Sunday, October 28, 2012

Have I Got A Deal For You!

First off, I know it has been about 3 months since I last posted, and before that it was spotty at best. I have heard about it from all three of my readers, so I do apologize. The move to Seattle fell through, and now I am in Minneapolis, so a new city, and a new job have taken up a lot of time. I feel as though I am getting more organized and will have more time to write. This brings me to this great opportunity I have for you all!

I have this entertainment product that people love, and will go absolutely nuts for. Its not for everyone though, but the people that do like it are rabid and will pour attention, and more importantly money into it. With it being a niche product though I will be only focusing on the core markets where it works, Canada, and in America, but only the northern Midwest and Northeast. I will be controlling the product and business side, but will be franchising out to anyone who wants in, pending my approval of course. I will also control all labor decisions.

Once the business grows, and it will, as I said these markets are rabid for it, I will look into expansion. I will only look to expand to the biggest markets though since the product will not be popular there. However, I predict with all the transplants from the core markets and the high populations, enough people are bound to get hooked!

I just had a phenomenal idea! We will tell these new markets about how great our product is, and tell them if they build shiny new stores for the franchises, they will attract so many customers it will be ridiculous. I mean even if the people in these new markets don't like our product and have no history with it, people cannot resist a shiny new store! Also, to ensure some of these newer markets will embrace our product we can move some of the more popular and successful franchises from Canada, the Midwest and the Northeast.

There are so many franchises in the Northeast, the one in Hartford can move to North Carolina. I mean sure it will be the fourth product at best down there, but there are SO many franchises in that area as it is, jut so greedy to keep it there. Also Winnipeg doesn't need a franchise, they have a bunch of smaller ones in the area, and enough franchises remain in Canada for those Manitobans to support. Also, Phoenix is one of the fastest growing markets in the U.S.! It can't miss!

The franchise in Minnesota really doesn't need one of our franchises, they have enough amateurs to support their markets need for our product. The good people of Dallas, Texas need a franchise. The Province of Quebec is being greedy as well. Two teams???? Please, Colorado needs one. They had one previously and it didn't work out so well, but lets send them a franchise on the cusp of really taking off, that will instill long term support.

You know who does need two franchises though? Florida! And Hell, lets put two more in California as well. The one in Los Angeles has done alright. There are so many people in those two markets, we are bound to make tons of money. We will need dump trucks to haul it to the bank! At this rate we can also put new franchises in some bigger markets such as Atlanta, Nashville, and Columbus, Ohio. Atlanta had a franchise that failed, but no way will it happen again!

Uh-oh. I just thought of something. With all this expansion and growth, our employees are going to want their fair share of it, after all they are what makes this whole thing work. We will have to start charging our customers more. This will not be a problem in our sore markets though. Those saps will pay anything to get our product, no matter how bad the quality gets, especially the ones in Toronto!

Although...this might create another problem. This will be a long shot though, the longest of long shots, but lets just say hypothetically our franchises in these new markets who barely know about our product, don't fall for like shiny new stores, and won't buy our product, especially if we raise prices. Perhaps we could take all the profits we are making from the franchises in our core markets, and prop up the not so successful ones. This might affect how much we are able to pay our employees and I for one am not going to let my poor decisions affect my income!

Oh my God! How could I be so stupid?! The correct answer is right there in front of me! We will just lockout our employees until they agree to take less money for working! Its a win-win for us, we keep making money and we can keep the franchises in the newer markets that might not be so profitable, afloat until they really take off and make piles of cash!

Oh geez, one more potential issue: our customers? If they aren't able to get our product, especially the ones in our core markets, they might get angry and fewer will come back once we open our doors again. What to do, what to do? Meh, F**k em, they will come back...right?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Not Hating Gillis Anymore (As Much Anyway)

I am not a huge fan of Mike Gillis, as can be seen by my dozens of tweets and posts about his "stupidity," and overall ignorance when signing Free Agents (see "Marco Sturm signs one year $2.5 million deal with Canucks), and his hatred of my all-time favorite Canuck, Pavel Bure. However, this summer I have realized maybe I don't hate him, as much as I thought anyway.

