirred up a lot of drama in the CBJ fan world. All part of the system though, right? 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Captain - and the team - say thank you

A paid advertisement in today's Columbus Dispatch:

If you're having a hard time reading it, here's the text of the note:

"Dear Blue Jackets Fans,

Thank you for supporting us this season.  You stuck with us through the good and bad times.  It's not the season we had all hoped for or expected.  You want a winning hockey team.  You and the City of Columbus deserve a winning hockey team.  Your support of us has never been taken for granted in the locker room.  We appreciate it at each and every game.  

We look forward to seeing you again in the Fall for the 10th season.  Thank you for being behind us."  

And it was signed by the entire team.  

A class move by the guys.  The handwritten element - and the signatures of the 2009-2010 Columbus Blue Jackets - makes the note especially heartfelt.  It was a tough season.  They know it, and they know we know it.  And, yeah, we'll be back for the 10th Anniversary season.

Thanks to Twitter's @raeleei (no link - she protects her Tweets!) for posting.  

The CBJ salute their fans

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Game 82/Detroit: My take

The end of the road.  With no playoffs and a November-December that will go in the history books for all of the wrong reasons, the Columbus Blue Jackets closed out their season tonight with a spirited performance against the Detroit Red Wings - staying scoreless with the Wings through overtime and into an extended shootout before falling to Team Ilitch, 1-0.

Like all too many games this year, I was stuck in class and was unable to watch the game live.  The two overriding issues from the game were: 1) Steve Mason was a Man of the Nth Degree last night, stopping 45 Red Wing shots, and 2) contemptible, gutless thug Todd Bertuzzi scored the winning goal in overtime.

Past that, the matters at hand appear to be the CBJ's Draft Lottery pick and the selection of a new coach.  Both matters are related to General Manager Scott Howson.  Howson apparently did an intermission interview on Fox Sports Ohio last night, and Light The Lamp summarizes the interview quite well.  As for the Draft Lottery, Jeff Little at 10 Minute Misconduct covers that better than I have patience to do.  Lastly, the Columbus Dispatch's Puck Rakers blog gives us the coaching search overview.  All are must-reads.

Lastly, The Dispatch's Michael Arace offers the long view of the Jackets closing game of the 2009-2010 season.  I believe he's been covering the Boys in Union Blue since day one, so he's entitled.

Enough on this season.  I'll offer my perspective on the season in the week ahead, and I believe that Kirsi, PuckeysMom and I will all offer our respective selections for Columbus Blue Jackets' Most Valuable Player.  I have no idea who they will champion, but - somewhat surprisingly - no one I have read thus far has mentioned my soon-to-be-announced selection. Which means that I know nothing about hockey.

Thanks for following this blog anyway, everyone!  Stay tuned for more Blue Jacket-y goodness...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Game 81/Detroit: My take

There's two schools of thought on the Columbus Blue Jackets right now.  One is play for pride and hope that a couple of wins to close the season provides momentum going into next season.  The other is to mail it in and ensure a spot in the draft lottery.

It seems as if the Jackets are doing both at the same time.  They're playing hard - as hard as a team with something like 40-50% AHL call-ups can play - but still coming up short.  And last night, with wins by the Islanders and Hurricanes, the Jackets quietly slipped into 26th place in the league-wide standings, giving them a slight chance to grab the first overall pick in next Tuesday night's draft lottery.  Such dumb luck would almost make this incredibly frustrating season worthwhile.  Almost.

As for the game, the Nash-less Jackets really did put up a decent fight.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Game 80/St. Louis: My take

If a game isn't broadcast on TV, did it really happen?

Not that I would have been able to to watch the Columbus Blue Jackets - or whatever shreds are left of the roster - go down in overtime, 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues due to the wicked thunderstorms that rolled through Central Ohio and left my satellite dish "searching for signal" all night long.  But still, I can't believe that the game was not televised at all.

I understand that the reason that the game wasn't on TV was due to the blackout imposed by the Versus NHL "Game of the Week" contract.  I don't begrudge the NHL for dangling an exclusive time period out there to make the contract that much more lucrative.  I also don't begrudge Versus for extracting every bit of value out of that contract.

I DO, however, begrudge the NHL schedulers for letting games be played in time slots where they can't be televised.  At all.  By anyone.  I mean, the Fox Sports Ohio team couldn't broadcast.  Darren Pang, one of my favorite NHL color guys, couldn't broadcast.  And the few diehard fans who've stuck with this frustrating season of Blue Jacket hockey couldn't see their Columbus-Syracuse hybrid team put up yet another valiant fight.

As for the game that I couldn't see, I have to rely upon stat sheets for my insights.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Game 79/Washington: My take

A sad yet momentous game for the Dark Blue Jacket.  As the Columbus Blue Jackets hung in there long enough to make a late game rally before losing 3-2 to the Washington Capitals, I celebrated the last game in my rockin' good seats in Nationwide Arena section 106 with family.  I'm out of my season ticket cooperative and will be getting a 6-game pack next year.  Not sure where yet; I gather that there's an open house over the summer for yahoos like me to look around and scope out the best combination of price and location.

Regardless, I've had those seats for a couple years and seen some GREAT games in them.  Specifically, I saw the CBJ-Penguins shootout last season (the Jackets won) and Game 4 of last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs opening round against the Red Wings. I still maintain that Game 4 was THE most exhilarating sporting event I have ever attended and refer back to it when the Jackets totally stink up the joint - like they did in another game I saw from those seats, the pounding we took this year at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  It's been great, Section 106.  I doubt I'll be back there next season, but who knows?

Moving onto the game...

