Carnival of the NHL #3

Welcome Carnival of the NHL #3.
I’m Steve Ovadia. You might remember me from blogs like PuckUpdate and PopUpdate Daily.
Today, I’ll be your host as I take you around the hockey blogosphere, from its beautiful hair, to its seamy underbelly.
Before we begin our journey, please remember not to make eye contact with any of the bloggers. In the blogosphere, eye contact is a sign of aggression.
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(Cue Kathie Lee Gifford singing)
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The Carnival’s first stop is Boltsmag, where John Fontana blogs about the Tampa Bay Lightning. In this post, he weighs in on Dmitry Afansenkov, who might just be the next Martin St. Louis. Let’s roll a clip, guys.
And just to take you backstage a little bit, John told me to keep an eye on Bolt Eric Perrin, too.
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Moving along, the Carnival’s next stop is Tom Benjamin, the CEO of CanucksCorner. Tom has decided that in the new NHL, systems count more than players. According to Tom, the NHL’s biggest enemy is parity. I agree parity is going to make it impossible for fans to grow attached to the players on their teams, but I think the NHL’s biggest enemy is fire, which melts ice.
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Brian List of On the Wings takes us into one of the world’s scariest places: inside the payroll of the Detroit Red Wings. This overview should not be viewed by small children and pregnant women.
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Jes Golbez, the pride of Vancouver and the leading authority on world hockey, checks in on the St. Louis Blues (he looks at their prospects here). The verdict? They don’t seem to understand that the cap represents an amount they can’t exceed.
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James Mirtle, an editor with the Globe and Mail, is an East Coast guy, but it seems he left a huge chunk of his heart in British Columbia. Mirtle’s post on Markus Naslund is the Carnival’s most poignant stop. The most troubling thing about the lockout was that it showed just how little the owners and players understood about their place in the lives of fans. They’re more than entertainment. For a lot of people, the players are cultural and emotional touchstones. Naslund isn’t just a great player to James: Naslund also represents home. Will future NHL fans feel that connection with players when the players bounce off the team every few years?
What do you think?
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Let’s move over to Boston, where sources tell me their local baseball team recently won some sort of baseball award. Kudos to the Socks of Red! May the Lord pity your inability to play hockey like a proper athlete. In Boston, Jay Kumar writes about what’s going on with the Leafs AND the Bruins. Interestingly, you’ll note just about every free agent is linked to Toronto. The Leafs are in a great position. Just about every hockey player wanted to be a Leaf when he was a kid. The vast majority don’t put on the blue and white because they’re able to get more money somewhere else. But in the new NHL, where everyone pays the same, the Leafs are going to be flooded with players.
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I can’t talk about the Bruins without paying tribute to Heather at so.very.obsessed, the definitive Bruins blog. Heather didn’t send anything into the Carnival, so I’m going to pick this post for everyone to enjoy. That’s right. I’m pulling people into the Carnival. I’m drunk with power (and Sambuca).
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Rhode Island’s own Joe Tasca has a nice post on the rise and fall and re-rise of rivalries in the NHL. The league is finally realizing that rivalries make the game more exciting. The only fallout from a locally weighted schedule? Fans in some of the NHL’s more far-flung outposts don’t get to see some of the league’s historic teams each season. But since I’m in New York, I’m pretty comfortable with that. I didn’t tell anyone to move to Phoenix.
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Brandon Bibb of Grapevine’s Sports Ramblings also has some thoughts on the new NHL schedule, this time from a Dallas Star perspective.
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Costa Tsiokos asks us why other cities arent’ clamoring for teams now that the NHL has achieved cost certainty.
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PJ from the mighty Sharkspage has graciously contributed his 2004-05 season preview to the Carnival. Luckily, since there was no 2004-05 season, most of it still holds up. As PJ emailed me yesterday, “But the Sharks will be a contender this year, and youth, speed, and two signed #1-caliber goaltenders are the reason why. Ignore them at your peril East Coast hockey media.”
The Carnival is going to pause for a minute to remind everyone just how late those West Coast games are for us here in the east. We don’t want to ignore the Sharks and the Canucks and the Kings. We just can’t stay up that late. Which is sad, because those are three of the NHL’s most exciting teams. But PJ does a great job covering the Sharks, so I feel pretty comfortable repeating everything he blogs AND getting my beauty sleep (14 hours a day keeps the ugly away).
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Speaking of the East Coast Media Machine, Hockeybird has a great post about what’s going on with Jaromir Jagr and the Rangers. No one at Hockeybird sent anything into the Carnival, but I was able to grab this link using the powers of eminent domain. Everyone reading this post will also notice I’m using those same powers to upload all of the music off of your computer.
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Being a carny sure does make you tired. That’s when TV comes in handy. Mark from SportsBiz reminds us that the NHL needs ESPN as much as we carnies need our Lifetime. David Singer looks at the NHL’s TV options here and here. Richard Sandomir from the Times wrote a story making most of these points a few days later, proving the Carnival of the NHL gets you hooked up with the 4-1-1 first.
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And finally, a big thanks to Eric at Off Wing Opinion for organizing the Carnival, and for writing a great blog. I’m man enough to admit, on behalf of the hockey blog world, that you’re the wind beneath our offwings.
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And that, my friends, is the Carnival of the NHL. Please exit to the rear of the blog. Don’t forget to check out some of our other attractions: Bobby, the Least Employed Union Head and Stevie, the World’s Oldest Center.