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Guest blogger: ilb

Posted By Laurel Babcock On August 1, 2010 @ 7:00 am In Uncategorized | 229 Comments

Note from Blogmama: Good morning all! Before we get to our last guest blogger as Carp’s usual extended summer date with Mr. T comes to a close, a couple of things:
1) Thanks again to all the guests for pitching in, writing great stuff, and keeping the Report rocking during the July hockey doldrums. I had a great time myself, as usual, but will happily cede the reins back to my buddy, who, by my count, owes me about 100 Walter’s hotdogs, 17 curly fries, and 25 chocolate shakes.
2) Thanks to all the boneheads for supporting our guests, and nice to see a whole bunch of new ones! Stick around for when season starts why don’t you?
3). Thanks to ilb, but just so you all know, I had nothing to do with the content of this post (oy). He made me do it, I swear. The man treats fish more gently than he did me involving this post. ilb, you’re an opex, but spasibo :)

P.S. I’m so glad it’s August! On my Ranger calendar page for the month, guess who I get to look at for the next 31 days?

I now you give the uniqueness that is ilb, who wanted to remain under the radar, but I wouldn’t let him. Ha! I can be stubborn, too!

Under the Radar
I want to talk about things that often fly under the radar.
For example, do you know what the best fruits are? In terms of combined nutritional value, antioxidants, vitamin C content etc? The starfruit is arguably number one, followed by guaba. But number three? Wait for it … As rated by Nutrition Magazine, watermelon! This one flew under the radar, eh? Eat watermelon, folks, and be happy.

I asked Mama to edit my post and eliminate all my Russian interpretations of the English language, but she wasn’t allowed to edit the content. I can be stubborn, and she knows. So I’m going to mention that she often flies under the radar. She does this on her own time. Just for the love of the blog and our team. And she makes it work, oftentimes when Carp has his meetings (ahem), and when the place gets a little too … gibberish.

But we are here to talk hockey. So I thought I’d throw in a few things that fly under the radar. I’d like to mention, this is only my personal perception, so keep your shineboxes for better occasions. Please?

The best player who ever played this sport? TGO, period. And period again. The best hockey player overall (combination of leadership, toughness, goal scoring, passing etc.) It’s a toss between Messier and Gordie Howe. But the best pure goal scorer who ever played? He flew under the radar. Valeri Kharlamov. I was lucky enough to watch him play in his prime for years. He could score from anywhere, using his shot, speed and stick handling.
The best goaltender who ever played? Roy or Brodeur? I’d say this one flew under the radar. Vladislav Tretiak. He played for 16 years and his resume includes three Olympic gold medals (and one silver), 10 World Championship gold medals, Canada Cup etc. He retired at 32 because he wasn’t allowed to play in the NHL after he was drafted by Montreal. He’d also had enough of Tikhonov.
Two players flew under the radar during that famous game 6 against the Devils. Messier got all the credit and spotlight. But there were two better players than him: Kovalev and Leetch. In that order. No way that epic game ends the way it did without both of them.

Another thing I think needs to be mentioned is something that keeps happening quietly, but may have a serious implication on us, the hockey fans, when the new CBA is being negotiated. I will use Sean Avery as an example.
I’m sure everyone remembers the “Avery Rule.” But what apparently flew under the radar is that the NHL amended the rules within 12 (twelve!) hours. Even though it was suggested that it was with NHLPA’s blessing, nowhere did the NHLPA come out with any statement that it was endorsing the rule, or disagreeing for that matter. Do you think 12 hours is enough time to come up to an agreement between two parties AND publish the new rule? Maybe…
But then, within seven months, still in 2008, right after Avery’s infamous remarks regarding “sloppy seconds” things escalated. The NHL suspended him without a hearing, apparently violating the CBA. Here’s what Paul Kelly, then the director of the NHLPA, said in a statement:
“The PA believes NHL commissioner Gary Bettman handed down a summary suspension before the hearing, constituting a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. The CBA suggests for off-ice discipline a hearing must take place before action is taken. The NHL suspended Avery on Tuesday, preventing him from playing in the game in Calgary. Action taken, without a hearing.”

The NHLPA eventually did file the grievance. Avery asked the NHLPA not to do that.
The point is, the NHLPA doesn’t have enough weight when it comes to dealing with the NHL. The commissioner is a bully, and he knows very well that the NHLPA is weak. They have no leadership at the moment. The players do not even show up for their meetings in meaningful numbers. Guess what? They will lose. They will be looking at much less percentage of gross revenue, more escrow etc. For us, the fans, get ready for another looong off season in a couple of years.

And the last thing I’d like to mention that has been flying under the radar this off season is our beloved team. Because what they are doing isn’t allowed on 7th Ave. The phrase that describes it isn’t in the vocabulary of Mr. Dolan and all the corporate ticket holders. Admittedly, New York is a difficult stage to pull this off. But we real fans are entitled to use it. So I’m going to call it the way it is. We are in a full REBUILDING MODE. And that makes me happy. They said at the beginning of off season that they will not go after any big names, will give the youngsters their chance, and continue to do that. I’m not willing to give Sather any more credit than he deserves, and perhaps he has no choice at the moment. And every day I’m afraid they will do something dumb. But so far, so good. That also requires our support. We have to be willing to wait. We have to stop begging for unnecessary trades. Let’s just enjoy the game, enjoy our team and watch what develops. This team needs their true fans. Not the flashy ones who buy the most expensive tickets and rarely show up to watch the game. Or the ones that show up with their expensive clients but without any hockey knowledge. They need us. The real fans, who often fly under the radar.


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