I'll just say it, in part because R.J. Umberger said it better than I can: Based off of what I saw last night, the Caps are eminently beatable.  I'll take it a step farther, though.  Even with a team that's currently 14th in the Western Conference, that featured a fourth line of Mike Blunden, Tomas Kana and some #39 guy who wasn't even in the game program (I guess his name is Greg Moore - he had a couple nice shots), with a defense that featured the likes of Grant Clitsome and Nathan Paetsch, the Capitals were nowhere near dominant.  In fact, I'd suggest that the Jackets "lost" a game that they should have won.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Game 78/Detroit: My Take

It was a game where the Columbus Blue Jackets should not have had a shot.  But they hung around...and hung around...and almost got to overtime.  And they would have, too, had the War Room in Toronto not overturned the call on the ice of a non-goal by legendary thug Todd Bertuzzi.  I would analyze how crappy the on-ice call and subsequent review was, but Jeff Little puts any analysis I would have to shame.

Seriously, check out Jeff's blog on this one.

Anyhoo, the Detroit Red Wings won, 3-2.

Other thoughts about the game:

1. There was a shot of the CBJ bench during the game, and I could not recognize most of the players sitting there.  I know we've had a few call-ups from Syracuse, but it seemed like it was a totally different team.  How Claude Noel's navigating this with anything close to a win, I have no idea.

2. One little thing Jeff Little forgot to mention: There were numerous reports (here's one) from those watching the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast that the closeup on Todd Bertuzzi after his questionable goal showed him telling a teammate on the bench, "I kicked it."  Just sayin'.

3. For whatever it's worth, there still appears to be a self-perception gap with the Blue Jackets and the Red Wings.  The Wings, on a tear going into the playoffs, played like they fully expected to win.  The Jackets did not.  I know, everything in time.....

Friday, April 2, 2010

That poor, poor Chris Clark

From the Washington Post Capitals blog, the former Caps captain had this comment:
"It's been a different year," he added with chuckle. "Nothing that I've seen before."
Man, do I feel for Chris Clark.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today across the National Hockey League...

I had an elaborate April Fools post ready to go, but time constraints forbade me from taking the dedicated time to write it all out.  Thus, I was forced to Plan B - using Twitter to post interesting 'news' from around the league.  In chronological order, they follow:

  • Tomas Holmstrom apologizes to NHL: "I blame my parents for making me a d-bag."
  • Team Canada's Rick Nash & Hayley Wickenheiser to have test tube baby: Prototype for Canadian "Super-Skater" project
  • CBJ files tampering claim against Caps, labels Milan Jurcina a "sleeper agent".
  • Toronto Star reports - Doug MacLean on CBJ: "I was against expansion, so I did my best to submarine that team. It almost worked."
  • AP: NHL bans all hits to the head - Fighters wonder how to entertain fans with only kidney shots
  • AP BREAKING: Kidney Foundation decries NHL ban on headshots
  • Rocky Mountain News: Avs' Adam Foote takes responsibility for Dublin, OH sewer backup
  • St. Paul Pioneer Press: Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard files cease and desist claim against NHL over headshot ban
  • St. Paul Pioneer Press: Flyers' Mike Richards, Caps' Eric Belanger join Boogaard headshot suit against NHL, giving class action status
  • TSN: Habs give up on Montreal, new owners say Quebec is "Too French." Moving franchise to Winnipeg. NHL, Canada in a quandry.
  • Columbus Dispatch: Leslie Wexner buys John P. McConnell's #CBJ ownership stake, tasks Victoria's Secret staff with new uniform designs
  • Former Detroit Piston Bill Laimbeer publicly embraces Red Wings' Tomas Holmstrom, calls Homer, "My kind of guy."
  • Washington Post: Caps' Alexander Ovechkin to leave NHL for KHL in 2010-2011, cites tax-free salaries and "Enough of that Sid-Ovi stuff."
  • Pravda BREAKING: Pens' Sidney Crosby signs 4-year with CSKA Moscow starting in 2010-11, KHL launches "Sid v. Ovi" marketing campaign.
  • REPORT: ABC, NHL, American Dental Association to partner on new show, "Extreme Makeover: NHL Edition," to be hosted by Flyers' Dan Carcillo
  • Report: Nashville arena to be sponsored by Stride Rite, execs cite "untapped marketing opportunity" for shoeless Preds fans
  • Report: New Edmonton arena to go 'all in' on Oilers theme, "The Oil Slick" will feature black ice. Coaches, players confused.
  • Ken Hitchcock re: his coaching stint with the CBJ: "Everything would have gone just fine -- if it wasn't for those meddling kids!"
  • Kansas City Star: NHL to broadcast random games on Sprint Center jumbotron. Locals thrilled to finally have hockey in K.C.
  • CNN: After Congressional prodding, NHL launches investigation into player use of aluminum foil. In other news, Hansen Bros. flee to Canada.
  • Raleigh News and Observer: Canes fans surprised to find ice inside arena next to their favorite BBQ tailgating site.
  • Vancouver Sun: CLONING MIRACLE - Canucks to field 'all-Sedin' team in 2010-2011. Henrik-Captain, Daniel-Alternate, Zeppo-Goalie
  • From 97.1 The Fan: Geneologists confirm CBJ's Claude Noel and Yogi Berra are indeed relatives. GM Scott Howson: "That explains a lot."
  • BREAKING: The Ohio State University to buy the Columbus Blue Jackets and fold the team. Pres. Gee: "We don't like competition."
I hope you enjoyed the mirth...any offense taken at these posts probably means you need to laugh more often.  

Happy April Fools Day!