Monday, August 08, 2005

Frantic burst of signings finally slow down

Excuse the absence the last couple of days, spent the weekend watching some exciting CFL action, all of which you can find out about here.

But on with the hockey! What a week for the NHL, long off the sports radar with its labour travails, in one spurt of less than five days hockey jumped back onto the front pages of the sport sections and became the lead item on sportsradio and television.

As the pens were reloaded with ink it seems that the largest order would come from Pittsburgh, a team that two years ago was a frequent suggested suspect for contraction has all of a sudden become a pre season favorite to make some noise in 2005-06. From Sidney to Ziggy and all in between the Pens won't be pushovers in the East this time around.

In the west the Edmonton Oilers gave their fans a chance to dream the city of champions dream again with Chris Pronger and Michael Peca donning the rigging of the Oil.

Calgary re-upped their main attraction in Jarome Iginla and Vancouver kept Captain Mats in the fold for a few more years.

On and on it went for five days as most NHL teams made some kind of grand announcement to show that there was a pulse once again in the ole hometown. The Senators didn't make any major moves, content to try and get their still exciting line up firmed up.

Down the road in Toronto, the Leafs courted disaster by letting more players leave than welcoming those that had arrived. Tie Domi long a protector of Leaf personnel donned his armor one more time to defend the honor of rookie GM John Ferguson Jr., suggesting the media was not being fair to his boss (and new benefactor) and should take a break from the negativity. Of course a signed contract for a bit over a million dollars helps with the incentive to go into a corner for your GM one suspects.

But in the end this past week did something many folks thought was impossible, it got everyone talking hockey once again. So if nothing else we can be thankful for five days of non stop bartering. Like many a beer hall hockey pool player the 30 NHL GM's were wheeling and dealing, leaving many gasping for breath with some of the moves made.

With training camps still a month or so away it will be interesting to see what comes up next to keep our interest and give us all something to talk about.

And we start a new week with a new possibility, The Great One deciding to take on the task of coaching the Desert Dogs of Phoenix. All the sports channels in Canada were busy relaying the rumor that Monday will announcement day in Phoenix, when Wayne Gretzky will confirm he will take over the coaching duties of the Coyotes.

Another day, another change in the brand new era of the NHL!

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