After the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter deals, I realized something: Other than the Roberto Luongo contract, Ryan Kesler (four years left) and the newly signed Jason Garrison (six years), have the longest contracts on the Canucks. Gillis has not fallen into the trap almost every other General Manager has, signing players to obscenely long term deals.

Now this isn't always a bad thing. Henrik Zetterberg has nine years left on a 12 year deal, with a cap hit of $6 million per season, and I think anyone can say that was a good move. However, there are always the Rick DiPietro and Brian Campbell contracts to show it can be something that can handcuff a team.

Gillis, to my amazement, has been able to put together a perennial top tier team without a few of those. Could you imagine having Kesler on a deal with eight more years instead of four coming off two off-season injuries? How about Mason Raymond on an eight year $4 million plus deal?

Maybe Gillis was scared straight by the Luongo deal, or maybe he has yet to find that player he feels is worth a decade plus contract. Either way he has avoided handcuffing this team for the long-term, and that has caused me to gain a bit more patience with the man.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Back With A Vengeance..Kinda, Sorta, Not Really, Yet

So a few months back I had a post about me moving into the shadow of Rogers Arena, Seattle. Well I learned something: No matter how much your boss assures you of something, GET IT IN WRITING. So after leading me on for over six months, Seattle turned out to be a mirage. But when that door slammed, a window opened.

Shortly after Seattle was taken off the table, Minnesota was offered to me, on paper this time, and I jumped at the chance. Professionally, this is a great opportunity, but more important I AM OUT OF OHIO! No more living in the armpit of the nation. Also, I am moving to a place where they not only know what hockey is, but they love it. This is a major upgrade.

However, this does not explain almost four months of silence. Well my unbelievably unreliable computer had hardware issues, twice, leading it to be out of commission for quite awhile. This has caused me to give up on Dell's for good now. Second I moved from my apartment into a friend's apartment for the "impending move" to Seattle. So I had to compress an entire apartment worth of stuff into a bedroom a third of the size of my old one. 

I have been coming up with some good ideas for the blog though, and will hopefully be able to implement them soon enough. This new position has given me more resources so a new computer is in store for the future, as well as more time to focus on the Canucks, and really the NHL for that matter.

I am looking forward to sinking a lot more time, resources and effort into this, as it is something I truly enjoy. One of my favorite things is to not only blog about the greatest hockey team in the world, but interact, read about, and discuss the greatest hockey team in the world with all of you. More to come soon! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Trade Deadline Feelings

This was a crazy deadline around the league, albeit relatively quiet. The biggest trade of the deadline was made days before with Jeff Carter being reunited with his buddy Mike Richards in Los Angeles and  Jack Johnson and a First Rounder heading to beautiful Columbus, Ohio. The most shocking thing on deadline day was Nashville making as many moves as they did, and trading a First Round pick for Paul Gaustad. But who cares about the rest of the league? This is Nucks on the Pond, not Preds on the Pond (I am Trademarking that).

First off I like the Sami Pahlsson trade. You give up two Fourth Round picks and get a shut-down Forward, that can play with just about anybody. All upside here, and a very logical move for a team looking to go deep into the playoffs. Pahlsson is a guy that instantly takes pressure off Manny Malhotra, and added with Jannik Hansen, makes the best Checking Line in the NHL. Love everything about this. Its the other move I have a problem with.

Now I have taken some crap on Twitter for this, and all I have to say is this: Shut the Hell up! I am entitled to my opinion just the same as everyone else is, and if I want to vent about my extreme dislike for this trade then let me. If you are some hipster douche, who thinks your opinion is fact and you are the true barometer for how the fans feel well take a hike because you're an idiot.

I hate this trade, a lot, but not for the obvious reasons. I was, and still am to a lesser extent, a big Cody Hodgson fan. I thought he was progressing very nicely, especially considering he missed an entire season to a back injury. He had 33 points (16G, 17A) and was a plus eight through 63 games this year before he was dealt. He was a Calder Trophy candidate and coming into his own in a city that loved him. But all was not roses, allegedly.

Rumors have been swirling that he didn't like being buried behind Kesler and Henrik on the depth chart, or that Alain Vigneault didn't like him, or that Hodgson demanded this trade. No matter what the reasons are, he was dealt, and in my opinion for that much in return. This is in no way a bashing session on Zach Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani. I think Kassian will turn into a very good player, and I think Gragnani was the casualty of the Sabres bringing in about 30 new Defenceman this season. But when you have a potential Calder winner, and you are a Cup Contender you have to get you something that helps right now.

Gragnani is that help, a puck moving Defenceman that adds depth, and there is no such thing as too much Blue Line depth in the playoffs, obviously. However, an inexperienced  Forward is not exactly a return you want for a team that is expected to go deep into the playoffs. You take your fourth leading scorer and exchange him for a third pairing Defenceman and guy that could be something great in the future. Lets not forget Cody even got some playoff experience last year.

So lets say Cody did ask for a trade, a question both him and Mike Gillis skillfully refused to answer in the days after the trade. Asking prices were high, that was evident long before Deadline Day rolled around. If Rick Nash can finish off the season on the worst team in the league, I feel as though if Mike Gillis went to Cody with "Hey, asking prices are high. I will shop you around, but if we don;t see the deal we want, we are going to wait until the off-season." I would like to think Cody could have "stuck it out" on a Cup Contender until the summer rolled around.

The same thing goes if Vigneault was not a fan of him either. The guy is having a good year, he hasn't been accused of being a problem in the locker room, and has done what is asked of him. If the French midget is complaining about one of his players, Gillis should tell him the same thing, "prices are high, I am not giving him away." 

I am just finding it very difficult to stomach that a third pairing Defenceman and potentially great Forward is what a Cup Contending team needs right now, rather than a Calder candidate, with playoff experience. It just doesn't make sense to me. I have a feeling that Cody and some nicely packaged picks could have gotten a top six Forward from a team well out of it. This seems to be one of those trades that doesn't make sense, as opposed to one of those famous Gillis trades that is made to make up for an awful signing.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year Updates

First of all I had no idea that these shirts even existed, kind of want one now, especially since this season will most likely be the last for Northwest Division. Anyway I thought I would take a look at the season thus far. Not exactly halfway through the season (39 games played), but close enough. 
Things have been going roughly how I felt they would be. They are leading the league in goals scored (129), Henrik and Daniel are dominating the regular season, and the Defence has looked solid thus far. The one thing that I was a bit worried about, from a statistics point of view, was the 96 goals against. This looked fairly high for the Western Conference, but looking at the Eastern they are actually in the top half of the NHL. Also both Schneider and Luongo's numbers are solid, but there is always room for improvement.

One of my biggest concerns was the state of the Defence after the loss of Christian Ehrhoff to the piles of money he received in the off-season. But as it turns out thy have looked solid and Ehrhoff having 17 points and a -11 rating in 37 games has made it even nicer. Edler has taken a step up getting 28 points in 39 games and Bieksa has 22 points in the same amount. They have four Defenceman averaging twenty minutes or more (Edler, Bieksa, Salo, and Hamhuis), and its always nice to spread the ball around.

As for the Forwards everything has been on pace for the most part. Kesler has had a slow start with missing the first few games, and has 28 points in 34 games, and has not missed a beat on the PK or PP for that matter. Raymond has looked solid with 8 points in 14 games, after coming back from his career threatening injury in the Finals. 

Chris Higgins has been playing well, when he is healthy, and I always like Lapierre, but I get frustrated. I still believe he can score more if he can focus and not be such a pest, but he plays his role well. The clear story for the Forwards though is Cody Hodgson. The guy has been playing above expectations this year, well mine anyway. He has 20 points through 39 games, with a plus 6 rating. He has looked aggressive in the games I have watched, sticking in his lane and fighting through the Defence. He has been picking up the slack left when Raymond and Kesler were out, and establishing himself as a force. I look forward to see how his season shapes up. 

As for the Goaltenders, I am happy to see Cory Schneider get more starts this year. I was screaming for that last year, although I don;t think fatigue was an issue in the Finals. A lot of his success is due to that six game starting streak he had, but he has played in 17 games this season so far, to Luongo's 26 with a 2.15 GAA and a .931 S% to Luongo's 2.50 GAA and .912 S%. I am confident in both these guys, so the only real story here is Mike Gillis refusing to trade Cory Schneider, allegedly.

I understand the need for a solid backup Goalie in the NHL, especially in Vancouver where there is no one close to play, and your Division goes across three time-zones. However, Schneider is going to be a worth a lot more this season than trading his rights in the off-season. If you think your backup Goalie is the key to this team winning, then it means you have no faith in your starter. I can not remember one time in my life where I have heard any front office express the importance of a backup goalie and its direct affect on the success of a team.

Stay Classy San Jose

There has always been a degree of courage needed to wear an opposing teams apparel in enemy territory. I have been on both sides of the equation and have not encountered any issues other than the occasional heckle or comment. I have even been proud of my fellow fans, whether it be a Canucks game, Detroit Tigers or Lions, even a New England Patriots game.  At the Patriots game I even had a friend wearing a Chargers jersey (their opponent for the day) and all we got were insults geared toward Phillip Rivers, no Superbowls, etc.

Every once in awhile you find that one drunk guy who is looking to pick a fight, but being a big guy, and usually sporting a Chabal-esque beard (Obscure reference I know, rugby player, here is a pic), so not exactly a prime target for the ire and disdain for someone. However, the story I found is illustrating something more than just fans exchanging funny jibes.

I tweeted this article a couple days ago, and I am sure it has been going around Mecca (Vancouver). Unfortunately though with the holidays I have been unable to enjoy as much streaming Team 1040 as I would have liked. I was pretty sickened by the headline, but calmed a bit after reading the details.

As I told my brother, I didn't expect the fans to know she had a brain tumor, unless you have bandages wrapped around your head you can't expect that. However, you can expect fans to have a little bit more class and respect than to go after two teenage girls. But I am hardly shocked as this occurred in California, a state so full of self-centered and image-conscious people, that respect, tact, and kindness aren't high on the list of characteristics. 

From the sounds of it the physical assault was an accident. Everyone knows they cram people into arenas these days, and you are pretty much on top of one another. However, every time I bump someone, no matter how small or inadvertent, I always apologize. Again though, that goes back to the respect, tact and kindness, all foreign concepts to people in California.

The most reprehensible part of this story is when she is being loaded into an ambulance, some jackass had the gall to shout "Suck it up!" Really dude? Someone is being loaded into an ambulance and you feel the need to taunt them? Not just anyone, not like me or my buddy Bryan who would just be hammered jackasses but a teenage girl is who you yell at. Nice to know the Sharts fans keep it as classy as the goons they cheer for.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rogers Arena, Here I Come

So I know I have been delinquent on my duties as a blogger, but it is/was for the very best of reasons. I have had many 12-14 hour days, going in on weekends, and too many missed Canucks games in the last three months. I have seen my gut grow and my t-shirts get tighter, due to a lack of time for any workouts, and eating on the run, but I have just learned, all that has paid off.

This week I will be finalizing plans and signing the papers to get transferred to the greater Seattle area for work. Not exactly Vancouver, but as close as I can get, for now. I am unbelievably excited about this new opportunity and new set of challenges awaiting me. One of the best parts is in my new position I will be traveling to Vancouver for work every couple months, not to mention all the weekend trips for Canucks games and just to hang out.

Unfortunately this doesn't mean I will have more time to blog right now. Keeping my foot on the gas has gotten me to this opportunity and I have a lot more to get done before I head West. I would like to thank you all, again probably just my father and a couple stragglers, for following me, and I hope to make it to some games when I get out there. I look forward to the next chapter of Nucks On The Pond, and moving closer to Mecca!